Not Getting Enough Clients?
It’s a sad fact, but for the last 15 years, photography marketing strategies have become stagnant and ineffective.
Most photographers rely on 3 basic types of marketing:
1. Word of mouth: From current clients to new potential clients.
2. SEO: Pposting images from events online and optimizing these posts for keywords such as ‘Seattle wedding photographer’ and so on.
3. Outbound marketing: Paid advertising in blogs, magazines, tradeshows, the phone book – eek! – and other paid media.
The old way of marketing through posting everything you shoot and then SEO-ing the crap out of it is over.
Stick a fork in it. it’s done.
Every photographer is doing it, and it’s white noise at this point. In fact, most of your current blog traffic is coming from people who will NEVER be your customer, i.e. other photographers in your industry!
What if I told you that you could make 2 or 3 blog posts that would reliably bring in 80% of your customers for years to come? And that these posts would be so interesting that they would be passed on from current clients to future clients without you having to lift a finger? You can, and it’s not that hard. I want to teach you how!
How Inbound Marketing Will Save You
The solution is inbound marketing. Startups all over the world use inbound marketing to grow fast without a lot of cash, and it works very well with photography too. It’s such a new concept in the photography industry, that I bet this is the first time you’ve heard of it.
And that’s a good thing! Inbound marketing is wide open territory, and if you master it now, you will be ahead of most everyone else in your area.
What IS inbound marketing anyway?
Inbound marketing is attracting clients through valuable content you create that solves very particular problems your clients face in their buyer’s journey, such as “Where are the best venues in my city to get married?” “How do I get the best photos on my wedding day?” and “Should we have a first look?” By creating an informative blog post on a topic like these and then offering bonus content in the form of a downloadable PDF or ebook that solves these problems, you too can create inbound lead magnets.
The valuable posts and guides we create are our ‘bait’ that draws clients to us naturally while giving the client something truly valuable in return. We not only help our client in their journey toward getting the photos they want, but we demonstrate our mastery of wedding photography in the process. Once the client downloads the PDF we’ve created, their email is sent into an automated email chain in MailChimp and from there, the customer is slowly converted into a customer through additional informative emails.
It’s like building a robot employee that entices new customers to you, works 24/7, never takes a day off, and never asks to be paid for their effort!
In my Masterclass at the Hybrid Conference, I will help you build your very own marketing robot. I’ll be covering strategies to help you get traffic, create leads, acquire clients, and eventually create happy clients and promoters.
My course includes step-by-step instructions for choosing your content, copy-writing best practices, how to turn your copy into a beautifully designed downloadable PDF, technical automation and integration, and techniques to help you drive traffic to your new bonus content.
Inbound Marketing Sneak Peek
With inbound marketing, your job is to answer your client’s questions. But if you don’t understand your buyer, you won’t understand what questions to answer. That’s where Buyer Personas come in. They are used in the startup world and corporate world on a daily basis. Why? Because they work.
I’m going to teach you RIGHT NOW how to create Buyer Personas for your photography business. (If you are attending my master class I encourage you to complete your buyer personas before you arrive.)
Buyer Personas + Journey
To attract your ideal client, you have to first understand who that is. You don’t want to bring just any traffic to your site; you want to attract the right traffic.
Buyer Personas are fictional representations of your ideal clients. These personas are based on research and analysis of your current clients. The goal of creating Buyer Personas is to understand who your clients are, what their goals are, and what problems they face. We want to be able to put ourselves in our client’s shoes and connect with them on a deeper level. A deep understanding of your clients will help you market more effectively, create new packages or offerings, and offer a custom level of service and support.
To build Buyer Personas, find trends within your current clients:
- Geographic Location (neighborhood).
- Estimated Yearly Household Income (this can be extrapolated from occupation).
PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIFIC TRENDS:
- Time of year of the photo shoot.
- What are the most important details of the wedding or photo shoot?
- Style or aesthetic. (The key phrases client’s use to describe their style).
- Disposition (Are they funny or serious? Did they come with ideas, or were they more hands-off?)
Sample Buyer Personas
“Jennifer and James”
Jennifer and James are in their early 30’s and live in Seattle Washington. They both work in technology and make a combined yearly income above $200,000 a year.
They are recently engaged and are interested in engagement and wedding packages. In our first meeting, they were chatty and humorous. They didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously. They had a few ideas but were not forceful about any of them. They described their wedding as bohemian and casual.
Their wedding will be at an outdoor venue in the late summer and they would like their engagement photos to fit the same vibe as the wedding. They have a wedding budget of $30,000 and seem to prioritize catering, music, and photography over florals, decoration, and attire.
“Steve and Samantha”
Steve and Samantha are in their late 30’s and have 2 children. They live on an Air Force base, and Steven is an active duty Staff Sergeant. Samantha is a stay at home mom. They make a combined income of $80,000.
They are looking for family photos to be taken every other year. They are both soft spoken and don’t seem to have a strong sense of exactly what they want. They only that they want individual portraits of the children and maybe a few of just the two of them.
They describe themselves as a pretty standard family, and their children are their lives. They have a young daughter who loves attention and a son who is 5 and pretty indifferent. They point out they love the documentary style family sessions on your site over the more posed sessions.
They are willing to invest up to $700 for the family session and intend to purchase prints and frames along with the digital files.
Buyer Persona Interview Questions
It’s important to weave these questions into your natural conversation. You don’t want prospects and clients to feel drilled but you want to make sure you get enough information about them to begin finding client trends.
Here are some sample questions you may ask your clients and prospects:
- Where do you (or both of you) work?
- If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?
- What neighborhood do you live in?
- Where is the wedding?
- When is the wedding?
- What, to you, is the most important detail of the wedding?
- Why are family portraits important to you?
- Have you announced your engagement/new baby/milestone?
- From the work in my portfolio, what session is your favorite and why?
- To help me get a better sense of your style, what are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?
- Are there any must-have’s in regards to your photo shoot?
- Describe your children’s personalities to me.
What do we do with these Buyer Personas?
These personas will determine WHAT content we should create for each stage of the buyer’s journey, in a way that will resonate with your clients. As photographers, we tend to create and consume content that is tailored to other photographers. We need to break out of this way of thinking and think like our prospective clients in order to connect with them and pique their interest with our content. This stage is very necessary and will be at the heart of ALL your marketing efforts as well as how you represent yourself online.
Understanding Your Buyer Journey
The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and book you. The buyer’s journey can be split into 3 stages. Understanding the three stages will help you to create content and develop techniques for each stage to help push them through the stages.
Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they want/need a photographer.
This is the stage where they decide if photography is important to them and worth investing. For example, a wedding photographer’s awareness stage is when the potential client gets engaged. They begin wedding planning and realize they want to document their day with a professional photographer. They add that to their to-do list.
Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their needs and researches options.
In the consideration stage, a potential client is looking to define their needs. This can include researching styles of photography, what prints and packages they are interested in, and defining their budget. In the same example above with a wedding photographer, this is the stage when they begin looking at Pinterest for wedding photography styles, deciding what percentage of their overall budget should be reserved for photography, and thinking about what deliverables they want from their photographer. This is also when they begin searching for their perfect photographer and compiling a list of their top options based on the information provided on each photographer’s website.
Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a photographer.
In the decision phase, your clients are likely weighing you against other photographers who have the same style, with similar product, packaging, and price after they have reached out for a proposal or a meeting. They will have met you, met your competition, and reviewed everything you offer.
Like What You See? Want to Learn More?
This is just a taste of the deep dive we will take during my master class at the Hybrid Collective Conference.
Use the code KIRK100 for $100 off!
I’ll be covering much more in the full course. Check it out:
Creating & Using Lead Magnets to Master Facebook Ads
– Course Outline –
- Creating content with a purpose.
- Copy-writing best practices.
- Techniques and strategies to drive traffic to your new content.
- Search Engine Optimization.
- Social Media.
- Paid Advertising.
- Entice users to engage.
- The anatomy of the landing page.
- How to create a beautifully designed downloadable bonus PDF.
- Technical automation and integration.
- The follow-up sequence.
- How to retain and engage your clients.
- Building community.
- Looking at each step to check for gaps.