It feels fantastic to be a photographer, doesn’t it?
Doing work you love and getting paid for it.
You’re so pleased you get to help people by capturing the moments that matter most in their lives.
You want to reach more people, increase your bookings and your income.
But your diary is pretty empty and your photography sessions aren’t selling.
And the worst problem is you don’t know exactly why it’s not working, so you have no idea how to fix it.
This post is Part 1 of my How To Book Clients Consistently series that I’ll be publishing over the coming weeks, to help you start attracting a steady stream of clients and bookings for your photography business.
In today’s post we’re going to tackle the very first thing you need to have figured out before you can fill your diary with all the photography sessions you want.
How to book clients consistently by focusing on your client’s most pressing problems and burning desires
This step is essential, whether you’re working to get your first booking or your hundredth, but it’s one that many photographers are guilty of skipping.
It all starts with getting clear on your ideal client.
This really is the cornerstone of your photography business success. To get more clients, you must truly understand who your ideal client is.
That means, whether you’re photographing weddings, newborns or family portraits, you need to know your ideal client inside and out, be able to list her problems and needs, and speak her language.
I’m sure you’ve heard about this before, and maybe you’ve even tried creating your own ideal client profile. Or perhaps you feel that this sort of exercise is trivial and a waste of your time.
I know that for me, I resisted creating a client profile for my wedding photography business for a long time and then when I did try, it felt like I was creating one to fit exactly around what I wanted to offer.
Ideal client clarity is critical to the success of your photography business
When you have clarity on your ideal client – when you know what’s going on inside her head and really understand her pain points, hopes and dreams – you’ll know exactly how to position yourself as her perfect solution.
But to get consistent bookings, you also need to understand your client’s language inside and out.
When you know how your ideal client describes her problems and desires, you’ll know just what she wants to hear from you.
Whether you’re writing copy for your website or a promotional offer, or even if you’re networking in person, you’ll be able to show her that you understand her situation and are the perfect photographer to help her.
Make sure you’re solving your ideal client’s problems
Once you’ve completed the steps in the worksheet, revisit how you present your photography services. Compare the result of what you offer to what your clients say they want.
Does your offer help them solve their most pressing need, as seen from your client’s perspective? If not, revise your offer so that you can deliver exactly what your clients want and need.
Update your copy so it speaks to those problems and desires your ideal client has in her own words.
This last bit is critical.
It can be easy to slip into using words that might make sense to you, as an expert at what you do, but are not words that your client would use themselves (or even understand).
You do not want to leave potential clients with absolutely no idea what you’re talking about or why you’re best placed to help them, because you’re using words that they don’t understand.
Because, no matter how great your photography is or how well you meet your client’s needs, if your choice of words leaves them confused they’ll be unlikely to book.
So, before you write (or say) anything, be sure you ask yourself the question: Would my ideal client use these exact words?
You’re clear on your ideal client…but they’re still not booking.
If you’re feel that you’re clear about your ideal client, and that you’re using her language, but you’re still not turning people into paying clients, it’s usually a sign that your potential clients aren’t 100% convinced you’re the right choice to help them.
But don’t worry! I’ll be covering how to fix this in next week’s lesson.
Your action steps from this lesson:
To consistently book up your diary with ideal clients:
1. Get to know your ideal client and her most pressing problems and burning desires.
2. Be clear on how your photography services and offers help solve those exact problems or achieve those exact desires.
3. Make it clear in your copy how you help, using the exact words your clients use themselves.