Boulder Photographer | How I Found My Ideal Client
Are you searching for your ideal clientele? Do you feel like you may be spending too much time catering to clients who you don’t connect with? There was a point where I felt that so much so that I almost quit.
So I did this thing. I started designing who my ideal client was. I literally wrote down all the qualities of this person. Where does she live, in a small town like Lyons or Longmont or some where with more hustle and bustle like Denver? Where does she shop for groceries; home delivery service, Whole Foods or Safeway? How old is she (and yes, I should have stated this, it’s a woman). I knew everything about her down to her hair color and where she gets it done! I was really wanting to narrow down my clientele and speak only to those who would listen and respond. I was in search mode for my ideal client.
So, how do you find your ideal client, you ask? Well, I will tell you what I know worked for me. I have always been certain that I want to be surrounded by people that value what I value, find photography to be an art and to trust in me to create around their stories with my vision. I want the people I work with to be everything I make them up to be in my head, but better! For a long time, I wasn’t trusting enough in myself to tell the world that. But once I started to let them in on everything that moved me to the core, i felt a shift. It is possible to find your niche and only work with them! I think finding your ideal client is a little bit of practicality, persistence and a little bit of faith. The faith is important and I’m not necessarily talking religious faith either. I'm just talking about believing that what you put out there can and will be received by the universe in some fashion.
Like most things in business, there are about a million moving parts at any one time and trying to grab one and focus on it entirely means that you're neglecting others (for people like me anyways). So, my first step to finding who my ideal client was, was to know myself and what I wanted. To do this, I had to break it down to the basics and remove all the clutter in my brain. I just had to press pause on all the noise for a bit. I asked myself, what are all the things that make me squeal? What do I love; colors, textures, lighting, people, styling, songs, sounds, smells, the earth’s elements ,memories, senses. Now we are getting somewhere and pinterest is great little diary for this exercise. PS> I’ll write a whole lot more on the senses and my memories in a later post, so keep coming back to read okay? I was finding all these simple and stand alone things that rocked my world in one way or another and what I started doing was applying them to my sessions.
Now, for every session I go to, I incorporate an element I am particularly fond of, something that emotional moves me. Sometimes it’s a physical item that I bring with me and other times I arrange to incorporate something like music or water. Those elements are the added bonus, they are part of your special trait that is the vestibule that your voice travels in.
Here’s an example for you. I don't love doing smash cake sessions and I had a dear client who had a Year Baby Plan with me and we planning her daughter’s 12 month milestone session, guess what? Yup, it involved a smash cake. In order to make this session as wonderful as I knew it could be, I thought that adding in parts of things I love would really make it jump out. I love lace. I have a mild obsession with it, and it’s beautiful with soft, delicate textures. It reminds me of old love stories, filled with mystery and wonder. I brought this element to this session. Not only was this fabric something that I love, but I was given all these pieces by my mother, who has been given them by her mother. So, they were meaningful on a few levels. I sewed a few pieces together to make a little blanket for her to sit on and it was perfect! Voila! I felt emotionally connected and that made this smash cake sessions come to life! Something little like this textured material gave me the ability to see what i was making from a different place, a place that is full on memories and love and connection.
I drifted off, let me get back on track. I was starting to create with the things I love, thus turning my imagery into art that I love and not just photographs of people. Okay, check. I have found myself.
The next step, and it was pretty scary, was putting it out there! Once I began to show the world only what I love to do, the people who resonated with that started to contact me. Did I loose clients, yes. I told myself that it was okay. They served a purpose to me and I know I served them well! I would now say that all of my hired work centers around honest and intimate Motherhood. Whether clients are seeking a Maternity Session, a Newborn Session or a Family Session, the overarching theme in my work is Motherhood.
I won’t lie, it was slow at first, but as time progressed, my ideal client was the only person I was connecting with. Do you want to meet her?
Her name is Matis Rose, and she’s pretty darned special. She’s a mom. She’s loyal, fierce, determined and empathetic. She is unapologetically her own self, sometimes being too reactive and battling a bit of jealousy from time to time. She’s a worldly woman, loves to travel abroad, especially to wander around the mysterious and romantic country of Italy but when she staying local enjoys going to the spa, a cocktail with adults and being unplugged from this crazy technical world. She gets lost in the sounds of music from another time in her life, loves to dance in the dark and finds so many emotions from the sense of touch. There is so much more to Matis Rose, she has layers you have to peel back to fully understand her. To know her is how you love her!