For years, marketing experts, coaches, and consultants have been using terms like “finding your tribe” and “your perfect client” when describing how to build a business. However, this only tells part of the story. What is most important today is being found.
Think of it as the childhood game of hide and seek. Years ago, we were the one running around seeking -- putting out ads in magazines, sending direct mail, promoting our products and services. It was more of an outgoing marketing plan. Now we are more like the kid behind the tree hoping to be found. And preferably by the right clients.
So let’s break this down to three simple steps.
Determining who you are building your business to serve is the inner work you need to do. You need to know what your strengths are and who your style of photography suits best. It is less about “finding” the perfect client and more about your skills and values being perfectly aligned with the clients you can serve. If you’ve been in business a while, you may already have this down. If not, this work needs to be done first so you know who you’re building your business for.
You want to be recognizable as the right choice by those you have determined to be your ideal client. This is your branding. Having a website and social media pages that look like the lifestyle and price point of those you want to serve is critical. Your brand, style and ideal client must be crystal clear. They should “see” themselves in your brand. Your website should feel like the places they shop and spend their time. I also suggest using phrases, what I call ‘tribe identifiers’, that make sense and attract your perfect client. The photo below is the first image visitors to my website see when they view my photography portfolio.
I am letting visitors to my website know that my services are best suited for people looking for portraits and albums to display. That’s what I do best.The client that is seeking what I offer has just found the answer to their need and now they know that.
I often refer to being found as the art of enrolling. You want to encourage someone to walk towards you. In the game of hide and seek, it would be like laying out bread crumbs to the tree you’re hiding behind. You want to get their attention, entice them, and encourage them to walk towards you. Effective SEO of your website should be on top of the list in order to first get their attention. Once you have their attention, your beautiful photography and clear brand identity should entice them. An easy path for them to reach you, like a contact form, should encourage them to inquire further. How else can you make your photography highly visible and encourage people to find you? Perhaps a display in a store or a contribution to a silent auction. Be creative in ways to provide the opportunity for prospective clients to discover your talents and services and then make it easy for them to find you.
Understanding the value of being found rather than the more aggressive approach to seeking is an important marketing concept. It is much more aligned with the current desires of consumers and will reward you with many successful marketing efforts.
To learn more from Jeffrey Shaw, check out his ebook Change Your Perspective, Change Your Business and make sure to attend his session at Imaging USA on Sunday, January 12 at 9:30AM. Here is a preview of what you will learn in his session.