What Does Your Perfect Client Look Like?

Can you imagine, in your mind, what your perfect client looks like?  Who is a client so ideal that if you could clone them you would be booked solid?  In marketing everyone calls this our target market, but is our target market changing in our New Economy?  In the senior market we have to deal with the idea of marketing to and shooting for different target markets (the senior and the parent).  Now we have third target market introduced into our marketing targets (in this new economy) and that is the Grand-Parents.  More than ever before we are having seniors bringing in their parent for their session, but the grandparent coming into the viewing to pay for the portraits.  If 40 to 50-year-old parents of seniors are having to turn to their parents at 65 to 75 to pay for portraits, I can imagine this is even more common with younger families that have smaller children.

I never thought I would see the day come when seniors would be telling parents and grandparents they really don’t need wallets!  Senior portraits used to be an expected expense of a student’s senior year, now there are many seniors that want premium portraits having to ask for them as a birthday or Christmas Present.  I don’t think the people we photograph will change but until the economy drastically improves, I think the people paying for the portraits we take will be changing and remember where there is change there is opportunity.

Realizing that many seniors are now having to request senior portraits be a present  for a birthday or Christmas (or in some cases both) we have started marketing more toward the “perfect gift” theme.  Since Grandma is now thrown into the mix of our target audience we make sure to include at least one cap & gown image as well as a few more traditional senior portraits into our information to satisfy grandma’s more traditional taste.  As our predominate buyers changes we need to change our marketing to include them or we can easily lose them to another studio that does.

You have to find and address the predominate buyer (the one that holds the purse strings) and see how dominate they are in the decisions that are made.  In our family campaign we are working on we have included a few portraits with grandparents added, since they seem to have the most discretionary money to spend and a portrait with grandma’s money is more likely to be taken.  We have even added a few portraits of seniors not only with a parent, but also their grandparent as a way to include those that will be paying the bill!

As a business person you must identify who your target market is exactly, know who’s is the predominate buyer is (the one making the decisions) and then who will be the one paying for the portraits.  You may be lucky and in your market that may still be one person, if not you need to find ways to get your messages out to all of your targeted markets with a message skued to fit their taste.  If you don’t know this basic information you are not targeting you message, you are doing what everyone else is doing and the person you are following probably doesn’t know any more than you!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on December 28, 2009.

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