by Gregory Daniel
Texas School Instructor
As much as we would all like to believe otherwise, “ITS NOT ABOUT YOU.” Our clients predominantly care about themselves and rightfully so. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and identify how you feel when entering a buying experience.
Recently, we remodeled our master bathroom and learned a number of applicable business lessons. In the beginning, we thought the remodel was something that could be handled on our own. Very quickly, we realized that we were wrong. Your clients may also feel this way about creating an important portrait… as if it is something they can set up on their own and take with a point and shoot camera.
As Lesa and I began to look for help with our remodel, we learned there are big differences between decorators, interior designers, and contractors. This also might ring true for portraiture, with photographers ranging from hobbyists to Masters with certificates and degrees.
If we want to convince our clients that they need us to execute their vision, much like Lesa and I needed help with our bathroom, we have to identify our clients and what their needs, desires, likes, and dislikes might be.
Have you identified your perfect client? Decide who you would like to do business with every day and take the time to describe your ideal client in detail. Here are some factors to consider:
-Where does your client like to shop?
-Do they belong to a particular cause?
-Do they represent a particular generation?
-Are they primarily involved in a unique business or field of work?
-Do they represent a particular income level?
-Are these clients located in a particular area of town?
-Do they shop, buy, or dine routinely in the same establishments?
Knowing your clients with as much detail as possible will significantly help you with marketing strategies and clarifying your messaging efforts.
One way to meet your client where they are is to educate them instead of selling to them. Our family loves Blue Ridge, Georgia, and we take multiple getaways each year to this community, rich with southern hospitality. One of our “must visit” establishments each time is a little shop called Out of The Blue. It’s more about Sarah, the owner, than the shop. She connects on a personal level with each customer who enters her shop. Sarah’s secret recipe is that she genuinely loves people. She is able to quickly assess their individual needs and identify a solution. There are many times we walk in not knowing we had a need and we walk out with the perfect solution! She will say, “I am not trying to sell you, just educate you.” I love this approach, she is building value as the guide helping us come to the right solution.
Whatever particulars make up your client, there’s a good chance they are overwhelmed because we live in a very fast-paced world with endless choices. As you work to solve their problems, think of yourself like Sarah. Be a guide for your clients, shepherding them through their overwhelm, delivering clear and concise messages of how you are best suited to service them.
Once you know who your ideal client is, understanding their unique needs will be crucial to the design and purpose of the product you will offer. Remember, you’re in business to offer solutions to your client’s needs. Where is it your client wants to go? Do you have the product to help them achieve their goals? Is it easy for your ideal clients to tell other potential clients how you solved their problem? Are they able to communicate easily how it made their life better?
Be the guide, keep your clients from being overwhelmed, and remember it’s not about you. It’s about them!
Greg and Lesa Daniel are internationally recognized for their artistry. Though he is one of the most awarded photographers in the United States, Greg has the utmost privilege of living out his passion every day alongside Lesa in operating their portrait photography galleries in both Indialantic and Titusville, Florida. Greg was one of the youngest members to be inducted into the prestigious Cameracraftsmen of America in 1991, and a proud founding member of the International Society of Portrait Artists (ISPA). To learn more about them, go to GregoryDanielPortraits.com.