Attract and Repel | Marketing for Photographers

Posted in: For Photographers

Attract and Repel | Marketing For Photographers
Attract and Repel, Attract and Repel Clients, Find your tribe on social media, Marketing for Photographers

Last week, I talked about defining your ideal client. I believe that by defining your ideal client, you will get a clear insight into how to attract that client. From your website, to your blogs, to your style of photography and even your style of writing, you want your ideal client to be looking at your brand saying, “YES! I’ve finally found the perfect photographer.”

A central idea around branding is simple, but not easy. You must attract AND repel.

Did your heart drop a little bit when I said you want to repel clients?

Well, read it again, because I meant it. I want you to attract and repel clients, and by the end of this, I hope you will want to repel clients too.

But let’s back up a little bit before we get into the heavier material. Public Relations 101 would probably say something along these lines:

You can’t please everyone. So let’s make sure you are pleasing the people that you want to work with.

I think this is one of the biggest mistakes I see photographers and new businesses make. They are trying to sell to everyone.  This only serves to makes their voice generic. When you are trying to stay surface level, you aren’t letting people know you, or what you care about. You can’t give insight into your perspective on the world, if you are trying to please everyone.

That is not how you find your tribe.

So be you. Be authentic. Talk like you are talking to a friend. Write on your site like you are out to coffee with your perfect client.

It’s scary. I know when I started really doing this, I was convinced the real me was going to drive people away. They would think I was annoying. They would be offended. Besides, why would they care what I think about life?

People do care, but that is a different talk for a different day. But do you want to know the best part? I probably DO annoy people. I probably DO offend potential clients. But I have to remind myself that those are the clients that I wouldn’t click well with.

Friends, there is SO much freedom in that.

When you are authentic in your voice and your brand, and know who you are trying to reach, you are going to notice a shift in your clientele. You will start attracting clients that you click with, and repelling the ones who wouldn’t share your vision.

For me, my ideal client is elegant, authentic, and classically chic. She is a young professional, but knows how to let her hair down and just have fun. This is a woman who is strong and smart, but is flirty and feminine outside of the office. She loves anything that feels clean and modern, so she is drawn to brands like Pottery Barn, and J Crew.

Her wedding has an estate-type aesthetic. She wants a wedding that looks timeless, so she has opted for softer color tones, and wants her day overflowing with flowers. My ideal client is detail oriented, and has put time and effort into personalizing her wedding. She also knows that no matter what happens, she is marrying the love of her life, and keeps that significance in perspective.

When I have that clear picture of who I am talking to, I can start attracting her.

In doing that, I will naturally repel the people that aren’t looking for that. Someone who doesn’t like lush flowers and soft color palettes is not naturally going to be drawn to the aesthetic of my website. Someone who like really intricate design work may not find value in the simplicity and clean look that my style has.

And that is okay!

Does that mean I never want to shoot a wedding with loud, bright colors or of someone who likes a more moody look? Absolutely not. Variety is the spice of life. It just means that the brides that do have a difference of style, and still want to work with me are identifying with something about my brand. They know what they are getting when they hire me.

By trying to attract and repel, I am serving my clients best. I am getting to work with people that inspire me, and that trust my vision, so that I can give them a superior quality product. The best part is though, is that I’m getting to be myself while doing it.

  1. Sally Siko says:

    Thank you for sharing this concept!
    This is the key to everything that makes our jobs as professional photographers so much more enjoyable. The best part is that once you figure out what audience you want to market to, there is no need to waste valuable time or money on campaigns that speak to an unresponsive demographic.
    I figured out that my types of couples are outdoor lovers with fun loving laid back attitudes. I’ve also discovered that I tend to get along with teachers, lawyers, techies and engineering types of folks best.
    That info has allowed me to design my website in a manner which attracts the right people and craft ad copy that specifically speaks to these lovely couples in a way that they can relate to.
    I am so blessed to work every single weekend for people whom I absolutely love hanging out with while documenting one of the happiest days of their lives.
    So awesome!

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