Target audience for photographers

“Your vibe attracts your tribe”

One of the questions I am asked regularly by professional photographers on my Business & Marketing Workshop is “how can they find customers who really value our photography?”

Let’s be honest,  we all hope to work with customers for whom price ISN’T the primary decision when booking us for a family photo shoot.  We want them to love our photography and be excited to work with us. “Your vibe attracts your tribe” is a quote you may have seen on Instagram or Facebook, but at its heart is a business principle that is completely relevant to running a photography business. What it says is:

“The messages you put out directly impact the type of customer you attract”

The first stage in making sure your business attracts the right customers is understanding WHO your ideal customer is. To successfully market photography services to these families,  we need to know WHO they are and this leads into WHAT they like. Prior to becoming a professional photographer, I worked as a Marketing & Brand Manager for 15 years. When developing our marketing plans we would invest heavily in projects which helped us to understand our target customer. This would include focus groups, online surveys and, in some cases, asking customers to wear cameras as they shopped in Tesco. 

The great news is being a photographer means we get to personally engage with our customers on a daily basis. We can gather insights into our clients from multiple sources, including social media. On my Business & Marketing for Photographers Course, one of the early exercises is to brainstorm our ideal photography clients.

The end goal is to have a one-page description (which can be kept on the wall in your office) to use as a guide when creating marketing activity. If you have clarity over WHO you are speaking to and WHAT they like you will start to understand WHERE you place your marketing and WHAT you say in it.

We can break the research task down into 4 key areas:

1. Location

2. Behaviour


3. Brands


4. Interests


Let’s work through each of the 4 areas in turn – click below to download the Worksheet to keep all of your insights in one place. 

photography marketing

1. Location


Knowing WHERE you want to work really can impact your business model. As an example, my business is designed to fit around my 2 children. Ideally, I want to work within school hours which therefore means I would like to work as close to my home as possible. 

This means I am able to list the towns in which I want to photograph families and this helps me to think about targeting my marketing messaging. As an example, it is this list that I use when I set up Facebook advertising or Google Adwords or look at my Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  (Note: If you are looking for SEO for Training Photographers you can find details of my course here

Brother and sister on family photoshoot in Camberley

2. Behaviour


Another great way to understand your ideal customers better is to think about how you would like to interact with your client DURING and AFTER the shoot. Are the families you want to photograph outgoing  & outdoorsy? Are they the type of family which is happy to go off the beaten track to get the best images?  If not, do they have a home with very cool features that you could utilise on the day?

This is your opportunity to define your ideal family and what type of shoot will inspire you to deliver your best images. After the photoshoot do they want to spend time with you looking at the images deciding on wall art for their home? Alternatively,  would they be excited to see the images online allowing them to easily share with friends and family?

Photography mentor Nina Mace

3. Brands


To understand your ideal customer, even more, take some time to think about the shops and brands they love.  As I work in customers’ homes, I see the same homeware over and over again (the same rugs, picture frames and prints).

For example, my clients tend to have open-plan homes and colourful decals on the children’s bedroom walls. Take time to identify the brands & companies which appear frequently in visits or discussions with clients. You can then use this information to think about the styling of your communications – think colours, fonts and language of these brands. 

Dance photography workshops

4. Interests


Facebook can be a wonderful resource for helping you to understand your customers more. I find social media a great way to see what other pages my clients find interesting, what issues are important to them and where they go for days out in my local area.   This information is especially useful when it comes to coming up with blog content that people will really want to read and share. 

Another example of how knowing my client’s interests has helped to grow my business is I discovered that my customers were interested in photography and will often already own an entry-level DSLR. This means that there is a natural crossover between my family portrait customers and my Beginners Photography Course for parents.

Photography Trainer, Photography Workshops

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