I know you’ll be serving your paying clients. You’re emailing them, editing images for them, doing in person sales for them. That’s great! But how well are you serving your potential photography clients?
Because if you want to be the first person to come to mind whenever anyone in your area needs a photographer then you need to be serving the people who are not actually paying you any money yet.
And I mean, you need to serve them really, really well.
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about then let me explain…
Let’s say you’re in the market for a new mattress for your bed.
Not just any mattress though.
Your body’s not getting any younger and you want a mattress that’s going to help with your backache and give you a great night’s sleep.
You spend a third of your life on a mattress and you’re absolutely ready to spend some money on this.
Of course price is an important consideration but you’re definitely not just looking for the cheapest mattress here.
Not by a long shot.
I’m using this example because isn’t this what we want from our photography clients?
We don’t want the bargain hunters - we know what they’re like to work with.
If a mattress doesn’t matter to you that’s fine.
Replace the mattress with a purchase that is of value to you personally.
A purchase that you’d be willing to spend more on rather than opting for the cheapest option.
What might that be for you?
Maybe a romantic getaway with your partner, a new guitar, a pair of walking boots, a new kitchen - we’re all different so this is going to be different for all of us.
Just make sure you think of a good example for you so that you can really and truly step into your potential client’s shoes here.
Hopefully you have one.
I’m sticking with the mattress example for now.
So the research begins.
You have a few recommendations from friends and family that you’re going to check out and you’re going to do some digging around yourself.
You make a shortlist of mattresses that seem like they might be right for you and go about investigating each one in more detail.
You land on the first mattress website.
There’s pictures of mattresses with some very generic descriptions but you can’t really decipher why these mattresses are so wonderful and worth the money.
You look for some further information but there’s nothing much to go on.
Yes, there’s a contact form but you’re kind of ‘in the moment’ and you want to know the answers to your questions right now.
So you move on.
So this is what it’s like for your potential ideal client when they land on your website and you have nothing much to offer them there other than a look at your images, some limited, generic information and a very lukewarm offer to get in touch if they want to know more.
Let’s move on to the next mattress website.
This time the first thing you see is a full page pop-up informing you that there is only three days left in the mega sale.
You close that down only to see no less than three banners and widgets telling you the same thing.
Not only that, a live chat pop-up asks you if there's anything you need help with and, by the way, did you know there's only three days left in the mega sale?
So this is what it’s like for your potential ideal client when they land on your website and you bombard them with really needy, pushy text to buy, buy, buy.
I’m sure a discount sounds good to them, don’t get me wrong, but they still want to know what you can do for them beyond giving them a good price.
This is all about you and your need for a sale.
Not about them and how you can serve them.
Now let’s visit the third mattress website.
This is much better.
You arrive to a very simple, attractive homepage and you can see straight away the section that you need to click on.
‘Do you have a bad back? Read about how we can help you with that?’
So you click on it - obviously!
There you find a great page of simple information about how they have different mattresses for different back problems.
You click on the one that’s relevant to you.
Look at that - you’ve only been on the site for less than a minute and you’re already on page 3.
On this page you have a video to watch that walks you through the science behind this mattress and how and why it helps.
There is also a testimonial video with ten different people talking about how this mattress helped their backache.
The copy is friendly, simple and human.
You’re loving these guys.
This is what it’s like for your potential ideal client when they land on your website to find that you’ve provided them with all the information they need to fall in love with you and your business.
Maybe a video of a typical shoot and lots of great testimonials from past clients.
Let’s visit the last mattress website.
Because as much as you loved the third one - you’re committed to your short list and you want to get the best mattress for you.
So you land there and they have everything going on that the third one did.
They have the fabulous information, the great images, the videos, the testimonials.
When you get to the page dealing with your particular back pain and how their mattress can help there are links to several in-depth blog posts that they’ve written just for you.
There’s one on best sleeping positions for you, tips for extending the life of your mattress, a list of mattress types you should never purchase etc etc.
Not only that, up pops a free eBook they can download which has been created especially for people like you.
It’s a ‘better sleep guide’ for people with your particular type of backache.
So of course you download it!
Before you know it you’ve visited no less than 15 pages on this website.
But you decide to sleep on it (excuse the pun) and discuss it with your partner first.
The next morning - who do you have an email from but the very same mattress company (because you gave them your email address in return for that brilliant eBook, remember?
The email simply asks;
‘Is there anything at all we can help you with? We like to think of ourselves as mattress experts and would love to help you find the perfect one for your needs. Even if it ends up not being one of ours - yes we would even recommend a competitor if we felt it was the best fit for you! So please just hit reply if you’d like some 1-2-1 help.’
They then go on to tell you that you are on their email list and they’ll be sending you weekly sleep and wellbeing tips but if you don’t want to receive them you can unsubscribe in one click.
This is what it’s like for your potential ideal client when they visit your website to find that, yes, you’ve provided them with all the wonderful information they need but you’ve also spent the time creating fabulous blog posts with them, and their questions, in mind.
You’ve written articles for them about what they can wear to their shoot to make sure their images look fantastic.
Articles on how to choose the perfect flowers for their particular style of wedding.
Articles on how to get their dog to cooperate for unique, creative shots.
Articles on how to make sure their headshots stick out on LinkedIn.
If they think it - you’ve written about it.
They can’t help but be taken from page to page to page.
Not only that - up pops a download offer.
They can download your vintage wedding checklist which you’ve crafted just for them and all you need is their email address.
And it doesn’t stop there of course.
Once they’re on your email list you continue to serve them regularly with content that is relevant to them and actually enhances their day.
This is how you serve your potential ideal client.
The articles and eBooks were all just examples and you’d have to craft content that was perfect for your ideal client.
But this is what it takes.
What can you write for them?
What can you share with them?
What can you record for them?
And in doing so, bring them closer and closer and closer to you and your business.
Think about me and my paid membership.
Imagine I only served my members each day?
I’d never get any new members!
I am always thinking of my members first - of course.
They are my number one priority.
However, I also think every day of how I can serve you, my potential member.
And I don’t expect anything back.
I know that the vast majority of people who consume my content will never pay me a penny.
And that’s totally fine by me.
My job is to serve and that’s what I’ll do.
Your job is to serve too.
Not just your clients - but your potential clients.
Now ask yourself. How well are your competitors doing this?
Is there room for you to become THE authority in your area?
THE ‘go to’ choice?
By constantly serving your potential clients as well as your clients this is almost inevitable.
When you are consistently creating content that serves you eventually cannot be ignored.
You are the name of the tip of everyone’s tongue when they’re thinking of photography.
Does it happen quickly - no!
But it happens.
If you want help making yourself into THE photographer in your area and you’re willing to put in the time and effort creating the content that will get you there then check out the Togs in Business membership.