As wedding photographer, your clients are consumers – not businesses or corporations – so they don’t make decisions the same way that corporations do.
Corporations make decisions based on ROI – Return on Investment.
They sit in their offices and ask themselves questions like, ‘How much return will I receive if I invest some money in more equipment? If I build a new factory? If I hire a new employee?’
Consumers, on the other hand, make decisions based on what I like to call ROH or ‘Return on Happiness.’
As a consumer, I don’t walk into a J.Crew to buy a dress because I will receive a bigger financial return on my investment than if I bought a dress elsewhere.
I buy the dress from J.Crew because I believe that it will make me HAPPIER than other dresses.
Are they quality? YES.
Do they look fantastic? YEP.
Are there other less expensive dresses in the world that will look just as nice?
When I shop at J.Crew, I have a picture in my head of what will make me happy.
Through their branding, marketing, and email campaigns, J.Crew has inserted themselves into my ‘picture of happiness’.
They have helped me feel that their clothes are the solution.
J.Crew is an example of an effective marketing machine (as least as it applies to me), and I believe this to be true:
Truly effective marketing is when your client’s picture of happiness and your services intersect.
Guess what? As a wedding or portrait photographer, your clients are consumers, and consumers have pictures of happiness in their heads that they are trying to fulfill with IDEAL VENDORS.
Your goal, then, is to actively insert your services into your clients’ pictures of happiness.
But you don’t want to intersect with just any picture of happiness out there.
Your ultimate WIN is for your business to fulfill your IDEAL CLIENT’S picture of happiness.
Your ultimate WIN is for your business to fulfill your ideal client's picture of happiness.Click To Tweet
You do this through your website, your blog, your images, your social media feeds, and your customer service by not only connecting with your target audience on their likes and dislikes, but by connecting with them on their deeper values.
You should post images on your Instagram feed that your ideal clients will absolutely love (and will definitely turn OFF not-so-ideal clients).
But let’s take it a step farther.
You want your ideal clients to believe that you not only understand their likes, but that you understand their values.
You do this by writing captions for your Instagram posts that speak to value statements instead of just surface qualities.
Instead of writing:
“I love this beach ceremony from this beautiful destination wedding.”
Think about a caption that says:
“Gorgeous beach + 10 friends + marrying the man of your dreams in Costa Rica = PERFECTION.”
This second caption speaks to intimacy and romance and adventure which might be strong values of your ideal client.
Find as many ways as you can to connect with your ideal clients on their values instead of just superficial characteristics through well-crafted copy, focused imagery, and thoughtful content.
You’ll quickly find that you’ll be intersecting with your ideal clients on the right levels.
In this way, you will begin to realize profitable returns on your marketing investments, because your ideal clients will begin realizing returns on their investments in happiness by hiring YOU.
One last note that I must mention:
Master marketers go even farther than this.
They are the ones that don’t just insert themselves into the pictures of happiness that their customers have created.
Master marketers are ones that are actively creating the pictures of happiness FOR them.
These are the trendsetters and the dreamers.
Someday, when I grow up, I want that to be me.
It isn’t me yet, but I still have some years left in my photographer self to make it happen.