Your Dream Clients & The New Definition of ‘Rich’

POSTED IN : Branding & Marketing, Photographers

Seth Godin wrote a book in 2011 called We Are All Weird about the end of mass marketing and the rise of the niche economy.

And I love it.

Like totally head-over-heels in love with this book, going-to-have-a-fan-girl-moment-if I-ever-get-it-signed, because Seth redefines two words that seriously need to be redefined – ‘weird’ and ‘rich.’

The New Definition of ‘Weird’

Seth uses the word ‘weird’ as a way to describes our habits.

He says that we all make specific choices about how we spend our time and our money, and we are getting seriously super specific about these choices in recent years.

Consumers, particularly millennials, are wanting more and more niche products that have unique stories and creative uses.


We want craft coffees, craft beers, craft cupcakes, and craft food.


If it isn’t craft, we don’t want it. #guilty

(Just look at my happy hour nachos… “Are these jalapenos local?”)

Seth describes these individual choices as our particular ‘weirds.’

For example, if you choose organic lettuce at the grocery store instead of regular lettuce, Seth would say that you are making a ‘weird’ decision.

And the ‘weirder’ our choice is, the more we can infer about what’s important to someone. The more we can understand what a person values, which is GOLD when it comes to marketing!

The New Definition of ‘Rich’

The second word Seth Godin redefines – ‘rich’ – has TONS of connotations associated with it. 

We all picture something completely different in our heads – some good, some negative – when we hear the word ‘rich’, but stick with me for a minute, because I think you’re gonna love what Seth does…


Seth defines ‘rich’ as the freedom and ability to make choices about the way we live.


If you have food, shelter, and safety, and you are able to decide what kind of shelter in which you would like to live or what kind of food you would like to eat, then you are rich (according to Seth) even if those choices are relatively limited.

So how does this relate to wedding photography? 

A big question I get asked when I coach photographers is:


“Erin, my clients usually have higher incomes than me. Can I still relate to them?”


The answer to that question is to redefine what we mean by the word ‘rich.’

If we’re using Seth Godin’s definition and you yourself are able to make decisions about the way you live, then you are just as ‘rich’ as your clients.

You have ‘weird’ habits just like your ideal clients have ‘weird’ habits.

You both make decisions about WHAT you buy and HOW you spend your time, and those decisions are based on a set of value systems that you both share.


So what you really need to focus on is what kinds of ‘weirds’ and values you share with your ideal clients.


In short, you don’t have to be financially well-off if you want to serve high-end, wealthy clientele (not that everyone does or should), but you DO need to understand why your ideal clients spend their money the way they do.

You need to understand their VALUES.

For example, does your ideal client seem to spend a lot of money on wine but not on electronics?

Do they have big houses but drive an economical car?

Do they spend money on lavish vacations but rent a small condo?

Will they spend money on movies but not on fancy restaurants?

Do they spend money at vintage stores but won’t shop at the mall because it’s too corporate?

These are all examples of different ‘weirds’ that are driven by underlying values, and understanding why these kinds of decisions are being made is what we’re trying to do when we’re creating an ideal client profile.

Do I Need to Act Rich?

A second common question that quickly follows the first one is:

“Do I need to act rich? Do I need to buy a designer purse or get a black Land Rover because all of my clients have them?”

My simple answer to this question is a flat NO.

If you wouldn’t ever buy a Land Rover or wear designer clothes in the first place, then you definitely shouldn’t start buying them just to impress your ideal clients.

It will easily come across as totally fake and disingenuous, and people can smell that from a mile away.


You will most like turn OFF your ideal clients instead of turning them on.


Instead, think about fitting in with your ideal clients versus matching them.

If you were invited to a party that your ideal client is throwing, would you fit in with everybody else?

What kind of party would it be – a backyard BBQ? Rooftop cocktails? Beers in a dive bar? A home-cooked dinner in a traditional dining room?


We’re talking about YOUR ideal client, not THE ideal client.


These clients are ideal because you WANT to be around them. You think they’re awesome, and they think you’re awesome too!

Which means that you probably share similar interests and values.

You should be able to easily get along with them, and fitting in shouldn’t be hard work!

Remember, This is YOUR Ideal Client

Which brings me to my final (and MOST IMPORTANT) point.

If you feel like you need to act like something you’re NOT in order to be around your ideal clients, then you’re not going after your TRUE ideal client.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Need to act like something you’re NOT to attract your ideal client? They’re not your TRUE ideal client.” quote=”If you need to act like something you’re NOT to attract your ideal clients, then they’re not your TRUE ideal client.”]

You’re going after a type of client that someone else has probably TOLD you to go after.

You need to rethink your Dreamies, and figure out who YOU love and enjoy, without the influence of others.





Hi there! We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey wedding photography team in San Diego. We shoot together. We travel together. We dream together. And we believe the best thing to hold onto in life is each other (+ a great glass of wine…)

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