The Boudoir Workshop

Lesson 38 of 49

Booking Your Ideal Client

 

The Boudoir Workshop

Lesson 38 of 49

Booking Your Ideal Client

 

Lesson Info

Booking Your Ideal Client

So all right, we're going to talk about booking your ideal client. We were talking a little bit about this last night. It's a juicy topic really big on knowing who your client is and not wasting any time resource is energy on book in someone who's just not for you because it's never going to be successful um no in your client think like your customer listen to her needs and feelings so this is not you. This is not what you you know you're not thinking about what you can afford not what you value. This is your customer and, um, you know, if you don't know her yet we're going to talk a little bit about how to get to know her and there's exercises you khun dio and I kind of mentioned this up front when working with women when clients feel you understand them better than they understand themselves, you established a deep a level of trust and you want to talk about their pain points like their biggest fears and their biggest desires that's why people make emotional decisions and photography...

if he didn't know was it is an emotional purchase it's an emotional decision not like a practical one um and when you have established deep trust, you will have a successful shoot, high sales, repeat customers and a long term successful business so part of have a quote, unquote, getting more clients is getting repeat clients and creating raving fans. I can't tell you how huge this is. You don't need to market yourself when your thrilling clients and they're doing the marketing for you, and they're also booking you like every year, like kind of an addiction, which is it's fun. Um, let's, create your ideal client, and I want you guys to stop me and ask questions, because this is maybe stuff be specific and go deep into the psyche of one person, so I want you to go beyond just, uh, demographics. You want to go into psych a graphics, you need to list common traits of your ideal client demographics and psychographic says, I said rolley's into one specific person and give her a full identity. So I want you guys to do a journal entry as your ideal client as she's, deciding whether she wants to do a shoot or not as she's thinking about it, kind of what is she hoping for? What's holding her back at specific as you can get, talk about her family, talk about what's on her mind? Um, and I would just say, don't overthink it, get into the zone, you've already have contact with clients you probably earlier in touch with her on dh, just do the exercise it's, it's, it's difficult won a lot of people like homework I don't want to do this I had to do this on dh it is the most valuable tool when communicating with my client and that's all that marketing is communicating to your client whether it's through your website or on the phone so this is really important yet questions so you you really like me for me like the military wife like I yes journal from what they're thinking about our feeling teo, book me or just book a boudoir shit in general book you to look me in the process and everything. Yes. Oh what's on her mind. What is she worried about? What is she fearful of? What is she doubting in herself? What is she hoping for? What is she excited about what's going on in her life? What sucks? What is she hoping this will change for her? What has recently happened? Why is she calling now? Do you understand what I'm saying? Holy spoke about repeating clients on making sure that they return year after year. Do you provide them with something different every time or you troy, stick to your amazing shots those tan amazing short, no different every time and they'll always be something and will always be something we didn't get a chance to dio uh like that you just didn't have time for all we forgot to do the one thing our uh there's always something we didn't get to or it's always like that weighs so much now that I did it I wish I could do it again so nervous and I feel like did you feel that way that right right so it's funny because once you de virgin a girl like they get more relaxing all the thunder like yes I want to do that again or now I really want to do nude or now I really wantto like yeah let's do one outside or they're just a little more bolder um so I have got girls like I said going fourth and fifth like they doing it annually um or the like yeah let's go to do when you're in paris we'll go we'll do it there you know they're always trying to talk themselves which is awesome and their men are their men are fully on board uh go ahead question yes I was wondering if you could explain the difference between demographics and psychographic sure, the store's demographics are like age income level where they live stats basically psychographic saw her psychological profile um her feelings beliefs that's a big one what are her beliefs for the bible belt big one for you guys um so you really want to flush that out and as much detail as possible kids what do you know what does she value? What brands does she seek out love and trust that's a huge one um where does she shop what's she doing to maintain herself okay, moving on. So do that journal entry exercise once you do that you're gonna come up with some gold language and you're gonna use that in um how you communicate with her how you uh frasier about paige or your aboutyour session information wording on your price list how you talked to her on the phone what you put on your promo cards we're gonna talk about that in a second even if it's just one phrase but it's like kids are right it's exactly what she's thinking you want them to go my god reading my mind that's exactly what I was thinking um yeah and this is why it's so important knowing her deepest desires demonstrates that you have a vision for her and can help her get where she wants todo that makes sense she is coming to you for a reason she wants something not just pretty pictures I'm telling yu what is she hoping to get from this? How often do you when you're mentoring other photographers is their ideal client? They're describing exactly them it's them personally versus they separate themselves from their ideal high and half yeah, my ideal client isn't me actually um and I know why client really well and I think I get that question a lot like well how do I get inside my mind said if they're so not me um and it just is someone who resonates with you get her you understand her you're around her a lot doesn't necessarily have to be who you are um for instance I'm not married not over forty I don't have kids haven't been through a recent painful transition um and this is my client iss she considers herself this is a big thing formerly sexy is to be really pretty once let my client thanks you know, I used to actually, you know, having identity now I'm like a mom um you used to have great boobs now, you know, after two kids now and so I really know my client it's not me at all, but I can relate to her don't feel uncomfortable in her world er I mean like she's like my best friend that's you know, I guess I'm talking about all my friends really you maybe oh it's emotional e I can feel their pain it's not who I am, but I can feel it so much and it resonates with me and I it's so sad and I think more fulfilling than giving that woman herself again confidence feeling pretty if she kind of never did so this's, my client language of s o you know when you can talk like this to see how emotionally already this is the why we do what we dio this is what's going to make you booked solid um more so than having the perfect price list or whatever the heck else the studio souped up with whatever lenses and stuff, and I know this is the hard work, it takes a lot of thought. Um, but it's what's limits separate you, it's really a one word thing? I just want to say it's like with shooting and all my technical stuff it's, like all simple posing, is also there's a lot going on, and we're looking at a lot of stuff so it's not as simple as it looks, but here's where? Like if you're in advance for target, for watching this or for some, use a more seasoned pros here, this is what's going to bring it to the next level for you, you know, I'm not going to show you a five lights set up it's more technically advanced, so that's not what you need. This is what you need, but we're eunice agent michelle, I've got to actually that's okay, pressman is, how do you like if you aren't quite sure how you go about getting that deep because like obviously you know you know your client but like was it easy for you or did you take the kind of do you learn all that that's a good question and I think it's because uh like I said, I'm very close with my friends and, uh you know, we talk about all this stuff but also my clientele, my family portrait business I just kind of I got to know them so well and so when I started, how long was I already in business for five years? So I already it's the same client it's that mom and when I was shooting her for a family portrait the psycho graph I knew what she needed from his like um moms are always apologetic, they're always running late they're the last ones to get themselves ready they barely brushed to comb through their hair their so wanting this family photo shoot to work more than anything they kind of had a fight with the husband because he doesn't want to be there and she never actually do anything but I know my plan I know my client because I just volume on experience but also friends and I just think I'm a very intuitive person like I noticed stuff I could tell that you know, they could be so sweet to each other I could tell him I haven't, you know, um and then it's kind of the same client but I got to know her a little bit more intimately, especially when she'd be like I love your pictures of me and they were like the family portrait, you know, like so cool and ask him yeah, go for it I feel like I have a hard time like saying if I narrow it down like I just shoot military wives like yeah it's like I feel like it's too narrow, almost like I don't want to just be known as that like I want to shoot other peop well, it's a good it's actually not too narrow but it's very non specific. So I need you to go beyond forty plus moms for young brides or military wives that's just not specific enough, okay? Not every military wife is your client that's? Not who she is that's one one aspect but I wouldn't actually eliminate someone who's not necessarily military wife, but yeah, I don't want to do so I would lose that. So how do you come up with that? Like this is my client is just what you want. You have to be absolutely okay this is what resonates with me this is the woman I want to serve this is who is going to create fulfilment for me and it's different for everyone there's no right or wrong if you want to work with the hottie toddy go for it if you know what I mean whatever fuels you um you're curvy gals or you know you want to specialize in one area that's awesome cool thank you yeah uh any other questions in this before I move on yeah okay can we do um sorry all right the light matters is wondering as a male photographer would I be better asking my wife to go for the journal exercise had that's such a great question I think it would be valuable I mean why not have both of them do it um but I think that man needs to understand women better than you know they understand themselves but if he needs his wife's help getting into it sure. Um carlo you should with your wife and I have a lot of husband and wife team taking my six week online boudoir class and it's so awesome I love the husband and wife team I think they really have got the best of both worlds the yin and yang there um do you feel like I know you struggle with your ideal client? So how does fabiana help you get in our way are into our ideal customer and is a mixture off what we both see and we are very lucky because we are very much in the same so we know who she is and we're trying to reach them step by step but I think that I need to buy into my customary so with the question was a fine photographing a woman I need to know that she's my customer needs to pick my customer for she is if someone else drives this decision for me I would probably won't have so much fun and I won't be a good photographer and my point of view is because I do this with for b'eianna and we have the same ideas her ideal customer is my ideal customer so this is what drives us forward okay so you guys talk about it openly share your ideas do you think it would be helpful um b I don't know if you feel like you need you seem really in touch with who your ideal client is and you khun um it resonates with you you can relate so I think that's awesome but if other men feel like they need kind of help the got a white around sure I think that would be great and question from alex em how long do you stay on the phone to get to know your client that first time yeah it's about fifteen minutes believe or not we are all those questions and I feel like I'm in a phone forever and then I looking like those fifteen minutes that was really not that long a time I think I'm really good about getting intimate pretty quickly now, a lot of small talk. Okay, um, gonna move on? Um, actually, before I move on, I want is there anything else about ideal client? Because we're going sometimes talking about may be reelected. So it, um, you said that your, um, the moment you go through all the question with your customers is after you have already made the sale, how do you bond with her or how do you sell her? Your vision, your emotions, everything, before knowing her in depth. This is such a great question. And is exactly why later on today, we're going to do some website reviews. My client already knows me before she gets on the phone with me. She feels like she knows me so well, uh, my block is full of personality. I've got a video up there talk about why I do what I d'oh, um, so it's, very user friendly and there's. Um, a lot of information on there, and I speak on my block like I'm talking to my friends because I kind of am because if you're coming in my blouse, your friend, um, so she already knows me so well, it's kind of it's, a little like whoa I never talked to this person before but they feel like they really knew me so it's really nice and I have to say it's all done without me picking up the phone at all there's no cell there already sold their like I've been saving for this I don't even know how much cost but I'm you know looking at your stuff for two years and we can't wait to do it we just want to know if you're available memorial day weekend because we're gonna come to new york that's like kind of the e mails I get like I said they didn't get a couple now that my website kind of blown up there just like how much you charge and I feel like those are photographers asking me you know those aren't really clients I can always tell uh go ahead so question from meg legs do you encourage your ideal client to be different from yourself or is it because you talked about a lot of mar different but or is it ok for your client to be very similar to your own personality totally khun b similar like I said people I teach it's kind of half and half some of them are exactly here their client is and some aren't and it's just whatever resonates with um in fact I stop well I still shoot family but I stopped getting once I started boudoir and that kind of like blew up I stopped shooting family so much and I stopped blogging family I stop putting my energy there um you know, I just shoot my repeat clients if they want to fly out to new york or from adela um because it stopped resonating with me I don't know why or how or when it's just I just I don't know I stopped it stopped uh well maybe because I don't have kids and I found him like look kids I'm not dealing with him I know what it wass but all of a sudden like yes doesn't I'm kind of did my thing they're gonna move on I'd rather lake help women feel sexy maybe it's because I'm single on dh don't know it's more aware on that even though my client isn't me it's still doing something that's so me rather than family portraiture does that make sense? Yes have you ever got a customer that you realized she was not your ideal customer and it would have bean difficult to deal with her? Yes how do you do in that point? I just I'm just saying I'm not the right we're not a good fit and I know someone who's going to be awesome for her and I make a recommendation for another photographer yeah, I do that a lot and you know sometimes they're a little upset a little you know I feel, you know, hurt or whatever um but I'm not gonna waste my time um or there's quite frankly it's just not a good fit uh a lot of men try and hire me and get really aggressive they won't accept I'm too busy you have to say flat out sorry I'm not gonna do it and I d'oh question do you find that you're getting contacted by all women or do the husband's tryto book a session for their wives? Paul must flee that's a sixty five, seventy percent women sixty and I was curious help those emails come in um you know, because a woman could say I absolutely love your work I can't wait to work with you versus like what a man would say in his nose many people are pretty much say the same thing my wife and I have been following your dog for a while now we're coming into the air we love to do a shoot for you um I've had a couple men who were doing it as a surprise, but very is that rare it's usually like we've been watching you, we love your work we've been looking at photographers and keep coming back to your site it's that way um uh you know, my wife is beautiful they always say that my wife is beautiful and, you know, we really want to do something special and I'm getting chills that's seriously how goes down and it is so nice I love being contacted by their husbands do they stay and I love when they send thank you's which they always dio I got like a two page email once from husbands like you have no idea the momentum he created by my wife's life do they stay for the session or to use having do they come to know never never never do when you pass on your their names are another photographer's name how are you going about picking your photographer for that that's a good question I kind of knew a lot of photographers and I teach a lot uh I have a lot of students so I kind of figure out who I think it would be good for you stay in your price range or do you stay with more you like their work it's just the personality fit um any more questions because we have about ten minutes yes one more quick question you invest so much of yourself in establishing a really wonderful report with your client do her find yourself becoming friends with them yeah, that is definitely a big issue not an issue but I think I have a really dear friends he started out the client's um yeah and I have dear friends who have become uh works both ways but I do like that connection I do like to get to know them I do love that I'm a part of their life part of impacting their life in a big way it's kind of weird if I don't talk to them after that um so definitely another question and from green mom were you always selective in choosing your ideal customer even when starting out with the business or only once you've established yourself successfully thatyou could financially afford to turn down clients? Okay that's a great question and it has a tricky answer I uh was very selective from the beginning was always booked in busy even when I wasn't um because if you say I only am shooting tio tio sections for money if they're both full I'm booked know what I mean and I was always busy doing stuff for myself and learning and peeking out so it's totally true um but I guess I back in the day I wouldn't trust my instincts and red flags and I would shoot someone that I really didn't want teo and it always wound up being awful mess um so although I was selective I kind of was it was hard it was hard for me to say no so I fixed that pretty quickly because you only need a couple of bad experiences just like okay I'm not gonna do that again the same red flags I know that's not my client why am I still shooting had nothing do with money? It was just like a hard time saying no it is hard to say no yeah it's a skill it is I've become quite good at it now overcompensated a bit krista daniel murphy is in the chat room and she said I still did my boudoir she made me feel on the phone like were long time friends and very special was an amazing experience yeah. Hey, dan. Yeah, awesome. Yeah, we shot in new orleans, so let's have a lot of us it's good like, you know, going to w p p eyes oh, you're gonna be in vegas. I'm gonna be in l a, you know, like so I was talking to you. You can market yourself everywhere and anywhere, especially in these days, perception ofthe who we are is the reality and a big part of it is through our website, if not through the website, how you push the perception of who you are towards your potential customers. It's the website there is no other contact with me otherwise, I mean, then it's the phone call. Thank you. Okay, we're going to move on. Um, just creating emotion. This is super quick. We kind of already touched on this throughout the rest of the weekend, but, um, you know, a successful step sales start before the shoot, so we're gonna talk about selling later today, um and I already mentioned how you on the very first phone call you're already selling right you having them visualize what is the end product we gonna hold in your hand at the end of the day at the end of our time together what you are creating how she wants to be remembered so like we were just talking about this is all the emotional stuff the psychographic ce the whole journaling thing you know that's what photography is I hate to sound so morbid but photographs are like a catalyst for memories and you know you're shaping how she's going to remember herself that's freaking powerful do you think about it um so during your first contact that first phone call your primary focus is to discover her emotional our strings so what you know all those questions and hopefully those air just like kick starts to bigger conversation um and she'll reveal even more of what her deepest desires and fears are um okay so carlo we're talking a little bit about this last night being a magnet for your ideal client this is how you're gonna communicate who she is so she knows that you're for her when she sees you you're branding has to be so clear that she knows what she's getting don't be schizophrenic be consistent talk to her in the language that she is talking to herself in your products are aligned with her tastes and needs a lot of people go on the trade show floor w what's the latest and greatest and what's new and cool what should I have should have this that or the other it's like well it's not really about you or what school it's about what she wants so I'm not going to sell a pinup calendar to my high end clientele right? That just makes sense yeah and I'm not really selling canvases or big prints because that's also my client isn't showy she's not that it's not that rich woman who's got a big you know on our wall that's not who my client is um and the website should have your I see your ideal client well represented so when carlo took my six week online boudoir course er which is currently happening but sold out I'm sure I'll do it again next year you could get on the waiting list um for that on my website but carlo a part of it is a portfolio review which is really a website review and I just did one last week it was five hour long phone call I reviewed almost fifty websites it was phenomenal and of course I recorded it so people listen to again and again and even if I didn't review your sight yugi say something from and we're going to do three of y'all's website soon um later this afternoon because it's such an integral part of booking your client if you do great work um, you know, and you just like, I'm just not looking it's like we'll take a peek at your website so we could do image critiques all freaking day and it's fun to geek out and talk about that will definitely learnt you learnt something we'll do maybe a little bit of that, too, but I think it is more powerful and useful is doing a website review, so carlo, who does phenomenal work, was just not looking his his client is getting a lot of young people in the door on dh I was like, well, I see only young people on your site that makes sense, so he just dramatically redid his site based on the stuff I told him. And why don't you talk a little bit about that real quick? I think that, um probably because we came from an editorial background, fashion background, we've always focused on models, and I always want to represent models in my website and not customers, but what I didn't realize immediately was that what I show up there is the representation who I want to get in so I had the customer that are represented one hundred percent something really curious for me was I could have bet on the customer that I would have gotten him the next day. Because they were very similar one to each other and they were very well represented by my by my portfolio. But the real customer I really wanted was not in the same group in the same a great though you switch things up recently and now what? I think we switch our website a month ago, more or less, and already the type of custom is changing dramatically, and I of seeing I'm not receiving as many e mails. I know my customer much more selective now, but the the emails that I received are from the customer that want right perfect. Well done, good job. So we'll talk more about how to bring them in your door based on how you design your website. But like I said, the elements are your branding is so clear that you even know who your client is, that you have products aligned with her tastes and that she's represented on your website. Okay, and then also, your portfolio needs to have those money shots. What are they for? You, um definitely need to make it look like there's a party going on in here and you are missing out if you're not inside, so we need that laughter is sexy shot that's money shot number six laughter is sexy um, shoes, it's all about the shoes of another one on dh how you need to have a variety you don't want it to look intimidating I think you want all stages of dress you don't want it to be so serious unless that is you're brand your brand is like fine art nudity only do black and white um very dramatic and that's your thing you know what I'm saying okay and you need to know the value providing communicate that obviously you need to have about your session and about jen about nicole about michelle on dh if you don't have your name your business name is your actual name then you need tohave london boudoir by carlo or whatever you need to have your name on your website you need to have your pick actor wanted to be personal they want to know who you are especially in this type of thing okay, so when you're first starting out if you already have an existing business like a wedding or family portrait business starting with your courage a client is the best way to get started super quick and easily have some boudoir samples present always at your ordering sessions so my boudoir business kind of started seamlessly because everyone was coming in during their house the holiday season for their family portrait and I have my boudoir samples on the desk they'd be like what's this on the husband on the wives were like really be all into it so easy sal so during the holiday season I like booked so many for january february march boudoir clients so I have to say, just have it out there sp especially john, can you get my peep show? Thank you. It's a little black viewfinder it's in the red bag. Thanks so great. It's like a magician. Whatever you need is right there. Okay, so especially the peep show people can't help but look into it. Um, I have to say, if you do trade shows, we'll get into stuff like this in a sex. Um, thank you. You wanted a lot of book clients you want to build interest. This thing is a miracle worker. I don't do trade shows, but I did one in my community small, rich community, pacific palisades they had a fair and I thought, I'm just starting boudoir I had a line up of these and then I had, like, a little ribbon with like, I don't have business cards, which just looks like, you know, what did I peep show or whatever I put on it or look peek at me or something? I don't remember anyway, they were all lined up and people were just lined up mass is like looking at these going oh, and like smiling, right? And then everything was like, what is he looking at? So if you do trade shows and we'll talk about that I don't do them but I know that they're you know, bridal fairs and all that jazz I definitely think it would be beneficial if you lend these up and include some cheeky man you can even put like include like mature one morning on some of the tags um these are really powerful um I'm loath to talk about this offender on because I'm trying to find someone new but this one was done by the first company started with was image three d so that's who this one's from and they come in white also black is so much more popular but I guess for brides um they might order white I have won bride I've only shot one because that's not my client but I love her anyway so this is huge so have stuff like that juicy and enticing present at all your order sessions if you're not doing in person howl like sixty lashes with a wet noodle on your butt but you need to be doing in person sales and we'll talk about that later today but this is so powerful marketing tool alrighty um choose your most ideal clients from your database okay, so you already have a current database who of that group are your most ideal client start with them and who are your vips who hires you again and again who loves you you know, is your biggest raving fan? Who are the women that take the most care of ourselves, you know, like mom's, usually just several, but, like there's, always that mom was like, hasn't so together, um, she's, probably someone who would jump at the chance. Whoops. And, um, yeah, the mom. He was like in with the network of moms, if that's your client, whoever your client database is who's like the who's taking care of themselves, who hires you again and again. So those women there, I'm sure you know exactly who I'm talking about. Uh, start with them, and then maybe you can suggest they do of buddha, our party.

Class Description

Join Christa Meola for a hot workshop on the art and business of boudoir photography. Learn what you need to know about lighting and equipment, shooting on location and in the studio, building amazing client relationships, posing, post-production, pricing and much more.

The agenda will include hotly debated topics, business strategy, Q&A’s, portfolio critiques, and a series of live shoots. Take a front-row seat with Christa as she demonstrates how to work with women, from figure models to soccer moms, curvy gals and nervous clients. Watch as she relaxes stiff subjects, coaches natural movement, and captures gorgeous moments that allows each woman’s unique personality and beauty to shine.

This workshop is perfect for you if you want to learn all of the exciting aspects of the boudoir market, whether you’re just getting started or you’re already a seasoned pro and ready to take your business to the next level. Be a part of this exciting and intimate event with fellow photographers around the world focused on how to create a successful boudoir photography business.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

AWESOME DEAL on Christa's course. I just sent an email to my husband to tell him thanks for "gifting" me this course. I told him just the ONE CLASS about pricing was worth the full $129 price of the course. And there are over 50 classes?! That is a crazy stupid good deal. You can learn something good from every class you take, every book you read, and just apply the stuff that works for you. There are a lot of people out there who seem to just enjoy giving crappy reviews, and to me it's almost like bullying. How someone could not find $129 worth of value in this course is beyond me. In my opinion this course is worth over a thousand bucks, because it can help you make SO much more money. I hate when I see people whining about things that are not 100 percent perfect, and they get annoyed if the person isn't catering to their exact needs. It's like the Yelper generation, with a disturbing sense of entitlement. I would love to see those people try teaching a class about boudoir and see if they could do any better. It also seems like, the more popular a person gets, the more other people feel the need to tear them down. I'm grateful that Christa even offered this course at ALL. Thanks Christa for all you do to help those of us who really need to know this stuff. You rock.