Branding: Your Ideal Client


Senior Portraits: Create the Ultimate Experience


Lesson Info

Branding: Your Ideal Client

We all know that branding is more than a logan, right? We've heard that I think probably erase hard that before, because it's true, most people think of your logo is your brain because it's, that visual piece that you can tangibly, you know, kind of see and feel or whatever or you can really feel like it. But, you know, I mean, you see it, but so I think that's why people think about that, but brandon is a lot more than just your logo it's, an emotional it's, a visual, all of that connected together to build your brand so that's, what we're going to get into, I'm super excited about it, so let's, go ahead and start about talking about the first step in building your brand, which is tio discover um discover who you are discover who your ideal client is, these are very important parts of it on dh, then how do you want your client to feel? So those are the things that are a little more emotional side of branding, who you are as a photographer, who your ideal client is, and how those two t...

hings relate to each other is how you can start to book the client ill that you need to book for your business, what you might book is different than what I might be looking kind of clients I get might be different than the kind of clinic clients you get it's also a way to start standing out because there are so many photographers and the first thing is yeah hopefully you can take a good picture right but how are you going go above that because there's a lot of people that take good pictures so you are going to connect with those that that are maybe similar to you that you can build a relationship with which we will continue to talk about throughout the this entire course that is part of brandy and that starts to set you apart so let's talk about who your ideal client is first what are the characteristics that describe your ideal client actually write them damn think about it is your girl fashionista is she is she a soccer girl or do shoot guys and are they jocks are they you know what? What interests are they who are they specifically get real specific with them? You know, obviously we know their age because we're talking about seniors but you know what school do they attend? Maybe you are maybe your ideal client is out one school or maybe your idea client is that one or two schools find that out figure that out right that down any knowledge that you could give yourself about who you need to attract well then help you build this brandt eso age we know what school they attend where do they live? I think that's important because you know, if you are maybe, um or expensive photographer well, then most likely you're ideal client lives in an area that's a little more affluent, right? So figure that out, right it down. I mean, literally wants you guys to get a piece of paper and write down every specific aspect you can about who your ideal client is. Gender uh, I personally photographed more girls. That is generally who have photographs? I don't do a whole lot of guys. We will have a guy shoot that we're going to be showing here during this class that we did a couple of days ago, which was awesome, but you can just specialize in girl seniors. That's totally fine. You can just do guys if you want teo. But again, who's your ideal client is it a girl? Is that guy? Is it both? You know, if it's both maybe you want to write a list of characteristics that talk about the guy, maybe you want to write a list of characters is to talk about the girl personality personality is key for me because that's, how I make a connection, I generally connect better with the girls that are talkative and, you know, full of energy because I'm kind of crazy, but you know maybe shy girls a little harder for me to connect to because when somebody doesn't talk to me I kind of feel like oh god uh you know when I start talking mohr you know a night I'm a talker so personality is important to me and help me build their relation the relationship with them so you know generally you're going to connect with somebody that's similar to you and your personality so right that characteristic down where does your ideal client shop cash this is great for all kinds of reasons number one if you are going to a style closet no one where they shop maybe tell you about the style that you need to have in your closet also tells you where you could maybe connect with a boutique you know where the girls shopping better your ideal clients because maybe you can go into that boutique and you could start a relationship with them and their clients become your clients and your clients become their clients and you've got this whole great relationship and you're getting your name out there you know like we talked about earlier with maybe reaching out to sports teams and getting your name that way we'll reach out the boutiques get your name I mean girls love to shop most girl loved to shop I mean right I'm not the only one right surely not s o anyway so that's a great thing to figure out for different reasons to help you, you know, market to that ideal client again, what is their style? Style is part of your personality. Eso figuring out your ideal client style will help you plan their sessions, you know, know what locations that might work best? Build your style closet accordingly to your ideal client style having items you don't want a girl let's say your ideal client is somebody that always wears, you know, shorts and a t shirt, which is great, but if all your style closet only consists of sequined gowns, guess what? You know? I don't have anything for them to wear, you know, domain, like things like that are important hobbies, interests those air always good that's, another way you can connect to your ideal client. I was a cheerleader, so I got lost to say up to a cheerleader we got tons to talk about. I pretend I'm still a cheerleader. I mean, let's face it. I'm mostly stand like this when I'm standing, which is total cheer. Oppose k so I can connect with them. I mean, you know, it's telly and actually teach little kids tio my kid's football team, the cheerleaders. Just say it anyway so anyway so hobbies and interests and maybe you maybe you're in the music, maybe you can maybe your ideal client is going to be really in the music? I mean, the guy we shot the other day is going to school for music and he was playing his guitar that was him and if I was somebody that was really in the music, we would have a complete bond that maybe no other photographer could have with that client so that's important also important because you can incorporate that into session, you know, like if they're doing answer, if they're if they play the guitar, whatever maybe there's our ideas you can incorporate into a session for them knowing these things will start to hone in on your brand in your ideal client who you are marketing too, then how did they feel about photography this important? Because my ideal client I want to feel like they value photography because like we said earlier, it is a luxury it's it's not something they have to have, they have to have your book better they want to be a part of their year, but they don't have to spend more money and come to me, so I mean my ideal client to think that it's important to really want that separate session so that they can, you know still a part of something, you know? They can they no, they wantto feel beautiful that we looked beautiful they want to take part in this that's my ideal client, they're willing to spend the money because they wanted they value it. So those are things that, you know, make up my ideal client. I don't know if you guys had thought about some stuff I've been talking, but if anybody has any characteristics that pop in your mind about maybe somebody that might be your ideal client, I'd love to hear it doesn't have one. Yeah, go ahead. My six year olds on dance team and that's where, you know, dance studio dance died at a high school dance team, but that's, where the girls I've been photographing you're coming from because they're like, well, she understands it answers exactly e join dancing the night away video exactly, and a dance studio has a wide range of ages, so even though your child is six, she probably had a lot of teenagers help teach the younger right and yeah, that's that's great. So maybe your ideal client is somebody that is a dancer dancers also because they might do competition dancers like that they're used to make up and hair that you're somebody you know that really gets into that and offers that is part of your session that might be a perfect ideal client we're gonna find that they posed they way they know their bodies hell and yeah yes so that might be your ideal client exactly exactly in vale have a ideal client characteristic that you want to share I've found for me because of my personality I can I really don't like to work with a team that doesn't have a lot of personnel esso I like music so I have music on the shoot or you know, popcorn or pizza you know, just having a good time and if that teen is like this right then that's probably not going to be the best shoot for me so finding a team that has a lot of personality so just kind of talking to them and I always I stalk their instagram so that I can see what type of personality that they have so that I know going into the shoot you know she's kind of shy you know let's work to that or if she really enjoys soccer you know let's not shoot you know knew the soccer stadium, you know, just incorporating their personality but also just kind of finding out you know, they have to like have fun and have a lot of personality because that's what I bring to the table so I thought that I worked with teams that more out going on and, you know, really like to enjoy life so when you write down your characteristics of a ideal client right right now going in an alley right fun likes toe have mine so then you're going to start building your brand to attract those those characteristics exactly so that's awesome yeah do we have anything from the internet for characteristic? Suji said paying clients with true you're right yes you definitely well those that pay with that comes in handy when we're talking about how you feel about photography too you know it's true it's very true we all want paying clients, right? Yeah, you want this client they're willing to pay for it, but that value and I think valuing it is the most important because you know the client that could have their photo taken at the yearbook and that that's good enough for them. Well, that's probably not your ideal client because that's not what you're offering, you know, so building your brand to attract that ideal client is key. Yeah, huh photo is asking asked them if they have a pinterest board, chances are they do that can sometimes be a great window into the person, their personality so asking your potential clients if they have definitely board and also do you all have pinterest boards you yes, totally yeah, yeah great, just great to what I could spend hours and hours on pinterest but it's really important for when we get into you know what to wear aspect of it interest is really important for that because you as a photographer can set up individual boards for each different kind of style profile that maybe your client would be and then they don't have to weed through a bunch of different stuff they go straight to you know pretty or they go straight to glamour what it whatever so yeah pinterest is great facebook is great instagram is great for you researching and coming up with you know what girl fits your or guy? I keep saying girl because I shoot mostly girl so forgive me for that but guys too I'm not going to forget about you guys whatever it is you want to shoot but again it goes back to your ideal client my ideal client is a girl she probably a girl that's a little girl next door but likes fashion too I don't get the super super glam girls because it's really not who I am, but I do get the girls that love to get dressed and think about what they wear the j crew girl the you know to me like that topology girl that those thai girls are really my ideal client the girls that like to have their hair and makeup done but maybe don't wear hair makeup every day because I don't mean it ain't like those are my ideal client characteristics somebody that really does value photography somebody that wants to gol and hire me separately from that yearbook photo that's a that's a big important one obviously it's a senior so she's seventeen, eighteen years old it's a girl generally that's us use onda personality thing she's got to be bubbly she's got to be you know she's gotta wanna have fun she's gotta relax you know, maybe they're shy at first but you can break that mold and that is my ideal client so yeah, well I was just going to ask about that because there are people talking about who their ideal clients are in the chat rooms and joanie says fun is her word I love that I love clients enjoy having fun the more fun they are, the more interesting my images and up being exactly so then my question though and I asked back to joanie is so okay if that's your biggest thing that you want to find how do you go about finding kids that our fun that that's their word right? Right flossing brandon comes into play there because maybe the branding that you're putting out there the shoots you're showing your logo, your visual, your personality online all of these things should fit in the fun category if that is your ideal client so yeah, maybe some bright colors to me bright colors say fine you know, the main. So those are the things that you can start when it comes to visually branding after you figure out who your ideal client is, and that is your step to try toe put your visual brand out there too be what you want to come to you, you know? I mean, like, you want your visual brand to attract that fun client and the way to go about that is through social media, your branding, your visual, you're blogging and, well, we're going. We've got some slides to talk about that that's what you want. The next thing is being yourself never goes out of style. So who are you as a photographer? Because, like I said earlier, your ideal client is going to relate. Teo you so putting yourself out there in your personality will attract that ideal client. So what makes you what will attract your ideal client? E, what is different about? Tobia told us earlier that something different about her she's a teacher she's used to this age group she's used to, you know, being at school with them every day, so that makes her unique. Not many people have that connection, and you need to use it to make yourself stand out, because that's who you are that is part of who you are me, I'm I'm a fashion girl, so I used that to attract girls, you know? I mean, like that's who I am I'm loud and crazy and like toe laugh so I use that you know me figure out who you are and a lot of times that takes some time, you know, it's it's reflection on you and you have to look at yourself and say, okay, this is who I am you don't need to be anybody else but you there's a lot of photographers out there and some popular photographers may make you think that's how you need to be but that's not the case you need to be you because you're the only one that can attract your client's so make a list of things that you can incorporate into your business that will help you be different. So for instance, through senior ology, I hear a lot of times that there are photographers out there that also have their cosmetology license, so they themselves could do hair and makeup. Well, guess what, one stop shop are you kidding? That's an easy thing I would want that girl like I don't have to go anywhere else and she knows what she's doing and that makes her different, you know, the reason I incorporated style klaus is because I love to shop, so that made me different think about anything that makes you different think about you and how you're characteristics and the things that make you different can connect you to your ideal client what makes you unique what's your style and how these things can help a tractor ideal client these are all important things because helps you build your brand again you just need to be you that's the thing that's going to stand out because most of you I'm sure have great photos but so does joe blow down them down the block right so what is it that's going to make a girl come to you or a guy come to you it's probably going to be your personality what's different about you all of these things are part of your brand did you have anything that may be yeah I did I think yeah yeah I'm in here reviewing all the great question right air coming in over there like I know there's so many questions that's so cool with our new tool that there's a lot of gall coming in but larry and remember you can vote for those questions larry field had said for me it starts with interviewing and choosing reps does that fit your ideal proof? Absolutely yeah so that's a great way to think about that yeah totally yeah I mean you definitely want and again we'll get into reps a little bit later but you definitely won't rips that represent your brand you gotta build your brand first and figure out what you want as your brand so that then you can you know pick rips or models or whatever you call him to represent that so yeah that's totally important I think it was also ahead of photo girl who it's fun to see when we asked about have you identified your ideal client photo girl said my ideal client is the creative team who lives for adventure loves travel plays an instrument and shops at places like anthropology and thrift shop so that yeah that very specific and you need to be very specific yeah because I would imagine little girl little girl probably shops in their shops yeah, I imagine it's like me and anthropology yeah sale rack yeah yeah my friend courtney go shopping with me all the time and she goes straight to the sale rack and I'm out in the regular section it's funny I'm the thrift shop and so right yeah, the search is what gets you right right? Well that's characteristic of you are maybe you want to you know you're seeing your client might be somebody that enjoys the search enjoys finding that unique little fine that nobody else confined there's a very specific characteristic and that can help you build your brand to attract that particular type in person so the most important aspect and this is a quote from the russo group via google so give them props for that but the most important aspect of a brand is emotional connection between the company and its consumers so that's where the emotional side of brain in comes in it is that connection so figuring out who your ideal client is figuring out who you are we'll help you start to make that connection with those people s o okay, so the next part is building your senior brand how do you want your clients to feel this is important? This is how you start to build a new experience really because you want those girls to fill a certain way make a list of words that describe that feeling do you want them to feel beautiful? Obviously I think that's an easy one right? You want him to feel beautiful you want him to feel taken care of do you want him to feel like they had the best time of their life? They laughed they had a good time do you want them to feel glamorous? Maybe that's your thing you know what and how do you want them to theo? I think it's huge because it really helps you start to build that brand that gives them that feeling and experience think about other team break ins how did they make teenagers feel like can I mentioned earlier we are going to have a team panel we'll talk to them a little bit about how they want to feel on dh that's important talkto one find out look at other team brand see how they're sort of marketing to teenagers and what what you could maybe say oh okay, well, you know, maybe I want them to feel free and independent this that the other how can I do that right? Andi think think about the way other brands make you feel how would you want to feel if you were looking for a senior photographer? Would you want that senior photographer to be your friend? Do you want that senior photographer to take your photos and be done with it? You know, the main because a lot of times again your ideal client is going to be someone who has similar characteristics that you do because that is what's going to connect the two of you. So how would you want to feel and incorporating that into your business? I mean, I'm a tell you right now any time I get a special note from, like about order something on sea and I get a special note in the mail that comes with it, I immediately feel better, right? So maybe you can incorporate that because I love little notes or little extras or things like that because I'm like, oh, they're so sweet I mean, I don't know who I am that they took the time to write a little thank you note those type things you can incorporate into your brand and build your brand accordingly on dh then ask teens how they want to feel like I say we are going to be asking them so you guys are going to get firsthand knowledge from from teens themselves on and I want you guys to be thinking of questions for that but you can ask them how did they want to feel I did um did a little focus group on my own with some senior clients that I had I got them all together and I asked them and the most common thing they said was they just don't want to feel awkward so maybe they didn't know exactly how they wanted to feel that they knew they didn't want to feel awkward so I'm like okay, this is how I know I can incorporate I'm not going to make them do some weird pose I'm not going to make them wear something they don't feel comfortable with because they don't want to feel awkward they want to feel like themselves but maybe amped up just a little bit because it is a special thing you don't get your photos taken every day so I incorporated that knowledge into my brand I don't want them to feel awkward I want them to feel good and have a good time and all of this stuff so this is how you can start to build your brand

Class Description

High school seniors are energized, creative, and fun – and the best photographers know how to take portraits that capture that spark. Join Leslie Kerrigan for a guide to designing, marketing, shooting and sustaining a senior portrait business.

In this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create senior portrait sessions that aren’t just a photo shoot, but are memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Leslie will share her unique approach to creating a style closet, providing wardrobe consultations and keeping up with the of-the-moment social networking tools teens use. You’ll learn about connecting with seniors’ personalities, interests, and sense of style to ensure their portraits are every bit as unique as they are. You’ll hear from the teens, themselves as Leslie hosts a roundtable discussion with a group of teenagers who will talk honestly about what they want out of their senior portraits and how to reach them. You will also explore ways to leverage that personal connection into more sessions, sales, and referrals.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become the dynamic, must-have senior photographer for every teen in your area!


Lynn Powell Roberts

I learned a lot from this course. I watched all day when CL replayed Sal Cincotta's senior course and I wanted a second perspective, so I bought Leslie's course. I'm really glad I purchased Leslie's course because it was a great complement to Sal's course. Leslie covered different things like using a style closet that I especially found useful. She also did a beach shoot with a male and female model, which I found very useful and different from Sal's style. Leslie is so excited about "her girls" that she photographs - it's very engaging. I highly recommend this course.