Cl I ow you choose to utilize the information in this book depends on your A ^business model and your style of photography. Every successful photographer has a formula for success. Pick and choose what works for you and where you envision the growth of your company.
By embracing fashion flair (or whatever you choose to call it), you can expand your creativity and target a more exclusive, high-end clientele. That enables you to focus your efforts on big, expressive projects. To accomplish this, you must focus on marketing to the right audience and conveying your brand clearly.
When I teach marketing, I urge photographers to break it down into three questions:
■ What do you want to say? What are the main attributes of yourself, your business, and your photography that you want to convey? What is your central message in one sentence? I suggest that you write it out to come to a concise and powerful summary of what you need to convey through your marketing and advertising.
■ Who do you want to say it to? Who is your target audience? You may need to segment this into three or four groups. Get as specific as you can so that you can more directly target this audience and have marketing and advertising that are effective for each group.
For example, one audience may be engaged women and couples living in my market in a certain income bracket with creative, artistic tastes.
Another audience might be high school seniors attending exclusive private and public schools who have a desire for exclusive treatment.
■ How and where can you get their attention? Once you've segmented your audience, where can you get the attention of these individuals? Do they read certain publications or listen to certain radio stations? What social networks are they most active on? Whose opinions do they most respect and admire?
Answering these three questions can give you an idea of where to start your marketing efforts and what message you need to communicate.
Your services as a fashion flair photographer should look and feel exclusive. I like to convey the feeling that I am a busy, high-end fashion photographer who offers limited portrait and weddings sessions to a few lucky clients.
In an ideal situation, your services should feel exclusive as well. Although your business can be extremely accommodating and focus on client comfort, it can also feel like a privilege to be at your studio for a fashion flair session. You don't need to create an air of snobbishness to have an air of exclusivity.
The exclusivity should be reflected in your prices, your products and packages, and the quality of your work.
If you are just starting a studio, your business, or photography in general, you can take a more subtle approach. Convey that, when clients come to you, they get to star in their own fashion shoot. You don't just take a portrait; you create and capture an experience. Each client can live out a gorgeous fantasy through your images—and this is an experience and product they cannot get elsewhere. Emphasize that you take a unique and artistic approach to imagery that is exclusive to your studio.
Even without large fashion flair productions, you should emphasize the one-of-a-kind nature of your imagery. You want people to come to you because you are not average or ordinary; you are extraordinary.
Price determination is one of the most common questions I get from fellow photographers and photography students: "How do you set your prices, and how should I set mine?" Unfortunately, there is no right answer.
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