Working to attract consumer’s attention to your business can certainly be an ongoing challenge. One of the ways to overcome this challenge is to get a steady stream of fiercely loyal customers who believe that you can exclusively service their needs. The trick is knowing how to find these customers and get your photography business on their radar…
1. Attracting Niche market Attention
The most loyal customers are generally those with a niche affiliation. As with other kinds of online and offline marketing, there are rich profits to be made from becoming a provider of choice to a niche market. Generally, these markets are small but tightly focused. Members of these markets are not afraid to back up their hobbies with serious spending.
All you need to do is break into their circle. It can seem like a near impossible proposition, since you’re essentially trying to break into a closed community. However, by working through the steps below, you will be well on your way to being a trusted member of the inner circle with a steady stream of clients.
2. Research local niche markets
The first step for you is to identify the niche markets in your area. Don’t immediately run to the internet and launch a Google search, either. This step will require you to do offline research to really get to know your community and potential buyers of photography packages.
In particular, you are looking for hobby groups, fan associations, special societies, or specialized local businesses. For example, while the pet market is an obvious place to start looking for niches, if you live in a rural area you may also want to look at livestock auction services, especially higher end markets as each of those animals would need extensive photographing. The key is to find a group that meets regularly and/or has an active membership structure.
3. Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for that market
Once you’ve identified a few potential niches, you need to brainstorm exactly how you will sell your photography business to that market. If you target comic book fans, for example, do you offer them a package of photos surrounded by their favourite characters, photo process into their favourite characters, or something else entirely? If you chose toddler groups that meet in parks, what sort of unique services do you offer them?
The key is to find a USP that maximizes benefits for the group and can be provided exclusively or specially only by your photography studio. It doesn’t have to be complex. Simply find a hook that will really get the market interested.
4. Promote, Promote, Promote
Once you’ve found your market and solidified your USP, the next step is to promote yourself with your new market. This can take many forms, so think about which methods are going to generate the most return on your investment of time and money.
Simple mailings may not be enough. Consider attending group meetings or travelling to affiliated conventions even if they don’t have a strict photographic bent. The key is to get yourself in front of your customers in such a way that whenever they think of being photographed, they immediately think of your studio as the best choice available to them.