Where do I find clients?
Before starting your expansion into the field of glamour and boudoir photography (or starting up an entirely new photography business), ask yourself a few fundamental questions:
- What genres should you shoot in (additionally)?
Portraiture, boudoir, glamour, weddings, maternity?
- Who are the potential clients (new & existing)?
- What will be the pricing, meaning what is the common local market-based pricing structure?
- Should you do TFP first for portfolio building reasons first when missing out a specific style/genre?
Simply put, draw an outline of “My Ideal Client” related to “What Do I Need/Want To Earn”.
It’s about having the right clients; clients that understand our value and will pay our prices.
1) My Traditional Clients: Recurring & Evolving Services
In my studio previously doing family portraiture, we had repeat customers, but at the same time also carried out a lot of new and ongoing marketing, including local promotions.
Additional promotion for pregnancy and newborn photography were ongoing marketing activities, targeting the client base we gathered from weddings and referrals.
Corporate work came from local area marketing, the website, and referrals.
As we were thinking about expanding our service portfolio towards new genres, one question arose: will our proven techniques from our traditional services also work when approaching the Glamour Photography market?
2) Approaching A New Business Field: Glamour Photography
To find out the above question, we implemented a specifically tailored, email and print, marketing campaign, based on our previous client database.
For attracting the “Glamour” buyers, we refined the words and images used, created special offers, setup joint marketing with other businesses doing online and print advertising, just like we had done before.
Boudoir as marketing twist.
Before approaching the new field we changed one important focus: the selected market (prospects), which is often described as Boudoir, is predominately aimed at women who want high quality imagery, not just the cheapest price.
Sometimes the client’s images will end up as a gift for some lucky person, sometimes it’s just themselves.
Charge common prices but offer more.
With respect of pricing – while it’s tempting to offer TFP to build up a portfolio – I would rather offer more in quantity (= different sets/looks for example) and still charge market-based fees. This crucially helps you to maintain the client’s perception of your quality!
Free add-ons could for example be: “buy one print, get one free”, upsize on prints or albums. This may be combined with occasional special offers at reduced prices in quiet times.
Additionally product ideas you can offer:
3) Lifting Off Pro-Glamour: How Exactly?
To offer a really professional service, there is a bit more than just photography, yep…other important parts of the service, such as:
Need to offer perfectly wonderful hair and makeup.
We held castings for makeup artists, who assisted in creating the images for the promo materials.
Provide an area for MUA to work.
Not only clients need to feel special but also your staff deserves a “comfy” setup.
Create Sets & Stories.
Have a clear planned idea on how to create little scenes with existing furniture and areas in the studio. No time to muck around during a shoot, as you may have a schedule to keep.
Develop a suit of products.
Obviously there is a little trial and error to go through here.
- I decided to offer prints in various sizes, and 2 sizes of album to keep it simple. I am a firm believer in printing, rather than digital only.
- But on reflection I did also add a digital offering of an online gallery and smart phone app.
For me, supply of digital files only, are out.
The justification being that prints are a more tangible, longer lasting keepsake, and our skill as photographers with such unique products, makes us stand out.
Plus it avoids any problems of the client having to get prints, which don’t match the image we showed!
4) Workflow: Combining New Services With Existing Business Streams?
Do workflows start to clash?
In short: as long as I plan my “traditional” week and have a separate day or two for shooting the Glamour genre, the workflow is the same, just a different style of imagery.
So far there has also been no dilution of the wedding brand or other effect on the other work done by the studio. Professionalism is key in all aspects in order to keep all the customers happy and confident.
I simply describe my business/studio core offering as Expert in Shooting People. All types of it and in all ways.
And here our newest promo video, targeting (sexy) women photography: