Welcome my friend! Welcome to the Empowered Weddings group! If we have not met before, my name is Rachel, I’m a wedding photographer and business coach. I help wedding photographers elevate the quality of clients they attract, streamline their processes, and develop a profitable high end photography business working with clients they love.
Today we are talking all about why knowing your ideal client is the most important thing you can do for your business.
I want to tell y’all some of my story because I have some powerful experiences with knowing my ideal client. I believe that every business is an evolution, and every entrepreneur is on a journey. My journey started when I was a makeup artist, and I started investing heavily into business education.
I figured out really quickly after starting my business, that you can be a great artist and be booking clients, but without solid business practices supporting you, you’ll be a stressed-out mess. Knowing how to deal with clients, attract more of the right clients, and deliver a world class experience has very little to do with your artistry. As I invested in more and more education, I found myself seeing the value of investing in business education, because every time I did, I would see such huge leaps and bounds in my income, the clients I was attracting, and my own confidence.
When you take business education, you’ll hear a lot about the importance of knowing your ideal client. In fact, most courses and programs start with a section on this because it’s widely acknowledged that it’s the core of your marketing strategy. I’ve personally gone through enough courses in the past that I know the spiel: you want to know what age, what they do for a career, what they like to drink, where they hang out, etc.
So I would try and figure this all out- I’d make up an avatar in my head and try to imagine what they were like, what they want in a makeup artist, etc.
But this never felt right to me, so I tried to do it a different way…
I’d heard that your ideal client will be just like you, so I kinda analyzed myself, and thought about that for a while… the problem with this is, deep down, I knew that I wasn’t my ideal client. I’d never spend what I wanted to charge on my own makeup.. So I felt like a hypocrite, right?!
How many of y’all can relate to this?
So every year when I was going through a brand refresh, I would just kinda make it up. Choose a design and font I liked, and throw up whatever I thought looked best, or what I liked from looking at what other people did.
By this time, I’d taken quite a bit of business education, I was pretty good at sales, and I was closing some nice large sales, but I still felt like I didn’t really know my ideal client, even though I definitely had worked with some.
Then, I took this one program, I’ll never forget it. It was this small course, but I was ready and just a small portion of that program helped something click for me. You know how sometimes you just need the right person, at the right time, saying something in the right way for you to have a lightbulb moment that changes your life. That totally happened for me, even as I was talking with other people who did not have the same experience with that same course.
I understood WHY it was that I never felt like the typical process for understanding my ideal client worked for me. It’s because it’s all based on me, what I think, what I believe, and I never put myself in a position to really be able to understand my ideal client’s point of view, their heart, and the way they think.
Using everything I had been learning for years and my new lightbulb moment, I developed a process that I’m still using to this day to really get to know my soulmate clients, understand who they are, and turn that into powerful messaging that attracts high-end, perfect-for-me clients consistently.
One of the really cool things about this process is that I came to understand and be able to clearly articulate my value- what it is that makes me unique and different from everyone else in my market. I was able to easily see where I could add on services that would make my client experience amazing, and would also add to my bottom line.
For instance, remember, I’m still a makeup artist- I learned that my three big selling points were that I was organized and really good at creating a stress-free experience, I was good at natural makeup that was not cakey or overdone, and that my bride really cared about creating a pampering environment for her closest friends and family on her wedding morning. A natural extension of what I was good at and what my bride wanted out of her makeup experience was to offer touchup services throughout the day. By the time I was moving on to photography, 90% of my weddings were luxury weddings where I was paid to stay all day to assist and keep the wedding party fresh and beautiful. I was making the same or more as a makeup artist than a lot of photographers make in my area.
This was because my brides really valued what I did- they were willing to pay for that service, and I knew it was a great fit to offer for MY PERSON because I knew them to the core.
I also learned that my bride really loves her mother, and often her mother is doing a lot of the searching of vendors for her daughter. One of the background fears of a lot of mothers of the bride is that the makeup artist is going to make them look like a clown because they don’t know how to work with a mature client. I knew this, because I was able to know my ideal clients at a deep level, and I spent time asking and listening. I ended up creating a page just for mothers on my website, showcasing mature makeup and talking about the mother’s experience working with me on the wedding day. After that, I had even more large paid in full bookings where both the mother and bride were so excited to work with me.
Now, when I decided to make the switch to photography, I knew I had my work cut out for me, as I would need to see if my process for knowing my ideal client would translate to a photography business.
The answer is yes, it absolutely does.
When I made the switch, I decided that I wasn’t going to start at the bottom of the market. I was already making 2-3K per wedding as a makeup artist and I decided that I wasn’t going to be doing photography for any less than that- in fact, I knew that I would be working upwards fairly quickly.
The very first thing I started working towards was knowing my ideal client, and within one year I was booking 5K weddings, and up.
Every year I go back, do my process, and go deeper. Every time I do this, fresh ideal clients start rolling in who are even more perfect than the last. I’m able to confidently raise my rates, and offer products and services tailored to my specific client.
Now, just barely three years from starting my photography business, I’m in the 7-10K range, and I know it will only continue to go up and grow. I’m consistently attracting soulmate clients and really wonderful people who truly value what I do.
One of the biggest things that I’ve realized from developing a system, framework, and process for actually getting to know my ideal clients is that I’m SO much more secure and confident. I don’t have to fake it till I make it- I’m certain that when the right person comes along, they will be excited to go through my sales experience with me.
I feel a lot more confident with sales and with communicating my value, because I understand what makes me different, and what my soulmate clients really want out of their experience. I know what they value and I know how to show them that I fit their needs and desires.
Being confident, being secure, BEING luxury is a big part of magnetically attracting the right person as well. Soulmate clients aren’t attracted to vendors who are cringing, apologizing, or hiding in fear, insecurity, and timidity. Knowing my ideal client allows me the security to have magnetic confidence in who I am, what I offer, what I charge, and the experience I provide.
After a while, I started realizing that a lot of other wedding professionals are stuck in the same feedback loop I was in for years. Everyone says you need to know your ideal client, but the conventional methods for doing that seem lame, incomplete, or misguided. For type A persons like myself, it’s frustrating to know you need to do something, but not know HOW.
This is why my framework for Empowered Weddings begins with doing the work to know your ideal client at the heart level. My proven system for getting to the heart of soulmate clients works like clockwork every time. From that foundational framework we build a powerful website, a high-converting sales process, and a luxury client experience all tailored to your unique business.
I’m teaching people how to listen to their clients- and WHAT they are listening for
How to communicate their value in a way that sells their services in an authentic way
How to confidently present themselves, their services, and their rates
And build a magnetic confidence in their rock solid business
If you want some personalized help with your marketing and seeing where you can improve your website and attract the high-end brides, you know that I offer free 15 minute business audits. These audits are not sales calls, they are literally there to help you get clarity on all this, and to help you take that first step forward. If you want to have a free 15 minute audit with me, go ahead and type AUDIT in the comments or you can PM me the word AUDIT and I’ll message you the link to book that right away! If you’re listening to the podcast, you can go to racheljordaneducation.com/audit to book yours today.