Sunday, January 24, 2021


(Submission by Crystal Mercredi). Are you being intentional with your audience? Many photographers are running sole proprietorships, which means you are the be-all-end-all of every responsibility in running your business. Time not spent intentionally when it comes to marketing is most often time you’re wasting, or worse, potentially even damaging your reach. Stop wasting time trying to market yourself to everyone with a pulse. 

So who cares? As Robert Schmidt, branding guru and instructor of Mount Royal University’s Branding Strategy course says “You can be something to someone, or nothing to everyone.” Whether you’re speaking broadly on social media, advertising in print magazines, or yelling wildly at a trade show, if you’re not speaking directly TO someone they’ll assume you’re speaking to someone other than them. 

Okay, you’re convinced and you want to speak to your audience. There are a couple of things you need to do.

  1. Find out WHO your audience is. This doesn’t mean everyone you photograph, this means the person booking you; the decision maker. Yes, this may include obvious things like geographical location, gender, age, and occupation; however, think beyond those rigid, disconnected, easy demographics and put some heart into it. 
    1. What does your target audience do on their day off of work? 
    2. What brings them joy?
    3. What are their goals?

Answering questions like these will not only help you identify how to speak to your audience, but also where to find them and be genuinely useful to them! 

  1. Find out WHERE your audience is. You might be running every social media account, or just one, but are you posting relevant content on the channels where your audience is actually looking? There’s no one right, or best platform, no matter how many people tell you otherwise. Once you identify your target audience you need to do a little research to find out where they are. Each Social Media platform has its own target audience, and if you’re not using the right one it is detrimental to the messages you're trying to send!
    1. Facebook is not going to be where you cater to the under 30 crowd.
    2. Pinterest is not your go-to if you’re targeting men. 
    3. LinkedIn is not your ticket to getting reach on posts about family photography.

Finding out where your audience is will be crucial to successfully connecting with them. Typically I wouldn’t cross post, but wanted to show how effective channel selection makes all the difference. See the significant difference in effectiveness based one the audience that cares about a major career promotion.



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  1. Find out HOW to speak to your audience. Knowing who your audience is, may change how you speak to them. No one can tell you how to connect with your audience, because it’s about how YOU make their lives better by solving a problem that they have. However you do need to talk about them, and their problem more than you talk about you and your offering. There are a lot of photographers, but you are more than a product. Anyone who has survived those first few years of being a photographer and moved onto a level where they can look back at their initial work to recognize it for the mess that it was knows that they had loyal clients during that time of subpar quality work. It wasn’t the photos that had those clients coming back, it was the connection. You can’t connect with an audience you haven’t identified. Don’t try to copy what someone else is doing, either it’s not working or they already have a head start. Be authentic to your own values and pursue your true potential for impact in the lives of your clients. Do the work to nail down that target audience, and watch how much easier everything else becomes. 

Aricle submitted by Crystal Mercredi.

Crystal is the founder of Life and Portraits, a corporate photography studio located in Fort McMurray, Alberta. You can see her website at She works with the movers and shakers of the region to create imagery that stands out and a networking bridge for clients. Crystal is currently pursuing a Marketing and Strategic Communications Certificate in order to enhance her client experience. 



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