There is a hard way and an easy way. You can choose either, but listening to this episode might help you in your decision to “focus” or “specialize” your business. Most photographers choose the hard way by offering their services to anyone and everyone. Just because you can take pictures of anyone, does not mean you should. Laurel Staples shares her journey to becoming a photographer to one specific audience and how she gets tons of referrals and built a steady stream of leads that come directly to her.
Laurel’s Target Audience: Laurel’s target market is anyone in the creative fields, especially musicians, whose are their brand. One of her large markets is ‘tween’ musicians in Nashville, where she calls home, but she works with any creative person to capture the true essence of who they are and how they express themselves.
Laurel is a former engineer turned retail shop owner turned health coach, who is now succeeding as a business coach and photographer, her two passions. And when she combined those passions with her previous business experiences and lessons, she honed in on her niche and found her stride in the marketplace.
Photography is a notoriously difficult market to “make it” in, but Laurel has and she’s done so by zeroing in on her niche. A lot of photographers say they work with everyone, but Laurel does not. She’s gone through the process of finding out who she is, what she loves doing, and how she can bring that to the market in a way that benefits her clients and her business. Today that’s what she gets to do: she photographs creative types whose brand is who they are as a person.
It is only because of her previous businesses that Laurel has found the success she has today. She had to go through the journey of each business to get to the essence of what she truly wants to do in the world. She’s learned along the way that by saying no to some people, she makes way for the right people to say yes to her.
In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:
- What she says to photographers and other business owners who say their target market is everyone.
- How her rebranding process led to her current day success.
- The key to finding the perfect referral partners.
- What she had to do to find and work with those key referral partners.
- The struggles she faced before she narrowed down her ideal client.
- How valuable coaching is during any stage of your business.
- What messages you send to potential clients when you brand yourself in a niche.
- How she got clear on who she is, what she has to offer and the difference it made in her business.
- How to fully utilize the opportunities available at networking events.
Practical & Actionable (at [31:07]):
When it comes to generating more leads, Laurel has some wise words to share with you. She says, “It depends on your business, but I would get out there. I wouldn’t hide behind social media, your web site. I would go out meet people, meet referral partners, get referrals, go network.”
She believes in making connections and having conversations with people to offer as much value as you can. She adds, “For my photography business, the best thing I’ve done is gone out and given workshops. Having people see me, offering them value. And just getting out there and creating trust with people.”
As far as attending events, she believes you have to go into the event thinking what can I give, what can I add? What is the value I can add to this person, this event, this social media?
When you go into it with that attitude, she knows you’ll be going in differently than how everyone else is going in. She also recommends listening to people and providing a solution for them or provide value in some way. According to Laurel, “You will be noticed and it will play a huge role in your business. ”
So instead of going to networking to find clients, go to networking to find partners. Those people will be the ones to connect you with your audience. To do that, you have to really know who your audience is.
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS SESSION INCLUDE:
- Laurel’s photography web site
- Laurel’s coaching site
- Episode 001
- Episode 003
- Share the LOVE and TWEET about this episode.
Do you have questions about today’s episode!?!
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