Let’s say you have a goal of bringing in $50,000 a year. If you hit that mark, you could quit your full time job and concentrate on photography year round.
What would be better:
Finding one $50,000 client?
Or finding 10 $5,000 clients?
You probably jumped one way or the other immediately. Some would say the easiest way would be to find that one great client that you could focus all your energy and provide them with the best service ever. Others would say that is impossible – it’s much easier finding 10 people that are willing to spend $5,000 each.
Now lets define what a client is. How would you define “client”?
Most people would say something like “a person that hires you for a service and brings in money to your business.” Yep, that is a client.
But I think you can look at a “client” in a different manner as well.
I found this definition of client in the Merriam Webster dictionary:
A person who engages the professional advice or service of another.
And that’s where the difference lies. It’s with the word “advice”.
For me, a client doesn’t necessarily have to bring you in money. They can bring you in non-monetary services as well. Including referrals.
So if you are a wedding photographer, and you become close with a wedding reception site – close enough that they send you a good selection of their own clients every year – the wedding reception site could be your client.
In order to market and service this “client”, you would have to maintain a very good relationship with them over time. You could:
- Take the manager out to lunch
- Send over a gift basket after you book a client they send over
- Refer clients to them if they book you before their wedding venue
- Provide them with a free sample album to showcase how their venue looks in photographs
And of course a whole lot more.
So if your goal is to snag one big client for the year, where should you look for that “client”?
Should you market to a list of newly engaged couples? They get married once. They may refer their newly engaged friends, but time will move them away from your business if you focus on wedding photography.
Or should you concentrate on getting your one big “client” from a referral source so strong, they can literally keep you in business for years to come?