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Don’t Ever Forget This Big Secret To Marketing

When was the last time you saw a group of people stop on the street to stare in awe at an advertisement?  To chatter excitedly and take pictures of it?

I’m guessing:  Rarely.  If ever.

But I just saw this happen in NYC.  And no, the ad wasn’t outrageous or suggestive or obscene.  In fact, stated objectively, it featured a rather lackluster image.  But see if you can figure out why it caused such a stir:

Times Square flashes end to end with a shabillion kilowatts of professionally-designed, snazzy advertisements that represent millions of dollars and hundreds of sleepless nights on the part of advertising agencies.

But Stoli just put up a camera, a big screen, and a coupla graphics they probably had on file.  The difference?  The big screen featured the people looking at it.

The crowd deftly ignored all the smart layouts, the beautiful photography, the banners promising “outrageous fun,” and instead chose to ooh and aah over …. themselves.

This is deeply instructive, people.

To be both blunt and honest, no one will ever care about your business as much as they care about themselves.

This is not a bad thing.  It simply tells us how we need to communicate our messages to potential clients. 

By focusing on THEM.

Building a website is a graceful dance between two partner goals: Being consistently true to yourself, and consistently appealing to your target client.

Both goals have to move in lock step with each other. You have to find your own groove, yes, but you have to communicate it so people will want to do that same thing along with you.

Never forget:  You might have created the coolest business ever, but if you don’t show people why it’s so great using terms they understand and care about, you’ll be dancing solo.

Take a page out of Stoli’s marketing handbook, and make sure your web presence lavishes attention upon your target clients.

To start investigating how well you’re already doing this, ask yourself the following questions:

How much does your website talk about you vs. your clients?

Your website and blog are great places to introduce yourself and share appropriate personal stories.  But the best conversationalists – the people we want to sit next to at dinners – are the ones who also want to talk about you, not the ones who dominate the airtime with tales about how great they are.

So is your website talking about them?  Are you showing them what their experience will be like?  Are you talking about why you love photography – or why they love it?  Are you anticipating and answering their questions?  Are you actively dispelling their fears?

All in all, do prospective clients feel that the spotlight will shine on them – or on you?

How do you blog about your photoshoots?

Personal posts are important.  But when you blog photoshoots, are you saying “I had so much fun on this photoshoot!” or are you talking about the fun your clients had?  Are you telling about the photoshoot from your point of view, or theirs?

This is tricky, because you can think you’re focusing on your clients, when really, you’re talking about yourself.  Consider the difference here:

“I think Janine is so artistic, and I loved her from the moment she called me!”


“Janine earned a master’s degree in interior design, and spends her days creating beautiful homes for people.  Her attention to detail is exceeded perhaps only by the kindness and care she lavishes upon those around her.”

Do you see the difference?  Both examples are technically about the client.  But one of them inserts yourself as the first-person narrator, still pulling the attention back on yourself, whereas the other focuses all of the attention on her.  One shares your experience, but the other allows the reader to see for themselves.

Sure, it’s great to throw in an “I absolutely loved this family!” now and then, but try your hand at keeping the focus on their point of view rather than your own.

See if you can write your next photoshoot post without using the word “I.”

Watch how it changes 1) how you think about the shoot, and 2) how your client might feel as s/he is reading it.

You’ll be amazed.

What are you posting on Facebook?

Are you constantly re-sharing your mini-session advertisements, or are you engaging your fans in conversation?  Are you asking them questions?  Are you occasionally sharing relevant content besides your own?

Make sure you’re using your Facebook page to craft an interesting, varied (but brand-consistent) experience for your fans, not just dumping a constant stream of information about yourself and your business.

A challenge for you:

This week, try creating three entirely client-centered posts.

Whether you share an awesome item from a favorite client’s Etsy store that your audience would love, retell the how-we-met story of the parents of that newborn you just photographed, or add a page to your website that dispels common fears about photoshoots, throw the spotlight on them.

See how it changes the game.  Watch the reactions you get.  And let us know how it goes!

There’s a lot more to come about the nuts and bolts of tailoring your site to target clients. 

But this topic is so detailed that blog posts – even a whole month of them – won’t really cover it with justice.  So instead, I created a sort of weekend workshop in e-book form.  We’ll start out by creating a detailed profile of your target client, dig deep into how they think and what they need, then translate that into your web presence.

This goodness launches on September 5th.  Unlike all the blog content, it won’t be free, but if you’re interested in making a simple investment into creating juicier, more attractive web content, then you’ll be all over this.

If you’d like to see a sneak preview 24 hours before anyone else, enter your email below and I’ll send it!

NOTE:  If you’re reading this post in your inbox, click HERE and sign up on the blog – sadly, it won’t work in your email!  🙁

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  1. Kristi Gibb on August 15, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Thank you so much for all of your inspiring posts! I’m bookmarking this one to refer back to, as I know I’ll want to do. (Honestly, I refer back to a lot of your posts.) I just wanted to say thanks for your wise words and all your hard work.

    • Jenika on August 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks for the kind comment, Kristi! It’s great to hear that they’re helping you out, it encourages me to write more. 🙂 Have a great week!

  2. Nina on August 15, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Thank you, Jenika! So useful tips, I will try to make my blog more clients-oriented! Not easy job to change your thoughts style…

  3. Carey Anne on August 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I do often wonder if you have some hidden camera inside of my head…. Your posts are always immediately applicable and I thank you yet again for the reminder to use the tools we have in our business.

  4. Christy on August 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I am sooooo excited about your workshop ebook! I love your blog, you make me think! Can’t wait for September 5th.

  5. Addie on August 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Ive never even really thought about this, and well, its going to be a huge challenge, but I definitely want to try!

  6. Michelle McDaid on August 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    As always, awesome advice. You are totally my oracle right now.

  7. Jennifer on August 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I probably need to work on doing this more in my blog post and facebook. But I do have a feature on website that is all about helping anyone who visits the site finding the photographer that is right for them. In fact it even says “Now Find the Photographer Right for You” But it seems most people who visit my site do not view this page, I may need to find a way to make it more obvious.

  8. Denise on August 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Well said! For each engagement session I blog about how the couple met,fell in love and how and where the ring ended up on her finger. For family sessions I carefully select lyrics of a song that reflects the family – it has meant a lot to my clients and some have said brought them to tears. Life is not about us as individuals but how we find ways to bring out the best in others.

  9. Cynthi on August 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I always struggle with my blog posts! I can never find the words to go with my pictures. These are great things to think about, and a great starting point! Thank you!

  10. Megan DiPiero on September 15, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Enjoying this early morning reading. This inspiration is going to take me through the whole day. Thank you!

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