In college I studied business and learned all about marketing towards my target audience. Why did studying business give me an advantage in starting my own creative business? It helped me because as I quickly learned, starting your own business is really 50 percent business strategies, 30 percent people skills and 20 percent about being creative. If you cannot tell already I am more of an analytical/business thinker and actually had to work at being creative (I know so crazy right?). I hope you find this blog post on analyzing your business to reach your target audience helpful in growing your business.
- Who is your target audience? It can be multiple different audiences and it will most likely change over time. Lu Lu Lemon had multiple different women that they were advertising to 5 years ago. They actually named each different woman and wrote down their age, career, where they shop, live, like to do for fun, where they eat at and so on. I read about this in my business textbook in college. It inspired me to really know who my target audience is, inside and out. Now does this mean I only want to shoot people who are 25, engaged, loves smoothies, live in Los Angeles and only shops at Madewell? No, in fact only marketing to one specific person or couple could be damaging to your business. That is why LuLu Lemon marketed to a couple different age groups and demographics so that they could reach more people and in addition increase more of their sales. Now since then Lulu lemon has evolved and is not only targeting women but also men. As companies grow they often change their target audience. This is why it is important to update your target audience marketing strategies on a yearly basis.
- SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. In school I had to analyze many businesses and write out their SWOT analysis. It was time consuming as I had to study the business and how it worked. Why does this help? Once you realize what your strengths are you can use them to your advantage. Once you know your weaknesses you can work on them so that they are no longer your weaknesses anymore. Once you realize the opportunities in front of you, it will allow you to strategize to use those to grow your business. Once you analyze your threats and competition you can use that as an opportunity to think of an innovative idea to make you stand out in your field and offer your clients an unbelievably new & different experience or product. For example, take a look at Lulu Lemon’s SWOT from a couple years back: https://businessteacher.org.uk/swot/lululemon.php
- First analyze your business and where you want it to go. Then start blogging & use social media to your advantage! So at this point you should have wrote out fake names for your potential different target audiences, know their ages, gender, where they sleep, eat, shop and play at. You also should have wrote out your SWOT analysis. The next step is to write out your 1,3 and 5 year goals. How much profit and gross do you want to make each year? How many shoots and weddings per month do you need to take on to get to that number? Can your target market afford you? If not, you need to change your target market so that you are able to stay in business and reach your profit goals. Now that you know your business inside and out lets move on to one way to market to your target audience.
- Instagram, Pinterest and Blogging! Lets get to the hard work. For the first couple years of my business I spent hours a day instagramming. I started with just wanting to focus on that one platform because it was where most of my potential couples and seniors spent their time. However, over time I realized quickly not to put all your eggs into one basket. This is when I started marketing on Pinterest, website (blogging), google, facebook, the knot and instagram. I am also currently working on my yelp page.
- So where to start? Instagram is a great one! I spent each day for years liking and commenting on posts from people in my target market. I would like pictures under hashtags like #madewell #solfood #pressedjuicery #nationalparks. It helps to look under specific hashtags. So if I was going to market to LA couples, I would like pictures and comment on ones from restaurants there I believe my target market would be found at or shops in LA my couples would shop at. You have to think like an investigator and use it to your advantage. I use the feature that is on instagram to look up places like national parks and spend a lot of time under those locations. This grew my following over time and also really helped my brand of being a travel photographer take off. Now 4 years into my business I still use this marketing strategy but I only have to do it for 30 min a day opposed to 2 hours a day.
- After a couple weeks of nailing down Instagram start blogging and using your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) words to your advantage. The best tool for helping your blog posts be SEO friendly is Monster Insights which is great if you are using wordpress as a blog platform. Start by blogging twice a month then make it your goal to blog once to twice a week. Start by blogging your sessions and weddings. Then proceed to also blog different aspects of your brand. For example, in addition to my sessions and weddings I also blog my travel adventures, food I love and business/wedding tips. I want my blog to not only reach potential wedding couples that love food, traveling and national parks but also photographers that are seeking to grow their own businesses. This is part of the reason why I write these blog posts, to reach another target market.
- After a couple weeks of blogging, start pinning a lot of pictures from your blog posts onto different Pinterest boards and adding hashtags to each post in the caption so that it drives more traffic to your site. Use specific hashtags that are relevant to that picture and your target audience. You can view on Pinterest how popular the hashtag which is helpful to see the amount people that could potentially view it. You do this by starting to type it in to hashtag it and the number there besides that hashtag represents how many people have pinned about that idea. You will want to blog 70 percent your pictures and 30 percent random finds on Pinterest. If you are still confused on what to blog to reach your target market think about your list and go off of that. For me I blogged these topics in order to reach more wedding couples in the area: How to plan the timeline for your wedding day? How to pick out your florals for your wedding day? (I collaborated with a florist) Why you should hire a planner for your wedding? (I collaborated with a planner) and Top places to eat out in Sonoma County. It is so important to collaborate on blog posts so that they can promote your posts too and drive more traffic to your site. Another great idea is to put your blog post in your insta story, instagram bio, pin it and put a link on facebook so that even more traffic can come to your site.
- What is your end goal? The goal is to get more traffic to your website so that you ultimately get more target market clients booking you. The goal is to have your target market find you on their own. However, just know this takes work to get here and be ready to put in so me hours a day until you are there.