President’s Message: It’s Not About You

Gregory Daniel
© Tim Kelly and Kyla Renee Paintings

As much as we like to think, It’s not about you, our clients predominantly care about themselves. And rightfully so. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Think how you’ve felt when entering into a buying experience.

Recently my wife and I remodeled our master bathroom and learned so many applicable business lessons. We thought the remodel was something we could handle on our own but quickly found out we were wrong. Your client may feel the same way about creating an important portrait—that it’s something they can do on their own with a point-and-shoot camera.

As we began to seek help for our remodel, we learned there’s a big difference between a decorator and an interior designer, for example. Portrait photographers, too, range from hobbyists to certified and degree holders.

If we want to convince a potential client they need us to execute their vision, much like Lesa and I needed a professional to execute our remodel vision, we have to start by identifying our target clients as well as their needs, desires, likes, and dislikes.

Have you identified your perfect client? Who would you like to do business with every day? Can you describe that ideal client in detail? Here are some questions to help you home in on the demographic you believe holds the best potential for you:

  • Where do your clients like to shop?
  • Do they believe in a particular cause?
  • Do they represent a specific generation?
  • Are they primarily involved in a unique business or field of work?
  • Do they have a common income level?
  • Are these clients located in a particular area of town?
  • Do they routinely shop or dine in the same establishments?

Knowing such details about your ideal clientele will help you create effective marketing strategies and clarify your messaging. One way to meet clients where they are is to educate them instead of selling to them. Our family loves Blue Ridge, Georgia. We take multiple getaways a year to this community that is rich in Southern hospitality. One of the establishments we visit each time we travel there is a shop called Out of the Blue. Our love for the store is more about Sarah, the owner, than the shop. She connects on a personal level with each customer who enters. Sarah’s secret recipe is that she genuinely loves people. She’s able to quickly assess each individual’s needs and identify solutions. Many times we walk into the shop not knowing we had a need, then walk out with the perfect solution. She’ll say, “I am not trying to sell you, just educate.” I love this approach. She is a guide leading us to the right solution.

Whoever your target clients are, there’s a good chance they’re overwhelmed, as we live in a fast-paced world with endless choices. As you work to solve their problems, think of yourself like Sarah. Be a guide, shepherding clients through uncertainty and delivering clear messages about how you can serve them.

Once you know who your ideal clients are, deciphering their unique needs is crucial to the design and purpose of the product you’ll offer. Remember you’re in business to offer solutions to your client’s needs. Where does your client want to go? Do you have the product to help them achieve their goals? Is it easy for your clients to tell other potential clients how you solved their problem? Are they able to communicate easily how you made their life better?

Be the guide, keep your clients from being overwhelmed, and remember: It’s not about you; it’s about them.

Gregory Daniel is the owner of Gregory Daniel Portrait Artist in Titusville, Florida.