When Marketing Goes Very, Very Wrong

Many photographers' marketing has already gone very wrong. And they may not even be aware of it.

Let me illustrate by telling you about a very stylish business card that I recently picked up from a photographer.

It was cool and well-designed, with Pinterest’s latest trendy icons. It had black with purple letters. It said: 

{Name of Person’s} Photography.

Lifestyle, Weddings, Destination Locations, Fashion, Pets, Boudoir.


Pets AND Boudoir? Oh, AND Weddings? AND Lifestyle?! (What is that, by the way?)

What’s the goal here? To snag a client who wants a lifestyle shoot of their wedding, featuring a fashionable pet in the Caribbean?

That's either HYPER specific (read: impossible), or this photographer doesn’t have a clue who her client really is. 

Any client that lands anywhere near this tog's attractive branding won’t have a clue what she does either. So they lump her in with everyone else who they can’t figure out, and hire the cheapest option.

It’s impossible NOT to have your marketing go very, very wrong with this kind of generalist foundation. 

Where do you even start with marketing when you are a “lifestyle-weddings-destination-fashion-pets-boudoir” photographer? This type of "one size fits all" positioning is why so many good photographers are still fumbling in the dark with their marketing and competing on price, despite their skill and their handsome branding. 

Now, what if you saw this instead? This is a client of ours.  

Lumina Little Stars: A Portrait & Album Journey of Baby's First Year

What did you picture in your head when you read that? 

Did you think of someone who might want to hire this person (perhaps a sister or friend who is pregnant)? 

Do you think the wrong client (let’s say a bride, or someone wanting pet portraits) could possibly wander onto this photographer's website by accident? 

Not a chance. 

Her target client is crystal-clear. And with clarity, everything else falls into place. 

Stellar marketing--meaning marketing that ends with the ideal high-paying client banging on your door 24/7--starts with positioning. 

Unless (and until) you START with airtight positioning, you are doing it very, very wrong.