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Segment 4 - Branding: Your Ideal Client

Lesson 6 from: Senior Portraits: Create the Ultimate Experience

Leslie Kerrigan

Segment 4 - Branding: Your Ideal Client

Lesson 6 from: Senior Portraits: Create the Ultimate Experience

Leslie Kerrigan

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Lesson Info

6. Segment 4 - Branding: Your Ideal Client


Class Trailer

Day 1


Bonus Video: Beach/Park Senior Shoots


Bonus Video: Concept Shoot


Segment 1 - Why Senior Photography


Segment 2 - Getting Started & Research Your Market


Segment 3 - How to Get Started Q&A


Segment 4 - Branding: Your Ideal Client


Segment 5 - Branding: Define It


Segment 6 - Visual Branding Tips for Websites & Blogs


Segment 7 - Educating Your Potential & Current Clients


Segment 8 - Get to Know Your Senior Client: Questionnaires


Segment 9 - Senior Portrait Experience: Plan the Shoot


Segment 10 - Senior Portrait Experience: What to Wear Guide


Segment 11 - Senior Portrait Experience: Building a Style Closet


Segment 12 - Interview with Senior Photographer: Jared Rey


Segment 13 - Wardrobe Consultation with HS Senior


Day 2


Segment 14 - Senior Session: Hair & Makeup


Segment 15 - Senior Session: Guy Wardrobe & Locations


Segment 16 - Senior Session: Posing Girls vs Guys


Segment 17 - Rooftop Shoot: Senior Girl Part 1


Segment 18 - Rooftop Shoot: Senior Girl Part 2


Segment 19 - Workflow & Post-Production Overview


Segment 20 - Leslie's Editing Process


Segment 21 - Senior Session Q&A


Segment 22 - Social Media & HS Seniors


Segment 23 - Interview With Teen Photographer Sara Cooney


Segment 24 - Senior Panel: Teens' Perspective


Segment 25 - Senior Panel Q&A


Day 3


Segment 26 - In-Person Ordering Session


Segment 27 - Ordering Session Q&A


Segment 28 - Pricing for Your Market


Segment 29 - How to Build Your Collections


Segment 30 - The Formula for Pricing and Q&A


Segment 31 - What is a Senior Model/Rep Program


Segment 32 - What Makes a Great Senior Rep & Rep Marketing


Segment 33 - Senior Rep Program Q&A


Thanks + Credits


Segment 34 - Marketing Tool: Concept Shoot Part 1


Segment 35 - Marketing Tool: Concept Shoot Part 2


Lesson Info

Segment 4 - Branding: Your Ideal Client

we all know that branding is more than a logo, right? We've heard that. I think probably everybody's heard that before because it's true. Most people think of your logo is your brain because it's that visual piece that you can tangibly, you know, kind of see and feel or whatever, or you can really feel like a but you know, I mean, you see it, but I think that's why people think about that. But branding is a lot more than just your logo. It's an emotional it's Ah, visual, all of that connected together to build your brand. So that's what we're gonna get into. I'm super excited about it. So let's go ahead and start about talking about the first step in building your brand, which is Teoh, Discover, discover who you are, discover who your ideal client is. These are very important parts of it on Ben. How do you want your client to feel? So those are the things that are a little more emotional side of branding. Um, who you are as a photographer who your ideal client is, and how those two thi...

ngs relate to each other is how you can start to book the client Ill that you need to book for your business. What you might book is different than what I my book kind of clients I get might be different than the kind of clinic clients you get. It's also way to start standing out because there are so many photographers. And the first thing is, yeah, hopefully you can take a good picture, right? But how are you gonna go above that? Because there's a lot of people that can take good pictures. Eso you are gonna connect with those that that may be similar to you, that you can build a relationship with which we will continue to talk about throughout the entire course. That is part of branding, and that starts to set you apart. So let's talk about who your ideal client is first. What are the characteristics that describe your ideal client? Actually, write them. Damn! Think about it. Is your girl fashionista? Is she? Is she a soccer girl or do you shoot guys? And are they jocks? Are they You know what? What interests are they who are they specifically get really specific with, um, you know, obviously we know their age because we're talking about seniors. But you know, what school do they attend? Maybe you are. May be your ideal client is at one school or may be your ideal client. Is that one or two schools? Find that out. Figure that out, right? That down. Any knowledge that you can give yourself about who you need to attract will then help you build this brand. So age we know what school they attend. Where do they live? I think that's important. Because, you know, if you are maybe a more expensive photographer well, then most likely your ideal client lives in an area that's a little more affluent, right? So figure that out, write it down. I mean, literally want you guys to get a piece of paper and write down every specific aspect you can about who your ideal client is gender. I personally photograph more girls. That is generally who have photograph. I don't do a whole lot of guys. We will have a guy shoot that we're gonna be showing here during this class that we did a couple of days ago, which was awesome. But you can just specializing girl seniors. That's totally fine. You can just do guys if you want Teoh. But again, who is your ideal client? Is it a girl? Is it guys both? You know, if it's both, maybe you want to write a list of characteristics that talk about the guy. Maybe you want to write a list of characterises to talk about the girl Personality personality is key for me because that's how I make a connection. I generally connect better with the girls that are talkative and, you know, full of energy, because I'm kind of crazy. But, you know, maybe shy girls a little harder for me to connect to, because when somebody doesn't talk to me, I kind of feel like Oh, God, you know, when I start talking more, you know nothing like I'm a talker. So personality is important to me. It helps me build their relation, the relationship with them. So, you know, generally you're going to connect with somebody that's similar to you and your personality. So right that character stick down, where does your ideal client shop cash? This is great for all kinds of reasons. Number one. If you are going to a style closet No. One, where they shop maybe tells you about the style that you need to have in your closet also tells you where you can maybe connect with a boutique. You know where the girls shopping there, your ideal clients. Because maybe you can go into that boutique and you could start a relationship with them and their clients. Become your clients and your clients become their clients, and you've got this whole great relationship and you're getting your name out there, you know, like we talked about earlier. With may be reaching out to sports teams and getting your name. That way, we'll reach out the boutiques, get your name. I mean, girls love to shop. Most girls love to shop, right? I'm not the only one, right? Surely not so anyway. So that's a great thing to figure out for different reasons. To help you market to that ideal client again. What is their style? Style is part of your personality, so figuring out your ideal client style will help you planned their sessions, you know, know what locations that might work best. Build your style closet accordingly to your ideal client style. Having items you don't want a girl. Let's say Your ideal client is somebody that always wears, you know, shorts and a T shirt, which is great. But if your style closet only consists of sequined gowns, guess what? You know. I don't have anything for them to wear. You know main, like things like that are important hobbies, interests. Those are always good. That's another way you can connect to your ideal client. I was a cheerleader, so I got lost to say to a cheerleader, We got tons to talk about. I pretend I'm still a cheerleader. I mean, let's face it, I mostly stand like this when I'm standing. A total cheer. Oppose gay so I can connect with them. You know it's telly and actually teach little kids. My kid's football team. I teach the cheerleaders anyway. So anyway, so hobbies and interests and maybe you Maybe you're in the music. Maybe you can, you know, may be your ideal client is gonna be really in the music. I mean, the guy we shot the other day is going to school for music, and he was playing his guitar. That was him. And if I was somebody that was really in the music, we would have a complete bond that maybe no other photographer could have with that client. So that's important. Also important because you can incorporate that into session. You know, like if they're dancer, if they're, if they play the guitar, whatever may be their ideas, you can incorporate into a session for them, knowing these things will start toe hone in on your brand in your ideal client, who you are marketing to and how did they feel about photography? This is important because my ideal client, I want to feel like they value photography because, like we said earlier, it is a luxury. It's it's not something they have to have. They have to have your book better. They want to be a part of their yearbook. They don't have to spend more money and come to me. So I mean, my ideal client to think that it's important to really want that separate session so that they can you know, Bill a part of something, you know, they know they won't feel beautiful. That would look beautiful. They want to take part in this. That's my ideal client. They're willing to spend the money because they want it. They value it. So those are things that you know, make up my ideal client. I don't know if you guys have thought about some stuff I've been talking about. If anybody has any characteristics that pop in your mind about maybe somebody that might be your ideal client, I'd love to hear it doesn't have one. Yeah, go ahead. My six year olds on dance team. And that's where you know it's a dance studio dance by a high school dance team. But that's where the girls I've been photographing are coming from because they're like, Well, she understands. Dancers join dancing tonight. Exactly. Studio has a wide range of ages, right? So even though your child is six, she probably a lot of teenagers help teach the younger right. And, yeah, that's a great may be. Your ideal client is somebody that is a dancer. Dancers also, because they might do competition being answers like that. They're used to make up and hair that if you're somebody you know that really gets into that and offers that as part of your session, that might be a perfect ideal client find that they pose they they know their bodies. Hell, and that may be your ideal client. Exactly. Exactly. Have a ideal client characteristic that you want to share. I've found for me because of my personality. I can. I really don't like to work with a team that doesn't have a lot of personality. Eso I like music. So I have music on the shoot or, you know, popcorn or pizza. You know, just having a good time. And if that team is like this right, then that's probably not going to be the best shoot for me. So finding a team that has a lot of personality, so just kind of talking to them. And I always like stock their instagram so that I can see what type of personality that they have so that I know going into the shoot, you know, she's kind of shy, you know? Let's work to that. Or if she really enjoys soccer, you know, let's not shoot, you know, knew the soccer stadium just incorporating their personality, but also just kind of finding out, you know, they have to like, have fun and have a lot of personality, because that's what I bring to the table. So I that I work with teens that more outgoing and you really like to enjoy life. So when you write down your character of ideal client right right now, going in the right fun likes toe have mine. So then you're going to start building your brand to attract those Do those characteristics. Exactly. So that's awesome. Yeah. Do we have anything from the Internet or, um characteristic? Tsuji said, Paying client, You're right. Yes, you definitely will. Those pay with that comes in handy when we're talking about how you feel about photography. Do you know that's true? It's very true. We all want paying clients, right? Yeah. You want this client, they're willing to pay for it, but that value And I think valuing it is the most important because you know, the client that could have their photo taken at the yearbook and that that's good enough for them. Well, that's probably not your ideal client, but that's not what you're offering, you know? So building your brand to attract that ideal client is key. Yeah. Huh? Photo is asking at them if they have a Pinterest board, chances are they dio that can sometimes be a great window into the person their personality. So asking your potential clients if they have definitely board. And also do you all have Pinterest sports, you know? Yes. Yeah, yeah right Great toe what I could spend hours upon hours on Pinterest But it's really important for when we get into you know what to wear aspect of it. Pinterest is really important for that because you, as a photographer, can set up individual boards for each different kind of style profile that maybe your client would be. And then they don't have to weed through a bunch of different stuff. They go straight to, you know, pretty or they go straight to going them or what? Whatever. So, yeah, Pinterest is great. Facebook is great. Instagram is great for you researching and coming up with You know what girl fits your or guy? I keep saying, girl because I shoot mostly girl. So forgive me for that. But guys to I'm not going to forget about you guys. Whatever it is you want to shoot. But again, that goes back to your ideal client. My ideal client is a girl. She's probably a girl that's a little girl next door, but likes fashion to. I don't get the super super glam girls because it's really not who I am, But I do get the girls that love to get dressed and think about what they wear. The J Crew girl, the You know, to me, like the anthropology girl, that those Thai girls are really my ideal client, the girls that like to have their hair and makeup done. But maybe don't wear hair makeup every day because I don't mean it ain't like those are my ideal client characteristics, somebody that really does value photography, somebody that wants to g. O and hire me separately from that yearbook photo. That's a That's a big, important one. Obviously, it's a senior, so she's 17 18 years old. It's a girl. Generally, that's who, uh, shoot. And the personality thing. She's got to be bubbly. She's gotta be, You know, she's gotta wanna have fun. She's gotta relax, you know, maybe they're shy at first, but you can break that mold, and that is my ideal clients. So yeah, well, I was just gonna ask about that because there people talking about who their ideal clients are in the chat rooms and Joni says fun is her word. I love that I love clients. Enjoy having fun. More fun. They are. The more interesting my images end up being exactly so. Then my question, though, and I asked back to Joni is so okay, if that's your biggest thing that you want to find, how do you go about finding kids that are fund that That's their word, right? Right. Well, I think Brandon comes into play there because maybe the branding that you're putting out there, the chutes you're showing your logo, your visual, your personality online. All of these things should fit in the fund category. If that is your ideal client. So, yeah, maybe some bright colors to me. Bright colors say fine. You know the main. So those are the things that you can start when it comes to visually branding. After you figure out who your ideal client is, and that is your step to try. Toe. Put your visual brand out there, too. Be what you want to come to, you know to me like you want your visual brand to attract that fun client, and the way to go about that is through social media, your branding your visual, Your blogger. We're going. We've got some slides. Talk about that. That's what you want. The next thing is being yourself never goes out of style. So who are you as a photographer? Because, like I said earlier, your ideal client is going to relate to you. So putting yourself out there and your personality will attract that ideal client. So what makes you what will attract your ideal client? E. What is different about you? Tobia told us earlier that something different about her. She's a teacher. She's used to this age group. She's used to, you know, being at school with them every day, so that makes her unique. Not many people have that connection, and you need to use it to make yourself stand out because that's who you are. That is part of who you are. Me, I'm I'm a fashion girl. So I used that to attract girls. You know, nothing like that. So I am. I'm loud, crazy and like to laugh. So I use that, you know, mate, to figure out who you are. And a lot of times that takes some time. You know, it's it's reflection on you and you have to look at yourself and say, OK, this is who I am You don't need to be anybody else but you. There's a lot of photographers out there, and some popular photographers may make you think that's how you need to be. That's not the case. You need to be you because you're the only one that can attract your clients. So make a list of things that you can incorporate into your business that will help you be different. So, for instance, their senior ology, I hear a lot of times that there are photographers out there. They also have the cosmetology license so they themselves can do hair and makeup. Well, guess what? One stop shop. Are you kidding? That's an easy thing. I would want that girl like I don't have to go anywhere else and she knows what she's doing, and that makes her different. You know the reason I incorporated style clauses because I love to shop, so that made me different. Think about anything that makes you different. Think about you and how your characteristics and the things that make you different can connect you to your ideal client. What makes you unique. What's your style? Um, and how these things can help attract your ideal client. These are all important things because it helps you build your brand again. You just need to be you. That's the thing that's going to stand out because most of you, I'm sure, have great photos. But so does Joe blow down the down the block. Right? So what is it that's going to make a girl come to you? Are a guy come to you? It's probably going to be your personality. What's different about you? All of these things are part of your brand. Um, did you have anything that may be? Yeah, I did. I think I I'm in here reviewing all the great question right there. Coming in over there like I know there's so many questions. It's so cool with our new tool that there's, ah, it all coming in. But Larry and remember, you can vote for those questions Larry Field had said. For me, it starts with interviewing and choosing reps. Does that fit your ideal proof? Absolutely. Yeah, so that's a great way to think about that. Yeah, totally. Yeah, You definitely want. And again, we'll get into reps a little bit later, but you definitely won't rips that represent your brands. You gotta build your brand first and figure out what you want as your brand, so that then you can, you know, pick reps or models or whatever you call him to represent that, Yeah, that's totally important. I think it was also had a photo girl who It's fun to see when we asked about Have you identified your ideal client photo? Girl said, My ideal client is the creative team who lives for adventure, loves travel, plays an instrument and shops at places like anthropology and thrift shops so that, yeah, that's very specific. And you need to be very specific. Yeah, because I would imagine Photo girl photo girl. Probably shops. I imagine me an anthropology. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Courtney, go shopping with me all the time and she goes straight to the sale rack and I'm out in the regular section. It's funny thrift shops, and the search is what gets you right. Right? Well, that's characteristic of you are. Maybe you want to, you know, you're seeing your client. Might be somebody that enjoys the search. Enjoys finding that unique little fine that nobody else combined is a very specific characteristic can that can help you build your brand to attract that particular type of person s. So the most important aspect and this is a quote from the Russo Group via Google, So give them props for that. But the most important aspect of a brand is emotional connection between a company and its consumers. So that's where the emotional side of draining comes in. It is that connection. Eso figuring out who your ideal client is. Figuring out who you are will help you start to make that connection with those people. S o. Okay, so the next part is building your senior brand. How do you want your clients to feel this is important? This is how you start to build a new experience. Really? Because you want those girls to feel a certain way, make a list of words that describe that feeling. Do you want them to feel beautiful? Obviously, I think that's an easy one, right? You want him to feel beautiful, you want him to feel taking care of? Do you want him to feel like they had the best time of their life. They laughed. They had a good time. Do you want them to feel glamorous? Maybe that's your thing, you know, Main. What? And how do you want them to? I feel I think it's huge because it really helps you start to build that brand that gives them that feeling and experience. Think about other team break ins. How did they make teenagers feel like? Can I mentioned earlier? We are gonna have a team panel. We'll talk to them a little bit about how they want to feel on, and that's important. Talk to one. Find out, look at other team brands and see how they're sort of marketing the teenagers. And what what you can maybe say. Oh, okay, well, you know, maybe I want them to feel free and independent. This that the other. How can I do that right? Andi, think. Think about the way other brands make you feel. How would you want to feel if you were looking for a senior photographer? Would you want that senior photographer to be your friend? Do you want that senior photographer to take your photos and be done with, you know, domain? Because a lot of times again, your ideal client is going to be someone who has similar characteristics that you do because that is what's going to connect the two of you. So how would you want to feel and incorporating that into your business? Me, I'm is a right now. Any time I get a special note from, like what order something on Etc. And I get a special note in the mail that comes with it immediately. Feel better, right? So maybe you can incorporate that because I love little notes or little extras or things like that because they're so sweet. I mean, I don't know who I am that they took the time to write a little Thank you. Note those type things you can incorporate into your brand and build your brand accordingly on. Then ask teens how they want to feel. And like I say, we are going to be asking them. So you guys are going to get firsthand knowledge from from teens themselves. I don't want you guys to be thinking of questions for that, but you can ask them How do they want to feel? I did. Ah, did a little focus group on my own with some senior clients that I had. I got them all together and I asked them, and the most common thing they said was they just don't want to feel awkward. So maybe they didn't know exactly how they wanted to feel that they knew they didn't want to feel awkward. So I'm like, OK, this is how I know I can incorporate. I'm not gonna make them do some weird pose. I'm not gonna make them wear something they don't feel comfortable with because they don't want to feel awkward. They want to feel like themselves, but maybe amped up just a little bit because it is a special thing. You don't get your photos taken every day. So I incorporated that knowledge into my brand. I don't want them to feel awkward. I want them to feel good and have a good time and all of this stuff. This is how you can start to build your brand

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Leslie Kerrigan - Concept Planning Worksheet.pdf
Leslie Kerrigan - Welcome Packet Checklist for Seniors.pdf
Leslie Kerrigan - Saras Top 10 Social Media Tips.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Leslie Kerrigan - High School Senior Questionnaire Template.pdf
Leslie Kerrigan - Gear Guide.pdf
Leslie Kerrigan - Top 5 Essentials for Style Closet.pdf
Leslie Kerrigan Course Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Lightfoot Studio

I can't say enough great things about this course! I went into it thinking I gain a little bit of info on posing and social media ideas... boy was I wrong! Leslie covers topics that I didn't even know where apart of Senior Photography. I highly recommend purchasing this course, if for no other reason then for the awesome senior panel that lets you know really want seniors want, are looking for, and actually care about in regards to their photos/social media/etc... I hope to meet Leslie one day and thank you personally! :)

Lynn Powell Roberts

I learned a lot from this course. I watched all day when CL replayed Sal Cincotta's senior course and I wanted a second perspective, so I bought Leslie's course. I'm really glad I purchased Leslie's course because it was a great complement to Sal's course. Leslie covered different things like using a style closet that I especially found useful. She also did a beach shoot with a male and female model, which I found very useful and different from Sal's style. Leslie is so excited about "her girls" that she photographs - it's very engaging. I highly recommend this course.

Student Work