How NOT To Market Your Photography Business To Women

I read an interesting statistic the other day.

85% of all brand purchases are made by women

No shock there. Women are in control of most household purchases.

Yet the next statistic makes you react a bit differently.

Only 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women.

Which means that on average, men are the one’s advertising to women – as a whole – throughout every industry.

Which means there is a lot of room for improvement, as men and women just think differently.

Photography is predominately a woman’s consumable. Meaning if you aren’t gearing your marketing almost exclusively towards women – your main client – you’re missing the boat.

Yes, you can copy ad campaign after ad campaign that some other photographer created. But what are you missing if you do it that way?


Mistake #1: Marketing on a generic level

Think of most marketing materials we’ve been subjected to over the past 50 years. They contain surface material. They are fluff pieces that attract attention and go away. There is no real meat to the material.

That’s where women differ from men. They may be more skeptical, they may just want to assure themselves they are moving in the right direction, but above all, they want solid information.

They want a site that easy to use, easy to find, filled with great customer service options, and simple design – yes that means no flash that rotates, stalls and takes up too much time. They want to develop deeper relationships and find out who you truly are. Which is why they should be able to get to your Facebook quickly AND see that you post all kinds of juicy content on a regular basis.

If you know their interests – the more information you can supply them on all kinds of things related to their interests – the more you’ll hook them in to your business and become a regular paying client.

Mistake #2: Technology is a mans game

Think computer. Think tech. Think male.

Not so fast. While it is true that men dominated the computer industry early on, women are breaking away from the pack as we learn all about its efficiencies.

Women earn more college degrees than men, women increasingly are becoming the higher wage earner in the family, and they are quickly becoming savvier in making online purchases. It’s the time factor of course – we can multi-task like never before.

How do you reach out to women customers? Give them every option to connect and stay in touch with you.

  • Have an ezine to sign up for
  • Offer links to your social sites
  • Blog and advertise your RSS feed
  • Offer snail mail options
  • Do things differently – how about a regular Google Hangout session

Mistake #3: Focusing in on women will alienate men

The most common reason photographers give when sticking with a generic marketing plan is because they think they will alienate some other audience that’s following them. Not true.

Instead, I would suggest that the more you focus in on your target audience, the better you will serve everyone. Here’s why.

“My target audience is women.” That statement is way to broad, and it doesn’t allow you to focus in on what your audience truly wants. But if we start diving down to who are perfect client really is, when can see them in a whole different light.

“I’m going after a busy mom with two kids who doesn’t have a lot of time to herself. She looks for convenience factors that allow her to do more in less time. She has two kids in their teens and sees life as going by too quickly. She is most likely on the parent association committee at school and takes an active role in her kids’ lives …”

Now that we know who we’re targeting, we can begin to develop things exclusively for her.

  • Maybe a studio that comes to her – she’s busy and appreciates not having to spend 30 minutes fighting with her kids in the car.
  • Drop off service at her home with her final order.
  • Education on how to use senior portraits for college applications.
  • A newsletter that provides timely advice on photography and being a busy mom.

Yes you are targeting one specific clientele. But don’t think for a moment that other potential clients won’t find interest as well.

And that’s the point. The more you focus in on one group, the more creative and detailed you are.

And the more you’ll eventually reach out to an entire new segment of the population that you never even thought about before.

Yes it works. You just have to put it into action.

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