Target Market

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ukreal1, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. ukreal1

    ukreal1 TPF Noob!

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    OK, I am starting this new thread on Mike's advice...please give us input! Thanks
    Here's the sort of start...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by *Mike* [​IMG]
    Usually of their child. For bridals, we have a higher sitting fee, and usually do lower print sales.

    April has the right idea...

    The problem many photographers have is that they approach their business as if they're the customer. "I'd never pay $x for pics of my kid..." But, odds are, you're no your target market.


    Mike, or anyone with some thoughts on this. This has been my problem. I think like this but I don't want to price people like myself out. I am in a Military community. A lot of Photographers' target market out here is the Officer families. I am an enlisted family, therefore, lower income. I don't want to price myself so low that everyone is flocking to my mobile on location 'walmart' but I don't want to price out the higher end enlisted families, like my own. I am not really interested in the Officer set, others have them covered!.I guess what I am trying to say is I want to be right in the middle, I am my target market! I hope I am making sense, it is way past my bedtime :eek:) P
    Any advice greatly received, my photos are here
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What is your question? It is certainly important to find your target market.

    If you want to cater to both groups, offer packages that may appeal to each of them differently. I shot basketball team portraits for some teams from low-income families. For them, I provided a low cost package that included a few 4x6's and a few wallets - nothing fancy. However, I am about to get hooked up with baseball team portraits for a private league, and you can bet that my lowest package will cost twice what I charged for the low-income people. However, the package will be different - it'll certainly have more photos as well.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Talk to your buddies, ask them what they'd like, how much they'd pay, and what sort of prints/package they would expect. Price accordingly.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think that part of the problem is getting your clients to believe that professional photography is a service worth spending money on.

    People pay stupid amounts of money on overpriced things all the time. Think about running shoes, logo T-shirts, home electronics, fashion accesories etc.

    People know that if you call a plumber or an electrician, their professional service will be costly. Why should photography be any different?

    You may have an advantage in that you probably have a good idea of the income that your target market is getting. That sounds like it is also a disadvantage because you want to cater to the lower income enlisted.

    One pricing strategy is to create at least three packages/price points. The first one is the lowest and doesn't really have a great value. The 2nd package is the one that you think will be the most popular. The price should be higher than the first but it should include things that add value to the client but with minimal extra cost to you. Then you have the high package, which is significantly more expensive and includes plenty of products etc.

    The idea is that people will compare all three. They might be attracted to the lowest priced package but then you can show them the increased value of the 2nd package. The 3rd one serves to show what a good deal the 2nd one actually is...and it's a bonus if anyone actually orders that one.
     
  5. ukreal1

    ukreal1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys,
    actually, my target market is the higher enlisted. Boom, right in the middle. There are some photographers out here that charge $25 a session and $3.00 for a 5x7. That is the 'walmart' set. Nothing wrong with that per se, but that is not my target market. Then there are some who charge $250 for a session and say $40 for a 5x7 print, that is also not my target market pricing, and a number of photographers seem to have that market covered.
     
  6. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    How much did you charge for the package, and was that all you charged, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  7. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    It sounds like you've got the first part down. You know who you want to market too. Have you run the numbers to see what type of volume you need to do in order to make it work? Honestly, it's often a lot harder to make a viable business out of the middle (and lower) classes. It starts to depend a lot more on volume, which isn't the strong suit of an individual photographer. But, I'm sure you can make it work...

    Next step, how do you develop a business around that clientele? For example, I could never meet my clients at a McDonald's for consults. Likewise, you could never expect the soccer mom crowd to feel comfortable if you do all your consults at the local country club. Price, product, and service are an important part of the equation. Particularly so if you've got a studio... But, if you don't, a lot more variables come into play. People start to make decisions and judgments on the entire experience.

    Since you're already a part of the base community, you've got a leg up. In building my business, I considered everything from where my kids go to school to what clothes I wear to what bank I go to. Everything fits together as you build your business into the community that you want to serve/market to.

    Start working on a business plan. The intentionality that it requires, perhaps more than anything else, is tremendously helpful. So many of the tangential decisions that we make without much thought have repercussions on our businesses.
     
  8. cdanddvdpublisher

    cdanddvdpublisher TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely, creating a business plan is essential. Ultimately, your business plan even helps you to take a closer look at your competition and to choose the right pricing structure for your target market.
     
  9. ukreal1

    ukreal1 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you :eek:)
    Now, I wrote down a bunch of stuff I want to offer, etc. Is this what a business plan entails? (ha ha, can't you see I am new to this! another new thread?).
    Bear in mind this is not intended to pay all my bills, this is a part time venture, born out of my love for photography. I left my FT job at the YMCA when we got orders out here, but hubby and I have agreed, I don't need to work right now. Thank god for that, with 2 kids about to be out of school for the summer next week, I didn't feel like working to pay for the for kids camp! Ha.
    Despite all this, I am not intending on this being a 'shoddy' business. I want it to be professional and to give my clients something that they can treasure for life. Am I on the right path?
    Thanks again for all the advice and comment!
    P
     
  10. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    You have to remember that just because it is a part time venture doesn't mean you can really charge a whole lot less than the full timers. Even doing just a couple sessions a month can eat up a lot of your time and you need to value your time away from your family.
     

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