Increasing your client base through EXCLUSIVITY

weekly wisdom Aug 11, 2021

For those of you who have connected with us through our Elevate platform, you probably remember when I first reached out to you I asked you the question “what is the biggest question you have about running your photography business”


Without a doubt, the number one response that we get is “how do I increase my existing client base”


It's understandable that this would be a question that many of you have. Elevate is a place for you to be able to ask these questions and get actionable advice on how to become a better photographreneur……


So today I was teaching a class to a large room in Chicago at the Clickcon photo conference alongside some other amazing photographers, and I realized that there are so many others that struggle with this exact same thing. 


We live in a world that has an abundance of choices….specifically as it applies to us…choices on who they can pick to be their photographer. 


So when I get asked this question the first question that I ask back is …… “What have you done so far that hasn’t worked”


You probably guessed the responses that I get back the most often……maybe you have tried them too.


  • “I have tried running promotions.”
  • “I have tried lowering prices.”
  • “I have tried Facebook Ads, they haven't worked”


Then…. probing some more I usually ask…..”compared to other photographers in your area, how much do you charge?”


And the answer is usually "Somewhat comparable to their competition."


So before I continue here, I want you to understand why luxury clientele invest in luxury products…..if you guessed that they make the investment because luxury items are better quality….you are wrong, despite the fact that luxury products are in fact usually better quality. BUT, that is not the reason people invest in brands like Louis Vuitton, Rolex, or Gucci.


People invest in Luxury products because luxury products elevate their status. Luxury items are exclusive and help them differentiate themselves from the billions of other humans on this planet. 


People invest in luxury products because these BRANDS understand that they need to portray EXCLUSIVITY to these clients. 


And luxury products command luxury by raising your pricing to be more than your competition, you are helping differentiate your work from the pack of photographers afraid to do so....


NOW, don't be mistaken....I am not telling you to charge a luxury price for a product that isn't up to luxury standard....that would be counterintuitive to your goal....always work to improve your product....however there comes a time when your work is high enough quality to charge luxury pricing for.....your challenge is recognizing when that is, and news's probably sooner than you think (we are all our own worst critic)


So while we are at this amazing conference, and hundreds of photographers are out working on the quality of their product…..a few of them, the ones going to the business classes, are likely working on the QUALITY OF THEIR BRANDS. 


See once your brand waives the flag of exclusivity through a combo of pricing, quality, and the client experience, it becomes a beacon that attracts the clients that VALUE what you do. 


And once you give them an incredible experience, they will send their friends…who run in the same circles and value what you do. 


So when it comes to increasing your client base……the best answer I can give you is to work on elevating your overall brand. When your brand is recognized by high-income clients, people that value photography, and more importantly a combination of both… will never hurt for clients, in fact, you will be so busy that you will have to turn clients away which in and of itself becomes a marketing tool because lack of SUPPLY means increased DEMAND.


So as we move closer to conference season, I encourage you to rethink our creative tendency to treat conferences and education like a creative retreat and instead use the resources at these shows to work on elevating your overall brand through solid business foundations.


If you need additional help with your marketing or setting up automation in your business to help you convert more of your clients into leads, then check out our marketing course, The Booking Blueprint by clicking here (it’s on sale for Clickcon and WPPI). 

Until next week.....

-Michael Anthony


Download our FREE Lighting Guide PDF!

Get lighting diagrams, post-production info, and a gear list from some of the most popular images on our Instagram.