You know how to become a photographer, right? Step one: Buy a camera. Step Two: Launch a Facebook business page.

We joke about it, but it’s true that a Facebook page can help you grow your business. Your clients are probably using Facebook, and Facebook has made all kinds of tools to help you target those people who fit your client demographic.

Aim small, miss small

For the last couple of years, I’ve been learning to shoot bows and guns with more precision — that means that ideally, I’d be able to shoot the bullet through the same hole in the target time after time. When you aim at a target, it matters greatly how big your target is. Let’s say I’m standing in a field and I want to hit a barn with my arrow. If I aim at the barn, then I might miss and hit the field around it.

But instead of aiming at the barn, I’d aim at the top hinge of the barn’s door. Then if I miss, I’d still hit the barn, and I’d probably hit very near the hinge. If you aim for a small target and miss, you miss by a small amount. Aim small, miss small.

So you need to identify your target. You need to know who it is you’re trying to target as a client

Know your client, see through their eyes

What’s your client doing right now? What’s she doing this afternoon? How is your message going to reach her right now?

Skip Cohen always says, “If I can see the world through my client’s eyes, I can sell my client what my client buys.” In order to do that, you need to know your client. Sit down, think about your target client and imagine specifically what she is likely to be doing right now. Write it down. Write down a week in her life, morning, afternoon, evening. This exercise will help you understand who she is and what she needs from you.


This is the crux: I’m not your client. So quit asking me to like your Facebook page.

When you have a Facebook business page, Facebook severely limits the number of people who see your page unless you pay for it. I don’t know what the current stats are, but it used to be that fewer than 6% of your followers would see a post unless you paid to promote it. I think Facebook has some reasonable rates for promotion, but I don’t think you should waste your money, either.

If you have thought about your client and what she’s doing throughout her day and how you can reach her, then you should have realized that I’m not your target demographic. I’m a photographer, so I’m probably not searching for family pictures or marketing pictures or landscapes, or whatever. Aiming your marketing dollars at me is a big miss — I’m standing in the same field trying to shoot the barn, too.

Send your money on target

If I’m the one “liking” your page, then I’m the person you are paying Facebook to see it. Spend your money wisely and invite people who are your target clients to like and follow you.

It’s not that I don’t like your page. I’m just trying to do you a favor by not “liking” it.

Portrait Tips come out each week, and you can see them all right here.