How to Build Your Client Avatar

Client avatars. Wait, what the heck is that?! If you’re asking yourself that exact question, no worries. I’m here to bring you all the ins-and-outs of client avatars; what they are, why they’re important, and how to build your own. As a full-time wedding photographer and educator, I can confidently say that one of the biggest shifts in my business came when I nailed down my client avatars. Alright, let’s get into it!

What is a Client Avatar

Maybe you’ve heard of an “ideal customer” or an “ideal client”. That’s pretty much what a client avatar is, but leveled UP. These phrases are frequently tossed around in multiple marketing industries. So whether you’re a wedding photographer or own a clothing boutique, this info can greatly help you. 

Client avatars allow businesses to zero in on who they want to purchase their products or work with them. But having that dream client in mind, it’s easier to market towards that one person, rather than maybe 10 different kinds of people. Building your client avatar as a wedding photographer helps you book more of the people, weddings, and love stories you want to capture – rather than “just anybody”. 

How to Build Your Client Avatar

Okay, here’s where it’s going to get a little bit cheesy for a minute, but stick with me. Remember back in English class when you were told to write a story? And your teacher stressed how important it was to include lots of descriptor words and specifics? Well, let’s journey back there, shall we? When building your client avatar, remember to do exactly what your English teacher said (minus all the formalities, I suppose). 

Take out a piece of paper or open a new Note. I want you to write down the following, being as specific as possible. If you need some help, check out mine below!

  • How old is your ideal couple? Think of a general age range.
  • What do your clients do for jobs? Do their personalities reflect their jobs? (For example: a nurse is typically kind and compassionate)
  • Where do your clients live?
  • Do they have any pets?
  • What do they do outside of work? What kind of hobbies do they enjoy?
  • What kind of wedding are they having? Is it a grand wedding or a low-key elopement? 
  • How many guests are attending the wedding?
  • How big is the bridal party? 
  • Do they plan on investing in their wedding?
  • Are they people you want to be friends with or just work with? 

Once you’ve answered these questions, string it together in a story format. Give your client avatar a story. When you find yourself at a loss for words in a blog, a caption, or even in an email, refer to your client avatar’s story to remind yourself who you’re doing your job for. One couple, one person, one family. 

SYP’s Dream Client Avatar

My dream couple is a bride and groom who are around 23-30 years old who are freaking madly in love with one another and are stoked for their wedding day. My client avatar is named Olivia and she is a 25 year old nurse, originally from the Midwest but now lives in SoCal. She has a huge heart for caring for others, and that’s one thing that her fiancé, Mike, loves the most. She loves to shop at places like Madewell, Target, and Lululemon. In her free time, she loves to do simple hikes, have weekend coastal getaways with Mike, and snuggle up with her cat and dog. 

Mike is a 27 year old who is super passionate about his business job. He just finished his MBA and is very driven at work. He’s a bit serious but also loves to goof off, especially with Olivia. Mike is native SoCal boy; he is outgoing, fun-loving, and has a good sense of humor. He doesn’t shop much, but he loves getting a few new outfits from Nordstrom every once in a while. Mike was a college athlete and loves hanging out with his buddies to play catch on Monday nights. He drives a Mazda and doesn’t sacrifice luxury, even though he loves adventure. They love hiking and exploring together, but at the end of the night, they are going back to their super cute and Pinterest-worthy air b+b. 

Dream Client Avatar’s Wedding

Their wedding is on the Coast of SoCal and they want to embody the elegance of the Almalfi coast at their wedding. Hints of teal and rust, while staying mostly neutral. Olivia and Mike have about 150 people attending their wedding, and a pretty large bridal party. They know their wedding only happens once, so they are ready to invest in the best vendors. They are getting ready at a stylish hotel, having the ceremony overlooking the water, and want to run down to the beach for sunset romantics. After the tears have been shed at speeches, they are ready to get down on the dance floor at the end of the night.

Overall, my ideal clients are fun, outgoing bffs who have a pretty traditional wedding, but want to have an absolute blast on their wedding day.

How to Use Your Client Avatar

Like I mentioned above, use your client avatar as a reference when you’re at a loss for words or forget who you’re doing it all for. But I also have used my client avatar as a resource for my team! My associates and second shooters use it to get a feel for my why. My virtual assistant, copywriter, and graphic designer use it for the same reasons. 

Your client avatar can (and will) absolutely change over time. As your goals shift, remember to modify your client avatar to reflect those goals. 

There we have it, friend. The ins-and-outs of client avatars. I can’t wait to hear about yours! Shoot me a DM on Instagram (@sarahyatesphoto) and spill your avatars love story 😉 Looking for more tips for photographers? Check out the additional resources down below!

Additional Resources:

Why Building a Photography Portfolio Isn’t Just for Beginners
How a Virtual Assistant Helps Photographers
Top 7 Free Resources for Photographers


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