Keeping track of all the most important clients around the world is the single most valuable thing we do to help photographers. And since there are millions of companies to consider, we divide clients into smaller, more manageable segments so we can conduct our research more efficiently and so we can concentrate on clients that photographers care about most.
We’re rolling out pre-built lists of clients called Category Lists, which we can provide at a significant discount compared to our custom-built lists.
When we first started collecting clients, we simply assigned them Specialty keywords to identify the kind of photography they used. But as we gained experience, we realized that it would be useful to divide clients by Type: Publications, Agencies, and Brands. That allowed us to research those companies more effectively, because we find them using different sources and we have different criteria for evaluating them. And when we add people to each of those companies, the company type helps inform our choices around job titles and messaging.
Next, we divided those types into sub-types that we call Industries. Since publications and agencies are particularly important to photographers, we devised our own custom list of industries. However, because there are so many brands, and since every company has a profile on LinkedIn, we use the industry types that match up with the 148 LinkedIn Industries.
While those LinkedIn industries have given us a framework to do a lot of valuable basic research over the last few years, even when combined with our 41 photographic specialties, those industries don’t always yield the exact client lists our photographers need (without a lot of additional curation). That brings us to Categories. Categories are a more specific version of Industry that matches up with a particular type of photographer. The reason this is so useful is because if a photographer finds success with any one client, it’s very likely that they’ll match up well with other clients in that same Category.
For example, one of our photographers, Teri Campbell is a highly skilled and experienced food photographer in Cincinnati. One of the Categories that he targets is QSR restaurants, which means Quick Service Restaurants (fast-food chains to you and me). Since QSR isn’t a LinkedIn’s Industry, we have to find lists on industry publications or from Wikipedia.
With the help of our photographers, we’re in the process of building all sorts of Category lists, that we’re offering at a significant discount compared to our custom lists. Here’s our current list of Categories. Please let us know if you’d like to suggest any new ones.
Need help building your prospect list? Reach out!