Why Trolling Facebook for High-Value Clients is a Waste of Time

A consulting client of mine named Geneve offers a high-end marketing service for photographers, and she’s looking to haul in some new clients.

She asks:

Do you publish any of your work/articles/insight anywhere else? Just curious. I’m thinking of doing a series of articles on the photography business on Medium??

I want to start getting into the inbox of more high caliber/high touch readers. I ran a big campaign on Facebook to drum up some lead gen for the drip campaign that you helped me set up – but not a lot of interaction. I think I got a lot of “DIYers.” I’m hopeful though!

This is a common problem when you have a premium, high-touch service like Geneve.

Typical “mass marketing” techniques like blogging, SEO, social media, and even many forms of paid advertising are like going fishing with a huge net.

Yes, you will catch a LOT of fish.

Trouble is, you’re going to get 99 little fish for every 1 big fish that you land.

Chances are good that those 99 “small fry” clients will keep you so busy you won’t even notice that the prize-winner flopping around on the deck until it flips over the side of the boat and escapes.

A better way to go is to follow what some crafty American Indian fisherman used to do.

They’d quietly paddle their canoe to where they knew the big fish hung out.

Then they’d grab their tool of choice—not a net, but a well-balanced fishing spear.

And they’d wait, poised on the prow of the canoe for a big fish to swim past, and…


Dinner is served.

Very efficient.

The marketing equivalent of this is finding little pockets where the overall audience size is much smaller, but there’s a higher concentration of “big fish.”

In Geneve’s case, “photographers” is basically a mass market.

Just about anyone who owns a Nikon SLR (or these days even an iPhone) to take pictures of their precious Bichon will probably get tagged by Facebook as a “photographer.”

Maybe only 1 in 1,000 is an actual professional photographer.

And of those, maybe only 1 in 100 are earning enough money to be good candidates for Geneve’s services.

I’d recommend hanging up the Facebook dragnet for now and going on a spearfishing expedition.

And the place to start is to look for places where serious professionals hang out.

Trade magazines, professional associations, guilds, unions, conferences.

Bonus points if it costs money for them to read, belong, or attend.

What you do next depends on the types of organizations you’ve discovered.

You might be able to get a list of members that you can contact personally.

You might be able to pay the organization to send emails out for you.

At very least, they’d probably be thrilled to have you write content for their newsletter, blog, magazines…

Yes, you’ll get a much smaller readership.

The “universe” of prospective clients is much smaller.

But you might find that 1 in 5 fit your ideal client profile.

MUCH better odds.