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What Michelin Stars have to do with your Photography Business

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My mission is to help you create a business and life that you want: profitable, inspired and on your terms.  Give yourself permission to have the business you truly want. 


Maybe you have heard of the Michelin guide, or Michelin tires or dining in a Michelin Starred Restaurant somewhere in the world. And if you haven’t, then now you have.

But Michelin is a great example of how content marketing creates loyal clients and followers for your business. [Read more about their excellent marketing strategy]

Michelin started over 100+ years ago by selling tires. But to sell more tires they needed to get more people driving around France. They created a free guide filled with destinations around France to find gas, to find inns and restaurants, to get people out on the road driving and buying more of their tires.

About 10% of their subscribers owned a car. But they kept creating their guides, kept informing their ideal clients about all sorts of things travel related, becoming a bible of sorts for those that were interested in touring around France and exploring.

And here we are all these years later with Michelin guides available around the world and their branding stronger than ever. A great example of marketing that your photography business can benefit from. Useful content that speaks to your ideal clients.

From a Marketing article on this website:

Michelin created one of the earliest successes in the history of content marketing by getting 5 fundamental principles right:

  • Understand the needs of your tribe. Drivers had questions that no one else was answering – so the Michelin Brothers found a way to fill an information void with answers. What questions are not being answered in your industry?
  • Create uniquely valuable content. Michelin created not only the Michelin Guide, but also maps and atlases to serve the needs of drivers. What information needs are unmet among your tribe?
  • Grow your tribe to grow your market and your sales. As people learned about new places to explore, more bought cars. As they explored new places, they wore out their tires faster – expanding the market for Michelin tires. How can you create content that helps your market grow?
  • Curate memorable experiences for your tribe. By using reviews to point people to the best sights, hotels and restaurants, Michelin helped drivers have great experiences as tourists and gourmands. How can you curate better experiences for customers and users?
  • Build one main platform and deliver content consistently over a long time. For 117 years, the Michelin Guide has remained true to its tribe of drivers, while building the Michelin Tire brand. What content can you create that will generate brand value for decades to come?

What is content marketing for photographers?

Content marketing comes in different forms like this blog post, a newsletter, a podcast, a guide, social media posts…something that can engage your audience and give them a take away.


A distinguished wedding planner wants to show her client a bespoke addition to her luxury wedding, she wants a vanity-fair style portrait station, a one of a kind experience for the wedding guests, and we not only offer this but we are one of the few in the US that she call on. How does she know this? Because we have told her through our website content.

A boudoir photographer has a pdf available for download on her website that helps clients prepare for a shoot, discussing how at ease and comfortable they will make her feel. This pdf is a relief to the potential clients because they already feel heard and understood.

A family photographer has a podcast episode that discusses how easily she alleviates all the stress a mom can feel when getting all her littles to cooperate on a photo shoot.

The goal is to have a key takeaway that addresses something that is helpful to your client. For Michelin they originally helped drivers in France create travel itineraries that included beautiful drives and gastro pleasures. In fact, Time magazine called it the “tourist’s Bible” in 1952. Now they give this information for just about anywhere in the world. They are the authority in their niche.

Becoming the go to source is what you want – to set you apart from all the other photographers.

And that’s exactly what you want for your photography business as well. The content you put out needs to inform the client why you are the photographer that they need to work with.

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