1. Define them, find them, learn their language, speak directly to them.
Chances are, if you haven’t developed a precise idea of who you want to serve, you’re totally missing the mark on how to use your brand voice to speak to them in an effective manner. Think about a past or current client who has been everything you wished and dreamed for. You wish every one of your clients would be just like that person. It felt like the perfect fit. Think about the traits and qualities that person possessed that made them so ideal. What did they value? How would you describe their buying habits? Where do they shop? What kind of music do they listen to? What do they do for work? Where do they hang out? What do they do for fun? What social media platforms do they use? All of these questions will help guide you to finding and speaking to that perfect client.
2. Determine your competitive advantage.
You have an idea of who your competition is, but how are you different from them or what they are offering? Why should your ideal client choose you over everyone else in your market? Maybe it’s the level of service you offer or the style of your work. Maybe it’s because you offer a product or service that others don’t, or maybe you specialize in a niche area. Once you’ve defined whatever that is for your business, you need to own it, embrace it, and sell it. Use language that would resonate with your ideal client to explain why you are the best decision. Not only will they be swooned by your competitive advantage, but the message will resonate with them because you’re speaking their language.
3. Carefully curate your content.
Only show the types of jobs you want. Maybe you’re a hairstylist, and you get this awesome bride that wants to book you but she has this crazy idea of what she wants you to do with her hair. Sure, you want the booking (it pays the bills!) but that doesn’t mean you need to add her to your portfolio, blog, or even post on social media. Your brand should be an exact reflection of the work you want to continue doing. Naturally not ALL the work you do will be exactly what you want, but the more intentional you are about what you put out there, the more you will resonate with the clients you really desire.
4. Stop wasting time/ money in all the wrong places.
If you know your ideal client is not on Facebook, stop wasting your time posting on Facebook and focus on the areas that truly matter. In the wedding industry, 91% of couples getting married are between 25-31. The majority of social engagement for this demographic is done on these top 3 platforms – 1. Instagram, 2. Pinterest, 3. YouTube. I’d say, if you’re in the wedding industry you should have a solid marketing strategy for at least one of these platforms. In addition, 52% of all brides book a wedding industry professional based on a recommendation from a friend or other wedding industry professional. MORE THAN HALF of brides make their decision from word of mouth. Get out there and network! Follow up with past brides about their experience to show them you value your opinion, ask for testimonials, offer a referral program or incentive. The most important part of building relationships is to actually maintain them. You’d be amazed by what you can do without any paid advertising!
5. Find the wedding professionals that are already servicing
your ideal clients, and get in their network.
In case you missed it in the last paragraph- MORE THAN HALF of all couples book their vendors based on what other people recommended. Reach out on Facebook, go out and network, send a handwritten note go on a coffee date!! Being friendly with other wedding industry professionals will grow your network and exponentially grow your referrals. Stop thinking of your competition as someone who’s stealing your business. We are in the industry of booking dates if another photographer gets a request and they are already booked, where do you think they are going to send their clients? Not to the snarky photographer that hides behind their computer and never socializes with anyone. They’re going to send them to the people they trust.