Be honest… on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your current clients? One of the most crucial marketing elements is ensuring you are targeting the right clients. But how do you approach marketing to your ideal clients? And what do you do if you keep attracting the WRONG people?
Have you been having difficulty booking the right clients?
Have you found yourself sifting through dozens of leads that never respond? Or do they seem to have no idea about the services you offer? Marketing to your ideal clients is something you'll need to master as a biz owner. And here's the thing…
Marketing to your ideal clients doesn't have to be hard.
And if it is… you're doing it wrong – but you are not alone. This podcast episode + blog post will help you to fix your marketing so you're attracting the right clients. So what five mistakes might you be making with marketing and targeting the right clients?
YOU DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKIN' TO
If you're hearing crickets or getting leads that don't align with what you do or the price of your services, I have some news. You're talking to the wrong people.
80% of businesses fail because they don't know their ideal clients. But here's the good news: you've got time to fix this!
So, here's what I want you to do: take a step back, and reevaluate who your ideal customers are. Ask yourself these questions…
- What do my ideal clients value?
- How are they motivated to buy?
- Do they face any challenges?
- What are their problems, and what are the symptoms of their problems?
- What's their story?
- Do they have objections to hiring me?
- What does their life look like now?
- What do they want their life to look like after I work with them?
The questions I've given you above are way more insightful and impactful than a bullet point list of demographics with their age, sex, and location.
To attract your ideal customers, you need to know more about who they are, what they value, and what problems they have so you can *fix* their problems.
I want you to know your ideal customers like you know your BFF – and you know she's complex!
So, take some time to understand who your ideal clients are. And once you know more about them, you can start speaking to them directly.
Sidenote: If you're a wedding pro, I teach this from top to bottom inside my mini-training, The Client Cocktail.
YOU'RE NOT MEETING THEM WHERE THEY ARE
Marketing is a process that sometimes has to be proven by trial and error. You have to throw things at the wall to see what sticks. But the downside to that is the “things” you throw our hard-earned money and time.
Money that you could otherwise use to grow your business, hire a coach, invest in a new product, or, even better, go on vacation with your family.
If you're not attracting your ideal customers with your marketing, you might be shouting about your service in the wrong place.
For your marketing to be effective, you have to position yourself on marketing channels where your ideal client is.
So, where are they hanging out?
If you're a wedding pro, business coach, or provide services for biz owners – trust and believe your ideal clients are on Instagram and Pinterest.
But are you?
This is one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make in their marketing. They choose marketing channels that are targeting the wrong people.
Take a look at who you advertise with and where you show up, and ask yourself: is this website, platform, or magazine targeting the people I want to attract?
If the answer is no, you should re-evaluate whether marketing with that company is really to your benefit.
YOUR MESSAGE ISN'T CONSISTENT (OR YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOUR “MESSAGE” IS)
Marketing isn't Instagram, Pinterest, networking, Facebook Groups, Twitter threads, magazine ads, sponsored posts… you know the list.
Marketing is simply sharing your message so it can find, and attract, the right people.
Once you understand and embrace that, you can find the channels (like I mentioned above!) to connect with your ideal customers.
But what's your message?
Messaging in marketing is critical. You could have the world's greatest product or service, but no one will buy it if your message is unclear.
If your message is all over the place and changes daily, no one will buy from you.
If you don't know what you do, how you do it, why you do it, or who you do it for – your message won't make sense.
Knowing your mission, vision and purpose will help you create a concise message that you can share consistently (aka ALL THE DANG TIME) to attract your ideal customers.
They'll see themselves in your message – and that's the power behind marketing.
For more help discovering your mission, vision, and purpose – check out my podcast, The Power in Purpose. And check out Mary Marantz's episode to learn more about leaning into your “why.”
I also teach this, step-by-step, inside my group coaching mastermind for wedding pros, WeddingPro Insiders.
YOU DON'T HAVE A PLAN
Your marketing deserves to have an organized, concise plan of attack.
It also needs some room to experiment, try new things, and test out your message.
You're making a huge mistake if you don't sit down and think about your marketing plan. The best way to approach a marketing strategy is to map out a plan for each quarter, so you can evaluate, learn, and experiment some more.
A marketing plan doesn't have to be complicated, scary, or some 75-page presentation. All you need to know is your message, how you're going to deliver your message, and what your end-game goals are.
Try opening a Google doc and start brainstorming topics you can talk about. Put down what kind of results you want to get and how you can reverse engineer those results.
But remember, all that will be for nothing if you don't know who you're talking to. Once you do, marketing to your ideal clients becomes a lot easier.
YOUR BRANDING SUCKS
There was no kind way to say this – but if you're doing all the above and you're still not connecting with your ideal client – then your visual branding might be the problem.
We all buy with our eyes. Whether it's that bottle of wine you picked up at the liquor store or a new skincare product you found at Sephora. As consumers, we buy with our eyes.
Your marketing and branding may not be the kind of visual eye candy that your ideal clients see as trustworthy.
Your marketing should be unique and consistent with your brand. And your brand is more than a logo or pretty business card.
The information you put out into the world as a representation of your business should reflect your identity and be appealing to the clientele you are trying to attract.
If you're a wedding planner and you cater to clientele having a $100,000 wedding or higher, and your marketing doesn't speak to that demographic – you're not going to see them walking through the door.
If you're a biz coach promising to get people incredible results in their marketing and your website looks janky AF – no one is going to hire you.
I am a huge fan of going the extra mile to ensure your marketing is a visual ambassador to your brand.
If you DIY'ed your brand, now is the time to enlist a pro to help you develop a branding experience and mark that is, well, above the mark.
Explore These Resources
- 4 Strategies to Help You Book MORE of Your Ideal Clients
- The Only Marketing Hack You Need In Your Creative Business
- Wedding Planner Marketing: How To Attract & Speak Directly to Your Ideal Clients
- How To Create An Ideal Client Avatar in Four Easy Steps
- Hailey Dale Shares How You Can Run Your First Content Experiment
- 5 Sales Strategies to Book MORE of Your Ideal Clients
- 5 Things a Biz Plan Will Reveal About Your Business
- Podcast Episode: 044 Charging What You're Worth is a Big Lie
- Podcast Episode: How to Build a Brand Your ICA’s Trust with Bernel Westbrook
I think this is a rhetorical question (for me, at least) and I thank you for bringing it to mind. It is exhausting to educate clients on why they should hire a wedding planner. That is why I tend not to take on clients that need me to convince them of such. What I will begin to make a concerted effort at is to brand myself to those that see the value without being coaxed.
I’ve written 2 of these posts. I wrote them after receiving so many calls from brides who are upset with what they thought they were purchasing and what they ended up receiving. Let’s face it, not every bride who reads my blog is going to hire me. But if those 2 posts help a few future brides to ask the Catering & Sales manager those questions and not have a rough start to their planning then I feel good about that tiny little time investment I made. I’m certainly not going to fill my blog up with just the fluffy stuff. Planning a wedding is not all pretty whether I am doing it or the bride is doing it.
Great question. I’ve been blogging for 2 years and for almost that entire time, I was writing “advice” and “tips” posts, mostly because there were (especially at that time) very few current resources for LGBT couples. All those posts eventually became content for my book. Over the past few months, however, I’ve transitioned away from that, mostly because I got bored but also because I don’t think it’s how to target Generation Y.
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Personally, I believe that our time is better spent targeting the clients that are the best fit for us. Those clients are the ones who are drawn to us as people, love our work, and understand the value of a professional.
That said, when people (friends, family and/or clients) ask our opinion on investing in a planner/photographer/etc., we absolutely take the time to explain to them why we believe so strongly in hiring quality, experienced weddings pros.
If clients are coming to you and taking the time to ask, that shows something about their interest in the topic, and they may *want* to be educated… but we don’t believe in shoving it down their throats. If they need to be forced into seeing why a professional photographer is a good investment, they are most likely not the clients for us.
From my experience gearing and branding your business towards those “dream clients” has always worked much better than trying to convince everyone they need you. Because truthfully, you don’t WANT to and can’t work with everyone. You can only work with so many people per year so you want to make sure you work with people who are the best fit for your style and personality.
I target the client that is looking for the candid/photojournalistic experience. What they see is what they get and I know we are going to work well together because the expectations are right there for them to see. I don’t think the advice I have offered on my blog or website sways their decision to book. I used to share articles with inquiring clients about the importance of having a second shooter but I honestly don’t think they ever took the time to read it. Now that that is pretty much a standard option with all photographers, there’s no question as to why you would want two shooters. They are looking for outcome and final product and don’t necessarily need me to educate them but if they ask for it, I will share what knowledge I have on the subject. I can offer advice on scheduling and coordinating the timing of their day but I don’t need to go much further than that with my clients.
GREAT POINT! and tonight I am heading to a meeting where I will be speaking of prequalifying brides and filtering,looking for red flags and finding your niche. I do agree but also must add the following. My ideal client is some one who wants me, and they value me as a photographer and really value great photos and think it is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. I don’t feel I need to educate them to hire me but I do think the education does stop because this is the first time they are getting married so I still have to educate on different types of albums, what is a first glance, best time to photography etc. I am hosting an event for planners and photographers in NJ on June 28, and with your permission, would love to bring this up at our panel discussion, wish you were closer so you could be on our panel discussion too. 🙂