Are you being intentional with who you’re marketing to?
The best way to test this is to answer this question: when you market your events business, who are you marketing to exactly? Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s easy, I do weddings so I'm marketing to a bride between 25-35 years old who is happy to pay my prices.” Let me back this up by asking you this… Is your 30-year old a Walmart shopper or would she never be caught dead there? Is your 30-year old covered in tattoos? Do they love artistic, creative things or is she straight-laced and thinks tattoos are tacky? Does she value tradition or is she obsessed with everything on Offbeat Bride? People can't simply be identified by demographics. When you blanket market to one, you’re not being intentional with your marketing. It’s easy to see that there are a lot of different types of people within that 25-35 range and you can’t market to all of them. If you’re going to be able to hit a target with any accuracy, you first need a target to aim at. So, who do you want to work with? Who do you want to be the go-to professional for?
Going Beyond Demographics
A lot of event professionals think about their ideal client as a broad demographic. Your ideal client is a whole person, not just a bride or a groom. Their values directly influence their consumer behavior. The key to marketing effectively to them is to understand those values and use them in your marketing. Consider your own consumer behavior: there are certain places you love to shop. Likewise, there are other places you avoid like the Plague. Maybe you really value being green and ethical in your purchasing decisions. So, you probably take your own shopping bags with you on your trip to Whole Foods. You’d choose that grocery retailer because their brand makes you feel good. You're feel secure knowing that what you buy is safe for you and your family. You trust that it was made fair trade and came via their green distribution centers. Whole Foods makes you feel like they understand you and your values, and they market to you using those values.
Our values impact our consumer behavior. Where you decide to spend your money is incredibly emotional and personal. No one wants to support a brand they hate. These values matter whether we’re talking about grocery shopping or hiring a wedding professional. These values are intensely personal and powerful, and you can’t tap into them when you scratch the surface of your target customer qualities and ideals with basic demographics.
Are You Being Vague Or Intentional?
Most event professionals are far too vague in defining who their ideal client is. This becomes the root cause for a lot of business problems. The goal is to reach a point where you can describe your ideal client like you would describe a friend. If you were inviting your ideal client to go out for drinks with your friends, you wouldn’t describe your ideal client/guest as being 25-35 and busy to your friends. That’s not what matters to you personally and it’s not what matters in your business either. I challenge you to go deeper than that. Be more intentional.
Why? When you’re unintentional about your marketing, your messaging and how and where you deliver it won’t line up with who your ideal client is. And, ultimately, with the problem they want you to solve. That’s a big problem - that means they won’t buy from you. On the other hand, when you do understand your ideal client as an actual person, you know what they love, hate, care about, can’t stand, and even the words they use. Being intentional with who you’re marketing to is like magic. All of a sudden, you don’t have to wonder what to say in your marketing to attract your ideal client. Why? Because you actually get them.
Shouldn’t I Market To Everyone I Can?
It may seem counter-intuitive but your marketing should focus only on the people who are most likely to buy from you. Modeling it on your very best clients - people you connected with personally and professionally, and who wound up paying you - makes it more likely that you’ll attract more people just like them. You can’t be a perfect fit for everyone and you'll flush your marketing budget down the toilet trying to do so. When you know how to narrow your focus, you actually save time, energy and money, and attract better clients.
If you had a heart attack, would you rather see a cardiologist or a general practitioner? Furthermore, would you rather see a random local cardiologist or one who has a lot of experience? Cardiologists aren’t for everyone. They are, however, in demand by patients who fit their target market. They tend to be paid significantly more than general practitioners, too.
You can’t be everything to everyone, you have to focus. You have to get intentional. I promise you this will make your life a LOT easier. Getting very intentional about who you’re marketing to will make all of your marketing decisions easier. You'll know where you should and shouldn’t market to reach your ideal clients. You’ll how what to say and what your ideal clients truly value so you can use that in your marketing to stand out from the competition.
How To Get Intentional About Who You’re Marketing To
The next time you sit down to plan your event business marketing, have a conversation with your ideal client. Only your ideal client. Being very intentional about who you want to be the go-to professional for will make marketing easier. The truth is, all of the marketing in the world can’t fix a lack in understanding your ideal client. Who they are and what they value drive everything, from the words and images you use on your site to what you post on social media and how you work with them. You can’t just assume you know what your ideal client wants, needs, cares about, etc. You have to test those assumptions. The best way to do so is to actually talk to your ideal client. Reach out to a past client you just love perhaps, and listen to them.
Who you’re marketing to is a foundational piece of your business. Don’t skip this part. Take some time to identify your best clients and reach out to them to ask them questions like…
- Why did you book me instead of another [insert what you do]?
- What would you say to a friend if you were recommending me to them?
- Why did you choose to go with [package they booked] instead of another option?
- What should another bride know about working with me?
This month on the Aisle Planner Pro Blog, it's all about being more intentional in your business. On April 30th, I’ll be co-hosting a free training with Aisle Planner called How to Build a Business That Gives You Real Profits and Work-Life Balance. If you want to get more intentional about your time so you can have more work-life balance and step into the CEO role of your wedding business, click here to register!
Hero photo courtesy Chris Wojdak