By Kaitlin Jones
Whether you’re building your small business or you’re a brave solo-preneur starting to dip your feet into the world of wedding wonder, branding should be at the top of your To-Do List.
More than just business cards and letterhead, everything under the umbrella term of “branding” is an instant snapshot of what your business can offer a client. Branding showcases your expertise in the industry, your personality, and should subtly seek out and attract your ideal client 99% of the time.
Here are the first steps you should take to build the best brand for your wedding business.
1. Know Your Business
The first step in creating your brand is to know the business you’re in!
What is your niche and what are you offering to your clients that nobody else is? What problems do your clients have that a wedding professional like you is solving for them? How do your solutions differ from the other wedding businesses down the block?
Answering some of these key questions will not only help you narrow down the focus of your biz, but also your brand.
2. Know Your Audience
Okay, you’ve got your pitch down pat and you know exactly what you’re selling, but you’re not going to get very far without an audience to captivate.
Who is your ideal client and how will you attract them? What first impressions would reel in more of these clients and how do you make those impressions?
Remember that your ideal client may not be a carbon copy of you, so don’t simply sell to yourself! Your tastes may be a little quirkier or thriftier when you’d like to attract a more prosperous, and thoughtful clientele.
Part of knowing your audience is putting time into traditional wedding marketing research, too. Hop onto Google Analytics, get in your ideal client’s mindset and do some keyword searches.
The more nuances you know about search patterns, color triggers, etc., the better business your branding will bring!
3. Create a Motto
This is, in essence, the essence of your business. What are you all about? You know what you’re offering, and who you’re offering it two, but what is at the core of your wedding business?
I’m not talking about a McDonalds-type, “I’m lovin’it,” jingle either! Create a mantra, a snappy mission statement, something that every aspect of your business or personal brand has to answer to as you grow.
This motto will help you remain true to your brand, to your clients expectations, and will keep you grounded as new ideas enter the industry.
Align yourself with something bigger than what you’re selling to create a well-rounded and meaningful motto that you must rise up to meet.
4. Play the Name Game
Now that you’ve got your business, audience, and motto straightened out, you should have a pretty good sense of what your business name should evoke.
One good way to lay the cards out on the table is to make lists of words that align with the wedding industry (wedding, marriage, love), synonyms for the services you offer (photographer, snapshot, pixels), the kinds of weddings you align with (traditional, rustic, bohemian, destination), and other snippets of wedding imagery that could evoke emotion (two rings, bouquet, the aisle, ball and chain).
Get more tips on how to name your wedding business so that it’s both meaningful to you and your clients, as well as descriptive of your business.
5. Learn to Say No
It’s my belief that one of the most difficult tasks in business is creating a cohesive brand that has a wide enough reach to gather plenty of leads, but a small enough specialization to be authentic.
It’s easy to feel the passion pumping through your veins when the small biz “bug” bites, but be careful not to get “infected” by the glitz and glamour of what is new and exciting. Beginner branding is really boot camp for learning how to say no to the hundreds of trends and off-shoots that will pop up and run you off track – especially for wedding professionals in such a diverse industry.
If you step into too many avenues, take a deep breath and return to your mantra, your audience, and your business. Once you are established, you can create new, beautiful branches of business, but for now, stick to your initial sprout!
Kaitlin Jones is a queer New England-based blogger, Disney vacation planner, and entrepreneur with an insatiable wanderlust. When she’s not cozied up with her laptop she’s crocheting quirky and sometimes inappropriate plushes for her solo biz (Not Your Average Hooker), or creating magic for Disneymooners around the globe.