The #WeddingPreneurs Lounge: Who is your ideal client?
Who is your ideal client? This is not something new, you might have heard about the concept of “client avatar” for a while now however, not many business owners pay attention to it. Most of my coaching clients don’t have a client avatar or they don’t know how to identify one. So, let’s take a look at what’s needed for you to understand who your ideal client is. This will help you get more business because you will know where your ideal client is, what he / she does, and what he / she likes. My target is wedding professionals but the concept of "client avatar" can apply to any business / industry.
Instead of targeting brides and grooms in general, you will target specific types of couples. This will mean less waste of time, better results for you and your business. You will know what to say in your marketing messages, you will know where to advertise (what type of media and in which geographical area).
This is also the first step to create a niche. A niche is your specialty, it’s your expertise, it’s your signature style, it’s what your clients come to you for.
By doing so you create your brand image. Only what you want to promote and sell should go on your website, in your portfolio, in all of your marketing materials (business cards, brochures, etc.), in your social media channels. Everything should reflect you, your style, your brand. This is why it’s very important to know who your client is. Don’t put pictures with DIY touches on your website if you’re trying to attract the luxury market. Don’t use soft, pastel colors in your logo and stationery if you’re going after brides and grooms with bold, vibrant and strong personalities. You simply won’t attract them.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself to create your client avatar. I divided the questions in three sections: Personal (who they are), Lifestyle (what they do and like), Wedding Planning (what they want from you)
* Age – Try to be very specific: 20-30 years old doesn’t say much, 28-30 is a better range, it shows you are not going after young girls therefore, maybe less mothers involved in the planning process
* Gender – Woman or man? Do you usually speak to brides or to grooms? Grooms are becoming more and more involved with the planning. And, what about LGBTQ couples? A colleague of mine is working exclusively on same sex weddings and her couples are men only. She is extremely successful in her business because she knows who she’s talking to!
* Education – What level? What did they study?
* Profession – Are they working full-time? Do they own their business? What do they do exactly? If they own their business they will appreciate the value of your services even more
* Income – Are you going after the luxury market or not?
* City / State – Where do they live? You could market in that specific area if you have destination couples, for instance
* Personality – Don’t underestimate this particular trait when you think about your ideal client. Many wedding professionals forget about personality match but I think it’s very important because you will work with your clients in a very personal way, regardless of the time frame. It could be 2 weeks, 6 months, or 1 year, and if you don’t get along with them it will be a nightmare instead of being a positive experience. Do you easily get intimidated by strong and extrovert personalities? Do you like to get challenged by people? Do you find inspiration in creative individuals? Think about the personalities that best match yours
* Culture / Heritage / Religion / Traditions – I specialize in Middle Eastern and Asian weddings, I’ve learned about different traditions and I know what to expect at their celebrations. I know what the timeline should look like (dancing before the dinner reception, for instance), I know which wedding professionals will be needed and who is familiar with the traditions.
If you belong to a place of worship, you are Catholic or Jewish, for instance, make sure you connect with all the local churches or synagogues in town and you introduce yourself. Maybe they will be willing to add you to their list of professionals for couples who need planner or vendor recommendations. Same thing applies for venues in your area, connect with them if you think they are a good fit for your client. Keep in mind that, venues are not open to add professionals to their preferred lists without knowing them; they will need to work with you first to make sure you are professional, reliable and experienced. There are different ways to establish a relationship and we’ll take a look at this in a future WeddingPreneurs Lounge post.
* Their role models / inspiration / celebrities? Do they like Jackie O or Kim Kardashian?
* Their style – Low-key, relaxed, backyard, rustic type of person or upscale, urban, chic, hip and cool, fashionable?
* Where they shop – Designer or doesn’t matter? Fashion victims or consignment store? Do they have a signature style? Think about furniture, attire, etc. Z Gallerie or flea markets? High heels or comfortable sandals? This can be a clue for their favorite wedding style – If they are the type of low-key and comfortable couple they might like an outdoor, beach wedding rather than a fancy ballroom one. Are you an outdoor type or a ballroom type of planner?
* What they eat – American or different cuisines every week? Eateries or fancy restaurants? Home cooked or catered / ordered online?
* What music they like
* Where they travel to – Exotic destinations or off the beaten track places?
* Hobbies – What they do in their spare time? Do they watch TV? Go to the movies? Go to concerts? Read books? Browse the Internet? Do you have the same interests?
* Where they hang out – This applies to online (social media channels, forums, communities) and offline (places they frequent: restaurants, shops, events)
* Involved in their community – Do they volunteer / donate to special causes? If this is your target client (maybe you do non-profit events in addition to weddings) then you should attend fundraisers and galas organized by non-profit associations and mingle with their guests. I found several clients just by donating my time at non-profit events and I created beautiful and long-lasting relationships with them
* Where they get inspired for their wedding – This is extremely important for your advertising! Don’t advertise on ethnic blogs and sites just because they’re beautiful and they have a high traffic if you don’t have experience with South Asian weddings, for instance. The same applies to blogs like Style Me Pretty if your style is for a different type of wedding couple
* Goals – What do they like / envision in their life? This can be reflected in their wedding vision
* What they fear / their challenges / their concerns – If they worry about financial stability in their life, this means they are very careful about money and they will be very careful about their wedding budget. It’s important that you provide extra care in this area because it will be a critical aspect of their wedding planning process
* How they make their decisions – Are they the ones who pay? Or, are the parents involved? if so, you have to be a great psychologist because sometimes the relationship between a mother who pays and her daughter (the bride) can be difficult if they don’t share the same opinions
* Adjectives they use – You should be able to understand and speak your ideal client’s language. If your ideal client is in her / his early 20s you should know the terms used by that generation. Today’s wedding couples are looking for affinity, not necessarily experience in a professional. They want a friend in their wedding planner or vendor, it doesn’t mean you have to have their same age but you should understand who they are and what they think. This is why I always tell my coaching clients who have been in the business for a while that they must know about millennials. These are the majority of our wedding clients nowadays, they might be different from your generation (they are from mine for sure!) and they have specific characteristics and needs. If you don’t understand their needs you won’t connect with them.
* Service needs – What solutions to their problems do they expect from you? Is it organization, baby sitting, creativity, financial advice, guidance, help with family dynamics?
Do they work full-time? If so, they might need you for a full-service assistance from start to finish. Focus on your full-service packages if that’s the case and make them attractive and irresistible! This might be for a very discerning bride or groom who wants unique and extremely personalized service. Craft your packages as such, make them feel like a very exclusive level of assistance just for them. I would also suggest that you remove the word “package” because it sounds too cookie cutter and replace it with a different term – I use “collection” which sounds like a very limited and exclusive one, just for them
Can there be two different ideal clients? In my case, yes and the same could be for you.
My ideal clients are two:
1) Woman, 30-33 years old, American, entrepreneur, college degree, sophisticated, living out of state, desiring a memorable celebration but with special touches and personalized details for friends and family. She is looking for a warm and inviting destination for a small wedding that highlights the beauty of Southern California (beach settings, and historical places such as the Hotel Del Coronado)
2) Woman, 28-30 years old, Middle Eastern or Asian heritage, living in town, career woman, college degree, traditional style with a twist. She wants to blend family traditions with innovative ideas. She is looking for a luxurious, impressive event production for family and friends, rich in details and surprises.
I could go on and on with this specific information but that gives you an idea of how you should craft your ideal client avatar.
I have a gift for you: My Client Avatar Template that you can download by filling out this form on my blog
Let me know if you need assistance with your client avatar creation. The process is not difficult but it takes time and you need to know your strengths and weaknesses, your style and what you can do for your wedding couples.
Creating a client avatar is part of my coaching programs and I will be very happy to assist you. Why don’t you schedule a FREE Clarity Call with me so that we can discuss in detail? Click on this link, select the day and time of your choice and we’ll video chat for an hour on Skype.
I also offer hourly consultations, we can discuss anything you need to start your business or to get unstuck if you’ve been around for a while and you can’t seem to find the right solutions to book clients and increase your sales.
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ Who is your ideal client? And how helpful is your client avatar? Share your thoughts below