“If you try to please everybody, you’ll end up pleasing nobody.” If that statement rings true for you, you should also find it correlates perfectly to sales, as well. You may not feel like you’re a sales person, or even want to be one. But if you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner in the wedding industry, you are – in fact – in sales. Knowing your niche and perfecting your pitch will help you sell better.
So, let’s rephrase it: “If you try to sell to everybody, you’ll end up selling to nobody.”
Selling to nobody is a terrible feeling. Often it’s the trap you fall into when first starting out in the wedding industry. You want to land your first client as a florist, as a photographer, as a wedding planner, so you cast a wide net. But casting a wide net can often bring in nothing.
Know your niche.
Look at any photographer who tries to appeal to everyone.
Let’s examine the situation of a new photographer wanting to get her name out there.
Louise is a photographer who takes family photos, senior photographs, pregnancy portraits, photo shoots with small babies, engagements, as well as weddings. You’ve seen Louise before, a million times. Louise thinks that if she offers to take photos of anything and everything, then she will get more business. She builds a website with a portfolio that showcases a wide variety of random photos: babies, seniors, and happy couples.
Is this the right way to approach her fledgling photography business?
Absolutely not. Taking pictures of everything and targeting everyone is not the key to being successful The true key to success is specializing in one thing and taking the time to fine tune your personal style. This is how you become known for something. Trying to be everything to everyone? It really just doesn’t work.
The wide-spread “Spray and Pray” approach might net Louise some business, but she will never be known for anything in particular until she develops a specialty that is better and different than her competition.
Your niche is how you get known.
There are experts whose names everyone knows in the photography field.
Ansel Adams captures stunning black and white landscape images. Annie Leibovitz is known worldwide for her intimate celebrity portraits. Everyone has seen at least one of Anne Geddes’ baby portraits. These world-famous photographers did not become who they are by doing all kinds of photography. They found their niche and they became an expert at it!
Have you ever heard that “a jack of all trades is a master of none?” It’s a completely relevant point to bear in mind.
The key to success is finding a way to narrow down what your ideal client’s needs and wants are and giving it to just them – not trying to give something to everyone.
So how can Louise do better in this situation?
Start narrowing down your target.
If Louise chooses to continue to target everyone
, her marketing efforts will become diluted, and so will her skills. She might spend a small amount of time focusing on building various parts of her portfolio and promoting them in various ways, rather than committing her full amount of time to focusing on promoting her very best skill.
If Louise chooses to focus on being a wedding photographer, her time could be spent focusing on networking with many other wedding industry professionals: florists, wedding planners, dress shops, cake shops, wedding trade shows, wedding publications, etc. She could then build her brand as one an engaged couple would seek out. She could create services and packages that couples would love.
If Louise chose to remain a jack of all trades, she would be floundering around trying to contact everyone and be everything to everyone. By focusing her efforts on one aspect, she actually opens up her financial opportunities.
Choosing to focus on being a wedding photographer and connecting with other wedding industry professionals is how Louise can best establish her brand.
Your niche is your focus.
Review your professional offering and evaluate your services. Is there a way you can better focus your brand and therefore your marketing efforts?
The next step is optional, but if you’re already established in the wedding industry – what are you best known for? Is there a particular style that you work with most often? Consider tweaking your keywords and optimizing your website and social media accounts to include them. You may find that there is a bigger market for what you love to do the most.
This way, when someone in your network knows someone who needs your services they’ll think of you immediately because you will be the best at what you do. This niche can be identified by solving a problem or identifying a sub-culture of people who are passionate about something.
The most important way to illustrate how niches work is to consider heart surgery.
If you found out you needed to have heart surgery, would you want a general practitioner to perform that surgery? Or would you prefer to go to a heart surgeon? People trust professionals that specialize in what they do.
So, what’s your niche? Share what you do and what you specialize in below!