when it comes to your wedding planning business, What is an ideal client?
An ideal client is a person or couple that needs your wedding planning services and wants to work with you specifically. You provide the perfect solution to their wedding planning woes with your wedding planning service. The ideal client is someone that knows about you before they are even engaged, they follow you on Instagram, they trust your guidance, sing your praises and tell all their engaged friends that they must work with you.
You love planning weddings and deserve clients that appreciate your work and will pay full price.
By identifying your ideal client, you will create the foundation for your entire business and really sharpen your marketing. Marketing will get easier because you will always be talking to your ideal client. No more spending extra time agonizing over a rustic wedding photo or a modern museum wedding photo for your next Instagram post. Once you know who your ideal client is, all you need to do is ask yourself “Does this appeal to my ideal client?”
Meet Natalie, my ideal client
My ideal client’s name is Natalie and my wedding business (and sanity) were completely different before I clearly identified Natalie.
Before I met Natalie
Before Natalie, I felt like I was chasing leads. Couples regularly asked for a discount and wanted to negotiate on price. I gave into those price requests because I just wanted to get them booked. I was marketing to “people getting married in wine country” and “people getting married in Jackson Hole.” I didn’t know who I was specifically marketing too.
I felt like a wedding factory. A very tired wedding factory. I had couples that I loved working with, they were thrilled with my work and we are still in touch on Instagram. At the time, I didn’t know that these couples were my ideal client.
I saw common threads between my favorite clients, but I couldn’t really pinpoint many details. I had not taken the time to sit down and really think through and get to know this client that I loved working with and appreciated my work.
After I met Natalie
It took a long time for Natalie and me to meet. I had an idea of who this person was, but I had not taken the time to get to know her story, values, pastimes and priorities.
Then one year I reached out via email to a client that was a dream to work with, I wanted to work with more clients just like her. I picked her brain about why she chose us to be her wedding planner.
Finally, one day I printed a bunch of ideal client worksheets from the internet, filled them out and met Natalie. I drew a picture of her, with her fiance, their rescue dog, their life interests, even the type of cell phone they each have and notes about their wedding. I used to think it was so hooey to make a drawing of an ideal client, but I gave it a try. I put the drawing of Natalie on my white board next to my computer.
Now that I know Natalie, my sales have drastically changed. I know before I even talk to a potential client on the phone, if they are an ideal client and we are a good match. Very few people negotiate on price and if they do it’s because they feel like they are supposed to negotiate, not because they don’t value my wedding planning services. They are genuinely interested in working with us, rather than stumbling across our website and contacting us to get prices to compare to other wedding planners.
Three steps to identify your ideal wedding client:
Make a list of your all time favorite clients. If you don’t have many clients yet, make a list of the type of people you would like to work with (use names). Think about the weddings you loved working with and the clients that adored your work.
Find worksheets online, or better yet use our worksheet. The more you can research and learn about your ideal client, the higher quality couples you will book (and at full price). Call or email your favorite past clients and ask if you can talk to them. If you don’t have clients yet, you can contact the people that resemble who you would like to work with. Ask them questions from the worksheets. This is not as intimidating as it sounds.
This last part seemed cheesy to me at first, but once I did it it became very valuable. Literally, create a visual of your ideal client. Maybe you’ll do a drawing, collage, sculpture, painting, animation, whatever you like! Then name your ideal client. Put your ideal client in a spot where you will see them each day, as a reminder of who you are talking to in your marketing.
Always talk to your ideal client in your wedding planner marketing
Now that you’ve identified your own ideal client for your wedding planning business, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. It’s time to take the guesswork out of your marketing. Whenever you are doing anything with marketing, be sure you are talking to your ideal client and only your ideal client (not those thousands of other people that also have a pulse and a credit card).
Ask yourself “would this appeal to _____ (name of your ideal client)?” You want your ideal client to feel like you are talking to them specifically and you understand them.
Now, go forth and discover your ideal client. Don’t forget to name your ideal client. Take the guesswork out of your marketing by always talking to your ideal client and only your ideal client.