There’s this really sexy word (or for some, scary) that starts with “s” called… strategy. It’s used over and over in the wedding industry, among website and brand designers, and coaches. But what the heck does strategy mean?
A lot of times, people who are talking about “strategy” aren’t actually talking about the same thing. In this post, I’m going to primarily focus on “brand strategy”, but I’m also going to mention “marketing strategy”, “website strategy”, and “SEO strategy”.
First, we have “brand strategy”, and that’s usually what I’m talking about with my clients and business owners who are getting ready to plan a rebrand or a website redesign. Brand strategy is the heart of your business – it’s your positioning in your market, your business’s personality, and makes up the roots of all of your branding design, website design, and thus, future marketing.
Then, you have “marketing strategy”, which is the thinking and process behind your marketing. It takes your brand strategy and target audience and helps you develop a plan for reaching your ideal clients through different marketing platforms. This encompasses everything from your email funnels and social media content pillars to your pinning strategy and website strategy. My business friend, Carissa Kruse, talks a lot about marketing strategy. Check out Carissa Kruse Weddings for more advice about building out funnels for your wedding business.
There’s also have “website strategy”, which is essentially planning out the client journey on your website, and the best ways to get people to take action through your website. As a studio, we also offer “SEO strategy”, which is taking a look at the mix of your brand strategy and website strategy and determining the best ways to reach your ideal clients on Google using Search Engine Optimization.
Brand strategy, like I mentioned, is the heart and the foundation of your business. It’s ultimately going to influence your marketing, website, and SEO. See how everything goes hand-in-hand?
We’ll go into this more in-depth in the following 5 tips, but essentially a brand strategy helps you navigate the next big steps for your business. If you’re stuck in the hamster wheel of grinding for leads, or keep worrying about your brand colors, those are clear signs you may need better brand strategy.
One common thing I hear from wedding vendors is that the market is too saturated. This is simply untrue and one of the reasons why I do what I do, specifically for creative businesses. A strong brand strategy can help your wedding business stand out from competitors who offer similar services or pricing, and are in a similar market.
Let’s say that you’re a wedding planner who has full-service planning packages for $9,000, and you’re in the Washington, D.C. area. Well, Sally down the street might be charging the exact same price for the same deliverables and she’s been living in the area longer. How are you supposed to stand out?
Brand strategy digs deep into your ideal clients and what sets you apart so that you can answer that very question.
A consistent brand strategy can help build trust and recognition among your target audience. Like I mentioned earlier, it can feel hard to stand out in the wedding industry when there are so many businesses out there. Brand strategy and branding design helps you gain recognition so that you’re drawing the eyes of your ideal clients.
Think about your experience the last time you went to Target. You probably walked through one set of doors, walked all over or directly to your destination (mine is personally the home section!), and then walked out a different set of doors. You might have stopped to look at the Magnolia home line, looked over which clothes were on sale, or picked up your go-to healthy and beauty products near the checkout section. And if you were feeling extra indulgent, you maybe even stopped for a Starbucks drink on the way in or out. How can I guess what path you took through Target? It’s because their brand is consistent.
Having a consistent brand that shows up time and time again allows your clients to know what to expect when they’re working with you. That can be very important considering that service-based businesses can be asking for upward of $10,000+ as an investment from their clients.
No, this one isn’t about Target, although I could write about that all day!
A clear and cohesive brand strategy can help you target your ideal audience and attract the clients you actually want to work with. We’re talking about people who will pay your prices and admire your skill. They see the value in hiring someone like you and – here’s the cool part – they might even become your friend because you could share a lot in common.
If you want some free help with figuring out your target audience, you can download my client archetype workbook here. It’ll walk you through how you can narrow down who your audience is and then get really specific on what their life looks like, so that you’re clear on why they’re investing in your services.
After walking through your brand strategy with a strategist, you should have a really well-defined idea of what your brand values are. These look different for everyone, and no one has exactly the same values in their work and business.
A unique value proposition helps you essentially amplify what’s most important to you, your team, and your business. Then, you shout it from the mountaintops so that your ideal clients can discover you and align themselves with your business.
Here are some examples of what that looks like:
– You’re a florist who is passionate about sustainable weddings, because you care about the environment. Your unique value proposition might be “sustainable florals for your big day”
– You’re a photographer who knows that there’s more to wedding photography than trends and having cool photos to post. You really value photography because it’s the documentation of a couple and their family’s story so that they can pass it on for generations. Your unique value proposition might be “documenting moments that will last lifetimes”
Neither of these examples are necessarily taglines, but they’re a start to get you going on the rest of your branding, which does include copywriting.
Having this well-defined can help you communicate your unique value proposition and why clients should choose your wedding business over other options.
Sometimes wedding business owners feel limited with who they can serve, especially because most vendors tend to be location based. I hear business owners regularly fearing that niching down will cause them to lose business. But, most of the time, that’s just not the case.
Building a brand strategy helps you get clear on who you’re meant to serve, so that you can prioritize reaching those people. The more that you reach the right people, the more you’ll get referrals from your favorite clients. This will help build up a business that thrives on referrals and marketing that connects with the right people.
With that, you have the freedom to expand into other markets (maybe a new geographical location, or another pricing tier!). You can also expand to other services, like passive income options, virtual services, or more tailored packages that you can charge more for.
The sky is the limit here, and getting clear on your brand strategy will open the doors to these opportunities.
If you’re not sure where to start with your brand strategy, you’re not alone! I have a couple ways to help wedding business owners just like you.
You can book a free call with me to discuss the first stepping stone to take. If you’re ready to dive in and get in-depth feedback on your strategy, you can also book a $300 brand audit. We’ll talk thoroughly about your goals and you’ll get a list of action steps for developing an effective brand strategy for your wedding business. Contact me to book either of these services.
Feel free to leave questions and comments below on the brand strategy process!
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