Think about the businesses that you go out of your way to include in your life because their values align with your values. Can you think of them off of the top of your head? For me, there are so many but some of the first to come to my mind when this question was posed to me were Patagonia, Starbucks, Lilly Pulitzer and Target. I choose to include them regularly in my life because of their values of equality, inclusion, joy, delivering a high quality product, environmental conservation, choosing happiness and always providing a consistently wonderful experience.
Just like not all coffee shops are alike (when you want Starbucks, you want Starbucks), not all photographers are alike. The goal of a creative small business owner is not for the potential client to see you as just a name in a large pile of photographers who might shoot their wedding. Oh? You're a photographer that is in our budget. Cool. You're hired.
The goal is always to be in the minds of potential clients before they even need you! Of course I always want brides who know they have to have me the moment the ring is on their finger. Working towards that is hard... positioning myself in a very oversaturated market is like standing in my yard while a plane flies overhead and hoping that not just someone or anyone on the plane will notice tiny little me flailing my arms but that my ideal client - the perfect, buttery-sweet, genuine, beautiful bride - will see me. Hey! Over here! Pick me, pick me!
I'm working on strengthening my positioning and admittedly, I have a long way to go. I know who my ideal client is but tailoring every aspect of my business to them is scary. For so long I didn't want to isolate myself from wonderful brides just because they weren't my "ideal client". It seems selfish almost. But what I'm learning is that my business is better, my product is better, my work is better and I am better when I'm working with couples who share my values.
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