Business Takeoff: Define Your Style
In the first installment of the Business Takeoff series, let’s chat about defining your company’s style. You already know that you love the wedding/event industry and have a passion for being creative. Clients will hire you because they love the aesthetic you specialize in. When you are producing events that strongly evoke your niche aesthetic, your work will be better and you’ll have more fun. This niche aesthetic will be your focus. It’s what your brand will be built on and what people will pay gazillions (let’s aim high, yes?) of dollars for. They will give you free reign to be completely creative with the trust they feel from the visuals of your brand and prior work. Let your style, aka brand, speak to the type of work you are best at or, as I like to ask, “what’s your deal”? This is how:
Use Pinterest to create a mood board for the type of events you want to design. Are they loud and colorful? Are they inspired by pastels and watercolor? Are the events at the beach? In the city? In exotic destinations? Do you specialize in weddings, bat/bar mitzvahs, birthday parties? Fill this board with a bunch of visual representation of the mood, color palette, location, and aesthetic of the events you dream of doing.
2. Build an Ideal Client Mood Board:
Your clients are the peanut butter to your jelly, the Jay-Z to your Beyonce’, the spanx to that silky dress. You need them. They need you. More importantly, having clients that want to live inside your visual mood board, have the money to hire you, and trust you to produce a memorable experience are the ones you want. Figure out who they are by building an Ideal Client mood board on Pinterest. Hey, make it a private board, it’s just for you anyways. Are they a young couple? Older with successful careers? What kind of jobs to they have? Are they swimming in gold bars? Trying to throw a wedding on a conservative budget? What are their family values? Where do they shop? Target or Whole Foods? JcPenney’s or Barney’s?
3. Build your Top Ten List
Dave Letterman does a Top Ten list every night based around a simple theme. Your brand’s Top Ten list is built around a simple theme too: the aesthetics and experience of your brand. It’s ten words (or short phrases) that are the epitome of your business. Go back to your visual mood board and your client mood board. What common themes do you see emerging? Muted or bright colors? Funny or serious? Crude or senstive? Urban or country? You see what I’m getting at. For example, some of Sephora’s words might be: Try It First, No Hassles, Contemporary, Cutting Edge, Beautiful, Luxury. In contrast, Harmon’s might be: Coupons, Accessible, Choices, Inexpensive, Relatable. Write down your ten words or phrases. Live them. Dream about them. Get them tattooed on your boobs. Now, every time you post on social media, email a client, answer a phone call, design an event – ask yourself if it hits on the majority of those words. This is an easy way to help you keep a cohesive brand message across many platforms. It teaches prospective clients what to expect from you and builds trust that you will bring it to them. Great examples of companies who keep a consistent, visual, brand message are the instagram accounts of:
DesignLoveFest (colorful and interesting)
Hey Gorgeous Events (Feminine and Whimsical)
Sugar & Cloth (DIYs with beautiful white space)
Daily Something (Muted and Natural)
Through their instagram accounts, you know that if you want a feminine, beautitul, high-end event, you would hire Hey Gorgeous Events. If you’d prefer an organic, homemade, natural dinner party, go with Daily Something. These companies have done such a great job curating their instagram accounts with images that speak about their best work, that I would trust any of them 110% to execute a job. Gaining your client’s trust is very important, as easy way to do that is through a consistent visual brand message.