Sell Yourself Before You Sell Your Service
What if I told you to sell yourself before you sell your service? That YOU are the best asset to your business?
Especially if you’ve already found your style in an oversaturated market, it's essential to set yourself apart from the crowd. You - the human, not the business owner - are the perfect solution to the problem. When you learn to sell yourself first, you’re making sure that your clients book because they couldn’t imagine working with anyone else.
Your website and your social media pages should reflect who you are, where you are, and what your mission is.
Here are some things to consider to show up for your brand and allow people to get to know who they'll be working with.
For your website:
Make sure within seconds of browsing your home page, potential clients know who you are, where you are, and what your mission is. Your home page sets the precedent and the energy for the rest of your website. Make it easy to navigate while staying true to your style.
Don't throw away your About page. Use this prime real estate to let people in on what you love and value. There is SO much opportunity for connection here. What are your hobbies and weird interests? What is important to you? Family, travel, pop music, sandwiches? This page isn't solely for the story of how you picked up a camera. People want to know about YOU as a human.
Consider having social proof spread throughout your website instead of all on its own page. Social proof is the concept that people will follow the actions of others. This includes things like where your work has been featured, client testimonials, vendors that recommend you, and blogs establishing your expertise.
Use specific language for who you want to work with. “Working with couples in love” doesn’t tell us a whole lot. By defining this on your website and social media, it will help draw the right people in. It doesn't always have to be explicitly said - if you build a website that reflects you and your work, it could be an organic process. For example, if your branding has a lot of natural elements like leaves and flowers with colors like greens and browns, you'll probably be attracting boho, nature-loving, outdoorsy couples.
For your Instagram:
Consider sharing your everyday life. I always joke that "everything is content," but it's true! If you’re a parent, if you love to cook, if you have an adorable pet, if you love to travel… share it! If this is too overwhelming, find a few different things to start with. This is an easy way to create relationships, and allows viewers who connect with your message to swipe up or leave a comment.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in. This isn’t only about drawing in your ideal client, it’s also about repelling the ones who you wouldn’t vibe with anyway. You should be a good fit for your clients just as much as they should be a good fit for you.
Show your face! I know my introverts have a hard time with this, but it does two things - it helps build that connection, and it helps build trust. People want to get to know the human behind the brand.
Once you start putting yourself out there, watch what works. Are people loving the recipes you make? The music you listen to? The house renovations you’re working on? Keep sharing!
Remember social proof? The best social proof out there is your reputation, inside the industry and out. I've found the best way to build a good reputation is by serving others. Go into an event or a shoot with service in mind. Remember - you’re not just shooting/planning/decorating an event. You’re creating an entire experience for your clients. Serve them, serve their parents, serve their wedding party, serve the other vendors.
Treat everyone so well that they can’t help but refer you.
Selling yourself also means focusing on your client experience. What are you doing differently than everyone else? What kind of value are you delivering beyond a beautiful finished product? How are you expressing love and gratitude toward your clients? Service starts the moment they inquire, and should last beyond their wedding day. For more on Client Experience, check out the transcript or listen to the podcast episode I did with Rebecca Sigety Photography.
Here's the bottom line (literally):
Allow your clients to get to know you so that they only want YOU at their wedding.