In 2011 I quit my office job and started a business as a Wedding Photographer.
I did all the right things every serious Business Owner should:
I retrained and got qualified in digital photography
I did a couple of family weddings for free, so I got experience and made a portfolio
I wrote a 10 page business plan and created a Limited company
I built a website, a blog, a Facebook page and an Instagram account
I advertised my business in magazines and online directories and exhibited at wedding fairs
I did everything I was supposed to.
But after 5 years it wasn't going well:
I wasn't getting organic enquiries and I struggled to find clients
I wasn't making enough money so I needed a part time job to prop up my income
I had no confidence in my work and I had imposter syndrome
I ended the business in 2016 when my son was born and vowed never to run my own business again because - for all the effort I put in - I clearly wasn't very good at it.
Today I am self employed and I run a successful web design business. I set the business up in October 2020 and it has been going from strength to strength for 12 months.
So this is why my first business didn't succeed:
I didn't have a strong brand, so I didn't stand out and my marketing wasn't memorable
I didn't define my niche, so I blended in with all the other wedding photographers and their marketing
I didn't have a content strategy, so my marketing wasn't focused or with purpose making it pointless
I didn't sell the benefits of my service, so I didn't connect with my target market (if I knew who they were)
I didn't have my own values, I copied my competitors marketing rather than making my business my own
I didn't have a vibe or add any of my own personality to my marketing, which meant it wasn't unique
I ticked off the practicalities of running a business, like qualifications, experience, business plan, website etc - but I didn't understand or know how to market myself properly.
My current business benefits from:
A very bold, unique and recognisable brand that has a positive and funky vibe and I'm not afraid to be me in my marketing content (I use my kind of language and give my opinions)
I sell Business to Business, which I have found is much easier than selling Business to Personal because I can network more easily with other businesses and they understand it's an investment into their business.
I work with other ladies (mostly mums) who are running a small business or starting a small business, in the Salisbury area, so it's easy to find them, connect with them, work with them and get recommendation or referrals.
Sexy Selling Point
I sell the benefits of my services, rather than trying to relate to people pain points or selling the features of my service. And I've found the balance I need to create the right message.
My Basic Marketing Advice
This is my basic marketing advice to you ..
Create a strong and unique brand that is personal to you and create your business vibe
Define your niche and decide what you want to offer and then who you want to work with
Run your business the way you want to, with your values and put this in your message
Make sure you website and social media all work together - not as separate entities
Be consistent with your social media and have a goal / purpose with your content
Sell the benefits of your business, not just your features
But if you would like further support, please get in touch to discuss x
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