If you’ve found yourself biting off more work than you can chew, and perhaps not getting the clients that you really want, it might be the perfect time to start thinking about finding a niche.
What is a niche? Essentially, it’s having a specialty or area in the events industry that suits your talents and skills. Some argue that by choosing a niche and marketing yourself to a “smaller” audience, you’re limiting your potential. But in reality, finding your specialty will actually have the opposite effect, and will help you shine in your industry.
Benefits of a Niche
By embracing a specific niche, you will see a transformation of your business into something that has focus and is bringing in the clients you have been seeking all along. Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group explains, “Let go of the idea that you can be the master of it all, and embrace the areas where you thrive. If you start marketing yourself within a specialty, it will be easy to stand out from the competition and put yourself in front of the type of client you want to book."
Another benefit of having a niche business is how it can elevate the customer experience. Your dedication to your specialty will undoubtedly impress clients by making them feel as though they are truly in the hands of an expert. Paula Ramirez of Historic Mankin Mansion in Richmond, Va., says, “We purchased, restored and curated this estate specifically for weddings, and because that's all we do, our devotion is limitless to our clients.”
Defining Your Niche
You may initially think this will be the most difficult part of the process, but it’s easier than you think. Sit down and really think about where your passion is, what areas you excel in, and where your co-workers or associates are asking you for advice.
Look through photo galleries and see which events really stick out to you as your favorites, and why. Your niche has likely been sitting there waiting for you to discover it!
Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards in Livermore, Calif., remembers how she discovered her niche--sales. “I got a second job waiting tables at a small restaurant that held wedding and corporate events. I soon discovered how much I enjoyed helping with the planning process and working through logistics. Working for a small business allowed me to be exposed to every aspect of the industry, from the kitchen washing dishes to setting up the venue and designing centerpieces. That exposure helped me learn that sales and planning were my strengths.”
Promoting Your Niche
Once you’ve defined your niche and started putting it into practice, you’ll want to begin taking steps to establish your expertise. The quickest and easiest way is to start promoting your work on your own website, social media channels and blog.
Guest writing on other blogs is another great option to consider, as it gives you third-party credibility. Start by reaching out to your local market and see if anyone is looking for guest content. For wedding professionals, submissions of your work to relevant blogs and magazines is something that couples look for, and will help get you in front of a larger audience.
If you’re interested in taking your expertise to the next level, speaking is the ultimate platform. You’ll want to develop your topics and start small—locally--and work your way up to a national level or even international level.
Finding your niche is going to open up lots of doors for you and your business and will absolutely help your business grow. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be on your way!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.