So you’re looking at ways you can be booking high-end wedding clients? Of course you are. And if you can keep your sanity and charge more without needing to work longer hours, that would be great too, wouldn’t it? I agree.
Whether you’re newer to the industry or you’re carrying a decade of experience– these factors play a vital role in the clients you’ll attract and book. It only takes one nightmare client to realize that your own career livelihood depends on working with the right kind of clients for you. You can adjust who the “right” high-end client is for your business, using this post to help you make the appropriate shifts moving forward.
In this post we are going to look at how you can do that by focusing on 4 key areas:
Simply put, a high-end client is someone who values experience and quality over just the lowest price and quickest timeline. That doesn’t mean they’ll always pay the highest price, or that they will have lots of spare time leading up to their event. But rather they will take the experience and quality into consideration when reviewing prices and services.
These types of leads will not be afraid to review the services of a higher priced provider. From there, it’s up to you to make sure they understand the full value of your services so that they feel confident that your prices are appropriate for what you offer. If your prices are higher than a competitor and you do nothing to differentiate why that’s the case, you can assume you’ll lose that client to the competitor with the lower price.
If you’re newer to the wedding industry this is an incredible opportunity to research the local competition as well as some non-local industry colleagues and create an online presence that stands out from those who may have an outdated website or marketing approach.
On the flip side, if you’ve been at this for a few years now and receive a steady supply of leads from referrals and word of mouth you have a different opportunity. Consider how you can incrementally raise your price quote to those leads with a website and online social presence that supports this pricing.
Service providers are in a position of continually evolving and improving because of the type of work they do. So it’s realistic to take that increased knowledge and experience and tie it in to how you price your services. But, if everything your leads see about you still represents the work you were doing 5 years, or even 1 year ago, it will be harder to convince them to consider paying more than the friends who referred them to you in the first place.
As you read each of these it’s important to remember that if you promote yourself as a business capable of serving this type of client well, then you must be able to deliver. This looks like having the back-end of your business stable even if clients don’t ever see this part. Creating a facade that you’re set up to serve high-end clients is not sustainable and can cause more harm to your business, finances, and reputation in the long run.
Don’t over-sell yourself if you know you’re beyond your capabilities. Not only is it bad for your business, but it’s completely unfair and unethical to those who choose to allow you to make their wedding dreams come true. Always remember that your clients are humans first. They deserve integrity, and at the least, they deserve what they pay for. Your easiest option when you realize a client is looking for more than what you can deliver is to refer them to someone who is a better service fit.
This type of trust and relationship building can continue to reward your business for years to come. So don’t be too disappointed when this happens. Know that you can use this time to continue building your business to that level and that you may, in fact, receive new referrals from that lead or other business as a thank you in the future.
Your high-end client is going to be looking for a customized experience. No cookie-cutter solutions for them. Does this mean you can’t create systems, processes, and packages in. your business if you want to work with this type of client? No. It just means you’ll need to ensure your communication, package, and services feel customized to each of your clients as they interact with you.
There are plenty of ways to make this happen. Email workflows can be adjusted so that specific packages receive certain emails more relevant to them. Packages can be all-inclusive, or tiered, so that you are easily able to accommodate their specific vision without extra headache or profit loss on your end.
Think about buying a car. At the end of the day you may very well go home with a new car. But the process and experience in finding the car, test driving, negotiating the price, finalizing paperwork, etc. can be anything from downright excruciating to pleasant and satisfying. That’s all part of the experience.
Your high-end clients care very much about the exceptional service they receive for themselves, those helping them plan their wedding, and the guests who will be part of this occasion with them. These experiences begin long before the wedding day and continue on through the day itself as you conclude services with your client.
Your “brand” has many different facets. Everything from the tones of your website, how you communicate, the words you want others to say when describing your style and services to the images you choose for social media. What matters is that you create consistency between these things so that you are recognizable and distinguished in what you offer.
Confidence isn’t always being the loudest or the pushiest. Don’t imagine that displaying confidence means morphing yourself into something you aren’t. Confidence is simply knowing, and sharing well, that you know exactly what you are capable of offering prospective clients. Confidence can be shared through your website, testimonials, pricing, and how you guide clients through the decision making process when they are deciding whether to book with your business.
This type of client consistently shares that venues are one of, if not, their most important decision as they begin planning for their wedding. The venue itself sets the tone for the experience that high end clients are looking for. And make capturing breathtaking, stunning imagery of their day easier. Both will be important to your high end clients.
Knowing venues and/or establishing relationships with venues that are a good brand representation of your clients’ style will be helpful. Likewise, building great relationships with photographers you can refer your clients to will help them and you. You’ll continue to have a current, beautiful collection of images to represent your services. This will help you continue to attract those dream clients you love working with.
If you’re going to book more high-end wedding clients you’ll need to know what they care about before they’ll even reach out to you. Let’s look at a few things that typically matter more to those high-end clients. Here we go…!
These clients believe that differentiating themselves from other similar events matters. They are looking for ways to incorporate “wow-worthy” elements into their event through exclusivity, artistry, and beauty. They’ll be looking for clues that you can offer this as soon as they begin looking for a vendor and when they discover your business for the first time.
Google, word of mouth, and referrals are all very common ways that these clients will be looking for their specific wedding service providers. Finding ways to lean into these resources will help you find and book more of your ideal clients.
Your prospective clients will immediately be reflecting on how they feel about your brand as much as they are looking at the information behind your services. Those who feel a strong connection to your style and vibe are more likely to reach out and consider paying a premium price to work with you.
The average engagement for couples right now is 15 months. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t already looking at and planning for their wedding beforehand. The majority of couples report that they were looking into the details of their wedding before they were officially engaged. This means you have an opportunity to begin attracting future clients by providing value to them before they’re ready to book. Places like social media, free download planning guides, and blog posts can help clients find you and keep you top of mind when they are ready to begin the booking process.
This doesn’t mean high end clients are all bridezillas. It just means they are looking for things like good communication, timeliness, and prompt responsiveness from the moment they reach out. If you don’t want to be available 24/7 (and you shouldn’t be!) you can curb this by sharing your office hours on the contact form of your website. Then, when you respond within that window, you begin to build trust with them that you’ll follow through as you state you will without having to sell your soul (and sleep!) to every new lead, their mom, best friend, and whoever else is helping to plan the wedding.
Luxury is best defined as above average. Everything we’ve gone over so far supports a luxurious experience. Whether you term it that way or not, doesn’t really matter. Many providers will coin their business as a “luxury” photographer, planner, etc. This can be helpful in knowing how to stand out from those competitors when you are both offering great service to high-end clients.
However, just because a business markets themselves as luxury doesn’t mean they deliver that quality of service. It can be frustrating to see mediocre providers throwing that word into their promotional content in attempts to charge more. This is why you must support why you can deliver on what you’re promising.
Make it easy for your clients to review your website and another business and know exactly why they want to work with you over them- no matter how they try to sell themselves. High end clients want to know what makes you unique.
1 The sooner you can deliver the unexpected and exceed the wishes of your clients, the better.
2 Luxurious (above average, exclusive) events find ways to tap into all five senses throughout the mood, settings, quality and character.
3 These types of events need to find ways to send guests home happy. How can your business help with that? How can you share that to your leads from the moment they discover you?
4 Luxurious events are often described as fun, unforgettable, with can’t-miss exquisite details.
5 High end wedding clients want an event that offers a sense of anticipation and uninvited envy (I.e. “I wish I was there for that!!”)
6 You can expect delicious food, Instagram-worthy photo backdrops, and incredible lighting at luxurious events.
According to Martha Stewart Weddings, “major life events are becoming more and more about the couple of the moment — if these touches are any indication, weddings are becoming more personalized than ever before.”. Suggestions include focusing on the aesthetic, going organic, incorporate smell, surprise them with color, choose a non-traditional venue. Source
Do you need help identifying what distinguishes your wedding business and how you are especially able to attract the right high-end clients for your business through your brand, marketing, or website? I’m available for a free call at katiemtaylor.co/contact. Tell me how I can help and we’ll get something scheduled together soon!