There are so many ways to capture the eyes of potential clients these days ... the old ways of a 'business plan' that is the streamlined path to greatness seems to be dating itself IMO. When I am coaching my wedding professional clients we talk about the different types of 'nets' they should be casting and how to engineer those nets to capture their ideal clients.
I think the first thing we need to establish is what different kinds of 'nets' are there that you should be casting out at all times:
Your Website: This is what you need to close any deal IMO ... because if all your other casted nets lead your potential clients to this place and there is an escape route (being that it sucks) then bye-bye fish. Your website should be the supportive system that makes all the other nets work well ... whatever gorgeous work you are putting out there in the world should be magnified 10 times greater on your website
Your Instagram Feed: Is there anything greater right now than IG!!?? I really don't think there is! And that statement coming from someone who just a few months ago on this very blog said the words: I am not Instagram passionate << yikes!!! My clients and I form Instagram strategies for their individual business goals so that when they post on IG they have a purpose. You should never just 'blind Instagram' unless you aren't using it for business purposes ... if you are using it to grab the attention of clients make sure you form a strategy that supports your business goals.
Your Blog: Are you blogging?? I sure hope so!! This ties into having your website in ship-shape to make sure all the other nets you cast help bring in the type of clients you want to keep. Clients will most likely go to one of two places first when they pop in to your website: Your Portfolio or Your Blog. Brides these days want to see 'the pretty' they want to see YOUR WORK visually ... they want to form a bond or an emotional connection ... is your blog ready for them??
Your Network: Who are you networking with and connecting with in your industry? Are you working on meeting new professionals in your area? This is so important! This net can birth new nets for you! If someone likes you and likes what you have to offer they could throw out a net for you and refer your services to their clients! But it's work: you can't just sit there being awesome and expect people to talk about you ... networking is a job in itself and it takes practice.
Advertising: Do you have an advertising strategy? I hope so! I hope you aren't just throwing money at the wind and hoping something sticks ... I feel like there is an attitude out there right now that advertising is a waste of money ... yet I have clients who watched their business decline and when I ask them where they advertise they say: Oh, I stopped advertising << is this just a coincidence?? I think not. If you ONLY advertise and then just sit around waiting for money to grow on the plant near your desk then 'of course it's not going to work the way you want' ... but if you look at advertising as another net cast into the sea of clients you want then it changes things up a bit!
Bonus Post: Make Sure You Have An Advertising Strategy
>> The Old Ways Are Gone - Embrace The New <<
I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about the generation gap when it comes to business models and it's important to consider if you feel your business is declining ... there are young businesses who are growing over night because they are using the new ways and they are great at it! Don't get comfy in your business model! Don't get comfy with your branding! Getting comfy is a bad sign ... you should always feel the need to kick ass and be the best and if you are sitting over there reading this with your blankie and your binkie and you realize: sh*t, I am feeling super comfy right now ... then you better get to work, b*tch << because this is the time a young 'ready to kick ass all over the place' company is going to sneak up and pounce on your potential clients.