Selling to Niche Markets/Wedding Industry

Case study featuring a calligrapher who uses multiple strategies to market and grow her business.

 

Michigan-based calligrapher Jennifer Buck of Graceful Expressions offers a variety of services, but 60% of her business involves wedding-related projects. Her website lists at least 20 different products for a wedding that she can personalize with calligraphy.  She developed this list of services through client requests, researching the industry, and real-life experience planning her own wedding.

Since she is marketing to a niche audience, Jennifer uses many different strategies to get out the word about her business, which she markets locally. The results of her efforts are ongoing new projects and repeat business.

 

calligraphy

 

Let’s look at how she promotes her business:

  • Up-to-date website, easy to navigate with full information and photos
  • Testimonials – a full page of raving reviews on her website
  • Numerous awards for her work promoted on her site as well build credibility
  • Backlinks from local and national wedding websites drive web traffic
  • Participates in regional bridal show events 2-3 times a year and follows up with brides-to-be
  • Pulls engagement notices from local paper and sends a congratulatory card to the bride with note about her services
  • Partners with wedding planners, florists and stationery shops, who offer her services to customers, at a markup
  • Has obtained press coverage in local and national magazines
  • Referrals – one of her best sources of business, Jennifer says she can “trace one client to eight other clients”
  • Repeat business – a major source of new work, Jennifer recalls doing five different projects for one family, including three weddings
  • Cross-selling related services -She offers baby shower invitations and announcements to clients who have used her wedding services

 

calligraphy

 

Jennifer also offers extras that build value into her services:

  • Referral program (discounts on other projects)
  • Offers “envie party” events for brides and bridesmaids to work together on invitations and “save-the-dates”
  • Can accommodate rush orders
  • Very complete information on her website about ink, paper, and proper address, that educate and build confidence in prospective customers

What niche markets does your business sell to? How can you research the industry, and find creative ways to promote your own work?

 

Photo credit Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood

Comments

  1. great questions! got a few answers but what additional services can a start up art gallery offer? our niche market is the yoga community.

    • Udaysree, I checked out your site and looks like you are having receptions and special events at your gallery. Check out how Siyeh Glass came up with a unique strategy to bring visitors into their gallery.http://bit.ly/ozGGNh Could you think up your own out-of-the-box strategy?

  2. always happy to receive inspiration. open to your ideas.

  3. What a great post.

    I especially loved this –

    ‘Pulls engagement notices from local paper and sends a congratulatory card to the bride with note about her services’

    What a great idea!

    • I loved that she does this too. Every detail of your marketing plan can lead to great opportunities. What a great way for Jennifer to advertise her calligraphy, because she is literally sending a sample!

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