Episode 262: 3 Branding Tips For High-End Service Providers

March 1, 2023

Fellow high-end service provider, you won’t want to miss this episode for three easy-to-implement branding tips to reach your dreamy luxury clients. ✨

In today’s episode, I am sharing a handful of the most impactful branding strategies that I’ve seen in my 11+ years as a brand designer and strategist to reach and consistently connect with high-end clients.

Whether you are a photographer, a wedding planner, a floral designer, or any other creative inviting your clients into an elevated high touch experience, there are always actions that you can take to better serve your clients, grow your brand, and as a result, positively impact your business’ bottom line.

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Review the transcript:

Please note this transcript has been auto generated and may contain typos.

Bonnie (00:07):
Hi, friend, and welcome to the Brand Strategy Podcast, a show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity you need to build a brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie bti, brand designer, strategist, and founder of the Illume Retreat from sustainable Strategy to heartfelt Encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams, because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, connects with your dream clients, and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey, won’t you?

Bonnie (00:44):
Hey, y’all. Before we dive into today’s episode, I wanna share a quick announcement. Our schedule here on the Brand Strategy Podcast is about to change for a little while. Instead of getting new episodes every single week on Wednesdays, we’re gonna be going to a biweekly schedule, which means you’re gonna be seeing new episodes, both solo episodes and guest interviews here on the podcast every other week starting in March, we’re gonna be following this schedule, and this is in order to continue to show up and share quality, educational free content for you, but in a way that really just better aligns with my capacity at this point in time. I’m such a big advocate for structuring your business in a way that works for you, and I’m committed to living out those values and practicing what I preach. So this is me updating you about what is going on and, uh, you know, kind of what that change looks like.

Bonnie (01:50):
And also this is me , um, you know, honestly living out my values. So I’m excited to introduce you to the content that is lined up for March and April. We have some fantastic episodes, some incredible guests who are coming in sharing their expertise. So there’s a lot oh goodness, in store for you. But I wanted to keep you posted because in case you are a longtime listener, a subscriber, a regular around here, Jenna didn’t want you to open up your app one day and be like, what’s going on, , where’s the new episode? It’s coming. You are not missing anything. We’re just changing our schedule for a bit. And so without further ado, here’s today’s episode. Hey friends, welcome back to the Brand Strategy podcast. We’re, today we’re talking about three of my best tips for high end service providers. In the 11 years that I have been a brand designer and strategist, I have spent the majority of those years working almost exclusively with higher end service providers.

Bonnie (03:00):
So I know a thing or two about what it takes to not only create a brand that resonates at those high end price points, but also what goes into creating an experience and revamping a business model so that it feels more luxurious and it connects with people at that higher level, the kind of people who are willing to invest in your work, who are ready and excited to make that commitment to working together and who appreciate the expertise and the value that goes into the work that you’re doing for them. So whether you are a photographer, a wedding planner, an event planner, a florist, a um, maybe you’re a a fellow designer, whoever you are, whatever industry you’re in, if you’re working with high-end clients or you’re wanting to make that shift to work with high-end clients, then today’s episode is gonna walk you through three steps you can take to make that a reality.

Bonnie (04:03):
Now, over the years that I have worked with my own incredible clients, one thing that I’ve seen over and over again is there comes a time in your business journey where you realize that you want to make that switch where you want to start booking high-end clients, you want to start charging premium prices for your services. And like anyone, you want that to feel effortless to be this kind of easy transition. And as you start that journey, it’s important to remember that this is a process. This is not gonna happen overnight, but if you’re approaching it with intention, if you are setting clear goals and you are taking aligned action, it’s going to happen for you. In the years that I’ve worked with my own incredible clients, um, I have seen exactly how thoughtful branding intentional strategy can create this kind of impact. Looking back, there have been years where I’ve worked with clients and we went from a brand that felt outdated or that wasn’t serving them well to a brand that easily effortlessly books $50,000 projects or lands celebrity clients.

Bonnie (05:21):
I’m, you know, looking back over my career and I’m seeing these brands that I’ve built for my incredible clients that empower them to consistently connect with their ideal clients at those premium prices. And their clients are investing in those premium prices because they understand that the level of experience is commiserate with that price point. And so they’re excited to get started. So let’s get into some practical ways that you can start to make that a reality for yourself as a high-end service provider. Now, I do do kind of, I like to always start this conversation with a little bit of a caveat, and that is that, um, we want for the moves that we make in our businesses to feel genuine. I think that it’s easy to understand how from a client standpoint, if you’re doing something that is disingenuous, that’s gonna come through. So, um, you know, I know here, let’s, let’s be honest, you are the kind of person who’s tuning into this podcast.

Bonnie (06:25):
You and I, we are not those kinds of people. We don’t run our businesses in that way, but sometimes, uh, we can make moves that aren’t 100% in alignment with our values. And so I encourage you, before you make a big shift in your business, whether you’re an established high-end service provider or you’re wanting to, um, kind of break into that market, make sure that your level of experience is on point with those prices. That you are not only going to be charging more for your services, but that you are delivering at that level. Because the kinds a clients that are gonna be working with you at these higher points are expecting a certain quality of the experience. And so we want to be serving them because we want what is best for them. We want for the work that we do to add value to their life, to create some kind of transformation that serves them well.

Bonnie (07:22):
So let’s keep that in mind as we dive into, um, these points that I wanna share with you today. And what I was just sharing kind of segues into my first point, and that’s focus on the experience. The way that brands market to high-end audiences begins with an experience instead of a solution. So luxury clients, in my experience, are not caught up in that kind of problem, solution based marketing, um, that we’ve seen at lower priced offers. Let me kind of break it down in this way. Um, problem solution-based marketing looks like this. This is your problem and here’s the solution, right? You, um, if you’re a photographer and you’re selling Lightroom presets, right? The problem is your customers want to have beautifully, consistently edited photos, but they don’t have the time or maybe the experience to play around in Lightroom to get all the settings right?

Bonnie (08:25):
So the solution you are done for you preset packs so that editing your images on the go is such a breeze. You’re creating an on-brand in consistent look every single time and just, you know, a couple taps of, uh, you know, a button on your phone. It’s so easy. So anyway, when you look at that, right, that’s gonna be a lower cost product. And that’s an example of kind of that problem and solution based marketing that doesn’t really translate, translate seamlessly when we start getting into luxury markets or higher end markets. And that’s because the kinds of people who are, uh, investing in your services at that price point are in a different headspace most of the time. I don’t wanna make a blanket statement, so we’ll just say, most of the time they’re in a different head space, they’re more attracted to an experience that enhances their lives and adds value than one that is kind of like a bandaid to a problem that they’re experiencing.

Bonnie (09:26):
So one easy way to do this is to look at your messaging and ask yourself, is my messaging painting a clear picture of what life will look like when my high-end client hires me? When we start thinking about the dream, so to speak, that you’re creating for your ideal client, you are able to use your words to paint this picture of that dream. You’re pointing them towards this offer that you want to leverage to show them of how good life can be, how easy, how full of fun, how joyful, how special, how unique, right? And that is messaging that we can use on all of our different platforms on your website. You can focus on kind of working in imagery on your website through your portfolio that evokes that kind of feel. Um, we, we look more at emotion as a way to, uh, kind of create that connection.

Bonnie (10:30):
And so you can use that emotion that, um, maybe that status or that expertise through your social media content, through your email marketing, wherever it is really that you’re showing up. It could even be in face-to-face conversations with industry friends or potential clients or past clients, right? You are focusing on helping your ideal client visualize how great life is gonna be if they work with you, and that’s the dream that they’re experiencing. When high-end clients start to see how your work can help them achieve that dream, um, then they’re already starting to buy in to this process of what it can look like to work with you. And that’s where we actually start getting to my second point, which is inspire emotion. As a high-end service provider, it is key that you are focusing on making your clients feel something. And that’s how we are able to go deeper than just a financial transaction, but we’re able to start building a relationship.

Bonnie (11:32):
If we look at some of our kind of iconic luxury brands in the market, we can look at their marketing over time and we can even look at our own interactions if we’ve had interactions with them personally over time to kind of see how they consistently bring us back to them because we feel something specific when we engage with them. So if we think back to what I was just sharing, kind of that concept, right, of describing the dream that your work is gonna offer your ideal client, right? Emotion is a massive player in that process. The words that you use to paint a picture, um, for your ideal client can actually inspire the specific kind of emotion that you want your people to feel in order to better appreciate your signature approach the work that you do, um, or to put them in the right kind of mindset so that they can be receptive to the offer that you’re gonna make them.

Bonnie (12:32):
So emotion can show up in many different ways throughout your brand. It can be the copy on your website, the imagery on your website, in your portfolio. It could be in your marketing, it could be in the conversations you have. It could be with your client experience, any tangible touchpoints that you might have. It can be in your color palette and your, um, type hierarchy and your logo. I mean, gosh, do I sound like a designer or what? Like that list could go on and on and on because there’s so many possible ways to weave that emotion into your brand experience. And high end brands, service providers who are at that level understand the opportunity that those touchpoints have, which is why I consistently see them investing in the professional support of a brand strategist, a brand designer, a website designer, the people that can help them bring this vision to life and execute it at that high level, right?

Bonnie (13:29):
You have so many opportunities to inspire emotion through all of these details on your social media platforms, your website, your blog, um, any emails to your list that you’re sharing. So I encourage you to actually, um, to kind of start to take inventory of all of these touchpoints that you have access to or that you utilize. Now, I’m not saying that you need to go back and like rewind and listen to that whole like, list that I just like spewed. You don’t need to do all of those things. I’m saying look at what works in your business. Look at the touchpoints that you know, you have the data to prove that your ideal clients will respond and will participate and engage with these platforms or these channels or these touchpoints and do those because those are going to actually be converting for you and they’re gonna be a good use of your time and your energy.

Bonnie (14:24):
And as you’re kind of going through and working to create that list analytically, think about how does this touchpoint make my ideal client feel? How am I using this to elicit a positive, memorable, emotional experience in the mind of my ideal client? See what we’re wanting to do here, we’re wanting to use emotion to kind of create these, essentially these new neural pathways in your ideal client’s brain. We want them to be thinking about you and your brand in a very specific way, and we’re doing that relationally and authentically. Um, it’s easy to use sales psychology in a way that can kind of feel like a little gross, a little exploitive. Um, we’re not doing that. We don’t want to run our businesses in that way. Instead, we’re thinking about the kind of relationship that we want to have with our high-end clients, how we are best equipped to serve them, and how can we communicate that experience to them so that they can understand what life could look like, what life could feel like when they choose to work with us, and how incredible that can be.

Bonnie (15:39):
Now, um, one kind of additional point that I wanna make with all of this, uh, is that knowing your ideal client intimately is gonna make this process a lot easier for you. So at this point in your business, understanding who you serve, who that ideal client is, is going to make this process so easy for you because instead of kind of making these guesses or, um, struggling to figure it out, kind of taking these stabs in the dark, instead you have this information, you’ve, um, done client interviews, you’ve worked with clients that match this ideal client profile, you know, living, breathing humans that match the kind of people that you wanna work with on repeat. And so you have that information that you can pull from, you know, where they’re spending their time online, you know, what kind of shops they are frequenting, you know, what kind of, um, mindset they’re in when they’re making high level investments in their life, their wedding, their celebration, their own business, whatever that looks like.

Bonnie (16:46):
So understand who your ideal clients are and understand their attitudes, their worldviews, what matters to them, their aspirations, right? These things make up their psychographics. And this is actually a, a delightfully nerdy bit that I get to really dive into with my own custom branding and design clients, because I wanna understand not only kind of the purchasing behaviors of their ideal clients, but I wanna understand who they are as people because these brands that we’re building are designed to serve people. And so in order to generate that kind of relationship, that connection, in order to keep people coming back to you time and time again, and investing at these higher price points, we want to make sure that we are taking care of these people. Um, so asking yourself, do I understand who my high-end ideal clients are? Do I know what they value? What their their dreams are, their aspirations?

Bonnie (17:46):
What matters most to them? And then when I have this information, can I start to kind of connect the dots of how my work fits into their life? When you have that information, when you know your ideal client on that deeper level, it equips you to market yourself differently. It, it equips you to create more relevant offers that really do meet your ideal client where they are. And it honestly, it takes that guesswork out of it, right? Because we’re not making assumptions. We’re not, um, going through this process of, you know, trial and error. We have the data to back it up. So I encourage you, if you’re in a season of branding your business for the first time, or rebranding ideal client research is, um, honestly, in my opinion, it’s a non-negotiable. This is such an easy way to spend a little extra time, but it’s gonna be time well spent because it is going to better inform the moves that you make in your business, and especially when you’re wanting to serve clients at these higher price points, knowing who they are, how they are making decisions, how they are making investments in their lives or their businesses, is going to be a game changer for you.

Bonnie (18:57):
And so, with that being said, friend, those are just three simple moves that you can make, actions that you can take that are gonna serve you at that high level as you focus on serving your incredible clients at these premium price points and these elevated, luxurious services. Um, I also wanna encourage you to think about the way that you’re presenting all of this. You know, of course we’ve talked about the emotion, the messaging, who your ideal clients are, how we’re presenting this picture of the dream, but, uh, thinking about how you are visually representing this also a great opportunity. So kind of as a little bonus, craft visuals, create a visual brand, invest in visual touchpoints like your website, your client guides, welcome magazines, client gifting, any of those things that are going to resonate with who you are trying to reach when you start to get into this area of, of operating at this level.

Bonnie (19:58):
In my experience, DIY design may not serve you at this point. You’ve kind of outgrown the DIY design. So now’s the time to partner with people who have the expertise and the experience to help you craft a visual identity. And a brand system that is going to help you exist at this level in the market is going to inspire consistent connection with your high-end ideal clients and is gonna position you as the expert that you are. And if I’m being honest, that’s my sweet spot. That’s absolutely what I focus on with every client project I take on. Over the 11 years that I’ve been in this industry, crafting these kinds of high touch elevated visual brands that inspire that consistent profit and connection and fulfillment between my clients and their ideal clients is just one of my favorite things in the world. So it would be an honor to serve you and support you in that way.

Bonnie (20:55):
If that feels like a good fit for you. You can go to bisforbonniedesign.com/branding to learn more about what it’s like to work together or to inquire about partnering in this way. But with that being said, however you decide to move forward with taking your high-end brand to the next level, I encourage you to come back to this picture that you’re starting to create for yourself, for me, with that you’ve already created for yourself of the value that you’re bringing to your high-end ideal client’s life. When they choose to work with you. You are doing such powerful, impactful, beautiful work. And I want you to be excited about that. I want you to be motivated to keep showing up in this year and in the years to come to serve people at that level because the work that you do has so much potential to bring joy, beauty, value, and more into the world.

Bonnie (21:57):
So with that being said, friend, I’m cheering you on as you go after those dreamy high-end clients of yours in the coming days and months and years. And I’m here to support you as you take your high-end service brand to the next level. I’m grateful that you’re a part of this community, and I’m hopeful that today’s episode has given you some food for thought. So as always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out on social media. You can find me at, uh, @bonniejoymarie on Instagram. My DMs are always open. And if you want to check out any resources or the show notes from today’s episode, just go to brand strategy podcast.com. Click on the latest episode link and everything that you’re looking for, we’ll be waiting for you there. Thanks for tuning in, friend, and I’m cheering you on from Waco.

Bonnie (22:50):
Thank you so much for joining me today, friend. Before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your feedback on the Brand Strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand, I’d really appreciate it if you left us a review in iTunes. Your positive reviews enable the brand strategy podcast to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives just like you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement as together we pursue building brands with purpose and intention. Until next time, I’m cheering you on from Waco.

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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