For most creative businesses, the focus is on a single moment in time. If you are a planner, stationer, photographer, floral designer, event designer, etc. working on an event, you work with your client until the event is done and then the relationship ends. Hopefully, you will get some nice referrals from both clients and vendors, but basically you are in a perpetual search for new clients. Very little effort and attention is paid to extending the relationship with past clients. In fact, the amount of time, money and energy devoted to finding the next new client is astounding to me. Just thinking about what it takes to keep up with social media, advertising, industry events, and face-to-face networking makes me short of breath. And the more competition that enters the market, the harder you are going to have to work to get the new client.
Why not rethink the strategy? Your existing clients are fertile ground. Presuming they were the right client for your business and you did your job well, they are your fans -- in love with you and your artistry. The only reason they are not buying anything else from you is probably because you are not SELLING anything else to them; at least not in a meaningful, structured way that identifies the true value of the relationship (and your art). Certainly, there are starts, like a wedding photographer doing portraits. However, when I look at most of these photographers' sites, the programs seem to be completely distinct -- as if they were two businesses. Not the way to communicate to the client that you want them for more than the moment.
Many of you might suggest that the client only really wants you for the moment in time they hired you for and offering more would alienate them. My response is what I wrote in my last post: your art transcends its medium. It is you, not your client, that is putting limitations on its breadth. Why can't a wedding planner develop a dinner party business? An event designer become an interior designer? A caterer a cooking instructor or table stylist? A florist become a jeweler?
I do understand the urgency to feed the mill, especially today. However, ignoring opportunities right in front of you, in the face of growing competition will put enormous pressure on your core. It will also leave you vulnerable to those that have succeeded in diversifying the art they provide to a client. You will be in the position of having to make all your money at one time; they won't be. Uh-oh.