I hear this from new wedding planners – “what I’m doing (advertising, blogging, using Facebook, exhibiting in bridal shows, mailing postcards, networking, etc.) isn’t working, I think I need to switch to doing “X” instead!”
When I ask them how long they have been in business and how long they have been doing that particular type of marketing, I find that they have been jumping from one marketing method to another when the results they wanted did not come immediately. Instead, they need develop a plan for using their marketing methods to their fullest before trying something else.
Here are five examples of how you should be fully utilizing your marketing methods:
1) Exhibiting in bridal shows
Don’t think that you can set up a booth and sign up hundreds of brides on the day of the show. Working in the booth is only a small part of marketing via bridal shows. You need to have a method of capturing contact information and a plan for reaching brides on a regular basis after the event, either via email, in the form of ezine, or regular mail, such as postcards, after the show. You need to stay in front of them as they progress with their wedding plans so they think of you when they are ready to hire a planner.
2) Using lists from your advertising
If you are getting lists of brides’ contact information from your web and/or print advertising investments, you need to be contacting these brides on a regular basis. Mailing letters and postcards can get expensive so instead of mailing to every name on the list, sort through them looking for information that indicates that you and the bride might be a good match.This might mean targeting brides who are from a particular zipcode or area where you have had success with working with brides or that have brides with the budget they would need to pay for the type of weddings that you plan.
You know that importance of attracting brides with a blog so you set one up. But are you blogging frequently? All too often I speak to new wedding planners who had good intentions but didn’t follow through and post to their blog only a few times a year. In order for the search engines to find your blog, you must post frequently. Write a simple wedding planning tip, give your thoughts on a new trend, or comment on wedding fashion or reception food. No need to write long posts, just do it a few times a week.
I know a top wedding planner who has a great deal of success attracting new clients by frequently posting video testimonials from her happy couples on her Facebook Page. You might not have all the clients she has right now so you can’t do the same, but if you are using a Facebook Page to attract brides, you need to post to it frequently. Find relevant posts and articles from other sites and “Share” them – make sure you give your source credit – and add your own comments so brides know why you are sharing the information. You can also post links to your blog posts so brides not only follow you on Facebook, they also follow your blog.
5) Networking with wedding vendors
After you’ve made it a point to meet other high-quality wedding professionals, be sure you keep in touch with them, and not just to ask for referrals. Invite them to join you at other business events, invite them for coffee to discuss ways in which you might be able to join together to attract more business. And remember, it is as important to act professionally with other vendors as it is with brides. Your vendor network is one of your most important business assets.
For your marketing to be successful, you have to select the methods that will attract the brides in your niche then create and follow a plan to fully use those methods so they will work for you.