By Kelly Wright
You may have noticed the name change on my email and byline. Three weeks ago I became Mrs Wright and as a bride, I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed with the thousands of potential suppliers Google throws up. As a supplier, how do you get yourself to the top of that list and in front of newly engaged couples?
Being the best at what you do is a great start, but if no one knows you exist then no one is going to book you. Here are some simple marketing ideas for wedding professionals that won’t break the bank.
1. Get work from a past wedding featured on a wedding blog or magazine. Knowing you’re looking at someone’s real photos rather than staged promotional shots helps validate your work to potential clients. Brides in particular love real weddings – try out this list of top wedding blogs for starters!
2. Exhibit at local wedding fayres. People can be very precious about their weddings and want to have a rapport with everyone they hire. It’s tricky to judge how well you get on over email – nothing compares to meeting people face-to-face. Plus you’ll probably be given access to an email database of attendees to target afterwards. But don’t forget to give people something unique to remember you by. Creative giveaways such as little magnets with your branding and URL on will ensure you don’t get overlooked in the reams of paperwork.
3. Get on a venue’s recommended supplier list. Google returned thousands of hits for photographers in our local area and it was so difficult to know where to start. One email to our venue gave us a shortlist we could trust – seeing their photos of previous weddings at the venue helped us make our decision.
4. Post some of your all time favourite work to Pinterest. This is one of the first places a bride will go for ideas and will become a staple for inspiration – make sure you’re ready to meet them there!
5. Encourage past clients to share photos of your work on your Facebook page. Prospective clients relate to honest testimonials from real people. We booked our florist based on client photos on their Facebook page.
6. Network with other wedding industry professionals. You’ll probably see each other around at local wedding fayres so take the time to get to know them for a mutually beneficial relationship. Often if you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours. Our florist recommended a cake company and my hairdresser gave me the details of a great make up artist.
7. Facebook advertising allows you to target newly engaged couples by geography, age and interest and ensures your advert only reaches your ideal client.
8. Rework your packages. You need to stand out in a crowded marketplace and couples may upgrade if you offer just a little bit more than your competitors.
9. Reply to enquiries within 24 hours. One band took a week to reply to our enquiry. By the time they did, we’d lost interest and booked someone else. The early bird catches the worm!
10. Offer incentives such as something extra or a discount if people book you within a certain time frame. This is particularly valuable after a wedding fayre when you want to convert your enquiries into bookings.