Getting Enquiries: Why’s That Phone Not Ringing?
Wedding season is in full swing, and you might be feeling that your plate is well and truly full. Pulling together final timelines, liaising with suppliers, marquee setups, styling and client aftercare…. this time of year is a planner’s busiest, that’s for sure. But now is not the time to let anything drop when it comes to your business. Putting in the groundwork now will mean getting enquiries in future months. However much it might feel like a slog (particularly when it’s approximately a million degrees outside!) there really is no excuse not to be working ON your business as well as IN your business.
Your Website Is Not Enough
Perhaps this is your first wedding season. If you’re a new business, the above statement holds especially true. You might have spent months planning, designing and painstakingly putting together the most glorious website the world has ever seen, but if you’re thinking you can hit that publish button then sit back and wait for the perfect enquiries to start flooding in, I’m afraid you need to think again.
We’re bringing the tough love with this topic, we know, and it’s not meant to intimidate you or discourage you. The fact is, the wedding industry is becoming an increasingly crowded playing field. We want you to succeed, and to do that you need to give yourself the best possible chance of being found by prospective clients. Visibility and consistent action is absolutely crucial. Here are our five top tips to help you put yourself out there, and get seen (and hopefully booked) by your dream couples.
Get On The Blogging Bandwagon
If you don’t have a blog on your website, then the first thing I want you to do once you’ve finished reading this post is go and set one up. Adding regular blog posts is the number one way to increase your visibility. It’s SEO gold, showing the Google gods that your site is regularly updated and worthy of being boosted up the ranks, but more importantly it gives your clients a whole host of ways to connect with you.
When we say regularly, we’re talking weekly, or fortnightly at the outside. It can feel overwhelming to start with, but trust us when we say that you’ve all got a lot to say that’s of value to your potential clients. Got the images back from an amazing wedding you planned? Learned a new skill? Want to share top tips about a specific area of planning? Boiling to death in the heatwave and want to stop your brides and grooms doing the same? Fancy giving a shout out to a fellow talented supplier in the industry with a Q&A? All of these are great post ideas! There’s no excuse not to be blogging as a wedding planner, and it’s one of the easiest ways to see results.
A good social media presence is another non-negotiable in terms of your visibility. Don’t fret about building engagement across every platform out there. Take some time to work out where your ideal clients are hanging out, and put your focus there. We’d recommend that Instagram is one of these – it’s perfectly set up for showing off your incredible work. Don’t neglect the captions though, put your personality across in your words, and show what makes a wedding planned by you so unique.
Think about the way in which you can use each platform to your advantage. Perhaps Facebook is where you share your behind the scenes snippets, and your instagram feed stays polished and curated. Your business is multifaceted, so have a strategy in place to show off each one in a carefully considered manner.
You are an expert in your field – it’s time to shout about what you know and get yourself out there. Reach out to bloggers and journalists – don’t be afraid to pitch features and advice pieces. Even if you’re told no, you’ll be getting on their radar. Stay on top of what’s going on in the world, and look at ways that you can bring valuable opinion and input to events and trends making waves in the media. This year so far has been wonderful for large scale events that have had everybody talking – The Royal Wedding and The World Cup, to name a few. Events like this are a goldmine for PR. Have a look at the calendar for what’s on the horizon, and think about how you can use it to your advantage.
Now, Twitter might not be one of your key social media platforms, but it’s worthwhile getting on top of the hashtag #journorequest, where you can find a huge number of PR possibilities and some potentially fruitful contacts.
Show Your Face
The folks at Facebook and Instagram are making it really easy for you to produce and distribute video content. Lives on either platform are a great way to boost your engagement. We know that going live can be scary, but I promise it gets easier with practice. Live video is the most effective way to show who you are, not just what you can do. The saying ‘people buy from people’ might be a cliché, but it doesn’t mean it’s not true. Be a little braver and get your face out there. It doesn’t have to be perfect or supremely polished – authenticity is more important, and honestly, no one is going to mind if you say ‘umm’ a lot, or go off on the occasional tangent.
If you’re not already in our Facebook group ‘Join The Conversation With Planning Redefined’, then get yourself over there at once! You’ll find heaps of discussion and regular live video trainings with Louise.
It can feel impossible to find time in your already busy day to work on your business, but there are ways to help get things organised. Scheduling is your friend! Block out some time in your week to write blog posts in batches, so you’re sorted for a month at a time. Look into apps like Hootsuite and Planoly to take control of your social media and get posts set up in advance and posted automatically.
It can take a bit of an adjustment to get into the habit of working on your business regularly and strategically, but it is so, so important if you want to build a successful business with staying power.
If you’re in need of a little assistance and targeted, strategic guidance for your wedding planning business, check out our training programme. Tickets are available for our November three-day workshop, featuring a panel of experts from across the industry. You can also book in with either (or both) of us for some no-nonsense 1:1 training to focus on any areas you’re finding a struggle.
+ Images: Hannah Duffy Photography