I’ve learned a lot in the 10+ years I’ve been in the wedding industry, and I’ve learned even more after working with over 200 wedding vendors since I started Ava And The Bee in 2018. I’ve spent thousands of hours strategizing, looking at data, seeing what works and what doesn’t.
And I get asked all the time “What is the secret to marketing a wedding business?!”
Well, my friend, there are a few things it isn’t…
It’s not Instagram.
It’s not Pinterest.
And It’s not Blogging.
And this “secret” has been a pillar of marketing since the beginning of time.
Everything else builds upon this. The blogging. The Instagram. These are the items that are built on top of the foundation.
And if that foundation isn’t sturdy… well, you spend a lot of time and money on things that will work a little bit, but might not get you closer to your goal. Now, you’ll get some results. If you are doing any of those items above, you are already doing more than 75% of your competition. So you are doing the work already! And that is something you should be so proud of!
But if you want to get to the stage where you are charging premium pricing, being published in large publications, working with dream clients – you need this foundation.
The best results we get for clients are the ones where we start from the ground up.
Over the next six weeks on the blog, I’m going to be breaking this down for you piece by piece with building a house as our visual. And to give a little spoiler: marketing and social media is at the very end. Because we don’t build a successful business without doing the other foundational pieces, first.
The first step of our house is what 90% of vendors skip (and then wonder why nothing is working later!).
It’s also what sets that 10% out from the rest. You know the ones. The vendors who are out there killing it. Booking couples that they love. They are being artists and getting recognition.
And I don’t mean a big IG following because IG followers do not equal $. But the ones you see again and again and keep thinking, “How are they doing this?!”
It’s your ideal client & your why & your messaging. I categorize these three because they are really so connected.
Who you serve (your ideal clients) leads to —> your why, which leads to –> your messaging, which leads to –> your strategy for marketing to them.
At Ava And The Bee, we can’t make a strategy for a client until I know their ideal audience and their data.
I didn’t even realize how important this step was until I went through the process myself. In fact, I spent the first four years of my business doing well, but I kept thinking, “Something is missing! I am struggling to attract my ideal clients!”
So, I did what I saw so many other people do. I bought a website template. Okay, I’ll be honest – I bought 10 of them. I spent months moving little pieces around in Showit, frustrated and confused.
I took every single course on marketing and sales I could find.
Like everyone else around me, I attended dozens of webinars.
I kept searching for that “thing” I was missing.
And it turns out, what I was missing was my WHY.
My friend Allie has an incredible method called The Heart Mapping Method. It’s brilliant (like her!) and helps you find “your heart and your customer’s heart to create a foundational messaging and marketing strategy that actually feels in line with who you really are and where you really want to go.”
My goodness, did it make me see why I was struggling. I thought I had an idea of who I was serving and my why (Wedding Vendors Who Struggle With Marketing!), but it was about so much more than that.
And it led me to realize that without understanding my heart, I was flopping around like a fish without water.
I started saving up my pennies, realizing what I needed wasn’t just another website template but a copywriter to create my messaging. Which is why I hired Literary Co. Kayla transformed what I discovered in Heart Mapping and turned it into solid messaging.
And this messaging (and true understanding of our why + who we serve!) has lead to more aligned clients. More money. The ability to hire two team members in 2023. And so much more.
And if you are the kind of person who needs some data points:
The Stat: Authenticity matters: Gen Z couples value authenticity and seek vendors who align with their values and provide genuine experiences. 92% state that they are more likely to buy from a company they perceive as authentic and transparent.
The Stat: 66% of couples say it is very important to pick a wedding vendor based on their personality. While only 11% said that having a large audience on social media matters when hiring a vendor. [Think Splendid]
Couples don’t want social media perfection. They are not interested in the perfect IG feed. They want to see the people behind the brands, the process behind the brands, and see YOU. The real, authentic you.
And that starts with – you guessed it – your why.
The process of getting a clear why and messaging is something that we take weeks to develop for our clients. And it isn’t something I can teach you in a single email. But I have some prompts to get you started in the right direction.
Remember – 90% of your competition isn’t standing out. Starting with these prompts gets you one step closer to being the shining star that you are!
Below is a real client case study, showing the results we get for clients when we start with their foundations.
1) We went into this website project with a strategy. We looked at every single metric and data point. We found the issues users were facing on their old site, and made a plan for their new website. So many web designers miss this crucial step. They go right into the “pretty” and ignore the data. The data is the most important part.
2) This client is a full-service client. This means we market for them monthly. Increased website traffic like this isn’t just from a new website – it’s from consistent blogging and marketing and a strategic Pinterest strategy.
3) We transferred them from Squarespace to Showit. As their website grew, their needs changed – so we also helped them migrate their blogs over and launch their brand new website!
4) We focused on up-leveled messaging. A wedding stationery artist doesn’t just design invitations. They create an experience. Your messaging and website copy needs to stand out.
If you are ready to take your wedding business to the next level, we can help! We work with wedding professionals, vendors, and educators who are ready to level up and stand out from the competition. We work with limited clients each quarter, so reach out today!