In light of the recent COVID-19 breakout, running a wedding business can be filled with so much uncertainty. How can I market my wedding business in an emergency? Should I still be marketing? How can I make some income during a slow season? As a former wedding planner, bridal boutique owner and florist, I have dealt with a variety of wedding business emergencies. From hurricanes to rescheduling weddings, it’s never an easy time. For my current digital marketing clients, I am working hard to ensure that business runs as smoothly as possible for them – and that means finding new ways to market!
This is a list of six ways to market your wedding business in any emergency situation. The systems, processes, and changes we make now can be impactful in any season! It’s important to use this time to really look at your business, and what you can do in case of any emergency – even if it’s not a global one.
Keep your leads warm
Don’t let your leads turn cold! If you’ve spent considerable time and money building your social media following and email list, then you won’t want to let your audience go ‘cold’. Ensure that you continue to engage and nurture your leads so that when market conditions improve, you’ll have a ‘warm’ list to market to.
This means to continue your email newsletter and consistent social media postings. And of course, engage! This is a time to really open up to the community, and help others! It will be far easier to generate growth and get your business momentum back if you are still top-of-mind when your prospective clients are ready to buy again.
Of course, it’s important to also be respectful in your messaging. Take time to look at any pre-scheduled posts, both on social media and your email newsletter. You may need to re-word or re-arrange your marketing schedule to accommodate this season.
Create Free Educational Content
Another way to continue to grow your email list, and get warm leads, is to offer freebies! Think of ways to talk to future brides, and assist with what they need. As a planner, you could do a FAQ guide for newly engaged brides. Think about what questions you constantly get asked! The same can be done for a variety of industries. For photographers, you could do a booking checklist. For calligraphers, you could do a FAQ and checklist for wedding stationery. Venues could do the must-ask questions when a bride is booking a venue. This could be a PDF, a video tutorial series, anything you wish!
At Ava And The Bee, we create a variety of content, from PDF creation to video editing, to InDesign and Photoshop needs!
Don’t stop blogging – or pause your key marketing tools!
I know in this season it can be easy to stop blogging or stop working on your website. But now is the time more than ever to continue! Stopping blogging can hurt your overall SEO – for example, it might move you down the pages on Google. That is something you definitely don’t want! As you know, it can take a while to move back up the ranks.
Continue to blog weekly, or at the very least, twice a month. Think of how you can share positive thoughts, beautiful weddings, or tips for brides in this season of uncertainty. Halting your weekly blogging can be hurtful to your website and overall SEO strategy – so try and resist the urge to stop altogether.
Optimize your website
Take this time to really look at your website, and work on the SEO! This can mean blogging more, and ensuring that you have SEO metrics in place (Make sure to have Google Analytics set up!) Be sure to include targeted SEO keywords within your copy and write blog posts that provide the answers to your client’s biggest problems or pain points. From a technical perspective, you’ll want to ensure your site loads quickly and has no errors that will block the search engines from finding your site. When it comes to site functionality, you’ll want to ensure your site and menus are easy to navigate.
No matter the season – having an optimized and SEO friendly website is essential! That is why I have created the DIY Website & SEO Audit Workbook – yours for free! This is perfect for anyone in the wedding industry – from photographers to planners. In this DIY audit, I am going to not just walk you through what each page needs to have – but also have a checklist, and action steps! Every page is covered – home, services, contact, navigation, your about page, and a lot more! From the design to the copy, to SEO, it’s all covered in this workbook.
Host online workshops
There is going to be some more downtime for a lot of people, as they move to work from home. This is a great chance to showcase your skills! Think of online workshops you can host, whether its how to shoot on a Film Camera, or Digital Camera 101. If you are a wedding planner, consider a DIY wedding planning workshop. There are a lot of questions that first arise when someone gets engaged, so think of ways you can walk through the first 5 steps an engaged bride has to take, right after she gets engaged! If you are a calligraphist, you could do an online workshop series of how to start Calligraphy. Create some printable sheets, and get on video and teach!
For Photographers: Focus on Print Sales and Album Sales
This can come in two forms – print and album sales to current or past clients, and opening a print shop! For your current clients, think about offering an album or print sale. Think of ways to market your prints at a lower price, without breaking too deep into your profit margins. Albums have a great profit margin, so think of ways you can offer a discount to past brides. Create a sample album for them, and offer them a discount through a certain time period. This could also be a good time to promote your family albums. Mother’s day is right around the corner – maybe mom would like a wedding album!
Another option is to open a print shop (or promote one you have!) Do you frequently shoot in your town, or when you travel? Do you have some great stock images that you could sell? Think of ways to use your skills to sell more inexpensive options. Platforms like Shopify and Pixieset can allow you to create galleries to sell prints easily!
Break up your payment plan
I’ve had quite a few clients ask if they should be lowering their package prices. While that is completely up to you, as the business owner, I suggest keeping them the same. Instead, I suggest you break up your payment plans! Look into if you can do a lower booking payment, or even break it up into three, four or five payments. With the economy in an uncertain period, it’s important to consider your clients. What can you do to make this financial expense easier to do?
In the downtime….
Use the downtime to grow your skills
During this season, think about honing in and growing your skillset! Whether you want to learn a new hobby or learn some workflow skills, or even general business admin stuff, now is the time! Personally, I am teaching myself calligraphy, so I can hand-write everything for my wedding! Some great websites like Creative Live, LinkedIn Learning, and Masterclass are a few of my favorite options.
Take a look at your business.
Right now is a great time to really look at your business, and how it works. How are your workflows? Do you have a CRM in place? Have you taken advantage of all the automation features it offers? Also take a look at your branding and marketing. Is the message, clear and concise? Is there anything you have been meaning tp update? Take the time in this season to really focus on how your business runs, your marketing, and your overall message.
If you need assistance, we can help! We are working with clients to help them refresh their marketing. From website updates to SEO assistance, to new marketing materials, we can help! We are also opening up hourly packages, to help with various tasks our clients need.