Wedding season is slowing down and it’s time to book more brides for 2018! October marks the very start of our last quarter so let the bookings begin! According to Wedding Wire, approximately 40% of couples get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day. (Source: https://goo.gl/vZhQ2N)
Reason for finishing 2017 with a BANG:
Create momentum and raise morale for 2018 (Superpowers for 2018)!
Test out new marketing and sales tactics that can be re-utilized in 2018 to book more brides (shed the stuff that doesn’t work).
Create an influx of quality leads that can be converted into bookings in 2018.
Are you ready to finish STRONG!? Climb up to the highest peak of Mount Everest!?
Below are 8 effective strategies IF you choose to execute them. Most of them take a bit of time and effort to do, but I can assure you that it is worth the investment and your brides will be happy to have found you!
STRATEGY #1: Get Serious With Your Wedding Business Game Plan (Plan to book more brides!)
Be crystal clear on your revenue and booking goals for the next 3 months. Set a goal and commit to achieving it (Even if you need to drink a few more coffees a day to stay in the hustle!). Make sure you are clear about how many weddings you would need to secure for the next wedding season in order to reach this goal.
***Take this opportunity to set up systems to keep you accountable. For an individual business owner, you should get trustworthy accountability partners. Set up weekly, if not daily calls to keep you accountable to your goals. We have a weekly mastermind group for our past clients in the wedding industry and keeping each other accountable is a crucial part of our agenda.
Once you have established your revenue goal and systems of accountability, ensure you have an effective game plan. Continue below…
STRATEGY #2: Review what has worked in the last 12 months.
Spend half a day reviewing conversations and campaigns that have led to high quality wedding clients. Take notes on what have worked in the past and discard less fruitful efforts. You want to pump your last quarter with steroids!
Develop and/or adjust your customer profile(s) (target audience description) and tweak your marketing message to cater to your idea wedding crowd. Find your most profitable service and match it with your ideal customer profile.
Here is a link to help you with that: https://www.demandmetric.com/content/customer-profile-template
The importance of this work is invaluable and must to be accurately executed to ensure you attract high quality leads that will grow your business. Don’t try to convince or guilt your friends and family to buying your used car from you…
STRATEGY #3: Find Your “A-List” Wedding Leads and Stalk Them!
Identify your “A” leads. Go over the notes in your “A-list”. This will help refresh your memory and remind you of your last conversation with them. Figure out what factors are holding them back from working with you. You will need to address their needs and wants in a natural conversation. Don’t just talk, ask them the right questions and listen.
You got it, you gotta call each of these leads! Focus on these leads in October and keep track of your followups through a CRM like Pipedrive.
STRATEGY #4: Get in touch with your 5 best wedding clients
Start by identifying your best wedding clients. These clients are extremely happy with your services and are more than willing to refer more wedding business to you. The key is to listen to them rather than asking for referrals right away.
According to Small Business Trends, small businesses get 85% of their business from word of mouth.
Listen to what they are up to after their wedding. Ask if they were happy with your work and take time to understand how you can provide them with more value. Then ask them if they know anyone that they think would benefit from your wedding services.
A high quality lead that have been pre-qualified by your satisfied customer.
Potential to up-sell a product or services that would help them with their current needs
Reignite your relationship with your customer and keep you top of mind for future business.
STRATEGY #5: Mass Lead Generation & PR
The more wedding leads you get, the more brides the sign with you at the end of your funnel. When you are generating leads, make sure you take into account the time it takes to convert a lead to a customer. You got less than 3 months! You will need to generate 80% of your leads in October and leave November and December to convert those leads.
If you have been running a newsletter for nurturing your leads, it is a great time to announce a promotional email about new services, case studies, complimentary consultation (with point form benefits) and/or special pricing.
Contact influential bloggers and request to be a guest blogger or request them to be a guest blogger for your blog to drive traffic to your website.
Here is a great link that will help you with that: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/blogger-outreach-tools#sm.00008gs3rx18ywfgiycwp28nrwwlg
If you are targeting corporate events or event planners, Linkedin is a great source for leads. Only message contacts that fit in your customer profile. Tell them about your business, leave a link and ask them if they are willing to have a coffee or quick phone call to connect.
If you are planning to use a premium directory, be sure to get lots of reviews on your free account before paying for the premium version.
STRATEGY #6: Track Everything..
Every strategy you implement needs to be tracked. If it’s not, then your efforts are in vain. Once you have determined your ideal customer profile(s), you must then determine your KPI (Key Performance Indicators). This is the measurement for your success! There are your goals, but your KPI tell you a more detailed story.
KPI’s can be the clickthrough rate, open rate, conversion rate, views, engagements, etc. It could help you identify if there was a breakdown in your sales funnel or customer journey. It can also reveal opportunities that you can now take advantage of.
Whatever you do, cold calling, content marketing, email marketing, etc. You need to track it or it is not considered marketing.
Here is a basic article about tracking your marketing campaigns:
STRATEGY #7: Don’t Forget Your Fellow Wedding Industry Colleagues
According to a study conducted by Verizon and Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com), 85% of businesses say that they get their business from word-of-mouth. It’s all about who you know! You may or may not be saying that you don’t know anyone, but you do. If you have been in business for a few years, I’m sure you know your competitors, your colleagues and you must have customers.
I had a conversation with a colleague of mine the other day and she wanted to start doing something different with her marketing. She wanted to attract customer from outside her circle of influence. We eventually came to the conclusion that it’s good to attract new customers from outside her circle, but it is far more cost effective and efficient to attract customers via word-of-mouth.
85% of businesses get their business from word-of-mouth. That’s a HUGE number! The key is to embrace that statistic instead of going against the flow.
Revenue generating activities you can do to attract more business through word-of-mouth:
Approach your competitors for a coffee: See if they like to do business with a certain type of clients that you don’t avoid and vice versa. There might be an opportunity to send each other clients!
Approach colleagues and friends: They might just know the perfect referral for your business
Reignite relationships with past clients: Make sure you only approach past clients who were very happy with your work. There is a reason why they were your clients and a reason why they were very happy with your work. They must know others who would love to do business with you and will also become very happy with your work. Ask them for 3 referrals. The referrals might not become a customer right away, but nurture them and ask them for referrals as well.
Find out more here:
STRATEGY #8: Make Sure Your Funnel Is Well Oiled
In the past a sales funnel work like this: Awareness > Consideration > Conversion. A business would create awareness and get their contact information (buying ads, word-of-mouth, email, etc.) then they would qualify them (do they have the budget, do they need the product / services, etc.) and they would convert them. However, today’s sales funnel is very much different.
Today’s sales funnel is customer driven. Top Of Funnel: The customer defines a want or need and searches for businesses that can provide a product or service to satisfy these needs. Middle Of Funnel: The customer will pick 3-5 providers and qualify these providers by finding out about their price, reviews and their specific value. Bottom Of Funnel: Finally, they will reach out to the provider (sometimes for the first time) and convert into a customer.
As a wedding business owner, here is what you can do:
Top Of Funnel: Widen your Top Of Funnel by executing all of the strategies above. You might want to look into hiring a email marketing or PPC (Pay Per Click) expert to help you generate leads. Boutique Websites have done many Email Campaigns that measure KPI’s and are designed to engage your ideal customer profiles.
Middle of Funnel: Make sure you produced enough content that your prospects can easily answer all of their questions regarding your business and your product / services (have a blog, get reviews, infographics and have visuals of events you have done in the past).
Bottom of Funnel: Where does your customers go to after they get all that information and qualify themselves to be your ideal customers? Most brides convert when they are on your website. A lot of times, they need that final push or are looking for that final trigger before deciding that you are the one. Here is where you need to make sure your website is designed to give them just that. Make sure your website loads fast, ensure that the content is speaking directly to your ideal customer’s wants and needs, give them the “Wow” factor that they were not expecting and make it easy for them to access information and contact you. The user-experience is crucial at this stage. Tracking the customer journey is also important because you can now enhance your customer’s experience by adjusting individual events that move them closer to conversion.
Needless to say, having a captivating website with a powerful SEO foundation will enhance your business efforts. If you have leads going to your website but they don’t “feel” like your wedding services are right for them, they will never reach out to you. Contact us today for a free 8-point marketing analysis.
If you have taken the time to read the entire email, congratulations! You are a hustler and an entrepreneur who have patience and grit. I want to thank you for your support and hope that you continue to subscribe to our Central Events Agency’s Weekly Wednesdays. Please share this link to your friends so they can also subscribe to our list as well.
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With every great wish and deep belief in your success,