One of the things that wedding professionals struggle with is documenting a formal marketing strategy for their business. And, I get it. When you have 20 hats to wear, you didn’t go to school for marketing, and barely have time most days to shove lunch down your own throat, carving out the time to not just think about how you are going to find new clients but actually make moves on it “can wait.”
Well today, I am here to tell you that it can’t. But, I am also here to give you what you need to start making some moves. So, read on for what you need to include in your marketing strategy, and remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. But, it does need to answer these questions.
Who Are Your Clients?
The first step to building a marketing strategy is defining who your potential clients are. Because once you have a clear understanding of who you are trying to attract, you can create the assets you’ll need to get the job done. Start building client archetypes by simply listing out the qualities and characteristics of people who have hired you in the past. Be sure to include:
- Some basic demographics (age, location, income, etc.)
- What their general interests are (So you know what other, complimentary industries you may need to insert yourself into.)
- Where they hang out in-person and online (Specifically, what websites are they likely to frequent as well as what social media platforms are they likely to use.)
- What their “problem” is (Because you need to know what “solution” you are providing.)
What Is Unique About Your Product or Service?
The wedding industry is a pretty saturated one, so being able to articulate your unique selling proposition (basically, how you are different from your competition) is very important. You know that your products and services are going to be compared head-to-head with the other vendors who service your area, so crafting your marketing messages around the differentiator can help you stand out.
What Do You Have In Your Toolbox?
In the age of digital marketing, there is a seemingly endless number of promotional tools and marketing channels for you to take advantage of. But, that doesn’t mean that you should. Sit down (with your customer outline in hand) and list the tools and channels that are most likely to help you get in front of potential clients. What are some of the things I think should be on your list? Here’s a start!
- Instagram and Facebook (posting, stories, and paid advertising)
- Vendor listings in the marketplaces that are where your potential clients hang out (or, shameless plug, are integrated with the business management and planning tools you already use and love)
- Professional events and partnerships (to connect with other pros who are likely to refer you)
- Content marketing (blogging on your own website as well as guest blogging)
- Strategic gifting (include this to your post-wedding/event follow up to encourage past clients to refer you – it’s ok to ask!)
What Do You Have To Invest?
Before you start to pull together a final strategy, you need to take a step back and ask yourself two questions (that can be hard to answer).
How much money do you have to invest in marketing?
How much time do you have to invest in marketing?
The answers to these questions will help you to commit to a budget, a timeline as well as a list of tasks you are going to tackle yourself.
Pro-tip: Have more money than time to spend on marketing? Don’t be afraid to invest in design services, copywriting or even a marketing consultant!
How Can You Put Those Tools To Use?
After you’ve written down all of the tools and channels you could use as well as how much time and money you have to invest, it’s time to figure out which ones you should. But, before you go and make those decisions, you should take some time to do your research. Finding the answers to questions like the ones below will help you prioritize where you can get the most bang for your marketing buck.
Where do my leads historically come from?
Where do couples who are likely to hire me “hang out” online or in real life?
What channels have good track records?
What channels have the potential of being good investments?
How Will You Measure Success?
The last thing you need to do before putting your full strategy on paper is set measurable goals. What do I mean by measurable? I mean things that are trackable, countable or knowable.
For example, ads in print magazines are all sorts of fancy but, just having the ad run doesn’t mean you’ll be able to know how many leads it sent your way. The way to make something like that work is to run some sort of promotion in the ad creative (i.e. a promo code or call to “mention this ad” when they inquire). That way, you can at least get some sort of idea as to how many people the investment sent your way.
So, whether you create goals around how many leads you receive per dollar spent or how many new followers on Instagram you gain per campaign, set benchmarks and milestones to help you decide whether or not a campaign or channel was successful.
So, What’s The Plan?
Now it’s time to map it all out. And, I suggest creating a note in your Aisle Planner business project and labeling it “Marketing Plan.” Then, you’ll work through what tools and channels are you going to use, for what purpose, and when.
Need a visual to help you organize your plan? Grab the outline I use below!