Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat
3 Free Marketing Ideas for Wedding Pros
Grab your dark roast + join us as we talk about 3 unique ways to market your business + stand out from your competition on a McDonald’s Value Menu budget.
Episode 22 Coffee Chat Replay
Episode 22 Podcast
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Lauren Dragon-Cook: Good morning everyone! Thank you for joining me on this lovely Tuesday. Today we are going to be chit chatting a little bit about three stellar, amaze balls, rocking ways to market your business that seem to get overlooked. They are something that has helped to grow the three businesses that I have started. It has helped to project me into the next level of things. I will be going over those now!
How many of you struggle with marketing? How many of you feel like marketing is just not in your wheelhouse? Is it something foreign to you? How many of you feel like marketing is just not for you?
It is not as difficult as we tend to make it. Marketing is only as hard as you make it. Truly.
Let’s dive in.
The very first stellar and free marketing tip I have for you all is not brand new. It is not going down in history. But it is something I feel so many wedding creatives don’t take advantage of and the rewards and return on investment is MASSIVE.
- Its free.
- It requires very little effort but it continues to build upon itself.
You set it and forget it. It is a one and done. It is something once you establish it, it will keep working for you over and over and over again. You don’t have to keep up with it all the time. It doesn’t require maintenance.
The first idea is truly… opt-ins. The reason why opt ins are immensely powerful is…
- If you are exchanging an email address for a fabulous download, you are collecting that email address and you can store it in your list.
- But secondly, if you do decide to ever run Facebook ads then you have to have email addresses in order to really hone in on those ads. If you don’t do this ahead of time, you will have to get email addresses before you launch an ad. It is not conducive.
- You stay in front of these people’s faces. I’m not saying you need to be sending out newsletters all the time. I am saying, you are going to become the go-to person for whatever it is the opt-in has to do with. You are staying in front of their face. Say you signed up for anthropology and to receive updates. If you receive an email that has to do with macro-made planters, then you are going to remember that Anthropology sent you an email. So if you have been looking for something like that… you are going to buy it! BUT if Target, Etsy, and Michaels has them… you aren’t going to purchase one from those other locations. Because Anthropology has remained in front of your face. You must remain in front of potential clients faces, because if they are not seeing you... out of sight, out of mind.
If you are giving away things… that is okay as long as you are getting something in return. You want to make sure that it is serving you a purpose. Always ask yourself that. Let’s say you give away a wedding welcome guide, they need to be a client first. You can’t just give these away if they are not a client. What do you get in return from a client? Money and future business.
Opt-ins are not difficult to create. I am in the process of creating a challenge to pin-point your ideal client, to figure out your specific audience. If you go onto my website and click on “station 7, lead magnet toolkit”. It will bring you to one of my top secret tools. The Canva app will be your bestfriend. Canva will help you create your downloads and guides. Super simple!
Marketing idea number two is… a referral system. Some of you might already think… you do get referrals all the time. That is great! Do you have a system in place that is actually going from point A to point B and really bring in those referrals?
What am I talking about?
Word of mouth and google search results are the two ways I completely booked my first year in business as a planner. Having a system in place will grow your business. Let’s say you have two clients for the season. You are okay! You will reward them. If a bride tells her friend about you, tells her friend about the experience, and you offer them $50 cash when that person books with you or extra little goodies when that friend books you. Then that person will get $75 cash (the one that did the referring). I cap it at $100. So one referral $50, two referrals $75, three referrals $100. They could quite literally earn back the money that they are paying you for your services just by talking you up.
So how do you go about creating a system for this? Easy! If you send a welcome box or package to your clients, inside that you put a referral card. You can word it something along the lines of:
“Our business grows on word of mouth referrals. We want more clients just like you. You are our ideal client. If you talk about us and the service you are receiving and you send them our way, for each booked client you will get…. X, Y, Z”.
The more clients they refer the more money they will get. It is that easy. I can’t tell you how many people sent you referrals my way. These weren’t penny pinching brides. They were just ones that understood “well yeah, which of my friends are engaged right now.. let me make a list”. They encourage them to make a list for themselves. Then tell them to reach out to them! It is an evolving process. The key here is that you have to make sure you plant the seed right from the beginning.
If you don’t they won’t know about it. They need something tangible in front of their face that will remind them of this. Then what I would encourage, if you use a client management system like Dubsado or Honeybook… within your automation (workflow) I would say 4 months out create an email that goes out automatically that says something like
“Just wanted to remind you that you could literally score $100 every time you refer a bride to us”.
That way you don’t have to give it a second thought, but you are still in front of their face. If you have clients as we speak, use that to your advantage. It is so much haarder to try to find a new client that is hopefully in your scope of ideal people. You know if someone books you, chances are they are going to have friends that are engaged and ideal too.
What I will suggest… is if you start working with somebody and they are less than ideal… have a reminder somewhere to take that email OFF if you have it automated. You don’t want to encourage more pain in the ass clients, like the one you are working with. This is the only way it could really backfire for you.
Whip up a quick blog post, so all the information is outlined for them. No questioning anything. Then when you need to remind people about it in an email all you need to do is
“If you forget the details about the referral program, just go here…”.
Done! You just boosted SEO because you just literally are sending someone back to your website and you are eliminating a lot of work for yourself on having to re-type the program out.
Contests and Promos
The third and final tip is… contests, promos. People like to be competitive.
An example of a promo for a wedding photographer: the first 25 people that mention this post get a free engagement session with me. I would say at least half of those people are going to hire you. Or if you need to build up your portfolio this is a perfect way to do it.
A content might be “come vote for your favorite wedding/family shoot/bouquet” and tie it to your past clients. Let those people know that are attached to that photo (email them) about the contest. The person that has the most “likes” or the person that has told x number of friends about our Facebook page… then they get something.
I am writing a blog post about contest and promos to help you navigate this better.
This is something a lot of people don’t do. When I was a studio manager for the wedding photographer, I used contests once a season and let me tell you we would add upwards of 1,000 people to the Facebook page every single contest. The one that got the most traction was the children’s portrait month.
What we would do was in July when the weather is still nice, kids are out of school, it would be children’s portrait month. There would be a discounted session fee and include x number of digitals. You would limit it to locations. You could say “On July 9th we will be at... On July 12th we will be at…” This could pertain to just about anybody!
Then the month of August was voting month. This is when you would use a giveaway type website platform like Rafflecopter, Gleam, Moobox… pay for it for a month then cancel it, but once you are using that platform you are able to have these people share the photo with their friends.
Contests, giveaways, and promos are things people don’t take advantage of. You shouldn’t be giving just a discount all the time. Highlight it and showcase it because it doesn’t happen regularly. This is a great way to beef up the calendar if you are looking to fill a certain month.
I have two bonus marketing ideas.
When you are showcasing your work on Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest make sure you are doing one of two things.
- You need to be tagging the vendors. They have to be tagged because what you are doing is saying “I was part of a dream team and this is who was involved”. Then when people see that photo and they are wondering who the florist was, you just helped that vendor. They are going to do the same for you down the road.
- Tagging the location. What happens when somebody goes on social media and looks up a certain venue or location? You show up! You are looking like a trailblazer and a leader when it comes to whatever your expertise is because you are showing up in that search.
Bonus idea number two, at the actual event leave a business card.
Even have an iPad for people to sign up and say something like “if you want to check out these photos be sure to sign up here and we will let you know when the gallery is live”. Or if you are florist, put your business cards by your centerpiece. You are saying… “here, this is something you can take away, but it won’t take away from the event itself at all”.
A lot of times I will have guests come up to me asking for my contact information and stuff gets crazy! You may not have your business card handy. All you need to say is, go up to the bar and you’ll find my business cards there.
It is an added bonus for you because its not tacky as long as your business cards look professional. If they are Vistaprint 5 second special… refrain. You don’t want to take away from your own business or the event that is going on.
I would love to hear your feedback on these tips! Get in touch with me! Which idea was your favorite?
I am going to be creating a post that talks about creating a referral system for yourself. Also be on the look out for the upcoming post regarding contests and promos.
Have a fabulous rest of your week! Next week is going to be JUNE! WTF!? We will be having an entire new theme and new topics. If you are wondering what that theme is… go into the group, click on photos, and check out the album that has all the podcast themes in there.