I’ve been in this industry since 2004 and have seen a lot of changes in what works in terms of marketing strategies. It used to be that you could place and ad on theknot.com and you’d be set for the entire season. There wasn’t any social media yet. Barrier to entry was still a thing. You placed the ad, and the phone would ring (or the email would ding). It was a very passive process.
These days wedding professionals spend more time marketing and selling themselves than ever. I’m going to guess that there are weeks you might spend up to 30 hours on marketing and selling. You’re likely doing some/all of the following:
- Paid advertising
- Networking mixers
- 1:1 coffee dates
- Venue visits
- Bridal shows
- Styled shoots
- Press submissions
What’d I miss?
That’s A LOT.
It’s harder to “get found” than ever before and it requires so much more time and effort.
With all this time and effort, how do you get to the point where you’re a “word of mouth” business?
By your fifth year in business (sometimes sooner) the majority of your business should be coming from client and vendor referrals. In the early years you have to push hard in the above list of promotional efforts. No one knows you yet, so you rely on those other activities to do the hard marketing work.
But, if you’re laying the seeds for strong relationships, around year 5 you’ll be able to rely on those relationships for business. It doesn’t mean you’ll let go of the other marketing activities. You just won’t need to rely on them as much.
It’s the one thing I haven’t seen change in terms of marketing in the last 2 decades (likely longer)… relationships are the best source of business.
What are you doing to build in-person relationships locally? Are you networking consistently? Are you forming deep connections?
Want to get in on some friendly monthly networking with wedding pros? Join us for Thursday Therapy!