When you started your business as a wedding pro, you probably thought you'd get to focus on the details of your couples' weddings most of the time. But, the truth about being a wedding pro (and a business owner) is that there are a million and a half things that you are responsible for in addition to planning weddings. From networking with vendors to managing a long list of administrative tasks, somewhere along the line you need to focus time and effort into putting your business in front of the couples who are going to hire you! So today, we are talking about ways to build a marketing strategy for your wedding business with confidence!
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The first step to devising any plan is to acknowledge your strengths and to admit your weaknesses. If you are reading this, you likely are the foundation of your business; it is your brain child, your name, and your expertise behind everything. And, if that is the case, building up from that foundation requires formulating a strategy that plays off your strengths – and avoids your weaknesses by calling in reinforcements.
And though this first step seems elementary, it is important. Write down your strengths and weaknesses so that you can concretely see the skills you can take advantage of as well as the ones where you have room to grow; they will inform your decisions moving along. You’ll use this list to build a strategy that exploits the things you excel at while at the same time includes one or two things that you need to work on. That way, you can be confident about everything that you are doing but also be working towards personal and professional growth.
Take Inventory of Your Resources
The next step to building a marketing strategy that you can be confident about is to take stock of your resources. You always want to put your best foot forward so, it is best to know exactly what you have to work with. Take an honest inventory of the resources (time, money, etc.) you have at your disposal by asking yourself:
- How much time on a weekly basis do you have to dedicate to marketing? (And be realistic with your time estimates.)
- How much money do you have to invest in equipment, education or support from another person?
- What assets do you already have? The camera on your phone, your drawing skills, the images of your portfolio of work - they all count. Think of everything you have at your disposal that could be used to market your wedding planning business and services.
- Who do you know? Who in your network could you potentially collaborate with? Do you have any personal relationships with publishers or event organizers?
Define Your Goals
This is where the work starts. If you are anything like me, you are likely inclined to try and do everything, all the time, and every chance you get. But, burnout is a real thing and in order to succeed in the long run, you need to pace yourself in the moment. So, set clear (and realistic) goals to work towards; and make it clear what you want to achieve because that will influence how you go about achieving it.
Ask yourself: What exactly am I trying to accomplish? Do I want to book more clients in general or do I want to book more ideal clients? Do I want to grow my social media audience? Do I need to focus my brand identity? Do I want to get my work published more often? Some basic goals you can set for yourself are:
- Create a consistent business summary to update all your profiles with
- Grow your following by X number of people by Y date on Z platform
- Build a content library of blog posts and images to share
- Submit work on a monthly basis for publication
- Attend X number of networking meet ups or educational events
Research Your Channels
Once you know what you want to do, it’s time to plan how to go about it. Kick off your strategic planning by doing some research to figure out which channels are going to be the most effective for you. Aside from Facebook, Instagram, and your favorite wedding blogs, put in the effort to get more granular than that. What do I mean?
- Are there any local publications or events that would put you in front of your ideal client?
- Do you know the general interests of the audience you want to market to? (i.e. what they like and where they hang out)
Then create a calendar of events and deadlines to keep yourself organized and on track. And, build it so that you can see all of your deadlines, event dates, and milestones at a glance. Be sure to include:
- Any events you want to attend or participate in
- Deadlines and due dates for any advertisements you are running
- Any self-imposed deadlines and due you’ve set up ( for blog posts, submissions, etc.)
Then you can take a step back and think strategically about what you'll need to do in order to make it happen.
Get the Tools You Need
And, now that you have a plan that includes what you want to do and when you want to do it, you need to gather your tools. Make smart investments in the things that are going to help you execute your plan flawlessly or even free up your time to focus on other parts of your business (if your strongest skills are in areas other than marketing). Look into investing in things like:
- Upgrading your phone to a newer version with a better camera to use for content creation
- Finding professional photographers, copywriters, and/or social media managers to help you create, manage, and submit your content
- Nice business cards to hand out at events that will make a great first impression
- Working with a graphic designer to put together something that potential clients might reference later (i.e. a brochure of venue recommendations or generic wedding planning tips)
The final step? Set your plan for world domination in motion!