The wedding industry is steadily enjoying growth with new reports announcing wedding budgets up once again this year. With that, however, comes the influx of new-to-the-scene wedding professionals with big dreams, a flashy web-site and the ability to compete on price.
Now more than ever, it’s essential for wedding professionals to focus on building their reputation as an industry expert, which will in turn attract the right clientele and give focus to their marketing and PR.
So how does one become an industry expert?
Establish your expertise
At the end of the day, most people don’t even realize they’re an expert at first, but with a little bit of digging, it starts to become clearer. Ask yourself: What do you do best? Do you find yourself having your “brain picked” on the same topics? Are you always being complimented over and over again on the some aspect of what you do? Do you specialize in a particular type of weddings--be it South Asian, destination or LGBTQ? Use this fresh insight to being to craft your focus.
Show them you’re an expert
Next, it’s simply time to put yourself out there, establishing your expertise through your own channels. Writer blog posts more regularly and share tips and tricks through your favored social media channels. Start uploading short videos sharing your advice on YouTube or Vimeo.
Ready to take the next step? Reach out to trusted event friends in the region to see if they are open to you guest-blogging for them. A venue might love your take on lighting while a local wedding planner might be delighted to have you share the ins and outs of drapery (that is, if it’s your specialty!).
Submit real weddings
Real wedding features are a fantastic way to showcase what you do best. Take time to really get to know wedding blogs and publications that might best suit your audience and begin selecting weddings from the last year that may be a fit. Follow the submission guidelines to a T and be ready to shout any publicity from the rooftops!
Speak about it!
Want to really impress your market? Consider developing a speaking platform, which allows you to share your industry expertise with a broader audience. Remember to start small--there could be a number of great networking groups and associations in your own backyard eager to hear what you have to say.
Hoping to focus more on media relations but find yourself intimidated by the notion? Take the first step by signing up for a free account with HARO, an online service that will email you media opportunities three times a day, Monday through Friday. When a query fits your expertise, you simply write the journalist to introduce yourself and note how you can assist. This is great practice for those who aspire to directly pitching writers.
In today’s industry, it’s essential to differentiate yourself. Being the best at what you do may not always be enough. By establishing yourself as an expert with the above tips, you’ll soon find that your new-to-the-scene competition quickly begin to fade away.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
Photo by Aaron Watson Photography