As we look ahead to the future, many event professionals are conjuring up innovative strategies to recoup the losses left behind by COVID-19. But, you don’t need to spin your wheels on never-before-seen strategies that may end up being a hit or miss. Instead, you can find success with a few tried-and-true marketing techniques that are proven to win over more clients and fill up your calendar with events.
Here are three ways to take your marketing approach up a notch and attract the clients that are ready to book you for their next event.
Define your brand story.
Doing business is all about telling a story. When you promote your brand, your prospective clients aren’t just looking at your services and pricing (although, those are very important factors!). They want to know who you are, why you do what you do, and what inspires your work. Simply put, they want to get to know everything that makes you unique!
Your brand story gathers all of the elements of your background to give your business a narrative. It captures your philosophies, values, experience, personality, and purpose in life.
This is an essential facet of marketing for all businesses, but particularly those in the wedding industry. After all, we are selling an experience — it’s not a wedding out of a box, but rather a months-long process that involves close collaboration with you on an intimate level. They want to know what your brand represents so they can determine whether it aligns with their own values and expectations.
A brand story isn’t a single deliverable, but rather a message that is communicated throughout all of your marketing tactics: blogs, social media, email marketing, video marketing, and so on. Every piece of your external messaging should tie back to the big WHY behind your brand. That’s how you’ll capture the attention of those who are merely scrolling by!
Get comfortable with video marketing.
There’s no going back from it: We live in the age of video! Scroll through your social media feeds for a minute and you’ll see that every other post (if not every post!) is a video. Video content has taken over social media because of its easy-to-digest format. People don’t want to read; they want to sit back and consume.
If you’ve been holding back, I get it. Getting on camera for the first several times is uncomfortable! But, the marketing power of being on screen is well worth the awkwardness. (Don’t worry — it gets easier as you do it more!)
Start by picking out a video mode that feels the most comfortable. You can always branch out to more later but choosing one avenue will help you become an on-camera expert. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to try your hand at TikTok or Instagram Reels, or maybe you think livestreaming an upcoming event on Facebook would demonstrate your expertise well. You might even find that a structured e-course is more your speed.
Whatever your choice, spend some time reviewing what others have done to get a feel for what works. If you’re getting on Facebook Live, you may intentionally leave some time for a live Q&A with viewers. For TikTok or Reels, you can get creative with music, effects, and captions.
If you’re feeling nervous, remember that social media users aren’t watching you to catch every little flaw. They are here for your content, whether you’re producing videos that are educational or entertaining. They want to learn and laugh; if you miss a word or your hair is out of place, it’s not their concern! Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of this powerful medium.
Nurture your network.
We often think about marketing as the way we present ourselves to the market, but that way of thinking overlooks one of the best sources of new business: referrals. If you spend all of your time scouring the market for leads, you might miss the ones that are right in front of you.
From your business colleagues to your friends and family, you’ll find some of the best business opportunities come from those around us. They typically come pre-qualified, meaning your friends or associates have given them the down-low and think you’d be a great fit for their needs. Plus, when you have the third-party validation of those in your network, you will enter the sales conversation a few steps ahead.
So, go ahead: Be loud and proud about your business! Tell your friends and family members about what you’re doing and how they can send interested referrals your way. As for industry peers, consider starting a mutual referral partnership with colleagues. Send referrals to those you trust, and you’ll see that the favor is returned more often than not.
Marketing is a task that often slips through the cracks when things get busy, but it’s more important than ever to focus your promotional efforts in the right areas this year. 2020 might have been a tough pill to swallow, but 2021 and 2022 are already shaping up to be very promising. All you need to do is position yourself to maximize the opportunities that present themselves!