This engagement season is the most highly-anticipated time of 2020 for wedding, catering, and event pros. Spring and Fall may have felt like you were trapped in a room with your biggest fears, but the declaration of new relationships could be just the jolt your business needs to come back strong in 2021. With over 40% of couples proclaiming their intent to be together forever between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, you need to set your marketing systems up to capture the rush of newly created leads.
Build a marketing funnel to nudge potential clients towards the sale. Just because someone visits your website or peruses your Instagram feed doesn’t mean that they will book with you. You need to showcase yourself as a helpful expert and strategically plan your relationship-building so that you become the obvious choice to solve their problems.
Your clients don’t typically get married after just meeting. Similarly, winning new business is a multi-stage process. A marketing funnel is a tool that will help you turn strangers into customers, and it has three parts: a top, middle, and a bottom. Commit yourself and your business now by picking the tactics you will implement at each stage to create a powerful marketing machine.
Top-Of-Funnel: Choose a Method to Attract Your Ideal Customer
You need to have a way to captivate the attention of newly engaged couples who have never heard of you. The goal is to bring them into your audience to nurture the relationship and nudge towards the sale. The best way to do this is to go where your customer hangs out.
The biggest marketing mistake that frustrates wedding pros is thinking that posting on their social media accounts will get a slew of people banging on their doors to work with them. If your future customer doesn’t know about you yet, they will not be spending any time on your social media accounts, and it is doubtful that they will discover you on their feeds through a hashtag. You may get lucky and experience a few conversions via social media posting, but they will not be enough to rely on when it is time to pay your bills.
Some of the top ways to get the attention of people you would love to work with are:
Promote a free, valuable piece of information via digital advertising. Running a Facebook ad to “The Top 10 Things to Do When You First Get Engaged to Have a Jaw-Dropping Wedding” would be an example of how to grow your email list.
Showcase your work in publications by submitting your past weddings and events. Real wedding submissions not only spread the word about your business, but they also lend credibility.
Participate in relevant podcasts. Scoring a spot as an interviewee on a show like The Big Wedding Planning Podcast or Hue I Do will give you great exposure and allow listeners to get to know your personality.
You will become irresistible if you help solve your ideal customer’s problems and guide them towards their image of success. Whatever method you choose, the key is to get organized and keep at it. You should always be feeding your marketing funnel with new prospects to create a steady stream of clients.
Middle-of-Funnel: Consistently Build Relationships
Once you have added a lead to your audience, preferably your email list, it’s time to get to know each other. When people are looking to plan their wedding, they are primarily focused on finding an organized, personable professional who can bring their big day to life on time, under budget, and with minimal drama. Use weekly emails and daily social media postings to highlight the many facets of the wedding planning experience and how you are precisely the planner they need.
A prospect joins your squad when they sign up for our email list. That means you have access to interact with them regularly, and they are looking forward to hearing from you. Email marketing is the number one tool to use to stay top-of-mind with your clientele. An email list provides you a captive audience that is eager to learn more about your services.
Once you turn strangers into first-time customers, email marketing is handy to turn them into second-time customers and advocates. By continuing to build relationships via email post-sale, you will be able to get a surge of cash from existing customers by booking another event with them and encouraging them to spread the word to their friends.
When posting on social media, choose 3-5 broad topics that you want to be known for and rotate posts that highlight them. For example, if you are the Color King or Queen in your area, you may want to have themes like using color in an elegant way, color theory, color pallets, and your event color personality. Ensure that most of your captions include a call-to-action, such as getting a quote or scheduling a call.
Bottom-Of-Funnel: Develop a Promotion Strategy to Close the Deal
Promotions work best when they proactively move your business forward and are not used to combat a stall in your cash flow. Start with your sales goals for the next 12 months and then break them down by the number of events, services, or products you will need to reach those goals each month. Don’t forget to take seasonality, staffing, and cash flow into account. When you plan for 2021, you may also develop stretch goals that compensate for the lack of revenue in 2020.
Your email list subscribers are your main promotion targets. Having a nurtured email list allows you to generate revenue on demand. That’s why emailing them weekly is critical. Your hottest leads will be those who have gotten to know you and trust your expertise. Plan out your promotions on a monthly calendar to take charge of your income streams.
Those newly-minted lovebirds are flying your way. Your job is to make sure they find their perch with you instead of soaring on to a different landing spot with another vendor. The systems you put in place now can establish your business’ foundation for a profitable 2021.