I have been following some interesting discussions on what advertising works and what doesn’t. The general consensus is that none of it works; at least not consistently. Not print, not bridal shows, not wedding portals, not online adverts, nothing, zip, zilch zero, nada.
So what do you do?
You know you have to market, you are even willing to drop a few coins in the pot to do it; but if nothing works what is the answer?
Here is where you begin. Notice that in the above copy I used two different words: advertising and marketing. They are not interchangeable. Advertising is static and marketing is active.
Time was when a bridal vendor could buy a page in the local glossy bridal publication and that was all it took. That was advertising, set it and forget it. OK, maybe do a bridal show or two and then forget it.
Marketing is constant. Marketing is networking. Marketing is PR. Marketing is reaching out to the people who can bring you work. Marketing is fluid.
Marketing for today’s bridal vendor is in two places: online and face to face.
A truth of the industry that has always been and I imagine shall always be is that the majority of brides find their vendors by referral. Yes, a lot of that is from other brides but a lot more is from other vendors. To sell today’s bride the biggest trigger is that she feels comfortable with you and that she trust you.
Yes, I know their opening salvo is always about price, but believe me, if she trusts you she will pay your price.
So, once she finds that one vendor that she trusts, she will take their recommendations in the highest regard. You need to be who they are referring.
This is the face to face aspect. If you aren’t out there networking with local vendors you are missing the boat. This doesn’t just mean calling them and asking them to refer you. Seriously, some people think that will work. No, not even close.
The real essence of networking with other vendors is getting to know them and building relationships with them. Work with them, help them, refer them, support them. All the work you put into and qualities you expect from a friendship are inherent in good networking.
This is an ongoing process and belive me, it is marketing. The more positive relationships you have with other vendors with in your market the more your business will grow. I promise you.
The other marketing today that does work is your own website. It is your marketing tool when you aren’t there. Again this has to be an ongoing project.
You need to keep your website constantly updated for 2 main reasons.
The first is search. Everytime you update or add to your site the search engines take a fresh look and index more pages. The more content, the more long tail keywords, the better chance you have of showing up in the long, complicated search strings that brides type in to their search engine. Keep adding content and keep fueling the search. This is the main reason that having (and using) a blog as part of your website is so powerful.
The second reason is that if your website looks stale and dated, that is the impression that prospective clients will have of you. If you look stale, they won’t even call. That wedding from 2008 may still be your favorite, but it probably looks old and tired to brides that have been searching the net for months. Give yourself a fighting chance. Keep updating your portfolio with new and exciting images of your work.
Just about now is where you are starting to argue with me that you just don’t have the time for all that. Tough. Make the time or invest those old advertising dollars to hire someone to do it for you. In today’s world, this is what it takes.
advertising just doesn’t anymore.
- Changing Your Advertising as Consumer Behavior Changes Reading this mornings article on eWedNews, Fairy dust, Feel-good Advertising...
- E-mail Marketing Refresher Now that the bridal shows are upon us and you...
- Tips From a Master on Getting Press for Your Wedding Business With everything you have to do, worrying about getting press...
- Why Your Advertising Doesn’t Work Anymore Ever wonder why your advertising isn’t working like it use...
- Where are Brides Online? I think that we have already established that today’s brides...
- What Brides Want Some days the universe just seems to present itself...
- Why Should I Buy From You? We have been having a discussion over in the Wedding...