Do you ever catch yourself feeling stuck as a wedding business owner, with the wheels spinning but no real progress being made? At Wed Society, we know just how strenuous life as a wedding pro can be. Our industry presents unique business challenges alongside the triumphs. At any level of the game, all wedding pros have to be able to reach local couples effectively and build a clientele with couples who value their services.
An imperative step in building a solid wedding business? Starting with a solid foundation of business practices and marketing strategies. This includes, above all, understanding exactly who you want to be targeting. Who is your ideal client and why? What sort of value are you offering this specific type of client? To reach local couples, wedding pros must first be able to communicate the value they can provide those brides and grooms. Not sure where to start with that? We have a simple formula to help you articulate both your ideal customer and your value proposition.
Once you’re sure of exactly which local couples you’re wanting to reach, continuing to build a solid foundation with strong website design, marketing materials and social media imagery – ensuring all of the above includes top notch messaging and cohesive design – is a must. Beyond that, when your business foundation is solid, it’s time to delve deeper into these marketing tactics to reach local brides and see the fruits of your labor.
The Best Ways to Reach Local Couples
FOCUS ON LOCAL SEO
Go after the brides, but at the same time, let the brides come to YOU. Whether or not you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, if you’re wanting to reach local brides, you have to consistently show up in their search results. Local SEO, or search engine optimization, helps ensure you can land in front of local couples looking for your services. Luckily, the first and most important step of local SEO is incredibly easy: claiming and optimizing your free Google My Business profile helps Google to learn more about your business and in turn, to share it with the right potential customers.
Reviews are a huge part of local SEO. Think of reviews (across multiple channels) as your local cheering section! The couples who leave positive reviews are the ones singing your praises via word of mouth AND online, which is even more powerful. In fact, 97% of customers read reviews of local businesses before making a purchase decision, which means you can’t afford not to have a collection of strong reviews. So, first things first: make sure your customer experience is worth raving about! From there, try some of these tactics to get more glowing reviews for your wedding business without lifting a finger.
DON’T OVERLOOK EMAIL MARKETING
Many, many wedding professionals overlook email marketing as a way to reach local couples because they think “my list isn’t big enough.” But did you know, on average, email marketing has an average ROI of 122%? Which means the size of your list doesn’t really matter. If you’re consistently emailing 5 people, that’s 5 opportunities to connect with customers down the road.
When it comes to email marketing, don’t wait to start until your list reaches a certain magic number. There is no magic number! Just start somewhere. Start by offering consistent, regular, dependable emails with helpful content and work on building your subscriber list gradually so when it does come time to make a sale, you’re in front of the right people.
Your first priority when it comes to email? Delivering a beautiful, on-brand, mobile-responsive email to all who inquire. It’s that first impression local brides will see when they interact with your business – it’s what will stick in their minds, dictate your reputation and ultimately help them decide whether or not they want to work with you.
STAY CONSISTENT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
There’s no better tool than social media to give you endless options for reaching local couples. We always recommend conducting an audit of your social media and sticking with a consistent tone, consistent imagery and consistent style. The ultimate goal is for your social media profiles to become an easily recognizable extension of your brand. Some of our favorite ways to reach local couples via social?
Utilizing Instagram hashtags – think of the terms couples are searching for on Instagram and let those dictate your hashtags. Remember, quality over quantity!
Locally targeted Facebook ads – an effective Facebook advertising campaign does not necessitate a large budget. You can do a lot with a little on Facebook, and we love that you can get crazy granular in your targeting to help stretch your dollars even further.
Staying active on Pinterest (one of the world’s biggest search engines!) and using local keywords in your Pin descriptions.
Along with your marketing strategy, social media should also be part of your customer service strategy – and not just in a reactive, negative way! Using social media within your customer service strategy is a great way to be proactive, ensuring your customer interactions stay positive.
Yes, networking with potential customers is wonderful, but networking with other wedding professionals – even if they’re in a completely different facet of the business than you are – can pay dividends in the long run. Take advantage of any opportunities to connect with, build friendships with and collaborate with other vendors outside of your area of expertise. Friends recommend friends, and you want to be top of mind when brides ask other professionals to recommend who they’d use for your services!
Workshops and conferences are of course great places to network locally, but don’t stop there! Organize a styled shoot, host a happy hour, attend a class or workshop, open your doors for an open house, attend a charity event, volunteer for a greater cause – these are some of our favorite ways to build one-on-one personal connections with other local professionals.
As part of a multifaceted, well-rounded and highly effective marketing plan for your wedding business, we’d be remiss to not recommend partnering with established, well-connected local wedding media brand. Joining a partnership with (and being published by) a widely recognized and respected media brand like our sister brands at Brides of Houston, Brides of Austin, Brides of North Texas or Brides of Oklahoma is a smart way to get your name in front of a giant, local, eager audience, but it’s more than just simply getting more eyes on your business. Working with a team like ours with years and years of industry expertise, connections and savvy marketing know-how can HELP you do all the rest of the things mentioned above!
A partnership with a large local brand like ours comes with invaluable opportunities – chances to be part of styled shoots with insanely talented vendors, invitations to exclusive industry-facing and bride-facing events and opportunities for tailored marketing advice and help. Not to mention your work being featured beautifully and thoughtfully, in both print and online, in front of thousands of couples in your area looking for vendors exactly like you.
Bonus Ways to Market to Local Couples Planning Their Wedding
We’re not stopping yet. We couldn’t go without mentioning a few more tried-and-true ways to reach local brides and grooms in the market for YOU and your services. Add these tactics to your list!
Partner with a local influencer – preferably someone in the midst of wedding planning themselves!
Host a giveaway – either in-store or on social media. This is a great chance to collaborate with other vendors or go solo and reap the ROI for your biz!
Build a customer referral program to incentivize and reward those who help expand your business.
Interested in leveraging the audience and industry connectivity of a Brides brand in your area? Reach out to us for more information on our available partnerships!