While most of us Wedding Planners and Coordinators are still in the thick of our fall wedding seasons, it’s important to remember that engagement season is right around the corner!
With nearly 40% of engagements occurring between the months of November and February, we can’t discount that now is the time to shift our focus (even for just an hour or two at a time) towards sprucing up our overall presence, updating systems and workflows, and evaluating what’s working (and what may not be working anymore) in our businesses.
These quick tips will help you maximize this crucial time and set yourself up for a productive engagement season.
01. Freshen up your online presence
Update your website and social media profiles. Be sure exactly what you do is clear when a potential client lands on your page. Do you focus solely on Day of Wedding Coordination? Make it known right away so your ideal brides know they’re in the right place. Make it easy for them to contact you by including links to your inquiry form and social media platforms on every page.
Additionally, update your portfolio to include recent work – and more importantly, recent work of the types of weddings you want to attract more of. You have 3 seconds to make an initial impression with your website – if you have pictures of burlap and mason jar weddings on your website, but you’re trying to attract a modern, chic bride then you MUST make sure your website has images that modern bride will resonate with. If she sees burlap and mason jars she’s likely to click off your website immediately.
02. Post consistently on social media
Now more than ever, it’s important to post consistently on your social media platforms. Similar to your website portfolio, only share work you’re proud of and want to attract more of.
Don’t forget to show you and your teams’ faces every once in a while, too! Brides love to see the faces behind the brand, and doing so will allow them to form a connection with you early on, give them a feel for your personality, and even a glimpse into what it might be like to work with you and your team!
03. Ask for testimonials
If it isn’t already a part of your client workflow, reach out to past clients for a review of your services. It’s one thing to say you’re amazing, efficient and easy to work with, but it’s another thing when someone else says it.
Don’t be shy – brides love talking about their wedding, and will gladly write a quick testimonial of how you made their wedding day an effortless success! Recent, positive reviews speak volumes to couples researching potential wedding vendors.
04. Consider going paperless
Let’s face it. More and more couples are looking for convenience when it comes to signing contracts and paying deposits for their wedding. Consider adopting an online client management software program, like Honeybook, where clients can review proposals, sign your agreement and pay electronically – all in one fell swoop.
Not that it would necessarily be a make or break, but implementing a program like Honeybook will not only decrease the amount of time it takes to receive signatures and payments, but it will also impress your clients with how easy and streamlined the entire process is.
05. Ramp up your SEO game
If you’re not already familiar with the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I’d highly suggest looking into what SEO can do for you and your wedding planning business. Make sure your website includes real language your potential clients would actually search for. For example: “Indianapolis Wedding Coordinator” or “Wedding Planner Indianapolis”.
Blogging also contributes heavily to SEO rankings. Without being salesy, there are ways you can mention and incorporate who you are, what you do as a company, who you serve and where you serve them in your blog posts. The more specific you can get with your blog copy, the better. For example: when sharing a real wedding, talk about how you enjoyed working with XYZ couple at XYZ venue in XYZ city, with XYZ vendors.
06. Determine your advertising budget
If you’re considering advertising on websites like WeddingWire or The Knot, in local magazines or on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, do your homework before committing to a paid plan.
Where are your ideal brides hanging out? How are brides finding you (you can check your Google Analytics for this)? What is your advertising budget for the year? If you previously advertised with one or multiple, which ones preformed the best? And of the number of leads that came in from them, how many actually booked?
Oftentimes the bells and whistles of paid plans don’t always perform as promised and sometimes it’s more about focusing on positioning yourself than forking out thousands of dollars each year to every reputable planning platform out there.
Maybe focus on just one or two platforms, or consider putting that advertising budget towards updating your marketing materials or networking with local venues and vendors that are more likely to refer you based on personal experience with your brand.
07. Update marketing materials
Whether it be business cards, a pricing guide, or even a printed welcome magazine, now is the time to spruce things up a bit. Swap out images with photos of recent work, update your pricing and tweak verbiage.
It’s important that the marketing materials you give potential clients are fresh, polished, and enticing to these newly engaged couples. The materials you give them set the stage for your brand, your image, and could make the difference between whether they hire you or your competition.
08. Follow up in a timely manner
There’s nothing more frustrating to a potential bride than when they inquire with a vendor and…crickets!! Do your best to respond to all inquiries within 24-48 hours. Doing so will show you value their business and would love to be considered for their big day.
If you work part time or have specific business hours, be sure to list them on your website, inquiry form and/or in your email signature. You could even take it a step further and set up an automated email that informs them you received their message, will get back to them in a timely manner and invites them to follow along with you on social.
So, let’s all take a day (even if it’s just an hour at a time) to focus ON our businesses – to get ready for the upcoming engagement season and prepare for a successful year ahead!
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Images via Social Squares