The new year is here! You know it’s that time of the year to review last year, set goals for this year and do a whole bunch of other things we’re all “supposed” to do to start off the new year.
The new year is the perfect time to fine tune the business piece of your wedding business.
Here are my favorite easy, start-the-new-year-strong tips for your wedding business.
1. Freshen up your website
This can be done in just three hours and makes a big difference in the type of client you attract. Here are three super simple pieces of your website to review and update.
Update the photos so that they reflect current styles, this is a great opportunity to include wedding photos from this past year.
Make sure you have a testimonial on every single page. We all have a Testimonials or Client Love page, but let’s face it, no one visits that. Instead, sprinkle a testimonial on each page.
Make sure all the links work. The best way to do this is to have someone else test it out for you, such as your virtual assistant, spouse or sibling.
First step: Schedule a date and three hours to freshen up your website.
2. Review your Instagram
We all know that couples are all over Instagram researching vendors for their weddings. It is crucial that your Instagram feed is cohesive and appeals to your ideal client. Set aside 60 minutes to review your Instagram feed. Make sure that you liked and replied to the comments and direct messages.
Now, here is the hard part, you are going to delete photos that don’t go with your brand. Delete photos that are not stunning and don’t quite go with the rest of the photos.
For example, if you are a rock and roll focused DJ and have a country music photo, that country music photo doesn’t really make sense or support your brand.
The goal here is to create a feed that looks cohesive and so enticing that couples follow you, fall in love with you and then inquiry with you. It’s hard at first to delete photos, but once you see how attractive your feed looks cleaned up, you’ll be constantly going back to see how it all looks together.
First step: Schedule a date and time to review and update your Instagram feed.
3. Really get to know your ideal client
This is super important and can be done in just one hour. If you haven’t already, take the time to focus in on who your ideal client is. I have a worksheet HERE you can use to get started. If you already know who your ideal client is, that’s fantastic! Either way, there are some things you can do with your one hour to get to know them better.
Send an email (or better yet call) to your absolute favorite clients of all time and learn more about them. Your goal is to learn about what makes them tick, so your can market to that type of client and book more clients like them.
Next make a drawing / collage / create a visual of this client. Get really specific, down to age, type of car they drive and name the client. Then put the picture of your ideal client where you will see it everyday you are working. This will serve as a reminder of who you are focused on booking.
First step: Write down your five favorite clients of all time.
4. Update your packages
I don’t know about you, but for me when I’m in the thick of wedding season is when I get the best ideas for how to make my packages even better for next year. This is because in the moment of the wedding action is when I can see where clients are struggling and offer solutions with my services. Of course, the middle of wedding season is not when I can sit down and update all my packages.
Reflect back on your wedding season. What was something that clients were asking for, seemed troubled by, challenged by or needed extra help with? If you are a photographer, maybe you didn’t bring a second shooter and learned that needs to happen when the bride and groom get ready at separate locations.
Don’t start making tons of packages. Instead, consider sticking to three packages, think of them as Good, Better and Best. Of course you will have other package pieces to up-sell and customize in your back pocket, but you don’t want to overwhelm potential clients by offering too many options. After a phone call to lean about what the client needs and what is in their budget, you can send them a custom proposal.
First step: Schedule a date and time to update your packages.
5 . Network without attending a mixer
What do you think of when you hear the word networking? For many people when they hear the word networking they think of attending mixers with a bunch of people they don’t know, a few people they want to meet and an even smaller group of people they would be super excited to work with.
I can’t think of many people that love attending networking events after a long day of work and having to put in the energy to get to know complete strangers that you may or may not work with again.
I remember when I first moved to California and I attended as many networking events as I could to meet people. It was so intimidating to go to an event where I didn’t know anyone and I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot before going in, my stomach in knots with anxiety, reading articles with tips all about networking. Do you know this feeling I’m talking about?
The truth is networking is one of the best ways to get awesome, qualified leads for your wedding business.
The key for turning networking into a lead is to be authentic and thoughtful. You need to get out from behind your computer and meet people in person. The good news is that you don’t have to attend tons of networking mixers to meet people!
RESEARCH Start by researching other vendors in your area that you would love to work with. Pay attention to which vendors have similar couples, style, and approach to you. Make a list of these people. Then follow and interact with them on social media.
REACH OUT Contact those vendors that you would like to meet. Start with a personal email and follow up in a few days with a phone call. Or if you are really a brave badass, go straight for the phone call. Since you are already following them on social media, there is a better chance they will notice and respond to you. You are not (I repeat NOT) asking them to send you clients; you are getting to know them and starting to learn about each other. The slow season this winter is a great time to invite a vendor to coffee or tour your venue.
FOLLOW UP After the meeting, be sure to follow up with an email or e-card thanking them for their time (or to really stand out, send a handwritten note). Be sure to post a photo from your get together on social media with a shoutout about how awesome that vendor is.
STAY IN TOUCH The relationship doesn’t end there. To foster an authentic relationship be sure to stay in touch. Send New Years or Valentine’s day cards. Talk to them at mixers. Interact with them on social media.
First step: Write down five people you are going to contact.