When I stepped away from teaching after my first year in the classroom, the first career alternative I investigated was wedding planning. I took a certification course through Penn Foster. I even joined the Association of Bridal Consultants. Pretty much all I ever did with that was go on two highly enjoyable trips to tour wedding destination resorts. But I did meet a lot of very accomplished professionals and learn a lot about the industry. As it turns out, I am significantly better at writing about and creating marketing strategies for wedding planners than I am at, um, actually planning any weddings. But good times were had by all!
You need educational marketing strategies for wedding planners.
A wedding planner tends to be seen as part of a different category than other wedding industry vendors like florists, caterers, or photographers. (And even those are still really luxury services, if you think about it.) Many brides assume they don’t need one, or that the coordinator from their venue will be sufficient. Marketing strategies for wedding planners need to go beyond just fun or pretty inspiration. You truly need to educate clients about the benefits of hiring a professional planner.
Content marketing is a fantastic tool for educating potential clients. By proving yourself to be knowledgeable, helpful, and hopefully likeable, you can help clients imagine themselves working with you. Remember: brides want to hire someone that will make their life easier. With these marketing strategies for wedding planners, you can start doing that the moment they click onto your website!
Think about your target market (and your secret sauce).
Yes, you work with brides. But what kind of brides? Who is going to benefit most from your unique set of skills and experience? Maybe you are the queen of event budgeting. (Which doesn’t mean you have to charge low rates, by the way!) Perhaps your events all have a signature style. Maybe you specialize in ceremonies from a particular culture, or non-religious ceremonies, or elopements. When thinking about marketing strategies for wedding planners, always go back to what makes you unique and memorable.
Collect and provide targeted information.
Once you’ve figured out your target market, create an opt-in offer that will appeal ONLY to that market. (Or at least mostly to that market.) You can also use your opt-in offer and welcome sequence as a way to start learning about your potential clients. Magazine-style personality quizzes about wedding style or bride personality would be fantastic marketing strategies for wedding planners. You can then send personal messages and targeted content based on their quiz results.
Roll out the welcome mat.
Presentation matters, as you know. Make yours count by sending a personalized, targeted welcome sequence when people sign up for your mailing list. Not only does a welcome sequence train new readers to open your e-mails, it’s also a great opportunity to gently prepare them to hire you. You can learn how to write a welcome sequence with my free e-mail course here.
Teach something useful.
In your opt-ins, welcome emails, or blog content, teach potential clients how to do something related to their wedding plans. Doing this will accomplish a few things. First, it will bring people to your content and website. Second, it will show that you are knowledgeable and helpful. But, wait! you protest. If I tell them how to balance their own budget or choose their own colors, they won’t need me anymore!
Not necessarily. There are a few possibilities. 1) If a bride subscribes to get a freebie and then bounces, she probably wouldn’t have hired a wedding planner in the first place. 2) She’ll download the resource, try to do it on her own, realize how much work it is, and contact you! 3) She’ll download the resource, use it successfully, decide that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy, and contact you. Be prepared for a lot of people to fall into camp 1, but don’t take it personally. Concentrate on hanging onto the brides who go through 2 or 3.
Leverage your network.
One thing I learned from hanging out with wedding planners and working as a wedding photographer is that networking is everything. Weddings have a lot of moving parts, and the most experienced, talented planners have binders full of
women industry contacts. And the relationships they cultivate with those contacts is important too. Team up with vendor partners to create content together. Write blog posts, create a free wedding handbook, do Instagram takeovers, make a Pinterest group board. You’ll get extra traffic from cross-promotion and show off the depth of your Rolodex. (Do they even make those anymore? What do you know, they do!)
Follow up after they say, “I do.”
After the marriage contract is signed and the dress packed off to the cleaners, don’t just disappear! Most planners are really good at sending anniversary gifts and cards. You can also start a post-wedding mailing list with reminders about name changes on government documents, referrals to realtors for couples buying houses or doctors for those starting families, and local date night ideas. You want your brides to feel like you deserve their referrals, so keep in touch authentically and consistently after the wedding.
If you want more specific marketing strategies for wedding planners, you can purchase the complete Content Marketing Map for Wedding Planners below. In it I provide sample welcome e-mail sequences, a sample follow-up sequence, and 10+ topics for social media, blog posts, e-mail newsletters, or postcards.
If you have ideas but need help creating the content, you can borrow my brain and time here. As always, if you have any questions, let me know!