I think it’d be great if we could snap our fingers and poof! we’d get what we want. I’d ask for patience, more quality time with my family, and a chance to have a whole-roasted chicken dinner with my mom who passed away about six years ago.
What would you wish for?
Most wedding pros I know are interested in getting more leads for 2021. And I don’t mean rescheduled clients from 2020 – we’ve had enough of those! I’m talking about fresh inquiries from newly engaged couples who want to tie the knot next year. (And if we’re wishing…we might as well make their wedding date a Friday during shoulder season, right?)
You can’t wish your way to success
Until we all find our fairy godmothers, we’ve got to do more than wish for good fortune to come our way. It’s great to start with a goal in mind, but to earn a better chance at success we’re most likely to reach what we want by coming up with a plan.
One way to do that is to look at what worked elsewhere. Who else, when else, where else, what other industry, what other field, etc. These all turn up exciting, novel ways to approach a problem you’re facing. The book we read last month for Ideaction Community, Range, offered insightful ways to do this with your business.
Let me save you the hassle of searching for a great way to generate more leads for your wedding business: Blog.
I don’t care what field you’re in, what market you serve, or how much you charge for your services. Couples want information to help reach their goals – and they want an expert to guide them along the way.
No doubt about it: Blogging works
In general, companies with active blogs receive about 50% more traffic on their sites than those who don’t. And visitors aren’t “just-looking” when they pop into your online storefront; they’re actually interested in buying. Companies who blog regularly produce nearly 70% more leads to their inbox than those who don’t.
Before we get into the meat of this post, I want to be very clear about what I’m talking about when we write about “blogs.” Most event pros think putting up a gallery of images from a wedding with a few tidbits about how the couple met, how he proposed, and the names of vendors is a blog post. You’re right, and without a doubt you should do these kinds of posts.
But you’ve also got to create more than just these if you want to optimize your blog. Couples have more needs than knowing how some person they don’t know proposed to some other person they don’t know. And while they want to get inspired by what you’ve done for other couples, they want to know more about how you made it happen – and, most importantly, why you’re going to do it better than anyone else they’re looking at.
If you really want to impact site visitors, provide content for them to read and learn.
Why do content-driven blogs work?
1. Drive traffic to your site
The number one goal of all marketing is to drive potential clients to your store/shop/catalog. Period. Always has and always will be. You create awareness and arouse interest in your target audience, and then they want to do something about it. How do I take action? they think. It’s the reason the call-to-action at the end of every marketing effort is/should be to “check out mywebsite.com.”
When people don’t know what they want or how to get it, it can be hard to know the next step. Enter Google, which is basically a massive directional sign for people who are lost and need help. They type in what they want to know more about, and out comes a list of potential answers.
If you’ve done an excellent job with your blog topics by anticipating what your best clients want to know more about, then Google thinks you have an answer and so turns up your site in the search results. If you put out more content regularly, then Google rewards you by putting your site higher in search engine results.
The more people you help find their way the more inquiries you’ll get in your inbox.
More on blogging’s impact on SEO in the coming weeks…
2. Help move potential clients through the buyer’s journey
Newly engaged couples don’t know what they don’t know. We’ve talked about this before: You’ve got to help them understand their needs and learn about what you do to meet their needs once they know them.
Solid pieces of cornerstone content in your blog can move couples quickly from “I don’t know what I don’t know” to “I know I don’t know a lot so I have to keep learning” to “I know what I didn’t know – and I’m ready to make a decision.”
Help them learn how to be savvier shoppers. Share insights about how to choose a vendor in your field, and they’ll ask better questions of you and your competitors. Offer summaries about different styles they could choose from in your vendor category. Give how-tos and tips that are important to them. Save them time and money with your experience and expertise.
If you can make them feel comfortable and confident about moving through the buyer’s journey, they’ll take the next step much sooner than if they’re scared or uncertain. Content blogs create deal momentum way better than any pricing guide or PDF, so stop sending that out after people inquire and put it up on your site as individual blog posts.
We’ll talk more in the coming weeks about picking the right content to put on your blog.
3. Establish you/your business as an authority
When people know what they want and how to get it, they look for someone they can trust to help give it to them. Sure, couples want to connect with you and learn more about you, but what they really want to know is, Will this person or their team give me what I want for my event?
Your blog features information, advice and experience producing (amazing) work for other couples like them. It allows them to connect who you are with what you do – and offer insight into how you do it. This builds trust that you can do it for them with their event because it’s not just luck. It’s skill. So show them what you know and let them feel how it helps them.
4. Create value with interested buyers
Weddings are complex sales transactions. They involve large sums of money and significant risks in choosing the wrong vendor, and we usually see multiple stakeholders involved over a long period of time. What’s impressive about this whole process is they do most of their decision-making without ever talking to real humans.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from wedding pros, “If I can just get them on the phone, I can convince them to book me.” For sure, keep doing all the things I write about/coach/train wedding pros to stop getting ghosted and instead get couples on the phone.
But also do everything you can to build value when they’re not on the phone with you. If you’re in the luxury space or want to raise your rates, you need to persuade ALL the decision-makers you’re worth the price. That means either a) s/he’s the only one making the decision, b) the person you talk to on the phone is an excellent salesperson for your services or c) you’re excellent at convincing both people getting married (and maybe their parents) on the phone, so you can build enough value to justify the high price.
I hope I’ve shown you what blogging can be. And I hope you see what it’s not.
It’s not just a box to check off your list as fast as possible so you can move on to the real work of getting more clients.
It’s not just a portfolio piece with a couple of paragraphs about how the couple met, how s/he proposed and links to the vendors on the event.
If you’re still not convinced of the power you create with a solid blog post, look at how I made you spend five minutes reading these 1500 words.
What would you do with those five minutes at the beginning and/or end of the sales process with your potential clients?
Join Compass Coaching, the monthly live Q&A-format coaching series, where I'll answer these (and much more) - and help coach you to a sales conversion!
Click below and learn how to get your toughest questions answered and win more business.