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Guest post by Lindsey Nickel
It used to be that just having a mobile friendly website and a few wedding vendor besties was enough to stand out and get booked as a wedding planner. I remember in the small town where I started my wedding planning business ten years ago, there were only three other wedding planners (and they had been planning weddings for a long time) and now there are probably about ten local wedding planners, plus all the destination wedding planners coming to the small town.
Let’s face it, all the wedding markets are flooded now that we have the internet. That means you must stand out locally and on the internet.
Millennials are getting married and spending a lot of their time online. They account for 80% of today’s marrying couples. They are spending two hours per week and doing 80% of their planning online (source Wedding Wire). That means you need to cut through not just wedding planning noise, but anything else they are looking at on their phones and computers. You have to stand out to get them to pay attention to your website and make an inquiry.
1. Discover your ideal client
The first (and sometimes hardest) task you need to do is clearly and specifically identify your ideal client.
Your ideal client isn’t everyone engaged and getting married in the next 12 months. Your ideal client isn’t everyone that will pay your prices (maybe that was the case with your first few clients, but you can be more choosy at this point).
At first, it might seem like casting your net wide and leaving your options open will get you more inquiries. But the opposite is actually true, especially in a flooded market where there are so many wedding planner options. Less people will feel drawn toward you when your message and niche is too broad and too general.
For example, on your website should you have a photo of the ranch wedding with cowboy boots or a city hall elopement? If you know that your niche is ranch weddings in the Rocky Mountains and your ideal client lives in Bozeman, Montana it’s an obvious choice to pick the ranch wedding photo.
Then, you can also be sure to include website copy that talks about ranch weddings. It will be much easier to write about a specific ranch wedding than just beautiful weddings in general.
When your marketing appeals to a specific niche and your ideal client, that person is drawn to your style and past weddings. They follow you on Instagram, fall in love with your other ranch weddings and inquire with you about their ranch wedding.
2. Avoid these two common mistakes
The first mistake wedding planners (and other vendors) make is to spend too much time behind the computer. It’s so easy to sit back in your comfy chair with your favorite mug and scroll mindlessly on Facebook, a few likes here and a few comments there.
Then you switch over to Instagram and look at people that appear to be crushing it in their wedding planning businesses. You hit like a few more times and leave a few heart emojis, meanwhile you are frustrated because your calendar looks pretty empty.
Hanging out at home mingling in Facebook groups is not going to help you stand out. You need to get out from behind the computer and go meet other wedding vendors in person.
Another common mistake is a blah website. Your website is incredibly valuable in helping your wedding planning business stand out. It needs to represent your brand and your personality. Your website helps engaged couples to imagine what it would be like if you planned their wedding.
Every word needs to talk to your ideal client. A website that is out of date, hard to follow or a bit dull says that the wedding planner is out of date, hard to follow and a bit dull. Don’t be that dull website. Don’t be that dull wedding planner.
3. Find the right words
It can be challenging to think of the right words to include in your website, marketing and social media. Industry jargon such as BEO, timeline and 66” round are confusing to engaged couples. You need to use the same words that your ideal client uses, in your website copy and marketing.
How do you find the right words?
Take a look back at your reviews.
Your past clients hold the answers to what makes you unique, talented and a joy to work with. Use their words in your marketing.
For example, if someone says, “She was so calm even when my mother was nervous about the weather.” Then you should use that strength of being calm as what sets you apart from the competition and include it in your marketing.
BONUS TIP: Show up and be consistent.
Two things need to happen that can make you stand out and be memorable. First, you need to show up and second, you need to be consistent.
Show up at networking events, show up on social media, show up at coffee dates, show up at educational workshops. Show up everywhere. It’s like the old saying goes “out of sight, out of mind.”
The second thing is that you need to be consistent, which is why it is sooooo important to discover your ideal client. You need to be consistent in the style of photos on your website, in your website copy, your Instagram feed photos, the language in your emails, literally everywhere you are needs to feel like it goes with the other pieces of your marketing.
Sign up now for Lindsey’s free mini course: How to Stand Out in a Flooded Wedding Planner Market. It’s filled with specific steps you can take right now to stand out and book more clients.
Lindsey is the go-to marketing and business strategist for wedding planners who want to be fully booked with wonderful clients. She provides doable, focused, action steps based on her many years as a wedding planner. Based in Napa, Calif. she is a Bay Area native with a passion for outdoor adventures and travel. Lindsey’s work is featured on CNN.com, Style Me Pretty, Brides, The Knot Yours Truly book and more. Check out her wedding planner coaching business and get marketing tips for wedding planners on her website lovelydaystrategy.com.
I’m Kristie Lorette McCauley. I have a word addiction and I’m not afraid to use it (or admit it).
In my past life, I was a certified wedding planner. In my current life, I am the wedding planner content + copy writer.
I use my writing + wedding planning experience to turn your thoughts into words that land you DREAM brides + grooms + book your calendar solid.