There are a million and one places to invest in your wedding business, but today, I'm going to give you some FREE places to focus during seasons when you have more money than time. On top of that, marketing for wedding planners should be multi-faceted anyway. It's never a bad idea to invest in some free marketing tools and strategies and some of what I am going to dive into below could pay off for years to come.
I'm never going to be the kind of business coach that tells you there is only one right way to do things. Marketing your wedding business is no exception.
Ready for some free ways to market your wedding biz–especially if you're just starting out? Let's go!
1. Get Yourself on Free Directories
This is a “set it and forget it” kind of task, so I figured we might as well start here. If you are looking for ways to market your wedding business, look for free places you can add your business information to. Certain wedding planning sites like WeddingWire or One Wed will give you a free listing.
When you list your business on these sites, prepare to be pitched to advertise with them. This is NOT something I recommend for most businesses, but we will save that for another day! In the meantime, you can also look outside the wedding industry and list your business on Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Better Business Bureau – the list is ENDLESS. A quick Google search will give you more than enough places to create a free listing for your business.
As business owners, we typically know where most of our couples are finding us. Although I recommend focusing for the most part on what's already working, you never know how many couples are falling through the cracks because they started their wedding vendor search somewhere you weren't expecting!
As an added bonus, sometimes these free listings will link back to your website, which helps with your overall SEO! This brings me to my next point…
2. Put Time into SEO
SEO is kind of my secret weapon (I have to be honest with you!). I know it's not sexy and it's definitely not what anyone in the online space is shouting from the rooftops, but there is nothing quite being on page 1 of Google.
When it comes to marketing for wedding planners, customers might find you on Instagram and absolutely love your work (and that might be how you are booking more of your customers now), but when they come to Google, they are actively looking to book.
Is this you? Oftentimes, I see wedding planners and other wedding pros put a ton of time and money into their website, only to have it bring in crickets. Having a high-converting (and beautiful!) website is only important if your ideal customers are actually seeing it.
If you're worried about the technical aspects of SEO – don't be. Not only am I completely confident you can learn the basic SEO skills you need to be successful, but it's also not as technical as you think. A little keyword research and changing around some of the words you use on your website can often be more than enough to get your website some traction.
3. Write Blog Posts
Okay, friend – I know that blogging is one of those things that always gets pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. But hear me out anyway. Not only is blogging great for SEO, but it's also a great way to show your work and show off your expertise. When your prospective customers check out your blog post, you have a unique opportunity to both attract your ideal client and repel the clients that you don't necessarily want to work with. Think about it – when else do you get to tell a future couple exactly what you desperately wish they'd know before they even reach out?
When it comes to blog topics, talk about the work you love to do (or dream of booking). Dream of working on outdoor tented weddings? Share some outdoor wedding tips! Prefer all-inclusive packages in a ballroom? Consider a venue feature instead.
And listen, if you need a little help figuring out your ideal client, can I pause to recommend The Client Cocktail? It might not be free, but I promise you, it is worth every penny (it's not your mom's ideal client avatar worksheet).
4. Use Pinterest
Listen, you know those things your future self will thank you for? Pinterest is one of those marketing channels. We all know that Pinterest is one of the first places couples go – of all budgets and sizes. Your couples come to Pinterest in search of inspiration and information. Similar to a Google search, when people are looking for your product or service on Pinterest, they are actively looking to make wedding planning decisions. They are in the right frame of mind to slide over to your contact form.
Or, at the very least, if they're just looking for now, they can save your website for later. When is the last time you actually went back to your Instagram collections? Was it 6 months ago or never? But when couples go on Pinterest, they are actively reorganizing their boards and going back to work with the businesses they love. So why aren't more wedding planners marketing their business on Pinterest? In my humble opinion, it's a missed opportunity.
5. Network with your Industry
I proudly owe a lot of where I am today to the connections I made early on in my business. I started my wedding planning business over 12 years ago, and when I look around today, it's easier to network now more than ever. Here's the thing: the key to networking is NOT making it all about you. As a wedding planner, you have a million and one people coming to you and introducing themselves all of the time. Don't be one of those people. Instead, strategically approach the right people (the people you really really want to work with) and make it all about THEM.
6. Establish Relationships with Venues
This goes hand in hand, but one of my favorite ways to attract ideal clients is to talk about and market for the venues they're already looking at (that I love to work with). Whether you are dreaming of a luxury ballroom or a destination wedding weekend away in one of the farm wedding venues a few hours away, focus on establishing relationships with venues that you want to work with. Even as a wedding planner, venues are often booked before anything else. These relationships will pay off over and over again.
7. Use Google My Business
As a coach for wedding planners, I'm often asked where is the BEST place to ask for your couples to leave a review. I always suggest your Google My Business listing first, as it can help push your website up in the rankings, and it's the first thing that prospective couples will see when they google your business name. Using this can be incredibly powerful because, by the time they click through to your website, they already know you have great reviews, so they are warmed up before they even check out your services page.
More than that, Google My Business is coming out with even more new features to help you keep potential customers in the loop about all of the incredible work you are doing. You can add images from past weddings to your profile and even post updates linking to new blog posts or business announcements. These really are the kind of tasks that are super quick to do but so often get missed by your competitors.
8. Create Connections on Instagram
This is one of the free marketing tools for wedding planners that you're probably the most familiar with, first because it is often the most natural to us, and second, because most business coaches are shouting from the rooftop, “Can you believe you can grow an entire business just by posting pretty photos on Instagram?”. Of course, you know there's a catch and that Instagram is a lot of work, but when you are just starting a wedding business or looking to gain momentum fairly quickly, Instagram can be a great place to start. More than just posting your own beautiful work, reach out to fellow vendors that are already working with the type of weddings and couples that you want to be working with. Ultimately, social media is social, and you'll find it to be most effective if you're using it that way.
OK, that was a lot! Let's recap my tips for marketing for wedding planners.
Here are 8 of the most effective free ways to market your wedding planning business:
- Get Yourself on Free Directories
- Put time into SEO
- Write blog posts
- Use Pinterest
- Network with your industry
- Establish relationships with venues
- Use Google My Business
- Create Connections on Instagram
Ready to plan high-end weddings like a pro?
When it comes to Marketing for Wedding Planners, I got you. If you're interested in taking your wedding planning business one step further, I am inviting you to join me inside The Planner's Playbook. This is my new coaching experience for wedding planners who are ready to plan, design, and coordinate high-end weddings like a pro! Ready to become a Playbooker?
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