When you’ve just launched your wedding business, it can be understandably difficult to find leads or potential clients. You may feel overwhelmed and like the “new kid in town”, especially if you haven’t made any particular connections beforehand.
However, finding leads doesn’t have to be a hair-pullingly stressful experience. Although it isn’t necessarily easy, it may not be as hard as you think. There are even a few things you can do to make sure you’re doing all you can to direct couples to you.
The very first thing to pay attention to is your website’s SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization”. Usually, the first place a couple is going to go in their search for a wedding pro is Google, so it’s important to make sure the language on your website is working overtime to put your site at the top of that search.
Part of this is editing how your site will pull up in a search engine. You should be able to go through each page of your website on the backend and make sure it’s optimized for SEO. There will almost always be an option to edit the SEO of a page. The goal is to include keywords that a couple would search for, for example:
“Los Angeles Wedding Planner”
“Luxury Wedding Photographer”
“Cultural Wedding Venue”
So, if you’re a wedding planner based in Washington, it would be a great idea to ensure your SEO title is something like “Washington Wedding Planner | Your Business Name”.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account, it could be worth looking into. Oftentimes, a couple will simply search “wedding ____ near me”, and Google will show the cards of those businesses on the side. The way you can make sure yours shows up is with a Google My Business account.
Following that, your meta description also carries weight and should briefly describe whatever the page is about. Google generally only shows the first 150-160 characters of the meta description, so be sure you’re using those characters wisely with a few keywords. You can always search for wedding professionals in different areas or niches to see what the top results’ descriptions look like.
Keywords are important not only in your search engine results but also in the language used throughout your website. You don’t need to go overboard; a good rule of thumb is to focus on about 5 keywords that you can scatter throughout your site’s copy. If you have a blog, try only focusing on one or two of those keywords. What you never want to do is stick keywords in places that seem obvious that you’re doing it for SEO purposes. If a keyword wouldn’t naturally flow in a sentence, it would be best not to use it.
Both vendor and bride referrals can be an awesome source of leads. Even if you have never booked a client before, start networking with other vendors or wedding pros near you to build a relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask if another wedding pro would like to collaborate as you’ll probably find the most success with this. As for couples, always ask them to refer you to their newly engaged friends. As the saying goes, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.”
If it makes sense for your business, think of a way you could offer an incentive to couples for bringing leads to you that book. For example, if you’re a photographer, you can offer a discounted shoot of any kind to couples that bring you referrals. The same could go for a hair stylist or makeup artist– offer a discount on your services for the referee.
If you can find a Wedding Expo near you, you may want to invest to attend. Hundreds of brides come to meet all kinds of wedding professionals in one place so they can plan their weddings. With the right booth, marketing materials, and approach, you could easily book three or more couples for their wedding days. It’s such a fun event for brides, so the energy will certainly uplift and encourage you to make those connections.
Of course, there’s always the option of investing in advertisements. If you go that route, try looking into Facebook and Instagram ads to see if you think they would make sense for your business. Many wedding pros find tons of success with Facebook ads, so it could be worth a shot. Aside from social media, you can also pay to be in a print publication like a popular wedding magazine, or an online publication, like Two Bright Lights.
The options that will give you the best bang for your buck (especially because they’re free) will, of course, be SEO optimization and bride/vendor referrals. However, the most important thing to remember is to never stress yourself by trying to juggle all of these options. We’d suggest sticking with one to begin with and then shift your efforts to another. If not, you may find yourself overworked and burnt out before you’ve even landed a client!