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Tuesday Tutorial – Finding Clients When Launching Your Wedding Business by Zoe McKeown

Finding Your Ideal Wedding Clients

As wedding planners we are all trying to market ourselves and be seen by as many newly engaged couples as possible, so that is the first broad market area. When I started my company I did some very small scale market research on friends, family, colleagues and strangers to see if they would use a wedding planner and where they would go to find one. The first port of call is generally the internet. So a good website designed to attract your potential bride is crucial. Take lots of time over the look, styling, wording, personality and content of your website as this is your new ‘shop window.”

The key to finding your ideal bridal clients is to firstly know who they are. Have you identified what is your target market – Are they high end, budget, themed, Asian, destination?

The same applies to any advertising, create the right advert to sell your services to the onlooker instantly. If you are wanting to attract very modern brides then your advert should show this, if marquee weddings are your speciality then make sure you include a picture of a marquee in the advert.

Pricing may also be the key to finding the ideal brides. If your prices are too low then you will not attract high end clients as they may decide on such a cheap price you couldn’t possible give them the attention they require. The same goes for pricing that is too expensive, you may block out a whole section of the market not because your service or website is bad but because your costs are prohibitive. Again do some market research on competitors and brides to be, and also do some trial free weddings so that you can get a feel for realistic pricing and achievable outcomes.

I am constantly considering where I can find my ideal brides, it is not a task that you do once on company set up and never return to. There are always new opportunities, but beware throwing lots of money into advertising alone. It does not mean you will get floods of calls, it is something to experiment with slowly as it can take a large chunk of budget and not bring the rewards you had hoped for. Free PR is a better idea if finances are tight in the beginning.

Try ideas for giving away free hours, find wedding editions of local magazines or radio shows and ask if they are doing any promotions and would be willing to give away free wedding planner hours as a prize competition. I got my first few jobs this way by giving away 3 hours free they then bought a few more and it started boosting my confidence and word of mouth about my service.

So if you were a bride where would you look? Your perfect client will probably be very similar to you, so take a moment to think this through and devise a plan of action rather than just winging it.

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