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September is the start of the new academic year and the kids are back at school hallelujah. So what are you gonna do now?
Now technically I see the wedding year as running October to September, October being the start of down season and September being the end of our high season. But this year, it's a little different in so many ways. And now the kids are back at school and we have some extra time in our day where we aren't entertaining the kiddos. Let's start looking at marketing plan for the year 2020 to 2021. Of course, this also applies if you didn't have kids at home for the last six months too. I like to start looking at my marketing calendar for the coming year in October because if you start in December, you're actually kind missing the boat on the busiest months for marketing. So we're lucky that the trend of weddings and engagements is engaged in the winter married in the summer. Have you ever thought of it like that? This really means that our seasons are our marketing season and our working season. So although we need to be marketing all year round, our biggest marketing opportunities come in the winter and early spring.
Marketing your Wedding Business
So not setting up a marketing calendar was one of the biggest mistakes I made when I was a wedding photographer full time I'd post and be more active but there was no real strategy behind what I was doing. So I want to give you three steps to make sure that you don't make the same mistake I did.
Step One - Marketing Calendar
Mark on your calendar, December to March, as your marketing time and mark time on that calendar specifically for marketing purposes. Whereas if you're selling Christmas gifts, you would advertise in the run up to Christmas, brides (couples) get engaged Christmas Day, New Year's Day, February the 14th. So those three days create the most engagements in each year and we need to focus our advertising after these dates instead of before, so get that marketing time written into your calendar.
Step Two ~ Your Marketing Content
What do you want people to know? What do you actually do? And what do you want to offer? You need to start working on the content of your campaign. What should they know about your trade? What will help them make an informed decision on which vendor to go with? What should they know about you and how you work and what you do in your work and what is the offer you are going to make, what makes you different? So these are the questions that you need to be answering in your campaigns. You also want to put in that special deal that you want to promote.
Now when it comes to deals, guys, please do not discount your offerings. We have had a horrendous year and we don't need to be discounting our prices. What we need to be doing is looking at adding more value. At the end of the day, if you have priced out your services correctly, and you have budgeted based on working on those prices, if you discount it, then you're cutting into your bottom line and you that's going to affect your ability to pay your bills. And that is the last thing we want. So look at adding more value rather than discounting.
By that I mean, if somebody was to buy your top photography package, give them 50% off parent albums, let them know that these make great surprise 'Thank you' gifts after the day. Your markup on albums should be more than 50%. So you're going to make a little bit of profit on the money that they do pay, but they're gonna see that they're getting a great deal because they're getting them for half price, they're getting two for the price of one. So look at what you could offer as an added extra to what you are currently providing in your packages rather than discounting. Look at adding more images, you know, book this package and get an extra 50 images in your final package. For invitations look at something like, if you buy before the 30th of April get RSVP cards free in your package. Whatever it is, look at how you can add extra that's going to seem high in value but isn't going to cost you more money and isn't going to lose you any money.
Step Three - Delivering your Marketing Content
Look at how you're going to deliver this marketing. So will you be doing videos, live video recordings, blog posts, recorded videos, general posts, all of the above? Start mapping out how you're going to deliver your marketing over those that three month period December through to March. Insert the topics from step two into those marketing spaces.
For example, I'm going to do a live every Tuesday on Facebook and/or Instagram with my top tip to hiring a... whatever your trade is. Write down 12 things that brides (couples) should know, ask, see, or expect from a vendor in your industry. Then share them January through to March. So that's 12 weeks worth of content just in a quick Tuesday video to tell them one of these tips and you can repurpose that for other platforms. So if you do it live on Instagram, and live On Facebook, if you're brave enough go live on both platforms at the same time. You can then repurpose that video share the link on Twitter, you can break it down into a post and post that on a different day say 'if you missed my video I spoke about...' and just give the info in a post as well. So that gives you multiple opportunities to deliver that message.
One day a week you could talk about why you love what you do, and what makes you different. That could just be a post that you do every week talk about one thing that creates part of your reason why you do what you do so that they can see the passion in you.
On another day, you could talk about your 2021 booking offer. So, 'book now put down a retainer and get x' whatever that special bonus is that we were speaking about in the last step.
You could do a post that lets your potential clients get to know who you are as a person. So this isn't your passion for your job, this is who you are as a human being. So, that might be 'took the dog for a walk today, and he jumped in the river and you know, came out shook all over me and now look at the state of me!' and a picture of your trousers covered in mud. Just something that gives them that personal connection, something that they can go oh that's happened to me too. Or 'just seen my friend of 30 years for the first time since lockdown. We had a blast' and a picture of you two cheersing in a wine or something, things that people can relate to, so that they can get to know you on a bit more of a personal level. Because at the end of the day, they're putting their trust in you that you're going to provide a service for their wedding day and that is going to be harder than ever for them to do over the coming months. They need to get to know you on a bit more of a personal level.
If you have a blog. You can blog about your real weddings. Share your blog once a week. Tell your audience why you loved doing that wedding. If you've got a testimonial from that client even better share that testimonial at the same time so that they can see that, you did a wedding, they can see, what you enjoyed about it, they can see, what you did for it, and then they can see that the client absolutely loved your work. So that is a good one to share as well.
That actually gives you five days worth of posting, if not six days worth of posting, just in that marketing plan. If your weekly content goes out on a specific date, then keep that consistent. Obviously I've done top Tip Tuesday as a live video, you might choose to do something different. If you do something like a live video, and you're going to do it on a weekly basis, make sure you're consistent with the time and day that you do it because that's going to start getting recognized by your audience and they will tune in for that.
Then you may want to do a couple of other posts at the weekend just general posts. You could even do this entire marketing plan as extra to your regular curated social media content. So this will just give you extra opportunities to get in front of your ideal client with your marketing plan, but also with your other posts. So you might actually for those first three months of the year, be posting twice a day instead of once a day.
Don't forget to also follow through on your social media scroll activities from last week's episode. This will help solidify you as an expert in your field and when brides get all excited from their engagement and look you up they're going to see your marketing material. So make sure that you are following through with the scroll activities from last week.
So step one is mark out the time on your calendar December through to march. As you start gearing up December is really where you want to start curating those posts and getting everything together for the posts that you can do in advance so that you're not having to be overburdened January through March with trying to do extra.
Step two write down what do they need to know? What do you do differently? Why do you do what you do and what your special offer is going to be for that period of time.
Step three, plan out your how's. How are you going to deliver this content, write that down and fit it into your calendar.
I am running the social media content calendar creation workshop on the 14th of September, where I will walk you through step by step to creating a whole year's worth of content in less than 2hours, for just £29. If you can't attend the live recording, a recording of it will be sent out to you afterwards. And if you have any questions at all, you'll be able to have them answered over in the free Facebook group.
So until next week, guys, thank you so much for your support. As always, hit that subscribe button where you listen, share this podcast with a colleague and I will see you next week. Bye for now.