4 Steps to Stand Out in a Big Crowd of Wedding Vendors
Brought to you by Christine Dyer, founder of BridalTweet
I’ve been in the wedding industry for ten years and can assure you that this market is highly competitive. Engaged couples have endless choices when it comes to picking their wedding vendors. And with the explosion of the internet and social media, it’s extremely difficult for vendors to differentiate themselves.
But the fact is – wedding vendors MUST differentiate themselves if they want a long-lasting, profitable business and a healthy pipeline of new referrals. So here are four steps that wedding businesses can take to stand out in the crowd.
1. Understand what your ideal customer wants. In addition to staying on top of the latest wedding trends, it’s important to know the common values that are driving engaged couples’ decisions today. They are:
Engaged couples value experiences that transform them. Even some of the shyest couples embrace the spotlight on their big day. For example, as a bride plans her wedding, she is more commonly thinking about her own personal ‘red carpet’ moment. That is the moment when everyone at her wedding will look at her in astonishment. Various wedding businesses have picked up on this mindset. What additional services can you add to your current offering in order to make engaged couples feel special and transformed?
They value experiences that are an extension of themselves. It’s no wonder that weddings have become so personalized. Engaged couples are excited about customizing the smallest details including menus, programs, favors – you name it. They want to put their stamp on their big day - to make it personal. Thinking beyond price and thinking deeper about the personal nature of weddings, how can you make your products and services more personalized?
They value ‘their’ wedding day, and want their guests to have fun. Long gone are the days when couples plan weddings that merely please their parents and families. Today’s engaged couples are focused on making ‘their’ day unique, memorable, and fun for their guests. This is indicated in less traditional details like taco/slider appetizers, donut walls, food trucks, and photo booths. What can you offer engaged couples to bring a modern and fun twist to their wedding day?
2. Uncover your unique offering. Every wedding planner has their own flair. Every wedding venue has their own style. Every celebrant adds their own special touch. What is exceptional about your wedding services? To find out what your unique offering is, I highly recommend that you call your last ten clients and ask them:
Why did you choose us?
What did you love about us?
And while you’re at it – where could we have improved?
3. Be confident about your unique offering. Feel good about your unique talents. Know what you’re good at and play that up. Remember that there’s a reason why you chose this profession and don’t lose sight of that. Know it. Work it. Own it!
4. Create marketing that clearly and simply communicates your unique offering/s. And while you're at it, make sure that all of your communication channels do the following:
Create a special feeling (emotional need). For many brides, their wedding is something that they’ve anticipated their entire lives. Be in tune with how important this event is by using words and phrases like "exclusive," "congratulations" and "limited edition." Your marketing needs to make engaged couples feel extra special. It needs to suggest that they will have a truly unique experience – one that other wedding vendors are not necessarily providing.
What are you saying in your ads, on your website, or in your blog to make brides feel extra special?
Provide a resolution (rational need). When you do an Internet search, nine times out of ten you're looking for the answer to a question or solution to a problem. The same applies to engaged couples who land on your website. Make the first few seconds count by quickly giving them what they're looking for.
Establish trust. Be consistent about having a trustworthy tone and voice throughout all of your communication channels – your website, voice message, texts, emails, printed materials, etc. Remember that trust must be created in just a few seconds. To create instant trust, ensure that your marketing looks professional. The design and wording needs to be beautiful, clear and concise. Remember – typos are unacceptable.
Guide couples to the belief that what you're selling is the only resolution to what they are searching for. If this system doesn’t work for you, then find out why wedding clients aren’t interested. Put in place a formal process to ask wedding clients why they are no longer interested or why they chose a competitor’s service. This can be done by phone or by online questionnaire. You’ll soon identify patterns suggesting weaknesses that you should fix.
The bottom line is that you need to know yourself and your strengths. And don’t waste your energy worrying about your competition. Instead, use that energy to acquire and service new wedding clients!