For wedding planners, the new year rings in the anticipation of booking new clients and the excitement of re-igniting our cash flow. We can also experience worry and panic if the inquiries and bookings don’t come right away.
A slow start to marketing season is a great time to ramp up your lead and client management. Click To Tweet Doing so will enable you to book more ideal clients and manage your workload once those retainer checks start rolling in.
In this post I’ll share my top suggestions for turning a slow start into a winning season.
Update Your Website
Your website should always be a work in progress. Website maintenance and upkeep is so important that it deserves its own blog post. Even if your webmaster takes care of the backend, you need to take control of what the public sees. Winter is a great time to review copy and update photos. No matter how beautiful the bride on your home page is, if she’s divorced or has given birth to two children since she was married, it’s probably time to replace the picture.
Your website needs to be optimized for the search engines, so your ideal couples can find it. It also needs to be optimized for conversions, to entice them to contact you once they land on your page.
Create or Improve Your Business Systems
Business Systems are two words that strike fear in the heart of creative types. However, A system is simply a checklist of steps for all of your tasks - much like a wedding day timeline. Click To Tweet Start by making a list of all tasks necessary to keep your business running (e.g. marketing, lead follow-up, client management, etc.)
Taking one task at a time, write down each step that needs to happen to complete that task successfully. I find I have the best success when I brain dump one day, then come back the next day or two to clean up and fine tune. Automate as many tasks as possible.
At the very least, you need to have systems in place for your sales funnel – from obtaining leads all the way through closing the sale. Get those in place first, then work on the others.
Strengthen Your Connections
Set appointments to meet with wedding professionals or visit venues. If they’re established and you’re not, ask if you can interview them for a blog post. Let’s face it, people are vain, and it’s hard to turn down free publicity. Offer to buy or bring them coffee or lunch in exchange for their time. Ask what you can do to help them.
When you ask to meet with wedding pros, sweeten the deal by bringing a small gift. Click To Tweet Not only is it a thoughtful gesture, but when we get gifts, we tend to feel indebted to the gift giver.
Follow up your visit with a handwritten note. Notes make a greater impact today than they ever did, because so few people write them anymore.
If you didn’t send Christmas cards to your former and current couples, send New Year’s or Valentine’s cards. Better yet, pick up the phone and call them. They most likely have newly engaged friends, so this is a great time to remind them how awesome you are.
Put Money Over Matter
Confused about which tasks to work on first? Focus on tasks which will generate revenue. Click To Tweet My guess is you won’t get very far down the list before business heats up and you’ll have to schedule the remaining tasks for your next slow season.
And, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at all that needs to be done, click here to request my Top 10 Tools for Planner Success.
In the meantime, I’d love to know how you plan to make your business sizzle this winter. Tell me in the comments section below. And, of course, if you found this article enlightening, please share it with your colleagues.