For free marketing my suggestion is Facebook, Twitter, Bridal Tweet, Wedding Wire, Wedding Mapper, Wed Alert, My Emma Email Marketing, Manta, Linked In, One Wed. I hope this helps
I have been asked how I got my website on Google's page one so many times that I am putting together a tutorial on "How I got on page one without spending a penny" If you want it e-mailed to you e-mail me. email@example.com Step one is going to be sent out approx. 2-1-2012. Merry, Cakes Especially 4 You
Network, Network, Network!!!!! We joined 2 or 3 of the local networking groups that are for Wedding and Event professionals such as I.S.E.S., Meeting Planners International and a couple of local groups. We don't just join, we get involved. Anytime they have an event a "donate" our photo booth for the event which draws people to our booth and we get to meet everyone in person. I go to all the meetings and try to get on committee's. It is not fun at first, especially if you are new to this industry which I am/was. But in reviewing my bookings from last year I found that almost 1/2 came from networked contacts I've made.
I feel your pain! I am running a wedding contest, partnering with local vendors, promoting on Twitter. I also invested in direct mailing of brochures. If you you plan the contest to run 2-3months out, may be run a small giveaway quarterly that could drive sales and gain exposure. I also want to set up meet and greets with local vendors. Buy them a cup of coffee on their 15-30 minute break , give them a referral agreement like 10% gratuities for each referring client. Good luck!
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Best of luck ;)
Getting on all the wedding websites you can with a free listing, including any local websites. Also websites like merchantcircle and yelp. In your field, finding wedding planners to work with would propably be a really good idea also.
The only thing better than free is money. I would love to offer you all $10 per LEAD and $25 per conversion... is that wrong?:) We have a photo app that is generating $99 in revenue for us we just need to increase our exposure as the summer comes.. It works with email, iphone, android and web and it's awesome
Have your own small bridal show. Invite other vendors to share the cost with you. I bet that will less expensive than the regular shows...press release to newspapers, radios, television, online, offline...get the word out!
I suppose you know to get a Facebook Fan Page and you definately should join Pinterest. It is just another way to get your name out there. Hope this is useful information for you.
SEO, SEO, SEO, and when you get done... more SEO. There are hundreds of free sites that will bring in a stray lead or 2 but learning SEO is the key to bringing in lots of daily hits on your site and business for your bank account.
Learn how to combine SEO with a great marketing presentation on your site. Ideally your site will have the phone ringing with people ready to give deposits. All the wonderful people that recommend not putting prices on their site either can't justify the price they charge, or else they have no idea how much business they are missing. At the very least have a price range.
All the leads in the world won't help you if you can't sell. Take some sales courses and learn how to close. Brides usually keep shopping until they reach somebody that knows how to close a deal.
I have over 35 years marketing management experience at a director/VP level. When I decided to stop making millions for other people and open our own business I told my wife that we could be that worst at what we do, but if we have the best marketing and we can close deals we will get the most business. We happen to be excellent at what we do so combined with our marketing and closing ability we continue to grow at a phenomenal rate in spite of the economy.
Advice on paid advertising... don't pay money for a site that will bring you in a GREAT lead every once in a while, You can't survive off that. Invest in sources that will bring you GOOD leads every day and learn to close and make the most of them!
Great question! I agree with Mickey Long Promote, Promote, Promote! One of the cheapest forms of advertising yourself is through word of mouth marketing. Find a local networking group in the wedding industry and attend their monthly mixers or events. Even if you have a tough time in those situations, over time you will build invaluable relationships with your peers. You can cross promote yourself with photograohers, planners, and others in the industry by coming up with offers each of you could give to the bride on behalf of the other wedding professional. And as someone else mentioned earlier, get to know the managers of the venues and work on getting on those preferred vendors lists!
Here in Orange County, OC Brides puts on monthly bridal networking events that have been successful for our members for years. You don't have to be a member to attend but you get so much more if you join and it is very reasonable!
Free online directorys are good but they don't beat face to face interaction and real relationships!