How to Advertise Next to Your Competition

Wedding Professionals:


A wedding photographer recently asked me, “Is it bad to have a bridal show table next to another wedding photographer?” A small stationery company recently asked me if they should worry that their banner advertisement was next to their competitor’s banner advertisement. For both questions, my answer was no. Don’t worry. Don’t worry at all.

Instead, focus your energy on these four winning strategies:

1. Have a unique offering. Every photographer has their own style. Every wedding planner has they own flair. Every celebrant adds their own special touch. What is exceptional about your wedding services? Think about that and focus on it. Know what you’re good at and play that up.

2. Know your ideal bride. This means that you need to have a deep understanding of the type of bride that will want your wedding services (aka your ideal bride). Because let’s face it, a wedding vendor that is the right fit for one bride might not be the right fit for another bride. A bride’s personal preference will ultimately determine which wedding vendor’s unique offering is best suited for her. The key is to get to know the kind of bride that IS the right fit for your services. Know her needs and wants better than your competitors know them.

3. Be confident about your unique offering. Feel good about your unique talents. 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. Communicate and showcase your unique offering to your ideal bride. This needs to come through loud and clear in your advertising and marketing. After going through this process, you’ll be surprised how you will start to stand out and shine – even when you are next to your competitors.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should ignore your competition. You should constantly observe what else is being offered in the wedding industry. Checking out what competitors are doing and what their reputation is has never been easier. Websites with reviews and testimonials can be incredibly helpful for this. Observe your competition and then refer back to the four steps above. Continuously fine-tune your unique offering --> know your ideal bride --> build your confidence and --> refine your communications.

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 product. This can be done by phone or by online questionnaire. You’ll soon identify patterns suggesting weaknesses that you should fix.

These steps are certainly attainable. The bottom line is that you need to know yourself and your strengths. And don’t waste your energy worrying. Instead, use that energy to acquire and service new wedding clients!

Do you have any tips about standing out while next to your competition? If so, please share those tips below.

About This Blog: Christine Dyer is the Creator and Founder of BridalTweet. Christine has an MBA in marketing and shares over ten years of marketing expertise with the wedding community. In this weekly blog, you'll find advice on an array of wedding business topics such as how to market to brides, social networking, wedding PR, wedding sales, vendor networking, branding, pricing and much more. Please pass this news along to your own professional wedding network. To receive this advice in your email inbox each week, Sign Up for a Free BridalTweet Membership.

Views: 297

Comment by tobey Lee Dodge on May 3, 2010 at 12:45pm
i couldn't agree more. Knowing who is your audience you are trying to focus on make all the difference. Being confident that you know who you are trying to attract and work with will put your branding materials to the test so that all your ways of promoting your business will be in sync. Just make sure you let your personality show through your promotional information or presentations too. Your unique qualities should help differentiate you from your friendly competition as well. I have always looked upon myself as cheerful, fun loving, but tailored and professional. Hopefully I've been on target with my style and image over the years to present a consistent brand of quality to my potential clients.
Tobey Dodge, CSEP
The Wedding Conneciton by Tobey Dodge
Comment by Carolyn Burke on May 3, 2010 at 7:10pm
Another excellent post - THANKS!!!

Carolyn Burke - Wedding Liaison
St Louis MO
Comment by Elaine Borges-Ibanez on May 4, 2010 at 5:03am
Now isn't that strange! I sent Christine a comment through Linkedin BEFORE even noticing she had her own ideas on Bridal Tweet, and its seems we had exactly the same viewpoint!
This is what I said...
Not much you can do I suppose? And does it really matter anyway? The best company/person will always shine through! Besides which, why not look upon competitors as colleagues, and be flattered they chose the same places to advertise as you? You never know when they might actually be able to help you with something or vice-versa, so just be the best you can at what you do, as that's all that really matters. The bride will choose the right person for her whatever...
xx Elaine
Comment by Nicole Nichols Photography on May 4, 2010 at 11:38am
I agree, be your best self and no one can compete with that
Comment by Dessy Group on May 4, 2010 at 1:50pm
Great advice as always Christine, thanks!
Comment by All About Chocolate-Edye Singer on May 4, 2010 at 2:38pm
Keep this in mind.... Company's spend millions of dollars everyday searching "4 corner" locations that are next to their competition. Wendy's, McDonald's, Taco Bell not to mention Gas Stations. More advantages- Think of it as getting another booth for free. Your sharing customers, ideas on what's working, more visual displays, you can have a new friend to network and talk shop with, you can refer one another if your booked. I can't think of any disadvantages as long as your respectful and don't compare or put down your competition when talking to your customers. Passing out chocolate cameras is something they definitely will remember! Photographer's are already unique you have the gift of being able to see things that aren't there...
Comment by Micki Love on May 4, 2010 at 2:38pm
Elaine, you hit the nail on the head. I produce bridal shows in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. I always share with my exhibitors the power of networking with each other at the show (while the fashion is happening). Some of my photographers have joined forces with each other and there have been times they have helped each other out. When you are good and have confidence in your work and what you do, you will always get what you are supposed to get. I even joke with them that the bride they didn't book might be the one that would have given them the worst problem : ) and they get a good laugh!
Comment by Loraine McCall on May 5, 2010 at 10:26pm
in sort have a business plan and stick to it. Even when it comes to knowing the market and knowing your business!
Comment by Elizabeth Thomas on May 6, 2010 at 11:12am
I have gone from having heart pounding anxiety when I "run into" another competitor online. Then I calm down... read everything they have to offer, and then relax some more. I'm now at the point where I PURPOSEFULLY email a big welcome and say how nice it is to meet someone else in such a small niche.

The power of numbers means that you're able to help your profession as a whole. Imagine if all wedding photographers in a locality got together and put on a HUGE educational photography show? How amazing it would be for couples, with their wedding party or parents, to learn about photography, the mishaps that happen (the interpersonal drama that weddings bring), and generally speaking make couples more aware of what professional photography can do. Then those same people, post-wedding will go back for pregnancy photos, for children's photos, for anniversary photos, graduation photos. It's really lifelong branding to the idea that most of us aren't that awesome at taking photos nor do we have the expensive equipment.

That's just one example of the power of connecting with your competition. Because ultimately we all (as any profession) grow or shrink together.
Comment by Glenn S. Ferguson on September 14, 2010 at 4:07pm
Christine, these are great points as most times persons are so blinded by their fear of the competition that they fail to focus on what's uniquely them. You should always see your competition as an opportunity to gauge and fine your offering.

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