With the New Year here, now is the time to set goals and timelines for 2018 and make it your most productive year yet. And what better way to goal set than with resolutions for your wedding business? Resolutions that are designed to help you connect with more couples this year -- like the dream couples you totally click with. We hosted a members-only webinar to help members of The Knot Pro hone in on what resolutions will make the most impact on their wedding biz in the upcoming year. Here, 10 New Year’s resolutions we challenge you to implement this year!
1. Resolve to… Evangelize your brand.
Let’s face it. Today’s couples grew up in the age of mobile phones, social media and apps that allow them to do whatever they want, whenever they want. They process information fast -- like, leave a website if it takes more than a few seconds to load -- fast. We can't say it enough, you have about 5 seconds to sell yourself to a millennial couple. That’s why it’s so important to understand who you are as a brand and then to be able to articulate it in a short amount of time through words, photos, and each and every touch point. Ask yourself: Am I communicating what I’m all about at a glance across every platform couples might see my brand? Resolve to better communicate your brand essence to attract more couples.
2. Resolve to… Find the right couples (not all of them).
Having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. That doesn’t mean your target market is “anyone interested in my services or just got engaged”. It might be a hard pill to swallow but in the end, generalization is not your friend. Instead, target marketing allows you to focus your brand message (and dollars) on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other types of couples. Be that guy or woman on CSI and really profile your favorite clients that you’ve had over the year. The only way to target and get more of them is to really get to know them and what makes them tick. Once you figure out what motivates them (think: what they love and value), you can start to understand how it might be more effective to message and market to that type of couple in one way or another.
3. Resolve to… Schedule your social media.
Trust us: Treating social media like it’s part of your day job will make your life a lot easier. Be proactive and stop thinking of social media as an afterthought or a chore that you have to tick off your to-do list everyday. Set aside one day every week to sit down and actually schedule out all of your posts for the week. You don’t have to post 10 times per day. You just need to post consistently. Hootsuite is a powerful tool that can help you easily manage and post to all of your social networks. For Instagram, there’s Later app. And Facebook has its own scheduler that allows you to plan your posts as well.
4. Resolve to.. Use your insights and analytics tab.
The worst thing you could do is to spend money and time on marketing your business but not track your performance. That’s why we strongly encourage you to start checking in on your social media insights, and your Google & The Knot storefront analytics. Use these tools and you’ll be able to tell the times when your followers are most likely to interact with you, the best times of the week to post, the topics to post about, and even the types of photos and videos that work best for your business. Not sure where to find these handy tools? On Facebook, it’s called the “Facebook Insights” tab. If you have a business account on Instagram, you’ll see a little icon that looks like four bars. Download Google analytics for your website here. And last but not least, log in to The Knot Pro here. Easy peasy.
5. Resolve to… Update your Storefront images & bio.
It’s great that your Instagram feed is beautifully curated but it’s not okay if your Storefront isn’t. Why? Because couples aren’t finding you ONLY on Instagram. They’re looking for you everywhere to make sure that you’re the type of person they have in mind. That means that if they find you one place, they’re going to look you up elsewhere. Make sure that when they click through the images on your Storefront and skim your bio, they can immediately tell what your company is all about.
6. Respond faster.
The numbers don’t lie. Wedding pros who get back first usually win the sale. Get this: millennials check their smartphone over 40 times per day. That means your email or message is most likely going to be viewed almost immediately after it’s sent. And the reality is that they expect the same from you. According to research, 42% of consumer expect a response in under an hour after they reach out. Meet their expectations and resolve to respond faster than ever before in 2018.
7. But be personal about it.
From this point on keep your communications with clients shorter and faster, but also more personalized. Get this: using 200 words or less actually increases response times to messages by 20%. But don’t mistake brevity for being impersonal. Your messages to clients should be celebratory, upbeat and personal. They should never feel like a mass response or a copy-and-paste return. Make sure you tailor your messages to answer any questions they asked in their original message and include a next step. Texting is becoming one of the most popular ways for couples to communicate with their wedding pros. If you’re comfortable with it, offer them the option to text you to set up a time to talk details.
8. Check it on a phone first.
Before we send out any email communications at The Knot, we check how the message appears on a desktop -- and on a phone. Why? Because more than half of website visits happen on a phone, not a laptop. And, not to be harsh, but if your potential client lands on your website and it looks broken or it’s hard to read, they’re going to look elsewhere for someone to hire. You have to make sure that your website looks and functions perfectly on a phone. The good news? WordPress, SquareSpace and ShowIt are all out-of-the-box solutions designed to help you manage your content easily and automatically work well on a phone.
9. Get out there and network more.
Being a wedding pro is one of the best jobs ever. But it can get lonely if you go it alone. In 2018, challenge yourself to get out there and build your vendor squad. Join trade associations and attend our market mixers and education workshops to network and make new connections. You never know who is going to bring you your next client and you’ll have a hard time taking your business to the next level without meeting new people. That’s why we throw dozens of market mixers and full-day education workshops across the country. We do it not only to bring you great content designed for your market but also to give you the opportunity to meet new people — nationally and locally influential people — to help get you to where you want to be. Our best advice: Actually make real friends. Making and connecting with new people and making real friends in this industry are big keys to unlocking new business (read: the types of clients that you want to reach).
10. Celebrate your wins.
This one should be fun. Whether you’re feeling a bit exhausted or totally elated with how your wedding business performed, it’s so important to take time to celebrate your successes this past year. A success can be anything from booking a wedding every weekend in 2017 or taking the first step to investing actual dollars into your marketing and advertising. We can’t tell you how many wedding pros we’ve talked to who tell us that once they joined and signed up with The Knot and added our logo to their websites, they saw an enormous jump in quality leads and sales. This especially applies to winners of our Best of Weddings award. If you’re a winner, mention that in your bio on social or post about it on your feed.
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