WeddingIQ's month-long marketing focus is about to end, and next week brings a transition to a new content theme. Before we wrap up Marketing Month, however, we thought we'd share a few last little things to check before you shift your attention to another area of your business.
Obviously, your marketing strategies are something that are constantly evolving - staying stuck in a campaign that's underperforming is pointless - but we can't be in "marketing mode" every moment. So, here are five things to double-check (and tweak, if necessary) before January ends.
1. Do your branding and marketing feel authentic to your business? Ask yourself whether the image you're putting out there feels like the right fit for you and your clients. Look at your logo, fonts, colors, images, copy, printed collaterals, client gifts, wedding show display, and anything else you rely upon to communicate a message about your clients. Does it make you feel proud of and excited about your business? Does it motivate your clients to want to hire you, and to rave about you afterward? Being aware of changes you need to make doesn't obligate you to actually make those changes now, but it does allow you to plan ahead for the future.
2. Does your marketing give your clients the information they need? Obviously, your marketing needs to be aesthetically pleasing; however, I strongly believe it also needs to say something. All of us, as consumers, need certain things in order to feel comfortable and confident making a purchase. What those things are will differ by the business type and by the type of person who's buying, but here are a few typical "must-haves" for various clients:
- Credibility (reviews, testimonials, awards, professional affliliations)
- Experience (specific knowledge about a particular niche or specialty product/service)
- Luxury (the highest quality, most elite service for discerning clients)
- Reliability (proof that clients can depend on your business and that emergencies will be handled)
- Personality (evidence that the business' team members will be enjoyable for the client to work with)
- Affordability/Value (pricing information, whether specific, a range, or a starting price that shows clients they can afford your service and/or that it's a good value for the investment)
By providing the kind of details your clients need up front, you're demonstrating you're trustworthy, transparent, and respectful of your clients' time. You'll also find you're wasting less time on people who either don't have the budget for your services or who don't value what you do.
3. Is your image consistent everywhere? Most of us are pretty good about keeping up with our website, as it's the main driver of our online marketing presence. However, don't forget that you probably have ads or directory listings in lots of places, whether paid or free. Take a few minutes to Google your business and make sure your business' contact information is correct, description is current and images showcase your work effectively. While you're at it, have a look at your social media bios, too, and be sure everything is up to date.
4. How's your headshot? We've written before on the importance of a good headshot. Not only should it be professionally photographed, it should also be reasonably current and a good representation of how you look today (well, maybe not literally today, if you're one of those work-at-home-in-your-PJS bosses). If you're using a good photo that's 10 years old, your clients will do a double-take when they meet you in person. And if you've drastically changed your hair (on your head or your face) or made any other dramatic transformations in your appearance, that's another good reason to update your headshot. Of course you're not going to get new photos taken and delivered to you before month's end, but you can at least assess whether you need a new headshot, and reach out to a photographer or two to discuss scheduling a shoot.
5. Have your marketing efforts been effective? You should always be able to determine the return on investment for any expense in your business, especially your marketing. Before the end of January, take a few minutes to look back at how you spent your marketing dollars this month as well as in 2015. Did your paid advertisements bring in inquiries? How about the wedding shows in which you exhibited? In other words, are your marketing strategies working? And if not, what changes do you need to make going forward?
Ending the month with your marketing strategies refined and your future goals set is a great start to 2016. Beginning next month, we'll be sharing lots of content on the topic of sales: handling inquiries, conducting effective sales consultations, overcoming objections, and getting that all-important signed agreement. Get ready to make some money!