In a field as crowded as the wedding industry, it can be hard to stand out. There are so many talented service providers and, frankly, it’s not hard for everyone to start looking and sounding alike to engaged couples who may quickly become overwhelmed at the prospect of planning a wedding. Most of us put a lot of thought into our websites, our bridal show displays and other marketing materials, but have you considered creating a value-add?
I define “value-add” as any item that provides a benefit to a prospective client regardless of whether or not they eventually book you. This could take the form of a giveaway (such as a free gift to anyone who comes into your shop or studio), but I personally prefer value-adds that educate couples and guide them toward a more informed purchasing decision, even if they ultimately select another vendor.
So what kinds of value-adds should you offer?
One way to furnish a value-add is through the use of written resources, either printed or online. My company created an e-book earlier this year that allows readers an inside look at the sales tactics used within the DJ industry. The book is presented as part of a comprehensive “advice” page, full of articles on budgeting for your wedding and making your wedding unique, as well as tips on “green” weddings. We chose to offer our e-book as a free download in PDF form, without requiring registration; however, other wedding professionals have provided their eBooks after website visitors enter an email address. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and the deciding factor would probably be how many people you want your book to reach vs. how much consumer information you want to harvest.
Another form of value-add is a presentation of some kind. Pavaune Pearson of Invited Special Events hosts webinars for engaged couples, covering topics ranging from date selection to event personalization. Webinars or conference calls are a great way to convey information, because it’s relatively low-impact for the business owner to produce and gives the prospective clients a little space and privacy as well. Of course, a “live” presentation can be extremely beneficial too, provided that it is designed around “stand-alone” information and isn’t just a sales pitch.
Offering a value-add not only impresses prospective clients with your knowledge, but it can also create credibility within your industry. Being willing to put your expertise out there in a way that benefits engaged couples at large demonstrates confidence and promotes the idea that the industry as a whole benefits from more educated consumers. That’s something worth considering.