Supporting the Bridal Business Industry

Posts tagged ‘advertising’

Pushing and Pulling – Pulling and Pushing…is your marketing getting you leads?

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Every bridal & event business has some common traits. They all need to attract the attention of potential buyers. They all need a way to turn those prospects into paying customers. All businesses need to establish systems that please customers, encouraging them to buy again, and/or recommend them to family and friends.  Creating awareness of your Bridal or Event business, your products or services can be done by becoming aware and implementing the steps below to make it to the top!

Here are some of the ways we step through the process to get that sale!

Stage 1: Attract Traffic

The “traffic” may come to you through website visitors, phone calls, in-person visits, trade shows and more. Your methods of advertising and attracting interest will determine the quantity of leads, the quality of prospects, and the way they reach you. You may attract traffic with Pay-Per-Click ads on Google or Facebook, social media activity, partner referrals, print ads, networking, live events, or any number of other methods. Once you get the word out about your company and gain people’s attention, you can begin to capture their contact information and follow up.

Stage 2: Capture Leads

As you know, I encourage my ‘clients,’ to immediately make that visit with the bride and/or customer-looking at your services.  I believe that when a bride is planning her wedding, she WANTS to know those who is working with her to plan her dream.   Obviously, you may not get that immediate chance to ‘create a visit.’   So I believe that you need to maximize the traffic you attract. Only a small portion of your leads that you don’t have visits set up with, will become customers right away. The rest will take time to explore their options and think about their needs before they make a purchase decision. You need a way to follow up with these leads so that they come to you when they are ready to buy. Some of the ways we promote our clients is to establish a free offer that has value (i.e. ebook, video, free trial), then add this information into our CRM data file.  (Customer Response Management.)  It is very important that when a person converts from an anonymous website visitor to a lead, a contact is created in your CRM.  (See below for more details)

Stage 3: Nurture Prospects

Prospects who sign up for a free offer are essentially “raising their hand” to learn more about how your products and services will satisfy their need or solve their problem. Once you capture their contact information and feed it into your CRM,  you must use campaign sequences to send educational, persuasive messages that will educate prospects and maintain their attention until they are ready to buy.

Stage 4: Convert Sales

As the brides move closer to buying your product or service, the follow-up messaging should change and / or your outreach to them should be what ‘closes’ the sale.   This is where we hear, ‘I give them information once and they don’t respond.’  Does that mean you stop working and reaching out in different ways to solidify your relationship with the bride?  No!  You must ‘give them a reason’ to work with you –what interests one bride, may be different for the next one.

Stage 5: Deliver & Satisfy

After the sale, it’s time to deliver the goods and create happy dreams. Don’t drop the ball here!   When you are the one helping her ‘plan the wedding or event of her dreams,  it is highly important that you deliver a top-notch fulfillment experience and automatically follow-up to make sure new customers are completely satisfied. This stage may include sending a product in the mail as a thank you or completing a personally delivered service.  This industry is made up of ‘relationships!’ 

Stage 6: Relationship Building

Establishing a remarkable customer experience makes it easier for you to earn repeat business from your existing customers.  A bride that was thrilled with your service or product usually doesn’t mind that you can periodically offer complementary products or services so that they may buy from you again and/or refer you to her friends. You maintain customer respect and interest by sending relevant offers that are related to the interests they’ve expressed in the past.

Your number one job is to create  lifelong fans that advocate for you & your brand.  Don’t let your dreams-or your customers-slip away–Keep Pushing, Keep Pulling, it’s not as hard as you may be making it out to be!  If you’d like more information to get help on with a proven framework for developing a more streamlined, scalable marketing plan so that you can watch your event & bridal business grow quickly and profitably, get in touch with us today at EvansSalesSolutions.com  or call:  805-222-5946.

It’s time for you to Dream BIG about your business!

Sign up for a national Bridal Business Boot Camp or Bridal & Event Professionals Academy!

Looking For Referrals From Wedding Planners

bride11Marketing for your wedding & event business is constantly evolving, which means those of us in this industry have to learn a lot of new strategies, tactics, and terminology, all the time. One of those words you’ve probably heard is ‘co-marketing,’ or ‘co-branding,’ which is different.

Regardless, of what you’ve heard, co-marketing is just a form of relationship marketing, that can be used in many ways.

Co-Marketing vs. Co-Branding

Companies have been co-branding for years. Nike partnered up with Apple to create the ultimate work-out and music experience. Hershey’s partnered with Betty Crocker to create the chocolateiest brownie ever. These two companies combined their products together to create an even more valuable product.

Co-marketing is slightly different — it’s the opportunity for two brands to work together on promotional efforts with a co-branded offer. In a co-marketing partnership, both companies promote a piece of content or a product, and share results of that promotion with each other.

Why would you want to do this type of marketing? First of all, your marketing efforts are doubled! Think about all the benefits you get from promoting a piece of content or a new product or event. Now think about all the benefits you would get if two companies promoted it through all the levels of connections that everyone has. (Wedding Marketers reach outside the box!)  The bonus is through co-marketing, you’re able to reach a brand new audience, one you may not have been able to connect and engage with on your own.

Take this example into consideration. You’re a ‘Wedding Jewelry Company’ in Los Angeles.  You’ve created beautiful videos that showcase your beautiful pieces and you promote them to brides online in the hopes they’ll start following you on social media, subscribe to your blog, that type of thing.

You know of a company, also in Los Angeles, that is a ‘wedding coordinator,’ wouldn’t it be interesting if you made a video together, talking about designing weddings, and potentially showing bridal jewelry on brides that the coordinator was working with?  You both get together and create a video, talking about ‘your love of weddings,’ and how the bride would benefit from both of you.  Both companies promote this video to their channels, both of which have different audiences. After, you notice a bump in your social reach because a whole new audience has gained access to your brand from these videos and their promotion from your co-marketing partner … and that partner sees the same success.  Isn’t that wonderful ?

Let’s take it a step further…. how about an event that showcases you, the wedding industry professional to the wedding planners?

The Bridal & Event Professionals Academy (BEPA) & Networking Mixer  allows you to meet quality wedding planners in a setting that encourages face-to-face interaction with individuals who can book and refer your service to high-end weddings!

  • The BEPA  is being held in prestigious locations across the country. Reserve your table-top display today and start building relationships with the nations best wedding planners. Each event starts with an complimentary afternoon of training for local wedding planners and ends with a mixer where everyone has fun.
  • 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm – The Bridal & Event Professionals Academy Training – Featuring Chris Evans as well as other wedding industry speakers to train wedding planners in the latest sales techniques.
  • 3:30 to 4:30 pm – Round Table Discussions. Participants have their choice of joining 10 Wedding Industry leaders for intense Q and A and training. Each participant gets to pick 4 tables to visit during the hour.
  • 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm – The BEPA Networking Mixer – Wedding Planners will have an opportunity to relax and enjoy appetizers and drinks as they meet with a select group of local wedding professionals who want to form a referral relationship with them. This is your opportunity to build relationships with local wedding planners.

This type of ‘co-marketing,’ gives you more benefit since your participation includes admission to the training sessions!    Statistics show that ‘wedding planners,’ are always looking for ‘quality partners, are you one that they can work with?  32% of high-end weddings hire a full-time coordinator, wouldn’t this be an incredible way to ‘show what you have to offer?’   Let’s talk….click on the info below.

BEPAlogoLocations of the BEPA Event: (click on location)

 

 

Evans Sales Solutions, is the connection between the wedding business — to grow that business!   We offer wedding business training & education, networking and more!  For more information, please go to:  ‘BEPA-Academy‘ or ‘Evans Sales Solutions’ for more information!

Are You Ready to Change Up Your ‘Sales Techniques’ in 2013?

direct_selling_solutions“I want to make more sales, what more can I do?”

We hear over and over again how wedding business organizations need to make more sales and are struggling to keep up as the technology and marketing techniques are changing.  How do you stay on top of your marketing outreach?

Many ask ‘what’s the best way to close a sale,’ before they even know what the ‘game plan’ is.  In the wedding business many ‘voice’ how they get overwhelmed with all the changes and feel that the ‘sales industry’ has changed.  They want to confirm that they are on the edge of the changes.’

Comments & Questions we hear at Evans Sales Solutions:

  • “Am I doing the right thing in my marketing to the bride?
  • “The new technology comes faster than I can keep up.”
  • “The amount of change taking place, especially on Facebook. You think you have a system down and then they update the pages and we have to teach everyone all over again.”
  • “How do I close the sale when talking to a bride?”

You get the picture, it’s a ‘tug ‘o war,’ all different, but then…all the same thing!competition3

Even if a wedding business dedicates itself to understanding something in the ‘Social Media Marketing’ area, (say the new Google+ platform,) before they know it, it does a major upgrade and much of their hard won knowledge becomes obsolete!  So, do you think that when it changes all the time…does the end result (A SALE) change too?

As wedding business and sales experts, we feel that the consumer is just increasingly savvy, in the technology area—so that you have to stay in the game in multiple ways.  Consumers (brides to be) are not just more tech smart, but they also expect more and they want it quickly.  We also feel that another thing the internet has done-is broken down the pricing barriers and everyone has your (and your competitors) pricing in the palm of their hands.

What can you do about it?

First, we will have to get over it. Constant, relentless change is now a fact of life. We are going to have to adapt to it because the world won’t adapt to us and our needs. We will need to embrace this constant change and turn it to our advantage.

What do I mean? How do we do this?

I mean embrace continual learning and do it at a higher level than you may have planned. This means listening to CD’s or podcasts (audio recordings) as you drive or work out. It means watching less TV in favor of reading a book each week on marketing, sales or another type of business help.  It means watching webinars and going to seminars on a more regular basis.  It means following your favorite wedding business blogs each and every day so that you can keep up with, or even get ahead, of your competition. It means watching YouTube videos about things you don’t understand, but know you need to.

We believe that you can actually turn this whole thing to your advantage! The vast majority of people are not self-starters. By taking the bull by the horns here, and determining that you aren’t going to sit by idly as the wedding industry changes, you actually become much more valuable to your client, as you become the expert!  Many will fail to adapt and become less relevant, are you going to be one that suceeds ?

There are multiple things you can do today…… (and some are COMPLIMENTARY!!) click for more information!

Evans Sales Solutions is a team of wedding & sales experts that work to support those in the wedding industry grow their business!  As a solutions-based and results-driven ‘Bridal Marketing Concierge,’ we look forward to working together when you call: 805-222-5946 or email to: WeddingBiz@EvansSalesSolutions.com Chris Evans is a Public Speaker, Sales & Business Trainer, Author,  and trusted advisor to many organizations around the world. He has over thirty years of experience in creating, expanding, and running organizations with an unsurpassed success record. http://www.EvansSalesSolutions.com

How Pinterest powers Charlotte’s wedding industry

bride11By Caroline McMillan

Charlotte Observer

Gone are the days when a bride-to-be strolled into Amy Craparo’s The Wow Factor Cakes with a blank slate and a couple of magazine clippings.

Now, brides in the throes of wedding planning come to her Park Road bakery armed with their smartphones and tablets open to their new primary source of inspiration: Pinterest, a social media site that allows users to maintain virtual pinboards with images from the web.

“Almost every bride I sit with for a consultation brings in a picture from Pinterest – almost every single one of them,” says Craparo.

It’s a virtual networking tool that’s changing the way wedding retailers do business. Many Charlotte-area wedding vendors – from dress shops to florists, cake designers to stationery experts – now use the site as a cost-free way of interpreting trends, connecting with clients and garnering more exposure. It all helps these businesses capture a bigger piece of the $40 billion wedding-industry pie.

Since it launched in 2009, Pinterest has cracked Comscore’s list of top-50 U.S. Web sites, drawn nearly 26 million unique visitors and been valued at more than $1.5 billion. The site, which allows users to browse other people’s pinboards for inspiration and “repin” images to their own boards, offers a nearly infinite stream of idea for home decorating, recipes, fashion and weddings.

Approximately 68 percent of Pinterest’s users are female, and nearly one-third of those women are ages 25 to 34, according to digital ad agency Modea.

Given those demographics, it’s no wonder Pinterest seems tailor-made for the wedding industry, which revolves around evocative visuals.

“That’s the beauty of Pinterest,” says Kristin Vining of Kristin Vining Photography, who started using Pinterest in 2010, soon after the site launched. “It’s a domino effect. One person tags it, then BAM, pinning and pinning and pinning … (People are) seeing your name over and over again.”

Vining now has nearly 1,300 followers on Pinterest, and she regularly updates her page to include photos from recent shoots and events. She has separate boards for engagement sessions, bridal portraits and wedding pictures, and strongly encourages her clients to maintain their own pages.

But for Vining, Pinterest is just one of many social media outlets to attract clientele. She also blogs and maintains a presence on Twitter and Facebook – all of which help her Search Engine Optimization ranking with Google, she says.

“(They say) it takes someone seeing your name three times to notice you and seven times to remember you,” says Vining. “Pinterest is just another one of those tools for us to reach our audience.”

Wedding planner Katrina Hutchins of Come+Together Events, often uses Pinterest to connect her clients with local vendors for rental chairs, linens, cakes and photography.

Party Reflections, a special event rental company located on Monroe Road that Hutchins works with regularly, has nearly 900 pins.

“I follow them on Pinterest, and sometimes they’ll be pinning ideas from their own inventory, and I’ll call my girl and say, ‘I want to use this in a wedding,’ ” Hutchins said.

Hutchins said she also spots photos of events she planned floating around on Pinterest – even if she didn’t pin it herself first.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/12/3230234/how-pinterest-powers-charlottes.html#storylink=cpy

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Idea Factory Showcases Wedding Industry Speaker Chris Evans

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The Bridal Industry Today

Here’s a useful snapshot of the bridal world in the U.S.

With the popularity of wedding reality shows on networks like TLC and Style, weddings are in the spotlight more than ever. Here’s a brief overview of bridal stats gathered from theknot.com, Brides Magazine 2012 American Wedding Study, and weddingstats.com:

  • September is the most popular month for weddings; June is second. 20% of couples get engaged in December.
  • The average age of a bride is 27 and the groom is 29.
  • An average guest count is 140 and the length of engagement is fourteen months.
  • Blue, purple, and green are the biggest wedding colors.
  • 69% of couples had there own personal wedding website. 59% of brides used Pinterest to generate and organize wedding ideas.
  • The average cost of an American wedding is $27,000. New York City boasted the largest average cost of more than $65k, and Chicago was second at $53k per wedding.
  • Venue accounts for approximately 50% of a wedding’s budget.
  • The average cost of a bridal gown is $1355, and bridesmaids’ dresses average $145.
  • In this economy–exporting may be the way to expand your products.

To sum it all up, get yourself into Pinterest, focus on September and June themes, look into exporting into China and move to New York! Okay, maybe you should stay put –where you are–and use these stats to make the most of your business. For more great resources on the wedding biz, check out my site: EvansSalesSolutions.com or BridalMarketingConcierge.com

Have a great week, and do a little of your own research on wedding trends. It can only help propel you forward. As I always say, “Knowledge plus implementation equals power.”

Sincerely,

Chris Evans

P.S. Join us at the BRIDAL BUSINESS ACADEMY in Santa Monica on December 4 or get more information on the EASTERN SEABOARD Academy next May! 

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