Now is the time, the time is now!
With Thanksgiving behind us, we have a lot to look forward to. Christmas is just around the corner, which means that we have a brief moment to take a look at our business for the upcoming year as well as reflect on the business we enjoyed in 2016 as we get ready for “engagement season.”
Approximately 35 percent of all engagements happen on what I call “The Big 3”: Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. Now is the time to prepare for that business so you will be seen and considered by these newly engaged brides-to-be.
Studies show that approximately 85 percent of engaged couples are first-timers. In other words, they simply don’t know how to buy, at least in large quantities. Because of that, you need to adhere to two immutable rules of marketing:
If they can’t find you, they can’t choose you.
This means you need to be dominant in your marketing efforts. You need to be out there and top of mind to start the trust cycle (your clients will use trust as their dominant gauge of whether to buy from you or not) and continue the buying process.
You need to speak to their needs, not yours.
If you message is off, if it is owner-centric, not customer-driven, your marketing will not be effective. Your message needs to move prospective clients to the next step, which is typically a phone call or email.
These two rules can be summed up in one statement: If your marketing isn’t working, neither are you. To remedy that, put these three to-do items on your business checklist.
How is your website?
Now is the time to make it pop and have a message that works. Are you measuring your web traffic to make sure that your site is being found? Have you Googled yourself? You need to know if your prospective clients can easily find you. Check through your site to make sure there are no broken links, that you have your 12 primary keywords out there and that you aren’t just being found, but that you tell potential clients what to do next (known in marketing terms as a “call to action”).
How is your social media?
If the last time you posted to Facebook or Instagram was back in early 2011, let’s fix it by posting and uploading like crazy. In the florist world, those are the two social media platforms you should focus on first. Find some great content and make a plan to upload a few a day for three or four weeks.
Review any other Internet presence
If you are on Wedding.com, or any of the other primary web portals for weddings, check them to make sure your information is accurate and up to date. Further, make sure you are suggesting they go to your website to check you out (suggest they visit a photo gallery, check on your availability, etc.). Put that call to action on the portal site just as you would your own site.
After Christmas, you need to start looking at your plan for wedding shows. FTD Wedding Program participants will be receiving special training that has helped hundreds of wedding professionals have the best bridal shows they have ever had. We will be distributing that information soon to participants.
For the time being, planning ahead with your Internet items will help you be found. Fifty percent of your marketing strategy should start online as that is where today’s millennial client turns first. If you are prepared, you will definitely enjoy happy holidays and rest assured that the business you seek will be able to find you!
About Rick Brewer
Wedding industry expert Rick Brewer is known as the go-to person for marketing and sales knowledge. He has coached more than 800 wedding and event based businesses to higher levels of profitability. Participants in the FTD Wedding Program have access to Rick’s exclusive Get More Brides training program. To learn more visit www.FTDi.com/OnlineMarketingServices/FTDWedding.htm.