Like most industries, sales leads and referrals are the lifeline to running a successful business. But truth be told, the struggle is real for wedding and event planners because marketing any event service is tough. The problem is, we as service-providers are rarely considered in the early planning stages. This means we are in large reacting to inquiries in progress versus being part of the discussion.
Your priority is to get your clients to take action and buy. But how do we do that?
Here are 3 strategies to position your services in the minds of potential clients at the very moment they discuss hosting an event.
1. Build Your Online Presence
The internet provides the largest free network for generating sales leads, so having an attractive website and active profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a great start. I have found that keeping profiles up to date, making regular (and relevant!) posts and engaging with your audience goes a long way.
Social media shouldn’t just be to advertise upcoming events, the aim is to make users want to check in regularly so that you’ll be top of mind when they need your event planning services. Share value added content with them, and they’ll feel involved rather than just advertised to.
Tip: Keep it simple. Focus on one social media platform at a time to attract clients.
Having a website and an active social media presence has the capability to drive unique prospects, but it definitely requires commitment. By participating in discussions, sharing your expertise, and joining groups on social media will give you a leg up on the competition.
2. Friends, Family & Existing Network
In my opinion, this is easiest place to start when looking for new clients and often the most overlooked. People already know, like and trust you – so why not leverage it!
Start by reaching out to people individually by email, phone or inperson, letting them know that you’re accepting clients and you are looking for some referrals of people that may need a planner.
Then post on your social media channels introducing your business to your close connections and ask for help in spreading the word.
A script I like to use is:
Hello [FRIENDS, FACEBOOK…],
I’m currently accepting clients who are looking for an event /wedding planner to [YOUR COMPANY AREA OF EXPERTISE]! I specialize in helping my clients to [WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY KNOWN FOR]. (ie. create an event that exceeds their expectations; make their wedding dreams a reality.)
If you know anyone who is looking to hire a wedding/event planner, please tag them or send them to my site.
Thank you for your support!
3. Networking, Networking, Networking
As an eventpreneur, I’m sure you’re a natural born connector! As you grow your business, networking is a great way to build relationships. Building relationships with other event-related businesses (AV providers, designers, florists, printers…), you can turn them into trusted partners who’ll recommend your services to their clients. Just keep in mind that referrals work both ways, so focus on the connections you would be happy to recommend.
Industry events like ILEA, PCMA, MPI, SPiN and CanSPEP also offer great networking events. Connecting with other planners who understand what you’re going through brings meaningful conversations and opportunities.
How do you attract new clients? Please let us know in the comments.