What you would say about your wedding business if you met a couple in an elevator and found out they’re planning a wedding?
If you don’t have a quick, concise response, this blog post is for you! At colleges and universities across the country, advisors tell students that they need an “elevator pitch”– a short and compelling summary of what they’re majoring in, what they want in a career, and their past experience. The idea is for the job seeker to sell themselves in approximately a minute.
This is a great practice for Pros to pick up as well, because as a wedding vendor, you are constantly job-seeking: each potential client is a potential job and potential income. The elevator pitch can also be pitched anywhere – trade shows, networking events, or meeting someone in the checkout line at the grocery store! So what should your business’ elevator pitch contain? There are three key elements: basic business information, the vision and values of your business, and what sets you apart from other vendors.
Basic business information
Whether you’re actually having a conversation in an elevator or you’re writing a brief description of your business for your website, it’s important to cover the basics. Where is your business located? Which local markets or regions do you serve? What services do you offer? These are all vital pieces of information that couples must know before even considering your business.
Vision and values
This part of your elevator pitch is a bit more difficult than rattling off your basic information. You likely joined the wedding industry because you’re passionate about weddings and your craft, so hone in on why you feel that passion and articulate it! Explain why weddings mean so much to you, and why your product or service is so important to their big day.
When it comes to writing for your wedding business, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. The messaging in your blog posts should be consistent with your content your website, and your emails and social media posts should also reflect the same tone and voice. With all of those considerations, it’s easy to write too much (or sometimes too little) to keep it all straight!
If you’ve ever wondered how long your pieces of digital content should be, you’re not alone. Luckily for you, there’s a ton of research on exactly how long your digital content should be for ideal exposure and views on the various channels. Below are some of the findings:
Facebook. Research shows that posts shorter than 40 characters (meaning words and spaces or punctuation) had 86% higher engagement rates than longer posts. This isn’t to say that long Facebook posts are useless – in a lot of cases, there’s no way to condense information into less than 40 characters. If you can squeeze posts to under 80 characters, they get 66% more “likes” and comments.
Twitter. Twitter, unlike Facebook, is already very limited in the amount of content users can post. Ideal post length on Twitter is actually longer than ideal post length on Facebook, but it’s an easy number to remember: 100 characters. Twitter’s own research shows that medium-length tweets get the most re-tweets. Why? If users want to “quote” the tweet or retweet and add their own thoughts, they have enough characters left to do so. For optimally shareable tweets, aim for 70-100 characters.
Headlines. If you have a blog, pay close attention to this one! Just like people scan blog posts, (sad, but true) they scan the headlines. The maximum word count for headlines is just six words. Research shows that if a headline is longer than that, readers only look at the first three words and the last three words. Consequently, keeping headlines to six or fewer words ensures that readers pay attention to the whole headline. Plus, Google typically only displays 50-60 characters of the title in search results, so the shorter, the better!
There are many ways to make a mark on the wedding industry and reach potential clients. It can be done through networking, social media, and bridal shows, but one of the easiest ways to get your business’ name out there is by creating and maintaining a blog. The word “blog” may evoke images of young millennials with headphones on – but there is so much more to blogging than what meets the eye!
A blog gives your business a platform to speak to potential clients and it also helps you stand out as an expert in the industry. Blogging consistently can also yield search engine optimization (SEO) benefits for your business and improve your search rankings. Having a blog is important, yes, but having a readable blog is just as important.
If you’re having trouble creating content, you’re not alone! Especially if writing isn’t your favorite activity, writer’s block can be a real hurdle for achieving blogging benefits. Here are a few tips for overcoming writer’s block so you can start blogging more regularly:
Know what you want to say before writing.
It’s tempting to overcome a bout of writer’s block by just sitting down and typing a post, but without a vision or a clear topic, those efforts are probably fruitless. It’s almost impossible to write concise posts if you don’t know what you want to say. Fellow Pros, current clients and even friends or family members can be a source of inspiration when you’re brainstorming blog posts. Once you have a topic to talk about, you’ll be able to communicate clearly about the subject.
Use bullet points.
Once you’ve chosen a topic, make a bullet point list of the main points you’d like to make. This can help you narrow down your post, making it easier to write and easier to understand. A blog post about how to design a wedding bouquet can be very interesting, but a 3,000 word post about how to design a wedding bouquet is over the top. Ideal post length is between 400 and 1,500 words: it should take 5-7 minutes to read. If you choose 3-5 bullet points to address and write a paragraph about each of them, you should be right on point!
We’ve written about the importance of social media for wedding businesses, detailed upcoming changes to the popular social networks, and explained how to effectively use social media, but there’s still a ton of social media strategy and tactics to cover!
In addition to posting at the right times with the right frequency, there are a few key components you should include in your posts to help your posts get noticed. Below we list the top four components of a great social media post:
Tags and mentions. Networking is important in the wedding industry, and it’s just as important online. Tagging, mentioning, or sharing posts from fellow Pros opens up the channels of communication between you and your peers, but also between you and prospective clients. A “ripple effect” is caused when you mention or share a post from another Pro – you’re now reaching their audience in addition to your own. Tagging and mentioning other professionals in the industry often leads to a friendly relationship with that business, which can lead to more online exposure for both parties.
Examples of your work. The best way to generate leads through social media is by providing your followers with plenty of examples. Sharing a photo or two of your most recent or favorite wedding gives couples a glimpse into your work and helps them get to know you better. Sharing experiences and work from real weddings also gives prospective clients an idea of your style, so they can determine if it matches their wants and needs. WeddingWire also has a real weddings website where couples and wedding professionals alike can submit weddings to be published on the site.
Professional voice. If you wonder what “voice” means in terms of social media, you’re not alone! Just as it is in blogging, your voice on social media is the tone and feel of the posts. This voice should be consistent across all your social networks, and it should reflect your business’ professionalism. Posting in text/email speak isn’t a good idea, and it’s best to find other ways to shorten your posts without abbreviating words or phrases. We get it – staying under 140 characters can be hard, but abbreviations often come across as juvenile and unprofessional. For example, “Brides love our hairstylists and you’ll love the way you look on your wedding day!” looks much better than “Brides luv our hairstylists & you’ll love the way you look on ur wedding day!”
A lot of Pros focus on building your Facebook page, but there’s an important aspect beyond the exterior of your page. Analytics can be a foreign concept to a lot of people who own and run businesses, but they’re an important part of building and bettering your Facebook posts. You can see in-depth information about your top posts, demographics of your followers, and more. Here’s a quick how-to that will help you understand and utilize your analytics!
If you’ve never looked at your Facebook page Insights before, you’ll find them located at the top menu bar on your Facebook page. Only page administrators have access to these valuable insights, so visitors to your page will not see your page’s performance. Facebook Insights tracks and reports on a number of metrics and statistics – here’s a breakdown of what each metric means.
The Likes menu shows you, fittingly, how many likes your page has. It also gives you more in-depth statistics and also allows you to pick a time period to analyze. The first section of the page has “start” and “end” fields, where you can adjust the time period you would like to measure. Once you select the dates you want, you’ll see the total likes and net likes your page has, and where your likes happened over that time period.
Net Likes is a really useful tool for figuring out what gets more followers and what makes you lose followers. If you tried a new posting technique during the month of April, you can gauge exactly how effective it was. If you typically gain 20 followers per month but you gained 50 new followers in April, it’s likely that your strategy worked. But if you lost 7 followers and only gained 2, it might be time to try a new posting strategy. Hint: Our posts about using social media effectively and using images on social media would be a good start.
Where Your Page Likes Happened is a tool that gives even more insight into how people liked the page. If Facebook suggested your page on someone’s profile and they liked it because of the suggestion, this chart will show you how many likes that generated. You can also see if someone visited your page, enjoyed what they saw, and then followed through and liked the page. And that’s always a good thing!
In a tech-savvy and social media-centered world, wedding businesses must have a strong online presence to keep up with competition. One of your first steps should be creating a great website (or mobile site if your website isn’t responsive) and hopping onto – at least – the top social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter.
If you’ve already done those things, that’s great! But to be most effective on social media, you should pay attention to what you’re posting, when you’re posting, and how often you’re posting. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you use social media effectively and make the most of your online presence!
- Post regularly. Staying up to date on your social networks is crucial to engaging followers. Try to post at least once a day on Facebook and 2-4 times a day on Twitter.
- Post at peak times. What time do people start to get antsy at work? That’s the time to post on Facebook! Weekdays from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. are prime time for Facebook posts – Wednesdays at 3 p.m. is the top time during the week. Tweeting from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. will get you the most views because people tend to scroll through Twitter during their lunch breaks.
- Add photos to your repertoire. Posting photos on Facebook and Twitter not only livens up the pages, but it also helps you capture people’s attention. Instagram can also be a great source for drawing business because any business can use Instagram. Makeup artists can post before and after photos of brides, florists can share photos of different bouquets, and venues can post the different ways to decorate their event spaces.
- Ask for follower opinions. If you’re a florist, post pictures of two different bouquets and ask followers which one they like better. Not only does this draw more potential views, but it also helps you know what couples are loving. If you’re a photographer, you can post a city shot and a country shot and see which scene draws more likes. The possibilities are endless!
If you want more tips and ideas for using social media effectively, check out our other blog posts about what’s next in social media, Twitter tips, and creating shareable blog posts.