Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you, as well as more about our new wedding PR kits, please visit us today.
January tends to be a natural time in the year for wedding pros to plan for the year ahead. We set goals, refresh our brand, and finally cross off all of the lingering to do’s on our never-ending list.
In years past, I use my first post of the year as a not-so-gentle reminder to get organized before wedding season sneaks up on us yet again. But what if you are already there, armed with your standard operating procedures, and you’re still seeking that “something different” that will fulfill that missing spot? Luckily, there are a number of ways to mix things up and start off your next venture.
That’s right – log off and smell the roses! It’s understandable if the majority of your marketing efforts are online, as millennials are constantly connected. However, it may be time to diversify and devote some of your time to going offline – from magazines to television, it never hurts to branch out and build your brand through different mediums. Start off with one new approach that reaches your target audience and fits in with both your company’s goals and your skill set.
Beyond hits like Serial and This American Life, podcasts are a great tool for marketing your wedding business. There are podcasts for nearly every niche out there and they can be considered a media on-the-rise. Not only are they very popular with Gen Y, but they come with the added bonus of being great practice for those interested in speaking (see next point!). Unlike online and print features, podcasts allow for your target audience to get a glimpse of who you really are and how excited you are to talk about weddings.
While public speaking may not be everyone’s specialty, it’s hard to argue against the fact that it’s great for getting your brand out there. If you’re ready to take the plunge, start small and work on developing a platform based on your expertise. Start out in your region and look into local networking groups or industry events. Consider reaching out to nearby universities’ hospitality departments and inquire about guest lecturing. Find a way to include guest participation and be sure to ask for feedback afterwards. It’ll only take a few practices before you start feeling like a seasoned pro!
Create an Online Newsroom
While a successful year is certainly something to celebrate, it’s not reaching its full potential if people don’t know about it. Whether you’re taking the stage at an upcoming conference or you got a dream feature on your favorite wedding blog, make sure that you’re sharing your wins with your audience! The off-season is the perfect time to put together all of your press lists and speaker information, if applicable, onto your website. If you have a print media kit already, it’s time to put that up too. Let your website sing your praises!
Rethink Inspiration Shoots
There’s just nothing like a beautifully styled inspiration shoot, but don’t get lost in the thrill. If you find yourself working on a lot of styled shoots, it might be time to take a break and focus your time elsewhere. Sometimes, shaking things up means scaling back on certain things. If you just can’t let go of them entirely, branch out and work with new vendors – your return on investment will show in the new relationships that come from taking a new direction. On the flipside, if you don’t work on inspiration shoots often, consider jumping into a few to really get the creative juices flowing and diversify your portfolio.
Whether you’re considering a company overhaul or just need a little refreshing, finding new activities and breaking out of your usual mold is not only liberating, but can open your eyes to new directions to take your business. Don’t be afraid to take the next step – just be diligent about planning ahead for both your company and yourself and you can’t go wrong.