This post is by Shannon Underwood, the V.P. of Wedding MBA. The Wedding MBA is America’s largest convention of wedding professionals dedicated to the business side of the wedding business. Register today and access your special rate as a WeddingWire member by signing up with this link. Check out highlights from Wedding MBA 2013 for an inside peek at the conference!
In this busy and competitive industry, we all want to be Wedding Winners! Below are the 5 keys to what makes a powerful ‘Wedding Winner.’ Follow these tips to learn how to effectively stand out as a top notch wedding Pro, a build stronger business, and get more clients this year.
Wedding Winners raise the stakes
Wedding Winners maximize their brand exposure at the best events for their business. Invest in a presence top bridal shows and local branding opportunities to establish your business name and reach your target audience. Remember that you get out what you put in, so make your presence known and don’t be afraid to market yourself!
Wedding Winners WANT to be where their competitors are and leverage brand exposure methods such as online sites, local magazines or shows. You will never hear them saying, “I don’t want to be listed with them because so many photographers, florists, caterers, etc., are already doing so!” Wedding Winners like being associated in publications along with their top competition so they will also be seen by the best and get the largest relevant brand reach!
Wedding Winners never say no to creative ideas
Wedding Winners’ language reflects their excitement for working with a potential wedding couple throughout the planning process. They treat every lead with respect. Receptive to new ideas, they can’t wait to try concepts outside of their comfort zone and add to their portfolio, while helping to bring the couples’ vision of their perfect day to life.
Wedding Winners take their contracts seriously
The most successful small businesses uphold signed contracts with minimal exceptions. They don’t need the added stress of determining which reasons would qualify for a cancellation. Why? Because they relied on this wedding to take place on this day.
Detrimental reliance means that you, as a small business owner, have relied on the fact that you are contracted for a wedding on this date and will be compensated accordingly. You might have turned down several brides and grooms to make yourself and your services available. Based on your anticipated business volume, you may even have purchased a piece of equipment to provide better service for those contracted weddings. Be sure to add a legal clause to your contracts to protect your business, and make all expectations clear. Wedding Winners are professional and courteous in dealing with any issues so as to maintain their strong brand reputation, and they never back out of their agreement expectations.
Wedding Winners make unlikely friends
Instead of going straight to wedding venues and begging to be on their preferred vendor list, winners think bigger when marketing to brides and grooms. They identify the connectors in their industry and love to network with other professionals to tap into those resources.
- Bridal show producers have access to hundreds— sometimes thousands— of local wedding professionals. Asking for introductions is a direct route to prime contacts.
- Winners find the top performing bridal blogs, social media groups, and local regional sites from big name organizations in their market and offer to write articles, donate photos, send sample products – or even just comment to show appreciation for content and strike up a conversation!
- Winners host a networking event instead of just attending one, or act as a brand ambassador for other local professionals, members of an association, or spokesperson for specific vendor category at large events.
- Winners join networking groups outside of their specialty to expand their industry knowledge and meet new, exciting people.
Wedding Winners are curious
The second a wedding professional stops trying to think like the client is the second they will be out of business! Also remember that technology is always evolving – and your business needs to as well. Over time, it’s critical not to lose perspective of what it is like to be engaged and the resources that today’s couples have at their fingertips and how they are planning their day. To get back in touch and to never stop learning— attend webinars, mobilize your business website, sign up for newsletters, follow blogs, and attend industry conferences like the Wedding MBA dedicated to the business side of the wedding business.
Make it a goal this year for your business to become a Wedding Winner, or help other professionals you admire or mentor to become Wedding Winners by sharing your expertise on what makes a good wedding Pro great!