7 Things You Can Do Now to Benefit Your Business Later
With the world turned upside down during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are working from home and figuring out ways to keep our businesses moving forward.
For many ABC members, days are filled with comforting couples, postponing wedding dates, and getting their entire team on board with all necessary precautions. For many others, homeschooling and keeping children busy fills in a lot of the remaining time.
However, in between family and working IN your business, you need to carve out some time to work ON your business. With couples working from home or on furlough, they have more time to begin the wedding planning process and get their ducks in order.
Here are seven things you can do now to benefit your business later
#1 – Take a good look at your businesses brand
Too many of us, way back when we launched our businesses, wrote a Mission Statement, looked at our ideal client, and created a brand. Unfortunately, most people never back to revisit those items to reflect our current vision.
Start by looking to see what your Mission Statement says about you and your current interaction with your couples. One good judge of who you are is what your clients say about you in their reviews.
Go to online portals where you advertise, Google, and Facebook and look at the last ten client reviews. In reviewing these posts, look for common phrases like ‘responsive, creative, attention to detail’ – be sure to use those in your website and online content because THAT is what you do well.
While you are sifting through what your couples think of you, take a look at your collateral. Do your website, business cards, and other promotional pieces reflect your business’s current feel?
#2- Update your packages and if necessary your pricing
While you are looking at those client reviews, if you see words like “affordable’ or ‘a great value,” you might want to take a look at your pricing structure. While there is nothing wrong with being a great value, you don’t want to be selling yourself short.
Review each of your packages. Do they accurately reflect the service you perform? Are there things you have started doing that you haven’t listed?
You want to make sure that you are getting paid a living wage for the amount of time and effort you put into wedding planning. I’d be willing to bet you have not increased your pricing in at least three years.
#3- Diversify your website
This one step might be timelier and more relevant than anything else. I’ll make this as crystal clear as possible:
If a couple looks at your website and social media presence and does not see themselves reflected, THEY ARE GOING SOMEWHERE ELSE!
Start with the easy stuff. Invest a few hours reading through every page or subpage of your website and look for words like bride, groom, bridal party, her day, bridal suite, and see where you can replace them with more gender-neutral terms – couple, newlyweds, wedding party, and ready room.
It’s really simple to do and makes all couples feel like you care. You will be AMAZED at the number of young, straight couples who notice that businesses aren’t inclusive of their LGBTQ family and friends.
The next step is to go through and update your images. Look to include some new fresh photos that best reflect your current work and include any same-sex couples, and people of color – also be sure to include any multicultural and encore weddings.
#4 – Update your online image
Now that you’ve taken a good hard look at who you are and the people you serve, updating your online presence should be easy. It would be best if you had plenty of diverse couples to add to your social media feed. Like updating your website, I’d be willing to bet you haven’t updated your content on wedding portals where you advertise in some time.
#5- About US
I have walked away from doing business or referring business with a company because I looked at their About Us page and felt like I didn’t connect with them or know who they were.
Here’s a prime example – DJs! Nearly every DJ’s site says that they have the latest equipment, and will play the music to keep your dance floor packed all night.
That should be a minimum expectation for a DJ! You hire them to play good music and fill the dance floor, and you expect that as professionals, they should have the proper equipment. But what about their business sets them apart from other people? Who are the people you are going to be working with? What kind of music do they like?
Your About Us page should be a glimpse into the people behind the screen! What is their background, what do they do for fun, and what do they stand for? What people stand for might be more important in business than at any other time in history.
When I launched a charity wedding cake competition in Philadelphia, we partnered with a cancer charity in memory of my mother, who died of breast cancer. I was amazed at the number of potential clients who spoke about a connection to breast cancer.
Beyond that, my comments and posts about food and being a foodie attracted couples who were really into food and didn’t want a salad, and rubber chicken wedding reception. The most commented-on social media post was the picture of our West Highland Terrier in our Mini Cooper.
As a Master Wedding Planner turned professional blogger, I suggest you put this one at the top of your to-do list.
Blogging allows you to take control of your narrative. You can share wedding planning tips, focus on impactful Real Weddings, brand yourself as an expert, and showcase your education, experience, and awards.
Online features on wedding websites might not focus on the details you would have, and we’ve also seen when we link to an article after the website folds.
Your blogs live on your site, and you control the SEO, the people you connect with, and can focus on the top questions your couples ask. Rather than an FAQ page, you can send your clients links to a detailed blog post that answers their questions or a Real Wedding that showcases a similar style.
#7- Look in your closet
Too often, we blend into a field of businesses with similar-sounding names or local pros of a similar demographic. Sometimes, adding a few accent pieces to our business attire can do the trick.
The most significant way to stand out in a crowd is to make yourself memorable. I would venture that nearly ten years after I sold The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants, some people don’t necessarily remember my name – but they know who the guy in the red shirt is!
Red was our color; each of my team got to choose their accent pieces. They each picked something that worked for them from a skinny red leather belt to red bangle bracelets or red shoes. A silver heart necklace each member received as a gift on our tenth anniversary tied us all together.
What is it that you do to make yourself memorable and reinforce your brand?
Hopefully, these seven easy steps help you take a good look at what you do well in business and move that forward for your couples to see.