By Lindsay Lucas
I’ve been an athlete my whole life. A tomboy through and through, you could usually find me sporting an oversized tee, break away adidas pants and my high top reebok sneakers.
I looked good; or at least I thought I did.
When I later hit adolescence, I quickly discovered how popular big name brands were.
My parents worked regular jobs and made a good living, however, any extra income went to our team dues or traveling for out of state tournaments. Fancy athletic apparel was something we asked for on Christmas or birthdays.
My parents raised us not to put a lot of value into “stuff”, so I never felt like I was missing out on anything and haven’t been impressed by highly sought after things ever since.
So when I was introduced to Lululemon a few years ago, I turned my nose up. My workout gear was wicking away sweat just fine! No way was I going to drop $100+ on a pair of pants that I was going to tear up at crossfit.
I resisted the brand’s popularity and trendy clothing for a while until one day – my curiosity got the best of me and I found myself browsing “just to look.”
I was immediately welcomed with a friendly and upbeat hello from a fit blonde. Adorning my usual spandex uniform, she noted that I looked athletic and asked what my goals were.
Now I was engaged in the conversation.
We swapped sports stories and before I knew it, I had signed up for a yoga class and purchased not one, but TWO pairs of pants. Sucker? Maybe.
But here’s the thing, I felt a connection.
Like this stranger turned friend truly valued my goals and wanted to help me get there.
Because I felt a connection, my mind was opened to their brand’s mission. I might as well be an ambassador now.
The big idea: People who feel a connection are more likely to not only purchase from you, but they’ll also sing your praises.
So how does this pertain to wedding venues? What tangible lesson can you learn from this? Here are three take-aways for you…
Tell Your Story
First, brides and their parents want to know WHO the venue is.
Notice I didn’t say WHAT or WHERE the venue is.
While those are all questions that will eventually be asked, they really want to know who is behind this large investment they’re about to make.
So tell your story and more importantly, share your WHY. Why did you want to launch a wedding venue? Why is this adventure important to you?
Share Your Progress
Second, SHARE! Social media is a powerful tool and will be your biggest asset with getting you in front of your target audience.
Aside from sharing your story, who you are, and why you took the leap with this amazing dream, you should also share every possible update you can.
Just broke ground? Share a picture of the dirt. Selecting bathroom tile? Have your audience weigh in on the choices. Booked your first couple? Congrats! Now take a selfie with them.
Every time you post your progress (big or small), couples and their family/friends get excited, like, comment and reshare. Why? Because with every post, you’ve built a connection. They’re invested in you and will now be your biggest cheerleaders and ambassadors.
Research Your Vendors
Lastly, do your due diligence in researching local vendors. Vet them, making sure their brand aligns with yours. Once you find your people, take care of them.
When you’re just starting out, there will be a lot of things you need help with that your vendors are happy to offer. Need great photos for marketing materials? Your vendors will create an amazing photoshoot for you.
You’ll need help in getting the word out that your venue is now accepting weddings. Vendors will sing your praises and planners will bring you their clients.
Well respected vendors will gladly lend a hand, so make sure as soon as you’re able, you return the favor by giving them business or social media mentions.
Bonus, be happy. This sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Happy people are attracted to other happy people. Guess what… brides are happy people!
When you’re posting to social media, keep your voice upbeat. Sound excited that your tables and chairs were just delivered. When you’re giving tours, be genuinely happy for the couple and ask how he popped the question.
Brides don’t want to hear that you’re stressed that the city just hit you with an unexpected permitting cost.
I know it’s easy to get caught up in construction or renovation, but building a connection with your audience and other wedding professionals will be your golden ticket to selling out your first year!
How did you build your audience before a launch? Share your story in the comments below!
Lindsay Lucas is a wedding venue business consultant and founder of Lean On Me Events. She’s passionate about helping venue owners build a strong foundation for success, coaching them on how to create a sustainable venue in an ever evolving market. In the past year, she’s brought clients $1 million+ in revenue.