Lately I’ve been running some wedding industry marketing experiments on Facebook to explore what it takes to get leads without paying for them.
One way you might have heard to do this is by joining local bride-to-bride Facebook groups, which gives you some great insight into what local couples are looking for, as well as opening up opportunities for conversation.
Since I offer coaching and marketing services, I’m part of several groups focused on these areas, and it’s been interesting to sometimes be on the other side – to be a lead to others trying to get me to work with them. I’m able to see what other pros are doing to share their expertise and build relationships with potential leads…or not.
For the most part, it’s been pretty good – but sometimes it gets pretty sleazy, and I get things like:
- Friending me on Facebook…then immediately sending me to a sales page.
- Asking me to like their Facebook page before they’ve even said hello.
- Commenting about their business on one of my posts. (Very bad form.)
I’m sure these business owners don’t mean to be sleazy or obnoxious. They’re excited about their businesses and eager to help new clients.
(Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.)
The big mistake is making an offer before they know anything about who I am or what I might need.
It leaves me thinking that they don’t care about anything other than making sales for their own business.
Contrast this with my new connections on Facebook who say hello and engage with me…before talking about what they do.
Recently, one coach asked what I do, and inquired deeper. She shared her formula for an “Elevator Pitch” along with insights into the experience she creates for her clients.
She did an amazing job of making the conversation about me AND demonstrating her expertise.
I felt like she was genuinely interested.
She gave me helpful advice without suggesting that I didn’t know what I was talking about.
Admittedly, I can be a little irritable if someone preaches to me about marketing without being invited, since I’ve been around the marketing block a few times. She avoided that pitfall nicely.
I learned that she specializes in helping people get clients with social media. If I needed help with that, she’d be the first one I would call.
If you want to get leads from social media, you must build relationships first.
I can’t stress that enough!
RELATIONSHIPS FIRST. (That’s really true anywhere, but especially on social media, where people gather to connect and share…not buy and sell.)
I’ve been having a lot of success finding potential clients for my coaching business with a combination of sharing content, comments on others’ posts, connecting and starting conversations.
Here are some wedding industry marketing tips for getting wedding leads with free activities on Facebook:
#1 – Join Facebook groups where your target couples are active.
These might be local wedding destination sites or planning groups. Read and follow the group guidelines carefully, and make sure you’re allowed to participate as a business.
#2 – Share information that’s interesting to your ideal couples.
- Pictures from your recent weddings
- Ideas for using songs to personalize the event
- Real wedding stories
- Answers to questions about color, theme, entertainment, travel, etc.
DON’T SELL YOURSELF.
If it’s permitted, you may add a sentence at the end such as, “Want to learn more about how to do this for your wedding? PM me and I’d love to help,” but ONLY if it’s permitted by the rules of the group.
#3 – Notice who comments and likes your post in the group, friend them and send them a message, asking a question related to their post or the wedding.
It might look something like this:
Hey, Jane! It was lovely meeting you in the Facebook group.
What’s the most exciting thing about planning your wedding?
#4 – When the bride/groom responds, chat naturally for a bit before making any offer.
Ask them questions and offer suggestions or resources that might be helpful. Once you’ve established a connection, you might extend an offer to help them further.
I specialize in wedding flowers, so talking themes and colors is my jam! Let me know if I can help.
#5 – Keep sharing posts that contribute to the community, making helpful or encouraging comments on other people’s posts in groups and in your feed, and connecting.
If you follow these guidelines with a genuine attempt to connect and help people first, you’ll build relationships with people who need your services.
You’ll become someone they respect and trust, and you’ll (eventually) get business as a result.
What to Expect
Know that it takes time to build these relationships. You have to do a lot of “give” first to earn their trust and the opportunity to talk about yourself.
If you’re not willing to do that, you’re better off sticking with paid wedding industry marketing and advertising directed at people who are actively searching for you.
The same principles apply to networking with other wedding pros, by the way. Connect with them as people, be interested and helpful first; then invite them into a conversation about how you might partner together.
How is social media working for your wedding business?
P.S. If you’re interested in finding the right words that immediately attract more of your perfect couples for your wedding business, let’s connect! I would love to help.
P.P.S. See what I just did there? Practice what you preach. 🙂