As a small wedding business, we need big results for the smallest investment possible.  We need maximum big bang for every buck.

Here’s what we’ve found to be the best investment for our wedding business and those of our wedding vendor friends and clients.

WARNING:  Before you start any new promotion, make sure you have a tracking system in place so that you can measure your results.  Set up Google Analytics for free comprehensive tracking of your website traffic.  You need to know where your leads are coming from, or you will waste money!

1) Increase your most effective marketing strategy.

Why reinvent the wheel?  Take a look at your current bridal marketing and advertising sources.

How much do you spend on each?  How much money do they make for you as a result?

Always build on what’s already working before you spend on something new that may not bring results.  If you’ve already established that a particular bridal show or wedding website yields a good return on your investment, spend more there because your results should grow with it.

2) Invest in your website.

Your website is critical for your business success.  Almost every bride is going to visit it, even if she finds you somewhere else first, because it’s part of her buying process.

A well-done website attracts your ideal customers, distinguishes you from the competition, proves your expertise, pre-sells your clients and acts as a FREE lead generator.

Areas that yield a big return on investment:

  • Convert your website to a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress.  

This gives you control of your own website so that you can track and test new ideas to optimize results.

  • Add a lead capture form to every page of your website.

Give brides a good reason to enter their name and email into the form so that you have permission to follow up with them automatically by email.

  • Add a call to action on every page of your website. 

Make sure visitors can easily find your phone number, email and tell them to contact you by your preferred means.

  • Set up a blog ON your domain.

You need more targeted traffic to get more leads, and to get more targeted traffic, you need more content. A blog is the easiest way for you to write articles and add images so that brides can find you in the search engines.  A website without regularly updated content is invisible.

  • Hire a pro to write your website copy.

Unless you’re a professional copywriter, DON’T write your website copy yourself.  It’s too critical for the success of your website.  You wouldn’t tell a bride to hire an amateur, would you?

  • Keep your design simple, clean and easy to navigate.

Again, hire a pro to do this for you.  Usually the cheapest way to design a professional website is to have a programmer customize a WordPress theme.  That way you can manage your own content at a lower cost.

3) Market to other wedding vendors.

You should spend at least as much time marketing yourself to other wedding vendors as you do marketing to brides.

Why?  Because each bride usually promises only one booked wedding; a relationship with the right wedding vendor, on the other hand, can lead to dozens or hundreds of pre-sold, qualified leads.

A few ways to market yourself to other wedding professionals:

  • Join your local associations and become an active member.  Active is key here; make yourself known by joining committees and participating in events.
  • Print a bunch of professional postcards with your photo on the front and a blank back.  Start a habit of sending personal notes to everyone you meet.  If you stay consistent this will generate dozens of referrals and powerful partnerships at a very low cost.
  • Help other wedding vendors out.  Volunteer your talents to build those relationships.

4)  Be everywhere online.

Do a Google search for your region followed by the word wedding.  (For example, “Washington DC wedding” or “Manchester wedding.”)

Consider buying advertising on every directory site that comes up on page one.  Many of them will have free listings, so take advantage of them!

Create listings on these 14 Websites to Get Free Marketing, especially the local business listings and Google Places.

5)  Buy Facebook ads.

If you want to try paid advertising, Facebook is a great place to start.  It’s much easier to learn than Google Adwords and you can set a daily budget that works for you.

CAUTION: Send traffic to your website, NOT your Facebook page.

Most Facebook pages do not have a lead capture or a call to action.  Getting more people to “like” your page does not equal more booked weddings; it’s just an ego stroke because you get to feel popular

Send Facebook ad traffic to your website where the visitor is more likely to contact you and book your services.  Don’t drive traffic to your Facebook page unless it’s already optimized to book weddings.  (It probably isn’t.)

These are not the only ways you can get your name out there at a low cost, but they’re some of the most effective we’ve found that give the most bang for your buck.

Got any low cost marketing strategies to add to the list?  Leave a comment!

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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17 thoughts on “What is the Best Way to Get My Name Out at a Reasonable Cost?”

  1. Being a wedding photographer market in today’s market is no small task, especially when you have a meager marketing budget. We are constant looking for smart ways to maximize our return on our marketing dollars. Thank you so much for sharing, we really appreciate it.

  2. Great post for small business help. Thanks for providing useful content. –Andrew @

  3. Although I’m a little late to this article, it still holds up well! Great to see solid advice like this given away…for free. Thanks, I’ll be reading the rest of your site now!! James from Inside Out Booth NJ

  4. Kimberly Teo says:

    Thanks for the tips – really useful for a new business starting out.
    Especially point 3 around other wedding vendors, even though it can be intimidating to start off with!

  5. Tania says:

    Great article with priceless advices ! Thank you and regards from Bulgaria

  6. Anonymous says:

    Love it! Glad for the plug on relationships. Always add some “coffee dates” to your marketing budget so you can keep up with your wedding buddies. 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips! Does anyone know how to market yourself to become a well-known destination wedding make-up artist? (by the way, I am in Vancouver, this is a extremely competitive market for MUA’s).

  8. Anonymous says:

    very good summary of what is the minimum to put in place to improve visibility for wedding booking.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Buy Facebook Ads, point #5, hit home because most of us do have a hard time understanding how to effectively make Facebook work for us. We are still catching up to the concept of SEO on our websites so it becomes challenging to find the time to invest in FB. Maybe we need a new book, “SEO Facebook for Dummies”. Good information as always. Rev. Ron

  10. Anonymous says:

    These are terrific tips. I might add that if you have a database of any kind, try direct email campaigns to these folks using a service called Mail Chimp. It’s free and it’s very similar to Constant Contact. It’s easy to construct your letter or newsletter and they measure the results (emails opened, unopened, visits to the web site, etc.)for you.

    Good luck!

    1. Absolutely! I’m a HUGE fan of Aweber and Sendpepper myself because of the additional flexibility.

      It’s more of a lead capture and optimization tool rather than a promotional one, which is why I left it off the list, but also a really powerful part of a successful marketing campaign.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey guys. Great article and a great blog!

    The only thing I would add is that building your Facebook following is not just about vanity. Once someone becomes a fan you have the ability to post to their wall which means that all their friends will see your status updates and anything else you post to your wall. This is a great strategy for increasing your online visibility but for maximum impact it’s not enough to send people to your personal profile – you also need a custom fan page.

    The search engines also give increasing weight to social interactions so if you want your website to rank well you need to have lots of active Facebook fans, Twitter followers, blog and Youtube subscribers. 30% of new visitors to my website these days come from social media sites so this is not something you can afford to ignore.

    1. [quote name=”Jan Willis”]
      The only thing I would add is that building your Facebook following is not just about vanity. [/quote]

      Well said, Jan!

      Let me clarify my point a bit…

      I completely agree about the power of FB and social media to generate leads and traffic. However, simply getting people to “like” your Facebook page does not automatically equal more leads and more booked weddings.

      Rather than paying to send traffic to a FB page, which for most wedding vendors isn’t optimized for lead capture and doesn’t have regular content, it makes more sense to send that traffic to a website that’s set up to book weddings.

      However, if you’re an active FB contributor and you have your page set up with a custom tab and lead capture, it can be quite effective.

      Getting the most out of paid traffic from FB ads for most wedding pros means sending them to the website. Whether the traffic is free or paid, direct it to the place where you can capture and convert that visitor into a lead. Otherwise the promotion is less effective.

      I wasn’t implying that building up your fans is a waste in any case. I’m just noting the fact that most wedding vendors don’t have a FB presence that’s set up for generating real leads.

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This by far is one of the most informational articles I have read in a while. Thanks, Stephanie for once again posting an article that can help us small businesses on succeeded without spending too much money! Great Job!!! ~Laura from Royal Photo Booth, NY, NY

    1. You’re welcome, Taffy & Laura!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for these very realistic steps to getting my name out without breaking the bank. Thank you for keeping it real!

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