Let us take a moment to give thanks that the not-so-nice political commercials that dominated airwaves for much of this year have finally come to an end. On their heels? Jewelry ads, particularly those flaunting sparkling diamond rings.
Tis the season to pop the question! According to WeddingWire, 40 percent of engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. If you want their business, you can’t rest on your laurels, said Heather Waits, owner of Bloomtastic in Columbus, Ohio, and the founder of Profitable Weddings. Here, she shares a few of her tips to capitalize on engagement season.
- Up your Instagram game. “Be where the fish are,” Waits said. “Brides today spent a lot of time on Instagram. We’ve booked several weddings from Instagram communications!” Post photos and videos of your best work. The app allows you to archive story images on your profile, which you can group by theme (such as wedding venue, color scheme or behind-the-scenes). Want an example? Check out NK Productions (@nk_weddings). Be sure to respond to any comments or direct messages you receive. It’s also worth paying to promote your wedding posts during engagement season, Waits added.
- Be resourceful. Weddings have a lot of expensive details, which overwhelm a lot of brides-to-be. Put them at ease by letting them know you handle these types of events on a regular basis. Also, share tools to help minimize the stress. Waits’ website includes a useful info tab. She also shares a planning guide, which breaks design styles, floral lingo and pricing.
- Invest in Facebook and Instagram ads. Without spending a lot of money, you can create very targeted and effective advertisements for Facebook and Instagram. For the last quarter of the year, Waits runs ads with the headline, “Pay 2018 pricing for your 2019 wedding!” The gist is to lock in business early. “Having a bankable number for budgeting is powerful for these couples,” she said.
- Survey them. Have a questionnaire ready for brides to fill out prior to a consultation. This helps you a) decide if they are an ideal client (so you don’t end up devoting too much time meeting with someone who only plans to spend $200) and b) identify their style. “We use this to create sample centerpieces that they see at the consultation,” Waits said.
- Stay up on trends. Squeeze in a few minutes this holiday season to check out the latest styles in Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde, etc., so when brides come in for consultations, you can prove you’re in the know. “Black is coming back—in dresses, linens and more,” Waits said. “Showcase an all-white flower arrangement in a black container. It’s classy, sophisticated and on-trend.”
- Promote your USP (unique selling point). Your personal style should come through on your website, social media posts and blog. “Put yourself in a couple’s shoes and promote what will appeal to them. For instance, if you offer a free mock centerpiece or bouquet, promote that!” Waits said. “Better yet, ask a handful of recent clients why they hired you and play up those answers as your strengths!”
For more of Waits’ wedding advice, check out “Book It!”