In the 12+ years I have been working in the wedding industry I have had to 'try out' several hundred different strategies to get noticed and hopefully get hired for my services. Adapting to changes and going to 'where the clients are' is necessary when you own your own business. When I first started out I was a wedding planner and had to figure out how to get noticed by engaged couples ... then, when I launched Style Unveiled I had to make sure to keep brides happy while also getting noticed by wedding professionals who would submit their work and advertise on my blog ... and now I am working to gain the attention of other business owners who are in the event and wedding industry. This process keeps me on my toes and when I am feeling a 'dry spell' where people aren't interested in what I'm dishing out I am forced to reassess and try new things. Some are major fails and some are a hit ... but the main thing I realized is that it's not just ONE thing that gets you hired, but a combination of roughly EIGHT. If you aren't getting hired or if you aren't getting the *right* clients to hire you, then you may want to refer to the 8 actions below:
1. You're Not Using Social Media
Fighting the use of social media is a battle you will lose and the loss is hiring clients. People are on FB and Instagram more than they speak to actual human beings and while some may consider this a problem - fighting it is an even bigger problem: for you. Does it suck that we have less 'real time' with people and more 'social media time' with people?? Sure, yeah ... but if you want to get hiring clients: BE WHERE THEY ARE. If you are using social media, but it's slow going - you may want to rethink the photos you are choosing ... if they are ugly, dated, or of poor quality then all those posts aren't going to help you much.
Bonus Post: Social Media Reminds People That You Exist
2. You're Not Networking
Do other wedding pros in your area know you exist?? If they don't this is a major problem! When you are a business owner it's crucial that you network. Not so social savvy??? Well neither am I: but I do what I am able to make sure I not only have relationships with other business owners in my field, but that I keep them going. Pay it forward - get to know people that you can refer to clients and to friends! If you are passing business to other industry people then they may pass it right on back to you.
Bonus Post: Surround Yourself With These 3 Types Of People
3. Your Website Is Ugly
Potential paying clients are going to want to see the goods ... and the first place they will probably go??? Your website. Will they shudder in fear when they 'click' in?? Brides are emotional creatures who want to SEE something pretty to remind them that this journey is exciting and full of possibilities!! If your website makes them want to hide in a hole then you might want to rethink it.
Bonus Post: Your Website Has 5 Seconds To Impress Visitors
4. Your Logo Is Dated
If you've had the same logo forever then it's most likely dated. Logos change like fashion ... and we all know how quickly fashion changes. Rebranding is scary because you think that people won't know it's you if you change ... I get it. But: they will because you'll make it a 'thing' ... you'll announce and send out new business cards to your network of people ... you'll throw it all over social media ... it's going to be ok ;) Brides are going to be very sensitive to your brand - it needs to attract the target market you want to reach! Are you feeling pressure to keep it the same? If so: who is that pressure coming from??
5. You're Not Getting Your Work Published
Are all of the gorgeous events you are creating getting a boost out there in the world?? Do you have bragging rights?? Getting your work published is important. If you think it's pointless because you can't directly link a specific hire to a published event then think again. Exposure isn't that simple - pin-pointing EXACTLY where your clients are finding you isn't as easy as 1, 2, 3 - so TRY EVERYTHING (sing it to me, Shakira!) and that way you've got it covered!
6. You're Not Producing Editorial Shoots
Styled shoots offer so much more than a possible feature. They allow you to network, get experience at a new venue in town, practice your trade, and show off a skill that you hope someone will want to hire you to do more of! Creating an editorial shoot is a great way to say: hey, look what I can do!!! If you aren't planning at least 2 of these a year then I suggest adding that to your list.
Bonus Post: Creating A Successful Styled Shoot
7. You Don't Exist Online
What is your SEO like? Do you advertise? Are your images optimized? Is your website mobile optimized? Existing online means lots of things and it's important to know where you stand with search engines - including Pinterest! If your website gets 'sad amounts of traffic' then you will definitely want to investigate the reasons.
8. You Haven't Narrowed Down Your Target Market
There are SO many different types of weddings ... luxe, diy, boho-chic, rustic, budget ... may I go on??? It's important to speak to the type of client you want more of. If you are supporting your ideal client across social media, your website, your blog, and in the work you choose to submit for a feature then you should also start getting MORE of that type of client in your inquiries :)
Bonus Post: A Great Recipe To Attract Higher Budget Weddings
There is a possible 9th ...
You aren't likable. SO SORRY TO BE THE ONE TO SAY IT ... but maybe people just aren't into you. If you are able to see the 8 items above and be like: check, yep, got it, killing it, etc ... then your personality may be the culprit. I don't know you, so this is not a personal attack ... I have no idea who is reading this ... but PERSONALITY goes a long way when it comes to running your own business and having people WANT to work with you. Do you appear knowledgeable and confident? Are you a good listener? Are you decisive and unafraid to make helpful and necessary decisions? If you turn people off after a conversation then you may want to rethink a few things ... maybe someone else working for you should handle phone calls first? Maybe you should be more of a listener than a talker? This is a hard one ... but it does exist. Something to 'hmmmm' on.