In my years as a wedding blog editor for Style Unveiled, I heard a lot about 'being hired', 'tracking hires', and 'not being hired' ... wedding professionals have to work HARD to make sure brides not only hear wonderful things about them, but that their work stands out ... and beyond that, brides are so picky about their specific style of wedding! You could be the MASTER of wedding flowers, but your particular style just doesn't suit the bride who happens by your site or sees your latest work on SMP ... it's hard out here for a pimp ... a pimp of wedding pretties, that is.
So, how do you track where brides are coming from??
Here's a little story to explain why you can't always do that ... and I'm sorry in advance :(
A bride is on The Knot and clicks on your ad, which brings her to your site ... she clicks around, loves that you proudly display your SMP Little Black Book badge (SMP is her favorite wedding blog), pins a few images to her 'wedding planning Pinterest board' ... then flips back to The Knot and clicks on the next vendor ... she repeats the previous actions ... she loves the work of both sites she clicked into and marks them down in her 'wedding planning notebook' as ideas for local wedding pros to hire and heads to work.
During her lunch break she decides to get on her favorite wedding blogs and is so psyched to realize that the work of the vendor (YOU) she was considering this morning is featured on GWS ... once more, she is obsessed with your work and once more 'pins' a few of the images from the feature. Lunch is over, she heads back to work.
A few days pass ... the bride realizes she really needs to make a decision and hire someone already ... she goes to her notebook where she jotted down the names (only the names, not the source of where she found them - brides don't have time to track your advertising sources for you) and decides to Google them to find out a bit more ... Google brings up multiple sites where the vendor (YOU) were featured and where the vendor (YOU) advertises ... she clicks through a bunch, finally landing on the ad that turns into an ACTION: contacting you. When you ask "how did you find me" ... her reply: I was *just* on Wedding Chicks and I saw your ad.
It was a journey that led this bride to YOU ... she had multiple 'hits' that kept YOU in her memory ... that kept reminding her that you exist. Does this mean that when renewal time comes up and you ONLY renew the Wedding Chicks ad that led to an actual hire you will get the same results? No. Every spot you made an online impression worked to get this bride to your door.
Does it always happen like this?
OF COURSE NOT!! Sometimes a bride sees your work because her friend had hired you and it's a no-brainer - BOOM, you're hired! Sometimes it's just a feeling after seeing your work once - BANG, you're hired! Sometimes a bride has been stalking your photographs for years - KAZAM, you're hired! (omg, Heather ... kazam??) ... but let's be honest, if being featured on blogs, in magazines, and advertising online didn't ever work: nobody would do it.
So, what's my advice?
Always be in at least 6 spots ... yep, 6 is my magic number. And not just any 6: be in 6 places where YOUR TARGET BRIDE will most likely visit. Being in 6 spots can mean lots of things: having a profile page in their ad directory, having a sidebar ad on their website, being featured on their content pages, having a sponsored post on a website, etc! I believe that 3 of the 6 should be constant: so, an advertisement ... the other 3 can be focusing on being featured as often as possible.
I wrote an article about the different types of wedding blogs you should be advertising on that may be of interest
Now, Heather << you may be saying ... does this mean that my Google analytics mean nada?? NOPE!! Of course not! Track your clicks and traffic referrers always :) This will show you what's working and what's not for TRAFFIC ... but always remember, just because a bride doesn't click doesn't mean your logo or branding didn't make an impression in her beautiful 'wedding planning' brain ;)