I know the feeling. You’re so excited to get clients into your wedding business and you think to yourself “I know, I’ll advertise! That way people will find out about me and will want to work with me.”
Stop right there.
I know your intentions are good but that’s not going to work and you’re going to waste your money. How do I know that? Because when most wedding professionals advertise, they don’t have a strategy and that’s why it falls flat.
First let’s clear up a common misconception. Marketing and advertising are not the same thing.
Advertising is an exchange of value. You pay someone with an audience a certain amount money to get in front of that audience and promote your products/services.
Marketing is harder to pin down but it’s an umbrella term that encompasses a LOT. Marketing includes not only advertising, but also many other processes like research, product development, pricing strategies, sales strategies, psychology, copywriting, marketing tactics like social media and email marketing, branding, customer retention efforts, branding and public relations.
Advertising is one arm of the gigantic bajillion legged marketing octopus.
Now if you’ve been reading my blog or listening to my podcast for any length of time there is one thing I hope you’ve picked up:
Marketing (and that includes advertising) without a strategy is a recipe for disaster.
The point of advertising is often misunderstood. Yes it’s to generate leads for you but how does it fit in to the other parts of the marketing mix?
Think of it this way. Marketing is the engine in your car. Sure you can have a nice looking car without an engine, but it’s not going anywhere. The same applies to your business.
Advertising on the other hand, is the sassy flame paint job on the side of the car to really draw attention to it. But here’s the thing, if you have flames painted on a car with no engine, it’s still not going anywhere.
Your advertising can supercharge your marketing efforts but it is not a replacement for them. You can’t be all flames and no engine if you want to get anywhere.
So what are you supposed to do?
Well there’s an order to these things. First you put the engine in the car and THEN you paint on those sick flames. Not the other way around.
That means that first you develop your sales funnel, the way you capture leads from your website and nurture them, and then you paint flames all over that bad boy.
You need a clear path for people take from landing on your website to becoming a client and the first step is getting them onto your email list. From there your email marketing will nurture them and educate them and move them along the sales process. If you have consultations in your business, that would be the next step and then making the sale.
That is what you have to have in place before paying to send a bunch of people to a website that just doesn’t generate leads for you.
What good are those people if they just land on your website and then leave?
As you’re trying to map this out in your head, work backwards. It’s way easier to reverse engineer the process than the other way around. So you want to make a sale. What comes immediately before that, and that, and that? Unless you can answer that question all the way back to someone landing on your website, it isn’t the right time for you to spend a bunch of money on advertising because you don’t know that you can get a return on your investment.
Advertising shouldn’t be about paying and praying, there is a strategy here. Once you know your sales funnel and how people move through it, the math to figure out your return on investment is surprisingly simple.
Inside The Wedding Business Collective there is a course on Selling With Email Marketing where I take members through the entire process of setting up this lead generation system and calculating the math that helps you make advertising decisions. Here’s a snapshot of that:
At the top you start with 1000 people coming to your site and 300 of them opt into your email list and so on down the line until the sale. There are some really cool things about doing this math (more than I can say for most math).
- You can make a big impact by making relatively small changes. If you know that 50% of the people that you have a consultation with convert into paying clients, you can work on your sales skills to boost that %.
- You know how much you can afford to spend on advertising.
If you charge $1000 per client and you get 10 clients for every 1000 visitors, you know you can spend no more than (and hopefully a lot less than) $10,000 to acquire those clients without going into the red.
Now obviously that leaves you no room for profit or payment for your work but let’s say you know you need to make $900 net revenue on each of those $1000 clients. Well then it’s pretty easy to see that you can afford to pay $100 to acquire one client.
This allows you to look at your current and future advertising spend. If you find yourself paying more than this, then it’s time to try something new. If you’re paying $1000 and you’re getting 10 clients out of it, awesome. If you’re getting 20 clients, even better! If not, well then you know that you need to make some changes.
And yes, that means digging in and changing things in your advertising and lead generation strategy which can be daunting, but wouldn’t you rather know that the numbers aren’t working so that you can do something about it?
If you’re doing the pay and pray method of advertising where you just kind of hope it all works out for you, you’re not going to have this knowledge. You won’t know if an advertising opportunity is working well for you or not and you may very well keep spending money on it because you’re afraid to pull the plug.
Being armed with a strategy allows you to make advertising work for you by turning those website visitors into leads and then clients. It also allows you to identify when it’s not working and it will empower you to pull the plug when it’s not worth your money because you’ll be able to see it in black and white and not have to rely solely on how you feel about it.
If you’re busy painting those sick flames on your car with no engine, stop. It’s time to do some engine work.
Ready to do some engine work? I would love to walk you through using Facebook ads for your business, step-by-step, inside Generating Leads With Facebook Ads. It’s part of The Wedding Business Collective so that means you can ask any questions at all, get support from me and the other members (who are all very smart people) and get access to all of the other courses.
If that wasn’t enough, you can take The Wedding Business Collective for a test drive with the free 10 day trial.