Marketing and Branding!
Well can you believe it? It is that time again, just as it seemed the wedding season was winding down, now we are heading into engagement/proposal season. Although for many of us this is a big time of year for events and event planning with corporate parties, holiday events, and family gatherings! Not to mention the bridal shows are upon us as well!
But a lot of us are also sighing a huge breath where we get the chance to get caught up, reflect, and prepare for next years weddings and the proposals this season. So how do you prepare as a professional for engagement season? Well in all honesty the longer I am in this industry the more I have come to learn that truly we dont have much of a down time. Perhaps January or February? The pattern seems to be fall is catch up on editing time, website upgrades, branding upgrades, product research, sending out wedding albums and more time of year. I can say that this is the time of year I do all my annual branding updates or rebranding among many other things and I thought it might be helpful to share a little insight into what I do to stay fresh and go over my seasonality of routines!
So what am I doing now? Well this year was a fairly busy year so I am wrapping up editing on my final weddings and then will be prepping my wedding albums that are due to be sent out. Once that is done I typically dive into the following:
1. Relax for about a week or two and spend time with family yay!
2. Time to take a look at my website and go through and look at the flow, the design, the images, and galleries
3. Revisit my pricing, what worked and what didnt
4. Research any workshops, classes, or continuing education I want to attend
5. Look my logo, do I like it still, does it represent my style and brand (this is a hot topic)
6. Look at this years work to see what will be added to the website
7. Do I want to attend any bridal shows if so make deposits
So how do I attack these things, before people start shopping for wedding professionals I want to get these things done, which for me typically means by thanksgiving although that is not happening this year with the collective house opening and our magazine launch in the works, alot of time is dedicated to that so realistically you should get these things done by Christmas.
Why by Christmas? Well what did you do when you first got engaged? I called my family, and went dress shopping ASAP, then I went venue shopping, then I went shopping for everything else. My point is I immediately started looking for my vendors. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years and popular proposal times so you want to have your best work up, your website looking new and fresh, and your branding amazing!
"Well I know I am good at what I do, so why is it such a big deal to stay on top of my website?" Maybe this crosses your mind? But I have to say that your website is your handshake, I have met plenty of AMAZING professionals that were struggling to get the clientele they were trying to reach and it was because their website and branding didn't reflect the talent they had. There handshake was like that of a shy sweating palms boy picking up his prom date, it was no bueno!
Every year I take a few days or so and really sit down and strategically go through my site and organize it by color palette, recent work, and style.
I try to display the work that allows clients to see truly the kind of artist I am and what I can create for them. I offer a mix of real and styled samples, I take careful consideration into what I share, and I look at my branding and think about things from a clients perspective. Is it clean, easy to following, and simple and straight to the point? Clients these days are shopping off imagery, having the best imagery that speaks to your ideal client is oh so important so choose your work wisely.
How do I address my branding? Well I can design my own logos, however I have hired many people to design for me and I HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest you do the same. Shop around for a branding package to design your marketing and branding materials, website, and logo with. If your not a digital designer, there are some great branding packages with logos that can be customized with your business information by the designer on www.creativemarket.com if you want to check them out. If your looking to do something custom because you have a specific vision be prepared to spend a minimum of $500 for a custom logo with a professional designer. Because there time is valuable make sure you have your design in mind set in stone so your investing wisely. Some of the desingers I have used are www.elsamadeline.com www.juliehadesign.com and www.kelseymaliecalligraphy.com
I save up a fair amount of money each year to invest in branding, products, continuing education and bridal shows if I decide to do them. I whole heartedly believe that your digital handshake and education are so key to staying fresh and inspired. I also suggest doing some shows to get out there and locally get your name recognized as well.
On a final note, make sure your digital handshake (first impression) is TOP NOTCH! If your struggling or have further questions feel free to email me I would be happy to help!
FLORALS: https://www.weddingflora.com/ RIBBON: https://www.photographybylahnamarie.com/mulberry
PAPER GOODS: https://elsamadeline.com/
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