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Old March 17th, 2009, 07:46 AM   #1
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Hell to the recession, bookings are up, up, up!

Well I am about to start my 4th wedding season with my first wedding of the year coming up on the 28th March. I haven't met the couple, who are professional opera singers based in London. They booked me directly off the net after looking at numerous websites. Nice one.

After that the weddings start to come thick and fast. Busy busy busy. And completely against the grain compared to my local rivals who are finding their bookings down on previous years. Looks like I have nobbled all the bookings! ;)

I spoke to a rival friend of mine yesterday, and from 28 weddings last year, he currently has only 6 confirmed for 2009. To say he is depressed and worried is an understatement. I have told him numerous times that waiting for the phone to ring due to an advert in yellow pages in a dead loss. he won't listen and thinks lowering his prices is the way to go. Completely wrong.

When this recession started, my wedding phone went very quiet. I even rang it with my mobile to make sure it was working. It was.

So I thought about it. Why have I gone quiet? I always got one or two enquires a week, sometimes more. Had the brides cancelled their weddings? Had they cut back so much none of them were considering video? No of course not. They were worried about the recession and were just hanging fire to see what would happen.

The doom and gloom on the news had affected their reasoning. I guessed that but my rivals didn't. They cut back on advertising. And so I made my move. I went onto Google, and typed in all the searches brides would use for my area to find a videographer. I made a note of all the wedding directories on the first and second page ( I was already advertisng with some of these) I knew that videographers were cutting back, and that means directories are making less. So I contacted them all and rather than fill in the online form and pay over the net, I phoned them up.

And I was right in doing so. Because to a site every one of them has given a nice big discount compared to their online advertising pricing. Some offered nationwide advertising for the price of a county (UK not too big but too far to go right up north) and others just discounted the price of what I wanted.

So now, if a couple does a search in Google, of the front page 10 listings, my business is in about 6 or 7 of them. I shouldn't be missed. They may not like my site or style, but a bride will know about me if she has her eyes open.

Now onto the site. On another thread I talked about my new site design and asked for comments, some of which I changed and some I left. Overall, compared to my local rivals, I knock them into a cocked hat. It has a wow factor compared to the basic HTML page of the opposition with their 320x240 video clip for download or stream.

Now I have started a blog to compliment the main site, and this is already on page one of Google searches. Quite amazing as its only been live for one week. Traffic is small at the moment, varyng between 15-20 a day, but it will grow. Someone is reading it, be it rivals wondering what the hell I am up to, or brides considering using my services.

And there's plenty to write about. I am updating daily and adding keywords which will give me even more traffic. I have just registered a new domain just for the blog, and will link that across in the next week to get away from the "wordpress" in the url.

You can check it out here. Movie clips and images will increase as the summer goes along.
Wessex-Weddings.Com Blog

Bookings for 2009 are now officially double that of 2008, and there's an aweful long way to go before I stop taking them. I am getting frustrated in turning away bookings because I am already booked. This WILL have to be dealt with. I have turned away 20 brides at least. That's a lot of money gone begging and something I can't allow to happen. I need a second cameraman to film it and just give me the tapes. Trouble is finding someone to trust. So currently I pass the job over to the rival/friend and if he converts it to a booking I get 100. Better than nothing but not good enough.

So things are good here. Brides came out to play when they realised their job was safe, the earth was still spinning and their fiance hadn't lost all their money in an Icelandic bank and jumped off the multi story car park roof.

Get out there and give it your all, and success is there to be had. If you sit at home waiting for the phone to ring through a few ads in the yellow pages/local rag, you may as well pop down to Tesco's/Walmart and put your name down for night time shelf stackers jobs.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #2
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Hi Steve, your post made me laugh, I was not the only one checking if my phone is working. lol

Bookings were kind of slow last quarter of 2008, but it is starting to pick-up for me. I agree with Steve, advertise & market yourself. I had flyers printed out & they are in every banquet hall in my area, I did Facebook Advertising, Google Ad Sense, and advertise on our local Filipino paper. We also heard that there was a Couple seminar for engaged couple in our parish church and we handed out flyers. I was able to book one for Feb 2010, they went with 2 photogs & 2 videographers, not bad for the effort.

My 2 cents
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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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funny isn't it....we actually put our prices UP, and are still turning stuff away or passing it on to others...and i'm not saying that in a big-headed way, it was our plan to do this anyway so we simply ignored the credit crunch all over the media. maybe we've been lucky, who knows.

yet the people who have panicked and put prices down or have 'credit crunch offers' are apparantly suffering

you gotta remember that no matter what financial crisis the country is in, people will always want to spend (or $$$) on their weddings, the one big day of their lives.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Steve - inspirational post. I've noticed a bit of a slow down in inquiries but I'm doing what you're doing and stepping up my advertising. As a result, traffic on my site is increasing so I'm surmising that people are at least window shopping but maybe a little hesitant to pull the trigger until they have more confidence in the economic situation. Here in the states, car sales are way down but I swear I've never seem more TV ads for them. I guess you have to continue to make those impressions because at some point people will start buying again.

Art
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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Bung some my way then, me and my colleague have had hardly any interest and we're not exactly crap, i've been going about 15months, him about 15 years.

samples of work here

showcase HD

and mine here

Paul Kellett Channel on Vimeo

If anyone puts work our way then we'll see them ok.

Paul.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #6
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certainly will do, but already have quite a big fleet of people in various counties to hand stuff over to....def. bristol area ones i'll give them straight to you even though ur stuff is very different to ours
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Old March 17th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Thanks Richard, that'll be much appreciated, we'll travel anywhere.
If there's ever anything i can do for you then let me know.

Thanks very much.
Paul.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #8
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We put our prices down and are now getting 2 to 3 enquires a day!!! talk about turn around.

Looks like they will be going up again as I am also having to now turn work away...

Cheers.
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