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Old February 15th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #1
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Advertising tips

Hi everyone. It's been a while since my last post. Glad to be back. I've recently located from Sacramento, Ca to Portland, Or. I am having a heck of a time breaking into the market here. I am wanting to get some tips on how to market my services. I've been using craigslist but it's working out so well. Can I get some tips on what you guys do. Obviously, I'm on a budget. Any tips will be helpful. Thanks!
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Old February 15th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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Cheap Tips

Facebook, facebook, and facebook. Then reach out to other vendors in the market and meet them for coffee/lunch/whatever. Show them your work, but take an interest in their work as well. Keep in touch with them on facebook and through e-mail and such. If your work is good and your attitude is good, you will get the word-of-mouth referrals.

You can pick up a bridal directory to get started. Check out the websites of the vendors in the magazine and pick which ones you think serve the target market you are looking at.

Hope that helps!

Mark
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Old February 15th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Since you're new to the area, my first suggestion would be to start networking. You really need to get to know all the various vendors in your area and let them know you're around.

As far as actual budget advertising, I would recommend the following:

Google Adwords
Facebook
Local Bridal Guide (might be out of your range, but worth checking)
Local Bridal Show


Don't forget to track all of your leads. Half of the value of your advertising is lost if you don't know what is actually working. Track where the brides are coming from, and track which sources tend to produce bookings.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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Hi Nick

A lot of Bridal Directories will either let you list your service for free or give you a "trial" period. Take advantage of those and see what works best for you. Funny I found that facebook didn't work for me but all my friends there are not marrying age..they have grandchildren!! If your facebook network is people in their '20's then you have a winner!!

Let us know what works for you???

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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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Just to add to the face book comment, the most radical change to the marketing world in the past 12 months has been social networking sites.

Do not underestimate what they can do for you and more than this, take the oppotunity to get on board now....!

It wont be long before facebook and others decide that there is money to be made by charging business to create business pages. It has been rumoured for a while now so even if you do not intend on building heavily on it, get your name now (and of course, to make sure it doesnt go to someone else!)

There is a very good ebook availble (for free too!) that talks not only about why but also guides you through how to get yourself on the major social networking sites around today.

You will have to register at the site (totally free, plus you can select not to get their newsletter) and you can download it straight away.

Well worth a read and then spend an evening following it through and you will be all over the social networking community in no time!

Social Networking Free E-book Released! - DMXzone.COM

is the link to get it.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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oh, and just to add, I got 3 bookings from Facebook alone last year and I was only running it for a matter of weeks... worth an evening on the pc for sure.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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Hey Vince Baker, what's your facebook page?
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #8
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For me, it's mostly referrals from vendors and theknot.com

TheKnot.com has been very good to me. But only if their directory is not overly saturated with vendors. If there's only one page of vendors in your geographical category, I'd say to definitely sign up if you have a website that can keep a bride engaged.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #9
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for the great comments! I will certainly get this up and running
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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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Make friends with local wedding vendors, especially directors and photographers.

Craigslist has not worked all that well for me either.

Using facebook has helped quite a bit.

Network. That's what you've got to spend a lot of time doing.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:25 AM   #11
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When I first started in the business in 2001, it seemed to me that most, if not all vendors did Bridal Shows. So in 2006, I did one and it was my last. It was such chaos. 200 brides come in and try to meet with 30 vendors in a short time. It was crazy.

So my question is, are bridal shows still relevant? Why or why not? And what's your experience been?
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Old March 15th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #12
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We've had some success with doing a bridal show. We booked a handful of brides, which paid for the show easily. Also, getting the list of 1500 brides didn't hurt, either.

I think the best reason to do bridal shows is for brand recognition. Most of the brides at those shows aren't ready to plop down their money, but they are doing serious window shopping. It's a chance for you to put your brand out there and for them to see and remember it - then you follow up with a postcard or brochure mailing. Follow up with an ad, either electronic or paper. The more times brides see your brand, the better.

Don't expect miracles from one booth, ad, or relationship. But, doing a coordinated attack with multiple sources of brand exposure should help you greatly.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #13
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How many shows have you done in how many years? How many of you booked from the show? How quick have you booked jobs from a show? How long has it taken a bride to make a decision from a show?

In my experience, all of the brides had already been to multiple shows and had been overwhlemed by so many vendors. How'd you separate yourself from your competitors? Did you give something away for free?
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Old March 15th, 2010, 03:17 PM   #14
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We've been doing bridal shows for around 7 years now, and they ARE useful. You have to go into a show with the understanding that you aren't going to be booking brides left and right. If you book one or two at the show, it's a big deal.

Mostly brides are there just to walk around and 'window shop'. Most of them get the deer-in-the-headlights look as soon as they walk in the door. It's overwhelming for them and they're afraid of having every vendor jump out at them and try to sell them.

We've tried every approach under the sun .. giving things away .. not giving things away .. being aggressive with passing brides .. hanging back and letting brides approach us .. having lots of samples available .. having a few samples available ... and so on.

The key to success at a bridal show is to get your information into the bride's hands. How you go about that and how successful you will be depends on so many things. For us, we feel it's very important to be willing to engage with brides, but to allow them to approach our booth versus us jumping out at them. In the early years we were very aggressive, and if a bride walked past our booth while I was chatting with another bride .. when I was done I would go find the one that walked past and give her our brochure.

At this stage, though, we're targeting a specific type of bride. Our work and our pricing dictates that we need to find brides that really want us and don't need us to convince them of that. So we've switched to a bridal show style that is much more relaxed and passive .. in terms of both our booth design and how we interact with brides.

But I would say if you're just starting out or if you're competing on price, then you need to be more aggressive with your booth design and with how you interact with brides.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Avdienko View Post
Hi everyone. It's been a while since my last post. Glad to be back. I've recently located from Sacramento, Ca to Portland, Or. I am having a heck of a time breaking into the market here. I am wanting to get some tips on how to market my services. I've been using craigslist but it's working out so well. Can I get some tips on what you guys do. Obviously, I'm on a budget. Any tips will be helpful. Thanks!
Networking with Vendors, Facebook and Twitter is the way to go! We don't pay for any type of Advertising!

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