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Old March 19th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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How do you market your weddings?

As there are so many variations in styles of wedding video and approached to it, I find it quite interesting to see how others market and sell their wedding video services.

My weddings come from 3 basic areas, recommendation, wedding shows and website. I have 3 fold leaflets which give a full overview of what I offer, and the website gives full information on every aspect. Prices are always up front as I like people to know the costs before they take it further.

Recommendation is self explanatory and I am off to a head start as they know what to expect. I always make sure that they are fully aware of what I do and always arrange to meet them personally to discuss details.

Wedding shows are something I enjoy doing as it is a chance to set the tone on a very first meeting. The stand is very Bride friendly, with pink satin cloth, silver bells and confetti spread over it. I always have a display of wedding cases filmed in the area of the show, as new brides frequently recognise people you have filmed for. I also have a local wedding showing on a 42" HD tv, preferably filmed a the show venue if I have one. There is a display of alternative up market DVD cases to catch their eye, and I also have a 3d laptop running with a 3d wedding showing as a conversation piece, which draws in fascinated viewers. This works especially well with the guys who are usually bored out of their minds with dresses, shoes, flowers, etc etc.

My wife also attends the shows as girls will always talk to another female on the stand. We always talk about their wedding initially and never about video until a good contact is made. Price is usually the first thing we mention as you just know it's the one thing they want to hear, quickly followed by why they probably haven't considered a video before now, then why they should. We NEVER show cameras or equipment of any sort or talk about it at all unless asked. Most of the initial conversation is about them and their wedding to build a relationship and not make them feel they are being sold something. We point out that we also NEVER take bookings at shows, but will reserve a date if asked. We always make sure they have a leaflet, wish them good luck and ask them to ring if their is anything else they would like to know.

The website tends to get used as a catalogue to tell them everything they need to know, and an email or text enquiry will be replied to in a friendly manner suggesting that they ring to ask any questions or an appointment to view. Phone calls are handled in much the same way as exhibition conversations, but establishing how they heard about us and being very friendly and cheerful. I will never take a booking without a viewing first, but again will reserve a date.

Viewings/Appointments are always very informal, with most of the conversation being about the wedding in general, dogs, kids and non video stuff. I never use a showreel, preferring to take a few genuine weddings similar to what their own would be. They watch as little or as much as they want, with no pressure from me, then I ask if they have any questions at all. I leave a booking form and make it clear that I don't take bookings on a visit as I prefer them to discuss it to make a sure they are happy.

My strike rate from home visits in the last 12 months is 100%

Roger
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Old March 19th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

That is very good.

I am new to the business so at the moment, my bookings & enquiries come from Youtube, Gumtree & my website.

I haven't considered going to any Wedding shows purely due to cost.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
That is very good.

I am new to the business so at the moment, my bookings & enquiries come from Youtube, Gumtree & my website.

I haven't considered going to any Wedding shows purely due to cost.
Wedding shows can be great for new business, but you need to pick them carefully. I always avoid the really big shows as they are not only expensive, they have large numbers of exhibitors in every category and I feel that visitors get overwhelmed, you disappear into the crowd of others and become just another leaflet.

They are also very common at the moment, with lots of small hotels, even churches jumping on the bandwagon and are frequently poorly attended. Look for ones that are long standing and in the kind of venues that attract brides. They need to be well advertised and reasonable prices, which will vary according to area. In the London area they will cost more, in my area of East Anglia, I limit it to 200 maximum.

At that sort of price, even one new wedding will pay for it, but the best thing is that they are attended by brides who will keep interesting leaflets in their wedding folder. I took a wedding last week from someone who had picked up my leaflet 15 months ago at a wedding show.

The last four wedding fairs I have exhibited at, I have been the only videographer amongst several photographers. One extra advantage of regular wedding shows is that you get to know other exhibitors, which leads to them taking your cards and leaflets and recommending you to their own clients.

Roger
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Old March 19th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

James, you mentioned on the other thread that you were concerned that taking more documentary style work may not satisfy brides who have seen examples on your website of your more upmarket work.

When I set up my website, I made a conscious decision not to show examples on the site. The reason for this is that you have absolutely no idea what the expectations of the potential client actually are. Your demo could oversell or undersell for you, losing you the opportunity to ever talk to that person. In my opinion, 75% of the sale is selling yourself, so if they like you, they will book you providing you show that you can also supply video to an acceptable standard. Without that personal contact, your site becomes just another comparison site, along with every other one they look at.

When couples phone me up after originally seeing me at a wedding show, they feel they already know me which is comforting for them. If they have to call you to ask to see examples of your work because there aren't any on your website, then you can take control. I NEVER send out video examples as you are then handing control back to them, preferring to arrange a very informal visit. If they are not sure, I simply point out that if I am going to be at their wedding all day, they will be much more comfortable with someone that they know they get on well with and that I never take a booking on a visit.

For me it works very well, although I am sure others work in totally different ways.

Roger
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Old March 19th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #5
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

Hey Roger

We certainly are all different which is good. Wedding shows don't work for me (actually I'm assuming they don't after hearing other videographer's horror stories!) So I just rely on my website and a single ad on a national on-line wedding directory...and of course referrals of course!

Now I try and keep up a decent selection of sample footage...mine are not "demos" but just different clips from different weddings. I feel if you give a bride a demo composed of your very, very best footage only and only put together a demo that is perfect, then that will make the sale with no problem BUT what happens if it's a tough gig ...bad weather, grumpy bride, shoot just didn't fall into place as it should have been?? You now have a video which is below your demo standard and the bride might be "It's not like the sample you showed me" ... I try and supply a huge variety online so brides can see everything I have done and then make a decision...some clips indeed might not be shining stars but when the bride gets her DVD's what she sees is what she expects and I never get any nasty surprises!!

Chris
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Old March 19th, 2013, 08:56 PM   #6
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

I'm just a weekend warrior, so I don't do any kind of paid advertising or marketing. All my gigs come from word of mouth, my website (which I've had for well over a decade, used to be my personal site and then I changed it over to "business/hobby" in 2009ish.

I have signed up at a few online wedding directories but haven't really pursued those avenues. I'm sure if I paid the monthly fee to be a "premium" member I might see more referrals etc.

Since I've had my domain for so long, and have meta data keywords, I'm pretty much near the top for any google searches related to weddings and videos in my area. So that helps a lot.

Overall though, 95% of my gigs are word of mouth.

I have a few full length videos on my FAQ page. And, I have several "hidden" pages that aren't linked that I've made for cliens with complete weddings as well that I can use if someone wants to see my work before hand.

Honestly though, I haven't shown anyone any samples in years. I already have 6 weddings booked for 2013 and not a single client asked to see a demo reel or example video.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

Hi Kyle

I must admit I have the same result with "demos" ..I have always offered a sample DVD that I will mail to the couple (or bring along to a consultation) but very very few have actually requested it over the last 10 years. If you leads are referrals then it's probably likely that they have already seen someone elses video already, hence the referral. I carry a few sample DVD's in my case when I go and see brides but they just seem to stay in there...Brides just phone/email and say "Come and see me I want to book"

Chris
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Old March 20th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: How do you market your weddings?

I do samples for most of my weddings and post them on my website & facebook, some expo are really successful but most are about exposure , brides will see you at one, talk to you at another and want to book at a 3rd - I don't book at expos.
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