We’re fast approaching the time of the year where wedding research and perhaps your own experiences tell you that the engagement season is on its way.
In Europe and for most of the western world, the Christmas and New Year period, right through to Valentine’s Day, marks a hugely important time on the calendar where proposals are at their most popular. In the USA, engagement season can start as early as Thanksgiving.
And you don’t need to be a wedding expert to know what follows the excitement of proposals and engagements. Yes, exactly – the wedding planning!
There are many couples whose planning starts tentatively before they’ve even got engaged, but for most, their engagement is the catalyst to start getting their wedding plans together. It’s when they start doing their research, getting an idea of their needs, finalising their budgets and working towards making their big day happen.
So this is why now, is a better time than any to make sure that your celebrant business is ready for this momentous period of time when couples start doing their research, making their enquiries, and booking their wedding suppliers. Because there’s nothing worse than being unprepared at a time that potentially can bring you a flurry of excited and engaged couples (in both senses of the word) and bring you revenue and a boost for your business.
Here are my five tips for getting your celebrant business ready for the engagement season and ready for maximising those enquiries.
1. Review your website
You should review your website regularly anyway as a matter of course, but if you haven’t for a while, the approaching engagement season gives you the perfect reason to make sure your website is in order. Check through your website throughly, page by page, post by post.
- Are your photos the best ones you have available? Are they professional and capture you at your best?
- Is your language, YOUR language? Does it sound like you? Do you sound like the celebrant you are and someone who couples will be excited to get in touch with?
- Is the text on your website up-to-date? Are there outdated references on there or old testimonials from more than three years ago?
- Check the links on your website. Are they all working? Broken links ie links that don’t go anywhere or go to 404 error pages don’t look good.
- Check your contact form. It doesn’t harm for you to fill it in or get someone to complete your contact form once in a while. I did this once and found out that although it appeared to have sent, I did not receive my friend’s test message and I later found out there was an error with my form which blocked some email servers from contacting me!
2. Make it easy for couples to contact you
People are busy. And wedding planning needs to feel easy and stress-free for couples, who already have a lot going on in their day- to-day lives. The easier you make life for couples, the quicker they’ll get onboard with you and what you offer. So make sure you make it easy for them to get in touch. I am a huge advocate of having an email address or contact form on most pages of your website. Couples don’t want to spend time searching around on your site for your ‘contact me’ page, and lots of couples only look at one page before clicking away. Just make it easy and put contact info on each page.
The same with social media. Make sure that your contact information is easy to find. You don’t have to put it on every post that you publish, but at the least make good use of the in-built contact areas on Facebook and Instagram. These are more popular because they link directly to wherever you are directing couples. Contact information in posts on Instagram are not linkable and therefore quite ineffective. People like to click and connect, so use all the contact buttons in Instagram to make sure they can do that. The same with Facebook too. Voila!
3. Prepare some offers
Maybe you want to use this engagement period as a big promotional time for you, and as part of your promotions, you might want to create certain offers. Think about your offers carefully. Try and create offers that don’t cut into your price but that add value to what you already offer.
So for example, you could offer anyone who books you during a certain period, a free vow-coaching session or a free vow-coaching e-book that you’ve created. This adds value to what you’re offering AND costs you nothing or very little. Try to create value-adding offers, rather than money-off offers which cut into your profits.
4. Create some engagement/wedding-friendly social media posts
Now is the time to start getting into the minds of soon-to-be engaged couples and to start thinking about what they’d want to see when they’re browsing on social media and researching on the internet. Don’t forget that what couples want to see first and foremost is information that will give them value and insight as they start their wedding planning journey.
Don’t just bombard your social media platforms with your offers and posts where the only calls to action are ‘contact me’ or ‘book me.’ This will fast put people off. Create posts which are genuinely going to help them, posts which will alleviate their wedding planning fears and make wedding and ceremony planning easier and enjoyable for them. When couples recognise how helpful you are, and how knowledgeable you are, then they’ll be interested in looking further into what you offer.
This is where blogging for your celebrant website comes in super handy too. Think of all the amazing blog posts you could write and promote on your channels which will help newly engaged couples or help give them a better understanding of what you do. If you struggle with ideas of what to write on your celebrant website, then check out this guide of ‘35 Awesome blog post ideas.‘ These ideas will help you to create lots of fantastic blog content that will not only attract more website visitors but which you can use on your social media channels too.
And this social media content planning guide, will help you to plan and schedule your content in a way so that your posts are mixed and varied and not just promotional and sell, sell, sell type posts! It will also help you with theming your posts and thinking about what to say and how to say it, which is great for this upcoming engagement season.
5. Review your pricing
This isn’t a call to suddenly massively raise your prices because we’re coming up to a busy engagement period, or conversely, dropping your prices either! But what this approaching period should encourage you to do is to review your pricing and your pricing strategies, which means to review everything connected to your pricing.
Is your pricing clear? Is it clear to couples what they get? Is it clear to couples what they don’t get? Do you offer packages? Is it time to offer packages? Would this work better for your variable couples and their budgets? Are your packages clear and transparent?
Are your prices easy to find on your website? Don’t make couples search around unnecessarily to find out how much you cost and if you don’t currently display your prices, maybe you want to re-think this? Making couples contact you to ask your price is putting an extra hurdle in the way of them getting in touch. You may never know how many couples don’t contact you, because you price wasn’t clearly stated on your website. Even if your pricing is variable, at least put a ‘from’ price on your website to give them an idea.
Do as much as you can to help couples get a good idea of who you are and how much you cost before they reach out to you. It makes the start of your journey together clearer, easier and with everyone’s expectations being properly managed.
These five tips are just a few things to get you organised for the upcoming engagement period, but before you rush off and do everything, don’t forget to make a plan. Plan your marketing, plan your content, plan your website review and your pricing. Use this time wisely, so that your business over the next few months runs cohesively and with a great plan of action that will see you through the fast approaching engagement period.
You’ve got this!
Photo by Eloy Muñoz Photography