Faith + Full Time Focus | Marketing + The Beauty of Word of Mouth

Last week I saw one of those sponsored adds on Facebook that was directed towards wedding industry vendors.  It was by a wedding company (in which I will not say the name but instead lets call it “Wedding Vendor”) and it read “Sign up for your free listing through Wedding Vendor today!”.  It seemed harmless enough- you just typed in your business name, what service your offer in the wedding industry, what your packages included, and a little about yourself.  Done. Simple as that and now I was linked to a wedding website that millions of brides would be looking at.

A few days later, I received a call from a very nice lady that worked for “Wedding Vendor”.  She stated that she was based out of Richmond and saw I had registered with the company and wanted to get to know me a little bit while she was adding me into the system.  We chatted for about 10 minutes and I gave her a rundown of my business and how this year has brought so much growth and happiness to me.  She seemed really genuine and I was enjoying our conversation!

Then came the kicker- the “Free listing” that I had signed up for, was only going to work if a bride searched for my business by exact name.  It would not be added in as a general listing for brides to browse through.  So if I wanted all of the features that “Wedding Vendor” offered, I would need to sign up for one of their marketing packages.  {{There it was!!  I should’ve known this was coming!}}

She could tell I was hesitant and began trying to sell me the package harder.  She was saying promising things about being able to reach the wedding market in Richmond, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, as well as the area that I am currently service.  She stated how they offer incentives to brides that write reviews about me and my bride would receive a gift by simply posting about their experience with me.  She even stated how they offer free webinars to their vendors to help grow our businesses.

Then she said it…… “We need to get your business bigger and better and market to the largest population possible!”

That one comment crashed everything that she had said leading up to this point.  Any glimpse of possibility that I would sign up for one of these packages was now completely gone.  

Hearing those sixteen little words made me realize something.  I do not want to be bigger and better if it means that I am being marketed to hundreds of thousands of brides.  I wants brides that genuinely love my work and love the passion that I put into this business… Brides that want the experience that I am offering from the moment we talk by email to the moment that I deliver her wedding photos.   I do not want to be marketed to the masses and end up working with brides that dont respect me or my business.  

This leads me to my next point : The Beauty of Word of Mouth

My business has grown so much this year that I am still in amazement.  When I look at the calendar and see that I am booked for the next two months- I seriously could cry tears of joy some days.  The thing that is most amazing about this though, is that every job that I have booked has been from one of two things….

  1. They have been following my journey all along and want to be a part of the journey
  2. Word of mouth has been working to my advantage

A lot of the clients that reach out to me about booking a session, are contacting me because they have heard amazing things from their friends and family.  Friends and family of theirs that had already worked with me before and were exceptionally happy with their experience.  There is no greater feeling for me than to have my previous clients sing words of praise and send their friends my way.  

My point to this blog is that if you are in the creative industry and you are trying to figure out how to get more business flowing in- stop focusing as much on the numbers and start focusing on the experience that you are delivering to your current clients!

Word of mouth is an amazing marketing tool.  If you are focusing 100% on the experience that you are delivering to your clients, then they will be happy and they will recommend you next time they hear that someone is looking for services that you provide.  If your clients are leaving happy and feeling as though you genuinely cared about them during your time together, that is the best marketing you can ask for and you’ll never have to pay a dime for marketing!  Rather than marketing to the masses, your clients will do the marketing for you and your ideal clients will begin to book with you!

My experience with “Wedding Vendor” was definitely an eye opener and it brought a huge revelation to my sight.  I hope that it also brings a new perspective to anyone that is trying to get their business growing!

I hope to see you back here Monday-  there is going to be the sweetest newborn session on the blog then and you wont want to miss it!!  There may or may not be a few great shots taken with a firetruck and his daddy’s turn out gear… Just saying 😉

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