Wedding MBA 2017 was held earlier this month in Las Vegas. The number of programs, products, demos and experiences available were staggering. For anyone in the industry, I’d highly recommend attending. The takeaway here is in two parts. Two different concepts that need to be tied together to be successful.
#1. The need to connect with your potential client in a sea of options goes beyond a contact page on a website. As a society we had devolved socially. We very often don’t connect face to face. We skip the phone call for the text message and take the in-person meeting as a last resort. Customers want and are searching their screens to find the best planner, cake baker, and photographer – they’ve just been conditioned to do it all backwards with a set of cautionary eyes. (And we’re talking about couples getting married now. Think about couples five or ten years from now who have been conditioned exclusively on smartphone and virtual relationships.) The reality is potential clients are looking to connect emotionally and intellectually with your presence online. They are going to your website and social media platforms to decide whether or not to do business with you at all. So how do you shape the virtual you?
Through well-crafted media content – especially blogs, videos, and tutorials that showcase your expertise you can create a more significant and well-rounded story about you, your brand and your business. When that shared content creates an impression, encourages interaction, and can connect you to other industry experts – clients feel like they have met you face to face before your paths physically cross.
Cool, right? Yeah…. but… As Photographers we need to get in front of our clients for a better ROI for our time and talent – that’s when the magic can happen.
#2. We plan with our wedding clients. We invest. We talk and listen, and then get all geared up to tell the story of a very special day. After all that effort and marketing to bring in your new client – how can you possibly leave them at 11 p.m. with a goodbye, and text messaged sneak peek – never to be seen again? You worked so hard to engage with these beautiful humans, don’t let the celebration end there! Invite them to the AFTER PARTY. Mark Zucker, CEO of Zookbinders gave a great presentation about in person sales after the wedding, The After Party. The takeaway here – the virtual you ALONE might be a decent enough user experience to land an appointment, but true experiences can only happen in person. People want to work with people – you broke down all the walls to get your client physically in front to you, to hire you – now give them access to all you can offer and the result will benefit you both. Show them the possibilities, the wall art, the custom photo album, the tangible goods that will hold a moment in time, still for years to come. No virtual experience can compete with that.
The takeaway – neither the virtual you nor the real you can stand alone.