Are You Chasing Followers Or Building Customers
When it comes to the marketing for your venue it is WAY too easy to get caught up in vanity numbers that don’t really add up to anything. In other words you are chasing followers over customers.
My point of writing this blog is to just get you to question what you are doing and why you are doing it. Just to be able to pause and reflect on what you are doing and objectively look at the results is one of the most valuable skill sets as a venue owner and will save you money and time.
So, let’s dive into this and if I can help you question what you are doing for your marketing and really uncover your motives then this article served its purpose.
Are You Letting Emotion Creep In?
I get it you most likely started this venue because of the natural passion you have to be in the wedding and event space. It is wonderful to be able to fantasize about all the beautiful celebrations that will and have taken place at your venue. It is a very romantic business to be in.
But, it is still a business first and remembering that will make sure your venue creates a legacy.
So, why is emotion not a great thing for business? Well emotions are unpredictable and not lasting. They can also be pretty impossible to satisfy. Which leads us to making decisions that we think will fill the emotional whole we are currently feeling.
What does this look like from a marketing perspective? It can look like you, spending 5 hours a day creating Instagram reels. I have no doubt that you can get eyeballs on those reels, but how many of those eyeballs really matter? How many are actually potential customers?
But it is addicting to keep seeing the views go up, so you keep creating more. By continuing this cycle without any actual data to prove it as an effective use of your time and resources means it is purely about emotion. There is no other explanation for it.
That is just one of many scenarios where it is the emotional trigger that is driving the action over data.
Most Venues Higher A Social Media Manager
This practice itself isn’t a bad idea. The issue comes into play when I have venue owners telling me they have a marketing strategy, and when I ask what the strategy is they say they have a social media person.
(Me shaking my head)
Ok so let's unpack this one…..
Why are you hiring a social media manager?
Most social media managers will tell you they will post engaging content, get more followers, and possibly do some reach outs if you have a really good one.
That all sounds great, right?
Well when you really understand what is going on here you can see all this is doing is just making you relevant to a platform. There is nothing about actually generating sales happening here.
Engaging content? Great! So you have content that the platform likes. Now what? Last Time I checked a like on a post wasn’t a transaction happening.
Get more followers? Ok there is some potential here if there is something actually happening once they become a follower and if the person is even a potential customer. Meaning are they looking to get married and do they live within an hour of your venue? Most cases the answer is no to both of those. But, hey you have your followers!
Maybe doing reach outs? This would probably be the most valuable action if it is done correctly. It involves actually seeking out potential customers and engaging with them. The issue is it is very hard to know who is a potential customer in most cases and the reach outs come across scripted, which just turns people off.
So you are under the belief that by having someone manage your social media it will lead to business growth. Now I’m not saying you can’t get business from social media. What I am saying is there needs to be an actual strategy behind it, not just having someone manage your account.
What Would Be A Social Media Strategy?
Like any marketing strategy you have to have three main parts. The audience growth, nurture, and conversion.
Audience growth = Consistently bringing in IDEAL potential customers to your circle of influence. If it is social media then you are consistently bringing in new potential customers to your platform.
Audience nurture = You are strategically nurturing the potential customers on your platform. In other words you are providing value to them in a way that builds trust. People buy from businesses they trust.
Audience Conversion = You have a predictable way to go from nurture to getting them to come in for a tour and book.
So this could look like this:
Growth = Engaging with followers of other local wedding businesses or doing collaborations with other local wedding businesses to be featured in front of their audience base.
Nurture = As the new people come in you instantly follow them back and send a private message getting them to talk about their wedding. You can then provide them with a free guide that walks a new bride through what to do when.
Conversion = You invite them in for a special tour where you wine and dine them to create a magical experience and they book.
That is a very condensed version of what an actual strategy would look like to gain CUSTOMERS.
Notice how there is no talk of content, or making reels, or stories. Yes those can help but for the most part if that is all you are worrying about then you are the one being used by the platform rather than you using the platform.
You have to be able to boil it down to the exact action that generates a result. Just posting a picture isn't the action that generates a result.
What Is The Takeaway?
Like I said in the beginning I want you to start thinking like a business owner that is actually in control of their business. Which means you MUST be in control of your marketing.
This is going to require you to think differently. To make sure everything you do for marketing is contributing to a targeted audience growth, nurturing the audience, and providing conversions.
So, doing things like running instagram ads to your Instagram website and just hoping the person will be a potential customer and just falls in love with your page enough to buy is not it.
That is not thinking like an owner that is in control and knows how to drive results for the business. That is simply throwing money at something and hoping you hit the jackpot.
Not the way to build a business that is predictable and is around for 10, 20 or 50 years.
Pause and reflect
Just take a moment and really look at what you are doing. Can you see in your current efforts where it is clearly building potential customers, nurturing them, and converting them? Are you able to see any data for your efforts?
If someone was coming in to buy your venue right now would they be able to clearly see how you bring in new business and keep doing it?
You have to be able to prove what you are doing right now is the best use of your time and money. Once you come to this realization you can begin to make better marketing decisions that directly affect the growth of your business.
Looking for help?
Did this open your eyes to the lack of control you have over your business? That is a GOOD thing. Now you are awake and can take action to change that.
That is where we come in and provide valuable support for venue owners by building out a complete marketing strategy that is building an audience, nurturing them and converting. We take the heavy lifting off of you to free you up to stay in a creative head space to fully focus on the venue.
All while making sure you are always in the loop and knowing what is going on and what is causing the different outcomes. Our goal is to help you step into being an empowered venue owner that is actually guiding the business.
I will say it till I’m blue in the face. If you do not have a marketing strategy and ONLY rely on word of mouth then you really don’t have a business.
If you are that venue owner that is done with the post and hope strategy and wants a real marketing strategy that sets you up for long term success while helping you become a business owner that is in the driver seat then we should talk.
Just simply summit an application to our smart marketing program. Then we will reach out to get a call booked. On this call we will go into what is currently going on and what a road map would look like to get where you want to be. That’s it, our goal is to make sure you leave this call with more clarity than when you got on it.
Your marketing team,
Justin & Lindsay