Make Sure You never Run Out Of Bookings
Building and growing a wedding venue is no easy task. It can be scary when you don’t know where your next booking is coming from. Or even if you are experiencing success how long will it last?
Those are huge questions to be able to answer and not having a good answer can lead venue owners down different paths that ultimately hurt the growth.
To put it simply it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a continuous supply of bookings coming in and know where they are coming from. When you have that consistency you can now make better decisions when it comes to growing, hiring, or outsourcing.
It just comes down to understand the importance of building an audience over just always selling. Let’s dive into this concept.
No One Likes Being Sold To
Point blank no one likes to feel like they are being sold something. Even if it is exactly what they want, and is a great offer it will still turn them away. People like to feel like it was their idea and they found the answer. It is no different with your venue.
Who do you think will be the better customer:
The customer that is only coming to you because you keep offering a deal.
The customer that found you through a blog post on how to create a wedding day timeline, then invited them to access your price sheet. Once they downloaded your price sheet they were then invited in for a private venue tour.
I hope you would see customer B as the better option. They were provided value, trust was built and guided to the next steps and inviting them to take it. So, they made the decision to keep engaging, flipping the dynamic from selling to giving permission.
Now I am bringing this up first because this lays the foundation for how you should be interacting with your audience. It should feel like a very natural flow.
Don’t Skip This Step
Now that you understand how the actual interactions should feel when people engage with you we can now lay out the process of building a successful venue.
The first step to making sure you never run out of bookings is building an actual audience.
Most people try to skip this step and jump right to selling. You can certainly make some sales, but are you after a few sales sporadically or would you rather put the time in to make sure you have sales for the next 20 plus years?
That is the difference between putting the effort into creating an audience over just selling.
The big reason why most venue owners don’t invest in this approach is because it takes time. But the ones that do are rewarded multiple times over for their efforts.
What Exactly Goes Into Building An Audience?
Deciding on the audience source first
The very first thing to focus on is the source of building your audience. You want to be able to build a targeted audience that improves the quality of potential customers and generally would be an ideal fit for your venue.
So a few areas we focus on right now for our clients are Pinterest and Google.
Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine where people have to search for what they want to see. This tells you that when your content is shown to someone looking for a venue like yours they actually want to see what you offer and are a much higher quality lead. We focus on building organic growth through Pinterest first to be able to test and see what people are actually responding well to.
Google is one of the top players when it comes to solution sources. Meaning people use Google to find what they want and need. So, just like Pinterest if you are showing up in their searches it is a pretty safe bet they are a good fit for you. For our clients we focus on SEO strategies to tap into the organic traffic as well as the paid traffic to really put fuel behind it.
You have to be relevant in the areas your customers are looking for answers.
Next You Have To Nurture Them
Once you have the traffic source and are directing people to your website you have to make sure they understand why they are there and what next.
So, I would not recommend sending them right to a booking page. Instead this is an opportunity to continue building trust with them. What works great is blogging!
Blogging is a fantastic way to provide valuable information for brides to build trust and then guide them towards taking the next step.
If you are making pins on Pinterest about creating a stress free wedding day timeline that then takes them to a blog that walks them through that process. Which leads them to opting into your email list. You now have a marketing funnel happening that is generating marketing leads.
Notice how each step of that process they were choosing to engage over being sold.
Turning Them From A Marketing Lead To A Sales Lead
The final step of the audience building process is being able to take a marketing lead and move them to a sales lead. Yes there is a HUGE difference between them.
A marketing lead is a lead that results from your marketing efforts. They haven’t engaged any further and expressed any interest yet in moving forward.
A sales lead is someone you are actively having a sales conversation with. Most likely booked a tour and have taken an action towards being a customer.
One way to do this as I alluded to before: once a potential bride lands on your blog you can then direct them to joining your newsletter.
To make this happen for our clients we typically lead with offering the price sheet for opting into the newsletter. Getting them into your newsletter becomes a valuable asset. They are now giving you permission to talk about your venue and how it can be the perfect fit.
From the email campaign you can strategically show them content that encourages them to book a tour or reach out to book a tour. For our clients we build out complete automated email campaigns that basically handle the “selling” for you to make it easy on you and even easier for them to book a tour.
It Is All About Building Relationships
Do you see how this process is ultimately focused on building real relationships that lead to opportunities? This doesn’t happen overnight, but once this flow is created and executed consistently it will keep building momentum and growing 24/7.
So, if you want more bookings and more QUALITY bookings stop throwing up posts on your Instagram just telling people to reach out and book with you. It comes across as lazy and insincere.
Instead focus on attracting the right people, building relationships with them and making it easy for them to want to do business with you. When you stick to this approach you will never have to worry about where your next booking is coming from.
This also isn’t easy to put in place especially for busy venue owners. Which is why we focus on creating and managing marketing strategies for venues that focus on quality over quantity. If you would like help in this area and prefer not to do everything yourself then our services could be a great fit.
If you are interested in working together we encourage you to simply fill out the application form below. It just gives us a little detail about your venue. We will then reach out to book a marketing strategy call to go over what you have going on and areas that will improve the marketing flow.
Your marketing team,
Justin & Lindsay
P.S. We never will try to sell you anything on the marketing call. It is strictly to provide support for you and see if we would even be a good fit. This is a no stress marketing call.