The UK Wedding Conference 2017: Our Top Take Aways
Over 100 wedding professionals joined us for The UK Wedding Conference 2017 – The Digital Download. With a seminar program designed to give 8 Steps to Sales and Marketing Success, here are our top takeaways from the day ready to implement in your wedding business.
1. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone
Anthony Stears’ opening seminar gave delegates the confidence to pick up the phone and make those initial calls. He recommended asking for permission to speak immediately, with a “I know this is probably a bad time” approach. He also shared insights on his “I just want to get on your radar” tactic to give you the chance to explain your product or services.
2. Serve your email list
Next up was Nathan Littleton, sharing his insights on Email Marketing. He taught the importance of building your list, serving your list and extracting opportunities from it. We learned how import it is to share valuable content that your audience want to read, and that sales should only ever be 20% of your message.
3. Reviews are very important for Google Local Search Results
Digital Marketing Expert Mark Tillison shared his insights on Google Local Search and how to get to the top of that list. He explained the importance of Google reviews and encouraged delegates to be asking for these reviews from clients. Although leaving a Google review can be a difficult process, Mark showed us that you can create a short link to send to your clients (if you’d like to leave Guides for Brides a Google review, we’d be delighted)!
4. Professional photographs on your website are a must
Next we learned the importance of professional photographs to use on your website and marketing, and why this mustn’t be overlooked. Website visitors judge your website immediately, and badly taken photographs don’t give a good impression. Aimee recommended getting professional photographs done or arranging a styled shoot to showcase your products and gave us some great tips on how to take great images on your iPhone and edit them.
Couple Mark and Richard Chalk-Iles gave a powerful talk about the importance of representing and appealing to diverse audiences (and also managed to have the audience in stitches at the same time!). Top takeaways from this seminar were that “there is no such thing as a gay wedding, there are just weddings” and how the wedding industry needs to adapt our language and imagery. We’ll certainly be making changes to ensure that our imagery is representative of diverse groups, and ditching the heteronormative phrases like “bride and groom” for “couple” and “partner”.
“There is no such thing as a gay wedding, there is just weddings.” #ukwedconf
6. It’s not what marketing you do, it’s how you do it
In Nathan Littleton’s second seminar, he talked about his no nonsense marketing approach and the importance of credibility. Deploy, measure, refine and replicate was his message – highlighting the importance of measuring everything you do and adapting it to get better results.
7. Buying behaviours are changing
Successful bridal store owner Ellie Sanderson chose The Retail Revolution for her seminar. Brands need to change and get on board with the new generation of shoppers and their habits – couples of today are using Instagram like a website and customers have different expectations. Adapt your business today to prosper tomorrow.
8. Content is a great way to attract customers and traffic
Mark Tillison’s second seminar focused on writing great website content. He talked about the importance of an internal linking strategy to create “champion pages” for your website that are more likely to rank higher on Google. He shared his tip of using Google to find out the types of questions that people are asking and writing blog posts answering them.
"Use Google predictive search for blog post inspiration". Thanks for the tip @Tillison#ukwedconf
Anthony Stears ended the day by talking about his “point” system for sales – ensuring that each point of the sales cycle is recorded and treated as a success. He recommended researching the person you’re calling on social media so that you could find out interesting things about the person you’re talking to – “everyone’s favourite topic of conversation is themselves”.