We all know that running a business is expensive. As a wedding vendor you’re paying for equipment, travel, web hosting, and an assortment of other costs that go into being a small business owner. The last thing you want to do is pay even more for to get in front of your ideal client! While paid marketing opportunities can be awesome, there are also so many free marketing tools that many wedding vendors aren’t taking full advantage of.
Here are my top 5 free marketing outlets for wedding vendors:
If you’re not already on Zola’s wedding vendor directory, you need to get signed up right now! Zola is one of the top wedding registry and website hosting sites out there. While they may not be the first place you think of when it comes to vendor directories, it’s free to sign up! And as many vendors know, the top two sites are no longer offering free directory listings (ahem WeddingWire and the Knot). Zola is super quick to set up and costs you absolutely nothing, so even if it only converts into a few leads it’s definitely worth your time to set up a passive client funnel.
2. Social Media
No one is surprised to see this towards the top of the list. In 2022, social media is one of the top ways that wedding vendors connect with their clients. The downside? Organic social media can be a real time-suck. However, if you are willing to take the time to put your brand out there and connect directly with real local couples, you can develop an awesome sales funnel out of many different social media platforms.
2b. Facebook Groups
Although it falls under the social media umbrella, local wedding facebook groups deserve their own callout on my list. These groups are full of brides and grooms looking for wedding vendors recommendations or answers to wedding-related questions. These groups are awesome resources for getting in front of local brides and grooms! However, one thing to keep in mind about these groups is that these couples often have a lower budget than average, so if your goal demographic is the luxury market, this may not be your first choice.
3. Styled Shoots
Styled shoots (or content days) are an awesome way to market yourself. While you can often pay to be part of a day with another, more experienced vendor, you can also organize these yourself for little to no cost if you’re willing to put in the time. At the end of the day, you can end up with relationships with the other vendors who participated, professional photos of your product or service, and the potential to have the shoot published.
4. Local Publications
If you aren’t already clued into your local wedding publication, you should be. Most states or large cities have their own bridal magazine and website, which is a massive resource for brides in the region. Since these are all managed and owned independently, you will have to reach out for pricing and offers in your area, but my city’s publication offers a free basic directory listing and opportunities to submit weddings or styled shoots several times a year.
5. Preferred Vendor Lists
Hopefully, in your time as a wedding vendor you have connected to some other awesome vendors. Networking with other business owners in your local wedding industry not only creates a space for encouragement and assistance, but can also be a great marketing resource. I always recommend that vendors have their own “Preferred Vendor List” that they send their clients. When you have a vendor that you want to add to the list, ask them to shoot you over a headshot and a quote so that they know you’re recommending them! Often, this will put you on their radar for them to recommend you as well.
There are so many different ways to try to source new clients that it can be incredibly overwhelming. I recommend focusing on one or two of the free marketing tools above to start, and see what works best for your brand. Not every client will be reachable by every marketing tool, but there’s always an opportunity to get in front of your dream client without paying if you’re willing to put in the legwork.
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