Thank you for visiting my blog! I am Zoë, a wedding venue expert and a run a wedding venue consultancy for country house wedding venues who want to do better! This January I’m concentrating on enquiries. It’s the busiest month of the year for wedding venues and I want to make sure that you are getting all the wedding venue clients that you should be getting!

I have identified seven key places that your ideal clients can find you. I want to make sure that you are hitting them all to the best of your ability.

Social Media

Are wasting your efforts putting energy into all of the different channels when actually your enquiries are only coming through one or two?

Number one – social media. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn…there are a whole host of places that clients can find you. Do you need to be on all of them? Probably not! Are wasting your efforts putting energy into all of the different channels? It’s possible that your enquiries are only coming through one or two!

It’s understandable that Facebook and Instagram would probably be the most important social media channels that you have. But have you explored Pinterest or even YouTube? These days video is essential to any business that has a presence on the internet and all platforms favour video content.

The way you can increase your video output is by putting together a “meeting the team” series, and that will improve your know like and trust factor. You can also share videos of weddings that happened at your venue or events that have occurred. Open Days, taster evenings, even dinners or activities that aren’t weddings, will all increase the factor of people knowing who you are.

Where is your ideal client spending time?

Work out where your ideal client is and where they spend the most time and that’s where you put the most effort. From my research I can tell that Instagram and Pinterest are the places most couples look for for inspiration. So you need to make sure that your output for both of those channels is hyped up this January.

You need to be present every single day on Instagram. In particular, stories are becoming more and more critical. People want to see the people behind the camera! Make sure that your wedding coordinators are sharing what they’re doing that day. From meetings they’re having people that are booking weddings with them to what happens behind the scenes. All those sorts of things will increase people wanting to work with you. It’s no sheer stroke of luck that the week the venues that I work with live on camera see their engagement triple. It’s just a fact.

Search engines

People who don’t already know you won’t necessarily find you via Google

The second way that your clients can find you is by search engines. With Google, there’s a way of paying for advertising which is a good way of getting people’s attention. However, realistically, this is only going to increase your touch points. People who don’t already know you won’t necessarily find you via Google.

One of the venues that I’ve worked with recently found that their top Google search term is the name of their venue. So people have seen them elsewhere and gone to look for them on Google to find their website. Working in tandem with your social media channels, Google can be a perfect place for you to get exposure.

Google likes videos, blog posts and new content. So if you don’t already have blogs on your website get writing some! You only need to do maybe four a month, so one a week, and it just needs to be between 500 and 700 words. If you are pumping out new content for people to see, your clients will know that you’re there and that you care about your couples. This will do wonders for your Google ranking.

Prior Customers

You are the venue that they are going to recommend to other people

Another way that clients can know of you is if they are a prior customer. Lots of us forget that with a wedding venue especially every weekend hopefully you’ve got about 100 people coming into that venue. Those hundred people are all potential clients.

Make sure that they have the best time when they come and visit you. It has to be the best wedding the guests have ever been to. So, when they are in a position to get married in the future, or they’ve got daughters or sons or nephews or cousins or neighbours or family friends who need to get married, you are the venue that they are going to recommend to other people.

If they’ve had a good time, as I mentioned in my last blog, word of mouth recommendations are the number one thing that people trust when it comes to reviews.

Word of mouth

If you give them a good time, if you treat them well, if you show them what a great venue you are – they’re going to recommend you

That leads me to my next point. Word of mouth. Even if they’re not a prior customer, think about suppliers, staff, collaborators – they are golden. Give them a good time and treat them. Show them what a great venue you are and they’re going to recommend you!

Suppliers always get forgotten. If you feed them, give them some coffee when they arrive and treat them well, they’re going to recommend you because they like working with you. They are going to want to work with you again at a future wedding – it makes sense.

Local area visibility

The likelihood is that most of your clients are going to come from the local area so you need to make sure that they know what you’ve got going on

How visible are you in the local area?

I live in Lancashire and Lancashire is very lucky we have so many beautiful venues in the Lancashire area and the county covers quite a big space.

There is Ormskirk in the very very west, then across the water, you’ve got Blackpool and Lytham. Over in the east, you’ve got places like Clitheroe and even up towards the Yorkshire border you’ve got places like Gisburn.

There are wedding venues in all of the corners of Lancashire. So when I was head of weddings and events at Mitton Hall, I knew who my competition was and I knew what they were doing at any given time. That was just my quirky way of working. I like to know what my competitors are doing!

The likelihood is that most of your clients are going to come from the local area. You need to make sure that they know what you’ve got going on. If you’re an exclusive use wedding venue why not put on some events for them to come and visit. If you’re a hotel make sure you’ve got things going on that people are going to want to visit you. Again, this will increase your touch points on the know, like and trust factor

Print media

It’s nice to have a big thick glossy that sometimes cost upward of six pounds on your desk flicking through knowing exactly what you want

I know that in most industries print advertising and print media is on the decline but in weddings it’s pretty up there. I appreciate it’s the most expensive way of getting your name out there and advertising. However what is the first thing that happens when someone gets engaged? Their mum their best friend their co-workers will go and buy a magazine. It’s nice to have a big thick glossy that sometimes cost upward of six pounds on your desk flicking through knowing exactly what you want.

Why wouldn’t your wedding venue want to have a part of that? Why wouldn’t want to be present in that situation? Even if you go with a local wedding magazine or a local newspaper, there’s various different ways you can work with them. You so you can have an advertorial where there’s a styled shoot at your venue. You can have a real wedding feature. I know my local paper does real weddings every single week. You should be submitting your real weddings every single week.

Trust me from a couples point of view they be so excited to have their name in print and have that lasting memory of their wedding. My wedding got featured on a really prominent wedding blog and I shared the heck out of that which is free advertising for their.

It makes sense.

Get in touch!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips today. I’ll be back again next week with another set.

If you’ve got any questions drop me a line at hello@zoedew.com or seek me out on Facebook and Instagram which is @thevenueexpert.