Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your wedding business? You're not alone. Many wedding professionals have been told to do things that just don't work, and it can be frustrating. If you're ready to learn how to market your business effectively tune into this episode.
Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your wedding business? You're not alone. Many wedding professionals have been told to do things that just don't work, and it can be frustrating. If you're ready to learn how to market your business effectively tune into this episode to learn:
1. The importance of target market research in order to simplify marketing efforts
2. How to create a marketing message that resonates with your target audience
3. The value of utilizing technology and social media in marketing
It's so easy to overcomplicate marketing today, but if we're going to be successful, we need to find ways to simplify it. One of the very first fundamentals of marketing is target audience. And I can tell you from working with many wedding professionals, when I have even a brief conversation about target audience, most of the time they just say "engaged people." But not everybody that's engaged is going to be an ideal client for you.
[00:00:01] - Tim Fitzpatrick of Rialto is a marketing marketing coach and consultant. It's easy to overcomplicate marketing today. So if we want to be successful, we need to find ways to simplify it.
[00:00:54] - Tim explains how to narrow your target audience and focus on your ideal clients. He suggests asking yourself three questions to find out who is your ideal client. Psychographics is when We Get Into People's heads and Find Out Who they are and what they Are looking for, it Gives us an idea of who These people are. So that If I Just Handed That Piece Of Paper To somebody, they Would Go, oh, I know somebody You Should talk To.
[00:06:49] - In the wedding industry. People are overwhelmed, and there's no better time to funnel down and hone in on your exact ideal. Client life and business are so much better when you know exactly who you intend to work with.
[00:09:17] - Once you understand who you want to work with, you can create a list of potential clients. Then you can focus on how to communicate what you do. Less is More when it comes to marketing, people talk too much about themselves in their marketing messages. People don't need to know about all the details. They just want to go to their wedding and enjoy it. People are leery about technology and automations.
[00:21:47] - Kristina advises business owners to have their own onboarding process. She also advises them to listen to their clients, the wording that they're looking for, to describe their products or services to use for other people to buy them.
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I am really excited to dive into topics with my guest today, Tim Fitzpatrick of Rialto. Tim, thank you for being a guest. Thanks for having me, Kristina. I'm excited to be here.
As she said my name is Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto marketing and I'm a marketing coach and consultant. And we primarily help businesses on the strategy side, I like to say we work at the intersection of strategy, planning and leadership. You need all three of those things if your marketing is going to work well. And we primarily help businesses create, implement and manage a marketing plan to communicate the right message to the right people.
And I know we're going to dig into these fundamentals today, but it's so easy to overcomplicate marketing today. And if we're going to be successful, we need to find ways to simplify it well. There are so many things that you just touched on. I love working with wedding professionals and I was once a wedding vendor, so I feel like I understand it a little bit more. I was in the industry for seven years and it is not that wedding professionals don't have the best of intentions.
I've worked with some amazing wedding professionals over the past many, many years, and one thing that seems to always have a light shine on it is how little strategy there is with their business. They're busy planning, executing events, and they haven't even thought about some of the very important fundamentals. And so I think that's what I'm most excited about is because I understand the industry and one of the very first fundamentals or part of your fundamentals is target audience. And I can tell you from working with many of these professionals, when I have even a brief conversation about target audience, not even with using marketing, not even digital ads or anything, who's your target audience? Most of the time they just say engaged.
Yeah, anybody that's engaged. Right? Yeah. Right. I'll book them today.
Are they engaged? So I'm so glad we're going to dive into this topic. And by the way, Kristina, it's not just wedding professionals that fall into this trap. Like, everybody falls into this trap. It's so easy because when we hang up our shingle as a business owner, it's like, do you have money?
Are you willing to pay me? You have a heartbeat. Awesome. Let's work together. And inevitably, we realized after working with some of these people, we're like, dang, I do not want to work with people like that again.
And it's noticing that that is the real key because it's like, yeah, everybody isn't my target market. Right. I would say for people that are wedding professionals, your target market is engaged people. But not everybody that's engaged is going to be an ideal client for you. And that's where we need to start digging below the surface.
You just touched on it, ideal client. And you're right. Anyone listening to this, you are not alone. If you have not talked about or thought about planned this stuff out that we're talking about today. I assure you, you're not alone.
But it is definitely worth dialing it back and digging more into your ideal client. The thing that we have to think about, a lot of people think, if I narrow my audience, I'm going to limit my business. And the exact opposite actually happens. You actually end up communicating and attracting the very people that are ideal for you to work with. Just because you say I'm going to work with X type of people doesn't mean that those are the only types of people you're going to work with.
It just means those are the only types of people that you're going to direct your marketing efforts towards. They get so hung up on that just possible one or two people to not even be able to see, oh, I'm missing out on several of my ideal clients. Yeah. Here's an easy place to start because you've got a wedding professional. They've been in business for a while.
They've got plenty of current and past customers. The easiest place to start to hone in on who your ideal clients are is to ask yourself three questions. I just call them the three power questions. One is, who do you enjoy working with? Think about the couples that you've worked with in the past.
Who did you love working with? Put those people in a group. You've got that group. Now you need to look at who's the most profitable. Some clients are more profitable than others.
If you're going to stay in business, you need to work with profitable customers. It is okay to make money. And then the third question is, who did we do great work for? Like, they were just, wow. They were like, oh, my God, Kristina, you knocked it out of the park.
Ask yourself those three questions, and you now have a subgroup of current and or past clients that you answered positively to all three of those. So everybody in that group you loved working with, they were profitable. You did great work for them. It is that group that you start to dig deeper to really start to paint the picture of what these people look like. How do you dig deeper?
You look at demographics, right? So for the wedding industry age, it could be income level where they live. All of those things start to paint the picture of what these people are like. Maybe you specialize in putting together weddings for people that are getting married a second or a third time. I don't know.
I'm just throwing that out there as a particular market. Right. The demographics start to give you an idea of who these people are. Now we dig into the psychographics. Psychographics is when we're getting into their head, what are their feelings, their thoughts, the common problems or roadblocks that they might have, their expectations?
Like, what are the results and the outcome that they are looking for. Those two things start to really give us an idea of who these people are. So that if I just handed that to somebody, that piece of paper to somebody, they'd go, oh, I know somebody you should talk to. This is a great time to be discussing this because you may not be aware of this as much as I am, but what's going on right now in the wedding industry, people, they're overwhelmed and there's no better time to really funnel down and hone in on your exact ideal client. Life and business are so much better when you know exactly who you intend to work with.
If you can work with people that you love working with day in, day out, how much more fun are you going to have in your business? So many of us work with people and we're just like, oh my God, that was a nightmare. And I can only imagine what that's like in the wedding industry. At times, the better you know your ideal clients, the easier it is to communicate with them, to let them know that you understand where they're at, right. Empathize with them, everything is better.
And everything from a marketing standpoint starts with your target market. If you don't know who your target market is, then everything else download that you do after that from a marketing perspective, is working. Here's the way I like to put it. The fundamentals of the fuel, all your other marketing tactics channels are the vehicles. If you don't have the fundamentals in place, you have vehicles with no fuel.
You might be able to push them down the road for a little bit or push it down a hill and coast for a while, but at some point you're going to hit a roadblock and you're going to be like, yeah, this isn't working. Well, it's not working because the tactics don't work. It's not working because you don't have the fuel behind the tactics to allow them to work. You are exactly right. You are.
And I have conversations a lot of times. You get so engulfed sometimes in your own business. Life is short. And if you can really hone in on your ideal client and you can be 100% of time in your happy place, working with the people you want to, where you're at your best, why wouldn't you? Exactly.
You're going to make more money. Everything's going to be easier. It really is. You're really going full circle then. Not just happiness, but income, everything.
And how happy you are in your work. I think it flows over into personal. There's one other very small thing with target market that a lot of people miss. Once you understand who you intend to work with, then you can start to create a list. One of my mentors said, success starts with a list.
That list is where those people are. Where do they congregate? Online and offline. When you can create a list like that. Now you know exactly where you need to be to get in front of the exact people that you want to work with.
You're going to fish where the fish are rather than casting a line out in the middle of the ocean hoping that you're going to catch some type of fish. That's a really important thing that a lot of people skip. But once you've done that and you understand your ideal clients, right, you can enter the conversation that they're having in their head as it relates to hosting wedding events or whatever part of the wedding industry you're in. Then and only then, can you start to look at how am I going to communicate what I do? Your message, your marketing message, how do I communicate what I do in such a way that it's going to grab their attention and gain their interest.
You can't do that until you first really understand who you intend to work with. But once you do, then you can do that. And there's a couple of common mistakes people make with their marketing message. One is they make it difficult for people to understand what they do. Like, if we're not clear about what we do, we're going to lose people.
We confuse them. Confuse people. Do not buy. If somebody lands on the top of your website and they can't really quickly understand exactly what you do and how they're going to benefit and what they need to do to buy it, they're not going to take the time. We're super impatient now.
We're used to having answers at our fingers, tips. 5 seconds. I do a Google search. There it is. So if I can't understand what you do quickly, I'm gone.
That's the first mistake. Second mistake is people talk too much about themselves. Guess what? Couples don't care that you're the number one ranked wedding event planner in Kansas City. What they care about is how you can help them, right?
How you can help them get from where they are to where they want to be and address any of the issues that they may have. Oh, my God. I'm getting married. I have no idea what the hell to do. I'm looking at all the stuff on my list and I'm completely overwhelmed.
I need help. Can you help me? Your message needs to focus on the problems the couples you're working with have and don't want and the results they want and aren't quite sure how the heck to get the solutions that you can provide correct the results and outcomes that they are looking for. I'll give you a perfect example. I do a messaging workshop and one of the examples that I have in there is actually from a wedding planner and on their website.
I did not work with these people. I found it somewhere doing research online. And on their website they have, hey, here's what you need to do if you want to work with us. And they have step one, two, three. And it says, listen, collaborate.
Wow. That's it. This is what it's going to be like to work with us. We're going to listen to you. We're going to collaborate with you and then wow.
Anybody that is engaged that is thinking about their wedding sees that they understand that immediately in three words and how many of the couples you work with want wow. At the end, less is more. Less can almost always end up being more. In marketing, there are so many things that we can unpack in what you've said and people don't care. Couples don't care what your favorite color are or that you like coffee in the morning or how the hell are you going to help me make this easier and make my event be as seamless as possible?
And there's no perfect events. But that's why you have wedding professionals, because they are the professionals. They're going to handle things that happen or that come up that most of the time the couples don't even know until well after maybe they're back from their honeymoon. And you're exactly right honing in on what are you delivering, what are you offering, what solution are you providing? And a lot of people miss that mark in their messaging, in their content, in their post, on their website every month.
If all you talk about is wedding planning your wedding planner, are you really any different than any other wedding planner? You're just positioning yourself as just another wedding planner. You really want to focus on what it is that you deliver, right? So for example, you're delivering a specific type of experience. If you can talk about that and you can talk about your process for doing that, right?
Like I don't wing it. I'm not winging it for your event. I've got a system and a process in place to deliver consistent repeatable results and this is what the end result looks like. That's what people want to know. And frankly, do they need to know about all the details?
No, they don't. That's why they're paying you. I just want to go to my wedding and enjoy it. Wedding professionals are not exempt from any of the other branding or marketing challenges. If you want to even call them that other industries face, they're not.
And to be honest with you, a lot of times people are leery about technology. They are leery about systems, about automations. I deal with this a lot because that's what I specialize in. And if they don't realize what the outcome is, if they can't see how much smoother the back end of their business will run, if they can't see the solution, if they don't hear me talk about it, how do they even know? They could, should consider working with me?
And the same goes for if your target audience is luxury events and that's what you produce. That's what you're part of, no matter what type of vendor you are. Are you talking about that technology is your best friend? Are there pros and cons of social media? Absolutely.
There are with most anything but where we are right now with technology. And you don't have to be a video producer to put out videos, to be honest with you. The less produced is delivering better results. Right now, more eyeballs are on the stripped down authentic video. Well, for those in the wedding industry, that should be like Christmas morning for you, to be honest with you, because you have events that you I've helped put this together.
I'm part of this. This is what I deliver. There are so many opportunities with what you have at your fingertips, with technology and smartphones to be able to utilize in your marketing that are overlooked. And you're exactly right. If you don't talk about what you deliver, you're missing the mark.
You're missing so many opportunities to connect. People want to connect with people. It's not person to business. And if that's breaking news for anybody, I'm sorry. In the wedding industry, especially, who's the person?
But all different types of businesses that I've worked with, people want to connect with people. Yeah. When what you talked about, a lot of these things are not difficult. Right. But they are simple.
As you were talking about shooting video, I'm thinking about I lived just outside of Denver. There was one of these multi day weekend event things where they had street fair and there was a concert and the band, while they were on stage, he was filming the crowd. There were times where he turned his back to the crowd and he was singing and he just was holding up his phone so that people could see him sing, but they could see the crowd behind all that stuff was going right to social media. So they're letting people know that this is what it's like when we go perform. Right.
This is what it's going to be like the day of your wedding. Here's a wedding that I'm at today. Right. And what does it look like? You're giving people that picture of this is what the event looks like today.
Yours can look like whatever you want, but you're walking people through that. That's simple. That's a fast video. I mean, our phones shoot better video now than a camcorder used to shoot ten years ago. So it's super easy to do.
You just have to get in the habit of actually doing it. Every event, every meeting, you are a walking marketing asset for your business. It's up to you if you want to capture it. It's up to you how you want to use it. And I tell you, it's not rocket science.
It honestly isn't. Is it strategic? Hell, it better be. It should be. That's how you're going to get the most for your money.
I know a lot of people that just I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. I better put something up. They have the best intentions in the world, but life happens. And I say this to wedding professionals all the time. You are some of the most fortunate when it comes to content.
Why? It's every day for you. You don't even have to be at an event. You could be at a meeting. You could be at a dress shop.
You could be at a vendor appointment. You could be at a coffee shop with a client. Please do not have another meeting and not at least take a selfie. I would love for you to take video, but please at least take a selfie. It shows you in action.
You're meeting in person. You're meeting over zoom. What are you doing? You're that relief. You're that expert.
You're that guide for that engaged couple in that meeting. It's all how you push it out. And I feel like a broken record when I say that, but I feel like wedding professionals have more content at their fingertips than any other industry. Okay, maybe not a musician or a band, but they have a lot. They have a ton.
Like, there's so many things that you could do with what you just said.
Gosh, I wish I could remember where I heard this so I could give this person credit, but they were talking about, like, hey, on a social post, just do an after meeting recap. Hey, I met with this particular client. These were their concerns. Here's what they want, and here's what I recommended to address those needs and problems. If you're with the couple looking at wedding cakes, right, you start taking pictures of different wedding cakes or take pictures of them sampling, guess what?
You post that on social. Then what do you do? You tag the bakery or the decorator. Guess what that starts to get their engagement. You're bringing them exposure.
What are they going to do for you? They're going to do the same thing. There's so many different ways you could unpack that you to have get in the habit, and it's going to take a little bit extra time, a little bit. But once you get into the flow, like you said, Kristina, you have endless content. Okay?
You just said something. Once you get in the flow or the habit, that's where a lot of times I tell people you need to have your own process for onboarding offboarding meetings, events. How many vendors go to an event and they're like, okay, here's my checklist, these seven things. I need to get a picture before I set up. I need to get a picture after I set up.
I am not the best if I do not have a list. And like you said, your phone, the little checklist could be right there in Google keep in an app. It doesn't, however, fancy you want to get, because it's nice to have your own little checklist. That is what's going to help you get future leads of your ideal client, because you're right there in it. You're right there in it.
And I get very passionate about this because wedding professionals are notorious for saying, but you don't understand. I mean, the events going on. Never once did I say, it had to be you right. Those are opportunities that other business owners would love to have the opportunity to capture during a sale, during someone consuming their product. I feel like a lot of times, all of us as business owners, you get so consumed with your business, it's tough to take off that business hack and think of your clients from a different perspective, and it goes back around to what you're providing to someone.
They need to see that. They need a little insight into that to be able to consider you, to do business with you or buy your product. Look, another thing we didn't really even talk about, if you don't want to interviewing past clients is a great way to really understand the value that you provide and what makes you different. But even if you don't want to do that, online reviews are an absolute treasure trove of information. Because what do people talk about in online reviews?
Like, what do I love about working with them? What was the result? What was I worried about? How was I feeling? All of those things.
You can capture their words, and honestly, it doesn't even need to be your reviews. You got competitors all over the place. What are your competitors reviews say the information is there. You just need to go out and get it. And like you said, Christina, it's very difficult for us as business owners to think objectively about our business because we're just too close to the fire when we can talk to clients and get their feedback, I guarantee you, you will get information and gosh, why didn't I think of that?
Because you're too close. A lot of times I'll have conversations with people that I say, the best thing that you can do is listen to your clients, your past clients, the wording that you're looking for to describe your products or services to use for other people to understand what you do lie in those reviews, whether it's a handwritten note you receive. I mean, I still receive some of those to date. And of course, I take a picture. I want to keep it.
A lot of times it's in our office. I post it on social media. I think that's incredible. Whether it's a video testimonial, a written Google review, or on any other platform, if you read carefully, a lot of times what will relate to your target audience is a lot of times the wording that is used there. And sometimes we get stuck on these big industry words, or we get so consumed with flopping it up to where it sounds all nice and pretty when if we just stripped it down and looked at, wow, let's look at these five reviews we've got.
Look the same, similar thing is said in each one of them. That's gold. If you're not the one talking about your business, the second best person is someone that's done business with you. And when I say that to people they're like, well I read it but I never thought about for another second to pay attention to the words that were used or how they said it or the language. There's just so much in there that.
It's hidden gems, tons. Your reticular activator has to be up and looking for it but all that information is there and so many people just overlook it completely.
I've been very fortunate to be at a few weddings, quite a few weddings honestly, doing behind the scenes and wow, can you learn a lot from just being a fly on the wall. It lies right there inside those events. And it really gave me a different perspective on a lot of times how I help people structure their systems and processes because not only have I been in that vendors shoe. I've gotten real life experience being behind the scenes and seeing events come together and how they flow and what you really think is going to happen not even going to happen like what you thought was going to be a huge ordeal. It's not.
But I've also been able to recap with a couple most of the time when they've come back from a honeymoon and I'm going to tell you what most will say. I will do anything and everything I can to share about my experience because ABC Company or Jane Doe was amazing. My event could not have been what it was without her, without him, without that business. I mean they will go on and on and on and if you just let them talk because most of the time don't even have to ask them anything other than what would you share about your experience.
I'm going to be honest with you, there's been times that I'm like, oh my gosh. They're basically saying what else could I do to help this company? Like can I send you my pictures from my event? Can I this, can I that? That's how appreciative they are and that's amazing.
But you have to ask right? And I know it's hectic being in this industry, it is hectic. And that's where I try to help people with automations. Okay, well when you're done with the client, what automation could we put in place to be able to capture some of this? And again we're back to technology makes it so incredible.
You don't even have to be anywhere near as a person to be able to get some of that feedback to use for years to come in your business. And how special would it be if the person speaking those words on camera or writing them as a review would be your ideal client that you absolutely love working with. You love working on those events. You don't think about it being there at that event because you're living in that zone, that you just don't want to be doing anything else. Yeah, we don't need to over complicate this forever.
Oh, we could. Yes, we could. Well, I really appreciate you coming to be a guest. It's amazing what you can kind of uncover and unpack just from having a conversation and the different tentacles that can go out from a couple of words of target audience, of plan. You said your favorite client, you, everyone listening and beyond.
You can work with your favorite clients. You get to decide who you work with, and it's possible. And some of the stuff that we've just talked about and that Tim really delve into will help you start that process. And, Tim, will you share with the audience if they'd like to connect with you? Would you like to share just a little bit more about you and how they can connect?
Sure. And I appreciate that. Kristina, the best place to connect, I'll give your audience a couple of places. One is our website, which is Rialtomarketing.com. That's Rialtomarketing.com.
All the links to our social, all the content we put out is all there. The other thing I'll offer your audience, if they go to growthmarketingplan.com, they will find instructions. The 90 day marketing plan template that we use for our business and our clients, along with some sample plans, everything they need to start putting their plan together so that they can start getting results is all right there at growthmarketingplan.com. That's awesome. Thank you so much, Tim.
I really appreciate we connected up on a website for podcasting, and I love connecting with all different types of people, and I've really enjoyed this conversation. And I think we've been able to uncover some things that may spark an interest to dive a little deeper into their ideal client and how they can start to create that plan, whether it's for business growth, whether they're just some people that are in this industry and how busy it's been, they're wanting to fine tune things, and they want to do less events. And so wherever you're at in your business, I hope you're able to take some of this information that we talked about and find ways to start to be more strategic, start to plan out, and really dive into that target audience. So, again, Tim, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Thanks for having me. All right, for anyone listening that wants to connect up, you know that you can always go to my website kristinastubblefield.com. I love to hear your feedback on these topics we discussed today. And if there's any other topics you would like to hear covered, all you have to do is shoot me a message. Until next time, everyone take care.
Tim is an entrepreneur/business owner with marketing and growth expertise. He has 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience with a passion for developing and growing businesses. That passion served him well in operating and managing a wholesale distribution company he co-owned for nine years before being acquired in 2005.
Since then, he’s had failures and successes. He started Rialto Marketing in 2013 and has been helping B2B professional service firms that want to accelerate revenue growth and attract more ideal clients. He believes marketing shouldn't be difficult. But, you must remove your revenue roadblocks if you want to grow consistently and predictably.