If Your Website Sucks, How Can You Expect To Get Great Clients?

If your website sucks, how can you expect to get great clients?

Sometimes, I’m truly amazed at the sheer crappiness that comes off the websites of wedding industry pros. The point of this post is not to make you feel badly about your website, but rather, if you’re the business owner who hasn’t updated your website in a year (to be honest, most of the sucky websites I see haven’t been updated in 3+ years! For shame!), I want to motivate you to get off your keister and get some work done.

Here’s the thing: the wedding industry is HIGHLY visual. For most fields within our industry, your prospective clients are hiring service providers almost exclusively because of the visual work that they do: videos, photos, florals, rental items, stationery design, bridal gowns, makeup and hair artists - all of these businesses (and more) will be hired in large part because a client likes the VISUAL BODY OF WORK that that business puts out. So if you’re not showing off your most beautiful work, how on earth do you think you’re going to attract your dream clients?

The results of this 2018 survey show us that 47% of engaged couples felt that having an up-to-date website was “very important” when hiring their wedding vendors, and another 40% said it mattered to them though it wasn’t their top priority.

If you’re one of those who haven’t updated their online portfolios, their blog, their website design as a whole within the last 12 months, then you might be missing out on over 80% of the prospective clients who might otherwise find themselves attracted to your work. And if you need a little more evidence that your visual portfolio is incredibly important to prospective wedding clients…

I understand that not every person is technologically inclined. You may have a really out of date website platform and you just don’t know how to work it. You may have worked with someone to create your site and then never did anything to it again. But if you want to attract clients who want to PAY YOU MONEY, then you need to invest in your own business - that might mean that you start interviewing web designers tomorrow, or researching platforms that allow you to build your own website on a budget. There are a lot of good options out there. Just please - pick one!

Don’t let your site sit there collecting dust. I remember when I was a bride-to-be, I would google search for a specific category of vendors in my city, open up each website in a different tab, and then make a split second decision based on how their website looked whether or not I was going to spend the time on it to even see their work. I’m not the only one - most website viewers leave a website within 10-20 seconds, with a first impression being made within the first 7 seconds.

What first impression is your website making?

If you’re in the market for a new website, I offer a limited number of Squarespace-based website packages each year. Squarespace is a customizable template-based web design system that is ideal for small businesses. With a wide selection of elegant designs, I am able to create your website quickly and efficiently. Your new website will be easy to update and manage, be mobile-ready, and make you look like an expert right from the start. Even better? It'll be ready in about 2 weeks (depending upon my scheduling availability).

Want more info or to take the plunge?

Marketing is a Chain Link. Is Yours Broken?

Ugly websites. Broken contact form, or no contact info listed. Lack of detail. You didn't tell them where you're located. No clear call to action. 

Is Your Marketing Broken? Wedding Industry Marketing

Here's the thing, guys: You have to DO the WORK for your prospective clients. If your prospective client has to do any work to contact you/find out where you are/understand what services you provide aside from clicking a button and reading a little, then you have failed as a business owner. And I really do mean any work at all: if they have to read through your entire About and Contact pages because you don't have your city/area listed on your homepage and in your Instagram bio, then you have failed. If they have to dig and dig to find out what services you actually offer, then you have failed. If they have to do any research at all to find out why they would want to inquire with you, then YOU HAVE FAILED. 

I like to think of marketing as a chain made up of individual links. If one of those links is broken, then the entire chain is made useless. Such as: 
-a broken contact form
-no contact info listed
-outdated links or a broken link (ie. If your instagram bio doesn't have your website url)
-your Instagram feed is beautiful but your website portfolio is out of date, making a client question whether or not you're the same company
-outdated info on your online profiles with wedding listings like The Knot or WeddingWire

So here's your challenge for this week: Walk through every aspect of your marketing chain, from the perspective of a potential client. Are you making it easy for them to fall in love with you?  

Welcome to Stone House Consulting!

Hi! I'm Lauren. Welcome to Stone House Consulting. I'm SO excited to get this thing started.

Truth be told, Stone House Consulting is something I've been dreaming about doing for about 7 years already. My vision for the company has shifted and changed over the years, and it will likely continue to do so as the wedding industry changes, but it has always come down to this: small business owners in the wedding industry often need a hand in growing their businesses, and don't know where to turn. Let me be that person for you. 

I've worked in weddings for almost 9 years now. My career started in publishing, and over the years, I've worked in several different facets: bridal magazine editor, wedding consultant for a local vendor, advertising, marketing and copywriting for a major online wedding publication, and as the owner of a floral design studio. Throughout these changes, my interest has always been in helping small businesses in the wedding industry grow their businesses. 

Along with Stone House Consulting, I also own Stone House Creative, a boutique-style floral design studio specializing in weddings. So I get what you're going through. The questions of how to attract those ideal clients (do those ideal clients even exist?!), of how to budget, where to spend your advertising dollars. Can't keep up with wedding trends and finding yourself left behind in this fast-paced industry? Which images should you post? You need a new website but have no idea how to update it to attract the right couples. All of these things are things that I can help you with.

I really just want to see you succeed, treat your clients well, and build a stronger wedding industry. 

Every couple deserves to work with wedding vendors whose work they love. You have that work. You just need to show it off! I'll be the first to admit that I don't know everything. With each new wedding season, things change. Couples find us in different ways. They want different things at their weddings. Wedding vendors adapt by offering new services, and filling new needs. I'll adapt with you. 

My services are available to wedding vendors throughout North America.  If you want to follow along with me, I'd love for you to join my newsletter. I promise I won't fill up your inbox with useless things - you can expect a maximum of 1 email per month!