Here are eight universal tips for jump-starting your promotions at little or no cost. These tips are geared towards those in the wedding video business, but can easily be adapted to many other types of businesses as well. My feeling is that online marketing for these types of businesses should be limited to an add on to a strong regional, print and word-of-mouth effort. While people do go online to find wedding video services, as they do most other products and services these days, if your looking to work within a reasonable area, local marketing is critical.
- Create a business plan that includes spending for marketing (postcards, sponsorships, cable TV ads).
- Create sample projects for friends and relatives, and request an honest critique of the work you did, and if possible, a testimonial that you can place on your website.
- Take out classified ads in local or regional newspapers, as well as free classified ads on craigslist, and Ebay’s kijiji, both of which have regional editions for most major cities.
- Write a brief press release about new facilities, equipment and special projects, and submit it to local newspapers, regional websites, and basically anyone who will listen.
- Run off some simple posters from Staples or even your own inkjet printer, and place them in community centers, libraries and supermarkets, promoting your business.
- Take out ads in wedding magazines and online wedding service listings. Many of them are regional and people are using them more and more, to help plan their wedding.
- Network with florists, and other wedding suppliers in your area, to exchange leads and referrals. This is a great way to grow business organically, and build professional contacts that could make you extra money for referral fees as well.
- Always explore new technologies, particularly broadband, streaming, HD, DVD and Blu-ray mastering, and heavily promote those aspects of your services when approaching potential clients. You may offer services that your competitors don’t have competency or expertise in.
NOTE: If you need quality design services, and you can’t afford me, try visiting local colleges. They may have a design program with job boards. Plus students are always looking for projects they can place in their portfolios, expecially if you give them creative freedom. Allow extra time if you take this route, as students have classes, and don’t have the expereince of a seasoned professional.