is is the Transcript of the #WeddingMarket Chat on September 14th, 2016 with Brian Lawerence. The answers were made on Twitter so responses will appear different.
Brian Lawerence Bio:
Owning multiple wedding businesses, serving as VP of a leading wholesale invitation brand, founding a web design and marketing firm serving the wedding and event sector. He has spoken at many industry conferences and events, authored “The Wedding Expert’s Guide To Sales and Marketing. He currently consults with wedding industry brands, retailers and advertising platforms and is a columnist for Vows Magazine.
Q1: What is your background in the wedding industry?
Brian Lawrence: I pioneered one-stop shopping with wedding centers in NJ back in the 80’s and 90’s. Was the VP of marketing of a leading wholesale wedding invitation brand for 14 years. Owned a web design/marketing firm www.localtrafficbuilder.com and developed www.suppliers.wedding. Now I write for Vows Magazine, speak nationally and consult for wedding pros.
Q2: Why add-ons are key for wedding businesses?
Brian Lawrence: It’s an opportunity to make more profit without ad and marketing expenses. Add-ons can help pay salaries, rent, and other overhead.
Q3: Why working with existing clients is the most cost effective way to make more money?
Brian Lawrence: It is much easier to sell to an existing client more than getting a new one. You won their trust already, you are makings things easier for them.
Q4: What types of add-on are available for wedding businesses?
Brian Lawrence: Offer products and services that are usually not arranged yet with your customers. You can negotiate wholesale prices with a vendor and get samples and other tools. The most popular ones are working with invitations, favors, rentals and accessories wholesalers.
Q5: How can wedding companies decide which add-ons will be the right fit for their customers?
Brian Lawrence:If you get a lot of referrals from a vendor, it may not pay to compete with them. Analyze potential profitability for time spent. Do you have the room to display the add-on?
Q6: Where can wedding pros find add-ons products?
Brian Lawrence: I have a site that lists wholesale suppliers www.suppliers.wedding. You can research on Google. You can attend trade shows like the National Stationery Show.
Q7: How can wedding pros share add-ons during face to face sessions that add value?
Brian Lawrence: Sometimes the convenience of the add-ons helps sell the core service. Couples are busy and the convenience saves them time. Often it is great to follow up with add-ons after the core sale is made. Develop follow-up cadences depending on when the add-on is typically purchased.
Q8: What are the benefits to sharing add-ons on your wedding business Website?
Brian Lawrence: You can send your existing customers back to your site to buy products. You can monetize site visitors who may not buy your core service. Having more services can create more interest in your company as a whole.
Q9: How does wedding pros typically get paid for add-ons?
Brian Lawrence: If you wholesale other services, you can get paid and then pay vendor. If you work with wholesale suppliers, your profit is based on your mark-up. There are many options for add-ons which are affiliate programs.
Q10: What is an affiliate program?
Brian Lawrence: You direct your site traffic through banners or links to a supplier. The customer buys from the supplier and the sale is tracked to your site. You get paid an agreed upon commission.
Q11: How can subcontracting services be added?
Brian Lawrence: The best approach is adding collateral material. It would be ideal to have separate landing pages on your website. Have samples and training material to sell effectively.
Q12: How can wedding pros find add-ons in their local market?
Brian Lawrence: Look online for local vendors and you can look at directories on wedding platforms. It’s a good idea to look for companies that can handle volume. Also check out their reviews on sites like WeddingWire and the Knot.
Q13: What are some of the best add-ons in the marketplace?
Brian Lawerence: The formal wear company XEDO has a great revenue share program. You can get more info at https://partners.xedo.com/brianlawrence/ . With invitation brands you can make $200 – $1000+ per order. Try to offer more exclusive lines like www.lemontreestationery.com .
Q14: Can you share some examples of wedding pros that have been successful with add-ons?
Brian Lawerence: DJ’s generate tremendous revenue with photo and video. David’s Bridal built their own wedding invitation division.
Q15: What would you like everyone to take away from this #WeddingMarket Chat?
Brian Lawrence: Every company has opportunities to generate more $ from add-ons. It needs to be done with focus and strategic thinking. It can be the best way to generate immediate growth.
Questions from the #WeddingMarket Audience:
@Soundviewli What kind of add ons are the most beneficial in your opinion?
Brian Lawrence: Focus on bigger ticket items and for a venue ones that enhance the experience for your customers.
@UltimateSoundNY What’s the best advice for a wedding entertainment company that has a lot of add on services?
Brian Lawrence: You have to very strategic, not overwhelm the customer and have cadences for follow up. Can help with that.
@FawnThomas How do you use Affiliate Marketing? I am really not sure how to best work with Affliates?
Brian Lawrence: You can actually research programs that are preset from commission junction and share a sale.
@FawnThomas Do you think integrating content with links is an effective way to increase chance of a sale?
Brian Lawrence: For the different add-ons you want to promote so they are front and center on your site. Yes but results will depend on how organic, well-written the content is and the allure of product or service. Also a blogger or influencer might do better with content and links because they are seen as objective.
Disclosure: Brian Lawerence is a speaker listed in the Wedding Market speaker directory.