Want to know how to get more wedding bookings? Here are my 6 top tips to boost your bridal business. Being a bridal artist, like any other type of work, has its pros and cons. People are always getting married, so there is a steady stream of potential clients for you. However, unlike fashion or commercial work, there’s not really the opportunity for repeat business!! (in my 15 years and over 600 weddings, I’ve never done a past bride’s second wedding). There is, however, a HUGE opportunity for word-of-mouth referrals in the wedding industry, and you really should take advantage of this opportunity. I no longer advertise my bridal services, haven’t done for quite a few years now. All my weddings come via word of mouth, either from past brides referring friends, bridesmaids who go on to get married themselves, a couple of fellow bridal suppliers, or, of course, other makeup artists who are already booked on a specific day.
What this means for me, is that almost all the time, the bridal parties I work with like my style of work, and are my type of people. It also means I don’t spend a lot of money on advertising! I don’t know that I will ever stop doing weddings, as I really enjoy the love and excitement of sharing a bride’s special day, and knowing I have contributed to the beautiful bride she was on the day.
Once upon a time I had a very busy bridal business in Far North Queensland. In 4 years I grew that business from 5 weddings in my first year (I also had a very difficult pregnancy and had a baby that year) to over 50 the second year, and over 150 a year, the third and fourth years. Most of those were destination weddings, and I was fortunate enough to be a preferred makeup artist for some of the most beautiful resorts around Port Douglas and Palm Cove. How did I do this when I was brand new in town and didn’t know anyone? Simple… networking and making friends with other people in the industry.
So, here’s my 6 top tips to boost your Bridal Business:
- Customer service. ALWAYS respond to your bride’s emails /texts/messages promptly and politely. I’m a bit “Old School” and prefer to do business over email, as I like to have everything in writing, but I am becoming a bit more “modern” and doing business over text and Facebook message.
- Follow Up. Send your brides a message after the trial to make sure she was happy with everything, and to follow up on any recommendations you may have had for her. (whether that be products for the day, recommendations of a skincare routine, etc)
- Follow Up after the wedding. Send your bride a message a couple of weeks after the wedding (find out how long her honeymoon is, and time your message for after she returns), thank her for having you as part of her big day. You might even like to send her a card… in the mail. Ask her to refer you to any of her friends and family who are getting married in your area and would be looking for a makeup artist. This is also a good time to ask her to send you photos for your website.
- Networking with other wedding suppliers. These days everyone is on social media, and everyone is trying to do business on social media. Why not be a little different? Go around and visit some other suppliers, florists, dress shops, and get to know them. (obviously not at a busy time!!) Rather than just dropping of a bunch of your cards (which may just end up in the bin) take some time to build rapport with these suppliers. Think of a creative way to be memorable, maybe drop in with morning tea (maybe not the first time you drop in, but you get the idea).
- Networking with other makeup artists. While other artists are our “competition” they can also be a fantastic source of referrals for you. I have always maintained that I get more referrals from other makeup artists than I get from any other source. If ever I have a bride enquire for a date I’m already booked, or unavailable for some reason I ALWAYS send her a couple of referrals for other artists. And every time a bride books with me, I ask her where she heard about me, and if she says another artist recommended me, I will send a message to that artist thanking her for the referral. Now the “law of referrals” is funny… supposedly, for every referral you give you receive 3 in return, but they usually don’t come from the person who YOU referred… I’m not sure about the first part, but the second has certainly been true for me.
- Networking with wedding photographers… check back next week, as this is a topic all of its own!
I hope you got value from these tips, what are YOUR favourite ways of getting more wedding bookings? Feel free to join the discussion on our Facebook page, and like and share this post if you enjoyed it!
Written by Makeup Artist Sue McLaurin for Bridal Beauty Pro App.
Sue McLaurin has over 15 years and 600 weddings experience. Sue also works in TV and print advertising, fashion and editorial, as well as being a former Beauty Editor and a makeup educator for 5 years.