While everyone else is scarfing down turkey and having mild anxiety about what to buy their sister-in-law for the annual gift exchange, I'm over here trying to make time to get to my inbox. Why? 40% of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day ,and historically I know this is the season that I fill my books for the upcoming year. I've learned over time that there are some essential things that help me turn all of those inquiries into actual bookings for my business. A million inquiries can be exciting, but unless they book it doesn't really matter. Let me share with you ways to prepare your biz for this crazy booking season and how to make sure you are getting these brides to sign the contract!
Get your ducks in a row:
1. Website update: Do a little once over on your website. Do all the links work? Do you need updated pictures? Does the language you use still make sense? Is your "about me" page accurate? Make sure your website is ready for all of the eyes that will be on it!
2. Pricing: If you are going to raise your rates for 2020, make sure you change it on all platforms where you list your rates. Check your website, PDF's, places you advertise, etc. Get the new rates posted now so brides aren't surprised come January when they see the prices they looked at when they got engaged go up.
3. Contract check: Make sure your contracts say 2020 and have accurate pricing to reflect the new year.
Treat your potential brides like queens!
1. Wow your inquiries by getting back to them within a few hours. I know this may mean you are on your phone a bit more or opening your emails more than you'd like, but being the first to respond just might be the reason the bride chooses you over someone else.
2. Give your pricing in your initial response. Brides are doing a lot of price shopping in the first few weeks of engagement. Rather than spending time and energy going and back and forth with inquiries that won't be able to afford you, just lay out your rates up front so you know that you are only investing in conversations with brides that are really considering booking with you.
3. Have a portfolio ready. Update your portfolio of your work on your website or in a google doc so you have an easy way to show off latest updos. When you respond to an inquiry, share a link to your portfolio so a bride can see it for the first time or be reminded of what great work you do.
4. Send a follow up email if you don't hear back within week. It doesn't have to be long, but it shows the bride that you are intentional and care about providing them great service. You will stand out among your competitors by going the extra mile to check in with them and see if they have more questions for you.
Pretend you're a bride and you send out 10 inquiries to different hair and makeup companies. One responds within minutes and you're provided rates and pictures. You check their website and it's professional and current. You know exactly what to expect from this company. You wait a few days to see if more responses come in, and you get a follow up email from the first company. How thoughtful! Why wait to hear back from the rest when you're already starting to trust this first company?
See how a few simple things can give you an edge? Give them a try and see how it goes!