With the off-season upon us, it’s time to get into business development mode. Although you’ll most likely have less events throughout the winter months, that’s not to say you’re off the hook! Take some time this off-season to position you and your company in a way that ensures a great year ahead.
Let’s talk off-season to-dos and how to push yourself to be your very best.
Take a look back
Before anything, take a look back at the weddings you’ve done in the past year. Are there any that you’d love to submit but just never got around to? If so, now is the time to connect with the photographer and see if they’d like to collaborate. Determine what you will need to collect from the couple in order to finalize and submit. Remember—press features are one of the very best ways to get your brand in front of your target audience, so don’t let those weddings go without giving them the attention they deserve!
Take a look ahead
There is no better time than the present when it comes to planning and preparing for the upcoming wedding seasons. Review all of your weddings for the next year and determine if any are obvious choices for submissions – if so, you’ll want to make a note to grab all of the required information (i.e., full vendor list, couple’s details and story, etc.) early on in the process. It may make sense to implement a system that stores all vendor names (including their URL and Instagram handle!) in one place. This will make the submission process much easier!
Map out your media
Set aside half an hour to an hour to run through some of your favorite wedding blogs and publications that you’d love to be featured on. Get to know their content and keep a record of contact information and submission requirements so you’re prepared when the time comes to send over any weddings that are a fit. While you’re at it, look through your local media options to see if they cover wedding-related topics in Q1, aka prime engagement season. If so, reach out to the reporters who cover the wedding beat and offer your expertise as a resource.
Professional speaking is one of the greatest tools when it comes to business development. Whether it’s something you’ve been thinking about for a while or this is the first time you’ve considered it, the off-season is the perfect time to explore your options and build your platform if speaking is something that interests you. Ask yourself what kind of topics you consider yourself an expert in and be sure that it’s something that you’re comfortable answering questions about. Once you have determined your platform, start small and look into local wedding industry groups to see if they accept guest speakers.
There will still be plenty of time for vacations and relaxation, but devoting just a few hours a week to your public relations push will ensure that you’re primed and ready for the year to come!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.