Whether we know it or not, we are all experts at something.
White papers have long been used as a marketing and public relations tool to establish one’s authority over certain topics. Their intention is to educate first, and sell second. As a wedding professional, you know a great deal about the Big Day, whether it be etiquette tips for unique family situations, the best songs to get a crowd moving, or the appropriate veil length for certain bridal gown styles. It’s now officially time to consider leveraging your skill set, especially as the industry becomes more saturated with newcomers.
Want to create a set of white papers that will get your bride’s attention? Be sure to stick to the following guidelines:
1. Select your topics wisely. There are quite a few topics to be had in the wedding world but many are already overdone. If three other planners in your region have spoken to the top first dance songs recently, then steer clear of music related topics. The name of the game is fresh and inspiring so make sure you are saying something that’s not already been said a million times.
2. Don’t assume you know it all. The fact is, we can comprehend quite a bit about one subject, but we may not know everything there is to know. Wedding-related topics can be vast so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and do a little research.
3. Take the “short but sweet” route. There is only so much anyone is ever going to read about wedding planning in one sitting, so keep your thoughts to approximately one page.
4. Don’t sell. The goal of a white paper is to impress your prospects with your experience and know how. If they are wowed with what they read, then they are more likely to reach out to you about your services. Don’t make the mistake of overtly selling your services within the paper. Brides simply do not respond to the hard sell and will pass you by.
White papers can take on a more informal form by serving as content for your blog or as a guest blog for a colleague. For those with search engine optimization on the brain, the articles with relevant content for your business can be submitted online through various sites. With the latter strategy, be sure your article runs at least 500 words, directly relates to your business and has not been featured elsewhere online.
Wedding professionals are always on the lookout for the next big marketing and public relations strategy that promise new business. If you simply pause for a moment to take stock in your own skill set, you’ll soon realize that you may very well be your own best kept secret.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in PW writing and brand promotion.