Pricing and service structure: Is it time for change?

value-for-moneyWedding professionals are often frustrated by brides and grooms don’t appreciate the value of their services. Ultimately, aside from ‘customer service,’ there are three major factors that come into play.

  • Hours of service
  • Price for product/service
  • The quality of the result

One problem is traditional wedding service pricing structure . Particularly for entertainment, photography, videography, pricing is quoted within the framework of ‘time in direct service with the client.’

Until I went through the process of being a groom, I never realized how much time a videographer or photographer spent, before and after the wedding, before presenting the finished work. 

While customary in the wedding industry, linking pricing only to face-to-face service at a wedding, or wedding and reception, drastically understates the total time of service. 

A bride doesn’t know how many hours it takes to edit one hour of raw video footage from one camera, It’s hard for her to understand why the price is $5000 or more, rather than $1000. Hours of work at a wedding and reception are a specific measure of your effort; however, grossly incomplete. The result is more subjective. Hours of shooting does not equal the value of your work.

It is not enough to show a prospect samples of your reel or portfolio photos and expect  understanding degree of difficulty. Shooting a sunset wedding, has a high degree of difficulty. If one doesn’t explain situational differences in equipment, lighting, skill level, etc., you are just hoping the prospect figures it out. Likely an unreasonable expectation.

A Disc Jockey service or Live Band prices itself for a specific number of  performance hours. Travel and set up are typically not mentioned not in discussion or noted in an agreement (unless the event is outside the local market area).

What effect might it have were proposals and agreements included a ‘simple informational statement’ indicating a summary of unseen work, associated with your event service, not occurring during the reception time frame?

Effective service implementation, meeting or exceeding client expectations, includes explaining the total scope of your service, at some level.

  • Maybe this approach should become an industry-wide standard for wedding marketers?
  • What would change in the process of selling if every prospect understood you total measure of service, and its impact on a successful outcome?

I know, I’m turning wedding industry pricing and selling approach on its ear. Maybe it’s time we do that.

I invite your specific comments, and how you think this might apply within your slice of the wedding industry.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Wedding Marketing Halftime

wedding marketingTime flies. Yes it does. Independence Day mattress and car ads inundated us with red, white, & blue. I knew the firecracker stands wouldn’t be far behind.

What hit me next is tomorrow is July 1st,  marking the beginning of 2013: Part 2.

For our Canadian friends, July 1st is Canada Day (a national holiday) and start of the NHL draft. But I digress…

The calendar change to July prompts assessment of first-half-2013 accomplishments and prospects for the rest of the year.

  • Are your booking/sales on target? Higher? Lower? Why?
  • Have you made planned changes in your print ads or bridal show participation?
  • Have you launched a blog? If so, are you making consistent posts?
  • How about other social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest? Have you eased in, developed a plan, and followed through?
  • … fill in the blanks, for yourself, here.

Don’t let the calendar run your business. Take a day or two (not necessarily on the holiday) to step back make mid-year corrections and adjustments.

If you are proactive, the second half of 2009 should be even more productive and prosperous for you.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

404 Error Messages

404 Error MessagesOK, I plead guilty. 404 Error Messages are one area I have neglected (up to now) on my sites and many clients. That is about to change. And it should change for you, too.

No doubt you’ve searched a website or clicked on a link to one, and been faced with a PAGE NOT FOUND message (404 error). Often, a dead link or missing page occurs because a page has been renamed, so it has moved. Other times, it simply has been deleted.

On The Wedding Marketing Blog, I use several different statistical programs to analyze the traffic and activity. I’m very please with the overall volume of activity, but I thought the level 404 Errors was a problem.

Your hosting company usually includes a generic 404 page. What needs to be done (if you haven’t already done it) is to customize the 404 page, with some kind of site map, at least to the major gateways within your site or blog.

One of the blogs I visit regularly, Smashing Magazine, posted a great collection of 404 page examples. They are well-crafted and often utilize humor.

Bottom line: If a 404 page is customized and well designed, it is more likely that a prospect will continue on your site than move on to find a solution, elsewhere. At the risk of stating the obvious, THAT is important for every wedding marketer.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Ready, Fire, Aim… Don’t Launch A Blog Before You’re Ready

Ready, Fire, Aim!!
Ready, Fire, Aim!!

Sometimes, I scare myself. When giving seminars on successful blogging, the attendees can leave both informed and heavily motivated. That’s the good news.

The bad news is many people jump-the-gun on blogging. Often, people appear to have more urgency than retention from my presentation. Here are some of the key elements that apparently need to be underscored. If you have overlooked any of these, please revisit them.

  • Your blog should be on the WordPress platform, hosted on the same server as your website. If you choose another blogging platform (including a free WordPress.com site) on a different server, you will miss a huge search engine advantage. Having the search engines view your site and blog as a single entity results in major league ranking improvement, in a very short time.
  • Write for your reader, not for your own ego. The comfort zone should be about 75% information and praise of others; 25% self-promotion. If it’s all about you, then it’s an online personal journal, not a business blog.
  • Read, read, and then read some more. If you haven’t jumped into a blog yet, don’t. First read lots of other blogs. Local competitors. Businesses in the same line of work in other markets. Other wedding industry businesses, anywhere (yes, if you’re a U.S. company, there is whole other English speaking world beyond the borders… Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, etc.,). See what is interesting to you, as a reader. Assimilate-the-different-approaches, and then develop with your own style.
  • Commit to a schedule you can meet: Twice a week, once a week… whatever. Being consistent is huge. If you can only post once per week with an occasional breaking-news-item, that’s fine. Don’t let three weeks go b y without a post. You won’t be perceived as serious about your blog (translated: your readers).

These are just the big gotchas. Blogging is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Have a plan, a style, and a pace.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing BLog