Burnout during wedding season is something all wedding professionals understand. Even if you’re booked 12 months out of the year, there are some months that are much crazier than others. It’s during that time when responses to emails take longer, more cups of coffee are needed, and you’re cursing the lack of hours in one day.
When not every weekend is consumed by a wedding or two, wedding pros are just like everyone else and want to spend some time with their friends and family. Believe me, many a bride has assumed that if I didn’t have a wedding on a weekend, then I was available for appointments. Plot twist: I have a family that I like to spend time with, and, since I can’t do that during weekday working hours, I’ll take whatever free weekends I can get.
But when wedding season really gets going, those weekends off from actual weddings tend to get swallowed up by other business stuff. Those emails that have piled up have to be answered at some point, the blogs have to be written, and if you don’t keep up on Instagram…well, you’re just leaving money on the table.
How can you manage your wedding business while working weddings and still have time to, I don’t know, sleep? The more I talk to wedding and event pros, the more I realize how much the tool I use is a total mystery to most. Well, it’s time to grab the one thing that will save you both time and your sanity.
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Wedding Marketing 101
For the past three years or so, most of my business has come in through a few specific channels. Two of those channels were, and still are, Pinterest and Instagram. I stopped getting qualified leads through online advertising on the big wedding websites right around that same time. On top of that, I was frustrated that I was paying so much money to advertise on a platform that would constantly post articles about how unnecessary wedding planners are.
Every time I saw my credit card statement with those website fees, I would cringe. Why was I giving my money to a company that doesn’t really support members of the wedding industry? Not only that, I wasn’t comfortable being on a website that does nothing but misinform engaged couples with wedding planning facts that were frequently untrue. Yet, I stayed because really…where else was I going to go?
Social media requires a ton of time, whereas advertising on a website requires nothing but money. I didn’t have to post new stuff every day or come up with creative hashtags and captions just to be seen. I could throw down my credit card and the website would slap a little “spotlight” banner across my avatar and that would be that.
One day I just was done. You ever have those moments? The ones where you don’t just say you’re done, but you really are? That’s where I was with online advertising. I wasn’t making any money anyway…Seriously, my ROI was a big fat nothing. I noticed I wasn’t alone in this either; not even close. My industry friends would constantly ask me where I was getting my leads from as theirs also vanished.
Where do you go to get in front of engaged couples in 2019?
We all know the answer is social media by now. But, even though we all know that, there is a strong hesitation among many wedding and event pros to actually admit it. Why?
Because social media requires time and effort. It requires learning something completely new. It requires change. And, for some reason, in an industry driven by trends, y’all aren’t all that comfortable with change.
Well, I can’t make you comfortable with change. What I can do is make the change less painful. Going back to my original comment about social media being time consuming. The one thing wedding professionals do not have during wedding season is time. I don’t know about you, but I try very hard to put my phone down once I get home. Being disconnected from the electronic world in order to be connected with my husband and my kids is a priority.
So, what’s the answer though? I’m a business owner, a wife, and a mom. I have a one way commute of 45 minutes to my office and then 45 minutes home. Our oldest son is involved in sports that take me out of the house as soon as I get in the door. If I don’t have a wedding on the weekend then I have family obligations, and, oh yeah, I cook, clean and make sure I get to the gym. Where in there am I posting on social media?
Time Management Hero
Enter my social media personal assistant, Tailwind. I’ll go into all of the great things Tailwind can do for you in this blog, and you’ll be kicking yourself for not knowing it existed until now. The first thing I want to focus on though, is the time management aspect of using this incredible tool.
Tailwind is an app that can be used for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I’m only going to talk about IG and Pinterest though because Facebook has never really done much for my business…before or after Tailwind. That said, Tailwind is an app that posts to those channels for you. It’s a scheduler (along with a bunch of other things).
It’s not just any scheduler though. You don’t even pick the times; Tailwind does that for you. So, when you see me post on IG at 2am, it’s not because I’m laying in bed frantically posting… It’s because Tailwind figured out the best times people engage with my posts and schedules future ones in those exact time slots.
That’s right…no more time wasted on those ridiculous analytics that most people don’t even understand. Sure, you can go through those details and drive yourself nuts trying to figure out what time people are on your page, but who has time for that? Not you and not me. More importantly, I don’t care and I don’t have to. All I have to do is upload a picture, write a caption and hit “schedule drafts”. The picture will automatically post without you approving any notification.
Tailwind is also super helpful with that other major time-sucker…researching hashtags. OMG how annoying is that? The right hashtag will attract your ideal client, but figuring that out is the same as learning what keywords rank you best with Google. It’s not easy and it takes a ton of time that no one has! But you need the right hashtags and Tailwind can tell you exactly what those are too.
I’m not going to go into all the details about hashtags on Instagram, how many you need, and all that stuff. If you’re really interested, you can check out this blog I wrote that covers all things IG. What Tailwind does, is suggest hashtags based on your caption and let’s you know which ones are the best to use. From there, you can create lists of up to 30 hashtags each to insert into future posts. No more saving those stupid lists on your phone to copy and paste them into your captions; save them on Tailwind and they’ll always be there.
Tailwind is always rolling out new features too, and they are consistently ahead of their competition. Just recently, they added the capability of hiding your hashtags in your first comment so that when it posts on Instagram the caption is just that: the caption. You can also add emojis which are proven to increase traffic.
Don’t ask me why, I have no idea.
OK, so that’s just a little bit of how Tailwind can save you tons of time with Instagram. If that’s what you came here for, use this link to get started with Tailwind and thank me later for all the free time you now have. Next up, let’s talk about Tailwind for Pinterest.
The Rabbit Hole of Wedding Planning
Pinterest is a big deal for a lot of brides. Yes, they are getting design inspiration, which makes it a better platform for florists and wedding designers than other vendors. That said, they are also looking for photography and video samples, and they could easily find all of their vendors just by using Pinterest. The reason is that Pinterest isn’t a social media platform…it’s a search engine.
Just like Google.
Pinterest became a powerful tool for me years ago and some of my best wedding planning clients found me there first. I go into best practices and tricks to use for your Pinterest page in this blog right here. If you’re not on Pinterest, or if your page needs some serious work, make sure you bookmark that to read next.
The time it takes to really be present on Pinterest is so much more than the time needed to post on Instagram. The amount of times you have to pin compared to the number of daily posts needed on IG is staggering. Any guesses how many pins you need to post per day to become relevant on Pinterest?
That’s ridiculous. That’s 50-70 all different pictures, with all different captions, that could be on different boards and link back to different websites. One pin takes enough time, but 50-70 takes more than you can imagine.
Going back to the basics, Tailwind is your scheduler here. You can schedule out pins for months in advance if you want, just like you would with Instagram. Type up the caption, the website, and anything else you need and you’re done. Timing matters on Pinterest just like it does on Instagram, and Tailwind figures out exactly when you should be pinning. Yet another chance to completely ignore those overwhelming analytics, trying to determine when you should pin so people will actually see it.
I know what you’re thinking…sure, you don’t have to be on Pinterest everyday pinning stuff, but it’s still pretty time consuming to come up with that many daily pins, right? If you put together 50 pins, that’s just one day; hardly a scheduler app…
Except, here’s the thing with Pinterest, you can add the same picture to multiple boards. I won’t bore you with algorithm garbage and how people actually use Pinterest, so just trust me on this one. Let’s say you have a picture that fits 10 of your boards; that’s 10 pins right there from 1 image. Do that a few times and scheduling 50-70 pins per day for the next month or so will go a lot faster than you think.
Bonus: Use the shuffle button so that when you are pinning the same image, it won’t post back to back.
The last thing I want to mention about using Tailwind for Pinterest is the “tribe” feature. Odds are, you don’t have tens of thousands of followers on Pinterest. You can use keywords in your captions for engaged couples to find you, but how can you get in front of that audience that doesn’t know you exist? Hashtags work on Instagram and while you can use them on Pinterest, there’s a better way to be seen.
Tailwind has this awesome feature on Pinterest called “tribes”. Basically, you join these tribes that align with what your page is all about. There are a bunch of group members in each tribe and you all share your pins within that group. Acting like a separate Pinterest page of sorts, other tribe members can then pin your pin from that page and onto their Pinterest page. Now, you’re in front of their audience that is also wedding related. Tribes are a great way to boost your numbers quickly and start attracting business you never knew how to get before.
Well, that’s my magic tool that I use not just for wedding season, but all year long. Tailwind saves me the time I would’ve spent researching hashtags, analyzing post times, and scheduling photos…time that I can use to actually answer those emails the same day I receive them. The simple feeling of not needing my phone in my hands at all times is incredible. No more panicking that I didn’t get a post up on Instagram or Pinterest and then just letting it all go because I can’t keep up. Tailwind is like having an assistant that does your work for you, any time of the day and any day of the week.
What do you think? Have you been holding back on prioritizing social media because of how time consuming it is? Do you have any questions about specific things Tailwind can do for you? I’d love to hear from wedding and event pros, so leave those comments below…and don’t forget to head over to Tailwind to sign up and be on the road to recovery instead of on the path to burnout.