The most popular question I’m asked in person by my wedding industry colleagues, and here on the Celebrant Institute, is which website do I advertise on or which directory do I list in that works?

Somewhere along the way, wedding vendors have gotten really comfortable being fed off the teat of wedding blogs, directories, websites, and magazines.

It’s time for us to wean ourselves off this unhealthy diet, and to take our sales, revenue, profit, our future, and our mental health into our own hands.

They don’t care

If there’s one common denominator between every interaction I’ve had with the cohort of businesses that will take my advertising dollars, its that not one of them cared about my business as much as I did.

Which is to be expected.

They’re literally running their own businesses, and that’s the disconnect between the advertiser and the website. They never have and never will care about us as much as we do.

The past was a different time

In the past we had to make do with this lack of care because the blogs, magazines, and directories were our only path to our potential clients, but today we operate in a different marketplace.

We are actually in competition with them

In so many ways we are actually, literally, in competition with the websites we are paying to promote us as we both fight for the same Instagram, Facebook, blog, and search engine attention.

Isn’t it crazy, that as we pay the dollars per month the different services can cost us, that we are also creating our own content on all the different platforms, and also paying for ads there, while the websites we pay to care about us are competing with us, not only on a content level, but also on the Facebook and Google marketing platforms.

They’re not doing well

This morning I read from the editor of one of the USA wedding industry’s foremost blogs that she is down to a staff of one, herself. The story is echoed across many other blogs and directories. We see wedding magazines come and go, locally and internationally, all of the wedding media is struggling while we’re all so desperate for the attention they are fighting for as well.

The Australian wedding magazine market is not strong, and and it weakens, the very idea of sourcing vendors from a magazine weakens with it. As White Magazine has closed down, and as the others try to run a sustainable business, the whole platform of wedding magazines being important starts to fall apart. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you paid a business money because you read about them in a magazine?

That warm fuzzy feeling

Then there’s the side effect that each one of us wants that feel-good factor that comes when the blog or magazine features us and we get to see our name in lights.

This whole exposure deal is a drug we need to quit.

You’ve got the power

You, lonely solo you, have the same power, authority, and tools to access potential clients as the wedding blogs and directories do.

And you’ve got the added bonus of being extremely personally invested in the success of your business.

Those two fundamentals will serve you well as you figure out the intricacies of the Facebook Ads Manager and Google Adwords. As you start crafting content, hashtags, and images that communicate who you are and what you’re about, your investment in the success of your business is a much more powerful driver than “XYZ Celebrant paid us $100 this month, we better tag her in an Instagram post”.

Who cares wins

I’ve always believed with all of my heart that who cares, wins.

The blogs, magazines, and directories don’t care about you, but you do, so harness that and put your advertising dollars to work directly for yourself. Every day you take control of your marketing and sales is a compounding interest rate in your own brand that will be worth so much in the years to come.