Recently I have been making a conscious effort to get my name and (more importantly) my illustrations, known locally. I work remotely, so strictly it it doesn’t matter where in the world my customers live – but I still think it’s important that wedding venues, other wedding suppliers and potential customers in Suffolk and Norfolk, know about me.
With this in mind, this year I’ve moved away from spending my whole 'wedding exhibition budget' on one of the huge, national show. I have instead allocated it to a number of smaller (but no less important), local fairs, at venues nearby.
For three consecutive years, I ploughed everything into showing my work at The National Wedding Show at The NEC in Birmingham. It is a fantastic event, and every bride-to-be should visit at least one BIG wedding fair during their wedding planning – if for nothing else, for the spectacle! They're mad, but great! As a supplier to the wedding industry, it has been a wholly worthwhile show to exhibit at, but there's no escaping the fact that it is an extremely big outlay.
The beauty of doing single day fairs, is that I don’t need to pay for lots of petrol, hotel stays, or ask Tom (my dutiful assistant and other half) to take time off work to help me. I've already exhibited at a few nearby shows this year, with a further two coming up in the next couple of weeks at these locations. I am really enjoying connecting with other wedding suppliers from in and around Suffolk, and it's so lovely to meet bride-to-bes who live in my neck of the woods.
Another way I've been getting my illustration services known in my immediate surroundings, is by hand-delivering leaflets to the people in Stradbroke, my village. As I can do this only as and when I have a spare hour or two, I still have some houses to drop my flyers round to. It's been really fun getting to know the village I live in better and meeting my neighbours along the way. If any of my fellow "Stradbrokers" see me (and Tom) out and about, do give us a wave. We're really friendly!
The main benefits I've discovered from doing local marketing are –
- It's low cost (sometimes free!) -
It costs little to no money to spread the word locally. You don't need to travel far, so you won't be spending lots of money on fuel or hotel stays. Sometimes, you can even walk to where you want to be!
- You'll find your neighbours want to support you -
People love supporting local businesses, and in most instances, I've found that people are very open to hearing about the services I can offer them. Shop owners are happy to display my literature and non-conflicting wedding suppliers, are happy to refer me to their customers.
- You get to help other businesses (and they help you in return) -
When you meet other business owners that live in your area, it's much easier to stay in touch - you'll keep bumping into them at different events. It's lovely! I've found, whilst I've met lots of fantastic wedding suppliers in other parts of the UK, it's generally the ones from nearby in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex that most want to recommend me, and in some cases we can collaborate.
I believe it's so important to get behind products and services in your area – whether you're a business owner or someone that simply enjoys supporting local enterprises. Please make every effort to back local, small business owners, like myself. We LOVE what we do, and it will mean the world to us if you share even just a tiny bit of our passion for what we've created. Thank you :)