“Can a Google Search Save You Money on Your Wedding Band?…”

It is now easier than ever to look for your perfect wedding band, in fact it seems that there is almost too much choice. If there’s one thing the world doesn’t need, it’s a few more Wedding Bands…especially not in Ireland. The market is well and truly saturated, terrible for us small business owners, excellent for any brides and grooms on a tight budget. There will always be a lower quote, a smaller band, a band that will play longer, a band that will stand on one leg for the night… while churning out a never ending stream of Nathan Carter hits for aunt Miriam. During this caffeine infused rant I will not discourage you from shopping around, but instead, give you some pointers on the best ways to do so.

This article may also be of help to some wedding vendors looking at better ways of marketing their business, who knows, I may even, in the process of writing this post, find a way of revolutionising my own marketing campaigns…but then I wouldn’t need this blog… hmmmm.

Where Do Our Enquiries Come From ?

So before we compare the meerkat for the ideal bunch of *Wagon-Wheelers to play at your shindig, let’s look at how Wedding Bands get enquiries.

*Wagon-Wheeler-Def. Any musician, generally residing in Ireland, who from time to time perform at weddings as a means of paying their bills.

Direct Marketing

In today’s world, where everyone is glued to their phone, laptop and tablet for more hours than they sleep, it’s essential for small businesses to keep on top of their social media, we receive a large portion of our enquiries from Facebook, Instagram and our own website which allows couples to check out videos, photos and testimonials from past clients…go on, have a look, we’re awesome, only some of these people are related to us, bonus points if you can guess 😉   http://4till6.net/test.html

We love getting enquiries from our direct marketing but It can cost us a lot of money to pull in these leads, promo videos are a big expense and then we often use sponsored ads to get some more traction, these costs are all factored in to quotes we give couples and the overall running costs of the business.

Entertainment Agencies & Promoters

I’m not a huge fan of using bad language on this blog but I’ll make an exception…Promoters…a nasty world in the wedding band game, but they do play an important role. Joking aside we do work with some excellent promoters, as a testament to this, or perhaps a testament to my own reclusiveness, as I look through my phone for material to put in this post my last three messages were from promoters, I should really find some friends.

Entertainment Agencies and Promoters can be an excellent resource for people who don’t really know what they are after, or where to find it. Simply google Wedding Entertainment Ireland and you will more than likely come across an agency, these guys put large sums of money behind their websites to ensure that they come up on page one of your search. Can you guess where the money to fund their marketing comes from? you guessed it, your pocket and the pockets of any vendor working at your wedding. Average commission rates for agency’s range from 5-20%. This is not to say that if you get a quote directly from a wedding vendor that it will be 5-20% lower than the quote you receive from an agency, but it might, and agencies are very aware of this. They are also aware of how easy it is to google search a band and contact them directly once they have received an initial quote, very smart meerkats.

Referrals/ Random Acquaintances (Our Favourite…Highly Recommend)

On to the final column, and some of our favourite clients. Referrals make up almost 50% of our private bookings, it’s not uncommon for us to receive 3 or 4 enquiries from the same wedding we played a year or two previous. Just a few months ago we received an enquiry off the back of a function we played in 2015 when we we’re getting started, almost 4 years ago, madness! We  also receive bookings from friends and family of the band, as is the case for many small businesses, it helps to know a lot of people, in all walks of life. As well as referrals, we also hand out a lot of business cards at public gigs, some couples have happened across us in the most obscure settings, when they were just out for a few drinks, and booked us on the spot. We love when this happens. It takes away a lot of the nonsense. We know you like us, you’ve seen us perform already, you know exactly what you will get, no looking at promo videos while you’re sitting on a bus, we’re right there in front of you, its tactile, refreshing, no smoke and mirrors, just an old fashioned business transaction.

Benefits of Doing the Leg Work Yourself…The Bottomline…Sneaky Meerkats

In short, if you’ve stuck with me so far, the best way to find a band is to get down and see one play, it’s guaranteed that if you live in a town with a population of more than 50 there will be some Wagon Wheelers playing in your local this Saturday night. Go check them out, your local will more than likely have them advertised on Facebook. Go down and see the band, if you like what you hear, get a card off them, ask them if they are available on your date. I will now let you in on a small trade secret, wedding bands have a few pubs that they will play numerous times in the year, for us it’s the Tolka House in Glasnevin, home turf. We see some very familiar faces in there, and we appreciate it when locals want to book us for their wedding, if you’ve come down to see us a good few times then you can guarantee we’ll look after you. Let’s not put a monetary value on that, but we got you covered. We want to build relationships with our clients, we want to play at your wedding, at your sister’s wedding and at your sisters second wedding, you know what she’s like …bless us and save us.

Now, if you can’t get out on a Saturday night, there is still some hope for your savings, not sure what you plan on spending it on, gel nails or perhaps those strange baskets of assorted toiletries that people put in the bathrooms at wedding nowadays, great spot to stock up on a few bits… mints, tights, scuba gear…essentials. Google search wedding bands in your county, or even better, in the county where you are having your reception, less travel costs, don’t go on an agency website, don’t do it Karen, remember what I said about the 5-20%, click on an actual bands website or do the same on Facebook, we all have Facebook pages. Don’t make the same mistake as a lot of couple make and get a price from the agency, and then the band, it will just cause issues for the band if they take the gig. The agency will know we’ve taken the gig cos you’ve checked the date and there’s a whole mess with google calendars and long story short they’re watching us. We can’t take the gig, go to a band directly first, preferably in person. It’ll more than likely save you a few quid, if not then at least the money you are spending is going to the people who are adding value to your day. Job done.

As usual, this is just our take on finding a Wedding Band, in the grand scheme of things what do we know? About anything? Well, whatever we do know we are happy to share! Feel free to drop us a line and we can shed some light on any issues raised in our posts. Reach us at 4till6@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.

Till next time!

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