Working as a wedding planner can be at times isolating with hours spent doing internet research or making phone calls. You might be wondering why the phone isn’t ringing and why you don’t have enough bookings for the following year.
Many planners now talk with each other on a daily basis via twitter which is great for building up close relationships. The downside however is you can get disheartened if your fellow planners seem to be talking about new bookings they have picked up or always seem to be off out for another consultation. You might wonder why not me? Last year we wrote an articled called ‘Don’t believe the hype” and I think it is well worth a read to put everything in perspective.
Sometimes we spend too long thinking about our competitors and what they are doing instead of working on our own business plan. Start focusing on you and your USP, who are you trying to attract? What is your niche? What makes you different? At the end of the day there is only one you, you are unique. I know for my wedding planning business I attract a lot of small business owners, bankers and solicitors (normally marrying each other!). Most of my functions are marquee events and I am well known for it.
But what about you? How are you different? Do you have a plan for reaching your clientele? Are you active or reactive? Or as business coach Ray Hutchin would say, are you spending time working ON the business (PR, Marketing, Finance, Planning) or just IN the business (actually planning the weddings) ?
You won’t get every job – remember that the main reason a bride will choose you over another planner is personality. It is rarely because one planner had a ‘prettier portfolio’ or ‘more testimonials’ or ‘was cheaper’, it will be because she bonded with one over the other.
Increase your knowledge – make sure you are as fully educated on weddings as you can be, attend one of our courses or workshops (coming soon to 2011) or WPE. Read industry blogs like Think splendid or the new ‘wedding industry’ series by Claire at English-Wedding. Buy books on business like Paula Gardner ‘Do Your Own PR’ or specific ones on marketing, advertising.
Build referrals – you can’t just rely on referrals from past clients to succeed. Ideally you should build relations with suppliers and venues who would be happy to recommend you for jobs. Only by building a relationship with a supplier or venue can you get referred by them, it all takes time so MAKE the time to network with them on a regular basis even if just a phone call once a month to see how business is.
Some quotes to end – Josie from Savoir weddings says “as far as I’m concerned the more brides see the work of talented wedding planners and stylists the more likely they are to use them and recommend to friends and family. Which only does the industry good. And that is great for all of us”
I love this tip from Liene at Think Splendid (if you don’t already subscribe to her blog make sure you do so today) “Take three minutes each Friday to send an email to someone you admire professionally letting them know. It may be just what they need to hear at the time”
Once again, very true and some fab advice!