Have people been asking you for tips about planning weddings and becoming a wedding planner? In my Q&A today, I answer a question about giving away your secrets.
I recently started my wedding planning business and I’m having some success. A friend has seen what I’m doing and wants to be wedding planner too. She wants me to help her get started and has asked me to share my list of vendors. I don’t want to be rude or mean, but I really don’t want to do it.
What should I do?
Unfortunately, this happens to many wedding and event planners and, as you spend more time in the business, you’ll find that many people will approach you for information that they expect you to give to them for free.
So, whether you have a bride or a want-to-be wedding planner asking for your vendor list or other information that is important to your business, consider these 3 things before you answer:
1) You’re running a professional business
Many people think wedding and event planning is just “party planning” that anyone can do. You need to help them understand that your knowledge is valuable and desirable and show them you are a professional. You may want to answer simple questions but for more detailed information, you might want to charge a fee like a professional in any other field.
2) You’re not obligated to help new wedding planners who want your vendor list
I know it is difficult when a friend or relative is involved, but you won’t be helping someone be successful by just handing them information. In order to do well, they need to put the same effort into learning wedding planning and developing vendor relationships that you did.
Explain that it took you time, energy and hard work to be where you are today. Tell them you would be happy to share with them where they may learn to become a wedding planner and how they can start their vendor network. However, you are different people, your personalities are different, you’ll attract different brides and the brides each of you serve may need different vendors.
3) You won’t get clients by giving away information
When you get a call or email from a bride who wants free planning information or a vendor list, ask questions and find out if she intends to hire a wedding planner. Then briefly explain your consultation services and your rates and ask if she is interested. Randomly giving away information will not help you win more clients.
Never be afraid to politely and firmly say, “no,” when someone asks for information that you’ve worked hard to get and don’t feel like sharing for free. Don’t be a people pleaser, be a professional wedding planner and spend your time and energy serving the brides who value and respect you and your work.
And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.