Wedding Planner Q&A – “I Offer a Lot of Services, Why Don’t I Have Any Brides?”

 

Wedding Planners - Offering More Services Doesn't Mean Getting More Brides

It’s natural to think that the more services you offer to brides, the more brides you’ll have as clients. However, this isn’t always the case, as the wedding planner who asked the question for today’s post has discovered.

Question

I have a wedding planning business and I’m close to finishing my online wedding planner course. I’ve joined with a travel agency to offer honeymoons and I’m thinking of buying a flower shop so I can offer wedding flowers. I’m doing it all but I’m not getting anywhere. I don’t have any clients. What am I doing wrong? Do I need to change my business name?

Answer

If you’re just finishing your wedding planner course and you’re not sure that you have the correct business name, then you must be new to the business. And, it sounds like you’re trying to expand your business at the same time as you’re starting it up. This is a lot to take on all at once, and not what I would recommend.

I’m not surprised that you want to be involved in many different areas. Creative people, and wedding planners are very creative people, usually have many interests and many ideas on what they want to do to share their talents.

The way to make it work is to first focus on one type of service and become known as an expert in this area to a specific niche of brides. As you attract more clients, you’ll learn more about your brides and what they want. Then you can add the services that you know they’ll buy from you and not just services you think they’ll need. This will help you have a business that is successful for a long period of time.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at questions@sharonhill.com. I will answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.



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Wedding Planners – 3 Reasons Why a Bride is Hesitant to Hire You

 

3 Reasons Why a Bride Hesitates Before Choosing Her Wedding Planner

You’ meet with a bride and present your wedding planning proposal. But when you contact her to follow up, she says isn’t ready to make a decision. Don’t get discouraged, say you’ll call back then quickly hang up, find out the reasons she is hesitant to hire you then address her issues.

Here are 3 common reasons why a bride hesitates and what you can do to win her business:

1) She can’t make the decision alone

If the bride is not the only one paying for her wedding, she may not be able to hire you without getting agreement from the other person. Find out if she needs to talk with her fiancé, parents or someone else before hiring you and offer to have a joint discussion with them

2) She’s considering another wedding planner

Ask questions and make sure you’re clear about what the bride wants, then differentiate yourself from the competition and explain the benefits of your unique services. You need her to recognize the value that your skills and experience will bring to her wedding.

3) She doesn’t feel confident about you

A bride really needs to feel she can trust you to help her plan a fabulous wedding before she’ll hire you. Take the time to listen and understand what she wants then offer her the services that meet her specific needs. Give her evidence that you are the wedding planner that you say you are by showing her photos and testimonials from former brides. And, always act in a professional manner by being on time, being honest and speaking respectfully to and about everyone.

You may be wondering, “What about price?” If you’ve taken the time to pre-qualify a bride before presenting your proposal, you’ve eliminated someone who was just looking for a low-cost wedding planner with discounts so price won’t be the reason for a bride’s hesitation.

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.



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Wedding Planner Q&A – “What More Can I Do to Attract Brides?”

 

Wedding Planners - 3 Ways Get More Brides to Notice You

Here are 3 ways to get more exposure for you wedding planning business that you might not have thought of before.

Question

I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. What else can I do to get brides to notice me?

Answer

These social media sites aren’t the only places where you can bring attention to your business.

You can, of course, exhibit in bridal shows and join social groups to meet brides, but here are 3 suggestions for marketing that most wedding planners don’t do that will help you stand out:

1) Offer wedding planning classes and workshops

Teach classes in basic wedding planning to brides who want to plan their weddings themselves. Offer tips on selecting venues and vendors, and teach them how to create a budget. The classes will help you establish yourself in the community as a wedding planning expert. When brides learn how much work it takes to plan a wedding, they’ll want to hire you to be their planner.

You can offer these classes free, or you can make extra revenue by charging a fee.

2) Write an ebook

Put your top wedding planning tips together into an ebook and offer it for sale on your website or blog or offer it as an ebook for amazon.com’s Kindle. Being an author is another way of establishing yourself as an expert. And while you probably won’t become a millionaire from an ebook, it’s an additional way of making some money.

3) Create Videos

If you have a phone or tablet with a video camera, you can easily record yourself offering wedding planning tips. These videos can be short and you can easily upload them onto YouTube, edit them, then post them to your own YouTube channel. Once you have uploaded them you can easily share them on your website, blog, Facebook page and Pinterest to get even more exposure.

Don’t think you have to speak perfectly to teach a class or write perfectly to publish an ebook. And, you certainly don’t have to look and speak like a movie star to be in a video. Brides need wedding planners who are experts at planning weddings not polished speakers, writers, and video stars. So, while you do want to practice your speaking before you teach a class and edit your ebooks and videos before you offer them to the public, concentrate on providing valuable information and you’ll attract more brides to your wedding planning business.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at questions@sharonhill.com. I will answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.



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Wedding Planners – Wedding Wednesday Tip – Create an Impressive Business Card

 

Wedding Planners - Your Business Cards Need to Create a Good First Impression

When I meet new wedding and event planners and ask them for a business card, I’m often handed something that is obviously homemade. You may need to spend a minimum amount of money when starting a new business but please plan to invest a portion of your budget in professional marketing materials. Your business cards and other printed materials should show brides, wedding vendors and people who can give you referrals, that you are a creative professional who is serious about being a wedding planner.

If you need help with designing a card, ask other wedding vendors for referrals and look for graphic designers within the members of your networking groups. You can also go online and search for freelance designers and place your project up for bid or look for graphic design contest websites and ask designers to submit ideas for your review. (Have them provide you with the Photoshop original file as part of your project requirements and 300ppi versions for printing.)

Before you approach a designer, you should know what niche you are going to target. For example, if you are going to specialize in classic, traditional weddings, your card needs to be totally different than if you specialized in offbeat weddings.

You should also have a budget in mind. Designers can vary greatly in price and printing costs are separate and can be expensive. Your designer can suggest printers to you or you can check local and online printers to compare price, quality and speed.

If you’re not sure what information should go on a card, read my previous post in which I answered the question, “What Should I Put On My Business Cards?



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Wedding Planners – 4 Ways to Get and Stay Motivated to Start Your Wedding Planning Business

 

Don't Hesitate to Start Your Wedding Planning Business

Are you having trouble motivating yourself to start you wedding planning business? It does happen, even though this is your dream, the thought of making it a reality can make you feel overwhelmed and send you into a slump.

If this seems true for you, here are 4 things you need to do:

1) Find inspiration from top wedding and event planners

Talk to successful planners and others in the wedding business or, if you don’t know any, Google the names of celebrity wedding planners and read their stories. You’ll find that they weren’t handed clients and didn’t inherit an already successful business, they started by working hard, doing their best and not giving up.

2) Plan to start small

It may be you’re in a slump because you think you need to start your business with a big launch party, a fancy website, paid advertising on wedding websites and booths in every bridal show. If you try to do all of this when you first start, your time, energy and money will quickly run out.

Instead, do some research, chose a niche, start talking to people about the benefits of your wedding services and find some places where you can meet potential clients and business partners. Also, start connecting with brides online by putting up a website and/or blog and opening business accounts on Facebook and Pinterest.

3) Keep reading about weddings

If you’re really passionate about weddings, there is no way you can look at wedding magazines, websites blogs and Facebook pages and not be inspired and motivated to be in the business. Take time every day to read about weddings and you’re sure to be excited about starting your own business.

4) Dwell on the benefits

If you are dwelling on the obstacles and problems you think you might face when you start your wedding planning business, you’ll stay in your slump.

Think instead about the excitement of being able to do something you really love, of being your own boss and of being able to help brides with your expertise.

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.



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Wedding Planner Q&A – “Is My Marketing Idea Tacky?”

 

Wedding Planners - Make Sure Your Marketing Makes a Good Impression

When you’re a new wedding planner, you want to try a lot of different ways to get the word out about your new business. But always be aware of the impression you are giving to potential clients about who you are and the quality of the services you provide.

Question

I’m a new wedding and event planner. I live in a subdivision, and it’s pretty big. I ordered about 500 business cards and they aren’t quite what I want, so I’m looking to order more, but I am thinking of going around my subdivision and putting one business card in each mailbox. Do you think this is tacky? I’m just trying to find new ways to get noticed.

Answer

First of all, if you’re in the United States, I believe it’s actually illegal to drop anything into a mailbox that hasn’t been sent through the mail with postage on it. This really isn’t something you should be doing.

I understand that you’re new and are trying to reach as many people as you can, but saturating your subdivision with your business cards is not a good strategy for finding clients.

Here are 4 things that could happen when you market your services by just putting your business cards out everywhere:

1) Most of your cards will just be thrown away

Your business cards will look like unsolicited junk advertising to many people and no one likes junk advertising.

2) People who do notice your cards will think of you as a “party planner,” not a professional wedding and event planner

This means they won’t value your knowledge, experience and skills and they won’t pay you what you are worth.

3) You could become the neighborhood “go to” person for all questions about parties

This may sound good, but realize that people won’t pay you for your information, they’ll just expect you to give it to them for free.

4) You will look desperate

High-quality, well-paying clients don’t hire planners who are desperate for work, they hire people who appear successful.
Randomly giving out cards, flyers or brochures to people who have not asked for it, and who are not in your target market, is a waste of time, money and energy. Don’t struggle and work hard trying to convince people who don’t need you to hire you. Focus on reaching people who want your services and will pay you what you are worth.

By the way, you mentioned the business cards weren’t quite what you wanted. If there is something wrong with them, it’s best not to give them out. Everything you hand out is an example of the quality of your work. If there is anything wrong with your cards, people will wonder how detail-oriented and organized you really are. Strive to make a good impression in everything you do.

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.



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Wedding Planners – Wedding Wednesday Tip – Aim for Repeat Business

 

Get a Bride to Give You Repeat Business

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Here’s an easy-to-follow tip to help you get more business.

~~~

I once heard a coach for wedding planners tell her audience that they needed to make the most of their time with a bride because this is the only time she will ever use them. I agree that you should do everything you can to please a client however, I think there are many opportunities for you to work with a bride again, if you are open to planning other types of events. Once a couple marries, you can plan their anniversary parties, bridal showers that they hold for friends, baby showers, birthday parties, coming-of-age events for their children and their holiday parties.

In order to be the person they call when they decide to have a celebration, you’ll need to stay in touch with them. Make it a point to do things such as mail cards on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, and always include a personal, hand-written message. You can also mail or email articles or tips for newlyweds on subjects you think might interest your former brides.

Happy former clients are the ones who will give you the most referrals so it pays to stay in touch with your brides, even if you don’t think they may have a reason to hire you again. And, of course, always mail them a handwritten thank you note when they send someone your way.

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.



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Wedding Planners – 7 Signs You’re Ready to Start a Successful Wedding Planning Business

 

7 Signs that tell you you're ready to start a wedding planning business

If you’re thinking of starting a wedding planning business but not sure if the time is right for you, check yourself against these 7 signs to find out if you are ready:

1) You have planned weddings for others

You can’t start a successful wedding planning business after planning only your own wedding. You need experience planning weddings for other brides and the knowledge and skills it takes to work with wedding vendors to create dream weddings.

2) You know your target brides and the types of services you’re going to offer to them

You need to start your business aimed at attracting a specific niche of brides. Do research, find out what they want and develop the services that will make them want to hire you. If you start your business trying to appeal to all brides, you will fail.

3) You have connections in the wedding industry

You must have a network high-quality vendors to work with you and your brides.

4) You know you will do more than plan weddings

You will be running a business. Also, you will spend a great deal of time attracting new clients so you have to have an understanding of how to market your services online and know where to network offline to find brides, wedding vendors and people who can give you referrals.

5) You have a plan for success

A sure sign that you are ready is that you have a well thought-out plan for what your successful wedding planning business is going to look like and the actions you are going to take to get it there.

6) You understand that the wedding planners depicted in movies are fantasy

In the movies, wedding planners look like they have glamorous jobs planning weddings for very wealthy brides. They don’t show the hard work, long hours and the level of detail a wedding planner really has to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

7) You have realistic expectations

Becoming a wedding planner is definitely not a quick way to fame and fortune. The celebrity wedding planners you read about and see on television have been in the business for years and worked hard to gain the reputations and clients that they have, and you will need to do the same.

And if you want more help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”



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Wedding Planner Q&A – “How Do I Overcome My Fear of Competition?”

 

Don't Let Fear of Competition Stop You From Being a Top Wedding Planner

Wouldn’t it be great if all brides wanted a wedding planner and you were the only one available? Unfortunately, it’s not like that. There are many wedding planners for brides to choose from but you shouldn’t be afraid, there are also many brides looking for the special wedding planner who can help them, and that might be you.

Question

I really hope to be the best in this industry one day but I’m afraid I won’t do well because I have many competitors. How do I overcome this fear?

Answer

No matter what industry you chose to get into, you’ll face competition so you can’t let fear get the best of you, or let it stop you from going after your dream of becoming a wedding planner.

Understand that the presence of other wedding planners is a good thing, it usually means the wedding industry is doing well in your area and there are brides who want help planning their weddings.

Here are 4 ways to handle the your fear of competition:

1) Understand that your fear is in your head

To be successful you need to remember that there is enough business in this world for you. You need to think abundantly or you will come across to brides as someone who lacks the self-confidence and expertise to plan weddings.

2) Know your target market

Decide the type of brides you want as clients and find out as much as you can about them. The more you know and understand what they want, the easier it will be for you to see how much you can help them.

3) Know your competition

Do some research, look at websites, blogs, social media, and wedding websites where other planners advertise and learn what they offer. Remember your competition isn’t just wedding planners but also caterers, florists, and venues who have “planners” on their staff.

4) Determine what you can do differently

Once you know who your brides are, what the competition is offering them and how they are marketing to them, figure out a way you can be unique and offer something that your competition does not. Read one of my previous blog posts for tips on how to stand out from the competition.

By the way, never assume that your competition is doing better than you are. Years ago, an event planner I knew of was in the media all of the time and I assumed she was doing exceptionally well. One day she called me all upset because her business wasn’t doing well, it was all hype, and she wanted me to help her to brainstorm new marketing ideas.

So don’t fear your competition. Spend your time, energy and emotions creating and marketing a wedding planning business that offers the valuable services that brides want.

And if you want more help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”



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Wedding Planners – Wedding Wednesday Tip – Attract More Brides By Refreshing Your Marketing

 

Marketing for Wedding Planners

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Here’s an easy-to-follow marketing tip.

~~~

There are always new ideas being introduced that claim to help you attract more brides. But it isn’t necessary to buy new, and sometimes expensive, methods of marketing your wedding planning business, you might just need to review what you’re currently doing and make some small changes.

Here are 3 examples of what you can do:

1) Update your website

If you put up your website when you first started your business and have since worked with more brides and/or changed your niche, it’s time to make some updates. Add photos and testimonials from recent weddings and information about how those brides benefited from your services.

2) Change your wedding packages

If you initially created your packages based on what you thought brides would need or what you saw other wedding planners offer, you might need to create new ones. Think about the brides you have helped and the types of services they asked you to provide, then put together new packages based on those needs. Next, mention your new services and their benefits on your website and social media sites and invite brides to contact you to find out more about how you can help them.

3) Expand your circle of business and social contacts

Formal business networking groups aren’t the only places you can meet people who can give you referrals. Get out and take a class in cake design, flower arranging, or photography to get opportunities to meet like-minded people. And don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with others at places like the gym, yoga studio or at a soccer game, you can meet brides and develop great business partnerships with people you get to know in social settings.

And if you want more help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”



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