You put together celebrations many people have been waiting their entire lives to attend. That can be joyful, exciting, and a bit hectic, but in the midst of all those emotions, you also need to keep a steady head and run a profitable business. Between dispensing advice on bouquets and helping clients choose caterers, you may also want to keep these ideas in mind.
Many business rely on repeat clients, but wedding planning generally isn’t one of them. To make up for that fact, you need to focus on referrals. Ask your clients to tell their friends about your services, and in particular, have them amplify the message with social media posts. If the happy couple isn’t paying, give a bit of extra attention to whoever writes the cheque. For example, if the mother of the bride is paying, she may have more daughters who will eventually get married and need a wedding planner. Also, make sure that your events are branded at least in some small way. Ideally, guests should know who planned the event and how to reach you. Consider a simple stack of business cards near the guest book, or your name and website address printed on the post-ceremony bottles of bubbles.
When you meet with clients for the first time, a portfolio is an effective way to introduce your services. In particular, it shows off your work and tells the client how you are different. Photos are a must, but if you haven’t landed your first client yet, consider taking mock photos of reception tables and other wedding decor. Also, include an example timeline. That tells couples that you do more than decorate you also keep the day organized so everything goes off without a hitch. You may want to provide a list of your preferred vendors.
Strong Online Presence
To ensure potential clients can find you, you should have a website with contact details and examples from your portfolio. After every wedding you plan, you should jump on social media as soon as possible and post pictures of the event. Focus on high-quality images that showcase the happiness and the organization of the day, but always remember to get permission from the couple before using their photos. If you post these images on your Facebook or Instagram feeds, make sure the posts are public that way, if your followers like them, others see them, which helps you generate more interest about your services. To further expand your online presence, consider starting a Pinterest account. Brides and grooms frequently dip into this site for ideas, and if you have a lot of inspiration boards, couples may stumble onto your services. Make sure all your social media accounts refer back to your website, and set up Google Alerts on your name so you can monitor and respond to good and bad reviews about your company.
To attract new clients, you may also want to explore traditional marketing. Consider an ad in a local bridal magazine. When talking with the sales rep about subscription rates, remember most bridal magazines are passed around among friends, which means you often get more exposure than magazine circulation numbers suggest. You may also want to consider doing a bridal expo. Before booking the booth, get information on the number of attendees and how many other wedding planners will be there. The right show can be a great chance to connect with potential clients face to face and show them your portfolio.
Partnerships with wedding vendors can also help you boost your profitability. There are a number of ways to structure these relationships. For example, you may promise to recommend a certain cake baker to your clients, and in exchange, the baker may agree to hang your sign in his shop. Alternatively, you can share email lists, or work out a discount arrangement. For example, if you work exclusively with a florist, she may offer her services at a discount. That helps you save money for your clients and opens the door to charging more for your services.
Setting Professional Goals
Keep a list of business development ideas that are separate from the actual day-to-day tasks involved with wedding planning. For example, your list may include items such as contacting local florists for co-marketing opportunities, adding a blog to your website, or investigating a new marketing venue. If you are in the habit of constantly building up your business, that will eventually translate to profits. A focus on development also helps prevent lulls in business. If you’re constantly marketing, you can schedule clients one after the other so you don’t finish a wedding and have to start from scratch looking for a new couple. To improve the profitability of your wedding business, you have to be creative and diligent about attracting new clients. As you build a reputation, you may want to find other ways to reduce costs while raising prices. Ultimately, all of that together will help keep your business sustainable and profitable.