by Kacey Bradley, The Drifter Collective
Though a thriving industry makes for good business, it also draws many newcomers to the profession. With so many planners to choose from, couples are more likely to hire someone who offers them something unique.
To thrive in today’s market as a wedding planner, you need to stand out in the crowd. Here are 10 ways you can impress clients to get more business.
1. Know Your Clients
Today, wedding planners serve a wide variety of couples. You might plan events for young, old and same-sex couples, as well as those of different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. If you work in a small community, you need to know how to work with all of these demographics.
To attract great clients, you want to know who you’re marketing to. Research your community’s demographics and work to make your business welcoming to all potential clients.
2. Form Relationships with Vendors
As a wedding planner, your most valuable skill is your ability to streamline the planning process, and that includes working with vendors. Building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with caterers, florists and other vendors can help you attract clients and keep them happy.
Show prospective clients a list of the vendors you’ve worked with in the past. If you can negotiate exclusive deals with vendors for your clients, even better.
3. Find a Niche
To stand out in an saturated market, you may need to find a niche for your business. Some successful planners specialize in helping a niche market. Potential specializations include planning destination weddings, elopements, same-sex weddings and more.
If you often work with certain clients or fulfill unique needs, you might consider emphasizing that experience to find heightened success in a niche market.
4. Get Certified
Many couples like to know their wedding planner has completed certification, education or training related to their field. Though you can become a planner without a degree, certification can help you stand out. For more details about certification, see The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc., or The Wedding Planners Institute of Coordination Inc.
5. Showcase Your Experience
If you’ve worked on a lot of weddings in the past, stand out by letting clients know. Keep track of all the weddings you plan and the unique challenges that accompany them. If you have work you’re particularly proud of, consider sharing pictures, agendas and other samples — with permission, of course.
6. Emphasize Financial Benefits
Cost can sometimes deter clients from hiring a wedding planner. Even if your services could save them money, they may think they could find a better deal by planning their wedding independently. To stand out from other planners, you may need to emphasize the financial benefits of working with a wedding planner.
Make it clear to prospective clients that your experience can save them money by discussing your negotiating experience or making deals available for certain services.
7. Track Current Trends
The wedding industry is constantly shifting. Trends come and go quickly. To make sure you and your clients operate on the same page, you need to keep up-to-date on wedding trends. Stay in the know by reading industry magazines and following influential social media accounts. You might even impress trend-savvy clients with your knowledge.
8. Use Social Media
In one 2015 survey, 83 percent of brides said social media played an important role in their wedding planning. Because it influences what many couples want in their weddings, it only makes sense for wedding planners to reach them via social media.
To catch potential clients’ attention, post useful, inspiring and unique content on multiple social media platforms. Curating a strong online presence that shows off your knowledge and experience can drive interest in your business.
9. Gather Testimonials
Word-of-mouth travels fast. Because wedding planners don’t often have repeat customers, they rely on past clients to spread the word about their business. Though word-of-mouth can be very effective, you can better guarantee its usefulness by soliciting testimonials from past clients.
When you present potential clients with testimonials — either on your website or in person — you give them the experience of trusted person-to-person advice without them needing to know the person giving the recommendation. Great testimonials can help persuade clients and make your business seem friendly.
10. Expand Your Offerings
All clients are different, so they naturally desire various levels of service. Some clients may want a planner to handle every detail of their wedding, while others might prefer help with only certain aspects of the process.
To set yourself apart, consider expanding your offerings to cover all sorts of different needs. You don’t have to anticipate everything but having a strategy to fit your services to your clients’ wants can go a long way.
Stand Out and Grow Your Business
If you’re interested in growing your business as a wedding planner, now is a great time. Use these 10 tips to impress potential clients and stand out from the crowd.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!