Our Top Three Tips for Getting Started in the Wedding Industry
You're all ready to go... You have your website, your company name, your vision and goals, and maybe even a pretty logo to-boot. But now what? How do you introduce your brand and business to the market?
Taking that first big leap into the industry—and knowing where to start when you do—is one of the most important parts of starting a small business, as it plays a crucial role in the overall success and quality of your career. But we'd be lying if we said it was easy—breaking into the industry (and doing so in a strategic, thoughtful way) can be super overwhelming and leave you feeling lost. (We know the feeling...we were there once, too!) Looking back, though, there are a few essential points of focus that really gave us the foundation we needed to build our business, and we wanted to share those with you today. Read on for our top three tips for breaking into the industry—we hope they'll make starting your wedding planner career a little bit easier (and a little less intimidating!):
1. Do Your Research
Research sure doesn't sound sexy, but it's the most important step in the process—especially if you expect your brand to have staying power. Take some time to research the industry in the location you work. Study your market and the planners in it—research their brand, study their social media pages, browse their websites. What are the standard prices and how do those compare to national averages? Is it a saturated market? Is your target area a popular locale for weddings? What are the vendors in the area like? What are couples near you saying in their online reviews? We also suggest doing some research into Google keywords and analyzing what people in your area are searching for (i.e. typing into their search engine) when searching for a wedding planner. Knowing these answers will give you a better handle on how to market, how to price your services, and how to appeal to your ideal clientele.
2. Figure Out Your Place in the Market
The best businesses—no matter the industry—are those that fill a specific role. Now that you've done your market research, it's time to think long and hard about the role you want to fill in that market. Are you a high-end luxury planner who only takes on 3-4 weddings a season? Or, are your services better suited for couples looking for lower-priced month- or day-of planning? Think about your brand and the ideal clientele you'd like to attract. As the saying goes, when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one—so know what your target audience looks like and how you'll reach them with specific messaging and marketing efforts.
3. Never Stop Learning
Continued education is absolutely crucial in our industry. With trends and client demands constantly changing, the most successful wedding planners are those who value education and who make time to continually expand their knowledge and experience. Knowing you are great at what you do and having the education to back it up gives you the peace of mind and confidence you need to break into a competitive industry. We can't stress the importance of this enough. As a partner of LVL, I'm always on the lookout for opportunities to learn more and expand my knowledge of our ever-changing industry.
If you lack experience, don't hesitate to reach out to a successful local planner! Ask about assisting or shadowing—opportunities for growth and learning like these will help your career grow exponentially. Or, if you have the experience but are missing crucial how-to's in the planning process, take some time to sit down and streamline your planning process. Your goal is to provide your clients the easiest and most efficient experience—and perfecting that formula takes some trial and error, along with some serious analysis. You can do this through a combination of: analyzing your workflow and the systems/processes you're using, reviewing client feedback, and figuring out a way to sit down with a successful planner and pick his or her brain.
As wedding professionals and small-business experts, we know how scary breaking into the industry can be—which is why my partner and I have combine our endless passion, insider knowledge and (most importantly) years of experience to create a new standard of education for wedding planners. Our wedding planner workshop, LVL Academy, is chalk-full of the education, resources, networking opportunities, and pro advice you need to succeed. We've essentially said, "What did we wish we had when we were starting out in the industry?" and custom-crafted a workshop to answer that question. Whether you're an experienced planner looking to re-energize, or a brand-new planner in need of crucial industry connections and insider information, LVL Academy is a comprehensive workshop that offers up critical resources for every passionate planner out there. We hope to see you there in November!