Guest Post Author | Valerie Pritt, Engaged Wedding Planner Academy
As a new wedding planner, you have an uphill battle ahead of you. If you know me, you know I don’t sugarcoat things. I am here to support and encourage you, but that doesn’t mean I will lie to you. I tell you because I want you to know that making a living as a wedding planning is hard. Becoming a wedding planner is easy. Creating a sustainable wedding planner business is hard—not impossible, just hard. You need to make the decision whether to commit 110% or not at all. Why do I tell you this? Because most markets are saturated with wedding planners.
Within the market, the spectrum varies—you have your hobbyist wedding planner who works for pennies, the wedding planner who has been in business for decades and charges a pretty penny, and then you have all sorts of wedding planners in between. What is going to be your saving grace is your ability to create value for your clients.
So how are you going to differentiate yourself or your service by providing value?
First things first. Stop looking at what everyone else is offering in your local market. And please, I beg you, don’t price-shop other local wedding planners. This is looked down upon in the industry, and it will give you nothing but a black mark within your community. Also, almost 98% of the time, a fellow wedding planner can tell right off the bat.
In a market that is full of wedding planners, you should be asking yourself how your service can stand out rather than wondering what every other wedding planner is doing. Do your own research when it comes to setting rates for your services. Join a local wedding networking event or local Facebook group and learn from relationship-building opportunities to determine your price. Then think about what extra little measures you can take to create an unforgettable client experience.
I want to be very clear: you should not offer a discount of any kind at any point. Wedding planning is hard work and you should never undervalue your services. I know it’s so easy to do; it’s the slow season and your leads have been nonexistent, but discounting your services can wreak havoc on your brand. By offering a $200 discount on your service, you’re telling potential clients that your service is worth $200 less no matter what time of year it is. But do you ever do $200 less work? No. Instead of discounting, give them more value.
What superpowers do you possess? It’s all about honing in on creating a tangible product that gives your clients additional value! For example, I love checklists. Specializing in wedding management, I noticed that there was a need to offer guidance to brides without me personally being involved. So I created a toolbox of checklists and timelines that I would give a bride when she booked. This cost me very little but gave the client something of tangible value.
To give them even more value, I set up my CRM system to automatically send monthly task reminders via email. This made my clients feel like I was actually walking them through the process. It’s all about what you’re a master at and figuring out how you can create value to enhance the client experience.