Your Wedding Planning Career: Finding New Clients
With your wedding planning certification in hand, you’re ready to hit the ground running and start building a client base! As keen as you are to get your career started, finding new clients is not always an easy feat. Event planning is a relationship-based business, so creating and maintaining an online presence, attending networking events, and asking for referrals are just some of the ways in which you can build your client base.
Read on for our full guide!
Create an Online Presence
When it comes to letting potential customers know who you are, as well as your business offerings, marketing is key! In today’s world, 95% of clients will find you online, so it is imperative to have a good, budget-friendly digital marketing strategy in place in order to ensure you get the most out of your marketing efforts. When creating an online presence, two items that event planners will want to pay attention to are as follows:
An Outstanding Website
In order to be competitive as an event planner, having an online presence is essential, as it helps to attract more clients, provides a showcase for your work, as well as lists your services and reviews. Your website is the first impression many potential clients have of both you and your services, so ensuring that this space is extremely professional and easy-to-navigate is essential. Find out the do’s and don’ts of a good website to get started.
An Active Social Media Presence
Social media is the go-to marketing method for most new event planners, as it is a budget-friendly and highly effective way of expressing who you are as well as the services you offer. You likely already have personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Creating business profiles for these platforms, therefore, will be an easy exercise.
In terms of how potential clients can find you on social media, many people will seek out nearby event and wedding planners in a Google search. By having an active presence on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (where you share information, photos and reviews), clients will be able to find and contact you. Simply having an online presence is not enough—be sure to engage with your users! Answer their questions and inform them of your services to build credibility and familiarity.
Network, Network, Network!
As important as an active social media presence is, both companies and individuals who require event planning services tend to move in certain circles. These include conferences, trade shows, and events that allow industry professionals to get to know one another. Meeting other planners in the industry will not only help you build your client list, it will also help you gain experience organizing your own networking events and meeting new people.
Some ways in which you can seek out networking events for planners is by searching for local groups or associations—some great networking groups include the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), which is a US-based leading organization for meeting and event professionals, as well as LinkedIn Groups, which provides event planners with opportunities to connect with other industry professionals.
Trade shows present event planners with the chance to further their education, network with other professionals, and practice leadership skills. Don’t miss these excellent trade show choices for budding event planners! When attending networking events, always be sure to bring business cards and have a short elevator speech ready that highlights your background and expertise.
Obtaining your event planning certification is a huge step in getting your event planning career started, but experience is what will ultimately improve your chances of being hired. As you get started in the world of event planning, volunteering at events will help you acquire experience and knowledge, as well as expand your network to people you may not otherwise meet! The importance of volunteering leads us to our next point…
Asking for Referrals
While approaching experienced and successful event planners may be difficult and beyond your comfort zone, it is well worth it for the opportunity to obtain a referral. If you’ve worked hard to plan a wedding or event, or did an excellent job volunteering, you can feel confident approaching your client to ask them for a referral. In terms of how the referral should be structured, it could be in the form of a testimonial on your website, a review on your Facebook page, or even better, a word-of-mouth referral that could lead to major marketing results for your business.