How to Become a Wedding Planner in a Small Town
Great wedding planners aren’t just geographically restricted to big cities! Here’s the deal: even if you live in a small town in the mid-west, your dreams of becoming a wedding planner aren’t dashed! If you’re truly serious about a career in wedding planning, you need to be resourceful.
You have two options when first starting out. Working as a freelance planner or working for an established event company. If the established companies near you don’t have space for another planner or none of them are the perfect fit, we highly suggest going solo. Freelancing allows you to work on a client-to-client basis. Though it doesn’t sound like steady work, with a handful of loyal and returning clients, you can grow a successful business!
Keep reading as we dive into the logistics of becoming a wedding planning in a small town…
Know your wedding market
How can you participate in your local industry if you don’t know it? When researching your market, find answers to these questions:
- Is there a demand for wedding planners? This is perhaps the most important consideration. There aren’t going to be many clients for you to work with without any demand! Some small-town wedding planners consider opening up their business radius to other surrounding towns. If there’s limited demand in your immediate area, find other small towns where there is a demand for professional wedding and event coordinators.
- Who is your target client? Consider the demographics of your town. What’s the age range of your typical client? What are their interests?
- What types of weddings are popular in your town? Once you know your target client, figuring this out is a cinch. What kind of themes are popular? What kind of cultural or religious services should you be offering? What pre-wedding parties are popular?
- Which seasons are the busiest? Depending on where you’re located, your income may ebb and flow with the seasons. In locations with cold winters, for example, most of your business will likely be in the summer months!
Know your competition
If you want to start working right away, you need to study your competition. They’re the ones currently working in your local industry—they know exactly what they’re doing. Here’s what you need to know about your fellow planners before launching your wedding planning business.
- Determine how much experience they have. Who are the other established wedding planners in your town, and how long have they been around?
- Look into the services they offer. Dig through online reviews of the best planners in your area. Learn about all the a-la-carte services they offer along with their packages. How are they pricing them?
- How can you set yourself apart and stand out? Maybe you’re also certified in event decor. Offering clients what your competition can’t (or just isn’t going to) will set you apart.
Pro Tip: Your market and clientele won’t be static. Your clients’ event preferences will change as trends come and go. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your business is to stay on top of the trends and adapt! Know what’s coming and be able to give your clients exactly what they want.
Know the planning services you should offer
After you’ve researched your local market and competing wedding planners, you’re about ready to launch your business. To ensure you start your career on the right note, focus on these areas!
Marketing is the way to get your name out there! Even in a small town, marketing is still critical to your career as a wedding planner! It doesn’t have to be pricey! There are plenty of ways to ramp up your business’ online presence on the cheap.
A quick and easy marketing technique is to build your social media presence! Having a website or online wedding portfolio is a no-brainer. But social media is a great way to get people on your website and communicate with clients. Start an Instagram account, a professional Facebook page, and maybe even a LinkedIn profile. Most social media networks have built-in analytical tools to help you track data, like who is interested in your work, for example.
Build those connections! A key part of becoming a wedding planner in a small town will be earning loyal clients. When you don’t have a large and loyal following right at the start, you’ll want to keep clients coming back. Consider offering referral discounts. When a client refers someone else to you, they will get a percentage off their next event. You can also experiment with promotions to draw in new clients. Just be sure not to give discounts forever. Know your worth!
We’re not talking about just wedding clients, either. Great suppliers and vendors are an absolute must. Positive relationships with vendors mean getting plenty of referrals to their clients and vice versa!
Are there any other tips we missed? Let us know in a comment below!