3 Things Every Certified Wedding Planner Needs to Nail Down
Want to become a certified wedding planner in 2021? Mwai Yeboah reveals 3 key things you’ll NEED to know! With over 15 years of industry experience, Mwai is the proud owner of Love, From Mwai and one of QC Event School’s leading tutors. In addition to the countless awards Mwai has received over the years, she’s also written and published her own book about wedding planning.
So, you’re working through your certification course and preparing to start your business as a certified wedding planner. That is SO exciting! As you embark upon your dream career, keep in mind that there are a handful of things you’ll need to nail down first. These are all things that’ll ensure you’re in a solid position to launch your brand and attract clients successfully.
Below are 3 foundational things I believe EVERY certified wedding planner should know before starting their business and booking leads!
3 Key Things All Wedding Planners Need to Know
1. Your Brand Positioning Statement
As you prepare to start your own wedding planner business, you MUST develop and determine your brand positioning statement. Simply put, a brand positioning statement is a sentence or phrase that states:
- What you do;
- Who you do it for;
- And how you’re different (or better).
Now, this may seem like a simple task. But nailing it down is incredibly important! Having a strong brand positioning statement, and knowing it like the back of your hand, will benefit both your internal business efforts AND your external marketing and communication efforts.
It’s not enough to approach your career by thinking, “Okay, I’m a certified wedding planner.” You need a brand positioning statement to help you hone your niche. Furthermore, your brand positioning statement will help you decide the type of wedding planner you are, as well as the type of clients you’ll serve. It acts as a sort of North Star; guiding your business decisions and ensuring that your brand isn’t overly broad or generic. Plus, nailing this down will also makes selling and marketing so much easier for you!
Every certified wedding planner should have their brand positioning statement front and center on the homepage of their website. By doing this, potential clients will have a clear understanding of how you can help them, right off the bat! It can also work to filter out off-brand leads. By stating who you work for and the types of events you plan, you’ll draw in couples who fit into that specific category.
In the same breath, you’ll be able to turn away those who don’t. Ultimately, this will save you the time of having to go through the discovery process with a client who isn’t a right fit for your brand’s vision.
My Brand Positioning Statement
My business’s brand positioning statement is: “We help experience seekers, cultural enthusiasts, and luxury connoisseurs plan and design lavish weddings and multi-day experiences that reflect their lifestyle and excite their guests.”
You can structure your brand positioning statement however you’d like. It can be an “I/We help…” statement (like mine above), or it can simply be a phrase that describes your brand. The following is an example of the latter:
- “Discerning Tented Wedding Planning & Design for Adventurous Couples Seeking an Elevated Outdoor Affair.”
2. Positioning Yourself As a Solution, Rather Than Just a Service
After you’ve completed your course, you’ll likely start building a plan for finding work as a certified wedding planner. As you do this, I highly recommend thinking through how you’ll position yourself as a solution, rather than just a service.
For instance, how will you get your dream client to understand the value you’ll bring them? What pain points, stressors, or worries do they have – and how will YOUR services solve them? When your business is service-based (as opposed to product-based), you have to be incredibly intentional about how you speak about your brand. Without a clear “product” to show, you have to focus on the benefit you bring your clients. This will help them properly understand why they should invest in something they can’t immediately see.
Don’t simply write your website and sales materials in a way that speaks about what you offer. Instead, write them in a way that speaks about how what you offer will benefit your dream client. For example, you could say, “I’m here to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.” But it would be MUCH more effective if you wrote, “I’m here to shoulder stress, manage multiple moving parts, and help you bring your vision to life with ease. This way, you can enjoy your engagement and savor the celebration at hand.”
Not sure where to start? Try filling in the two blanks in the following sentence in as many different ways as you can:
“I/We help you [insert 1-2 aspects of your services], so you can [insert the benefit it brings your client].”
Then, use those sentences in your sales materials, on your website, in your bio, and in social media captions!
3. What You Will and Won’t Offer
As you’re building your business model, it’s important to develop a clear understanding of the kinds of projects you’ll take on as a certified wedding planner… and which ones you’ll avoid.
Not sure how to figure this out? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What budgets are you willing to work with?
- Will you offer day-of or month-of coordination services? If so, what will and won’t be included?
- Do you want to limit the number of weddings you take on each season?
- Will you only offer wedding planning services, or will you plan other milestone events (e.g. birthdays, bridal showers, anniversaries, etc.)?
- Are you interested in corporate event planning?
- Will you deal with DIY brides and grooms – or only those who are also hiring professional vendors?
- What do you want to be include (and excluded) in each of your services? For example, will you manage RSVPs? Coordinate with the wedding party? Offer vendor contract negotiation services? How many meetings does a client get with you? Can they text or email you anytime of day?
- Are you willing to take on a client who has strong opinions on social or political issues that don’t align with your own?
When you’re first starting out as a certified wedding planner, it’s totally understandable – and quite common – to take on any and every project that comes your way. But it’s still important to have at least a rough idea of your answers to the above questions. This way, you can begin to hone in on your niche and clearly structure your services as your brand grows.
From One Certified Wedding Planner To Another…
I’m so excited for you to use these tips to build a fruitful business in the near future! Remember: the more legwork you do as you’re finishing your course, the better positioned you’ll be to hit the ground running. Here’s to booking incredible clients and producing stunning celebrations in 2021 and beyond!