How to Become a Wedding Planner: Developing Client Trust
Want to know how to become a wedding planner? One of the most important steps when building your career will be to establish trust between you and your clients! New to the industry and not sure how to do this? Luckily, QC Event School tutor, Mwai Yeboah, is here to help!
With over 15 years of industry experience, Mwai is the proud owner of Love, From Mwai. In addition to the countless awards she has received over the years, Mwai has also written and published her very own book about wedding planning.
New to the Industry?
While I’ve been a luxury destination wedding planner for two whole decades now (shhh!), I can still remember what it felt like to be a brand-new planner so clearly. Speaking from experience, one of the toughest parts of launching a wedding planning business is developing enough trust with potential clients to convince them to hire you. After all, when you’re new to the industry, you don’t exactly have the stunning events under your belt that you can show off like established planners do.
So, how can you become a wedding planner and secure contracts when you don’t yet have a polished portfolio that demonstrates your skills?
Not to worry, aspiring planners! Today, I’m breaking down my top tips for establishing trust and instilling confidence when you’re first starting out. Let’s get to it…
How to Become a Wedding Planner: 4 Tips for Developing Client Trust
Tip #1: Collect testimonials wherever you can!
If you want to know how to become a wedding planner and build trust, there is nothing quite like the power of “social proof”! When a potential client sees that someone just like them has hired you and was pleased, it’s proven (yes, scientifically proven) they’re more likely to hire you themselves. This is because we, as humans, are pack animals. We crave a sense of belonging – and the opinions of others play a major role in the decisions we make, whether we realize it or not.
Collecting “social proof” in the form of testimonials, then, and displaying that social proof front-and-center on your website and in your marketing materials is one of the best ways you can gain trust and build confidence when you’re first starting out as a new wedding planner.
How to Get Testimonials
Okay, I know what you’re thinking right about now: “Mwai, I don’t have any clients yet! How in the world can I collect testimonials?”
Stay with me for a second… There’s no steadfast rule that says testimonials can only come from paying clients. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to bend the truth. For example, don’t have your best friend (whom you’ve never planned a wedding for) write you a testimonial. But what you can do is get creative! Collect testimonials from unlikely places when you’re first starting out. This could include:
- Family members whose events you’ve planned or helped out with in the past
- Friends whose events you’ve planned or helped out with in the past
- Vendors or industry professionals you’ve worked with, interned for, shadowed, or assisted as part of your wedding planner education
Once you do start securing paying clients, make sure you ask each person for a testimonial as your work comes to a close. Remember: testimonials are worth their weight in gold. One great review can be responsible for securing ten incredible clients down the road. So, don’t hesitate to ask for them!
Asking for a testimonial can feel a bit awkward at first. However, you can incorporate “the ask” into your off-boarding process. This way, it’ll feel a little more seamless. An easy way to do this is by including an unlinked page (i.e. one that doesn’t show in the main navigation menu) on your website. From there, you can send this page to clients so they can fill it out.
Set it up exactly as you would a contact form on your site, but with fields that read things like:
- “Were you happy with my services?”
- “What aspect of our work together was most beneficial?”
- “How did you feel about your wedding day?”
- “Did I deliver everything you were seeking?” etc.
Then share the link to that webpage with your clients, as part of your off-boarding email. It’s much easier to ask clients to fill out a form that includes questions/prompts, rather than asking them to write one from scratch. As a result, it’ll be much more likely that they’ll provide you with a review!
Tip #2: Invest in high-end stock imagery!
Let’s face it: the wedding industry is aesthetics-focused. When couples are shopping for potential wedding planners, they want to see Instagram grids and websites that are nothing short of stunning. Moreover, they want to know that you have discerning taste that aligns with their own. This is because they need to feel confident that you can bring their vision to life in impeccable fashion.
When discovering how to become a wedding planner, you won’t automatically have tons of pretty parties in your repertoire to show off. That’ll take time and experience. However, it’s still incredibly important to ensure that your website, marketing materials, and social media channels are chock-full of beautiful, well-composed, and professional-quality images.
Tip #3: Become a wedding planner and gain trust by blogging!
Blogging is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your ideal client. Plus, it’ll help you position yourself as an industry expert when you’re a brand-new wedding planner! I highly recommend having at least 5-10 posts on your blog when you first launch your website. Then have another 5-10 articles ready to go in the pipeline. This way, you can publish and promote a new article every 1-2 weeks from there.
Creating content for your blog helps you capture search-engine traffic. It also gives you something to share on social media (when you might not have many weddings to share), and instills confidence with potential clients who land on your site that you’re a subject-matter expert in your field. Here are a few potential topics you can write about:
- 10 Tasks a Wedding Planner Performs that You Had No Idea About
- 5 Things to Know About Outdoor Weddings
- 20 Items You’ll Always Find in My Wedding Day Emergency Kit
- 10 Must-Ask Questions When You’re Shopping Wedding Venues
- My 3 Favorite Wedding Venues in [insert your location]
- 10 Things Every Bride Needs to Know About the Wedding Planning Process
- 5 Things You Can DIY for Your Wedding (and 5 Things to Leave to the Pros)
- 10 Ways to Make Your Wedding Budget Stretch Further
Tip #4: Become a mood board expert!
Mood boards are a highly effective tool for communicating your vision and creating a cohesive event story. They’re particularly important when you don’t have other work under your belt to show off. You can create mood boards for clients, of course, but you can also use any downtime you have to create mood boards for yourself.
Start by dreaming up an aesthetic, story, and/or theme. From there, create a mood board to communicate it. Afterwards, share these mood boards on your social media channels, as hero images paired with blog posts, and on your website. This will help you begin to create a library of online content that’ll ultimately help you become a professional wedding planner and build trust with potential clients!
How to Become a Wedding Planner: Final Thoughts
I can’t wait for you to put these tips to good use as you work to become a wedding planner and establish a name for yourself in the industry! Remember: creating a portfolio of compelling content and building trust when you first start out comes down to getting creative and thinking outside of the box (something we planners tend to be pretty well-versed in). Here’s to booking your dream clients in the near future!