Posts in Resources
Wedding Planner Education | Money Mindset & Accountability

Does our mindset shape the way we interact in the world and our ability to be successful? Many industry leaders point to mindset and daily rituals that they absolutely live by to build their business and to build wealth. Are we limiting ourselves because of what was imprinted into our minds from a young age?

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This week in the Wedding Planner Mastermind Group we’re focusing 100% on finances, money mindset, best practices and resources for experienced wedding planners. If you have 3+ years in business and are at the point where you are wondering what is next, it is crucial that focus on removing any limiting beliefs & hone in on the core of your business.

Limiting beliefs and negative associations with money can come from early childhood. A great article posted by Briana Wiest on Forbes references some tips by abundance coach Jenna Black, and Black explains that, “sometimes, the reason why we self-sabotage our earning potential is because we have some kind of attachment to playing small, or staying within someone else's concept of us.” The article shares some of Jenna’s thoughts on the top limiting beliefs that many of us can relate as well as tips for getting past fears or doubts that we place on ourselves.

it’s important to know your why. Wanting more money for the sake of it is a pretty empty feeling, but wanting it to support your family, kill more debt, give back in a bigger way, leave a more remarkable impact, or lead in a way you’ve never been able to before... well, that’s motivating. “There’s a disconnect when people don’t know what they money is for. That’s when greed and guilt comes in.
— Jenna Black

In our Wedding Planner Mastermind Group on Facebook, we asked the group to think back on influences from our childhood or early adult years and if these experiences had helped or hindered our relationship with money. Feel free to join in on the conversation!

Wedding Planner Education | Self-Care Best Practices & Financial Health

Sunday’s are meant for rest, family, re-filling your cup in the best way possible and often we wait until Monday to tackle the work for the week, but I wanted to share a topic that I think is very important for the self-care movement that we see in the creative industry.

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We simply have to start setting boundaries for ourselves and stop putting ourselves in the oppressed state of owning a business. Go back to square one on why you started your business, certainly it wasn’t to live in a constant state of self-doubt.. heck no! You are following a passion and sharing your craft/talent/gift or service with the world. So today I shared in our free Wedding Planner Mastermind Group on Facebook that we will dedicate the week to talking all about financial health. From talking about saving for taxes, profitability, budgeting for expenses, saying no to clients or work that doesn’t serve you; it all factors in to the financial health of any company.

If you haven’t joined the Wedding Planner Mastermind Group, make sure to request to join us on Facebook and we’d love to welcome you into a place where you can share questions, network with other experienced planners and find resources needed to help take the next step in your business.

Wedding Planner Education | Taking the next step

No matter how long you have been in business you will experience up’s and down’s; from financial challenges to balancing your work load with your personal life - we have all been there. To be honest it seems to come in waves, one minute you are feeling like you need to book more events and the next you feel like you are going to need help to keep up with your workload. Through these struggles, we make decisions on what we feel is the next step for our business.

Whether it is adding more staff or training current staff to take more of active role with clients and become lead planners, outsourcing social media or other administrative tasks, raising your prices or expanding into new markets - these are all decisions that will bring pro’s and con’s but you have to evaluate the risk and benefit to determine if it is the best path for you.

When I hit 7 years into my planning business, something changed. Maybe it paralled with also having two small children at home but I began to value my time enough to start being much more selective to inquiries (learning to say no!) and to felt confident in the pricing that I was sending out in proposals. What I was looking for in education was something that went beyond how to start a wedding planning business, beyond how to grow my portfolio or how to price my services. I wanted to see into the backend of running a business - advice on the best practices for taxes, training staff and keeping everyone engaged, improving my client experience and really how to scale.

On this search for education, I came across a lot of great industry professionals who are killing it with courses and speaking engagements - each have a specific niche such as pricing for profit, social media, contracts, etc. Maybe I was looking for a unicorn of educational courses! The point is, the mission I set out on was to find these key business practices and apply them to the wedding industry. I am so excited to bring you the newest set of strategy sessions!

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Before we get to the new strategy sessions I would love to make sure that you have joined our Free Facebook Group - Wedding Planners Mastermind Group so that you can catch up on our previous strategy sessions available in PDF format and you can watch some of our replays in the group as well. Stay tuned for the first Strategy Session in the Step-up Series next week, released on Monday March 25th.

Wedding Planner Education | 5 Day Challenge ~ Increasing Your Brand Visibility

It was so great to put together the Free 5 Day Visibility Challenge with Valerie Pritt of The Engaged Wedding Planner Academy where we’re talking about the small steps you can take to instantly increase your personal and brand visibility! While we each work with wedding planners in different stages of their business, we feel the elements of this challenge can apply to anyone who would like to ensure they have their bases covered when it comes to your online presence. It’s not too late to participate in each of the lessons, so we’ve created a free course for you to join!

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What is this 5 Day Visibility Challenge about?

In the challenge, we have created modules that will cover everything from creating a strong about page, social media profiles, blogging, networking with vendors and more. The focus is to give you simple action items that you can implement right away! In this post I will be covering just one of the many facets of increasing your brand visibility. Digital communication such as email and instant messaging through customer relationship management (CRM) platforms such as Honeybook, Dubsado, Aisle Planner or 17 Hats to name a few; really drive our engagement with clients and colleagues.

 
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In this challenge we created a free course including a PDF workbook and tons of free resources for you to easily increase your online visibility. You will also hear us refer to the Facebook event group that we held the live challenge in. This is available to view here: https://bit.ly/2XALx0n but don’t worry if you missed out on the live group event, because with the free course these modules can be completed any time!

Wedding Planner Education | The Power of Facebook

Should wedding planners participate in bridal shows and advertise in magazines? Here are some thoughts on the powerful tools you should be leveraging to market your business!

 
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Watch the video below from our Visibility Challenge to see an overview on Facebook Page Manager and Ad Manager for the functions and tools you can use to make sure that your wedding planning business stands out on Facebook!

 
 

What has worked well for your business over the years?

What are your thoughts when it comes to determining your advertising budget for the year, have you decided to go the traditional route and stick to local bridal shows? Can you definitively show the return on investment (ROI) from participating in shows if you consider the time you allocate to planning out your booth, designing print materials, working the show and following up on leads after the show?
Personally, I believe that with Facebook and Instagram, among a strong email sequence you can not only reach the same number of people who would have attended the shows, but market to them for under 1/3 of the cost and capture the data much more effectively then having sign-ups in the bridal show booth. Now, I can already hear the wheels turning - what about the couples who want to meet us in person at the show? Won’t they just book another planner instead? If you have your ads ready to go the week of the show, and dialed in to the target demographic you can instead focus on meeting these couples after they have already viewed your website, social media etc and will be a much smoother sale in most cases!

{Join the challenge} If you’re looking for more tips on stepping up your social media game, check out the free 5 Day Visibility Challenge and join us in the Wedding Planner Mastermind Group on Facebook to meet your wedding planning peers!

Wedding Planner Education | 5 Day Visibility Challenge

The Challenge Starts January 14th! Along with Valerie Pritt of Engaged Wedding Planner Academy, I have collaborated on this great 5 Day Visibility Challenge to help planners get a handle on social media, blogging, website/about page and more in this new year! We’ll cover tips, resources and action items that you can implement each day of the challenge to keep forward progress on gaining exposure for your business.
Be sure not to miss this free challenge happening on Facebook!


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Wedding Planner Education | Accountability Check-in

December Accountability Check-in {Freebie alert}

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If you’re like me, you’ve knocked out a few shows on Netflix and rummaged the shelves at Barnes and Nobles or perhaps took an extended vacation after Thanksgiving. Here in Northern California, we have had devastating wildfires and the Campfire was right in our backyard. Our town has become a disaster area with FEMA, Red Cross and many other resources coming to help distribute aid. So for me, I needed the time to be checked out and just be present with those around me and offer support in anyway that I could.

As I sit in the office catching back up on emails and picking up where I left off on some of the strategy sessions for our Wedding Planner Mastermind Group, I know that regaining focus will take some accountability on my part. So whatever you are going through in life or in business, try to find ways or even other people that can help keep your accountability for reaching goals.

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December is full of shiny objects and yummy food, but don’t let that distract you when it comes time to get to work, think back to some of the challenges you faced this year in business. Were there changes that you felt were needed in your contract or staff handbook? Did you have a staff, or have you been going it alone? Now is the perfect time to put the gears in motion for making changes and avoiding the chance or repeating these bumps in the road next year.

The challenge is to be able to narrow down your focus into attainable tasks, and decide which ones are the biggest priorities. Here are some examples:
1. Review your contract and consult legal council for questions
2. Create or update client welcome kit and consultation packet items
3. Update website with current packages for 2019 and update gallery {with only your best work!} Remember the goal is to attract your ideal clients.
4. Update headshots, branding photos and contact information on website and all social media profiles.
5. Thank your team, vendors and your family - I say this because these are the people who cheered you on and worked alongside you. It is a great time to show them you appreciate their support!
6. Marketing plan for 2019 - Review what worked in 2017, where your best clients came from and how you can continue to grow that lead source. Prepare rack cards, business cards, bridal show hand-outs for engagement season.
7. Review your current workflow from booking all the way to post-wedding steps and determine any areas that need more efficiency

If you are a pen and paper kind of gal, you can download the December Freebie here or visit the new shop page, where I will be adding resources, courses and templates.

Stay tuned for the Bridal Show Prep post coming out next week, I will be putting together my best tips after 7 + years of participating in several area bridal shows. If you have questions that you would like included in the Q&A Section of the Bridal Show post - feel free to drop a comment below or email me your questions!

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Wedding Planner Education | November Freebie

November happens to be my favorite month, and not just because I get birthday cake but because it’s fall ya’ll - like the real fall where you get to wear boots and sweaters! Aside from celebrating this cooler weather, I am also excited about having a little break from the busy event schedule in order to focus on setting goals for the month. Make sure to download the November Goal PDF on the Freebie page!

Also, if you haven’t already joined the blogging challenge you can sign up for the notifications here: https://goo.gl/UX11Jn

 
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Wedding Planner Education | Responsible Pricing for Wedding Planners
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Ooh this is a touchy subject, well why wouldn’t it be - finances can get anyone a little riled up now and then. When you find a new path like starting a new wedding planning business you may be tempted to simply go out and offer wedding planning services to the first taker at the lowest price in your area. If you this sounds like you, please keep reading!

If I could give new planners any advice it would be these four points:

  1. Start with education

  2. Network with local wedding professionals

  3. Price sustainably

  4. Continue investing in education!

{1 Start with education }
Knowing the general principles of what makes a solid timeline, how to communicate with vendors, managing rentals and decor details and learning key risk management points to protect your business and your personal assets is so worth your investment. Education will give you a great foundation to build upon, and set you up for a successful new career.

{2 Network with local wedding professionals}
A wedding planner is only as good as their communication with the event partners they are working with. The relationships that we build comes from understanding each vendors craft and what we can do on our end to make sure they are set-up for success at each event that we work together. At the end of the day we are an advocate for our clients, but remember that during any given wedding season you could work with these vendors multiple times so start off on the right foot by introducing yourself and building your network.

{Price Sustainably}
Even if you are a new planner you need to understand the general price point at which you can operate a sustainable business. Even with the lower overhead for those who work from home and don’t pay for a space, you should still be accounting for the time you spend on each event and factor in tax, general liability insurance, paying for an assistant (if needed) and savings.
So let’s take the scenario of a wedding management (also referred to as day-of) client whom you quoted for a cool $500.

Right off the bat, let’s assume you are needing to save 20% for taxes.
So now, we are at $400 and if you account for about 30 hours of work from the initial consultation, site walk and planning sessions. At $13/hour you’re already barely above minimum wage (at least in California) once you have factored in traveling to and from the event and paying an assistant.

Being aware of how much time an event will require, and how many assistants you need for the scope of work that you are being contracted for is important because you don’t want to get into a situation of over promising and under-delivering. Should you charge based on what others are charging in your area? Should you throw out random numbers until something sticks? No, but instead look at the numbers that make sense in order to be profitable based on how many events you want to book and your cost of doing business. I highly recommend Kristin Kaplan’s pricing workbook, or that you check out some of the podcasts I mention in this blog post for more tips on pricing!

{4 Continue investing in education}
I know, I know..we already talked about education in the first place but no matter how many years you have in the industry - things change. New technology comes out, trends change, laws change in the sense of business practices and you want to stay in the know with these important topics. Investing in education from industry leaders as well as a solid contract for your services will help to ensure you have a long & profitable future ahead of you!

I recently completed a Wedding Planner Intensive Course with Mary Swaffield and even after being in business for 7+ years I walked away with valuable information about efficient systems and processes that I can carry into my business moving forward.

If you are a new planner still working to build your portfolio, and not sure about the next steps please stay tuned for next week’s blog post all about establishing a solid gallery of work & references to attract your target clients.

Wedding Planner Education | Blogging Challenge

When is the last time you checked your website and blog analytics to see where your traffic is coming from? If it has been awhile, or if you aren’t sure if all of that time you spend on Instagram is really paying off to reach your target clients.. this is for you!

Join the challenge! Sign up to receive the introduction email with information about getting started in the free three week blogging challenge.

Join the challenge! Sign up to receive the introduction email with information about getting started in the free three week blogging challenge.

Read to get started? Click here to join the free challenge starting November 1st!

Wedding Planner Education | Guest Post - 4 Reasons You Should Outsource

Today we are joined by Delphine Winter of The 530 & CO. sharing 4 great tips on outsourcing in order to be more efficient, scroll down to see the full article!

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

4 Reasons WHY Your Business Should Outsource: Social Media 101
by Delphine Winter

As a business owner myself, sometimes I wonder, why would I outsource when that is exactly what I do for a living? Here’s the easy answer, because TIME is MONEY. But here’s the longer answer:

As business owners, we are dedicated to putting our entire life on hold for our company. Which means, sacrificing sleep, family time, even eating! No one ever told us that we would never.stop.working, did they? But that’s the beauty of having our own business; we love what we do so much, that we don’t ever want to stop… until you burn out. Right?

I’m here today on behalf of my Creative Solution company, to tell you that it’s OK to outsource for certain tasks that are so tedious day to day.

1. Do what you know how to do.
As a social media “expert” you don’t see me going to houses fixing electrical circuits, do you? Do you see me building housing developments or fixing a leaky roof every day? I highly doubt it… If you did, it must be my long lost twin! My point is, is that sticking to what you know best is KEY to having and maintaining a successful company. For several reasons really.

For example, if you’re an artist, creating masterpieces, you didn’t go to school to then post it on social media right? No one taught you in Leonardo Devinci 101 how to post a proper social media post to your Instagram or Facebook I’m sure… and that’s OK. Why? Because you have a talent that most people don’t have! Meanwhile, companies like ours are looking to not only HELP you as an individual shine as an artist, but also as a company looking to sell those paintings and grow your online presence. As mentioned previously, time is money!

2. Allowing creativity to flow.
Having someone else involved in the creation of your content, or even just your copy allows your audience to witness different sides of your company. For example, if you are posting everyday on your business's page about how funny and cute animals are… then I come in and post recipes on delicious fall treats for animals, it’s a good mix between the two!

Our biggest motto within our company, is that we will always allow our clients to have full reign, as long as they trust our company to deliver good copy, and good content.

3. Outsourcing allows you to have a LIFE.
When outsourcing, you have time to not only focus on doing what you love, but it also allows you to have a life outside of your business! Not having to worry about when to post, what hashtags to post, what exactly to post, and how many likes you’ll get, sounds amazing huh?

4. Blogging is tedious!
Take it from me, I know how long and tedious writing a blog post is, but that’s why we love doing it for our clients! Did you know we outsource for our blog? That’s because we want to take the time to focus on our client’s blogs to help them grow their SEO (Search engine optimization). Blogging allows others searching the web to find you, so the more you post a blog, the more traffic your website will get!

Choose who you outsource to. Do they charge too much for posting simply on your Instagram for you? Do they have packages that include blogging? Blogging is such an important step when creating your online presence, which can be a whole other blog in itself!

Cheers!

Meet Delphine, as the owner of  The 530 & Co.  she is helping businesses within the community become noticeably more popular in the area! When she's not working on client's SEO and marketing, she enjoys running and watching movies with her husband and, adorable Chihuahua, Daisy. Photo by  Diane Nicole Photography

Meet Delphine, as the owner of The 530 & Co. she is helping businesses within the community become noticeably more popular in the area! When she's not working on client's SEO and marketing, she enjoys running and watching movies with her husband and, adorable Chihuahua, Daisy. Photo by Diane Nicole Photography

 





Wedding Planner Education | Podcast Round-up - Wedding Planners & Creatives

Listen in the car, in between meetings or while you’re knocking out the dishes in the morning - whatever you need to do to get the inspiration flowing! Podcasts can help you tap into another level of business ownership because you are listening to another business owner’s experiences, their challenges and their wins. If you soak up this knowledge and apply it to your own business practices you will be amazed at how you can start to see the bigger picture.

Top 5 Podcasts for Wedding Planners & Creatives

 
Podcast link : Listen to personal stories, business-building strategies, marketing tips, how to use social media in your wedding business & more. From wedding planners to florists, from venue owners to calligraphers and beyond, no topic is off limits. Join us for community and conversation!

Podcast link: Listen to personal stories, business-building strategies, marketing tips, how to use social media in your wedding business & more. From wedding planners to florists, from venue owners to calligraphers and beyond, no topic is off limits. Join us for community and conversation!

Podcast link : Process to Profitability: Tools and Strategies to Serve Your Clients and Grow Your Small Business is a weekly interview show featuring creative women who are growing their small businesses with a focus on serving their clients and customers well. We'll discuss tools, strategies, and processes that you can apply to your own business in a way that fits you

Podcast link: Process to Profitability: Tools and Strategies to Serve Your Clients and Grow Your Small Business is a weekly interview show featuring creative women who are growing their small businesses with a focus on serving their clients and customers well. We'll discuss tools, strategies, and processes that you can apply to your own business in a way that fits you

Podcast link : “With careful planning, the right mindset, and systems in place, we can work smarter not harder, to design a balanced life and profitable business that that both bring us joy.”

Podcast link: “With careful planning, the right mindset, and systems in place, we can work smarter not harder, to design a balanced life and profitable business that that both bring us joy.”

Podcast link : Rock Your Wedding Biz is hosted by Renee Dalo, Event Planner and Educator for the wedding industry, and Mindy Marzec, Blogger and Social Media Strategist. We believe in one simple principle – when one of us succeeds, we all succeed! So grab a latte and join in the conversation!

Podcast link: Rock Your Wedding Biz is hosted by Renee Dalo, Event Planner and Educator for the wedding industry, and Mindy Marzec, Blogger and Social Media Strategist. We believe in one simple principle – when one of us succeeds, we all succeed! So grab a latte and join in the conversation!

Podcast link : Join host Mary Swaffield each week as she interviews wedding industry experts, business experts, and wedding pros who are in the thick of it! Listen for in-depth insights and step-by-step training episodes designed to help wedding professionals build profitable and sustainable businesses.

Podcast link: Join host Mary Swaffield each week as she interviews wedding industry experts, business experts, and wedding pros who are in the thick of it! Listen for in-depth insights and step-by-step training episodes designed to help wedding professionals build profitable and sustainable businesses.

 

Come on back and tell others your favorite podcast, or your biggest take away from listening to these inspiring business owners!

Wedding Planner Education | Responsible Pricing In The Wedding Industry

Pricing can feel like a personal decision, something that not everyone is comfortable talking about.. yet it is the difference of a business that is sustainable and a business that is failing. Your customers/clients want the best price based on the value they perceive your business offers, and that is the task at hand - showing your value.

 
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Before we jump into that, I will say that I personally started out by just throwing numbers out on a quote without any basis or financial consideration. I coordinated a ceremony for $500 and actually lost money by the time I factored in how much time I was putting into the event. I wasn’t profitable but I was so excited to get my foot in the door that I ignored basic business fundamentals by doing so. This post is for all of those planners out there who either have been there or are currently pricing their services at random numbers - and I hope this will inspire you to invest the time to dive deeper.

After years into owning my wedding business and working around raising kids, I was ready to “go full-time” and needed to really hone in on the numbers in order to be profitable for the long term future. Comparing your prices to another planners prices won’t serve you well until you understand your expenses and your capacity for how many events you would like to plan. Figuring this out seemed easy enough, but it wasn’t until I purchased Kristin Kaplan’s pricing workbook that I was able to really work through each question and put everything together in one place.

Kristin’s pricing workbook is specifically for creatives who offer either a service or a product and it is broken down in an easy to digest pdf workbook that walks you through the steps of looking at expenses, package prices, the capacity/volume and helps you identify pricing that actually fits your specific business model. I can’t recommend this workbook enough!

While there are a ton of profit and loss statements and accounting tools out there to help you arrive at these numbers, the most important thing is that you keep chipping away to continually make your business profitable. As much as I love planning weddings it is a business at the end of the day and we as planners cannot truly serve our clients well if our businesses are not successful. Responsible pricing helps the entire industry, this starts with educating ourselves and our clients on our value & expertise that we bring to the table.

Wondering if you are on the right track in your business? Reach out for a free discovery call or check out our resources page for helpful courses, templates & links!