Business

  • The 5 Ps of the Perfect Client Proposal

    The 5 Ps of the Perfect Client ProposalWhen you get to the point of sending your couples a written proposal you’ve already done a lot of the hard work. You’ll have no doubt spoken to them and maybe met them, either in person or on Zoom.

    Now is the time to blow them away with the experience they’ll get by signing on the dotted line with you.

    Whether you’re a wedding planner, wedding stylist, photographer, floral designer, stationer or any of the other numerous services a couple may use for their wedding, this applies to you.

    Your client experience is what sets you apart from everyone else out there and the proposal you send them is a BIG part of this.

    So let’s dive straight in with the 5 P’s of the Perfect Proposal:

    No 1 – Personal

    This is not a business resume. Nobody wants to read a boring version of the person you think your client wants you to be.

    Make it real. Make it fun and above all else make it personal.

    One of the reasons a couple will want to book you above someone else is because of your personality and who you are.

    I know that the people in my tribe like the fact I’m obsessed with Abba. It’s one of the things I talk about or sing about if you follow my Reels. It’s part of what makes me, me.

    So remember to be a real person. It’s very hard to be someone you’re not all the time, so don’t do it. Be you instead.

    Also, don’t forget to add in a couple of testimonials from previous clients who loved you and who you are. Nothing better than hearing it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    Wedding Business Templates

    No 2 – Process

    Again, don’t make this too staid and serious. Inject your personality into it. Remember this is a wedding not hospital appointment.

    This is essentially the journey your clients will go on with you once they commit. Although it needs to outline the steps of that journey so everyone is clear on what happens when it also needs to get them excited.

    Paint the picture for them. Get them to the point where they literally can’t wait to work with you and get started.

    It’s also a good idea to add some FAQs here that deal with any common questions or objections so you can make them feel comfortable from the get go.

    No 3 – Packages

    Now we get onto the fun stuff. What’s on offer? What are you going to be giving them to tempt them?

    Don’t be tempted to overwhelm them with choice here.

    Have you ever been to a restaurant where the menu is so extensive that you literally can’t make up your mind?

    I have and it’s not fun because I always end up ordering the wrong thing.

    Don’t do that to your potential couple.

    Stick with no more than three choices and don’t overload the detail.

    Give them what they need to know and leave the detail for the contract.

    Tell them the story they want to hear about what your product or service will give them.

    Like everything in business your customer has a problem and you’re providing the solution. So show them that solution but in words they understand and can relate too.

    Wedding planner Proposal Template

    No 4 – Prices

    This is the bit that makes you feel icky. Yep, you have to give them your prices. You’re not working for free.

    Don’t be shy here. You’re an expert and expect to be paid fairly for your craft.

    If you’ve done your job properly in the first three ‘P’s then this shouldn’t be painful for them or you.

    Remember to show them the value of what they’re getting but again, don’t overload or overwhelm.

    I had a rule when I was planning weddings. I had three price points, ridiculously high, stupidly low and the perfect pitch.

    I think you can guess which one always got them. The perfect pitch was the one I wanted them to go for.

    Templates for Wedding Planners

    No 5 – Policies

    We all have to be serious at some point and your policies and procedures are that time.

    This is the time when you iron out the fine details. Below are a couple of things I would include as standard but this is just the tip of the iceberg:

    • How long is your proposal valid for? By putting a time limit on it this will help with procrastination.
    • Do you need a deposit to hold the date? If they’re serious they’ll pay a deposit that’s non-refundable. It doesn’t have to be huge.
    • When will payment/s be due? They need to know when to schedule these in so be clear up front.
    • What’s the cancellation policy? After a pandemic this is more important than ever before so put their mind at ease.

    It takes time to put together the perfect client proposal and I certainly made many edits before finally settling on a template that really worked for me and helped me to win clients.

    With that in mind I’ve now created a bundle of templates to help you with your wedding business.

    I’ve done the hard work for you and all you need to do is add your branding. All of the templates are fully customisable in Canva. PLUS, I’ve even shared my full terms and conditions template that I used in my proposals. All the images are copyright free, and you can change or keep them to fit with your brand.

    All my templates can be purchased separately or as part of the Wedding Business Template Bundle which you can get right here

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  • Preparing Your Brand for Smart Market Growth in 2021

    Growing Your Wedding Business in 2021

    Today I’m delighted to introduce my very first guest expert to the blog, Elizabeth Shiels of Rock Paper Coin. She’ll be sharing her wisdom and knowledge to help you make sure that 2021 is a year of growth for your wedding business.
    I also did a great podcast episode with Elizabeth on Inbox Strategies to Supercharge your Wedding Business so be sure to check that out too.

    As we draw to the end of the first quarter of 2021 it’s natural to feel some hope as news of a vaccine motivates the wedding industry to push forward on the road to recovery.

    With all of the uncertainty in 2020, one key takeaway for all business owners is the importance of having multiple revenue streams to limit risk.

    Providing one service to one market can be lucrative, but this approach leaves you prone to market shifts that are out of your control. Instead, diversifying your sources of revenue helps to ensure that your business can carry on even if one or two of them becomes ineffective.

    In the quietness left behind by wedding postponements and cancellations, many event professionals turned their sights inward and focused on how they can safeguard their businesses for the future.

    COVID-19 may have caught us off-guard, but we’ve now learned not to take anything for granted.

    For many, risk-proofing their business means entering new markets or introducing new products and services, effectively expanding their revenue streams.

    What does this look like in action?

    Great question. If you’re considering market growth in 2021 (or later), here are the steps to take for a smart and practical approach to expansion.

    Determine whether it’s the right time.

    Growing a business in any manner isn’t a simple task. It requires time, mental energy, financial resources, and commitment to see it through.

    If you’re not fully prepared to embark on that endeavor, you may end up doing more harm than good.

    Good signs that it’s time to grow is if you’re consistently turning down business, your services are being requested outside of your market, and/or you are fielding inquiries for services you don’t (yet) offer.

    Regardless of how you choose to grow, the most important thing is to ensure that you’re financially solvent and have the time in your schedule to make it happen.

    Learn about your new market.

    Market research is an essential step, whether you’re entering a new geographical region or targeting a new niche audience.

    Interested in becoming well versed in the LGBTQ+ market? It is incredibly important for you to immerse yourself and learn all you possibly can about what LGBTQ+ clients seek when planning a wedding.

    Curious about the corporate market? Start talking to business executives. You cannot enter any market without doing your research to ensure a smooth transition.

    Before making any major steps, spend some time interviewing people in your target market and monitoring social media groups and forums for  more insights.

    The more market knowledge you have in your pocket, the better equipped you’ll be to make a splash when you launch.

    Prepare your team for the change.

    Next, it’s time to think about your company’s capacity. Is your existing team enough to accommodate an influx of new business? Will you need to hire anyone new to fill in some gaps?

    Whatever your plan, be sure to connect with your staff to discuss operational changes. You’ll also need to prepare for a timely hiring process if that’s the route you’ll take, as well as any supplementary training required for your new market (both for new and existing employees).

    Assess your brand in the context of your new market.

    Your brand is the outward representation of your business and, while you might have it nailed down in your existing market(s), it may call for a refresher when expanding elsewhere.

    Lean on your market research and get a feel for what will resonate with your new client base. Does your current brand fit in with that ideal?

    It may just need a few small tweaks, like a fresh tagline or a new version of your logo. Maybe it’s as simple as adding a new page on your website for a new service, like micro-weddings.

    If you are so lucky to be in a city that promotes community over competition, connect with your competitors to see what they’re doing — not to replicate, but simply to understand what each other is doing and how you want to stand out among the bunch.

    Expanding into a new market in any way is as risky as it is rewarding. The best thing you can do is to take your time — don’t rush into it and hurry the process.

    Otherwise, you may cut some important corners that would make your transition more impactful.

    A big part of growth is educating yourself about anything and everything related to what you want to achieve, so get ready to set goals in 2021 and buckle down to listen, learn, and respond.

    About Elizabeth…

    Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. She was recently recognized by Special Events in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series.

    Elizabeth Shiels  Rock Paper Coin

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  • 3 Things A Client Onboarding Pack Should Have

    Client Onboarding Template

    A Client Onboarding Pack is such a big part of your overall client experience.

    If you’d like to know more about the client experience for wedding pros I wrote a full blog post ‘How to Create a Client Experience that gets Bookings‘ so take a read of that.

    Today I’m focusing on one element which is your Client Onboarding Pack.

    Why is this so important?

    Because it sets the tone for the relationship you’ll have with your couple and gives you a chance to really surprise and delight.

    You’ve worked hard to get your client to the point where they’ve signed on the dotted line and paid you a deposit but it doesn’t stop there.

    This is your chance to under promise and over deliver.

    No 1 – How Things Work

    This is just as important for you as it is for your client. Outlining the next steps including office hours, methods of communication, payment schedule and any office policies establishes the basis from which you’re going to work together. It also sets expectations and saves you from those 10pm phone calls.

    No 2 – Thank You Card

    My suggestion would be that you make this a handwritten card. And if your handwriting is appalling then consider using a service like Scribeless. I love them and they integrate with so many systems you can even automate the process.

    That aside though a thoughtful handwritten card thanking them for trusting you with their wedding goes a long way in ‘surprising and delighting‘ your couple.

    No 3 – Personalised Timeline

    As I mentioned above this is your opportunity to continue to build on the client experience you’ve already started. Including a personalised timelines that covers everything you feel is important for them to focus on for the 12+ months leading up to their big day and a few key things to do once it ends. Make it something that gets them feeling excited and ready to get started with you!

    Now there are other things I recommend including in your client onboarding pack such as a social media card that details alll the ways they can tag you and connect with you on social.

    If you use Aisle Planner then a section that explains how to use plus other things such as a copy of the contract and a summary of the services they’ve booked with you.

    Having a standard template for your client onboarding that you can customise for each couple you work with will save you so much time and effort.

    That being the case I’ve taken the hard work out of it for you and created a fully customisable, 11 page, Canva template that you can use as your own in your business. The Client Onboarding Template >>>

    Simply add your own branding, customise any of the copy and you’re all set.

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  • Must have Tools for your Wedding Business

    Tools for your Wedding Business

    Whatever stage you’re at in your wedding business you need the right tools to be effective.

    You want your business to run like a well-oiled machine.

    Take it from someone who has been in business for over 20 years having the right tools can quite literally save you hours of precious time every week…

    Leaving you more time to do more of what you love -working on weddings.

    The key is knowing which tools to use.

    Well today I’m sharing five of my favourite tools that I wouldn’t be without in my business.

    Tool No 1 – Sourced Co

    Professionally shot and styled images make a world of difference when it comes to attracting potential clients, especially in an industry where there’s a heavy focus on aesthetics. Sourced Co have a fantastic collection of ‘done for you’ images that have been created specifically for teh wedding industry. We’ve partnered with them from the beginning and use their images ourselves. Each month you receive a fabulous collection of new images set to a theme that you can use on your website, social media, marketing and emails.

    PLUS, we have a special 15% discount code you can use which makes the whole thing even sweeter. The code you need is AAWEP and that will take the discount off for you.

    CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK >>>

    Tool No 2 – 3D Event Designer

    3D Event Designer is 3D CAD-like software made simple. As wedding pros our clients often can’t visualise the amazing things we’ve dreamt up for them. They need to actually see it. And that’s the beauty of this tool. You don’t need to be a CAD whizz it’s as easy as drag and drop and hey presto you’ve created a full 3D rendered space that brings your ideas to life. It’s really that easy.

    I’ve known the team at 3D Event Designer pretty much since they started and all my students at the Wedding Academy get a 3 month student license.

    But you can also benefit. We have a 15% discount code for you. Just use weddings15 at the checkout.

    CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK >>>

    Tool No 3 – Flodesk

    For those of you who know me or have been around any of my training you’ll know that I’m all about email marketing and nurturing your ideal clients. Which is why I LOVE Flodesk. It’s an email marketing platform that actually makes things not only easy but aesthetically pleasing as well. This is the email marketing platform for those that want to send design led emails on a platform that doesn’t give you a headache and sending you running for the hills.

    And of course, we get a rather fabulous 50% discount to give you to get you started. So there’s no excuses. Just by clicking on the link below Flodesk will apply the 50% and you’ll be all set.

    CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK >>>

    Tool No 4 – Your Legall BFF

    If Covid 19 has shown us anything it’s that having water tight contracts and terms & conditions is non-negotiable. We all hope we’ll never see anything like this pandemic again but that aside you should ALWAYS all your legal ducks in a row. Your Legal BFF™ was created by Annette Stepanian, a lawyer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners with the legal side of running a business.

    She specialises in the creative industries, spefically the wedding industry from floral designers and wedding planners to venues and photographers. It’s all there ready for you to use without the risk.

    CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK >>>

    Tool No 5 – Interact

    Who doesn’t love a good quiz? I used to love doing Cosmo quizzes when I was younger and I still enjoy partaking now. One of the best lead magnets I have at the Wedding Academy is our ‘Could you be a Wedding Planner’ quiz. Interact helps you design quizzes that convert clients quickly and easily.

    There are so many quizzes you could create as we wedding pro. The quiz to find your wedding style, cake style, venue type etc. As I said it’s a great way to get new leads coming in through the door and Interact makes the whole thing easy.

    CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK >>>

    Some of the links used in this blog post are affiliate links. When you purchase something, Wedding CEO receives a small compensation at no cost to you. This compensation helps to maintain the cost of creating helpful content, running my free training in the Facebook Group and creating episodes for Wedding CEO Podcast.

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  • The Best Black Friday Deals of 2020 for Wedding CEOS

    Black Friday Deals for Wedding Business Owners

    Are you looking for the The Best Black Friday Deals? Black Friday isn’t just for the big super stores anymore. There are so many AMAZING deals to be had for your wedding business by simply looking to some of your favourite business solutions and software platforms. All of which make running your wedding business so much easier.

    To help you on your mission I’ve rounded up some of the best deals that I’ve found from some of my favourite brands that are a MUST HAVE for any wedding business owner.

    So if you’ve been waiting to invest in Styled Stock Images, Contracts, Lead Magnet Templates, Scheduling Tools or Short Social Media Courses then you’re in luck.

    Get 50% off an Annual Plan with Tailwind

    First up on my list is our latest partner Tailwind. We LOVE Tailwind here because quite simply they know exactly how to make scheduling on both Pinterest and Instagram so much easier.

    Not only that they have the ear of both social media platforms and tend to know about changes before anyone else. They then make sure they account for those changes in their platform.

    There’s a lot I love about Tailwind but most recently I’m head over heels about their new initiative Tailwind Create. This amazing feature actually creates pinnable pins for you. So if you hate the idea of creating your own pins or just aren’t sure how to make them appealing then Tailwind have done the heavy lifting for you.

    The most exciting news is that we’ve partnered with Tailwind to bring you a whopping 50% discount off their Annual Tailwind for Pinterest Plus Plan. BUT it’s only valid till midnight on the 30th of November so don’t miss out.

    GET YOUR 50% DISCOUNT >>>

    Tailwind Black Friday Offer

    Get 40% off contract templates and bundles with the Contract Shop

    The Contract Shop is our ‘go to’ resource for all things legal. And for good reason…Christina Scalera, owner of the Contract Shop, is a legal eagle. She has turned her legal services into digitally downloadable contract templates. To help you decide which products might be right for you I’ve highlighed a couple of my favourites and ones I can wholeheartedly recommend.

    Terms & Conditions/Privacy Policy

    It’s something that every business owner with a website needs to comply with international law. This also includes Christina’s ‘Hold My Hand’ guide for this bundle. This is an online course each Terms & Conditions/Privacy Policy purchaser will get access to automatically after purchase. Inside, Christina walks through EVERY paragraph of the template to explain exactly what each clause means and how they can edit the fill-in-the-blank prompts to fit their business needs!

    >>> Click here to get 40% Off Terms & Conditions

    Contract Bundles

    As a Wedding Planner, Floral Designer or Stylist a contract can cover you and make you look like the professional you are. If you’re thinking you can skate by without a contract, let me share a few reasons why now is the time to protect yourself:
    ➡️ In-person events or scheduled services might get cancelled – Thanks, 2020, for this new worry.
    ➡️ Clients pay late – Hands up if you’ve ever had an invoice paid late! ????
    ➡️ Clients go MIA – We all have had situations clients could have been a little… clearer.

    Contract Shop Black Friday Offer

    Get $100 Discount of an annual Haute Stock Plan

    Instead of hitting the panic button when you’re not finding any images you love, let me tell you about my go-to — Haute Stock.

    I’ve been using Haute Stock for5 years and it has been a game changer for both the Wedding Academy and my brand Wedding CEO. Why? Because with a library of over 6000 stock photos, branding elements, customizable templates, pre-made quotes, and monthly bonuses, they have everything I need to create a cohesive, consistent visual content strategy.

    In their Black Friday Sale they’re offering $100 off their annual membership so instead of $299 you only pay $199

    GET YOUR $100 DISCOUNT >>>

    Haute Stock Black Friday Offer

    Get 50% off the Real Wedding Submission Bundle from Meghan Ely

    For those of you who don’t know Meghan of OFD Consulting then allow to me to quickly do an intro. Meghan and her PR team have single handledly managed to secure both myself and the Wedding Academy features in Vogue, Forbes, Huffington Post, Martha Stewart, Brides, Pop Sugar, The Every Girl, Green Wedding Shoes and so many more I don’t have the space to write about them.

    She has finally launched her brand new initiative, Submit My Wedding, where she has a special bundle for Wedding Planners on exactly how to get your Real Weddings featured. She’s sharing all her insider knowledge and EVERYTHING you need to know to get featured in your favourite blogs.

    This offer is a pre-order as the official release of this amazing product isn’t being released until 14th of December. But I suggest you order it now because this is your ONLY chance to get it at a discount of 50%.

    GET THE REAL WEDDING SUBMISSION BUNDLE HERE >>>

    Submit My Wedding Offer

    GET 50% OFF MY PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM COURSES

    As many of you know I LOVE all things marketing and I’ve been busy working away to bring you two brand new courses, Pinterest 101 for Wedding Pros and Instagram Marketing Pro.

    So make sure you don’t miss out on your opportunity to get both these courses at half price! It won’t be happening again.

    GET PINTEREST 101 HERE >>>

    Pinterest for Wedding Pros on iPad

    GET INSTAGRAM MARKETING PRO HERE >>>

    Some of the links used in this blog post are affiliate links. When you purchase something, Wedding CEO receives a small compensation at no cost to you. This compensation helps to maintain the cost of creating helpful content, running my free training in the Facebook Group and creating episodes for Wedding CEO Podcast.

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