I am most interested in replies from fellow wedding planners who have been in business for over a year, but welcome input from all:


How many clients can you realistically expect to book your first year in business?  How many did you book your first year, and what did you do differently the following year to attract more business?




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While I am not a planner, I can chime in with some thoughts on this. Your first year business really is completely on your shoulders. First off, what is your plan? Meaning, are you actually hoping to start a little slower, gain valuable experience, and grow your business along with your knowledge "on the fly"? Or, are you very experienced and just now branching off on your own, with a solid business plan that includes a marketing/social media strategy, financial plan, etc, and you want to hit the ground running at full steam? Obviously both options are right for two different people. THe way you approach it will determine your first year results.

If you want a more hard line analysis approach, consider this. More than likely at least half of your business will come from word of mouth. With that in mind, that half of business simply won't exist until, at the earliest, your second year in operation. So, think about how many events you need to get per year to make the money you want, then assume you can get at most half that many your first year if your marketing and business plan are solid, and if you close a majority of the leads you can generate.

Also to address your question of what to do differently your second (and subsequent years) in business, one of the biggest tips I can give you is to be extremely methodical in tracking EXACTLY where your leads come from the first year, and which advertising spends produce no leads. Then, in your second year, take the money away from the places where you rec'd no/few leads, and move them to the areas you get the majority of your leads. Most likely you will get most leads from 1 or 2 sites, so after you figure out which those are, invest heavier in them to get in to their best advertising program.

Finally, now more than ever social media is giving us all an opportunity to reach everyone, everywhere, all the time. Invest significant amounts of time in to getting out in to the virtual space and building your brand. You could theoretically write off every single bridal planning site as far as advertising is concerned and get all the business you've ever wanted if you maximize your exposure via social media channels.

Good luck!!
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Hi Glen,
As a make up artist that works a great deal in the wedding industry I have found that getting your bride's beauty needs met early on is essential. I start working with my brides up to a year in advance. It's not just about the make up. Things such as contouring the perfect eyebrows and, addressing skin care are essential in creating the most beautiful look for your brides. As we know in this industry a great deal of time and money is spent on preparing for the wedding day. And yet, some brides will wait till the last minute to book their hair stylist and make up artist. The brides beauty want's and need's should always be addressed early on. This way the bride and makeup artist are in sync from day one. And, that alone can make the brides day more enjoyable from the moment they awake.
If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me as makeup@carolyndiamond.com
Good luck.

Carolyn Diamond


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