Isn't it fun when you get a client with a big wedding planning budget?? Doesn't it make your job easier and more exciting? They say they 'want' something and you are able to look at their budget and say "yes, I think we can make that happen!" ... now, these clients might demand more of your time and work, but when that wedding happens it's going to be amazing - and that is why most wedding professionals eagerly await the BIG BUDGET WEDDINGS to come their way.
There is a recipe for getting more or mostly high end weddings and I'm happy to share it ... I applied it when I was a wedding coordinator and I apply the same 'ideas' today while I run the business side of The Editor's Touch ... here are the secret ingredients:
- ONLY show the type of event you want more of across your website and social media.
- NETWORK with the wedding professionals who have already started attracting these higher budget clients.
- UPDATE your logo and website to attract the higher budget clients.
- STUDY the 'life' of your target market and as much as possible 'live it' yourself.
When I started as a wedding coordinator in Seattle over 9 years ago I made goals for which venues and wedding professionals I wanted to work with. I wanted to plan and design higher budget weddings within 1 year of starting my wedding planning company. I committed to my focus and within 1 year was booking 25 weddings per year at the best venues in Seattle. I made sure that I looked the part, I scheduled my lunch meetings at the venues I wanted to attract the attention of, I made connections with the people at the high end floral design studios, and for my lower budget weddings I made sure to still work with the high end wedding professionals in town and using creative 'math' we still were able to make the allotted funds work. Basically, even though my clients weren't 'using a high end budget' I still wanted to form working relationships with the vendors I had set my sights on for the future referrals.
Let's talk about ingredient #1 on the list above: ONLY SHOW THE TYPE OF EVENT YOU WANT MORE OF ACROSS YOUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA ... this is hugely important. If you don't want to plan 'cheap looking' weddings then don't show them to your audience. If you don't have high end looking weddings then CREATE THEM in a styled or editorial shoot. You can't show mason jars filled with carnations or brooch bouquets (srsly, I hate brooch bouquets) on your website or social media and expect to attract a bride who wants all white orchids and Vera Wang ... don't brag that you are serving beer at your party and expect those with champagne taste to want to attend. But, Heather, I have to pay my bills - so I still need to accept clients without 'champagne taste' as you put it ... so are you saying ONLY accept my target market as paying clients?? F*ck no!! Take clients. Take as many clients as you feel you can handle and pay your living expenses ... but don't show those weddings on your website or across social media if you want to establish yourself as a high end wedding planner, photographer, calligrapher, etc.
Ok, moving on to ingredient #2 from above: NETWORK WITH WEDDING PROFESSIONALS WHO HAVE ALREADY STARTED ATTRACTING THE TARGET MARKET YOU WANT TO REACH ... yep, time to make friends. Social media has ruined a lot for a lot of people and what it's ruined is: real human contact. Look, we've seen it with FB, Pinterest, and now Instagram: sh*t changes! Social media is not dependable!!! What is dependable?? Your relationships with humans. If you can buddy up with the creme de la creme in your local area (not being fake, but actually caring and doing it for realz) then guess what!? If they like you then they refer you ... and if their clients are the type of clients YOU want ... yes, then bing, bang, boom - you're in.
Ingredient #3 from above: UPDATE YOUR LOGO AND WEBSITE TO ATTRACT THE HIGHER BUDGET CLIENTS ... you need to sparkle and shine to get those shiny budgets! You need to support your goals with a brand that says: I know what you want because I do it!! These days big budgets come in all sorts of 'styles' ... there is the whimsical fine art 'look' ... there is the ballroom luxe 'look' ... there is the 'not trying to look expensive, but really I am' 'look' ... pick what 'high budget route' you are going for and STICK TO IT across your brand. Your website and social media accounts need to be branded for this look. Got a logo that was designed in early 2000??? You better reconsider it and update that baby asap!
Ingredient #4 might be considered controversial, but I don't care because it's 100% true: STUDY THE LIFESTYLE OF YOUR TARGET MARKET AND AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE 'LIVE IT' YOURSELF ... Do you shop at Wall Mart for your clothes and couldn't care less about the brand you wear? You better start studying! Throw those tomatoes if you want, but typically higher end budgets come with higher end people. The most sought after wedding professionals who are getting these high budget weddings share the taste of their target market. They aren't 'pretenders' of their field. The most sought after wedding professionals I know also enjoy that type of life, or at least are fashion forward in the way that they love weddings to be. When their 'target market' comes to them they share the same love for specific trends, brands, and restaurants. They can connect. I'm not saying that if you want luxe weddings then you need to walk around wearing thousands of dollars worth of fashion in order to be successful - let's not confuse this - I am saying you have to have a LOVE for those types of things so that you can be taken seriously by a client who is wearing thousands of dollars worth of fashion at your meeting ;) And this doesn't just apply to luxe and couture - if you love to plan whimsical, bohemian affairs then it will help if you live or appreciate that sort of lifestyle. So go buy a Vogue magazine and flip through it ... srsly, I'm not even joking.
Do I believe that if you apply all these ingredients that you will attract a higher budget bride or client?? WITH ALL OF MY HEART. I've done it, I've applied it, there is really no way you can fail if you cook with this recipe.