Are you wondering how to prepare for engagement season? Engagement season is that time of year when the majority of couples put a ring on it and get engaged. It starts around Thanksgiving in the United States and stretches all the way to Valentine's Day. Your wedding industry business needs to prepare to receive a fresh new set of customers. In this episode of The Power in Purpose podcast, I share nine things every wedding pro needs to do to prepare their business for engagement season.
And just a little spoiler alert– you are going to love number seven.
On this episode about how to prepare your wedding industry business for engagement season:
- Nine steps you need to take to prepare your wedding industry business for engagement season
- How to take action today to bring in sales this engagement season
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Engagement season is coming in hot, and you, my friend, need to be prepared. That's why in today's episode, I'm sharing nine things that you need to do to prepare your business before engagement season starts. And just a little spoiler alert you are going to love seven.
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You're here to grow a business, but not just any kind of business. You want to grow a profitable business with purpose. A business where you wake up every single day driven to serve your customers and make a difference in your own life. I'm Candice Copola, published author, business coach, and your guide to building a profitable business with purpose. Join me here every single week as we explore how to build and grow your business with purpose. Get ready to dig in and have meaningful conversations about the strategies and techniques that will help you build your dream business. This is the power in purpose.
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Welcome back to the Power and Purpose podcast. It's me, your host, Candice, and today's episode is all about getting your business prepared for engagement season. I always feel like we're here again. Now, I've been doing this forever, so I've experienced lots of engagement seasons. This could be your first, or it could be your fifth, or it could be your last.
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But engagement season is that time of year where the majority of couples put a ring on it. It's where the majority of couples, not all, but a large chunk of people get engaged. And it really starts around Thanksgiving in the US. At least, which is a popular time of year for people to propose. And it goes all the way to that magical Hallmark holiday called Valentine's Day and just a little bit beyond.
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And your wedding industry business needs to prepare every single year for engagement season because this is the time of year where your customer becomes aware of their problem, which is they need someone like you on their vendor team, whatever that might mean for you. Photography, planning, floral design, catering, invitation design. And so your business needs to prepare itself to receive these customers, to market to these customers, to sell to them, to attract them, to let them know like, hey, we're here. Hire us. And there are nine things that I really want you to focus on between now and December 1 to prepare your business for engagement season.
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Now, before I share these nine things, I want to let you know that the doors to my mastermind Wedding Pro Insiders are opening soon, and I'd love to see you inside this incredible group coaching experience for high achieving Wedding Pros. If you want to learn more about Wedding Pro Insiders and if it could be the right fit for your business, I want you to go to weddingproinsiders.com. You can sign up for the waitlist. And I should just put a little caveat here that Wedding Pro Insiders is only offered to waitlisters. The option to join us, a personal invitation to join us will be sent to waitlisters only.
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And there is an application process to join us inside. Why is that? Well, first I curate the women who join us inside to make sure that we have the right mixture of women inside the group. I also want to make sure that WPI is the right fit for your business and it's not the right fit for everyone at the right time. There is also this wait list because there's limited spots.
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Literally, someone has to leave the mastermind in order for us to open up a spot for a new person to join. So, long story short, Wedding Pro Insiders is for high achieving wedding pros who want to take their business to the next level. They want to do that through coaching by me oneonone coaching. And they also want to surround themselves with high thinking, high achieving wedding pros who are hitting six figures who are doing incredible things in their business. And they want to be in the room with those folks.
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So head to Weddingproinsiders.com to learn more. Sign up for the waitlist, and invitations are going to be sent out soon. So exciting. Okay, let's get back into today's episode of the show. So, preparing your business for engagement season.
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What do I want you to do first? Well, debriefing your wedding season is a must. In order for you to prepare your business for the next set of clients, you need to sit down and debrief your wedding season. We do this inside of WPI with the ladies. I also do this inside the planners playbook my community for wedding planners.
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Debriefing your wedding season is examining what worked well for you this past year and what didn't work so well for you this last year. Where were mistakes made? What needs to be improved upon? And what would you spend the offseason between now and when your season ramsump again in 2023? Fixing, changing, or creating?
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I can't stress how important this exercise is. You need to just take inventory of the last twelve months and examine what went well and what didn't. And from here, you'll have the clarity of what you can improve upon, what you can fix, what you can change, and what you can create in your business going forward. So the first step in preparing for engagement season is taking a look back at the past and debriefing your past wedding season to figure out what needs to be updated. The next step for preparing your business for engagement season is surveying your past customers.
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This might be the first time you've ever done something like this. And I know you've got your notebook and pen and you're like, survey. You're writing this down. You're not even sure if you're writing this down. You're like, I might just skip this step.
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You do not skip this step if this is the first time that you've ever sent a feedback form out to your past customers. If you've ever surveyed your past customers to get insight into their experience. I want you to know that, yes, this is hard, and yes, this is scary, and it could bring up some things that are hard for you to hear. But your business will be stronger for engagement season and for your next wedding season if you do this. Surveying your past customers is just asking a series of questions to get insight into their experience working with your company, hearing from your customers directly.
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So I want you to put together a very quick feedback form and ask your customers some questions about what their experience was like in working with you. I also want you to try to understand why they decided to hire your company above all others in your niche in your genre. Why were you their photographer? Why were you their wedding planner? Knowing the answer to this question can help you understand what separates you from the competition.
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And you can double down on that in your marketing, in how you position your business during engagement season to attract more likeminded customers. Okay? I also want you to try to figure out in this feedback what did they value most about your product and services? What stood out to them about your work together? The answer to this question can help you position your business again during engagement season and market and attract more of those likeminded customers.
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Now, this is a nonnegotiable if you want to have a better engagement season, if you want to sell with ease, if you want to attract high end clients who are going to pay you more money, you need to follow this step and all the other steps I'm mentioning afterwards. Okay? So the next step is to survey your past customers, get insights, get information, get data that you can use and leverage to your advantage. The next step is to run your numbers. If you want to have a profitable engagement season, you need to understand what the hell's going on in your business financially.
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And running your numbers is scary. You may not have all your numbers where they're supposed to be so that you can actually run reports and see what the hell's going on in your business, which is even more reason to run your numbers and to get your financial shit together. So in order for you to position your business and understand a lot of decisions that we're going to be making hereafter for engagement season, you need to know some specific numbers. Write these down. Okay, I want you to run your yearly sales to date.
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How much have you sold in total to date in your business? Knowing this number will help you to understand how much you might need to sell between now and the end of the year to hit whatever sales goal you've created. What are your yearly sales? Not how much money you collected, but how much have you sold in total and what are your yearly expenses to date? This number might shock you.
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You might be like, what the fuck? Why am I spending so much money? And do I need to continue spending this much money to make my sales goal? So I need you to understand your expenses, because this is going to reveal the next number. Your net income so far for the year.
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How much have you taken home? This number, too, may shock you, and it might not be in a good way. You might feel like you're not making any money, and you may not be making any money in your business. But wouldn't you like to know this going into engagement season so that you can adjust things and adjust your pricing or adjust how much money you're spending or how many weddings you need to take to hit whatever goals you have financially? I also want you to pull up this number so we've got your yearly sales, your expenses, your net income.
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I also want you to pull up last year's engagement season sales. What did you sell from November of 2021 to April of 2022? What is that total number of sales? This is the total value of goods sold, not the amount of money you collected. Okay, what's that number?
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Because that can be our baseline number of what we'd at least like to hit or if you're going to achieve more, what we want to surpass. So in order for you to have a profitable, amazing, record breaking engagement season in your wedding industry business, you need to run some numbers to understand what we want to hit or what we want to surpass next. It's time to evaluate your pricing. We've run our numbers. We understand what's happening financially in our business, and now it's time to evaluate your pricing to see what needs to change here.
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Are we pricing ourselves similarly during last engagement season? Have we lowered our price for any reason? Do we need to raise our price going into the new year? You need to evaluate your pricing. You need to understand if the numbers correlate to the goals that you've set for this engagement season, if the price that you've attached to your product and services and the quantity you need to sell of those products and services will then equal the sales goals that you have.
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But it's time to evaluate your pricing. And just a little side note. You don't have to raise your pricing every year. I don't know, like, who told you that? But you don't need to do that.
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And sometimes it might make sense to stay where you are to test out the marketplace to see if your current pricing is still on par with your ideal customers. The last thing I want you to do is undercharge and the second last thing I want you to do is price yourself out of the marketplace. So it might be wise to stay where you are to test the price point you're at. And during engagement season, experiment and try to gradually increase that price point, even by $100. Small increments to see what the feedback is.
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But for some of you out there, your pricing is way too low. Like, girl, you need to bring it up. Consider this. You're come to Jesus conversation with your business coach, Candace. You need to bring that pricing upward, and this is the time to do that.
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Okay? So people are not booking you at a price point. That was last year's news. Okay, next, I want you to take a look at your website and start to refresh your website. You've just completed an amazing wedding season, and it's time to bring those new images, those new weddings, all of that new work to your domain, to where most couples will go to vet you to decide if you're the right fit for them.
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Now, remember, the wedding industry is an industry where the consumer buys with their eye. And this is why your visuals need to be refreshed and evaluated. You want to make sure that the visuals on your website speak to the customer who's landing on it. So it's time to refresh your website. I want you to pay attention to the images on it.
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I want you to revisit the copy on it. Make sure it's current. If you list your pricing or your starting pricing, make sure that's current. Make sure your messaging is current. If it's changed, obviously update it.
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And, of course, go and refresh your testimonials. You hopefully have some really fabulous ones from this last year clients singing your praises. Bring those forward. Okay? Refresh your testimonials.
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Get that website ready for the new customer who's about to land on it and be like, oh, my God, I have been searching for this. Okay, refresh that website. Get it ready for engagement season. The next step to get your business prepared for engagement season is to assess your marketing strategy. You may want to carve out an hour or two to just go through your marketing strategy for this engagement season.
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Identify what feels good to you marketing wise. What I mean by this question is, like, where do you want to spend your time? What feels easy? Where is there no resistance when it comes to marketing? Maybe you are a superstar at Reels.
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They come easy to you. That feels good. Maybe Reels don't feel so good. Maybe you're on the struggle bus there. You know, you need to do it because it's what's, performing ContentWise?
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But it just doesn't feel good to you right now. So you need to learn. You need to grow that arm of marketing. But let's assess your marketing strategy. What feels good?
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What is working right now? What is bringing in customers? What channels? What marketing channels are working for you? What marketing messages?
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And how will you play the long game this engagement season? Marketing your business. We've talked about long game marketing strategy here on the podcast before. My guest Kara has talked about this, about blogging and Pinterest and why that marketing strategy works so well. So is my guest Vanessa Hicks blogging with strategy.
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You can go back and listen to those two episodes if you'd like to learn more about long game. But the nutshell explanation is how would you lay the foundation for creating content that will serve you months down the road? How can you write a blog post today that when someone on Valentine's Day gets engaged, will find and want to hire you because of we don't want to. Just focus on that quick marketing reels, instagram things that are in the atmosphere for 24 to 72 hours. We want to focus on long game marketing strategy.
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This is one of the reasons why we create a marketing plan for members of the planners. Play book every single month, and we include blog post suggestions for that month. We want you to play the long game strategy in your business. So how will you do that during this engagement season? Answer that question for me.
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So this tip is to assess your marketing strategy. Understand what works, understand what doesn't, what feels good, what doesn't feel good. What do you need to do in order to get out there and talk about your business? Because, listen, if you're not going to talk about it, who else will? If you're not going to put yourself out there and talk about your business, who's going to do it for you?
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Nobody. I'm here to tell you. Nobody. Maybe your mama? Your mama might be on Facebook sharing your shit and being like, look at my look at my daughter.
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Look at my son. Look at my child doing big things. But that's about where the love ends. You need to get out there and market your business and talk about you, and assessing your marketing strategy before engagement season will help you. All right, next tip.
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And this is the number seven that I teased at the top of the episode. In order to prepare your business for engagement season, you need to update, you need to refresh that Hell no list. Let me repeat. You need to update you need to refresh your Hell no list. What's a hell.
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No list. It's a list of things that you will say Hell no to people, vendors, venues, client personality types, budget ranges, other situations that will remain nameless. What is your Hell no list going into 2023 and beyond? Refresh that list. It's a list of things that you will say, nope.
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No, ma'am. No. Please. No, thank you. It's important that you have this list of things that you're not willing to do, people you're not willing to serve, and bridges you're just not willing to cross.
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After this last season, which was hard. Let's just let's just say it was fucking hard. You need to update this list of the things that you're willing to do and not willing to do for customers to land the sale, etc. You're going to be a happier wedding pro next year if you can learn to say no. Say no to the wrong clients.
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People are coming to you and they're waving red flags, okay? Not pink, not blush. They're fucking red. And you need to acknowledge their red flags and say no. So it's time to update your helmet list so that going into this crazy sales season, you can spot a helmet a mile away and you can just say, hey, girl, love you, love your wedding ideas.
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No, I don't, but love you. You deserve to have a wedding planner who is going to ride and die for you, and it's not me. So here's who I recommend and send them on their merry way, okay? Update, refresh your hell no list. Know your boundaries, understand where you're drawing your lines so that a client doesn't creep through, doesn't sneak in and cause havoc in your business like they did last year, like they did this wedding season.
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Up next, I want you to go in and block off your calendar. Now's the time for you to get in there and take a look at your calendar and start blocking off dates. I don't want to hear that you're working on your kid's birthday or that you're working on the 4 July and you'd rather be at the picnic drinking beers and eating hot dogs, okay? You are in charge of your calendar. It may not feel like it, but here's some empowerment for you to take ownership of your calendar next year and start blocking off dates.
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Pop in tentative dates for family vacations. Pop in dates for education that you want to attend. Live in person. Take weekends off. Take a look at your calendar and say, I've got three weddings back to back.
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Maybe maybe I need to take a weekend off after that so I can rest and recharge. What I don't want is for you to come to me and say, candace, I'm overwhelmed. I booked 52 weddings. PS. One of my lovely ladies, this is her.
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I'm telling her, I'm not going to tell you who she is, but I'm busting open her files a little bit. I don't want you to say, I've got 52 weddings in a row and I am pretty much, I need to enter the witness protection program. Do they accept people into this who aren't witnesses? Like, I need to disappear. Can I pay to be a part of the witness protection program and just take my family and start my life over and leave behind my business and everything I've built?
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I don't need to hear that from you because you're exhausted and you're burnt out and it's only July. So do yourself a favor. Go and block off time in your calendar. Put dates that you're unavailable so that you can enjoy your life next summer, next fall, next spring and you can find time for rest and rejuvenation in between wedding season. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to take every single wedding that comes to you.
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You can actually say no and reserve time for yourself. Hey there, friend. Real quick, I want to share with you how you can sign up for a free trial with Honey Book. Honey Book is everything you need to get business done. And it's trusted by over 1000 independent businesses just like yours to manage projects book clients send invoices and most importantly, get paid.
[00:22:14.340] - Speaker 1
If you've been looking for an all in one solution to manage your customers, I want to invite you to sign up for a free trial with HoneyBook. Go to Candacecopala.com, HoneyBook, to learn more. And when you sign up for a free trial using the code purpose, you'll save 50% off of your first year's subscription. Honey Book is what I used in my business as a wedding planner, and it helped me land every single sale. It's what helped me build a six figure wedding planning business.
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It's also what helps me today in my business. Go to kindescopala.com HoneyBook to learn more and with the code purpose, save 50% on your first year's subscription. Now, my final tip here today on how to prepare your business for engagement season is to clean up your services and your products. I want you to go through what it is that you offer and remove services that you freaking hate offering. Okay?
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We tried it, we tested it. It's not for us. Let it go. Let it go. Reimagine it or put a price tag on it as a deterrent.
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Like, if I'm going to do this, you're going to have to pay me money. Like, you're going to have to pay for my kids college if I'm going to do this for you. Okay? So I want you to remove services you dislike or attach a price tag that is a deterrent. I want you to remove services from your menu of services or your products that customers don't buy.
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Like, we tried it, nobody cares about it. Why are we offering this? It's just taking up space. It's not needed. And refine things.
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Maybe there are services you offer as part of a package that really should be standalone. We teach this inside the planners playbook. There are certain services that we teach should not be included in a planner's package. They should be a la carte. So I want you to refine and refresh your services.
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Remove things you don't like, remove things that people don't care about, that they don't buy. And if a client is saying, hey, can we remove this from your package and adjust the price, that's like a big indicator. It shouldn't be in the package. It should be a la carte and charged separately. So it's time to clean up your products.
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It's time to clean up your services. Retail businesses do this every year. They remove things. They remove SKUs or products that just don't work. They don't perform.
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And you need to get in the habit of doing this, too, and refining what it is that you offer and just rebuilding things that might need a refresh for the next crop of clients. So those are the nine things that I want you to do to prepare your business for engagement season. Let's recap, shall we? Thing number one, debrief your wedding season. Thing number two, survey pass customers.
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Thing number three, run those numbers. Here's a recap of those numbers, okay? Yearly sales expenses to date, your net income, and last year's engagement season sales. We're talking from November to April. Okay?
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Evaluate your pricing. Refresh your website. Assess your marketing strategy. Update your helmet list. This one is probably when you're going to be like, girl, I'm already updating this shit as we speak.
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As we speak, this shit is getting refreshed. Block off your calendar so you don't need to enter the witness protection program, which I'm not even sure if you can do as not being a witness. And lastly, clean up your services and products. Just take a look at what you're offering and remove the stuff people don't buy. Remove the stuff you hate.
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Move things to a la carte. There are extras that people can invest in and just refresh your services. Okay? We want to make them tight and perfect so that clients are buying truly what they need from you and they feel like the services you offer match the problems and needs they have. I just want to remind you that the doors to Wedding Prongs, my high impact Mastermind for Wedding Pros of all shapes and sizes, the doors are reopening soon, and you're going to want to be on that waitlist.
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Head to Weddingproinsiders.com to learn more about my Mastermind, my coaching experience, and put your email in so that you are on the waitlist. Applications to join and invitations to join are only sent to the waitlist. And we have very limited spots. I'm talking, like, we may have five, and they're very limited. So you want to make sure that you're on the waitlist.
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I hope to see you over there. If you have any questions about WPI, you can also just email me at email@example.com. All right, thanks for listening to today's episode. I hope that this episode has helped you to get prepared for engagement season. I want to hear from you, so feel free to DM me over on Instagram or comment on my Instagram.
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Let me know today. What is one thing that you're excited to do in your business to prepare for engagement season? I want to know out of this list, which one are you doing right now? I have a feeling it's updating your helmet list, but I want to hear from you. I'm here to remind you that, as always, there's so much power in your purpose.
[00:27:30.750] - Speaker 1
Until next time. Thanks so much for tuning in to this week's episode of The Power inpurpose podcast. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode and consider leaving a review. Head over to powerinpurposepodcast.com. Access all of the resources and links mentioned in today's episode.
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That's Powerandpurposepodcast.com. I'll see you next time.
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- WeddingPro Insiders Waitlist
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- Top Business Books For Wedding Planners to Read in 2023
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