You didn’t start your business to be stressed out working every Saturday, did you? Today’s blog post is for YOU if you are a wedding planner (or other wedding pros!) looking to find the FREEDOM in entrepreneurship that you’ve heard so much about (but let’s be honest – have yet to experience). Today, I'm going to walk you through the five stages of scaling your wedding business so that you can achieve freedom at last in your wedding business (or at least see the path to get there).
Finding Your Purpose
This is the one you all try to skip when it comes to scaling your wedding business, and you guys – it’s STEP ONE. It's the MOST important step before you think about scaling your wedding business. Whether you have been in business for five minutes or five years, start here.
In my high-touch mastermind, Wedding Pro Insiders, I encourage wedding pros to dive into their business and go deep when finding their mission, vision, purpose, and core values before we ever work on the more exciting elements. When you think of scaling your wedding business, I know there is at least one exciting thing on your mind (because, like I said, I've been doing this for a while). Before you start building your brand or growing your team, or whatever exciting moves you want to make next, START HERE.
Because real talk – I promise you that even if your business is lighting you up right now and you can't ever imagine a feeling of burnout or stress, I have two things to say. First, I love that for you. And second, it is only a matter of time. Your purpose is what is going to get you through the lows of entrepreneurship, and although I hope they are few and far between, entrepreneurship is a journey of highs and lows.
A Quick Glossary Of Your MVP + V
Your Mission Statement: A mission statement explains what your company does, who you do it for, how you do it, and the value you provide. It clearly defines your cause and the path you take to get there.
Your Vision Statement: A vision statement clearly defines what life will be like once you solve your customers' problems. It’s the transformation they have because of your services or product.
Your Purpose Statement: A purpose statement for your company declares why you serve the people you serve. It puts them at the center, and it attaches the meaning behind your product or service.
Pro Tip: Once you have your purpose statement, put it everywhere (your website, your IG bio, EVERYWHERE).
Your Core Values: These are 3-5 words that sum up the guiding principles that you use to run your business. Don’t rush through these by choosing buzzwords like “integrity” and “unique”. Your customers want to hire someone who values what they value, and by getting crystal clear on what YOU value, you get to attract people who feel the same.
Building Your Foundation
Did you think stage two would be something more exciting? After you identify your mission, vision, purpose, and core values, it's time to build a solid foundation before you try to slap together some pretty brand colors and book a brand photo shoot. When I think about building a strong foundation for a wedding business, I think about legal contracts and business plans.
When it comes to scaling your wedding business, you can find all of the contracts you need over at Legally Set. Use the coupon code PURPOSE to score yourself 20% off!
Now let’s talk about your business plan. While your mission, vision, purpose, and values will all likely have a spot in your business plan, it is not the whole thing. In fact, there are 12 different sections to a business plan, which I walk you through in this guide here. I highly recommend you download it and get started – I even include 60 days of email check-ins because I know this stuff can feel “less fun,” but I think it’s THAT important.
Building Your Brand
All right – NOW we can skip to the good part. It's time to build your brand. First, in stages one and two, you should have uncovered what is going to make you stand out in a saturated wedding industry. Now, we have to find a way to SHOW the world.
I have a ton of resources here on the blog for you to dive into when it comes to marketing, but let me share just a few highlights here.
Finding Your Ideal Client as a Wedding Planner
Before we dive into choosing pretty colors and fonts, let's talk about your ideal client. Your ideal client truly sits at the center of your brand, and it is so important to get right from the start. Do you wanna know why most businesses fail? Because they don't know who they're talking to. I've believed that since I started my business, and to be honest, I believe it even more now.
Feel like you already know your ideal client? If your ideal client is somebody who makes six figures, shops at J Crew, and drinks Starbucks lattes – you don't know who you're talking to. Wedding planners drop their jaws when I remind them that their ideal client is actually NOT supposed to be perfect. That’s not what makes them ideal.
I’m going to add a shameless plug here because I truly believe I would be doing you a disservice not to tell you about The Client Cocktail. Inside this mini-course, I have everything you need to create a real ideal client avatar in just one weekend. If you are ready to stop booking shitty clients and start calling in magazine-worthy weddings, I would love to welcome you inside.
Where Should You be Marketing Your Business to Attract Your Ideal Clients?
Once you know your ideal clients, you can start thinking about how to market to them. Marketing is a huge part of scaling your wedding business, so let's talk about it. Where are your ideal clients hanging out? Are they professionals that spend most of their time on LinkedIn? Are they young and in love and full of energy hanging out in Facebook groups or over on TikTok? Maybe they are millennials who start every decision with a deep dive over on Google or Pinterest?
Think about where your ideal clients are hanging out and start building marketing strategies around THAT. To make it even easier, join us inside the Planner’s Playbook, where we share a done-for-you marketing plan every single month.
Creating a Visual Brand
When it comes to building a visual brand, I am a big advocate for spending time finding something you love that represents you, but not spending too much time here when you are just getting started. Your brand will be refined and evolve over time, and that is a good thing. You don't need to burn it down and rebrand every 30 days just because it feels productive.
Although I completely believe that a good brand designer is worth their weight in gold, the truth is, I built my own brand for almost 15 years before ever hiring a professional. Now, my branding expert is Nicole Yang, whom I HIGHLY recommend once you are ready! Branding is incredibly personal, though, so when you are ready to invest, do your due diligence and don’t settle until you find the perfect person for you.
Scaling with Success
Once you've got stage three of scaling your wedding business down (which means you know exactly who your ideal client is, you are calling them in regularly with magnetic marketing, and you have a visual identity that just screams YOU, we are ready to move on to stage 4 my friends. Aptly called Scaling with Success, this stage is all about perfecting your systems, making more money, and honing in on your sales skills.
You NEED Systems when Scaling Your Wedding Business
Listen, I use Asana for almost everything. I could not function without it, truly (and if you are curious – you can snag my coupon code for 10% off and learn exactly HOW I use it in my business here). If you need a little extra convincing, head here for 6 reasons you’ll love Asana in your wedding business.
Oftentimes when we first start our wedding business, we are so excited to set up everything perfectly. We have fun making our onboarding brochure, looking at client gift options, and doing all of the fun stuff. While that’s truly a beautiful thing, and you should take advantage of that “new girl” energy in your business as often as possible, this stuff really becomes refined in stage four. You start to run your wedding business more efficiently (and sometimes you wonder exactly how you ever managed before you put these systems in place).
Stage four is also the stage where you can start to focus on diversifying your revenue streams. Whether you are thinking about launching a passive product or entering the education space or doing this by adding things like a rental revenue stream or separating the venue selection service from your full wedding planning and design services, you now have the experience to do so effectively (instead of trying to do this on your third day as a wedding planner).
While we are on this topic, by the way, if you're a wedding planner, you need to be inside the Planner's Playbook. Inside, I'm constantly showing you how to make more money by doing the same work you're already doing.
You have MADE IT. Yes, you have to go through the first four stages before you find that freedom, but it does not have to take as long as it looks (especially if you have support inside the Planner's Playbook.
In stage five, we get to focus truly on finding that freedom you wanted when you first thought about scaling your wedding business. Trust me, if there was a magic wand, I could waive and give you freedom in your wedding business right now. Stage five breaks down into two categories: growing your team and working on your mindset. Let’s talk about the latter first.
Working On Your Mindset
While you will need to work on your mindset throughout growing your wedding planning business, it becomes a lot harder here because you are SO close to what you’ve always wanted. If you have money blocks, they are likely going to show up here as you scale to six (or seven) figures in revenue more than they did when you booked your first client for a low four figures. A money mindset isn’t the only thing you have to worry about, so if you start to feel imposter syndrome or question whether or not you’ve really got what it takes to take this thing to the next level, I want you to know you are not alone and this is (unfortunately) all part of the process. If it gets really hard, just remember you’ve got a 100% success rate for getting through hard things.
Now let’s talk about growing your team. Whether you're growing your team with a virtual assistant, hiring day of staff, or even hiring more wedding planners for event management or full wedding planning and design, this is where you truly find freedom in your wedding business. Grow a business that makes PROFIT, even when you aren’t the one working.
What Questions Do You Have About Scaling Your Wedding Business?
I like to keep it real with you, so I'm not gonna shout from the rooftops some BS message like “It’s easy to build an eight-figure wedding business working four hours a week”, the truth is that even though it can feel like hard work to scale your wedding business, it is 100% possible for you. I did, and it truly changed everything for me. If I can do it, you can do it. And I would love to cheer you on and support you as you do!
If you are looking for support as you start to grow your wedding planning business, I would love to invite you to get on the waitlist for the Planner's Playbook now. It literally is THE place to get everything you need to grow and scale your wedding business, and it’s EXACTLY what I wish I had when I started my business almost 15 years ago. I hope to see you inside!
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