Happy #WeddingWednesday, Planner Friends! Today on The Bridal Society‘s blog, we have a must-read! Today’s post is another piece of our contributor content brought to you by Krisy Thomas of Southern Sparkle Wedding & Event Planning. Read what she has to say about how to set yourself apart from your competition as a certified wedding planner through The Bridal Society.
How To Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition
You may be in a situation where you are in a very saturated market with many other wedding planners in your area. Finding ways to set yourself apart from your competition is crucial to meeting and booking your ideal clients. Here are a few tips that have helped me stand out among the sea of wedding planners in my area.
Respond to emails quickly.
As a Certified Wedding Planner, you know that you must respond to email correspondence within 24 hours. Take this a step further and return emails from potential clients and inquiries within 12 hours or even sooner. When you get an inquiry in your inbox, the potential client has likely sent the same email out to many other planners as well. Make yourself stand out among them by replying quickly. I have booked countless clients with this method, because sometimes those other planners they contact take days to respond!
Be kind to vendors.
It costs zero dollars to be kind to your wedding vendors, and you get SO much in return when you do so. What I have noticed about my competition, from the words of other wedding vendors and venues, is that they tend to have a reputation as the stereotypical wedding planners you might see on movies and TV shows. They are known to be rude and bossy, with their noses in the air–overall, they are not team players. As we all know, it takes a village of people to make a wedding day a gorgeous success. Being kind and gracious to your vendor team will not only make the wedding a win for your clients; it will also allow you to develop great working relationships. These relationships can turn into referrals for you, as well as lifelong friendships.
Know your brand and represent it well.
Branding is SO much more than designing your logo and business cards. You and your team will need to become synonymous with your brand. Your face is the focal point of your brand, and you want to stand out among the competition. I take almost every time I am out of the house as an opportunity to be a representative of my brand. I always have my business cards ready to be passed out. Even on the days when I am in yoga pants and a t-shirt, I am still put together and approachable.
Once, I was at the post office–it was a yoga pants kind of day–dropping off wedding invitations. A sweet lady in line noticed me, realized I was a wedding planner, and began asking me questions on wedding invitation etiquette. She was so grateful for my advice. Since I carry my business cards with me everywhere and am always representing my company, she reached out to me later that day.
Another small unique idea for your brand is to have clipboards that match your brand colors. You can also send your vendors surprise treats and gifts–just make sure the packaging reflects your brand. For social media, have a hashtag that is reflective of your name and branding. Your ultimate goal is to have a strong reputation and high brand recognition within your market.
Give a gift or thank-you card to your clients on wedding day or during the planning process.
On wedding day, I am genuinely happy for my clients, and I feel so honored to be part of their big day. To show my appreciation, I send them a good morning text that says, “Happy Wedding Day!” Upon arrival, I show up with treats such as custom cookies, cupcakes, or donuts. I also include a handwritten custom card that says, “Soak up every moment, Happy Wedding!” Inside the card, I tell them to relax and take in every detail of the day with the knowledge that my team and I have their back. This reassurance goes a long way on a hectic wedding morning. Telling your clients that you are there for them and giving them personalized gifts will remind them of why they hired you in the first place. This will also make you stand out to the members of the bridal party; they have more than likely been in multiple weddings before–put together by other planners in your area–and they will remember this moment when it’s their time to walk down the aisle.
Showcase your Bridal Society Certification everywhere.
Being a Certified Wedding Planner automatically differentiates you from your competition. Having this designation on display shows potential clients that you took the time to invest in yourself by learning more about how to be the best planner you can be for your clients. Your certification should be something you display proudly; frankly, it should appear on everything. Your email signature needs to say ‘Certified Wedding Planner’ right below your name. If you have graphics on your signature, go ahead and add your CWP badge to that list as well. Your Instagram bio, your Facebook ‘about me’ page, and most importantly your website should have CWP all over it. The hard part about this industry is that anyone can wake up and decide to call themselves a wedding planner. It can be difficult for potential clients to figure out which ‘planners’ are truly professional and which are not. Having ‘Certified Wedding Planner’ listed beside your name in as many places as possible will give potential clients automatic reassurance that you are a trained professional, even before they contact you.