Transcript: Hello and welcome back. Last week we talked about getting set up and how to do that legally, so you have everything that you need. And today we are talking about the basics of the wedding business. The wedding industry is unlike any other industry. The way that you interact with couples is really different, the way that you sell to them, and the event itself is very different than any other industry you’re ever going to work in. So we’re going to go over some of the basics of just running a wedding business, what’s unique about it, and what you need to know so that you can start taking on your first clients.
So, for starters, the way that you acquire clients is really different in the wedding industry. You are going to be hired pretty much based on your personality and your portfolio. So, it’s very much a personal connection that you’re going to be having with your clients that’s going to make them want to work with you– and that is great. Unless you’re super introverted, then it can be a little difficult. And listen, I’m kind of in the middle of like the introvert to extrovert scale, right here in the middle, I’m really extroverted until I’m tired. And then I want to be an introvert and I want to have some time to myself. And I don’t love putting all my business out there but I’m also an open book, so I’m very much in the middle. And all kinds of wedding vendors range from one end of the spectrum to the other. So, take that for what it’s worth, try to find what you’re comfortable with, as far as putting yourself out there online. Some people keep a really professional persona, some people have a very personal persona, find what works for you, and what you find is connecting with your ideal clients and the brides that you want to work with.
Next, the way that you sell to them is also really different. So when someone connects with you, and they’ve decided that they want to ask you about your wedding services, they’re probably going to enquire with you over social media, or on your website. And the way that you sell to them is so different than the way you would sell to anyone else. Namely, they don’t want to be sold to. The people who are getting married right now, the year is 2021– it’s millennials and Gen Z years, and they see right through anything that’s not super genuine. And they don’t want to be sold to like they do not want to be sold to. They are trying to vet a bunch of people to figure out who’s going to be able to achieve their vision. So, when you’re talking to them, try to get to genuinely know them. You’re going to be working with them, they’re entrusting you with a lot of money, and a lot of trust, and the most important day of their life. So the least you can do is try to form a genuine friendship with them and get to know them what makes them tick, da-da-da-da-da like just try to make a friendship, it’s really profitable. And you’re not building a friendship with them just so you can hit them with a high price tag. You’re building a friendship with them because you are going to be with them all day on their wedding day. And you need to know what’s important to them, who is important to them so that you can perform your best on their wedding day.
Then, you also need to have integrity on your end and say, “Yes, I’m a good fit for you” or “No, we might not be the best fit for one another.” If someone is coming to you and you’re a very experienced videographer, and they are coming to you with a very small budget, it doesn’t feel good to try to charge them a ton of money and try to upsell them and get them to bring their budget up. Because at the end of the day, that could hurt their wedding and other areas that were also really important to them, they might not have enough money to spread around. And conversely, if you’re a brand new videographer, and you’re only charging like $1,000 or $1200 for a wedding day, and they come to you and they say we have an $8,000 video budget, you should be sending them to somebody else who’s better and charges that amount because they’re going to get a much better experience. So, that’s one of the reasons you form these friendships with people is so that you can serve them the best whether you are the vendor for them or not.
And then once you do onboard a client, you found a good fit, you want to work with them, they want to work with you, they’re going to enter the wedding lifecycle. And we are going to talk a lot more about the wedding lifecycle and workflows in other videos. I think next week’s video is all about the lifecycle of a client and I’ve got a worksheet for you that you can download that’s totally free. But now they’re your clients. So you are going to treat them like your best friend is getting married. You are going to walk them through the process, you’re going to keep them informed. Part of being a wedding vendor is making sure that these couples know what the next step is going to be because you’re the professional. Whether you’re brand new or you’ve been doing this for a really long time, in their eyes, you are the professional. So, you need to be informing them of the next steps where they need to be thinking about what are the tips and tricks that they can have that’s really going to elevate their experience because they’re counting on you to have that kind of information.
Over communicating is never going to hurt you in the wedding industry. And in your mind, you might think, “Oh my gosh, I’m sending them so many emails, I’m communicating with them so much, they’re going to get annoyed,” they’re not going to get annoyed. If they don’t want to read your email, they’re just not going to read it. But if they want to read it, now, they’re so happy that they have all of that information. It’s just part of it. And then beyond that, once it’s actually their wedding day, you are making their dreams come true, and this is so important. Like, I talk with my hands, I’m so sorry. It’s just what it is. It is so important for you to show up on their wedding day, high energy ready to dig in like ready to get after it because this is their one day there are no do-overs. You are not working in a studio, you are working a live event that is Go-go-go-go-go. It is a very fast day. You need to know what you’re doing. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, take a step back, call me, let’s get on a coaching call, let’s walk through the day. You don’t need to be taking on a wedding if you don’t feel like you’re ready to be taking on a wedding. It’s really important that you show up ready to do what you need to do.
And then after the wedding, communicate, if you are a photographer or a videographer, or someone who has to edit something on the back end, try to check in with them and just say, “Hey, thank you for inviting me to your wedding. Here’s how long it’s going to take me to edit your films, your photos….” whatever. Let them know set the expectations for them so they’re not left wondering, because, in the wedding industry, a lot of brides and grooms hear these horror stories about vendors completely bailing on them and disappearing out of thin air taking their money and running– and they’re nervous. They are probably hiring strangers off of the internet to be a part of the biggest day of their life. They may or may not know you or have a referral from a trusted friend. So, it’s really important that you just put their mind at ease. Let them know that you’re there. Let them know that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing what they hired you to do. Set their expectations and over-communicate, it’s only going to help you it’s only going to help you and your client feel at ease. It’s going to keep your client from emailing you every single week saying, “Hey, where are my videos? Where are my photos?” because you’ve already set the expectation. Over-communicate, it’s all part of the basics of the wedding business.
And then, when you do finally deliver your films or the wedding day is over, and they’re, you know, no longer your client, although they’re always your client and your heart, you are going to offboard them. And off-boarding is something that a lot of vendors do not do and it can leave clients feeling kind of empty because there was so much build-up to their wedding day. And now it’s over and it’s gone, and they don’t have that excitement anymore. No one is fawning over them. No one’s communicating with them anymore, like it can be kind of lonely and sad. So be sure that after you’re done with them, that sounded really bad, not after you’re done with them but after their wedding is done, that you are gently offboarding them and saying, “Hey, this isn’t goodbye forever. This is just a ‘See you later.’ I can’t wait to follow your family, or plan the next event for you or photograph your Christmas card pictures.” If your videographer can’t wait to do family films for you down the road. Like there are lots of ways that you can offboard people really sweetly that they’re going to remember you.
Another part of the onboarding process is to ask for that review, which reviews are really important. Ask for a review on your ideal review site. So, sometimes that can be like a wedding wire profile, or a knot profile, or Google or Facebook, like wherever you want these reviews. If you know that your client has had a great experience, go ahead and ask for that review. That’s all part of being in the wedding biz.
On the flip side, if you don’t think that your client had a super awesome experience with you, it is your job as the professional to fix it. You need to go out of your way and ask the “tough” questions. “Hey, did you have a good experience with me?” just ask them. Ask them if there’s anything that they would have done differently, or that they would like you to change and then do that for them. When you’re just starting out, your reputation is everything and you need to keep in mind that you’re still learning about this industry and what you need to do. There’s a lot of people who are very far along who will not do little tweaks to their clients’ pictures or films, and they will make sure everything stays very in contract and listen, they’ve earned that spot. They have earned the right to do that because they have a process that is so refined, that people asking for things outside of the norm actually is like a high maintenance question and it’s going to take a lot of time to redo things. But when you’re just starting out, and you may or may not actually know what you’re doing, when someone asks you for a tweak on something, you should do it. This is my advice to you, as someone who’s been in the game for a really long time, you should just do it because your reputation is on the line– so, just do it. Make sure that you’re serving them to the best of your ability until you know in your mind that your process is locked down and it is tight.
So, that is my advice for you on just what are the basics of the wedding business, you’re always acting in the best interest of your client, and you’re making sure that you are fully present and totally ready to show up and rock out their day. If you can do that, you’re going to do great. I’ll see you next time.