WeddingPreneurs: Get organized during the off-season
Our job as wedding professionals is subject to high and low seasons. I live in an area where weddings take place pretty much year-round but I have some busier months. April to late October is my high season for weddings and, during the winter months, I work more with corporate clients.
The low season or off-season can be scary for new planners and vendors who need to find a way to make money and still pay their bills. I’ll dedicate a blog post entirely to this topic very soon. But, this time of the year should also be used to get organized for your next busy season and work on your business development. It’s definitely best to sit down and take a look at new avenues now rather than going crazy thinking about new ideas and taking care of your marketing when you have weddings and event every single weekend.
Below are some actionable tips to focus on during your low or off-season.
Do the math!
Always very important: know how much money you need to stay in business and be more profitable. The off-season is a great time to go over your numbers for this year and see where you can improve. Raise your prices? Why not? If you closed all of the leads you got you should charge more. What didn’t work? Remove that particular package or offer something different that brings more value for your clients.
Revamp your website
I talked about different ways to keep your website updated in this post. Your website must be constantly updated with new pictures, new projects, new programs or packages that you offer, your new head shot (this is something that I need to work on in the next couple of months!), and other information that you want to share with your audience and potential clients. Make sure your contact form is working correctly, make sure your contact information is also correct (and possibly mobile responsive so people can easily connect with you from their phone), you have all the most recent wedding galleries up, and maybe some new key testimonials.
Are you thinking about redesigning your logo? Do it now! This is the best time to work on inspiration and execution. Remember, when you change your logo you need to update all of your marketing materials, social media banners and avatars, letterhead, everything that has your logo on. It will take quite a while to do that so, again, take advantage of this slow time in your year.
Work on new offerings
These can be a new package, a new level of assistance, a new product that you’ve been thinking about for so long and you never had the time to envision and create. It could also be a revision of an existing collection, just take the time to go over everything you provide for your clients and see if they are still a good fit or what you really love to do for them. If your philosophy has changed, or maybe even your ideal client is different from last year, make sure your packages and information reflect the new audience. If you don’t do this you will keep attracting a client you don’t want to work with anymore. It could be a high price for an existing product, test it and see how it works.
If you’ve been thinking about launching a new service or building an extension of your company, the off-season is the ideal time to do your research and begin implementing the first steps of your plan. Give yourself enough time to map it out and understand that it is a work in process – it’s not something you can finish overnight!
Focus on your digital marketing
Social media is here to stay and we, as wedding professionals, can’t ignore it. If you’re not on social media (and you’re not consistent) you’re not being seen. I myself think I’m not being active enough on some social media platforms and that is mostly due to lack of time. Which is a good thing (I mean, being busy) as long as it’s productive. During your high season it’s OK to stay a little behind with posts and updates but still you need to keep consistency. Remember, you don’t have to post every single day if you don’t have the time – or maybe you don’t have anything to share. It’s better to post once a week every week rather than every day for 5 days and then stop for 3 weeks. People will easily forget you.
Also, very important is the engagement on social media. Don’t limit yourself to just post and leave. You have to find the time to respond to comments on your posts, and like or comment on other people’s updates. That’s how you stay engaged on social media and you can get the benefits of being online. Why? Because you’re being social on social media So, that takes time as well. You must take that into consideration. Let me know if you’d like me to share my social media schedule and my tricks to stay engaged and consistent even with two jobs: event planning and business coaching. Yes, I have two accounts for each. It’s a lot!
This is also a good time to look for new tools and apps that can make your life easier on social media: post automation (even though, I’m not a huge fan of automation – You should still be engaging and post organically as much as possible), email marketing solutions, and add live video to your strategy because it’s time to do it! More and more people watch video every day, there is a lot that you can avoid watching but, if you focus on educational videos that are packed with value and great tips for your clients you will quickly grow an audience.
Ideas for our industry? Since it’s the off-season and maybe you have a little more time to invest, go around your city, visit great wedding venues, and go live from there. Take your viewers around the lobby, show the event space, rave about the staff at the venue and how wonderful they are to work with. Share room dimensions, tell stories of beautiful parties or weddings that you had there and offer your help if any of your viewers is interested in getting married there. The live broadcast will show that you are very familiar with the location and you’ll be seen as an expert that they want to contact. If you talk about the venue staff you can send them the video and let them share it on their website and social media channels. Can you imagine any better free publicity than this?
Also, there’s YouTube where you can upload the live broadcast and save it in your channel. Create a “locations” or “wedding venues” playlist and people will just watch it as a replay. Fabulous!
Review your legal documents
Now is the perfect time to review your contract, your invoices, etc. and make sure they are still covering everything you need. Always consult your attorney to confirm you cover all the bases. Are you starting to rent equipment or other items in addition to your service business? You will need to create a rental agreement. Do it during this time of the year!
Need help with your Wedding Agreement? Check out this template in my Shop.
Gather pictures and videos from past weddings and events
This can be the most tedious task for us planners but images are very important to show how talented we are to put together a flawless wedding. We will need to share these images on our website, in our portfolio, on social media, so that potential clients will figure out if we are the perfect match for them.
I always recommend that you use professional images from the hired photographer (or videos from the hired videography company), not images you take with your phone during the day while setting up. Professional images are retouched, they have the perfect light, the perfect angle, and they sell your services or products better.
What you need to do is contact the photographers or videographers (wait at least 1-2 months after the weddings, they will need to edit all the images and the footage during post-production) and ask them to send you either a link to the image gallery online (where you can choose the ones you like) or to choose the best details and send them to you.
I always try to select a mix of details, candid shots during the day, and beautiful portraits of the couple that I can use to tell their story when I meet with potential clients. Personal stories always win!
Make sure you get permission (from the client first, and the photographer or videographer second) to use the images or footage for your business. What you will receive most likely is a photo release that will state how and where you can use them (online only, blog and portfolio, unlimited use, print, etc.) In return, they will ask that you credit the artist and add a link to the images or footage wherever you will use them. Please be nice and credit your photographers! They did a wonderful job to capture your couple’s precious moments, thank them with a “thank you” and their link.
The fact that you will use the images for your blog or for your portfolio or on social media should be a win-win situation for you and the photographer or videographer because you will promote them to your audience. Most photographers get it and they’re often the ones to send you the images because they want you to promote them through their creations.
Unfortunately, there are some photographers who don’t get it. I had some negative experiences with photographers who asked me to pay for the images so that I could use them. And I was the one who referred them to my client! Go figure… Very disappointing but it was a lesson learned and I never referred those vendors again. Their loss…
Meet someone new in your network
This is the perfect time to make new friends in the industry. Maybe you saw them at an open house, or you worked with them for the first time last month but you didn’t have the opportunity to connect more personally. Invite them for coffee or breakfast and get to know them: what do they like, what’s their personality, do you have anything in common? Maybe you can start referring each other if there’s chemistry (professional chemistry, of course!), or maybe you can work together on a photo shoot that will keep you busy and promote during the low season.
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ Share your most favorite task during the off-season!
Need help with your goals for next year? Schedule your FREE Clarity Call with me HERE today! We’ll chat on a video call for 60 minutes and I’ll come up with a quick action plan for your business
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.