Which piece of wedding business advice do you wish you’d had at the start of your journey?
When I launched my first business almost a decade ago, I could never have imagined just how much would change in my business, personal life – even in the world of weddings. In fact, thinking back to the cool spring day when I hit ‘publish’ on my first ever blog post, I can only cringe at my own naiveté! Today I’m a wedding business coach, but back then I knew nothing about either blogging or business.
At the time, there was also nowhere near the amount of advice and support available to wedding business owners and entrepreneurs that there is today. I had to learn the hard way, mostly through trial and error. Some of them were hard lessons, but they have stood me in good stead, both in building my own businesses, and in passing on that knowledge to my clients as a wedding business consultant.
Here are five pieces of wedding business advice I wish I had known at the beginning of my journey.
KNOW YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
If you want to grow your business, then knowing your target market (or ideal client) is absolutely key. I went through no less than three aimless rebrands of B.LOVED before I created the brand you see today on blovedblog.com. And you know what? It still feels as fresh and relevant today as it did when it launched five years ago. That’s due to the work I did to understand the kind of reader I wanted to follow and be inspired by B.LOVED. I knew my reader better than anyone, and I used that as my starting point. Once you understand your ideal client, everything starts to fall into place, and both business and branding decisions become better informed.
WALK BEFORE YOU RUN
As creative business owners, we all suffer a little from shiny object syndrome, i.e. being distracted by what everyone else is doing and attempting to replicate their success. Whether that’s hosting workshops, creating sales funnels, or diversifying too soon, it’s a trap that’s easy to fall into. But it’s important not to try to run before you can walk. Build solid foundations first. Get good at what you do now, then use your success as a springboard to the next level, whatever that is for you. The truth is that you don’t know what journey anyone else has been on in their business to take them to where they are now. There are no shortcuts – you must take your own route to success. Ignore the noise and focus on what’s next for YOU.
PASSION ALONE ISN’T ENOUGH
For my first five years in business, I followed my heart, sure that success (and profit!) would follow. I worked myself to the bone on shoots and collaborations, I gave away advertising, and believed that my love for weddings would eventually somehow translate into a successful business. It wasn’t until I experienced huge changes in my personal life, and a sudden need for my business to provide for me financially, that something clicked and my business turned a corner. I made more considered decisions, created sales, marketing, and financial strategies that took my business to the next level, and stopped working for free! After twelve months, my business had turned over more than it had in the whole of the previous five years, and now provides a regular income to support my family and I.
INTEGRITY AND HONESTY WILL GET YOU FAR
It’s widely considered that in business being ‘nice’ will get you nowhere. I beg to differ. Honesty, integrity, and kindness are as important in business as they are in daily life. Never get involved in industry spats, offer support and guidance to those around you, listen. This is the wedding business advice that will help to build trust and respect between you and your audience, and that leads directly to sales.
CHANGE IS GOOD
If you do what you’ve always done, the saying goes, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Sometimes it’s necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Your own knowledge and experience will only take you so far, so in order to grow and develop your business, you need to do two things: invest and ask for help. Each time I have recognised the need for change in my businesses, I have embraced the risks as well as the rewards, gaining new knowledge, fresh ideas and perspective, as well as learning new skills to put back into my business and elevate my offering. Start acting and making business decisions like a business owner, instead of a photographer, planner, designer, etc., and watch your business grow.
Want more valuable wedding business advice? As a wedding business coach, I combine my extensive knowledge and experience to help professionals like you to completely transform your brand and business. Get in touch to find out more about the ways we can work together, from an intensive VIP day, Signature Experience, or bespoke 1:1 coaching and consultancy package.