When you are just starting out as a new wedding planner, connecting with seasoned event planners is invaluable. They have walked the path you are starting on and are full of knowledge.
I have recently seen some friction between new and seasoned planners in online forums about the do’s and don’ts of asking for a meeting to learn the business and ask for advice.
Here are eight tips for reaching out to a seasoned planner for guidance in starting your business:
1) Research first
Research and read about the planning company you are reaching out to. Every planner is different and specializes in different things. Make sure it aligns with what you want to do. Read through their website and follow them on social media before reaching out.
2) Don’t reach out to everyone with one email
Don’t just copy and paste your email to all the planners in the area. It is a small community (no matter where you are) and word gets around. It is especially off-putting if you copy and paste and forget to change the greeting or company name. The basis of being a wedding planner is having an eye for detail. You don’t want to start off showing you do not have that eye.
3) Be considerate in what you are asking for
If you are brand new, don’t ask to for the moon! I have received requests for my business plan, marketing plan, and wedding planning spreadsheets. Wedding planners who have been in business for a while have worked VERY hard to create all of these items and it is insulting for someone to just ask for them.
4) Ask for one thing
Be specific in what you want to achieve. For example, asking if you can take an experienced planner to coffee to talk about their business is vague. Being specific shows you have thought out what you want. A better way to approach is to ask if you can meet for a thirty-minute coffee date to discuss how to create your planning packages.
5) Be open to a virtual meeting
An in-person meeting takes a lot of time out of an event planner’s day. A skype or phone call is much easier.
6) Don’t cold call planners
Our days run on a tight schedule and it is inconvenient to pick up the phone to someone who wants chat for an hour.
7) Be prepared to pay for their time
Don’t assume all planners will chat with you for free. Many planners are business coaches and charge for their time. Expect some planners to charge for their time to meet with you.
8) Timing is important!
Don’t request a meeting or a call in the middle of wedding season. The answer will be no! Reach out to wedding planners during the off season, your chances will be better of securing a meeting.
Many planners are open to talking to new planners who are serious about growing a legitimate planning business. Demonstrate that you are willing to do the hard work, learn from the ground up, and that you are seeking education. When you show you are putting in the time and effort, you will be respected as someone who is legit. Don’t be afraid to reach out and create relationships with other planners, just be conscious and respectful of their time and expertise.
This is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Wedding Planning & Design in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and consults with wedding professionals about their marketing and business challenges. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.