5 things to stop doing in your wedding business!

Show notes:

Today I want to share with you 5 things you need to stop doing in your wedding business! I’ve seen lots of people making lots of mistakes over the last couple of weeks and I don’t want you to fall into the same traps. In my opinion it’s time to stop doing all these things!

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Transcript:

Becca: Today’s episode starts with a little bit of a warning because today you are gonna hear a little bit of ranting from me as we start this new year. I’m seeing some great work out there from some of you taking action, doing great things in your business, putting your prices up, charging a worth, and a myriad of other amazing things.

However, I’m also seeing some things that make me cringe. So today’s episode is gonna be all about the things that I want you to stop doing in your wedding business, right?

I am Becca Pountney, wedding business marketing expert, speaker and blogger, and you are listening to The Wedding Pros who are Ready to Grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get going with today’s episode. Today I’m gonna be sharing with you five things I want you to stop doing in your wedding business right now. But I also wanna make clear that there’s absolutely no judgment here coming from me. If you’ve been doing some of these things and you’re listening to this and thinking, oh no, that’s me, don’t panic, it’s okay.

Because you can stop doing them and you can change the things you’re doing. There’s no point looking back on things you’ve been doing and regretting it. We’re all about looking forward to the future. So if you hear yourself in some of these things, I’m about to share. Don’t sit in a feeling of, oh no, that’s me.

Instead think, right, okay. This is my message that I need to change and I need to do something differently in my wedding business.

Okay. Let’s get on then with the first thing. Number one is discounting. I have been seeing that. Everywhere this month, huge discounts on your wedding business services. Please stop doing this. I’m gonna give you the reason why. First of all, you are worth what you charge if you are not worth what you charge. So you need to look at your pricing. But if you are confident in what you charge, you’re confident in your ability, you’re confident in the product that you have, you do not need to discount in order to get.

It’s really important that you learn to promote yourself in a way that’s not taking money off what you deserve to be paid. You may have heard in a previous episode, one of the things I love to talk about is Disney World. Why? Because Disney World never discount. They cost what they cost. They’re incredible.

They offer incredible customer service, and people pay it. So you don’t need to discount to get your customers. If you want to do some kind of offer, that’s fine, but do an added value offer. Add an additional part of your service in if someone books within a certain timeframe. But what you don’t wanna be doing is taking money off.

Why? Because you only have a certain amount of dates throughout the year, and therefore, if you’re starting to work for a lot less, you’re gonna resent that and it’s not going to be good for your marketing. The other thing is that actually it can wreak desperation. Putting loads of massive discounts. So I’ve seen some posts out there recently where it’s like 500 pounds off my wedding photography, 1000 pound discount.

It makes it look like you can’t get work, which therefore makes it look like you’re not very good at what you do. And that is not true. You’re amazing at what you do. So stop offering these massive discounts in a desperate way to try and bring in money to your business. It’s not gonna work. It’s gonna do you more damage in the long term.

Instead be confident in what you’re charging. Yes, get out there and market yourself and if you do wanna put some. Specific offer together maybe for a wedding fair or for social media. Then do an added value offer where you give additional services for the same price rather than taking money off.

Okay, the second thing I want you to stop doing right now is these follow for follow threads on social media.

Now, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about being in these wedding industry groups or places online where someone suggests, let’s do a follow thread to help each other out with our engagement on social media, so often what happens is someone will say, post your Instagram link, and then everyone go and follow each other, and then comment on each other’s posts.

You also sometimes hear them called follow loops, where you get a group of four or five people who all within the wedding industry say that they’re gonna follow each other Then. Comment on each other’s posts when the post first comes out. Maybe they’ve got a WhatsApp group to talk about doing this. And the idea behind it is that you get increased engagement on your account, more people commenting, et cetera.

However, this does not work from a marketing perspective, and let me explain why. First of all, when you post on these massive follow for follow threads, do you think people are actually going ahead and doing it, or are they just putting their Instagram on the bottom of the thread? It’s kind of pointers, and to be honest, it just doesn’t work.

The second reason is because these follow loops do not work in the wedding industry. Here is. When it comes to the Instagram algorithm, Instagram wants to show your content to more of the people that already like your content. Okay. So they’re gonna push it into newsfeeds or they’re gonna show it to people who they think, Based on the algorithm likes your content.

Now, if your content and your followers are all other people in the wedding industry, if the only people ever engaging on your post, because these follow threads are other people in the wedding industry, guess what Instagram thinks this account must be for people in the wedding industry and you end up in the algorithm just being shown to more and more and more people who do the same things as you.

Now it’s great for networking, but for most of us, what we want to be doing on our social media is making an impact and making sales. So therefore, we don’t want the algorithm to think we’re just there for other people in the wedding industry. We want the algorithm to know that we are there for couples.

So the content that we should be putting out onto our Facebook, on our Instagram, on our social pages should be resonating with people who are planning their wedding, people who are looking to get married. So instead of getting yourself involved in these lengthy follow. Threads where you’re all commenting on each other’s posts.

Instead, use that time, use that energy to create unique original content for couples. Go create some Instagram reels. Create some tips, posts. Go create some inspirational posts. Go tag some other suppliers and collaborate on a post so that more and more of your couples can see your. Work. Do not spend time commenting on other suppliers posts constantly just to try and get your engagement up.

Yes, maybe your engagement will go up slightly, but if it’s to the wrong people, it’s a pointless statistic. So if you have been involved in one of these follow loops or you see these follow threads in groups, just ignore them. Scroll on past and remember, they don’t work for the wedding.

Number three then of my list of things you should stop doing is working for free.

Now, this probably applies to you more if you’re just starting out in the wedding business. If you’re thinking of starting a wedding business or if you’re just about to leave full-time employment or something like that to grow your wedding business and you are not paying yourself. Or you’re working for free.

So I’m gonna cut this into two categories now. The first one is working for free. This was sparked off because of a wedding industry group that I’m in. I saw someone this week post that they’re going to offer five wedding videos for free to five couples because they’re just starting out now. As someone who used to be a wedding videographer.

I know that that is a huge amount of value that they are giving away completely free. Not only do they need to turn up on the wedding day and work the hours, but they also are gonna spend hours and hours and hours editing. There’s gonna be costs to them for music and that kind of thing. And it’s not only working for free, it’s actually going to cost them money.

And it also, again, reeks of desperation. It’s not great marketing and it just looks kind of strange and it doesn’t do any favors to the rest of the. So why are they doing that now? I imagine the person who is posting that is doing it for a couple of reasons. One, because they’re just starting out and they want to get a bit of a portfolio going.

Number two, maybe they’re lacking in confidence and they don’t wanna charge a lot of money because they’re worried that they’re not gonna be good enough. Okay, I understand the reasons behind it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to do. Now, if you are just starting out, I understand you might wanna get a bit of a portfolio behind you.

Well, why not offer to do a friend’s wedding or someone you knows wedding for free? Therefore, you’re not putting it in the public domain. No one needs to know that you did it for free, if that’s what you wanna do. Or you could do it for a token cost. Ask them to at least cover the costs to you, even if they’re not paying your full.

Secondly, you should get experience. If you are starting a business doing something, you should know how to do it. Now, if you’ve worked in the industry before, then you probably do have enough experience and it’s just imposter syndrome saying that you shouldn’t be charging for it. However, if you really are brand new to it, then you probably need to get some experience before starting to work with couples.

Even if they’re not paying you, even if they’re getting that service for free, they’re gonna expect that it’s going to. Good. And they are gonna be unhappy with you even if you’re giving it away for free, if it’s rubbish. Because why is the best day of their life and if you mess it up, well, I know you haven’t charged them for it, but they’re still gonna be annoyed with you and it’s not gonna do your marketing or your ongoing referrals any.

Favors. So instead, go get some experience, go work on some styled shoots, go second. Shoot for someone. If you’re a photographer, go and apprentice. Work with a florist, work with a cake maker. Work with someone already in the industry as an assistant and get some experience. Therefore, you’re building up a bit of a portfolio.

You’re building up your experience. Without having to go out there and work for free, please don’t go out there and post these things in a group. It’s not doing your self worth any good. It’s gonna mean yoga, working really hard. Often people who aren’t willing to pay for the service can be really difficult and hard to work with, so it’s gonna be mentally exhausting.

And like I said, they’re still gonna expect a good job, even if they haven’t paid for it. And if you don’t do a good job, they’re gonna complain. You might get a bad review. It’s not gonna help you get work referred on in the future. So instead, take a different. Keep it quiet. Do it behind the scenes. Don’t post it out there on social media for everybody to see and get some experience working with someone else.

Most of the time though, it’s actually down to imposter syndrome. You feel like you’re not good enough to charge your worth, but you probably are. If you’ve had the confidence to set up a business, start a website, get some help. Listen to this podcast, I promise you, you’re probably better equipped than you think you are.

So make sure you’re charging your worth. Be confident and get out there and get your first customer. You don’t need to give your work away for. Now the second mistake I’m seeing people making in terms of working for free isn’t that they’re not charging their customers, they are charging their customers properly.

It’s actually that they’re never taking any money for themselves. Now, this may be you. You may be working incredibly hard in your business. You may be taking orders, working for filling orders, and never seeing anything at the end of it. And this is really sad. Why? Because you’re putting in so much hard work and you’re not actually getting paid anything.

Therefore, it’s really a hobby and not a business. You could earn more by working in Tescos, which isn’t really where we want to be. When we start our business. We wanna be successful and we wanna be earning money. If this is you and this is resonating, then I want you to start looking at what you can do differently.

You need to look at your finances, you need to make a plan. Look at your sales plan. You need to look at your finance plan. You need to look at your pricing. Are you charging enough to cover your costs and to pay yourself? And I want you to start paying yourself something every. Even if it’s really small, even if you set it as 50 pounds a month, direct debit from your business account into your personal account, pay yourself something otherwise you never will.

There’s always money to be spent and you’ll just get out of the habit of ever paying yourself, or you’ll just take random amounts of money out of your account. It’s much better to pay yourself little and often, and then to build that over time as the business gets more successful rather than to never pay.

If you are not paying yourself any money and you don’t even think there’s 50 pounds in the business to pay yourself, then you need to go back to your plan. You need to go back to your spreadsheet. You need to reach out to me, and you need to work out what is happening. Is it that your marketing needs improving?

Does your branding needs improving? Is it your prices need to raise? What is the problem? That’s meaning you’re not bringing enough money to pay yourself because it’s not sustainable to keep running a. And never earning any money and ultimately you are worth it. You deserve it. You’re putting in the hard work. You should have something to show for it.

Let’s move on then to the fourth thing on my list of things you need to stop doing in your wedding business right now, and that is being unreliable. Have you ever signed up to go and take part in a wedding industry event? Perhaps you’ve signed up to one of my networking events.

Maybe you’ve signed up to another wedding industry event and then just not shown up at the last minute. Perhaps you’ve said that you’re gonna do something for someone and then you just don’t do it because you decide you can’t be bothered or you don’t have time. Has anyone ever asked you for a quote on something and then you just leave it so long that by the time you get back to.

They found someone else. Have you been booked for an event and then turned up really late because of a reason that was probably your fault or made a mistake so that something’s been double booked? Have you ever done one of these things? Now we’re all human, so we’re all gonna make mistakes from time to time, but there are examples that I see of this where people are unreliable time and time again.

Now, you may not think that that matters, maybe you’ve made a good excuse. Maybe you’ve worked something out. Maybe something better came up, however. People are looking at you and what you do, and they are making a judgment on you based on what they see. So for example, when I run a networking event and I have a list of who’s supposed to be there, I tick people off when they arrive.

And often if someone calls me or messages me and says, I’m really sorry, I’ve got stuck at work, or I’m not very well, or I’m running late, that’s absolutely fine. I’ll cross them out. These things happen. But then there’ll always be a few people left on that list who haven’t turned. And haven’t even told me that they’re not gonna come.

They haven’t reached out. And to me then I’m thinking these people are pretty unreliable. They’ve said they’re gonna come to something and they haven’t. How do I know that they’re gonna be reliable if I recommended them for some work at a wedding? So if that is you, if you sign up for something wedding industry related, maybe to go and be at a wedding fair, maybe it’s to come to a networking event.

Maybe it’s to go meet with someone and then something comes up, that’s okay. But make sure you contact them and let them know so they know you’re not unreliable. If you’ve been booked to do something, make sure you get there early. Get there on time, leave additional time. Think of it like when you’re trying to go and get a flight.

You leave additional time in case there’s a problem on the public transport, or maybe there’s a problem on the roads. You make sure you are there because otherwise you’re gonna miss that flight. I think you need to have the same attitude when it comes to these opportunities for your business, because if you’re constantly late or you turn up.

Doesn’t look very professional, and although it’s just a meeting, not the wedding day, people start to put two and two together and think, well, if they’re not reliable for this meeting, how can I know they’ll be reliable? For my couple, it’s really important that you don’t get a reputation of being unreliable.

Be honest, be open and make sure you are appearing as good as you would for a couple, even when you’re talking to someone else in the wedding industry. Perhaps someone who’s organizing event, perhaps a wedding planner, perhaps a venue coordinator because they are watching. I used to work in television, and one of the things I did when I worked on Deal or No Deal was to help at auditions.

So we’d audition new contestants, there’d be researchers that would do the actual interviewing on camera, and then I would be around welcoming people, signing them in, chatting to them, making sure they got to their room on time. Now what those potential contestants didn’t know was that I wasn’t just there as an admin person, ticking them in and chatting to them.

I was actually part of the team deciding on who got the parts. Now, for some of those contestants or potential contestants, they thought that the audition was all about being in the room in front of the camera, and they’d put on a good show. But if they were rude to me or they were unreliable to me, or they didn’t talk to me in a very nice way.

Guess what? They got a black mark against their name because they thought that I was just the admin person and they thought they could be rude to me, and that’s when their true colors came out. And if they were rude to me or I didn’t like how they were outside, that held just as much weight as how they were on camera.

So it’s an important lesson to remember. You don’t know who’s making decisions, you don’t know who’s watching what you’re doing, and you don’t know what opportunities you might be missing out on because you’ve been unreliable in the past. So yes, things happen, things come up. Sometimes we get sick, sometimes things clash in the diary.

We all make mistakes. We’re all human. But it’s how you deal with that to show that you’re not unreliable, that’s important, and make sure you’re leaving extra time so you’re not late to any of those appointments.

Okay. That brings me onto the fifth and final thing that you shouldn’t be doing when it comes to your wedding business, and you need to stop right now, and that is buying into really cheap content hacks.

Now, again, I’ve seen this in all sorts of places recently, so if you’re thinking, oh, they’re talking about me, it’s not personal. I’ve seen it all over the place. And it’s really tempting. Now what I’m talking about, content pack is where there’s already pre-made social media posts, pre-written blog posts, pre-written emails, things that are done for you as a template and you for a very low cost can buy them and then use them in your business.

And that is very tempting cuz we’re all short of time and anything that’s done for us is a good thing. And so we wanna spend that money and get it. Now. Here’s why I think you should be careful or stop doing. First of all, if you are buying these things and then just putting them out there as they are or with very small changes.

Then your content is gonna look like everyone else’s content, who’s bought the same packs? It’s not gonna be original. So you’re still gonna have to put the time and effort into making it more original, changing the colors, changing the images, changing the fonts. Well, at that point, you might as well just have made the content yourself and saved yourself some money.

Now, when it comes to content prompts, these can be helpful, so you know, Of questions, lists of ideas of things that you could put out there. They’re useful. In fact, I’ve got one myself. I’ll link to it in the show notes. But where someone has made the content for you as a generic template, well, it’s probably not the best idea because very quickly you can see that other people have the same content as you.

And if you are all putting it out on the same day at the same time, well, it’s not gonna take someone who’s doing some research very long to realize it’s not unique content. It’s just the same as everybody else. When it comes to blog posts, it’s an even bigger danger? So if you buy a made-for-you written blog post, and it’s a template as in more than one person has got the same blog post, this can be a massive problem.

When it comes to blogging and writing on your website, Google is very hot on plagiarism. So if you write a piece of content and then someone else has an identical piece of content, Google will think that one of you has plagiarized the other and you will be penalized. Whenever you write something online, you need to make sure it’s unique and original to you.

So if you are gonna buy a template blog post, again, you’re gonna have to do so much changing to it to make sure it’s original, that you might as well have just sat down and written something original in the first place rather than just regurgitating the same thing that everybody else is hosting. Now I understand that it saves you time and there are ways to save time on your content marketing.

Like I said, you use a prompt to get you ideas of what to post. Pay someone to outsource your content to who’s gonna create you original content rather than just the same content as everyone else, or pay someone to write your blog posts or get training to help you do it faster. But just be really careful when it comes to these packs of pre-made content that you don’t just buy it because it’s cheap and easy.

And it seems like it’s gonna save you time because again, it could do you more damage than good in the long term. If you’re putting out the same content as everyone else. You don’t wanna get that plagiarism mark from Google cause that’s really gonna harm your seo and you don’t wanna look like a copy of everybody else who’s doing the same thing.

On the same day. If you can stand out, be unique, be yourself, put your content out. I’d rather you put out original content a couple of times a week than pre-made copied content the same as everyone else’s five days a week. It’s no good to just have this same regurgitated stuff. It’s much better to have fresh, unique content to be yourself, to be helpful to your couples, rather than to spend a tiny bit of money save time, and actually potentially do yourself more harm.

Now, there are ways you can use these to your advantage, so don’t think that. Useful at all, but you will have to put in the time and effort to edit them, to maybe change the date order so you’re not doing the same as everyone else. And like I said, by the time you’ve done all of that, you’re probably better off just making the original content yourself.

Okay. Before we finish, I’m gonna recap those five things that I think you need to stop doing in your wedding business right now.

Number one, those big discounts, you are worth what you’re charging. You don’t need to discount. It just makes you look desperate.

Secondly, those follow for follow threads or follow loops. You don’t need to do those either. They’re not helpful. Instead, create content that’s gonna reach couples.

Thirdly, working for free because you’re not feeling confident. You don’t need to give your services away for free, and you need to make sure you are paying yourself.

Number four, being unreliable, being late, not showing up, not doing what you said you would do. All look bad and you dunno who’s watching and what that could be losing you out on in the future.

And finally buying into those really cheap content packs where things are done for you. Just be really careful about this. I don’t want you to get a bad mark with plagiarism. I don’t want you to look the same as everyone else’s content. So if you are gonna purchase something like this, then make sure you’re putting the work into changing it enough to make it look unique and original.

Now I realize some of these things may be seen as a little bit controversial, and these are all my own opinions. If you’ve got a different idea, if you’ve got a different alternative opinion, I’d love to hear it. Don’t be mean, be nice, but feel free to reach out on dms and let me know if you have had success in any of these areas that I’m saying you shouldn’t be doing. But on the whole, most of what I’ve said, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna do you more damage than good. So it’s probably time to stop. Stop trying to cut corners.

Stop lacking in confidence. Go out there, be unapologetically you, and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Becca xo

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