When event planners get started, they think it’s impossible to make $10k/month.
Then they end up accepting contracts where they’ll make $600 in a month and run around for that client like a chicken without a head.
If you’re just breaking into the event planning business and this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to change things.
The team at The Event Planner Expo would like to share 5 steps that we have refined over the years, that have taught event planners how to break free of the $600/month clients.
1. PICK A NICHE AND GET EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD AT IT
Sounds basic? It is. Yet thousands of new event professionals come into the industry each year not understanding why it’s imperative to focus on one sector of the business.
When you first break into the events industry, you can’t go around making websites, designing invites and floorplans, marketing the event, creating catering menus, and figuring out the audio-visual needs of an event.
You’ll run yourself dry if you even try.
You’ll reach a point where you say enough is enough and realize that it’s time to drop 90% of your service offerings, to then pick the one you’re REALLY good at and up your pricing to $1,000/month.
Once you do that, you’ll notice all the free time you’ve opened, which in turn will allow you to go after more clients.
The snowball effect of picking ONE particular skill and getting really good at it is astonishing!
2. AMPLIFY YOUR SERVICES
Once you figure out that you have to be good at one thing, you can create a few different tiers of this one particular service (or product where applicable). So, when you have your initial meeting with a new client, you’ll have to bring your pricing structure to help them understand what it is your offer and the variety of levels you offer it on. For smaller clients, create a separate pricing structure that will be realistic to their budget and their event needs.
Believe us! This makes an event pros life 100 times easier!
No more “I can do it all!” You have your niche and the scope in which you can deliver it on. If that doesn’t work for the client, then this is not the ideal client for you. They will take up all of your time because when you handle it all, they feel they own you and will only pay you the above-mentioned $600 for the month to do it.
Yes, you will lose potential clients at first, but after a while, they come back around and say alright let’s do it!
3. STOP SENDING PROPOSALS IMMEDIATELY!
Most seasoned event professionals will tell you that their close rate on proposals is a big fat ZERO!
But the rate on implementing the following two-part close system will be something like 95%.
It’s really quite simple.
You should create a document that outlines the full strategy. That way you’ll ensure that you’re hitting the key points for each meeting!
Here’s how the two-part closing system goes:
In the first meeting, you’ll have 5 questions to ask the lead that are designed to get them feeling the pain of not having your services, while also assuring them that things are going to get better. We’ll call this the “Diagnosis Meeting.”
Then in the second meeting, you’ll prescribe the solution.
You’ll have all the information you need from the first meeting to present your solution and convince them that your plan will deliver solutions.
You present your price and SHUT UP!
Wait until they respond. You will then respond to every objection and ensure they are happy with your answers.
All that is left is the logistics, which is the easy part.
4. YOU ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS
You are the CEO, the clients you have aren’t your clients they are the company’s clients.
You have to realize that you are not building a “job” you aren’t “self-employed” you are a business owner. Treat your business that way!
Every time a new client comes onboard you need to have written processes in place, so that if you weren’t there your job could get done.
For example, if you have a business partner and they had to take a trip for a full week, you can’t let the business go down the drain because your partner does most of the work.
You need to set your business up to be a self-sufficient machine that serves YOU! Not the other way around.
5. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
This lesson could be a hard one at first, and quite honestly the lack of numbers knowledge happens more often than it should.
You need to perform a quick analysis of our P&L because once you do, you may realize you could have been paying yourself 3x more if you just dropped a few of your smaller expenses. You’ll be surprised what you learn from analyzing your numbers.
You need to focus on your numbers from day 1. Implement a system which FORCES you to check your numbers.
We suggest that you become accustomed to the “Profit First” method which has a good chance of transforming your business completely. This model will help lessen the stress about wondering if you’ll have enough to pay for everything!
Read more on becoming an event planning entrepreneur on our blog!