I was watching Jay Leno's new show and he was talking to Miley Cyrus via satellite and he asked her if she wasn't in show business, what would she want to be? Her answer? A wedding planner. While Miley Cyrus will probably never be a real life wedding planner it got me thinking that I should offer her some advice on how to be a successful wedding planner, just in case (psst you can use this advice too even if you've been in the biz longer than Miley's been singing).
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When you decide to be a wedding planner it often is something that you fall into. You plan your own wedding and love it, you plan other events and one day a wedding falls in your lap, or you help out a friend for their wedding and things progress from there. But after your big début into wedding planning you've got to set up your business for success if you're going to make this your career.
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Dive Into the Industry- It doesn't matter how long you've been in the wedding planning industry it is crucial to be surrounded by your people. Whether it's attending yearly conferences put on by industry associations, diving into a wedding planning workshop, or joining a wedding planner's twitter chat group you've got to be involved. Other wedding professionals are your people and you can learn valuable lessons from them and the experiences they can share with you.
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Learn As Much As You Can From the Experts- Whether you're reading Preston Bailey's books from cover to cover or participating in a Rockstar Wedding Planner coaching call you need to be learning from the experts. Learn from those in the industry who have great ideas in regards to décor, color and trends, but don't forget to learn from those in the industry with great business and marketing skills as well. You need a good balance of both to make it in this world.
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Create A Positive Environment- Tell naysayers to take a back seat. If you want to be a wedding planner then you go girl! (or guy!) Or if you've been doing this for awhile and want to step up your game then honey, let's see you strap on those 4" hot pink stilettos and jump into the game. If you're going to make it in any business venture you have to keep your mindset in check, that means get away from negative energy and surround yourself with encouragement, positive affirmations and energy boosting visualizations.
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Figure Out Your Niche- So if Miley was going to be a wedding planner I'd tell her she better find a niche. For her maybe it'd be planning weddings for up and coming young Hollywood post Disney couples. But for you, you've got to find a niche because just having an engagement ring is not enough of a qualification. I know my exact flavor and the more I write to her and design my business around attracting her, the more I see her show up in my office.
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Treat It Like A Business Not a Hobby- If you want to play J. Lo. and strap on a fanny pack and play dress up at a friend's wedding then fine, but if you want to get serious then that means treating this venture like a business not a hobby. If you want to be a full time wedding planner then you've got to set up an actual business, participate in the industry, support your fellow wedding professionals and create an exit strategy to get out of your corporate job. Most importantly you need a plan, you need to have a vision for where you want this company to go and you've got to act as the "Chief Entrepreneurial Officer" in charge of leading the business on that journey.
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Whether you're just starting out in the wedding planning business or a seasoned pro the above tips can help you grow in success as a wedding planner. Just like the great band Journey says, "Don't Stop Believing." If this is your dream it is attainable just take action.