How to Market Your Event Planning Services to Past Clients
In some careers, you’ll work closely with clients and then go your separate ways once the task is complete. You’ll be able to look back on that experience with pride, but you likely won’t work with that client again. Event planning is not one of those careers!
In this role, you’ll form relationships with clients who are planning a big event and oversee all of the details, right up until the big day. Once the event is over, however, it is so important to maintain contact – this can result in more business from these clients, and potentially word-of-mouth referrals that will bring you new clients.
So how can you market your event planning services to past clients? Join us as we run through some helpful ways to keep your clients close, and make sure that you’re first on their list for future events!
Build strong relationships
Throughout your event planner career, you’ll meet all different kinds of personalities. This is an client-focused role, so being outgoing, personable, and compassionate is key to form lasting relationships. And you want to build this relationship from the very start! In order to keep past clients coming back to you for their event planning needs, they need to feel that you were attentive, professional, and went above and beyond.
So how do you make yourself memorable to each of your clients? Well, always being on time is an excellent start, as well as keeping your clients in the loop on a regular basis about any changes in the planning process. These may seem like small details, but they’re what your clients will remember about you as an event planner – and they go a long way!
Your clients will also appreciate your patience and flexibility when it comes to their vision of an event, and potential budgetary restrictions. They’ll remember how you worked tirelessly to ensure that they stuck to their budget, and didn’t make recommendations for vendors or other details that were too expensive. As the old saying goes, people will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel!
Network, network, network!
If you’re currently completing an event planning certificate, or are planning to do so in the future, you’ll need to network in order to jumpstart your event planner career. It’s one of the most important skills that you’ll learn as a planner! As you plan more and more events and start to build your list of clients, networking is going to be an invaluable marketing tool – bringing past clients back, and taking on new ones.
As you network your event planning services, however, take care to not hassle any potential clients or past clients. The last thing you want is to annoy someone who you’ve worked with before who may not need your services again – you need to approach them in a consistent, but casual way, and there are a few ways to do so…
- Regular communication:
You need to maintain contact with your clients, and this can be done in several simple ways – following up with a phone call, email, or survey is an excellent way to get feedback about your services and to maintain a business relationship with them. It also makes clients feel as though you really value what they have to say, which is incredibly important.
If you want to take things even further, consider sending them a small thank you gift in appreciation, such as a notebook branded with your logo. This will be a wonderful surprise they’re not likely to forget, and if they have another event to plan (or know a friend who needs a planner), you’ll be at the top of their list!
- Social networking:
- Special offers:
These days, everyone has a Facebook profile, and that includes business owners! Not only can you connect with a huge amount of potential and past clients on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, they’re also fabulous ways for you to keep in touch with past clients. The first step is to create a business page on Facebook that allows people to find and contact you easily. Once you’re up and running, don’t be afraid to tag your clients in posts that showcase your work planning and creating décor for events – encourage them to share your work as well, and watch as your social network (and clientele) grows. One great thing about maintaining relationships with your clients is the opportunity to share their birthday or other exciting news on your Facebook page, and encourage them to write you a review.
Check out these 10 creative social media ideas for some inspiration!
Everyone loves to feel like they scored a deal, especially when it comes to expensive planning services. Consider offering clients a discount on a future service, and put together a file where you can keep track of clients who have passed along a name (or two, or three) to you. Everyone loves to share a good experience, and many in their inner circle will eventually be looking to plan a baby shower, engagement party or wedding.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out:
You don’t want to hassle or annoy your past clients. This won’t get you anywhere, and can reverse how they initially felt about you in a hurry. You do, however, want to stay on their radar. We all get busy, and the time seems to fly by once a contract ends, so you definitely want to reach out every once in a while to past clients, like on holidays, to make sure you’re still a presence in their lives. As an event planner, you’ll stand out if you send a thoughtful card or even just a message wishing them well. Just remember that this is a business relationship first, so don’t get too personal. Stay professional and pleasant, but be sure you’re consistent.
Another way to stay in touch without being overwhelming is to send out a regular newsletter via email. Include photos and descriptions of your latest events, share any updates you’ve made to your website, pricing, or business in general, and encourage recipients to share reviews on your Facebook page. This is an extremely effective way to market your event planning services to past clients, as it keeps them in the loop in a way that allows them to open your newsletter on their own time, and read it at their leisure.
The minute that they need help planning a party, or get a phone call from a friend looking for an event planner, your name will be the first one out of their mouth!