10 Step Event Planning Business Plan
Business advice and creating an event planning business plan can be booooring, and IMO you want to create a business so you’re having fun. There are going to be times in your business life where you’re doing things you don’t like and you want to quit, but creating and building a business can be fun and sssooo satisfying.
Now, before we get into today’s video training, let me be clear. I am not the person who is going to tell you to sit down for the next 3-12 months to fill out pages and pages of a (very dull) event planning business plan.
But, before you get your knickers in a knot and accuse me of insanity, let me explain…
It’s extremely important that you align your personal goals with your business objectives, which means you have to have goals and you need to create a plan in order to see those goals come to fruition.
However, it’s 100% possible to do that in a way that works for you. If a traditional event planning business plan works for you, great – go balls out and get ‘er done. But, if you’re anything like me and find most forms dull (did you see that other shiny object?) and they end up in a drawer never to be seen again, then listen up! (this is the reason Kickstart Your Event Business was created — for action takers who want a modern spin on creating an event planning business plan)
10 Step Event Planning Business Plan
Recently we held a live webinar/Periscope training and the feedback was very positive so we’re sharing the information here so you don’t miss it.
In this video workshop, we discuss:
- Brainstorming ideas so you know what type of events you want to plan?
- Creating a plan – map out your goals
- Listing all your resources (money, computer, etc)
- Securing and registering your business name and URL
- Setting up your social media profile(s)
- Designing and printing business cards
- Having a launch party
- Establishing your niche market
- Determining your pricing
- Determining your differentiators (benefits and features)
Now it’s your turn.
In the comments, let me know what’s inspiring you to create your event planning business plan and what you ‘took away’ from this video.
Thanks for sharing!
Note: we love hearing from you, but links to outside posts or videos appear as SPAM and are removed. 🙂
Thank you for joining me, and people on Periscope are saying hi to people on the webinars, so hello, hello back and forth. So first of all, I’m Melanie from Event Planning Blueprint, and welcome if you are just joining us for the first time.
Gina says, “Okay, I can hear you now.”
Awesome, I’m glad you can hear. If you’re joining us for the first time, the 10th time or the 100th time, welcome and thank you so much for joining me on this webinar and Periscope. We are going to talk today about 10 steps to start an event planning business. So I am going to assume since you are here and you’ve seen the title of it and have now mentioned it, you are interested in starting your event planning business, and this is one of my favorite topics to talk about, so I’m really excited. Thank you for the hearts on Periscope. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you and to also let you know about our new program that just opened today. Well it’s sort of new, but I’ll get into that more. So thank you guys so much for the hearts. So I’m going to go back and forth between the live broadcast on the webinar and the live broadcast on Periscope, and I will answer as many questions as I can. I’m happy to stay around and answer them, so if you could just let me know where you’re from, I know a bunch of you are on here and you can all hear me and we said hello and you’re sending hearts on Periscope, which is awesome, let me know where you’re from and also what stage of your business are you at. Are you completely new? Are you really getting started? Have you even picked a business name? Hey Gina from California. Or have you started? Do you have your first client or you’ve got all the pieces in place but you don’t have your first client yet. So I’d love to hear from you guys, let me know. Monique from the Bronx, hello. I think you’ve been on a few times, Monique, have you not? I’m pretty sure I recognize your name. I can’t see your face unfortunately with the webinar, but I’m pretty good with faces. Norma from California – Norma is in our program called “How to be an Event Planner,” which is going on right now. Chastity from Dallas, hey Chastity, thanks for being here. New Yorker living the coastline life in North Carolina. Hey Joanna, nice to see you. So Gina’s now designing a business collaboration with an event planner. Nancy from San Diego, “New here, never did event planning, just coordinate.” Amazing, thanks for joining us. Blue, Bridgeport, Connecticut, “Brand new, trying to start,” awesome. This is fantastic. Dietrich, North Carolina – we’ve got a bunch of North Carolina, from Tennessee, amazing. Tracy, “New to public but have been working over five years.” Oh great, so you’ve been working as an employee with somebody? That’s awesome. Tracy from Memphis, awesome. Okay, so let’s get started. Thank you guys. “Where are you? I like your office view.” Thank you. So I live in Toronto and this is my office view. It is a very nice view and it’s surprising because being in Canada, you expect a lot of snow and cold, but we’ve had a very lovely winter this year, and it’s quite nice out. So this is my downtown view, and I don’t know if you can see it, but I know you can on the webinar, but I don’t think you can actually see the CN Tower, and if I move everything, it’ll mess it all up, so next time on Periscope, I’ll more of a 360 view for you, and you can get a better view of what I look at every day, so thank you. I’m glad you like it. I love it. It is a really nice view, and it’s really nice especially when it’s warm and sunny out. Monique has done some volunteer work with the Marine Corps. Okay, great, so that’s where you’re getting started. Joanne has been doing local fundraising for nonprofits, helping to develop their brand. Okay, awesome. So anyone on Periscope, we are doing a live webinar as well, so I’m going between the two. If you are new to us, please make sure that you follow us on Periscope. And if you aren’t on Periscope, that’s totally fine, you can always just check out our Facebook page where I am always have our webinars listed, and there are a number of them there right now that you can register for the coming weeks. And if you are on Periscope, please make sure that you join us and follow us there and you will get notifications for as soon as I pop up if you have the notifications set up. Right now, we are doing webinar/Periscope combos for the next few Tuesdays at 1:30 Eastern time, so mark those times and dates in your calendar depending on when you want to pop in. So we are going to get into this. We are going to start talking about 10 steps to start your event planning business plan, and now that I know – Oh, what is my Facebook page? My Facebook page is Event Planning Blueprint, and the website is also eventplanningblueprint.com, so if you have any trouble finding it on Facebook, you can always go to eventplanningblueprint.com and then you will find our Facebook icon at the bottom of the homepage. So this is kind of in order, but not necessarily, so some of these will apply to you and some of them won’t. All of them may apply to you, but it kind of depends on where you’re at in terms of starting your event planning business. You may do some of them in different orders, but we are going to go through 10 steps and you can choose how you want to do them. So I hope you have a pen and paper or you have a Word doc open or whatever you prefer to take notes. Get that all ready and we will get into number one, which is brainstorming. I know this might seem kind of obvious, but it’s really important to start thinking about the type of events that you want to plan and who your target market is. Thank you so much for the hearts on Periscope. So you want to start brainstorming what kind of events do you plan, what kind of experience do you already have, what kind of people do you like to work with. If you want to plan weddings, chances are you’re not going to also plan corporate events. You may down the road when you have an established clientele, but at the beginning, I think it’s really important to focus on the type of events that you want to plan. Now you may not know what that is, and that’s okay, in which case you might end up taking events just to figure it out, however, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking paid clients, especially weddings because there’s a lot of pressure around weddings, and it’s someone’s really special day. What I’d recommend in that case is go out and volunteer at different organizations, whether they’re nonprofits or other organizations where you can get that experience, maybe even with event planners. Some event planners are not open to taking on interns. Some are. You’re going to find one that is, if that’s what you’re interested in, and it might take a little while, but go out and get some experience. You can even get experience through florists or caterers. You don’t have to just stick to event planners, but it’ll give you different experiences so you can really decide what kind of events you want to plan, which will go a long way when you start your event planning business, because it’s going to make it a lot easier to figure out what clients you want to focus on. When I started my event planning business back in 2004, I focused on corporate clients. I knew I didn’t want to plan weddings and I did some fundraisers, but that wasn’t really my cup of tea either, even though I could do them and I did do them. I did them more on a nonprofit capacity, a volunteer capacity, and I really focused on the corporate. Morning Joanne. I’m assuming you guys know each other or have something in common, so I’m glad the community’s getting to know each other. As I was saying, I was focusing on corporate clients, because that’s what I wanted to be. You may want to be in weddings. You may want to be in fundraisers or maybe in other sorts of event types, totally up to you, but it makes it a lot easier when you know exactly who you client is and they know who you are. It makes it easier for them to hire you for the right type of events and also to refer you. So the first step again is brainstorming, and if you’re just joining us or you’re watching the replay, sorry, if you’re just joining us, you’ll have to watch the replay because we’re not going to go back and forth. Step number two is to create a plan. Some people would recommend you do a business plan, but you can also do pieces of the business plan, so for example, thank you Gina for writing that, so in Periscope, someone’s just adding that step number is brainstorming. Thanks, Gina. I love that this community is so helpful. Step number two is to create a plan. Thanks for the hearts as well. So you can do a business plan you can also do parts of a business plan, for example, the marketing side. I also recommend doing the financials. You really need to know your finances when you’re starting out, so you want to list everything that you’re going to need for your business, so that’s your computer, your Internet connection, if you have rent to pay, how much your utilities are going to cost you, what about your car, gas, mileage, all of these pieces, even down to the type of phone plan that you’re going to need in order to run your business. So create a plan and then you’re going to work that plan. It’s also going to help you map out your goals for the next year. How are you going to get clients? You want to start thinking about those types of questions and things that might come up as you’re going. So just thinking ahead. I’m a big fan – I don’t have it in front of me right now, it’s on the other side – but I’m a big fan of doing a one-year plan and I break that one year into smaller chunks, so it’s way more manageable and I get to celebrate those small successes as well. I break them down into quarterly chunks and then each quarter, I break down into weekly – so what am I doing each week to get to those goals. And when you start breaking your goals down and your plan down, then it becomes a whole lot easier, and I’m a big fan of taking baby steps just to get to where I want to be. So that’s number two. Does anyone have any questions so far? Thank you guys for the hearts, thank you so much. Again, if you’re just joining us on Periscope, I’m Melanie from eventplanningblueprint.com and I want to thank you for joining us. And if you’re just joining us on the webinar, we have a new program that I mentioned just launched today. It’s on our website at eventplanningblueprint.com. You go to products and you can find it under “Kickstart Your Event Business.” So one question is “Should I only stay on one type of event planning?” You know, Norma, that’s a good question. You can, but you don’t necessarily need to. It’s difficult when you are getting started. I know for you, you want to focus on weddings. Weddings are their own bag, so in my opinion, it’s going to be difficult to plan weddings and then move into another kind of event. I personally, what I would do, especially if you’re going to be a wedding planner, that’s your goal, that’s your dream to be a wedding planner, is I would focus on solely on everything you can learn about wedding planning and become the expert in that. I think it’s different when you want to do corporate events and then you want to have some fundraising, for example. It’s a little different, kind of like what I did when I first got started. Having said that, I also know when you’re starting, you just want events. You just want to plan. You’re so excited so you may end up taking whatever you get, and that’s okay. That’s okay. It’s okay, and you know, you’ll soon find out what you like and what you don’t like, so don’t worry about it too much. Joanna’s asking, “How do you price insurance into the budget?” Well it is a good question. It is going to completely depend on where you live and what type of events you are planning. I can give you my experience. I can’t tell you what will be applicable to you because you will have to talk to an insurance agent about that. So you want to make sure you have a line item in your budget for insurance, specifically for insurance. For me, what I did when I first got started, I was able to buy per-event insurance, and what that means is I didn’t have to pay insurance for one lump sum that lasted an entire year, I would just pay insurance based on the type of event I was planning. So back in 2004, and I know the prices have gone up by now, I would sometimes pay as low as $35 for my event insurance. So I would put that into the budget and the client would pay that. I always pushed that type of insurance onto the client. However, if you are going to have an annual insurance policy, then you may want to break it down so that each client is paying a percentage, or depending on how you charge, you’ve integrated it into your service fee. So where do you find event insurance? You can find it from most insurance companies, but I know there are some that specifically do event insurance, so I don’t know where you are or what you do, but what to do first is to just go on Google and type in “event insurance” and then whatever state or city you’re in, and then try to find somebody there. So in California, if you’re in California, you can find someone there. However, there might be somebody in the States, because insurance is very different based on locale, and I’m in Canada, you’re in the U.S., it’s going to be completely different on how it’s operated. The policies may be very similar, but how they go about getting there might be very different, so I would start with a Google search. So let’s move onto number three. Thank you so much for the questions – good questions. We’ll go through a few steps and we’ll go into the questions, just so you guys can… Thanks for joining us. I’m just going to have some… I’ve got lemon water here. All right, number three, you want to list all your resources, and this kind of goes into what we were just talking about. Take inventory of everything you need to get started. Again, that goes to your computer, your phone, the type of phone plan you have or need. You may need to upgrade. Maybe you don’t need as much as you currently have, but chances are you need more than you currently have. And then the other thing is how much money you need to get your business started. So number three is listing all your resources. Number four, secure your business name and registration, and register your business. So again, this is going to depend on where you live – thanks for the hearts everyone – so Gina’s just was listing out all of the points here on Periscope. So number four is secure your business name and register your business. You can do this a number of ways. So the first thing you want to do is register your business name, and the reason why you want to do that before you even get your URL is that if it’s not available, then it’s pointless paying for a URL. So most of the time, what you can do, just go to Google, good old Google, the Internet, it’s got everything, you can just do a search based on your location again and find out where you register your business name, and often you can just do that right online. Again, just as an example, with my business, I am in Toronto, but my province is Ontario. So I just type it in, “register business name” and “Ontario,” and the right site pops up and I go on there, I fill everything out and it costs me, I believe at the time I registered my business 12 years ago, it was about 55 to 60 dollars. It’s very inexpensive to do. So do that first. The other thing to do is to do a name search so you can legally operate under that name. Down the road, you may want to trademark your name if that’s possible, but you probably don’t need to do that right away and we’re not going to get into that because that’s not necessarily needed for when you’re starting your business, so we’re talking about getting started. So secure your business name by registering it by your state or province, wherever you’re living, and then you want to go in and register your business name. So you can go to sites like GoDaddy.com, there are so many sites where you can register a business name, and find out if your business name is available. Now I’m going to give you a couple of tips on this, just some suggestions. Don’t do anything hyphenated and make it easy for people. So I know people like to get creative with their names, and thank you for the hearts – I know people like to get creative with their names and they like to do interesting spellings and that sometimes can work, but a lot of the times, it’s just confusing to people. So make it really easy for them and make it easy for yourself. You don’t always want to necessarily be explaining the name, although having said that, when I started my business, mine was Ciao, which was an Italian word and it’s an Italian greeting, C-I-A-O, it’s spelled, and it worked back them. But we also didn’t have the Internet the same way that we do now, so I don’t know if I would choose the same way now as I did then. Hey, thanks for joining us, Savvy Girl, we’re just talking about 10 steps to starting an event planning business. Ciao – C-I-A-O, exactly, one of my favorite words. So number four again is secure your business name and register your business online. So number five is set up your social media pages, and this again, you want to do this in order because again, if you go and set up all your social media pages and then you find out after you register your business name that that name is just not available, well you’ve gone through all this effort to try and promote yourself and it’s futile and you’re going to have toe start over again. So set up your social media page is number five. I know this one can be very overwhelming because there is so much social media going on. For example, right now, I’m doing a webinar on this side and I’ve got Periscope on this side, and for a lot of people, especially when you’re getting started, it seems like, “Oh, I’m going to have to do all that stuff.” You don’t need to do all that and you don’t need to be on all social media sites. I know some people are going to tell you to register for everything, and yes, you may want to register for them just so you have the name secure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be active on all of them and really posting on everything because it really does take a lot of time. So what I would recommend when you are getting started is to focus on one or two of those. Detail is saying, “Thank you, I agree.” Yeah, you know what? It makes it a whole lot easier. When I started eventplanningblueprint.com, social media was so overwhelming to me, and I realized that I have an online business. I do online training programs for event planners and for people who want to start their event planning business, but it was really, really overwhelming. Hey, thanks for joining us. Thanks for all the hearts everyone. It was so overwhelming for me. And so what I did, and this is actually recommended to me as well and I’m going to pass it on, just stick to one or maybe two. So I stuck to YouTube – I love doing videos – and I went to Facebook. And I worked those two and I started building my community that way. Blogging was also a big part of that, but that’s where the videos came in for me. That was my idea and it may not be yours, and if it’s not, then that’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to do what I’m doing, especially if you’re really uncomfortable with it. Having said that, you’re going to be uncomfortable with a few things when you first get started, and it’s okay. It’s a bit of trial and error. I remember my first blog post – I posted it, I took it down. I posted it, I took it down. I posted it, I took it down. I was so self-conscious about people seeing things or me not doing something properly or someone judging me, and eventually, you just have to get the F over it and move on and just do it. So like I said, number five is to just set up your social media pages. Thank you so much for the hearts and get one or two things and really work them and really build your community that way. So number six, design and print your business cards. “A little New Yorker in you.” I don’t swear a whole lot, but a little F bomb once in a while I think goes a long way. I know when to bring it out and when not to, so hopefully you noticed no one’s too sensitive here for my little F bombs once in a while. I’ll keep them under control, don’t worry. So design and print your business cards. These are going to be really important for you, and I’ve got some “LOLs” and I’ve got a lot of hearts going on here – so these are going to be really important, because you’ve got to let people know that you are out there. So not only your social media pages, but also we’re all out. Thank you, Joanne, I totally agree. So not only are your social media pages really important for you to let everyone know that you’re there and to engage with them when you’re not in front of them and just stay in touch, but equally as important is you want to let people know face-to-face that you’re there and you’re planning events. So when you have your business name registered and you have a few things set up, I don’t even have my own website for a year into my business, and I realized that it’s changed a lot in the last 12 years, and people feel like you have to have a website. Yes, that is the case at some point, but in my opinion, you need to have clients first before you have the website. So here’s an example. Norma is an amazing florist. Amazing. She is getting into event planning. As I mentioned earlier, if you’re just joining us, you would have missed this. she’s in our program, “How To Be An Event Planner” at howtobeaneventplanner.com, and so she’s moving into wedding planning. She doesn’t have a website, but she has fantastic photos and she’s got great reviews on her Facebook page, so she’s using that to promote her services before she builds a website, that – I don’t know Norma’s financial situation – but she may or may not be able to afford. So why not get some clients, make some money off the clients, and have the clients pay for your website. So don’t feel like you have to have a website. You can always put up one page and say, “Coming soon” with your contact information and a little blurb about your services so you have something on your business card if you feel like you need to. It’s not a bad idea, and that way also, when you’re getting your business cards designed, you don’t have to go through a new design and a new printing cost, because that will cost you a bit more doing it that way. So if that makes more sense for you – Norma says, “Exactly” – so if that makes more sense for you, then do it that way. So you can either get a website with one page, put your contact information on there and have a little blurb about what it is that you do, put that on your business card so that it’s there and people can go there and can find you, because sometimes people will just automatically remember that or they might throw out the business card or they might lose it, so sometimes it’s a better idea. Or in Norma’s case, she’s using her Facebook page because she has so many pictures and she has reviews on there and it works well for her. So you have to decide what works best for you. And the business cards, I want to say this, and I say this because this is the experience that I had. When I started, I had very little experience in event planning. I’m going to be totally honest with you. I didn’t go to school for it. Some people feel you’re not legitimate without a website. That’s totally it. I agree and that’s why I mention that option, so have that. Just say, “Under construction.” You can make it really cute, depending on what your personality is and who your clients are, but yeah, I totally agree. Some people do feel that you’re not legit, and that’s why I also said when I started my event planning business, websites were not has important as they are today. So put one page up, don’t spend a lot of money on it if you don’t have to while you’re getting started. The key is to get clients before you’re spending all this money. So the one thing I was going to say about business cards, and I speak from experience, get some really good quality ones. Do not print them off from home. Do not get even Vistaprint. I’m sorry. Vistaprint is a great concept, but I don’t know about you guys if you’ve ever ordered anything from them, they show up and they’re not like they appear because they’re not to scale. For me, it’s been a mess and a complete waste of money using them, and I hope someone else has had a good experience with them. It’s nothing against them, but it’s just that it didn’t work for me. So what I did is I got a designer. You can go to a place like 99designs.com and you can get a logo design, you can get a business card design, you can even go to Fiverr.com and go there and get something designed. Get a really nice design that you’re going to want to look at for the next five years, because you don’t want to keep reinventing the wheel every couple of years. So get something you really like, put a little extra money into it, something that you like for five years, and print it on really good quality cardstock. And I promise that will go a long way when you are meeting people and you are handing them your business card, because there’s nothing worse than getting a business card and it feels paper-thin. It’s kind of like the spaghetti handshake. You know what I’m talking about? The card is part of your first impression. It’s exactly it with details. It is your first impression and it does make that first impression. If someone hands me a floppy business card, I actually almost immediately dismiss them, whether or not they are great at what they do or not, but it’s just that first impression. Again, it just goes back to what I’m saying, the spaghetti handshake, when someone shakes your hand and it’s kind of like really loose and it feels like spaghetti in your fingers, business cards are the same thing. So that was number six, design and print your business cards. So number seven, have a launch party. Woo-woo! Get your groove on, girls! So you’ve got to celebrate what you’re doing. It’s really a big deal and it’s exciting, and I get you’re nervous, but it’s exciting and your friends and your family want to support you and it’s also a great place to – I’m getting some “heck yeahs” over here – and it’s also a great place to invite new clients to. Maybe you’ve never even worked with them before, but you want to, so invite them to your launch party. Now if you are on Periscope, then you can go back, and even if you’re on Twitter too, you can go back for the next… Oh maybe it’s gone… See, the thing with Periscope is that it only lasts 24 hours, and so I did a Periscope on launch parties yesterday. So what I will do instead, just to make sure you have that information on launch parties is if you’re on the webinar, I’m going to pop the URL into the sidebar here. All right, there you go. You can have that URL. There was a good video, but I think it’s gone now. That sucks too, because I think I may have done that one about 1:30 yesterday, so it’s probably gone. Anyways, if you’re on the webinar, I just put in the URL, and if you’re watching the replay or joining us on Periscope, you can just go to my website, just go to blogs. It’s called… Tracey said she’s just finished watching the webinar, so you might catch it but I don’t think you’re going to be able to. If you go onto my blogs on my website at eventplanningblueprint.com, it is – just let me look it up for you so I know exactly where it is at the time of this recording, of course this will change as of tomorrow – so right now it is fourth one down. If you’re watching this on Wednesday, it’s the fifth one down because I’ll be posting a new blog post. Or you can just Google it – “Event Planning Blueprint” and “How to plan a large party.” So go through that and plan yourself a launch party. And you can also use those tips when you have clients that want to have launch parties for them. So Tracey, I would love to hear, if you just finished watching it before the webinar, what your thoughts were. I’d love to hear what you thought. Hey Gina, thanks for inviting followers. That’s so great. Thank you guys. And again, if you’re on Periscope, make sure to follow us so you get notifications as soon as I’m jumping on and off. We do have regular Periscopes on Tuesdays at 1:30 ET, but I do tend to jump on unannounced as well, so make sure that you’re follow us. So moving on. Number seven… “Are any of your videos on Catch Me?” No, I don’t know what Catch Me is. My videos are all on YouTube. You can find them on my blog posts at eventplanningblueprint.com/blog. So number seven was to have a launch party. Invite your guests; invite your clients, your family, your friends and also media. Make sure you invite media, especially if you want to have any sort of relationship with them or if you want to get some sort of recognition. And this should include bloggers as well; so make sure you do that. Number eight is establishing your niche and what your offering is. And I kind of talked about this in the beginning about brainstorming, but you want to decide who your niche market is so it makes it easier for you to find them and them to hire you and then also to refer you. And then again, it goes into your offering as well. What are you offering them? Are you a wedding planner? Are you a corporate planner? Are you a party planner? Are you a fundraiser? It just makes it a whole lot easier. So I’ve got a couple of more – I’ve got two more to go through. Are there any questions at this point? I know we’ve gone through a lot right now. So number eight was establishing your niche market and your offering. So if you have any questions, feel free to pop them in. I’m happy to answer any questions. And as I mentioned, we have a new program starting today. Registration just opened today. If you’re ready to rock and roll your event planning business, you’re ready to get started, you can head on over to eventplanningblueprint.com/products, and it’s called “Kickstart Your Event Business,” and I am going to put the URL into the chat bar for those who are on the webinar. Again, for anyone who is not, if you’re watching the replays or either on Periscope – there you go. There’s the link. It’s a four-week program. We’ll be doing live webinars that will be exclusive to the members of this program, and there are three modules. And so when you register, I’m going to send you a full workbook. It’s called “Business Launch Workbook” and you’re going to go through all of these pieces of all three modules at your own pace. We’ll have weekly webinars. Like I said, it’s going to take four weeks and there’s a number of bonus videos that you get, so it’s really about you not just working these 10 steps, but more involved, way more involved, and as Norma can tell you and anyone else in here who’s in my “How To Be An Event Planner” program, as we’re going through programs, I’m adding things on like, “I think you need this. I really think you need this to get to this stage.” I add it on. So I can make a lot of promises and I deliver on those promises and then I give you a lot more. That program right now is open until March 1st. We close registration March 1st, and it’s $99 – sorry, it’s four installments of $99, so $396 total. So you can get registered there, again, eventplanningblueprint.com/products, and it’s called “Kickstart Your Event Business.” So it’s open. Tracey says, “Love it. It was very helpful, especially the last few steps. So Tracey is referring to the article about how to launch a party. Thanks Tracey, I’m glad you watched it. Thanks for watching that. Joanne says, “How do you find a local blogger or reach out to media?” That’s a good question, Joanne. So again, you can use the good old Google to find local bloggers, and find the ones that are writing about things that would be of interest to their readers, because if it’s not of interest to their readers, then they’re not going to print your materials or they’re not going to be interested anyways. So I would start following some local bloggers in your area. There are so many that it depends on what type of events you’re planning, but there might be some who might be, say, in fashion, where weddings would complement that. Or if you are running a fundraising event where it’s kind of a gala event and the women are wearing gowns, then a fashion blogger would be great for that as well. But you want to make sure that it works not only with their readers but also with your audience. So with my last example, if you are doing a gala event and the women are going to be showing up in these beautiful gowns, and you find a fashion blogger, that might work really well, especially if you know that your clients read that blog, because it’s a win-win for you and for the blogger. So just do a bit of research on Google. And in terms of reaching out to them, let me see… I don’t know if I have any sample letters. I don’t think I do right now, but it could be something that I’d write a blog post about coming up in the next month or two. So let me just make note of that and I’ll write that up for you so that you have it. I know it won’t be immediately, but you know what? I’m actually going to add that to the “Kickstart Your Event Program.” I’m going to add it to that program and it may or may not be a blog post. So I just changed my mind right there, because I think it’s important. Yeah, so reaching out to media. I’m just thinking… Joanne says, “Thank you, sounds good.” Yeah, no problem, Joanne. So it may come in the form of a blog post, but you won’t get the same information that you’ll get when you’re in the program, so I’ll just say that. You can watch for it, but chances are it will be some form of a blog post, but it won’t be lessons like they would be in the program that’s being offered. So let’s move on. If you’ve got any questions, feel free… “Great Scope as usual, I have to hop off. See you next Tuesday. Have a productive week.” Thanks Details. Thanks for joining us, and actually I may see you sometime this week. I’m planning on being on a bit more this week, so I will see you then. Thank you for joining us. Okay, so number nine is to determine your pricing. And I know this is always a very big one for everybody, including people who’ve been in event planning for a number of years. Thank you guys for the hearts. Thank you so much. This seems a little crooked. I can’t believe I haven’t noticed this really. That’s not sitting, that’s why. So you have to know your pricing. There are a number of options and a number of ways you can decide on your pricing. You can charge an hourly rate or you can charge more of a flat fee or a percentage of the event. When I first started, I charged an hourly rate, and the reason I did that was because I wasn’t really sure how many hours it was going to take me to plan somebody’s event. So I would charge my hourly rate. At that time, I was charging $75 and hour, but again, keep in mind my location and the year I started – 2004. Each year, I would increase my rates. Eventually, I transitioned to charging a flat fee, so a percentage of the event. It can work, but it doesn’t always work in your favor unless you have events that are in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, which is what I was at that point when I started charging flat fees. So it worked out actually a lot better and it was just a different… It was more of a boutique style of event planning. So when you’re starting, charge an hourly rate. You might need to play around with it. A good way to find out what other event planners in your area are charging is to do some research. So you can either go online and see if you can find that or you can call. I know a number of event planners, and this happens in every industry, so this isn’t necessarily me trying to be sneaky or you trying to be sneaky. This happens in every industry. You always have to check up on the competition. Call and pretend you’re planning an event. It’s one of the best ways to find out what their process is, what they do and also again how much they charge for those types of events. So you may not have to do that. Some people are very uncomfortable doing it. It’s totally up to you – thank you guys for the hearts – but I know this was also a discussion in a forum I’m in a couple of weeks ago with event planners, and they all do it as well. So those are a couple of pieces about determining your price. All right, last but not least, and if you have questions, feel free to start popping them in because we’re at number 10, so determine your differentiators. This is a really important one in terms of marketing yourself and branding yourself as an event planner. So lots of people call themselves event planners, and for many people who are not event planners, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything except, “Great, you’re going to come in and plan my party.” That’s not what you do always. Yeah, you may plan parties, but you want to know what sets you apart from the other event planners in your area. And don’t always go to cost. In my opinion, you should not be the least expensive person or doing budget events, and I say that because it’s very difficult. You spend a lot of hours working and you work very hard and it’s very difficult to make money that way. So find out what your features and your benefits. I’m going to give you a couple of examples, and these are very important to figure out, and again, this all kind of loops back to number one, to brainstorming. We talked about brainstorming as the first tip. So figure out what your differentiators are, and when I say that, what I mean is like a feature will be something like lowest price, like I was just saying, which again, I don’t think is the best option, but it’s a feature. Another feature can be custom events, so you design custom events. So the benefit with custom events is that they’re designed for you, specifically for your client. It’s not a cookie cutter event, so again, the feature is custom events, and the benefit is that the event is designed specifically for you. So you want to figure out what your features and your benefits are – your features and your benefits. And once you can figure out what that is, it’s just going to make it a whole lot easier for you to start marketing yourself, to start finding the clients that you want to work with, and even if you’re getting started and you don’t necessarily know what kind of events you are going to plan or you want to plan, you can still figure this out. You can still figure out what features and what benefits you have and can offer, and it’s really important to bridge the gap between the two for your clients. So that’s number 10. I want to thank you guys so much for joining me. If you have questions – thank you so much for the hearts on Periscope, I really appreciate it – if you have any questions, please pop them into the chat bar and I will be happy to answer any questions that you have. As I said, if you are interested in getting your business started, I’d love to help you. Head on over to eventplanningblueprint.com/products, and go to “Kickstart Your Event Business.” It’s halfway down the page, and register there for our four-week online training program and we will get your business started. There are three modules – you can see the outlines there – and a number of bonuses as well, including some one-on-one time with me. So again, eventplanningblueprint.com/products, and go to “Kickstart Your Event Business.” Thank you guys so much. Hey Real Estate, nice to see you again, we are just at the end so you’ll have to watch the replay, but if you do have any questions – thank you guys so much for the hearts – if you do have any questions, please ask them and I will be happy to answer any of your questions. Gina says, “Thank you so much.” Thank you for joining me, Gina, I really appreciate it and I’m glad you’re here and you’re able to get some tips from us today. I’d love to hear what your thoughts were on these tips, and again, any questions that you have. So we’ve got a couple of minutes left, thank you guys so much for the hearts. There are tons of hearts being pumped out on here. I don’t know if any of you on the webinar are on Periscope as well, but I love the hearts. A couple of weeks ago, I did a Periscope and we were talking about the halftime show from the Super Bowl, and someone was putting in, instead of hearts, they were throwing out footballs. It was great. Gina says, “I learned a lot.” Chastity said, “Awesome.” Chastity from Dallas, thanks so much guys. Thank you, Event Diva. Thank you, very good. “Thank you for the information. Gives me a lot to think about.” Thanks, Monique. “Great Scope. Extremely helpful,” says Savvy Girl. Well thank you guys so much. I hope you have a fantastic Tuesday. Again, make sure that you follow us on Periscope. Make sure you follow us on Periscope because I’m going to be jumping on and off all week, and for the next few weeks, I do have scheduled Periscopes happening on Tuesdays at 1:30 ET, and if you are not on Periscope, that’s okay. You can register for the webinars because we’ll do a webinar/Periscope combo like we did today. Tracey says, “Thank you. One question – do you do individual coaching as we advance in our business?” Yes I do, Tracey. Yes I do. You have to advance in your business in order to have that one-on-one coaching. We are doing the “Kickstart Your Event” program as a group program at the moment so there’s community there, because a lot of the questions are very similar, but yes, I am happy to do one-on-one coaching. If you are interested in that, you can just email us at info(at)eventplanningblueprint(dot)com and get all the info there. Norma says, “Thank you.” Joanne says, “Do you still do event planning aside from training new event planners?” Not really anymore. I will do it on occasion. It’s very rare, Joanne, because I’m so busy with the trainings, and this business, Event Planning Blueprint, is a full time business, and I love doing this. I love helping you, and I’d much rather help you do what you love than try and split my time between two different businesses. So I’m really focused on the event planning training. So thank you guys so much for the hearts. All the hearts are pumping out! Woo-woo!