At first I didn’t think it would be difficult to get my event planning business up and running and find new event clients, but it turned out to be a challenge.
While I did get a few clients in my very first month as an event planner, I also did many things wrong…
- I didn’t charge enough so I lost money
- I would get some clients, and then I’d lose some clients
- I’d make some money, not make enough, make some more, not make enough again
I was burned out and exhausted
I had been working tons of hours trying to figure all this stuff out, but those hours didn’t include working with a lot of clients.
One day I was planting flowers in my garden and I remember thinking, “maybe I should just get a job again. Then at least I won’t have to worry so much.” I was almost ready to give up on myself because I felt so burned out and exhausted.
I thought, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.” I had been struggling with it for almost two years. I told my best friend, Shauna, “You know what? I think I’m going to quit. I think I’ve got to get a job or just do something.”
She was like, “first of all, you couldn’t handle being an employee again. Second, you love planning events too much to quit.” We used to help each other a lot. He talked me out of it.
I decided to draw a line in the sand and said, “I’m going to do whatever it takes to make this work and find new event clients.”
Growing my event business has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
When I tap into the ripple effect of events, and know that the events I’ve planned for celebrities, professional athletes and household brand names, I can say the journey to get here has been totally worth it.
Now, I’m sharing some highly valuable client attraction strategies that I’ve learned to help you build and grow your event business and help more clients see their dream events come to life.
5 Spots To Find New Clients
#1 – Your Website
By adding an opt-in to your website, you’ll be able to capture contact information for people that are engaged with you and your events and interested in your event services. This is one of the best ways to stay in contact with people on a regular and consistent basis.
We’ve used several email newsletter services and recommend Aweber because it’s easy to use, they offer support when you have a question, and have all the features you need to personalize your emails. They even give you free email templates, through our link, to make getting started easier.
#2 – Facebook & LinkedIn
There are a ton of potential clients out there looking for you and using social media effectively is a great way to reach these prospects.
One of my clients, Jennifer, uses the messaging function to reach out to and connect with people who like her comments and images, and she’s secured three new brides in the last 2 months by being proactive.
You could join Facebook or LinkedIn groups, too.
The trick is, when you’re a part of these groups, you don’t want to spam people and trying to get, get, get. It’s important to show up in the space of give, give, give. Be sure to check on the guidelines of each group to see how, when and if you’re able to share your invitation with their members for a free consultation.
#3 – Networking Events
There are local networking events everywhere—your city’s Chamber of Commerce, national networking groups such as Business Network International (BNI), and many other smaller groups that you can go to where potential clients hang out.
And you can attract those clients by saying the right words and showing up in the right way.
For example, when you give your 30-second introduction say, “Hi, my name is ________. I’m an event expert for (brides, corporate, families, etc.) and help them bring their event dreams to life. Right now I’m offering a special Event Consultation where we’ll define your event objective or WHY. If you’d like to have one of these sessions with me, just make sure I get your card when everybody is finished introducing themselves. It’s great to meet all of you.”
#4 – Speaking & Live Events
Whether you attend, speak at or lead workshops, live events are another great place to find your perfect clients.
Think about some places where your potential clients hang out that you can go to in person. For example, if you’re a corporate party planner, you could attend charity fundraisers since many corporations sponsors these types of events.
What is it that your potential clients want or need to learn? What workshops or seminars do they attend? You could show up at those places and network there.
Maybe you could even become a guest speaker there.
Maybe you could be a sponsor of that event.
This way you can get in front of your target market live and in person.
You could put on your own workshops, conferences, or seminars…
If you got 10, 20, or 30 people to an event and say the right words and show up the right way, you could completely fill up your event calendar in one talk.
You could book a conference room in a hotel or your local library. Think about the places that your potential clients already frequent. Can you use that space?
You could also put flyers for your events on bulletin boards in coffee shops and other local venues. You could hand them out at other networking events. You could advertise and post about it on Facebook.
#5 – JV Partners
Joint Venture Partners are people who work with the same kind of clients as you do, but who offer different kinds of services. For example, florists, musicians, caterers and venue managers. This way, you are able to offer complementary services to each other’s clients.
Seek out potential JV partners and ask them to promote you to their list by offering a free session with you. When their clients and community members sign up to work with you, you could offer a percentage of those sales to your JV partner. This is what creates a win-win kind of partnership where everyone benefits.
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment below and let me know what you found most valuable about these 5 strategies.
I feel like quitting all the time and always for the same reasons, but then someone comes along to encourage me. So I keep plugging along.
Starting, building and growing a business is not easy. It takes determination and perseverance…and someone to come along to encourage you too! Keep going Sharon, you got this!