• Charli May

5 Ways to grow your wedding business

So you’ve set up your small business (check out my post on how to start a business if you haven’t already seen it) and it's going well, but you’re unsure where to go to take your business to the next level. Perhaps you would like to take on a little more work in order to go full time, or you're not getting the clients you really want? That's where I found myself a year ago. The pandemic allowed me the time to figure out a plan and action it, so I thought I would share some of the things that helped me to grow my business!

1. Book more clients - and more of the clients you really want

The most important way of booking more clients is having more clients find you and enquire. The main ways that clients' can find you is through search engines, social media and word of mouth, so here are a few things you can do to boost those channels:

Up your game on social media and keep making content. The best thing you can do with your social media is to not only present your talents and products, but to portray who you are as a person. People connect with people, and so client's are more likely to book you if they feel you are a real, trustworthy person with similar beliefs to them. Don't be afraid that some potential client's may not like everything you say - if they don't, then they probably aren't the right client for you anyway. Sharing more on your stories, posting about more personal things and interacting with people in your comments can help people get to know you. Just do whatever you feel comfortable doing and what comes naturally to you. Regularly reviewing your posts and insights and seeing which did the best can help you figure out what your potential clients want to see so that you can do more of this to ensure you are putting the best possible content out on your platforms. Now you probably know all this already, but if you're thinking about it and haven't done anything so far, consider this your push!

Work on your website and getting more traffic there. This isn't always as easy as it sounds, especially if you don't want to spend loads of money on advertising or paying for a professional to do this for you. I have so far managed to boost myself by five pages in the Google search results just doing a few simple things like using key words, headings, adding descriptions to pictures and updating my website regularly. You could also add a shop to your website, or start a mailing list - anything to get more people to click on your website. You can find loads of tips online for free! It takes time and patience - I still have some work to do - but it will be worth it!

Ensure your current clients have the best experience possible so that they will remember and recommend you. Always go that extra mile! Other people in your industry are also likely to recommend other suppliers - so get out and meet other people and build relationships with them. Even people who have the same business as you may well recommend you if they are unable to work for a potential client.

Not only do you want to find more clients, but you want more of your target client. If you want to do more elopements, or there is a particular style of wedding you like, such as modern or boho, then share more content that reflects this. As well, you can use your hashtags to do this, such as location specific or style specific hashtags. Really think about who your dream client is, and work out what they would want to see from you.

2. Diversify

If you have reached a point in your business where you feel you want to make more money or expand on your experience, you could try diversifying your business. For instance, you could start blogging, start a YouTube channel, begin selling digital products such as presets or PDF's, logo design or digital prints or try out mentoring others. Not only could this provide you with other sources of income, and expand your business opportunities, but you could find something that you absolutely love to do!

3. Or become more specific

If you have been doing lots of different things for work, but have found the one thing you really love, or a few things that you enjoy doing the most, then you could start concentrating on doing more of that. We usually do better at things that we enjoy, so you are more likely to progress and grow your business when you can give it your all. It may take time to build up to being able to make a living from just that one thing, but you will get there!

4. Always keep learning

You absolutely can never know enough and in order to grow, you need to continue to learn. Whether that's attending workshops, styled shoots, updating your kit or equipment, learning better workflow to make you more efficient, (subscribing to Studio Ninja has changed the game for me), refreshing your branding, or learning new skills such as flying a drone, perfecting a new cake icing technique, or learning a new software like photoshop, there is always something to learn and improve. Even if you are happy with where your business is, there are probably ways that you can make less work for yourself - and who wouldn't want that?!

5. Stay dedicated

The most important thing that has helped me grow my business was switching my mindset. There are a couple of things that I changed to get to where I am:

Not comparing myself to others. It is VERY easy to sit and worry about what other people are doing and how successful they are (especially in the early stages of a business that is nowhere near where you'd like to be). You might be looking at someone else's style and wondering whether yours should be more like theirs, or looking at how many followers they have or likes that they are getting. This really can make you question yourself and feel like a failure. But as soon as you stop doing this, and start completely focusing on your own journey, you'll not only be more likely to succeed, but you'll feel much lighter. Plus, social media is very deceptive - the person you are looking up to is probably feeling exactly the same way about their own business!

Not caring what other people thought. I was aware that friends and peers were watching what I was doing, and this made me a little uncomfortable at times. But there is absolutely no need (and no point) to be. You just do you and don't worry about anyone else!

Putting more of my time, energy and focus into my business. Trying to start and grow a business half-heartedly will never work. Eventually you will be able to relax and watch all of your effort pay off, but you have to earn that. Spend some time thinking (and writing it down if that helps you) about what you want from your business. Set yourself some goals - some easily obtainable and perhaps some others that will test you - for things you really want to achieve and work out a plan for how to get there. I personally love a vision board to get me excited about my goals! Then, give it everything for as long as you can and watch your hard work come to fruition! Good luck!