Have you ever wanted to just sit down with a wedding business coach and ask those burning questions about how to improve your wedding business? But for FREE!? Well Dallas sat down with Brandee Gaar a wedding planner business coach who specializes in helping seasoned wedding professionals. We know you will love this interview!
Brandee Gaar is a luxury Event Planner, Wedding Planner Business Coach, Thought Leader, Educational Speaker and Host of The Wedding Pro CEO Podcast. As a lifelong lover of all things events, Brandee spent 7 years as a corporate event planner with the prestigious Gaylord Hotels brand before opening her own event consulting firm. Blush by Brandee Gaar and Eleven Events by Blush have quickly become known for their over the top events and high touch standard of customer service.
Brandee is passionate about teaching wedding industry entrepreneurs her exact strategies in growing two 6-figure event businesses (while still being a present mom and wife!). She provides expert tools for those who are ready to ditch the overwhelm and build the profitable business they’ve always dreamed of!
Wedding Planner Business Coach Interview
What are your recommendations for planners, on how to set clear and healthy boundaries with their clients and avoid scope creep?
I think a lot of it has to do with the mindset of understanding that you’ve got to really stick to what those packages are that you sold your clients.
And what you have to remember is that, you know, every time you allow a client who, let’s say, books your event management service, To scope creep into now things that you include in your partial planner, your full service.
When a client asks for a service that is not part of the sold package, you are taking that time away from the clients who paid you to do that. In the end it’s unfair to those clients who chose and paid for that higher-level package. You’re also doing a disservice to yourself, and I think we forget that every time we say yes to something, there’s a complete opposite, no involved as well. That no could be, that you allowed a client to take more of your time than they purchased, and so now you’re saying no to your kids, your family or even just getting some CEO work done.
I think the second piece of that is actually detailing what’s included in your packages and being super, super clear about what you do and what you don’t do in each of your services. I think it’s just a matter of saying, we can absolutely do that. Here’s the cost. I think scope creep is 99% of the time the provider’s fault. I think it’s our fault that our clients either don’t understand what’s in their package and what the additional cost is for additional services.
When it comes to setting boundaries, I allow our clients to text whenever they want to. However, the caveat to that is what we say to our clients is you’re welcome to text us, email us whenever you want to. But that doesn’t mean we’re gonna respond at that time, most likely my notifications are off at that time anyway.
Sometimes you have to figure out what your own boundaries are. You need to wow them with a great experience for what they purchased, but you don’t have to over-deliver just so that they’ll be happy.
What is the one thing you recommend doing every day to help get your wedding business a step ahead?
As a wedding planner business coach what I would tell any of my students, and anyone in my community, would be to really focus on what makes you money, and do something with that every single day.
So what I mean by that is, if in your business, social media brings money in, like if you actually get sales through your DMS, if you’re, getting new engagement, filling your funnel through reels, then every single day you need to be doing that.
But you need to know where your dollars are coming from and what turns those over. A lot of times what we do is we just get so busy. and. like we wake up and we just start answering emails and we start, doing things in our business that really have no impact, they don’t move the needle.
And you as the CEO, have to be moving the needle every single day.
What has been the most valuable educational investment for your wedding business that you recommend to clients?
I would say for me; personally, it was, really two books that I read by Mike Michalowicz. One was Profit First, so really understanding how to manage profit and how to create a profitable business was so important to me. Then the other book would be Clockwork. That book was probably the biggest mindset shift I needed as a CEO. It helped me understand the principles of how your business thrives when you know your role as the CEO. Which is actually a really difficult mindset shift to get out of the day-to-day tasks and into the CEO role.
Also, the one of the thing I wish I had earlier in my career was a community. I love the community that I’ve built with my students, and they lean on each other so much, and I wish so badly I had that when I was scaling my business.
What advice do you have for planners who are looking to reach a new target market?
If you are looking to get into a different market, you really wanna make sure that you know the pain points of the clients you are wanting to attract. After looking at those pain points it’s time to start educating to those pain points.
I find that a lot of times, planners think that they have to wait until they can get a styled shoot at a new venue or in a new region so they can do a wedding there. Instead, why not just walk into the property to view it. Go have lunch there one day and just start posting on your social media about why you love their ballroom space, and how you could see a rehearsal dinner in the space etc. When doing so be sure to start tagging the, venue and region and eventually you’re, gonna get noticed by vendors and brides in the area.
What advice do you have for seasoned planners who are updating their internal systems?
I would say do a systems audit on yourself of just get everything on paper. Get your sales funnels on paper, how they come into your business, how they become a lead, how they get booked. Then once they’re booked, what does that look like, whats the workflow? What are all the things that happen? Then I think it’s helpful to get somebody from the outside to help you to update those systems. Wheather it is by automation or outsourcing.
I personally love automating tasks and think automations actually allow you to be more personal with yoru clients. When you automate the things you do for every client, every time, you can end up taking so much work off your plate.You then have more time to incorperate a few personalized with this new time and that can really wow your clients.
As a wedding planner business coach, one of the biggest pitfalls I see a lot with seasoned wedding professionals struggling with is that they say they are “90% referral at this point and they don’t need to do social media”. If a client does not go to their website and fills out their inquiry form, they don’t want to work with that type of client. But, here’s the thing, the world has changed, and you business needs to adapt to these changes.
There is a quote that I love that says “every year we get older, but our clients stay the same age”. As your clients are getting younger and they wanna see your work and what you’re doing on social media. They wanna get to know you as a person and if you’re not posting consistently, they most likely won’t book you. So, one thing you can do is create a workflow from you Instagram DMs so that these younger couples do not have to go to your website to book a consultation with you.
Additonal Take Aways For Seasoned Wedding Professionals
Never rest on your laurels
Just because you are a seasoned wedding professional and something has worked for years does not mean there’s not a better way to do it. There’s always something to learn and improve on. So invested in education. Never get to a point in your business where you say, well, “I’m so and so, and I’ve been the market leader forever”. It is important to always be willing and to be a humble learner. Be eager and excited to learn and continue to refine how you do things.
Know Your Roles & Your Goals
I think that you first have to really kind of know what you are trying to achieve in your business because it’s so different for all of us.
Then I would say look at where you are in it mentality and know what is driving your business forward. It is important to know what you’re willing to give up. There is sacrifice in building a business, so it is important to know your boundaries.
Then I would say set realistic expectations for what you want your life to look like, and how your business plays a role in that. I am an advocate of building a team. I think in order to scale, you have to build a team, a lot of times I think that we just get in the weeds of the day to day and of servicing clients. When you’re so involved in the day-to-day tasks of those weddings, it begins to hinder your ability to focus on selling or growth. Eventually your business will start to go backwards at some point. It all goes back to, what are you trying to achieve in your business?
How Brandee can help you and your wedding business
As a wedding planner business coach, Brandee Gaar wants to help you build a profitable wedding business that actually pays you a salary without working 24/7. If you are in a rut and are looking to grow your wedding business be sure to check out this FREE profit training with Brandee!
Whether you are a seasoned wedding professional or newer to the wedding industry, there is no doubt that you will take away some golden nuggets from this interview with a Wedding planner business coach. Be sure to listen to the full interview with Brandee Gaar, by heading on over to the Wedding Pro CEO Podcast and listen to episode 176.