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35 mistakes to avoid making as a celebrant

Having a solid foundation as a celebrant will set you up for a long-term thriving career. It gives you a solid base from which you’ll grow, flourish and prosper your way to becoming the best celebrant that you can be. 

But as with any career, the path to success is never a straightforward or smooth one and sometimes things happen along the way which can shake your foundations.

So I’ve listed 35 common mistakes you’ll want to try and avoid in order to keep your celebrant business in good shape and to help you to carry on enjoying a job that you love, to the maximum.

But I’m warning you, the list is a bit of a biggie! However, don’t forget, it’s just a list, offering a bit of guidance, not a rule book or celebrant bible. I’m not a rule-y, bible-y type.

And of course, I’ve added some of my Natasha-isms too for extra emphasis! I love a bit of extra emphasis. So here goes:

Mistakes to avoid…

  1. Not being yourself. (Be yourself and be unapologetic about it. The end.)
  2. Forgetting to network and get your name out there. (Do it, even if you hate it, like me!)
  3. Not blogging. (I mean, come on!)
  4. Not asking for help when you need it. (Ask!)
  5. Comparing yourself to other celebrants. (Just stop it, already!)
  6. Not charging enough for what you do. (Sort it out, asap!)
  7. Not listening to your gut. (Instincts know best sometimes.)
  8. Discounting your prices when you don’t want to. (Yes, please don’t!)
  9. Not learning from your mistakes and failures. (We all make mistakes.)
  10. Trying to get where you want to be too quickly. (Patience, people, patience!)
  11. Failing to have a mentor or biz buddy of some kind. (Add it to your list.)
  12. Not investing in your professional development as a celebrant. (Tut!)
  13. Getting caught up in industry drama. (Sigh!)
  14. Not demonstrating or acting on your belief in diversity, inclusion and equality for all. (Sorry, there’s no excuse.)
  15. Not respecting your celebrant colleagues regardless of your differences. (Goes without saying, right?).
  16. Working in a way that doesn’t suit you. (You do you!)
  17. Not clearly defining what your ‘why’ is. Why are you a celebrant? (Can’t stress enough how important this is!)
  18. Not reading up on and fully understanding your industry. (So important.)
  19. Dressing for work how you think you should, instead of how you want to. (Tartan fluffy boots? You go, girl!)
  20. Taking more than 48 hours to reply to an enquiry. (Longer looks less interested).
  21. Publicly bad-mouthing or belittling your colleagues. (All the nopes.)
  22. Forgetting to properly thank people who help you. (**Shakes head slowly**)
  23. Not being as business-focused as you are ceremony-focused. (It’s really okay to be both in equal measure!)
  24. Overwhelming yourself with social media. (It’s not worth it and it doesn’t need to be overwhelming.)
  25. Not recognizing that you never stop learning. (Never!)
  26. Forgetting to make your website sound like a human being wrote it. (Take out the jargon, industry speak and clichés and just speak from the heart.)
  27. Competing instead of collaborating. (Win your own race.)
  28. Setting yourself unrealistic goals or setting unclear goals. (Get clear!)
  29. Not defining what success means to YOU! (Success is whatever you say it is, no-one else!)
  30. Not believing in your own abilities. (Start. Believing. Now.)
  31. Thinking that everyone is your client. (Hint: They’re not!)
  32. Not having a support system or individual support. (So important.)
  33. Not raising your prices when you feel it’s time to. (Raise them! Raise them!)
  34. Doing things that you don’t want to do. (Set those boundaries, people!)
  35. Not evolving and adapting. (Won’t get you anywhere fast.)

And there you have it. Thirty-five golden non-rules. Could you add to this list? I’m sure you could! What on this list are you struggling with? What for you is a no brainer?

Main image photo by Pedro Bellido Photography

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How to cope with rejection as a wedding celebrant

I remember the first time a couple decided not to book me for their ceremony. I was GUTTED! What didn’t they like about me? Was it something I’d said? Did I talk too much and not listen enough? Did they find me too expensive? Was it my colour? What did I do? What didn’t I do?

Honestly, these questions played around in my head for days after their knock-back. This particular rejection by this couple had hit me hard because before it I’d had a perfect run of enquiries turning into bookings. 

Up until that point, every couple who I’d either spoken to or emailed had gone ahead and booked me. So this one came as a big shock, as I’d been totally convinced of my celebrant superpowers, and this brought me back to earth with a bump.

After moping about for a few days my husband who is quite often an unintentional therapist said to me,‘ look, you can’t control what they do or why they do it, so just let it go.’  He said this partly to help me and partly because he was sick of me moping about, but whatever his motivation, he was right!

I had no idea why the couple chose another celebrant over me, and no matter how much I tried to figure it out, it got me nowhere. So there was no point in beating myself up about it.

Not getting a booking with a couple who we click with, really smacks. But one thing I’ve learnt is that you’ve got to get over it as quickly as the couple came and went from your life!

In my latest podcast episode, I look at why getting turned down by a couple can feel like a big deal and what you can do to not let it get you down or even worse, lose your confidence and mess with your mojo. 

Listen here or get the latest episode from Spotify, Apple Podcast or Stitcher for Android. 

And as always let me know what you think!

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Why now is the best time EVER to be a celebrant

This year I’ll be celebrating 13 years as a wedding celebrant. Yup, I know. Sometimes I can’t believe it either. I know I know, I look like I started when I was 12, don’t I? LOL!

When I look at where I am now, and think back to how I got started, sometimes I can’t believe that a) I make a living as a celebrant and b) that I have a successful celebrant business, and have a team of awesome associates who support my vision. What the hell! Talk about dreams come true.

I say this with a touch of disbelief because when I look at the celebrant industry now with all the support, the education, the advice, the Facebook groups, the networks and connections available, I remember that I had none of this when I set out as a celebrant. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. And oh boy, could I have done with it!

Like when I made mistakes. Huge ones.

Like when I wasn’t sure of what to charge.

Like when I suffered from imposter syndrome.

Like when I had a big business decision to make but just couldn’t move forward with it.

Like when I had my first celebrity wedding and had no-one (who gets it) to share the excitement with.

Like when I felt a disconnect between who I am and who I was as a celebrant.

Like when I had problem clients that I didn’t know how to handle.

Like when I really didn’t have a clue how to market myself online or who my ideal clients were.

The list goes on and on.

I don’t regret my path to success and how long it took to get here but I know I could have got here a little more quickly and confidently, if I’d had the support and knowledge that I have now, all these things that are so widely available!

Being a celebrant is awesome but the journey to awesomeness can be full of uncertainty, no matter how much training you have under your belt.
Not knowing if what you’re doing is right or wrong. Making mistakes, not having a support system. Little things, which snowball into big things without help and advice.

This is why I created the Celebrants Collective, to offer the support that I never had but always wanted and definitely could have done with. To have someone there who knew what I was going through and could advise me on what to do. To point me in the right direction and help me develop and learn with confidence. But also to have someone like me, someone who shared my vision and my vibe. It’s so important!

And I’m so pleased (understatement of the year) that three years down the line, the Celebrants Collective is offering all of this to its members and more.

“I wouldn’t have a Celebrant business I believe if it wasn’t for the Celebrants Collective. In the beginning, when you are starting out, it’s a highly affordable way of access to priceless resources, reams of useful information and, thanks to the many wise and wonderful Celebrants in the group, the benefit of very learned and experienced Celebrants. All this combined with Natasha’s never-ending support, kindness and know-how – the ability to draw on her own knowledge as well as knowing which experts to bring in to share theirs. If you are a Celebrant and you are not a part of the Collective, you are missing out BIG TIME!”

Member, Elizabeth Cass-Kanti

“Natasha’s friendly, authentic and supportive energy drew me to join the Collective as I knew it would likely draw similar people to the group. I wanted to be surrounded by fellow Celebrants who were focused on building relationships, connections and creativity over heavy marketing and sales. Being a member of the Collective has given me the confidence to approach this job as a ‘real’ business, introducing me to marketing strategies and business planning in a way that feels organic and part of my work, as opposed to an uncomfortable extra. I also have a network of incredibly friendly folks who are so willing to offer advice, support and encouragement and access to a heap of professional development resources that are encouraging me to expand my own knowledge and up the value of the service I offer.”

Member, Keli Tomlin

“Being a member of the Celebrants Collective gives me confidence and reassurance to be who I want to be and not a clone of other celebrants. It provides answers to questions. The support, energy and encouragement of colleagues (and Natasha!) spurs me on to be better. I find Natasha’s style and her perspective sits so comfortably with me – she’s experienced, knowledgeable, wise and inspiring, but she keeps it very real – I like that realism and the down to earth vibe. I’ve learnt a lot from her about not beating myself up for not being perfect, not being ‘fully booked’, not being an all singing, all dancing super celebrant!”

Member, Jane Blackman

“I was looking for a group where we could collaborate and share ideas which were business focussed as well as ceremony content based. Through the Celebrants Collective, I have attended workshops and Natasha’s celebrant retreat in Spain, meeting celebrants from all over the world which has really given me an opportunity to improve the ceremonies I offer my couples. Natasha is incredibly positive and has been a huge benefit to me. She works incredibly hard to create an awareness of what celebrancy is and how couples would benefit from employing one. Now she is focussing on us and how we can be that much better for the benefit of those couples.”

Member, Karina O’ Donnell

Now is an amazing time to be a celebrant because you have so much opportunity to be the best that you can be. There’s really no excuse.

As a community we are more connected than ever. It’s easy to reach out for help. It’s easy to get advice, it’s easy to learn from others and to get your business up and running more easily. It’s easier to be seen and heard, listened to and taken seriously. There is opportunity and support everywhere!

Like with my members, if you want my personal and focused support to help you on your celebrant journey and to be a part of my educational community, we’d love to have you.

For just 10 Euros a month all of this support, resources, guides, live expert webinar sessions, and video tutorials are available to you. And new from this month, they’ll be monthly coaching calls with me! Yay! This is one of the most affordable ways that I can help you personally.

(Pssst..from September membership goes up to 17 Euros a month for new members. Just so you know!)

Sign up and join us here and let’s get this celebrant educational party started! Whoop!

The Celebrant Resource Shop

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Permission to just be whatever you need to be

Here in Spain we’re coming up to the 60 day mark for the number of days that we’ve been in captivity, sorry, I mean, isolation. Actually, I’m not sorry. Spain’s quarantine is one of the strictest in the world, so I’m going to allow myself to feel the worst parts of being confined.

I don’t know about you but I’m actually learning to forgive myself for a lot of things, lately.

I forgive myself for shouting at my son.
I forgive myself for being moody with my husband.
I forgive myself for not getting the work done that I want to do.
I forgive myself for being slower to get back to emails than usual.
I forgive myself for feeling restless.
I forgive myself for not having read the books I’ve got on my Kindle.
I forgive myself for being distracted.
I forgive myself for spending more time than usual on social media.

What do you need to forgive yourself for?

We all need to give ourselves a break. We all need to stop expecting to feel normal during this time. If you do, then that’s wonderful, but if you don’t then that’s really okay, too.

I’ve quickly come to realize that I can’t have the same expectations that I had before, because we’re not living under the same conditions. And also importantly, every single one of us is experiencing these conditions in our own unique ways.

I flit between absolutely loving our lockdown life, to worrying about the future, to pulling my hair out because I can’t get any work done, to sitting on my veg patch, pulling up weeds without a care in the world! We’re on a rollercoaster, people. And we’re in for a long, bumpy, exhilarating ride.

You have to take each day and week as they come. You have to find your own ways to ground yourself and get done what you want and need to do. You have to be kind to yourself and get in touch with how you’re feeling.

It’s totally okay to lower your expectations of what you can do and be during this time. Don’t feel pressure to feel like you should be doing something, anything. Don’t force yourself to do work if you’re really not feeling like it. Don’t be active in your business, if your heart isn’t in it. Don’t feel pressure to jazz up your platforms or show the world that you’re living your best life on social media, if you’re not, or you don’t want to.

If you need it, this post is your permission to just be, whatever it is that you need to be, right now. Whatever it is that you want to do. Just do it. Whatever you want to be. Just be it. Everything will right itself, when it and you are good and ready.

Take care,

Natasha x

Celebrant Resource shop

Use the code LOVE50 for 50% off all e-books

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Should you be selling your celebrant services at this time?

The other day I was reading a really interesting FB post about selling and marketing during this time. About how small businesses should and shouldn’t be using their social media platforms during this global pandemic. 

It was fascinating to see a range of viewpoints. Some argued about the insensitivity of it all. Saying that it wasn’t right to be actively selling services and products when people are facing difficult times, financially. That outright selling is tacky and insensitive at this time, especially when if it looks like you’re trying to cash-in or capitalize on the situation. 

Then there were others who said that there was nothing wrong with selling right now, as there are still people who want to and have the means to buy what they want and need. 

To me, the question isn’t about whether you should or shouldn’t be selling your services at this time but how you should be selling during this time.

Just because we are in a global pandemic which of course is presenting so many challenges, frustrations and sadness for so many people, life, under its new normal, and business, are still continuing. 

People who love reading continue to buy books, if they can. People who want to learn something, buy courses or join online classes, if they can. Couples wanting to get married in the near future are still making plans for their weddings. I had two 2021 bookings last week that came out of the blue! Commerce is still continuing. Sales are still happening. People are still buyinare

So right now what we should be looking at is how we as celebrants sell what we do, during a time which calls on us to be more mindful, more sensitive and more appropriate. 

First of all, you’ll actually find that my thoughts on this are exactly the same now as they were pre-Coronavirus.

I am a firm believer in the ‘show, don’t tell,’ philosophy of selling and marketing. 

Show people what you do. 

Show people who you are. 

Show your personality. 

Show your passions. 

Show your weddings. 

Show where you work. 

Show where you live.

Show your hobbies and what makes you happy. 

Because showing is selling.

If you’re doing all of this and doing it well, then this is all you need to do to sell your services. You don’t need mega marketing strategies or to put calls to action into every single post. You don’t need to tell people to contact you. You don’t need to tell people to get in touch. You don’t need to oversell. Overreach. Or overcompensate. You just need to be present, have some presence and be your natural self.

Anything else is what’s likely to make people feel icky. To make people feel like they’re being sold to. Which is funny really because although there are people who want to buy things, it doesn’t mean that they want to be sold to and sold to ALL of the time.

If people like what they see on your social media platforms, if they like how you present yourself, they will contact you. They will get in touch.

So selling during this time isn’t wrong. But the emphasis should be on how you do it, not whether you do it.

If you’re struggling for non-salesy content to post online, you can grab my free 28 day planner here, for ready-to-use ideas or extra inspo to inspire your own ideas.

The Celebrant Shop

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How to maximise your Google My Business listing for better results

When I first set up my Google My Business listing about three or four years ago, I was already a latecomer to the scene. I literally set it up, did the bare minimum and didn’t touch it again for a good while.

About a year later, whilst I was cleaning out my inbox and getting rid of tonnes of unread emails, I came across an old email from my Google My Business listing. It said that the 30-odd photos I’d uploaded to my listing had been viewed over 600 times in one month. 

‘600 times in one month,’ I thought to myself. Now that’s not bad, considering all I did was upload some photos to a free listing. Once.

Although this email had been sitting in my inbox for months, this was the first time I’d even seen it, because like most emails of this kind, they tend to go unopened. 

But wow, I’m so glad that I stopped to read this email before binning it, because it basically made me realize that I’d been missing out on a trick with my Google My Business listing.

If my photos had had over 600 views, how many views had my website got via the listing? And how many views could my website get if I made a bit more effort?

After a quick search of my GMB listing emails, I realized that Google had been regularly sending me updates about my listing and showing me what features were working well. OOPS! I’ve got to admit, I felt like a bit of an idiot for not paying more attention. 

Especially because I teach other celebrants to be super aware of how the marketing tools that they use work for them, and here I was ignoring this one!

So this for me was a big wake up call to the power of the Google My Business listing. And from that day, I started to pay more attention and to use the listing to its full potential.

I now invest my time wisely in my GMB listing and I make sure to use all of its amazing features to their full potential. I even created a video on how to set up a listing for my Celebrants Collective members.

Just last month in March, this was what was happening with my listing.

The 71 photos on there had been viewed 1521 times in total.

I had three wedding enquiries directly through the listing message feature.

40 people clicked on my wedding website directly from the listing.

1 person called me directly from the listing about their 2021 wedding.

And between January, February and March, there were 1002 viewings of my listing via the Google search engine.

In this last quarter, I also saw a 25% rise in direct enquiries to my website and lots of my couples left reviews on my listing too.

The upshot of all of this is that after spending a minimum amount of time each month on my Google My Business listing, I’ve seen amazing results. Huge amounts of engagement on my listing, direct listing enquiries and a good push of traffic to my website.

Now, I’m not someone who likes to spend lots of time on social media, or marketing in general, even though I understand its benefits perfectly. If I’m honest, there are other things in my business that I’d rather be doing. 

So I’m pretty pleased with the relatively little effort that I’ve put into my listing, compared to the returns that I’ve gained. 

If you’ve been under-utilising your GMB listing, then here’s a little call to action for you to put some energy into it, (if you want to!) and if you haven’t yet.

I’ve put together this e-book, ‘How to maximize your Google My Business listing,’ to share with you how I use my listing and take you through the listing features step by step. I explain what all the different features are and how to use it in the best way possible for your Celebrant business.

The guide is usually priced at 9.99E but whilst the lockdown continues, if you use this code LOVE50, you can access it for half the price. And that goes for all the other e-books in the Celebrant Resource Shop, too.

For more info and to buy my ‘How to maximize your Google My Business listing,’ click here.

And CC members, don’t forget you can access this e-book for free in our Resource Room.

Here’s to making that listing work its butt off for you!

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These business books are game changers for your business and celebrant mindset

Business books are such a good way to invest in your development as a celebrant without breaking the bank. It actually blows my mind at the amount of knowledge, wisdom and advice that are crammed into books, yet which cost very little to get hold of.

Everytime I read or listen to a book, which I know will have a huge impact on how I run my business, I send out a silent thank you to the author, or even better, I leave a review. What a privilege to be able learn in such a quick, enjoyable and relatively cheap way.

My good friend Penny has recently had a book published (of course, it’s on my top ten list) and I know for a fact that the information that she has put in her book would cost thousands if she shared it with you on a 1:1 basis. This is why I love business books so much, for the ability to be so empowered for very little investment.

So here’s my list of top ten business books, which if you’re now finding yourself with a little more spare time than usual, are awesome books for topping up your business knowledge and inspiring you to do and be the best that you can.

And if you’re experiencing restrictions in book deliveries, all of these are available on Kindle too, which is fab! And as these book are all on Amazon, you can easily change it so that it shows the prices for your country.

Books on Money Mindset

You’re A Badass At Making Money By Jen Sincero

Money mindset is just as important as your business mindset. It’s about making sure that you charge what you’re worth and feeling good about making money for what you do.

Check it out here.

Get Rich Lucky Bitch

To say I am a huge fan of Denise Duffield Thomas is an understatement. I’ve been to her workshops online and in person. I’ve had my photo taken with her, I’m a member of her money boot camp and I’ve done her courses. Her gift for teaching women how to reframe how they think about money is spectacular. She has literally helped thousands of women to earn their potential by shifting their money mindset. This book gives a great insight into her teachings. And she’s very real and down-to-earth too.

Check it out here.

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

This is such a must-read book that teaches you about how to handle your income better once you start earning it and making a living from your business. A really useful and practical read.

Check it out here.

Business mindset

Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

If you’ve never watched anything from Marie TV (available on You Tube), or seen or heard anything of Marie Forleo, then you’re seriously missing out. She has been empowering female business owners for over a decade and so it’s quite incredible that she’s only written a book now. Her book is all about her favourite mantra ‘Everything is figureoutable,’ and she’s right, it is! And her no nonsense, practical and sometimes sweary advice is just brilliant!

Check it out here.

Business presence and visibility

Make Yourself A Little Bit Famous

I am so proud and excited to share my friend Penny’s book here. Being a former BBC reporter and producer, award-winning speaker and visibility expert, Penny is an absolute cheerleader for small businesses. It’s her mission to help small businesses and the experts behind them to get themselves more visible and get their names out there, and making themselves a little bit famous in the process! And this book is written in Penny’s true style with her fabulous personality shining right through!

Check it out here.

Celebrant stuff

The Complete Celebrant Handbook by Han Hills

This is probably the most comprehensive book on celebrancy and celebrant practice that exists, and is such a valuable resource for new celebrants and experienced celebrants alike. From a breakdown of the different symbolic rituals to your work as a celebrant, Han’s guide is a must-have for any celebrant.

Check it out here.

The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions

Because I never trained as a Celebrant, I needed a really good book which would help me to understand some of the ceremonial traditions that exists, as well as something which would give me a bit of guidance on vows and how they are formed. I found it with this book. For me it was a great starting point and a very interesting read in the different cultural and religious ceremonial aspects too. A good starter book on vows and ceremonial elements.

Check it out here.

General mindset

How to win friends and influence people

This book was written over 80 years ago, before major technology, before social media, before the internet, YET the business and social principles talked about in this book still apply now more than ever. I absolutely loved reading this book and getting back to basics. Understanding how to talk to people. Understanding what people want to hear. Understanding how to converse and get the best out of people. How to speak to people in difficult and awkward situations. Honestly, I loved this book. Simple, yet powerful and so easy to translate the tips into business communication and marketing.

Check it out here.

The Big Leap by a Gay Hendricks

I can’t speak highly enough about this book. It is such a powerful tool for helping us, whether in a personal or business capacity to release ourselves of our internal fears which hold us back. I am a firm believer that as business people (and human beings) we can do anything that we set out to do but quite often it’s the self-belief, the stories and ideas that we tell ourselves that are responsible for holding us back. This is such a great book if you feel stuck or that you need to do some inner work to move yourself and your business forward.

Check it out here.

Do the work by Stephen Pressfield

This book is an awesome book for all the procrastinators out there. Or those of you who just need a gentle nudge or a stronger kick up the bum to get stuff done. It’s no good having fabulous ideas, or having a to-do list of things that need doing, if you don’t get them done. And so this is what it’s all about, ‘doing the work!’

Check it out here.

Well, I hope my top ten list has given you some great ideas for books that you’d like to get stuck into. Have you got any business favourites that you’ve read that aren’t on my list? Have you read any of these? Do let me know in the comments below.

As an Amazon affiliate, if you purchase any of these books I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. I wholeheartedly recommend all of these books, commission or not!

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Ten important tips for your first year(s) in celebrant business

In your first few years as a Celebrant it can feel pretty daunting getting your business off the ground. There is a lot to do, a lot to learn and a lot to process. Even though starting a business is a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be majorly stressful and it should at least be enjoyable.

There’s nothing quite like seeing your business ideas take shape as you carve out your space on the internet for your celebrant business. Yes, there will be days that the same business also gives you a migraine and you might slightly lose the will to live, but it’s all part of the process of bringing your dreams into reality and taking the next steps on your new career path.

Here are some of my top tips to help you get your business off to the right start, not just from an administrative point of view, but equally importantly, from a healthy mindset point of view too. And even if you’re a few years down the line, these tips can still be useful.

1. Don’t try to do everything at once

Seriously! You will just give yourself a headache and end up feeling overwhelmed if you try to do everything at once. Prioritise what’s really necessary to get your business off the ground and the things that will see you through for the first few months to a year.

If you have a business plan (make one if you haven’t already), then this should help you to figure out what you need to do first and will help you to put tasks in place to achieve your first year of goals.

You don’t need to be churning out content on social media all day every day, or writing lots of blogs posts or printing off business cards, flyers, brochures, fridge magnets, mugs all at once! Don’t try to do all the courses, read all the books, take up all the free training on offer. Start with the basics and the necessities and the rest can follow!

2. Invest in a really good website

Besides any training that you might do as a celebrant, I personally believe that your next biggest investment should be in your website. Your website is the virtual home of your business. It’s your virtual real estate. It’s where all roads and avenues lead to.

People may find you on social media, on directories or other websites, but you can be sure they will at some point refer back to your website, especially when they start to finalise decisions about who they want to contact or book.

The importance of a good website is just not drummed home enough. Your website is your business home and the place where everything that couples need to know about you and how you work can be found.

Make sure your website is well-built (by a professional if possible), well SEO’d, looks amazing, has great photographs (use stock images if you don’t yet have wedding photos) and hire a photographer for a photo shoot for headshot and portrait images. And use language that shows off your personality and style so couples feel an instant connection with you.

To be really frank, if your website looks cheap and cobbled together, it could give the impression to prospective clients that you don’t care about your business, which of course is not the case!

Here’s a good rule of thumb – does your website look en par with some of your favourite wedding websites? No? Okay, then make it happen! And do shop around, good websites don’t have to cost a fortune.

3. Have a blog section on your website

This is so important that I’ve made it its own separate point! Because your website is so crucial to your business you want to make it a priority to drive as much traffic to it as possible, and one way that you’re going to do this is by building up your collection of useful wedding-related blog posts. Blog post which will draw people to your website because they have Googled search terms which are specific to you and weddings in your area.

Write about your favourite wedding venues in your area. Write a list of tips for how to get married in your area. Interview local wedding suppliers and build up collaborations and contacts.

Blogging really can make all the difference to the amount of traffic finding its way to your website. It’s free, it’s easy-to-do, it’s a no brainer.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

I talk about this a lot on my various platforms. Comparing yourself to other celebrants is basically a one-way ticket to self-doubt and low-esteem. This is why it’s so important to set your own goals for what you want to achieve as a celebrant. Set your own number of bookings, determine your own work-life balance and work towards them.

Be connected with other celebrants, yes! Congratulate their successes, yes! But don’t use them as a model to measure yourself against. You should be comparing yourself only to how you were the day before, and that’s it.

5. Don’t try to emulate others

This is really important too. Sometimes it can be tempting to take on the style or persona of other celebrants who in your eyes appear to be walking and talking the celebrant walk that you’d love to be walking and talking yourself. This won’t get you anywhere fast. Be yourself from the outset. You’ll be happier for it and it will be less exhausting trying to be someone you’re not.

6. Don’t undercut your prices

I repeat. DO NOT DELIBERATELY UNDERCUT YOUR PRICES. Don’t set your prices from the outset with the only intention of being cheaper than those working in the same area as you. It’s just not good business practice and doesn’t say or do much for your business.

Celebrant and officiant fees in general are already too low as it is (!) without others coming in and diminishing the value further. You may be the new kid on the block but you’ve still got experience (from other walks of life) and training or motivational confidence to do the good job that you’re setting out to do, so don’t set the cheapest prices with the aim of looking more attractive to couples.

This, along with other pricing no-nos is some of what I’m going to be talking about in my pricing strategy webinar next week. This webinar is available for free to members, so if you’ve been thinking about becoming a member, join now to take part in this webinar. It’s going to be a good one! Membership is 10 euros a month. Sign up here.

7. Say ‘hi’ to your celebrant neighbours

It’s nice to send a friendly hello to your celebrant neighbours to introduce yourself and let them know that you’re new in town. There is a chance that your introduction won’t be well received, and you might even be ignored, however at least you’ll go down on record as being the one to initiate a nice gesture and attempt to have some form of collaboration over competition. On a positive note, it could lead to future connections and contacts, and even a working relationship.

8. Join some celebrant Facebook groups

We have an amazing space over at the Celebrants Collective Facebook group. So much generosity, wisdom and advice is shared and it’s a great place to be as a new celebrant. Watch, listen and learn and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll be surprised by how many celebrant colleagues are willing to help. Come and join us here.

9. Collate your celebrant toolbox

These are your day-to-day things that you’ll need to run your celebrant business efficiently. Your PA system, microphone, wedding props, stationery, mic stands, lectern, Kindle or tablet, wedding certificates and whatever else you need to carry in your celebrant trunk to do your job. And don’t forget spares of things too! Again you don’t have to get everything all at once, so start off with the basics and keep adding. Oh, and trust me, you will keep adding!

10. And lastly, don’t take celebrant life too seriously

Yes, we are amazingly privileged and lucky to be trusted by couples and families who book us, and entrust us with their precious life events, and being a celebrant really is a very special undertaking. But, you can be professional to the core, whilst still having a cheery attitude and having fun. It’s okay to have a joyous light-hearted approach to what you do. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Okay , that’s it from me. I hope you find these tips useful. Over and out.

Pssst…Have you seen the best selling products in my Resource Shop?

Love hearts
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How is your business going to show up for Valentine’s Day?

I have found that when it comes to certain calendar events and celebrations, especially those which have become highly commercialised and steeped in consumerism, there is one of three things that you can choose to do about it, from a business point of view.

1.You can choose to ignore it.
2.You can mark the occasion.
3.You can capitalise on the occasion.

As you will forever hear me say because I say it a lot, for the most part, there is no right or wrong when it comes to how you run your wedding business. It’s about what’s right for you.

So with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s down to you to decide, if you haven’t already, how you will be marking this occasion through your wedding business.

For me personally, I fall somewhere between the ‘ignoring it’ and the simple ‘marking of the occasion’ approach.

This means I may do a Valentine’s Day shout out on social media, but usually because of how I feel about Valentine’s Day (it’s way too commercialised and love doesn’t need to be celebrated on just one day!) I tend to post content that reflects this. This blog I wrote about it on Engaged and Ready gets shared a lot around this time of year!

Marking the occasion

But don’t follow me of course. I am the self-confessed Valentine’s Day equivalent to Eboneezer Scrooge and I like to revel in my Valentine’s bah humbugs! Which is why I personally don’t make a big deal out if it.

But if you don’t want to ignore the day completely, then of course there are lots of ways that you can mark the occasion on social media.

You can:

Share your favourite love poems or quotes.

Share Valentine’s Day trivia.

Share your favourite wedding vows.

Share you own Valentine’s Day story.

Share a video of your Valentine’s Day thoughts or wishes.

There are so many creative ways that you can mark the occasion via your social media output. So get those thinking caps on and show potential couples what type of celebrant you are and how you choose to mark these occasions. It all goes towards highlighting your personality and showing off your individual style.

Get promoting

Lastly, you may find yourself in the group who want to capitalise on Valentine’s Day, and use it to promote your services in a certain way, and of course there is nothing wrong with this either.

You may want to do one of the following:

Launch a special offer

For Valentine’s Day week you might want to entice potential clients with an offer. Maybe a free vow workbook or cheat sheet when they book, or a goodie bag of your personalised merchandise, or 1:1 vow guidance.

Notice how none of my examples encourage ‘money-off,’ offers, because I honestly don’t think you need to give money-off to make a sale. I’m an advocate for offering extra value that doesn’t cut into your price, because after all, reducing your fee doesn’t mean you reduce your services in any way – you’ll still be giving your clients your absolute best but at a reduced rate. So why put yourself in that position?

However, price cuts, discounts and money-off offers are a personal thing and if it sits well with you to offer a money-off promotion to mark a special occasion, then go for it.

Hold a competition

You may want to have some kind of Valentine’s Day competition which promotes what you do and has your name traveling around social media. Competitions are not necessarily about securing bookings but they can go a long way in getting your name out there and putting your services under the noses of new people and new audiences. So if you do run a competition make sure to share it wherever you can and get seen by as many people as possible.

And because the aim is to try and promote what you do, try to make people do a bit of work and get them engaged with your website or Facebook page. If you have a mailing list, make it so that they have to join your list to enter the competition (following all GDPR and other privacy rules of course!).

Or make them answer a question which will require them to visit your website or social media accounts. Ask them what outfit of yours they like. Or get them to tell you what their favourite photo is on your Insta page. Anything that prompts them to engage with you.

Do a giveaway

Similarly with a competition, a giveaway isn’t typically about scoring bookings, but it can be a great way to spread your posts around the internet, especially via Facebook and to get people seeing and learning more about what you do and offer.

The giveaway prize doesn’t have to be a physical product either, it could be a virtual addition to your services, or a downloadable product or resource. Nor does it have to be something which costs a lot or requires you to spend money at all.

Okey, dokey! There’s some ideas for you, however you decide to ‘do’ Valentine’s Day or not!

Psst! Have you checked out the best-selling products in my resource shop?

Blackboard which says no
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If you never say no in business, what is your yes worth?

I was trying to tidy up the masses of images on my computer the other day and I came across this photo from the Jelly Bean wedding conference in London, where I was a speaker back in 2018.

It was so amazing to share a stage with awesome wedding professionals, including my friend, the unstoppable force that is Nova Reid from Nu Bride, whose diversity talk had us all in tears! Anyway, that’s a story for another day!

Photo by Carina Photography

One of the other talks that I was really mesmerised by, was that of successful husband and wife photographer team, Lina and Tom. Everything they said about finding yourself as a business owner was spot on, but it was their presentation slide which said, ‘if you never say ‘no’, what is your ‘yes’ worth?’ that really made an impact.

I tell you, it was like a lightbulb moment for me, which triggered so much thought around that one powerful question, even until now.

If you never say no, what is your yes worth?

For me, this question breaks down into one core sentiment and that is – BOUNDARIES.

Why boundaries are important

We have to give ourselves boundaries as celebrants, in order to be in harmony with our business and our work.

It’s about learning what your boundaries are as a celebrant and business owner and understanding how to apply them to all that you do.

If you don’t have boundaries you can’t protect yourself or stop yourself from being in situations or positions that you don’t want to be in.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to every couple. Even those who aren’t right for you.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to every request, even the ones you don’t fully like the sound of.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to things that inconvenience you.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to things you’re not comfortable with.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to things that don’t suit you.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to things that don’t make you happy.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to helping people, even when you shouldn’t or can’t.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes to working all hours, and neglect taking care of yourself.

Without boundaries, you’ll say yes even though deep down your gut says no.

And so this is what happens when you never say no, it devalues the times that you say yes and truly mean yes.  

It’s okay to say no

If you don’t know it already, you need to be okay with saying no, whenever you feel like it.

No doesn’t mean you’re being rude, entitled or aggressive. No just means no thank you, it’s not for me. No thank you, I’ll pass on this one. No thank you, I’m unavailable. No thank you, I’m busy. No thank you, I don’t want to right now. No thank you, it doesn’t interest me.

No, in fact, is a complete sentence all by itself.

Saying ‘no’ is your way of protecting your interests, defining your boundaries and embracing the fact that you made the right decision for you and your business.

So next time you’re feeling pressure to say yes to something that you really don’t want to do, or don’t like the sound of, or are not interested in, remember your boundaries.

Remember your value, remember your worth and remember to reserve your ‘yesses’ for all the things you’re aligned with and happy about.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to say no, but it’s worth it in the long run, when you can live happily and positively in the value of your yes.

Ps: If you’d like to explore your boundaries further or set yourself up with an awesome business strategy to keep you strong and laser-focused for the year, then my two hour power session might just be for you. My most recent January client had this to say,

“Thank you so much for a really productive and insightful two hours this morning.  I got so much from our session. Lots of ideas, tips, insights and a kick! I am getting myself armed for the next stage of business growth and am really looking forward to putting your ideas into practice.  Onwards and upwards.”

You can find out more here.

Psst! Have you checked out the best-selling products in my resource shop?