Cople getting married
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How will celebrants and the celebrant industry change after coronavirus?

When it comes to being a positive person, I’d say I’m an eight on a scale of one to ten. I do always try to look on the bright side and try to be a glass-is-half-full type of person. But at the same time, I’m not so positively positive that I can’t stop any other feelings from getting to me, from time to time. 

I still feel fear, and worry and frustration and uncertainty and there are some days where I feel anything but positive. But to be honest, I think this is fairly normal. In my book, anyone who is seemingly positive and cheerful all day long is not living in the real world!

I pride myself on being somebody who keeps it real. Whether it’s dealing with my wedding couples or helping my celebrant members and mentees. I am somebody who speaks honestly and truthfully (but nicely, may I add) and I don’t always make everything seem like it’s better than it really is. I don’t like to make things glossier or big things up more than they need. Or only tell people things that they want to hear. I’m not that person. 

But what I do like to do is to have honest and open conversations. I offer help and solutions. I offer my experience and wisdom. My advice and support. I show and tell celebrants what I know, what I feel and I leave it to them to do with it what they will, what they can, whilst I cheerlead from the sides.

And this is the very place where I have come from in my latest episode of the Celebrant Survival Podcast, where I look at how celebrants and the celebrant industry will change after the coronavirus. You’ll note that I’ve maintained some positivism, but on the whole, my outlook is a realistic one. 

I’d like to think that this episode takes an honest look at the future of our industry, at our future as celebrants and how this pandemic has and will affect us going forward. How it will affect us as individuals and as a community.

I promise, it’s not all doom and gloom and in fact you might be surprised by the many good things that I think will come out of this. And as in my normal typical style, there’s always a dose of humour thrown in with the realism.

One more thing before I go, I’m now recording episode 22 of the CSP. I love this podcast and I love that others love the podcast as much as I do. I would love to hear from you about the podcast and how you listen to and enjoy it. Please, please, please consider leaving a review and a rating on whatever platform you listen to the podcast on. Thank you!

And don’t forget, you can subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher for Android for instant access to each new episode. Or you can listen here.


PS: It’s not too late to take part in days 3 & 4 of the Book More Weddings Summit, taking place today and tomorrow. Grab your free ticket here and get 24 hours to access today’s and tomorrow’s webinars. 

But did you know that if you upgrade to the All-Access Pass, you’ll get lifetime access to all of the summit trainings and worksheets as well as a host of incredible speaker bonuses that the expert speakers usually charge serious cash forCheck out the super discounted all-access pass here.

Use code LOVE50 for 50% off of e-products in the celebrant shop

Main image photo by The Lovehunters

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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?

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This ONE thing is what led to my success as a celebrant

I wish a video existed of Sally and Mike’s wedding ceremony that I led on August 11th, 2007. In fact, scratch that, I wish a video existed not just of the wedding ceremony but of me in the moments before the wedding ceremony. 

If such a video existed, you would have been able to see me working with the venue to organise the ceremony area and advising them to adjust the lighting a little so I could read my script and so that everyone could see one another (we were in a darkened Buddhist temple). 

You would have been able to see the way that I chatted with the guests, letting them know what they needed to do, and what they didn’t need to do. You would have seen me giving advice to the groom, sharing a joke and making him feel nothing but ready and excited for Sally to make her entrance. You would have seen me guiding Sally and Mike through the ceremony and their vows, and bringing the ceremony to an end with lots of happy tears and hugs.

The reason I would want to see this video is because what nobody knew was that Mike and Sally’s wedding ceremony was my first EVER wedding ceremony. Not even Mike or Sally knew. And do you know why that was? (aside from me not telling them!) It was because I acted as though it wasn’t.

It’s because I used every ounce of confidence that I had, to walk in there and do a job as though I had done it a thousand times before. I don’t doubt that it wasn’t my best ceremony ever, but I know I did a good enough job for Mike and Sally and that they loved it so much. This is an extract that I received from Sally by email a week after their ceremony.

“We would like to thank you so much for a fantastic ceremony that was exactly what we wanted and how beautifully you tailor-made the ceremony for us. You really did get a feel for us which made things so special. So many people have told us that it was the best wedding ceremony they have been to and how meaningful, interesting, unique and refreshing your ceremony was. Everyone thought it was a perfect choice of ceremony for us and they also thought the delivery was superb and highly professional. People also said that you are beautiful and stunning lady! (very true). We had a brilliant wedding which was all down to you and your expert detail. We would also like to thank you for your excellent guidance and thoroughness for detail which made it so perfect. I’m very touched that my mam has contacted you, which again, reflects just how much the ceremony you crafted for us was enjoyed and appreciated. I didn’t know until we got back that my mam had done this. My family were profoundly honoured that we had remembered in the ceremony those that could not be with us, and again that was down to you guiding us through what at the beginning seemed so daunting, but you made it a joy to work through.”

Sally and Mike

This was my first EVER ceremony. I’m not saying this boastfully, but factually.

Was I any better than other celebrants? Maybe, but probably not.

Was I more professional than other celebrants? Probably not.

Was I more expert than other celebrants? Hell no!

Was I more experienced than other celebrants? NO! It was my first ever wedding!

Was I more popular than other celebrants? At that time, no!

So what did I do to make that ceremony a success?

Apart from my basic skills and research into leading a ceremony (I’m untrained), what made me get those happy results and that stunning thank you email was CONFIDENCE and SELF BELIEF.

It was the confidence to put myself out there as a celebrant.

It was the confidence I had in how I marketed myself.

It was the confidence to set the same prices as other more established celebrants.

It was the confidence to write and lead a ceremony like it was something I had been doing for years.

It was the  confidence to speak to clients like I knew what I was doing at all times (even when I didn’t).

And by the way, this confidence does not reside in me all of the time (at all). Confidence flows and ebbs and comes and goes, but learning how to power up your confidence and your self belief, are key to being that celebrant that you need to be.

And confidence isn’t just for new celebrants either. Confidence is a quality that is needed during every stage of your celebrant career. Confidence is what takes more established celebrants to their next awesome. Confidence is what helps them to raise their prices and keep to them. It’s what helps them to stick to their principles for who they are as a celebrant and helps them to run their business in a self-assured way.

If I didn’t believe in myself, Mike and Sally wouldn’t have believed in me. If I didn’t have faith in myself, then Mike and Sally wouldn’t have had faith in me. If what you’re projecting to the world, isn’t aligned with how you’re feeling on the inside then others will notice. It will show in your marketing, your sales process and in every single facet of your celebrant business.

How confident are you as a celebrant? Take my confident celebrant test and find out your results.

And head here to read more about my six week, live online, Confident Celebrant Course that’s starting in October and how I can hands-on help you to be the best and most confident celebrant that you can be. And this sensitive early bird booking code ebbcc2019 will get you 15% off the course price.

If you can conquer your confidence and self-belief, you can be the celebrant you want to be and achieve the success that you want to have.

Natasha x

Glenmore House Surrey
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The Money Talks Workshop – Glenmore House, Surrey

After our hugely successful Mind Your Own Business workshop session last March, we are back this March with two sales-focused workshops in one, which will cover all things sales, money, pricing and bookings.

Join me, Natasha Johnson the Celebrants Collective’s Founder and Content Editor Claire Bradford, on this engaging full day, 2-in-1 workshop for passionate celebrants, who want to improve their business skills and fulfil their celebrant business potential.

WORKSHOP BREAKDOWN


Claire and I will be leading two workshops in one, each covering a range of essential money and sales focused subjects for Celebrant business owners. These workshops will seriously be putting the work into workshop, because as well as engaging presentations from Claire and I, much of the workshop will be about helping you to take action, making changes and moving forward with key areas of the sales side of your business.

You know how sometimes when you’ve been on a workshop, you leave inspired to do a million and one things, but actually once back in the real world, you don’t do them, or only one or two of them? Well, during these workshops, we will be working with you to put pen to paper and to make actionable changes there and then, with quick-win results. If you’re prepared to come, you have to be prepared to work!


Workshop One by Claire Bradford

How to smash your Celebrant money blocks and unleash your true earning potential 

Have you ever dithered over your pricing, feeling that you can’t possibly charge that much for something that you love doing?

Perhaps you worry you’re not ‘worth’ your price?

Or you discount heavily at any opportunity?

Perhaps you lack the confidence to price your services adequately?

And constantly worry about how much you charge?

Perhaps you talk yourself out of raising your prices for fear of alienating potential clients, even though you know you should?

Maybe you’re a celebrant who feels uncomfortable asking for payment, even when it’s overdue?

This powerful workshop will delve deep into the stories you’ve been telling yourself about money and your relationship with it. These stories will most likely be very old and very deep, and have very little to do with the business of being a celebrant at heart.

And yet… acknowledging them and releasing their power over you can make every bit of difference to your celebrant business, to your earning potential – and to your wellbeing too. Not only will this workshop session empower you to enhance your income substantially, but also it will enable you to set prices you’re really worth and be confident in sticking to them.

Escaping the chains of limiting money beliefs AND making a few thousand more in the coming year whilst doing the best job in the world? What’s not to love?!

To read more about Claire go here.

 


Workshop Two by Natasha Johnson

How to perfect your sales process and get it converting more enquiries into bookings

You’ve spent a lot of time perfecting your celebrant brand, making sure your website is looking spick and span, polishing up your social media presence and doing well with getting your name out there, BUT, perhaps the number of enquiries you get does not match up well with the amount of bookings you secure. Perhaps, you’re an ace at getting the attention of potential clients, but every so often you are falling down on closing the deal.

There are many reasons why clients might not book you, but let’s make sure it’s for a reason that’s outside of your control, and not because of something you said or did, or even, something that you didn’t say or do.

Do any of these statements apply to you?

Your initial communication with couples is too overwhelming.

You drown them with too much information or starve them with too little.

Your communication isn’t clear.

Your communication voice is wrong or doesn’t match your brand.

Your process feels a little haphazard (to you and/or potential clients)

Your process is a little intimidating.

You worry about being too pushy or salesy.

You may even have a good enquiry-to-booking conversion rate, but still somewhere along the line you could make improvements to your overall sales process and make it even better. Perhaps there is room to make your process smoother, more efficient and even more impactful, and wow-ful!

In this workshop, I am going to break down the sales process and the thinking behind it, and help you to map out and identify your own process. We are going to look at your plus points and your weaknesses and work out how they can be improved upon, in order to help you convert more enquiries into bookings AND to convert enquiries more confidently and convincingly. I’m also going to show you some of my own tips and techniques which help me to convert 95% of my enquiries into bookings, through using a solid and engaging process.

To read more about Natasha, go here.


WORKSHOP TIMETABLE (approximate schedule)

9.30-10.00 Tea and coffee

1000-10.15 Workshop welcome

1015-1100/15 Workshop One presentation by Claire

1115-1215 Worksheets, exercises and strategies

1215-1315 Group discussion

1315 -1415 Lunch

1415-1500 Workshop Two presentation by Natasha

1500-1600 Worksheets, exercises and strategies

1600 -1700 Group discussion


ABOUT THE VENUE

Glenmore House is located in the heart of central Surbiton, Surrey and just a 3 minute walk from Surbiton station.  Bus access is also available on the K1, K2, K3, 281, 71 and 465. They also have a 110 space carpark on site which is available for use for those attending the workshop, and is free of charge.

 


GOOD TO KNOW


**This workshop is limited to 10-12 spaces maximum, so that we can give as much individual attention and be as hands on as possible. So book now to avoid disappointment.

**Please bring notebooks AND your own laptops and other devices for note-taking or as an aide. Wifi is freely available in the workshop space. Because we will be digging deep into your own sales process, it would be great if you can have examples of your emails and other communication to hand.

**No refunds are given, but tickets can be transferred to other Celebrants, by notifying us. Member tickets can only be transferred to other Celebrants Collective members.

For more information or any questions, you can email us on hello@celebrantscollective.eu.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Natasha & Claire x


BOOK YOUR SPACE

Celebrants Collective members only

120 GBP (20% discount)




Non-Members:

150 GBP




If you would like to pay via our payment plan, where we take half of the payment at the time of booking and the second payment on March 8th, please email us. if you would like to pay by bank transfer, please let us know.

The price includes;

  • Worksheets and resources
  • Lunch (please let us know about any dietary requirements)
  • A Celebrants Collective tote bag, notebook and pen. Yay!

Once you have paid online, you will receive an email from us confirming your space on the workshop and further instructions.


CLOSINGS WORDS

If you’ve ever had any doubts about how you sell yourself as a celebrant, from the way you package up and market your services and set and state your prices to the way you initially communicate with couples, then these two workshops are for you. You will leave with a renewed sense of worth, with a better understanding of your money mindset and sales process, and with actionable plans and strategies in place to improve the sales side of your business.

 

Worcester Woods Country Park
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The Money Talks Workshop – Worcester Woods Country Park

After our hugely successful Mind Your Own Business workshop session last March, we are back this March with two sales-focused workshops in one, which will cover all things sales, money, pricing and bookings.

Join me, Natasha Johnson the Celebrants Collective’s Founder and Content Editor Claire Bradford, on this engaging full day, 2-in-1 workshop for passionate celebrants, who want to improve their business skills and fulfil their celebrant business potential.

WORKSHOP BREAKDOWN


Claire and I will be leading two workshops in one, each covering a range of essential money and sales focused subjects for Celebrant business owners. These workshops will seriously be putting the work into workshop, because as well as engaging presentations from Claire and I, much of the workshop will be about helping you to take action, making changes and moving forward with key areas of the sales side of your business.

You know how sometimes when you’ve been on a workshop, you leave inspired to do a million and one things, but actually once back in the real world, you don’t do them, or only one or two of them? Well, during these workshops, we will be working with you to put pen to paper and to make actionable changes there and then, with quick-win results. If you’re prepared to come, you have to be prepared to work!


Workshop One by Claire Bradford

How to smash your Celebrant money blocks and unleash your true earning potential 

Have you ever dithered over your pricing, feeling that you can’t possibly charge that much for something that you love doing?

Perhaps you worry you’re not ‘worth’ your price?

Or you discount heavily at any opportunity?

Perhaps you lack the confidence to price your services adequately?

And constantly worry about how much you charge?

Perhaps you talk yourself out of raising your prices for fear of alienating potential clients, even though you know you should?

Maybe you’re a celebrant who feels uncomfortable asking for payment, even when it’s overdue?

This powerful workshop will delve deep into the stories you’ve been telling yourself about money and your relationship with it. These stories will most likely be very old and very deep, and have very little to do with the business of being a celebrant at heart.

And yet… acknowledging them and releasing their power over you can make every bit of difference to your celebrant business, to your earning potential – and to your wellbeing too. Not only will this workshop session empower you to enhance your income substantially, but also it will enable you to set prices you’re really worth and be confident in sticking to them.

Escaping the chains of limiting money beliefs AND making a few thousand more in the coming year whilst doing the best job in the world? What’s not to love?!

To read more about award-winning Claire go here.


Workshop Two by Natasha Johnson

How to perfect your sales process and get it converting more enquiries into bookings

You’ve spent a lot of time perfecting your celebrant brand, making sure your website is looking spick and span, polishing up your social media presence and doing well with getting your name out there, BUT, perhaps the number of enquiries you get does not match up well with the amount of bookings you secure. Perhaps, you’re ace-ing at getting the attention of potential clients, but every so often you are falling down on closing the deal.

There are many reasons why clients might not book you, but let’s make sure it’s for a reason that’s outside of your control, and not because of something you said or did, or even, something that you didn’t say or do.

Do any of these statements apply to you?

Your initial communication with couples is too overwhelming.

You drown them with too much information or starve them with too little.

Your communication isn’t clear.

Your communication voice is wrong or doesn’t match your brand.

Your process feels a little haphazard (to you and/or potential clients)

Your process is a little intimidating.

You worry about being too pushy or salesy.

You may even have a good enquiry-to-booking conversion rate, but still somewhere along the line you could make improvements to your overall sales process and make it even better. Perhaps there is room to make your process smoother, more efficient and even more impactful.

In this workshop, I am going to break down the sales process and the thinking behind it, and help you to map out and identify your own process. We are going to look at your plus points and your weaknesses and work out how they can be improved upon, in order to help you convert more enquiries into bookings AND to convert enquiries more confidently and convincingly. I’m also going to show you some of my own tips and techniques which help me to convert 95% of my enquiries into bookings.

To read more about Natasha, go here.


WORKSHOP TIMETABLE (approximate schedule)

9.30-10.00 Tea and coffee

1000-10.15 Workshop welcome

1015-1100/15 Workshop One presentation by Claire

1115-1215 Worksheets, exercises and strategies

1215-1315 Group discussion

1315 -1415 Lunch

1415-1500 Workshop Two presentation by Natasha

1500-1600 Worksheets, exercises and strategies

1600 -1700 Group discussion


ABOUT THE VENUE

The Countryside Centre, an eco building with turf roof and wood fuel boiler, located in the grounds of the award winning Worcester Woods Country Park with its 100 acres of woodland and meadows. Its quiet surroundings and the landscaped Worcestershire Garden are situated only 5 minutes from junctions 6 & 7 of the M5, and is easily accessed by public transport. There is ample parking at the centre, too.


GOOD TO KNOW


**This workshop is limited to 10-12 spaces maximum, so that we can give as much individual attention and be as hands on as possible. So book now to avoid disappointment.

**Please bring notebooks AND your own laptops and other devices for note-taking or as an aide. Wifi is freely available in the workshop space. Because we will be digging deep into your own sales process, it would be great if you can have examples of your emails and other communication to hand.

**No refunds are given, but tickets can be transferred to other Celebrants, by notifying us. Member tickets can only be transferred to other Celebrants Collective members.

For more information or any questions, you can email us on hello@celebrantscollective.eu.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Natasha & Claire x


BOOK YOUR SPACE

Celebrants Collective members only

(20% discount) 120 GBP





Non-Members:

150 GBP





If you would like to pay via our payment plan, where we take half of the payment at the time of booking and the second payment on March 8th, please email us. if you would like to pay by bank transfer, please let us know.

The price includes;

  • Worksheets and resources
  • Lunch (please let us know about any dietary requirements)
  • A Celebrants Collective tote bag, pen and notebook. Yay!

Once you have paid online, you will receive an email from us confirming your space on the workshop and further instructions.


CLOSINGS WORDS

If you’ve ever had any doubts about how you sell yourself as a celebrant, from the way you package up and market your services and set and state your prices to the way you initially communicate with couples, then these two workshops are for you. You will leave with a renewed sense of worth, with a better understanding of your money mindset and sales process, and with actionable plans and strategies in place to improve the sales side of your business.

 

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Celebrants, let’s talk about money

Do you know, in my first few years as a Celebrant I could not help but sell myself short. Literally. I absolutely couldn’t stop myself. So keen I was to get bookings that I would obligingly give discounts when asked and even offer them when they weren’t asked for! 

I basically did anything price-wise that I could, if I felt that it would stop any wavering during the couple’s decision making process. I really wanted to be booked and so back then it seemed better to offer my services for less than to not be booked at all.

Then a few years down the line, I toyed with the idea of raising my prices. I had never raised them before, and I knew that it was time to do so. My expertise and reputation had flourished. My diary was consistently filling up and I was now attracting my ideal couples too, but the work I was doing to produce awesome ceremonies was not really being reflected in my price. Yet I hesitated and talked myself out of it. And it wasn’t until a few years after my initial feelings that I had the confidence to do it.

It is totally okay and normal to feel uncomfortable about money and how you approach it as a self employed business person. But what is not okay, is to stay in that zone of discomfort and do nothing about it.

In both of my scenarios above, I stayed in my discomfort zones for too long, much longer than I should have. I put a lot of it down to not having Celebrant support around me, to help me believe (more quickly) in myself, my services and my prices and also to boost my confidence to get me into that frame of mind faster. 

Nobody expects you to be a savvy, confident business owner and negotiator from day one, but you do need to do all that you can to get better at being that person.

Whatever your fears, problems and issues are with money as a celebrant, and your approach to it, there is always a solution around the corner. It’s just that often we need help seeing what the solution is.

In this latest podcast episode, ‘Let’s talk money’, I delve into the mindset issues that can swamp us as Celebrants and stop us from moving our business forward and from earning the potential that we can earn. Many Celebrants harbour self-sabotaging attitudes towards money without even realising it.

So listen now (or download the episode from Spotify, iTunes or Stitcher) for more info on how we can break these barriers down and promote a healthier attitude towards earning and making money. 

Plus, you’ll want to hear me telling the story of how I reacted when I was first asked to confirm my price during a wedding meeting. Cringe-fest!


Pssst: We still have spaces left on our money workshops coming up this March, where we’re going to be digging deeper into everything mentioned in the podcast, as well as looking into your sales process and mapping out how we can improve it to generate more sales. We’ve limited numbers so we can work closely with attendees. For more information about our workshops, go here.

The Celebrants Collective is a membership platform for Celebrants, from all over the world, who want to undertake ongoing career development on a monthly basis. From live Q&A sessions with industry experts, a Resources Room and Learning Lounge full of useful and regularly updated celebrant-related material, to celebrant-related articles and tutorials, the Collective is about empowering Celebrants to be the best they can be. Take a look at our full benefits here.

Ps. Have you joined the Celebrants Collective Facebook group. Made up of almost 1500 Celebrants worldwide, it’s a great spot for support, advice and camaraderie. Come and join us now.

How to strengthen your customer experience and generate future bookings

During this webinar, customer service guru, business coach and marriage celebrant, Bethel Nathan shows how to make sure that your clients have a first class experience with you, from start to finish. She maps out the client process and explains how making their journey an excellent one, not only leads to great referrals and reviews, […]

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The Celebrant Collective Celebrant Retreat – Malaga, Spain, 2018

When I first started to put plans together for the Celebrants Collective in early February 2017, one of the things that went straight to the top of my list, alongside creating an educational membership platform, was the idea to have a retreat for Celebrants. There was no umming or ahing or wavering about it, it was something I knew that I had to absolutely make happen. I was so excited by the idea of it that I wanted it to happen there and then, but in fact had to wait another 20 months to see it materialise. But it was so worth the wait.

For me personally, like never before, these last few years have seen such a wonderful rise in connections with other Celebrants from all over the world. The starting up of the Celebrants Collective facebook group and then the membership platform, has introduced me to so many amazing human beings and Celebrants. However, I knew there would come a time where I would want to exchange these virtual connections for some real, in-person ones and I’m so glad that I had the foresight to start the ball-rolling.

And so we came together, 13 Celebrants from the UK, Spain and Ibiza, The Netherlands and the USA, for two days of education, connection and inspiration at the stunning Alhaurín Golf Hotel in Alhaurin el Grande, Malaga. As well as having the pleasure of being joined by all of the attendees, it was fantastic to have onboard Terri Shanks, the founder of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants and Marie Burns Holzer, Marriage Minister extraordinaire and Wedding Business Coach, as two of the three retreat speakers and workshop leaders.

Day one started off with me giving a wonderful warm welcome to everyone and introducing my idea and context for the retreat. I really honed in on what it means to retreat and drew on my own experiences of having been on previous yoga retreats and how they influenced me so much for this retreat. I wanted to try to recapture those life-affirming, rewarding experiences with our own Celebrants’ retreat, minus the downward facing dogs and headstands!

After my welcome, Terri led a fantastic opening talk, which saw all of us taking part in an amazing group sand ritual (how often do we Celebrants get to take part in a ritual for ourselves!?). It was one of the most profound experiences I have ever had in a professional development context. To be able to pour our energy, gratitude and intentions into a small bottle, along with the sand, was such a powerful thing to do. After each of us had collected up our sand and intentions into a bottle, we then poured the sand back into a collective bowl and after each workshop and talk we added more sand to the bowl to keep adding to our intentions and goals. And on the last day of the retreat, we collected up our blended sands, full of love, intention, energy and goodness and we each got to take our bottles away with us a permanent reminder of what we achieved over the two days, not to mention the bonds that were formed.

Terri also very interestingly took us on a journey of Celebrancy, looking at the origins of ceremony and ritual and bringing us up to the present with where we are now in terms of Celebrancy as a profession. It was fascinating, joining up all of the dots and seeing how everything connects.

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After our talks and workshops we made sure to eat our hearts out with the superb cuisine on offer by the hotel. We ate as much as we talked! If that’s something we did a lot of it was eating, talking and socialising. All so good for the Celebrant soul!

I enjoyed leading my workshop on how to attract our potential couples right from the outset, which was inspired by one of my favourite films, ‘Jerry Maguire,’ and the line, ‘you had me at hello.’

We also enjoyed a really productive hive mind session where each attendee had the chance to ask a question and for our colleagues to offer advice, tips, demonstrations – whatever was needed to provide answers, advice and solutions. And from that sprung some wonderful hand-fasting demonstrations, which I know we all found invaluable and which were brightly infused with ribbons and cords courtesy of Lorraine Hull and her wonderful collection.

Terri also led another fascinating workshop which encouraged us all to think beyond, births, deaths and marriages and to broaden they ways that we can serve our communities. It was hugely inspiring. By the time that day one of the retreat had come to an end, we had thoroughly earned our delicious tapas buffet to finish off the evening.

Day two started with the same energy and enthusiasm. Celebrants Collective Content Editor, Claire Bradford kick-started the day for us with a summary of what we’d done so far, with a look ahead to the rest of the day, again helping us set our intentions and aims for the day. Marie Burns Holzer led us through an LGBTQ inclusivity workshop which touched on so many important areas of running a wedding business, which both outwardly and inwardly promotes inclusivity of everyone, and every type of couple.

I also led another workshop on my favourite topic – blogging for business and fielded questions from attendees about how to improve their own blogs, which was very rewarding. This flowed really nicely into an open mic session with myself, Terri and Marie, where attendees were invited to ask ask anything they liked – and they did!

We finished off the educative side of the retreat with a truly impassioned and forward-thinking keynote speech by Marie Burn Holzer on the future of Celebrancy. Drawing on where we are now, and how we move forward, the room listened to Marie in complete silence (rare for Celebrants, right?). The profundity of her words had us fully engaged for the whole duration and it was such an enlightening and uplifting way to end the retreat. The perfect set-up for our paella party that followed.

Although I had had a really clear idea of what I wanted to achieve for the retreat, and I was quite positive I knew how I wanted to feel during it, nothing really prepared me for how I would actually felt during the retreat. The intimacy, the love, the generosity, the kindness, the support and the bonds formed, really were very special and so much more than I had imagined. As we stood together to close the retreat, we joined in a circle and collected up our sand and our promises. We carried out an impromptu ‘passing of the heartbeat,’ (thanks Lorraine for prompting and Sophie Colligan got a shout out for having previously shared the idea of this ritual in our Facebook group!). As we gathered around and said our thanks and goodbyes, we tried to withhold the tears that flowed. We tried!

What a magical two days, with a group of awesome human beings. Celebrants really do rock.

If you’d like to join us for our next retreat, make sure you’re on our mailing list or in our Facebook group to stay up-to-date!

Celebrants Collective Celebrant Retreat 2019

 

Special thanks to Simon Duggan Photography for capturing our retreat and his fantastic attention to detail. And to my super wedding colleagues and friends, Michael Soffe and Lauren Dibben of Andalucia Weddings, whose help in the planning, budgeting and setting up stages of the retreat was INVALUABLE! Thank you!

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The ultimate Celebrant Christmas present wish list

I don’t know about you but every year my wish list of things I need/want for my Celebrant business just seems to grow, but when it comes to actually getting these things, I either put it off, spend the money on someone or something else or when it comes to it, I simply forget that there are things that I need for my business.

So I thought this year I would create a wish list. I never create wish lists, because in all honesty I don’t WISH for (or need) anything in general and when it comes to my personal life I am definitely someone who subscribes to a ‘more experiences, less stuff,’ approach. However I do recognise that as a business owner there are often new things that I need for my business, and so I thought I would share my wish list with you and my husband!.

So feel free to use my wish list for your own Christmas wish list inspiration, or you may even find (like me) that you go ahead and buy something for yourself anyway, as Christmas feels like too far away to wait. Hint: Michelle Obama’s biography!

I’ve split my list into ‘productivity tools,’ things which should help me on a day-to-day work basis and ‘business and inspirational books’, which contains a lot of books that are currently on my reading list!

Have you got anything from this list already? If you have, do let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear your feedback. Does my wish list look like yours? What would you add to yours?

Productivity tools

1.Michael Hyatt Planner

Michael Hyatt, if you’ve never heard of him, is a hugely successful leadership mentor. He helps business people to get clear on their goals and to work as productively as possible to achieve their goals. So it’s pretty handy that he has also developed this awesome planner to not only help you to make goals, but which actually helps you to break them down into tasks and track your goals. I am such a technology freak but when it comes to planning, I always use pen and paper! The downside with this planner is that it is quarterly, so you have to buy one every quarter. Personally, I think that’s a great way to keep your goals in check for each quarter!

2.Hello Time Diary Planner

I’m torn between this planner and Michael Hyatt’s. I actually saw this planner on an Instagram post, which was shared by another Celebrant. I’m usually very swayed by how pretty stationery looks, but I’m getting better and I totally get that functionality is just as important as looks! And so I think this planner ticks all the boxes!

3.Pomodoro timer

Now bear with me. I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth I have a tomato-shaped timer featured on my wish list! Do let me explain. I like to follow a system of work called the Pomodoro technique. In a nutshell, it’s a way of working where you work through a list of tasks on a timed basis, and actually use a timer to define the time you spend on the task, usually about 25 minutes. I find this structured way of working really helps when I need to get something done and I need to focus solely on it (I don’t work like this all of the time!). I’ve been using the timer on my phone but I’ve realised that it has a negative effect, because I will look at my phone to see how much time I have left, then I will see what notifications and messages I have, and before you know it, the timer sounds and I’ve not done what I set out to do. So a physical timer, means I can put my phone away and concentrate on the task in hand! And besides, who wouldn’t want a big red tomato brightening up their desk?

4.Amazon Paperwhite Kindle

After many years of being a diehard paper scripts user, I surprised even myself when I switched to a device. At the time of writing I am one year into using my ipad for my ceremonies. I love it! I love that my business is 90% paper-free and I love the ease of use and not having to fight with wind or struggle holding a mic and my ipad, the way I used to with a binder or booklet, even an A5 sized booklet. So even though my first device-usage has gone well, I now recognise that it’s time to switch to a Kindle. There’s nothing wrong with an ipad but I really like that a Kindle is a reading device, which is its primary function, so unlike my ipad, it will not become bogged down with apps ie games for my six year old and will just be used for my ceremonies. I also love that the new Paperwhite is waterproof, thinking ahead to the odd drops of rain during a ceremony that I might get or even a spilt drink and often in my case, a water bottle in the bag which doesn’t have its lid on properly! I am definitely sold on this though.

Business and Inspirational books

 

5.Becoming by Michelle Obama. If I don’t get this for Christmas, I will just by it for myself anyway. It’s got to be this year’s must-have book!

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.  I am a huge fan of Jen Sincero. And I love all of her books, so I’m looking forward to getting my mitts on this one! Very empowering.

6.Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First-Class Life by Denise Duffield Thomas.  I follow Denise on every channel possible, but I’ve never actually read any of her books (I know!). I love her ethos and how she encourages women (and men) to create a life they love, by filling it with riches (money, love, happiness, gratitude).

7.StandOutOnline: How to Build a Profitable and Influential Personal Brand in the Digital Age by Natasha Courtenay-Smith.  I am super proud and excited to have this book on my list, as it is written by my good friend and namesake! And although she offered to send me a copy, I’m going to support her and buy my own. This is her second book, her first being ‘ The Million Dollar Blog,’ which I currently have sitting on my shelf and is an awesome read.

Well, I hope you like my list. Do let me know if you have got any of the same wishes or what else you have on your own wish list, I’d love to hear!

 

EDIT: Since publishing my list, I have in fact received a Kindle as a thank you present from a dear friend and Michelle Obama’s book for my birthday. You see, writing down what you want, can and does work!

 

 

 


As an Amazon Associate the Celebrants Collective earns from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on any of the links above and make a purchase, it will earn a small commission for the Celebrants Collective’s wine fund, at no extra cost to you. So thank you ever so much if you do!

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Are you all set for business in 2019?

Everywhere I look at the moment, I see adverts for planners and diaries for 2019, but that’s probably partly because I have been looking for planners online and so thanks to Facebook and its re-targetting mechanisms, I am now seeing adverts for planners EVERYWHERE. But when it’s not adverts for planners, it’s the posts from the many business professionals and groups that I follow, asking about how plans for 2019 are going and checking with their followers to see if goals have been put in place.  It does seem like anyone who is anyone is asking how everyone is set for the year that’s coming, myself included!

What big plans do you have for 2019?

What changes will you make for the year to come?

What kick-ass ideas are you going to add to your business?

What are you going to do to give your business the shake-up it needs?

But one thing I notice that people don’t ask as often, is how the current year has been. How was your current year of business? It’s like we’re so fixated and keen on moving forward and getting organised for the year ahead that we don’t even stop to consider the year that’s just been.

There is so much power in reflection, something we as Celebrants already know. To have the ability to stand back and to reflect on the year, or season or a specific period of time, is an invaluable thing to do. It’s during this time that we have the opportunity to assess and evaluate how that time has gone, the good and the bad, the successes and failures. And so once you have a good grasp of those things, then you’re in an even better position to sit down and put together the most amazing ass-whopping plan of action for 2019. A plan that has been customised to make the most of the things that worked and didn’t work from the previous year, as well as new things to implement as well.

So I thought it would be a great idea to put all of these thoughts and ideas into the very next Celebrant Survival Podcast episode. In this latest episode,  I take you through a 3 step plan of attack for how to systematically review your business. I look at how to assess all areas of it and to identify weaknesses and issues before you even start to plan ahead. And I even share my own horror story which has helped me to massively review a particular work process and in turn has shaped some of my plans for next year.

So if you’re about to start reviewing your business year, or hadn’t even given it a thought, this episode is for you!

And once you’ve listened, please do leave a review or rate the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or the podcast page itself, it would be so appreciated.

And if you’ve not listened to our other episodes you can find them all here.

 


 

The Celebrants Collective is a membership platform for Celebrants, from all over the world, who want to undertake ongoing career development on a monthly basis. From live Q&A sessions with industry experts, a Resources Room and Learning Lounge full of useful and regularly updated celebrant-related material, to celebrant-related articles and tutorials, the Collective is about empowering Celebrants to be the best they can be. Take a look at our full benefits here.

Ps. Have you joined the Celebrants Collective Facebook group. Made up of over 1300 Celebrants worldwide, it’s a great spot for support, advice and camaraderie. Come and join us now.