We’re living in strange, uncertain times, right? I’m pretty sure I say that sentence once a week, scratch that, once a day!
Even if for a moment we put aside the personal effects of the situation we find ourselves in (anyone else experiencing the full rainbow of emotions in one week?), there’s still the impact on our business to weigh up too. But as we already know, when you’re self-employed, there is a very very blurred line between your business life and your personal life, and the two are much more closely entwined than we care to admit.
So now perhaps with all the uncertainty out there, you’re beginning to get the feeling that you’re not getting booked as much as you’d like.
You’re concerned that the goals that you’ve made, won’t be met. You’re worrying that Covid-19, already having mucked up one year of business, may now start to impact the next.
Maybe you’ve seen other celebrants celebrating enquiries and bookings and you’re asking yourself, ‘where the hell are mine?’
And can I just say, if you’ve seen or heard other celebrants say this, please don’t let this rattle you. For the record, whilst bookings can come in seasons where there are certain times of the year where most celebrants see an influx of enquiries/bookings around the same time, there are also times where celebrants experience personal influxes, at different times to other celebrants. Don’t let one celebrant’s influx of enquiries put the fear in you. It’s not a sign that sh*t has hit the fan for you, but it’s a good reminder to be mindful of your own activities, patterns and numbers.
So here are a few things to do if you find yourself having a lot of these thoughts and feelings.
1. Don’t panic.
Seriously, panicking gets you nowhere fast. Stay calm and bring all rational senses on board. You can get through this but you need to be in the right headspace.
2. Check the facts.
Sometimes when you feel like your bookings are down, they might not actually be down. It might just be that you’re going through what seems like a quiet period for enquiries but actually when you check your numbers, your bookings look on course with previous years, if you’ve got previous years to compare to.
As a new celebrant maybe your original goals were too unrealistic, so you’re beating yourself up about goals that are virtually impossible to reach. Maybe you need to reset your goals and make them more realistic. All in all, it’s best to confirm your bookings are actually down before you say/think that they are. And if they really are then it’s time to put a new plan of action into place.
3. Review your practices
In order to know what needs to be tackled, you need to try and identify what the problem is. Are your bookings down because you’re not getting the enquiries or are your bookings down because you’re not converting the enquiries that you’re getting? Or maybe you’re in a position where your enquiries are few and far between AND you’re not managing to create bookings out of those scarce enquiries.
If your enquiries are down, you need to review what you’ve been doing to market yourself in recent times.
Have you gone quiet on social media?
Does your Google My Business Listing look abandoned?
Could you have a bit more online presence in general?
A bit more energy?
If you have directory listings could they be refreshed, and jazzed up with new images and text?
Is your website looking dated?
Is it time to re-introduce yourself or to send a reminder to important industry contacts who can help with enquiries? Wedding planners? Venues? Funeral arrangers?
If you’re not converting your enquiries at a rate of more than 50%, or by however much you need to convert, then maybe you need to look at your client communication.
Are you taking too long to get back to enquiries?
Is your communication unclear?
Do you give too much information?
Do you give too little?
Do you follow up if you’ve not heard back?
Is your communication energy right? Are you coming across as low energy? Needy? Desperate? Full on?
Was it a flimsy enquiry to begin with? Or a solid lead?
So there are some things to help you get thinking about what you might need to do. CC Members, you can get a comprehensive specially created bookings/enquiries worksheet here to help you review all your business practices and take action. Once you’ve reviewed your current work practices, and put a new plan of action in place, you’ll then have to sit back and wait to see if and how your efforts make a difference.
Don’t forget however, that when bookings are down some aspects of this are not always in your control, no matter what you do to make changes. Factors like Covid-19, the economy, the market, and consumer spending confidence can impact your bookings, not always and not forever, but it’s still something to bear in mind.
So this means that all you can do is to make sure that you’re doing your best, that you’re doing everything that you possibly can do, that your confidence is high and that your energy is vibing enough to attract new enquiries and bookings. Give it some time and then rinse and repeat, if needs be.
You’ve got this!
PS. Our awesome newly overhauled Celebrants Collective website is relaunching in the next week. Along with our monthly expert-led webinars, our monthly group coaching calls, and our existing Resource Room, and Learning Lounge, we also have a new Course Corner, where our in-house courses will live. Not to mention all the other fabulous benefits, too. All of this still only costs 10 Euros a month (8.98 pounds, 11.31 USD, 15.35 CSD, 16.23 AUD), BUT only until September when the price rises to 15 Euros a month for new members. You can find out more here (but sorry this still links to the ugly website!)