As a business coach and mentor for fellow wedding planners, I see people undercharging for their services all the time (aka, pricing themselves too low). And when you undercharge your work, you are undermining yourself, your effort, your expertise and your experience.
What I see often is, wedding planners lacking confidence in their pricing because they don’t truly understand how valuable their business (and their time) is. If you start comparing yourself to your competition, it could make you nervous of course. But in truth, the only reason you should worry is if you are failing to differentiate yourself and understand what makes you and your business unique.
The more you understand your strengths, the more confidence you will have in your business and in charging what you are really worth.
When discussing pricing structures and fees with fellow wedding planner colleagues and coaching clients, I hear it all too often:
- “No one is going to pay that much for what I do”
- “I’m afraid they’ll hire someone cheaper”
- “I need just one more year of experience before I raise my rates”
- “So and so is only charging $X and they’ve been in business longer than me”
And to that, I say BS.
I think everyone goes through phases of insecurity when it comes to increasing their pricing, out of fear they’ll hear crickets. I’ve been there too. But charging below your worth is just doing yourself and the industry as a whole a disservice.
While I think there’s definitely something to gaining experience, knowledge and a portfolio to show for yourself when you’re first starting your business, I also believe your pricing should quickly be reflective of the value you bring the table, as well as the time and energy involved per client!
Here are 4 tips I have for evaluating your pricing structure and increasing your rates with confidence.
01. Know your worth
The number one way to see if you’re really making any money is to track your time. And I know what you must be thinking: “But Jess, I don’t have TIME to track my time” or “Seriously, Jess? That’s too difficult to do with my full planning clients” or even worse, “I’m afraid to know how much time I spend per client, because I know it can’t be good.”
Ding ding ding. If you’ve said any or all of those to yourself before (especially the last one), it’s TIME to start tracking your time.
Tracking the time involved per client – from onboarding to consultations, to vendor and client communication, to execution – it’s all extremely important to understand where your time is going in order to know and ultimately charge your worth.
Time is money, my friend. And when you realize your worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts or charging well below what you deserve.
02. Have confidence in the value you bring to the table
While your price is what you charge your client, what they are actually paying for is your value. And, you have to understand what your unique value is inside and out for every service or product that you offer. So many wedding planners I coach are afraid of coming across as “sales-y” or “pushy” but you need to own your value and be confident in communicating it!
If there is no doubt in your potential customer’s mind why they need what you offer and why you are the only person that can help them, price is no longer an objective.
03. Increase your pricing every few clients booked
Increasing your pricing can be scary, no matter what price point you’re at. You may get no’s initially, but don’t let that convince you you’re not worth the money. If you’re nervous to significantly increase your pricing at one time, try increasing your rates by $X amount every 2-3 brides you book at that price point until you reach your goal. Doing so at a slower pace could help build your confidence charging higher rates as you work towards your end goal.
04. Get comfortable + be okay with people saying no
As someone who started a business centered solely around Day of Wedding Coordination (or Month of Coordination to some), we often get responses from potential clients saying they found someone else half (sometimes even more than half) of our fee.
And to that I say, no problem! Because deep down I know that if they’re just looking for a deal or the cheapest coordinator – they’re not my ideal client anyway. I want to work with couples who see the value our team brings to the table and craves a client experience like none other.
Getting a “no” from someone shouldn’t be a negative thing. And it shouldn’t make you feel that you’re pricing yourself too high. It just means there’s more opportunity for an ideal bride to come along and say “yes!”
Images by Social Squares
Are you ready to take your wedding planning business to the next level? Maybe you’re struggling to attract your ideal client. Maybe you want to grow your team. Maybe you want to raise your prices. Maybe you just want to go full-time with this big dream of yours. Or maybe it’s all of the above.
Whatever it is, I’d love to help you shift gears to intentionally propel your business forward this year. Send me a note and tell me what your big, bold and beautiful dreams are – I’d love to connect with you!