Having a functional wedding website, a pretty Instagram grid, and some ads in WeddingWire or The Knot used to be enough for wedding planners—but not anymore. Consumers are savvier than ever, and they want to get to know the people and brands they’re working with, which means seriously elevating your social media presence.
Shaun Gray, owner of Shaun Gray Events, is a perfect example of what to do when it comes to social. With more than a decade of wedding and event planning experience, Shaun freely shares his wealth of knowledge in short-form videos on TikTok, helping couples around the world plan for their big day.
More than 6,800 actively-engaged subscribers, stronger vendor relationships, additional local bookings, client inquiries from around the country, and new digitized revenue opportunities.
The best part is that building an online social following doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With commitment, work, and the right advice, you can create a social media account that will attract followers and bring in new business opportunities.
Here are some of Shaun’s top lessons to help you build a social following for your wedding planning business.
Be authentic, transparent, and honest
Couples want to get to know their wedding planners, which means showing off more than those beautiful centerpieces you created for your last wedding. Instead, show your online subscribers how you made them or share a story of what inspired you and what they can do to find their own inspiration.
For example, Shaun recently planned a “garden disco” themed wedding for a pair of grooms. For the decor, he created unique disco-ball flower vases that served as the table decor. Instead of just showing off the final pictures, he created a short video to tell his followers where he purchased the disco tiles and vases and how he put them together. He also regularly shows up, giving “face-to-face” advice to his nearly weds, even if it isn’t always what they want to hear—like how much of your wedding budget you can expect to spend on florals.
Don’t go on social just to promote
One of the most common mistakes new businesses make when they go on social is to follow old-school marketing tricks. Social media is about having a conversation with your audience. So, create content that brings value and engages your ideal clients versus just asking them to sign up and buy from you. Of course, once you have a regular following, you can (and should) actively promote your services between high-value, no-obligation posts.
Give away free wedding tips
As a seasoned wedding planner, Shaun is packed with insider tips on how to plan the perfect big day. So, he simply shows up online and dishes it out—the good, the bad, and the ugly—so couples can use his insights to plan their own wedding day.
“Our couples are smarter today,” explains Shaun. “They know how to research and find the answers they’re looking for. So if you don’t put it all out there, they will find it eventually. And I’d rather they hear it from me than anywhere else.”
When you’re thinking of what tips you can share on your social channels, think about the areas in which you shine or what questions always seem to come up during the wedding planning process. Are you the best at seating arrangements? Share some tips! Do your clients always seem to struggle to manage their guest lists? Tell us how to cut it down! Do you know what color palettes are out of style? Dish it!
Support your community
When you show up for your community, they’ll show up for you. That’s why Shaun makes sure to drop in his support when he sees couples online stepping away from traditional wedding day trends and creating something completely out-of-the-box and unique to their love story (Shaun’s specialty).
“Even if they’re never my client, I will still applaud them and support them because the couple in Houston that wants that kind of a celebration is going to see it, and they will know that I can help them achieve that,” says Shaun.
Learn from and share with other event planners
Knowledge sharing is important in any profession, but this is especially true for the event planning industry. Whether it’s gaining inspiration, sharing contacts, or asking for suggestions on wedding planner software and other wedding planning tools, having a solid network of event professionals is crucial for any wedding planner. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for local networking events to make those connections.
Shaun uses Club House, a new audio-based social app that lets you drop into different chatrooms covering specific topics, one of which is wedding planning. Shaun regularly attends these meetups to learn from and share his knowledge with other professional wedding planners.
Build relationships with your vendors
When you’re building your online network, don’t forget about your vendors! From the wedding venue and decor rentals down to caterers and florists, every good wedding planner needs equally awesome vendors to help them pull off their big wedding day plans, which makes building and maintaining a relationship with them a top priority.
One of the best ways to strengthen those bonds is by engaging with and shouting out your vendors online. This not only gives them a boost in their social ratings, but it encourages them to do the same as well, giving you access to their following. Another side bonus is that your clients will get to see what kind of vendors that you work with and see that you have a long list of good vendor recommendations.
Save your social contacts to your CRM
When Shaun connects with a vendor, receives an inquiry from a potential client, or even sends a recommendation to one of his followers, he collects their contact information and saves it to his CRM (customer relationship management) tool in Planning Pod.
“When it comes to social media, it’s easy for things to get lost in the noise,” says Shaun. “You’ll have a conversation, and then just a couple of days later, won’t remember where to find it.
Inside Planning Pod, he can easily record notes and tag the contact with “TikTok” so he knows which platform they met on and what they discussed. This makes it easier for him to quickly recall their conversation and follow up.
“Being able to tag those interactions back to a profile in Planning Pod allows me to really be all in in a short form video set, but still be a serious business owner, because I’m tagging it in my CRM,” Shaun adds.
Streamline your work with wedding planning software
Shaun is able to dedicate so much of his time to curating social content because he has invested in event planning software that allows him to automate his workflows and save himself hours of work each week. And if you’re in the wedding planning business, investing in event management software is non-negotiable.
“The first thing you have to decide is if this is a hobby or a business,” says Shaun. “If it’s a business, that means there are sales, client and venue management, floor plans and layouts, timelines, due dates, itineraries, etc. And you need to be on top of all of it. So you can keep trying to update your spreadsheets in Google Drive, or you can invest in a software solution that will grow with you and invest your time building templates and workflows and let your CRM do the work.”
With Planning Pod’s user-friendly set-up, Shaun can quickly knock out his to-do lists using the task management tool and stay up-to-date on incoming business with the lead management software. Plus, with easy integrations, he can simply update his Google calendar or shoot an email to a client and see real-time updates in the Planning Pod app on his computer, iPhone, Android, or tablet.
He can also create custom workspaces for his wedding party, where both parties can review and update wedding checklists, manage RSVPs, review inspiration boards, and share notes. With the floor plans tool, Shaun can quickly design and save custom layouts, making it easy to fill in seating charts for each of his clients.
It’s like having a team of wedding planning assistants, which ultimately enables Shaun more time to focus on his social presence, taking care of his father, or spoiling his Rat Terrier rescue, Bear.
Free up your time with Planning Pod, an all-in-one wedding planning software that will grow with you. Request a personalized demo today to see what it can do for you.