As you grow your event planning business, it is time to automate the tasks that take time and can ultimately stall your growth. If left unplanned, growth can hamper your company and make it almost impossible to see progress. With the right business systems and team, you know your company has what it takes to support its customers and keep the business growing.
That’s why the first thing you need to do is to have a system in place. One that makes sure the business is flowing smoothly. This will streamline your process, save time, and enhance your client experience – and profit.
Before you do anything else, here are five things that you need to automate in your event planning business:
1. Your Contact Form
Your event planning website gets many visitors. Each one of them is a potential customer. Letting their contact information go down the drain means losing valuable business opportunities.
To prevent this from happening, having an automated contact form on your website is essential. This will act as a lead generator for your event planning business, especially if it is linked to a Client Relationship Management System (CRM).
Why a CRM is important
When someone completes a form on your website, they’ll be activated as a lead in your CRM. By then, you’ll have their name, contact information, and any other questions you’ve included in the form. You can set your CRM to automatically send them follow-up emails. You can even trigger an email series that helps to warm this lead up before you have an opportunity to meet.
Essentially a CRM will capture every lead and will automate your sales process. There are many CRM options out there for event and wedding planners, but the three (3) that I highly recommend are:
If you don’t already have a CRM, I suggest you check out one of those options.
2. Your Website Chatbox
There will be times when a client will come to your website and while they’re looking around they may wish to ask some questions. This is the perfect opportunity to have a chat option for clients looking for immediate support.
Your Personal Assistant
Think of your chatbox like when you go into a physical store and you’re looking around for a store assistant to help you with something. When you don’t find one, you might just leave and head towards the next store. You definitely don’t want this to happen with your website visitors, especially when there’s an easy solution for it.
Sometimes your website platform will have a chat feature that you just need to activate. When you do, you’ll be able to see when someone is on the site. The chatbox will pop up and immediately ask them a question or prompt them to send you a message.
Chat options are perfect for encouraging clients to ask you questions that start a conversation which can often lead to a booking.
Even if your website doesn’t have the chat feature, platforms like WordPress allow you to install a plugin that lets you use this feature. Another platform that helps you connect with visitors on your website is WiX. Their easy-to-use chat feature allows clients to instantly reach you.
3. Automate your Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is when you offer a free piece of content that solves a problem for your potential clients, but to receive it, they need to provide you with their contact information.
This can be a free piece of content like a guide or an e-book. It can also be a training video or free templates.
While your website might have a popup box that asks visitors to sign up for a newsletter or updates, this is not the same as having a lead magnet.
Many visitors will not subscribe to a newsletter because, let’s be honest, this is not what they’re looking for. They’re checking out your website so that they can make a decision about hiring an event planner. They’re not sure yet if they want to work with you.
And when you offer them a free resource that solves a problem, this is your opportunity to get their email and essentially a new lead.
How do you pick a lead magnet?
You can find some simple and quick ideas for a lead magnet here. But before you decide what to offer your customers, you need to do a little research of your own. Get to know what your clients are struggling with when they’re looking for a planner. Perhaps it’s finding a venue that fits their budget. In such a case, preparing a guide that helps them narrow down their options will be of great value.
4. Client Consultation Process
This one will be a real time-saver for your event planning business. A client booking a session with you should be smooth and convenient. The last thing you want is going back and forth with clients over email trying to figure out a time that fits both of your schedules. Besides wasting a lot of time, you risk having your client drop off and never following back up.
An automated client consultation process ensures that this never happens. Whether you send them a link or have the link on your website, they’ll have quick and easy access to your calendar where they can automatically schedule a call.
If you’re wondering what are some options you can use for this, I highly recommend these two programs:
5. Reviews and Testimonials
Now that you managed to generate and capture leads as well as booking and scheduling your client consultation, what’s left to automate?
The final item I recommend automating, and perhaps the most overlooked is your client review process. By now, if you have a CRM that takes care of booking the client, sending them a proposal, an invoice, all the way until the booking process is complete – your next step is automating your client review process.
By automating this process, you get to follow up with clients promptly, and never be left wondering a month or two later if you should follow up with that past client or if it’s too late.
If you have a CRM that automates this process, then please use it. If you don’t have a CRM add it to your calendar as a part of your event planning timeline.
For example: Let’s say your client’s wedding is on April 30th, then what you should do is schedule an email, to be sent a week or two later, requesting your clients’ review or testimonial. This way you’ll never miss a review opportunity.
Conclusion: Should you automate?
Managing an event and wedding planning business means that you’ll have to deal with many details. Automating the important parts of it will take a lot of stress off your shoulders, save time, streamline your growth process while allowing you to focus on other important areas of your business.