One of the questions I get asked regularly by Academy students is ‘how did you launch your wedding business?’ The simple answer, via social media.
I know that when you first start out on your new career journey it’s difficult to picture yourself running a profitable wedding business. I know because I’ve been there myself. There are so many unknowns, so much to learn and lots that you don’t yet know about running a business.
Many of you in this position will decide it’s easier and more comfortable to give up before you started and keep working away in your current, more secure job. I’ll be honest, launching a business is scary and requires a bit of risk taking.
The thing I urge you to remember is this — launching a business doesn’t need to be a huge leap of faith, neither does it need to be a perfectly planned military operation. You can just start with one small step. Put yourself out there on social media.
If you have developed a brand or even just a logo for your business that’s great. But even if all you have is a business concept and a name, get it out there. In an ideal world, you would launch a business with branding, a clear idea of what you are selling, a website, a primed audience and a social media, press and possibly an advertising campaign. But it is also worrying about not having these things that stops businesses ever launching in the first place.
If you are feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of starting your business or you are currently lacking in confidence that’s ok. Just take it slow, one small step at a time.
My major issue when launching my wedding business, Anemone, was perfectionism. I am a serious perfectionist and I often don’t feel confident unless I know I have everything just right and all my ducks in a row. To be honest I could have procrastinated about launching my business for months longer than I did. It took some sound advice from Academy CEO Kylie Carlson to give me the kick up the butt I needed.
I had a brand logo, colour palette and fonts that I had been using to make my Academy course assignments look more professional. I also had an idea of who I wanted to plan and design weddings for and what an Anemone wedding might look like. But it was all in my head and on my computer, nothing was out there in the public space. That was until Kylie told me I needed to set up my business social media accounts and it was time to start posting!
And so on the 31st October 2017, I posted for the first time on Instagram and Facebook, and Anemone was born. The great thing about social media is that you can start functioning as a small business without a website. I built up my initial audience, networked with other weddings professionals, started developing my brand voice, and got my first client enquiry via Instagram. This was before I had a website, a list of services, pricing, insurance, contracts, a business plan and all the other things that go into running my business now.
And do you know what else it gave me? It gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to complete my Academy diploma and work on building my new business. Once Anemone was out there on social media, gathering a following, I felt empowered to focus on the other work that needed to be done. The business units in my course gave me the foundation knowledge and templates I needed to take on clients and implement the correct processes. Anything I didn’t know I made sure I found out.
A year and a half since that first post on social media I am feeling like Anemone is in a great place. We had our first 2019 wedding last weekend which was amazing and we have a whole year of wonderful weddings and new ventures ahead of us. Many of our couples find us through Instagram and it continues to be one of our biggest referrers.
So if you’re procrastinating about getting yourself out there or you have no idea how to launch your new career then my advice would be to get posting. Get on Instagram now! A few social media posts are not going to break, but they might just make your business.
Martha Tobyn is a UK Academy graduate, the Academy Brand Manager and the Founder and Wedding Planner & Stylist behind Modern London wedding business Anemone. She loves being creative and helping couples have the wedding they really want.