Question: How do I book a wedding with no client reviews and no experience?
” Hi Stephanie!
“Thanks for your free e-book ‘The Price Shopper Email Formula.’ I found it most insightful.
“I’ve got a question. I’m just starting out so I don’t have any referrals or the like. I’ve been making videos for 7/8 years now and have my own youtube site. My videos have been made for fun showing mountain biking, excursions to the mountains, holidays, etc. I recorded a friends wedding a few years back but I don’t have a copy of it. Anyway, I’m not sure it’s of the quality I want to portray.
“So my question is – how do I deal with your suggestion of previous client referrals and previous wedding videos?
“I imagine that it’s a bad idea to say it’s my first wedding recording. I was think of starting off by offering a 33% reduction for the first bride to book each of my three packages.
“Also I’m thinking of having some leaflets made to put in bridal shops.
“Would it be a good idea to include in my leaflets that I will make a wedding video for free for the first person to contact me and confirm?
“Again so as I have something to show prospective clients.
“Your comments would be much appreciated. Look forward to hearing from you!”
When you’re just starting out, you don’t want to lie about your experience, but you might not want to make it known just how “green” you are, either.
• Price yourself at or just below average to make up for your inexperience, and then raise your price as your experience and referrals grow.
• Find out what couples are paying in your local market from the Wedding Report to find out the “average” price.
What To Do When You Have No Reviews & Testimonials
1) Get reviewed by your friends/family you’ve created videos for.
While these aren’t paying clients, they are certainly qualified to write a review (or better yet, do a video review!) of your services. It’s okay to be creative because you are committed to doing the best.
2) Get references and testimonials from people you’ve worked for in other jobs. Pick out the the ones that:
• Mention your professionalism and character.
• Point out the strengths of your work that also apply to weddings.
• Show happy clients.
Sure, some people may be a little nervous because of your newness to the wedding scene, but a super reasonable price may entice them to the bargain.
Also, don’t forget that your newness is an asset! You have everything to prove and you’ll be giving 100%.
Your work will appeal to couples who:
• Love the type of adventure videos you’ve been shooting for fun.
• Want something different that the typical “hearts and bubbles” video.
• Want a documentary style video.
Building Your Portfolio
Do you have any professional experience in video? If not, it’s a good idea to take some classes in editing and/or get a job working for a video editing company to get experience before charging.
I’m going to encourage you NOT to make a wedding video for free. Even though you’re just starting out, you still deserve to be paid for what you do! The couples who “hire” you to work for free are often least appreciative and the most demanding.
How to find your first clients:
• Call up other wedding professionals in the area and tell them you’re willing to shoot a wedding video for one of their couples for just your cost.
• Talk to EVERYONE you meet about your new business idea. Someone knows someone who’s getting married.
• Offer a very reduced rate that covers your costs and pays a little for your time.
• Find a mentor in the business to show you the ropes and send you referrals.
100% of our first referrals came from another local DJ we befriended. He took us out on the job, let me take notes, and when he saw I was ready, he started sending us leads. We literally made thousands of dollars from that single connection.
Answering the Question, “How Many Weddings Have You Done?”
When we first started out as wedding DJs and people would ask, “How many weddings have you done?” I’d let Jeff answer because he’s a more creative storyteller than me.
He’d say, “I’ve been a professional musician for over 25 years…” and lead the conversation in a totally different direction. By the time he was done, they loved him and had forgotten all about their original question. :)
1) Think creatively and come up with a response to use when the question is asked.
2) Practice your response until you can say it comfortably and confidently.
Then when someone asks, you’ll be totally prepared with exactly what to say.
Don’t let your newness stop you. Go get ‘em!
What did YOU do to book your first weddings when you were brand new? Leave a comment and share your experience!
Got a wedding business question you want answered? Email Stephanie & Jeff and you could be the next Question of the Week! All personal details about your identity will be removed unless you specify otherwise.