If you’ve been planning parties for your kids, helping your friends with their events, organizing a school or church party, or even larger scale family parties, and people ALWAYS ask you to help them with their parties… you probably have a knack for it. Are you ready to start getting paid? Feeling overwhelmed because you have no idea where to start!?
It’s time to go from doing your own personal and maybe smaller events to actually making it your dream job and getting paid. I hate even calling it a job because if you love something that much, then it isn’t a job. You are just using your talents and getting paid to do what you love. I call that a #WinWin
If you’re ready to turn this hobby for event planning into your career, read on sister! This will help you tackle that overwhelm and get you going.
Start with friends and family! Once you have a few trial runs under your belt, let them know you are open for business and need their support through planning an event for them or their referrals. If you don’t tell anyone your plans to make this your business, you can’t expect their support. Consider any opportunities to get your feet wet look for ways to build up a little experience, and don’t forget to take good pictures because building a small portfolio will help give you credibility.
Next, it’s time to do some trade work or volunteer to help plan an event for a company or other professional. and maybe it is a small business, but it’s something to put in your portfolio. The benefits of trade are for both you and the company, as you’ll both be able to tap into each other’s networks and start building new connections as a bona fide event planner. Working with small businesses can be really fun! Plus once it’s over, they could be a good referral for your next big event.
Another idea is to get a part-time job as an assistant (or asking to be mentored) by a professional event planner. You’ll be able to see how someone else does it and gain that experience and knowledge second hand. Plus having a mentor will give you invaluable experience, and again might open up those doors for networking.
You can’t expect an individual or company to hire you and actually pay you without having the experience or education to justify it.
If you’re ready to learn about event planning and invest in your career and future, I’d recommend taking a course to teach you how to do it. That way you’ll be YEARS ahead of the people who are learning hard lessons from trial and error. Smart people use teachers, mentors, and coaches to propel them into opportunities they are looking for, instead of guessing what step they need to take next. If you’re looking to join a FREE community of aspiring event planners, join the Party Planner Academy Facebook Group Here.
Once you’re ready to strike out on your own, you need to decide what you’re worth. I’ve found in my own experience that in the beginning, I was WAY undercharging for my time, talents and services. You’ll learn pretty quickly when to say no after a few times of underbidding your work.
Here are three ways to get started when charing a paying client:
- Charge an hourly rate. Just make sure you’re tracking the time and you can report honestly for things you were doing relating to the party.
- Charge a percentage of the total event budget. The industry standards are somewhere between 10-20% which really only work for larger budgets. Again be aware of your time here and see if you got the price right once it’s all said and done.
- Charge a flat fee. If you are getting better at knowing how long something will take you, you may charge a flat fee for your services. This option makes it easier for the client to budget and for you to know exactly what you’ll be making.
Remember if your client isn’t willing to pay you what you know your worth, don’t try to do it for less… It will make you resentful or you’ll end up working for free. Just. Say. No.
I also just love this visual reminder…
Create Content Online
Did you know that companies (local and national) are looking for event planners to create content for them? [SO cool right!?] And the best part is, you are usually just styling a party and turning it into a photo shoot in the comfort of your home. Finding those companies can be tricky when starting out, so I recommend using a third party site like Socal Fabric, Izea or Acorn Influence that allow you to apply for campaigns and pitch them your ideas!
Be confident when reaching out to them! Show them that they need you to plan their event. Give them a vision of what the event will be like that will wow your audience.
They are going to want to see what you can do for them, so make sure you’ve posted some of your previous work on your website that you can link to.
This is also where affiliate marketing comes in. Every company will be a little different on how they do this, but the concept is the same. You promote the company or product to your followers/guests and direct them to that company using a specialized link or code they provide for you. Through that, the company knows how many people you are bringing to them and they pay you a commission for each sale!
Once you’ve put in the work and proven yourself, it’s time to put yourself out there and just go for it.
Then watch the magic happen! You’ve got this!