Ok, so I’ve got your attention with my silly title.
And you may be thinking that reality TV is nothing but a bunch of bullshit and you’re probably right.
But there are some lessons from reality TV that you can take and use in your own business that can make you a star.
1.) It’s Okay To Show A Little Sass – Now I don’t mean that you should go around yelling at your vendors, berating your employees, and generally behaving like a horses ass. (There are plenty of people that do that naturally – you don’t have to be one of them.) What I do mean is that you SHOULD take every chance at showing a little personality.
In the wedding and event world there are plenty of personalities, so let yours shine.
You don’t have to wear a stuffy suit or be super proper all day – unless that’s the person that you truly are. I don’t know you! You might thrive with that tie cinched up around your neck – or you might be better suited to long flowy skirts, wearing your hair in braids, and using “natural” deodorant from Whole Foods.
Be who you are and the right client will be drawn to you!
2.) Location, Location, Location – Be where you need to be and in front of the people you need to be around.
Know your audience! And be where they are.
You don’t see My Fair Wedding with David Tutera on SYFY and you aren’t watching King Of Thrones on the Christian Channel.
So why are you advertising in the daily newspaper and not on The Knot?
Doesn’t make sense! I literally receive no less than 10 calls a week (and I think I’m being a wee bit conservative with this number) from people that want me to advertise with them – and I say no to them 99% of the time.
I have people that I consult with that advertise in so many places that it boggles my mind – and they still can’t figure out why they’re not getting any business.
They have bought the line of crap being sold to them by advertisers all of this country (and likely the world) that says you should be “everywhere”.
Well that’s a lie – you shouldn’t be everywhere unless you’re Wal-Mart! But you’re not Wal-Mart. You’re an independent business in your own little niche and throwing your advertising dollars around like they’re candy is not the solution.
Spend the most of your time, money, resources in the space where your clients are – end of story!
3.) It’s Okay To Tell The Truth – Thank you Randy (from Say Yes To The Dress)! You do such a gracious job of both telling your brides the truth and building them up at the same time. Which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for these awful entourage’s some of these ladies bring with them. Who needs enemies when you have friends (and family) like some of these, right?!
I know so many planners that will tell their brides what they think the bride wants to hear and not what they NEED to hear. I’m not saying that you should just say whatever you want to say the second it pops into your pretty little head!
But that’s what you’re getting paid to do – to offer your professional advice and help your client get the most out of their experience with you. And if you can say it in a gracious manner like Randy, you’re probably going to be a rock star.
Example – Every time one of my brides tells me that one of her groomsman is also the DJ I die a little inside – true story.
This is an extraordinarily bad idea – for so, so many reasons!
So, kindly like Randy (did I mention that I kind of love Randy?), I start to explain all of the multitude of things that can (read – WILL) go wrong when the groomsman is also the DJ. Usually I find that this was a kind offering on the part of the groomsmen and the bride feels guilty choosing a professional because she doesn’t want to hurt said groomsman’s feelings. And then we navigate how to deal with the groomsmen and hire an actual professional.
I could have just smiled and said “Wonderful” and of course, it would not have been.
But in telling the truth we sometimes find that what our brides really need is just a little encouragement with making the right choices.
4.) They Make Their Clients Feel Like Stars – Let’s face it – they have people following their clients around with cameras all day. If this were your client they’d probably be pretty excited that they had chosen you as their vendor! And they will probably tell all of their friends about it and then their friends will be jealous and want to work with you too. And your client base might grow pretty quickly.
But what if you don’t have a team of cameramen at your disposal? Then you better make them feel like a star in other ways!
Do you answer their emails quickly?
Do you even answer your phone when they call? Or do you let it roll over to voicemail and call them back later?
Do you go out of your way to connect with them on non wedding related subjects?
If you know they love love love sushi and you just found out about a sushi rolling competition that is happening this weekend, would you call them just to let them know?
Photogs – could you keep shine strips in your pouch when you’re photographing a wedding in July and you know it’s hot and you’re bride is sweaty (and shiny)?
Planners – could you prepare a little charcuterie tray as a surprise for your bride and her bridesmaids to snack on when they’re getting ready on the wedding day?
DJ’s – could you learn the details of the bride and grooms life together and make little mentions of them throughout the night.
In other words – what they hell are you doing to connect with your clients on a deeper more personal level that makes them feel like you totally get them – like they are THE STAR of your business??
5.) Sometimes Bad Shit Happens – And It Makes For Great TV! But At A Real Wedding It Doesn’t – And It’s Up To You To Fix It – Telling the bride every little detail of what’s gone wrong all day is a huge no no! This is one of my top pet peeves (right up there with guests rsvp’ing and not showing up)!
This is the bride’s day – not yours.
You are there to take care of the details so she doesn’t have to. Let’s not lose sight of this! I see a lot of vendors that think the bride is their gossip buddy on the wedding day and they like to tell them all of the little details that went wrong with each vendor. Shame on you – you are not the hero here. You are the biggest jerk there is. You can tell her afterwards, when it’s funny.
Trust me – before a bride walks down the aisle there is very little that is funny about little wedding disasters.
Sometimes the cake is going to fall to the ground.
Sometimes the wrong linens are going to show up.
Sometimes the officiant will get in a car accident on the way to the wedding and will not be able to make it.
Sometimes the restaurant will double book.
Sometimes the groomsmen will lose the wedding rings.
Sometimes the bride’s mom will decide she’s not coming to the wedding – and tell you at precisely the moment when you’re lining up the wedding party.
Yep, all of these things have happened to us (and much worse and racier things than this – we should write a book!). But you just DEAL WITH IT!
You don’t go running to the bride every time there is a minor mishap.
You don’t start freaking out and yelling at your vendors.
You don’t start blabbing about it to anyone that will listen.
You assess the situation. You determine how to fix it. And you do it – that’s it!
And you smile and move on and quietly do your damn best to make it right – EVEN WHEN IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.