If you are an independent event planner, then you are no doubt well acquainted with the unpredictable life of a freelancer. Like any entrepreneur, your time is split between developing the inner workings of your business and making your presence felt in the world at large. How do you find the time and energy to tackle that second half without feeling completely overwhelmed?

Connecting with the people who will become your allies, friends,  loyal customers and clients should feel natural and easy to you, once you figure out who they are. In the event industry, much of our business is generated in social settings like networking events and other small gatherings. You never know where your next business lead will come from, so it helps to be prepared for productive conversation by remembering some of the following principles:

1) Be real!

Don’t be afraid to be who you are and be confident. It is very important in this industry to be exactly who you are since who you are will shine through at some point. In the beginning stages you tend to take on whatever business comes your way but with experience and over time you will learn how to pin point the type of client you will work best with. Since so much of our business depends on good working relationships, transparency right from the beginning will help you determine if there’s good chemistry before you get too deeply into a business partnership.

2) Build your business community.

. Part of finding your natural audience is building community, and you have to have something to offer. Think about what you know, where you’ve lived, what other kinds of experiences you’ve had that you’re excited to share with others. You will not find a client every time you open your mouth, so don’t expect that! One important goal should be to connect with people in your industry. You would be surprised how many doors will open to you just by connecting with the right people. It wont happen all at once but over time, if you are doing the right thing and connecting with the right people everything will eventually fall into place.

3) Understand the needs of your audience.

In order to further your business building goals, connecting with people in an authentic way has to include a clear presentation of the specific services you are offering. Calling yourself an event planner is not enough. You need to be able to articulate the unique thing you are bringing to the table. What are your greatest strengths, or your particular skills as a planner? What kinds of events are you especially good at conceiving or managing?

4) Know where your natural audience is hanging out, and go find them!

You may find some of your audience at live events, but you will also find them online.Learn what social platforms your audience uses to look for cool events. For example an event we are planning this October, most of our sales came through Instagram, which tells us our audience for this particular event had more success through online platforms as appose to print. Use this to your benefit and over time you will recognize the trends.

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