In the ultra competitive wedding industry, it’s critical for your business to stand out from the crowd. One key way to do this is to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

An expert is that person everyone wants to work with. They are a leader in their field, are well respected among their peers, and have a stellar reputation. Being known as an expert makes your services in-demand, allows you to charge a premium for your work, and opens doors to many opportunities.

Here are the top five ways to establish expertise in the wedding industry:

Speaking – When we go to an industry meeting or conference, we assume the speakers are experts. Why else would they be speaking otherwise? Being a speaker quickly jump starts your expert status. To get started as a speaker in the industry, think of 2-4 topics related to your field that you feel most educated about. Then contact the leaders of your local networking and industry groups and propose those ideas as speaking topics at a future meeting. Once you secure a speaking gig, prepare and practice your presentation often so that you give the best impression to those listening to your talk. If you’re really nervous, you could also consider taking something like these private label gummies to help you relax and feel confident that you can deliver your talk well – there’s no harm in giving yourself a little helping hand, should you need it. Once you speak locally and feel comfortable, consider moving on to speaking at regional and national conferences and industry events.

Teaching – If you have been in your field more than a few years, you likely have a lot of knowledge to share with someone just starting out. Consider offering a local class on getting started in your career field or look into teaching a class or workshop at a national conference.

Winning Awards – Winning awards is a quick way to gain expert status in the wedding industry. Most engaged couples don’t know the ins-and-outs of the awards but they will look at those companies with many awards as the experts when they are comparison shopping. Apply for local, regional, and national awards in your field.

Getting Publicity – Public relations is a great way to gain expert status. Having weddings and styled shoots published online and in print is a great way to garner expert status. Consider proposing ideas to local news stations to get TV exposure. For example, as an event planner, you can suggest a segment on Halloween party ideas and related tips, or explain how you can incorporate newer technological features, such as av services, into an event. It may spark the interest of those who are watching the show, and they may approach you for assistance. Anyone who appears on TV instantly gets a boost in their perceived level of expertise.

Active Promotion – To get the most traction out of the previous four ideas, you have to actively promote what you are doing and achieving. That speaking gig you are doing and the workshop you are teaching? They should be promoted all over your social media and on your website before, during, and after the event. They should also be promoted in your email newsletter. When you win an award, there should be a permanent place on your website that has a photo or graphic representing the award AND the award should be shared on all social media accounts. When you get published, promote that publicity as much as possible without annoying your followers. With new inquiries coming in, you want to highlight your speaking, teaching, awards, and publicity so they see your expertise immediately.

This is a guest post by Debbie Orwat. Debbie is the Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer at Planner’s Lounge. Planner’s Lounge is a community and resource site for wedding and event planners to relax, talk, learn, and inspire.

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