Frequently Asked Questions: How do you get clients to view you as credible if you still have another job?

These days, most people start in the event business by wearing two hats. They most likely take gradual steps out of their old boring job into the new and exciting world of the event industry. There is always that “cross-over” period of adjustment.

If you’re a newcomer I strongly suggest that if you have never done an event, even if it’s offering your time for free to friends and family, that you get some basic experience before you actually do your first job for pay.

Even if you have another job, your process before interviewing a client should be the same as anyone: preparation, preparation, research and preparation.

To prepare properly, this is what I suggest:

  • Give the client the confidence you are giving them the best service possible. Do this by doing your homework and putting the time in to get some experience.
  • You need to gather visual materials from the freebies you gave your friends and family. A picture has the power of a thousand words. Talk about all the things that went RIGHT with the event, and how you accomplished your goals.
  • Your new client does not need to know you have another job. And no, I do not consider this omission lying. You just need to be 100% sure you have enough time and effort to execute this job flawlessly.

I have heard of many folks who have gone through this transition with great ease. I encourage everyone to give up that dreaded boring job and follow your dream job. However, like anything else, it takes careful planning and patience to establish credibility and a good reputation.

Please tell me, do you feel that it’s lying if you don’t mention to your clients that you have another job? If you’re transitioning between careers, what boring business are you giving up and what are your starting? What are the ups and downs of transitioning?

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  • http://YOURWEBSITE Erik H.

    I read somewhere you don’t need a lot of experience or start up cost to start your own party planning business. ( sure-if your not that serious in succeding I geuss)
    I did what Preston said. Throw some parties for family and friends- for freeeeee!
    In exchange I get experience, nice photos for web site and portfolio, referals and testimonials. Throwing parties can be spendy-food, drinks, decor, flowers, rentals, transporting the rentals, liability insurance, etc, etc. which doesn’t include taking classes to make yourself that much more valeuable.
    One day I decided to get my diploma in Floral Arts & Sciences, it took me about 18 months to get at a cost of around $10K! When I was doing parties for free, I usually did everything myself and even if I did have someone to help my delegating skills were locked in the trunk somewhere! BACK BREAKING work in the trenches! But it’s here in the trenches you learn and learn from mistakes It’s also tough to find a very repudable events firm to apprentice with. Eventually , if you have done a few functions and was able to impress the guests (and yr client) your phone should start ring’n…..eventually.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Aisha

    Great post as usual, Preston! I personally don’t think that it’s omission not to volunteer the fact that you’re working at another job to a potential client. If they ask, well of course, I would be honest but assure them that I wouldn’t be taking on their wedding/event unless I was absolutely certain I had the time to dedicate to it. I am transitioning between careers, but I actually don’t think my day job is boring, just not the most fulfilling. I’m in IT, and I love it, but it’s not what makes me the happiest, while wedding planning is. So far the ups are that I can still do volunteer work to build up my portfolio and get comfortable with wedding planning and not have to worry about paying my bills. The downside for me is not being able to dedicate more of my time to my new craft, but good things come to those who wait, so I know it won’t be long :)

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Erik H.

    WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY?

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Erik H.

    Sorry If my first comment drifted a bit from the subject (I was tired) but, I was just pointing out that outside of my regular job it was very time consuming transitioning to starting my own business. I never mentioned to a potential client about it becuase I already had years of experience in the Hospitality industry. Even then , I still threw parties for free to get those referances in case the client asks!

  • http://www.deizievents.co.uk Faith Kalejaiye

    I wouldnt consider not mentioning to your client that you have another job as lieing. Just Like PB said its a transitioning period in ones career.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE marianne

    hi, am new to the biz and this blog actually fits what am facing right now. I have been coordinating weddings for about 1 1/2 years now, it actually started from my church and by the grace of God, it is becoming a business for me. I am a little bit uninformed at this time and looking for a lot of guidance, am looking for help in getting my templates as a planne and also establishing a contact. if u can help i will greatly appreciate it . thanks