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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ramson

Q+A with Wedding Planner and Brand Coach, Rachel Overall

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Rachel Overall has had a busy few years getting her three businesses up and running. In 2017 left her corporate job and began her wedding planning business, Mirabella Weddings, followed by her luxury travel planning company Follow in my Footprints.

Late last year she launched her third business, Rachel Overall Coaching, which helps ambitious women create real business transformations through implementing effective brand and marketing strategies.

You have been a busy woman building three online businesses in the past 4 years! What has been the most rewarding and the most challenging aspect of running your three businesses?

I really love the variation – every day is different. Whilst running three businesses sounds tough, they all align nicely with each other and especially with the wedding planning and travel planning businesses, they complement each other well. The most challenging part is definitely time management in order to try and juggle all three – it’s really important to set clear time aside to each to avoid overwhelm!

When it comes to your businesses - what aspect of your branding has been most beneficial? Or has a specific combination worked for you?

To be honest, I think it’s impossible to pick one aspect in particular as I truly believe that there are so many elements which contribute towards making a strong brand. Before launching my businesses, I spent ten years working in advertising so focusing on building brands was something I did every day – and is a big reason I have been so focused on building strong brands for my businesses from Day One. Having good branding, from logo and fonts to colour schemes, has been so important in attracting the right clients, and I’ve received so many compliments on my branding. With all three of my businesses being online, being able to reflect that through my website and social media has been key – through both my brand design and also imagery (getting branding shoots done was also one of the best investments I could’ve made!).

I’m interested to know how running your two ‘wedding’ focused businesses made you realise that coaching was something you wanted to branch into? When was your ‘aha!’ moment and how quickly did you act on starting another new venture?

To be honest, coaching had always probably been on the cards – even though it wasn’t necessarily on my radar when launching my first business. When I worked in advertising, I managed a large team and was a trained corporate coach – I loved the people side of things and being able to help others.

I launched my wedding and travel planning businesses because they were two things I really loved and I really enjoy being able to tie in my work with my passions. I managed to grow both brands really quickly and was often asked by other business owners if I could share some of my tips. I knew I had over 10 years of experience of building brands and marketing them online (for big global brands when I worked in an ad agency, as well as smaller start-up brands like my own more recently) and so it seemed a shame not to be able to share this knowledge and help others – hence my coaching business was then born!

The uncertainty we are all experiencing at the moment, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, must be impacting MW and FIMF in many ways. What are the biggest challenges facing brides and grooms who had planned their weddings in 2020 and what has been your advice for the majority of couples you’ve been working with?

It really is a challenging time and it’s been heart-breaking to see so many of my couples, who we’ve spent months and even years working with, having to make the tough decision to postpone their arrangements – whether weddings or honeymoons. Building relationships with my clients is my number one priority and I am lucky to be able to also count my couples as friends – so seeing them faced with these decisions is really tough.

The most difficult thing though has been the uncertainty – with no one really knowing all the answers about how things will pan out, it’s really difficult to decide when to postpone and how long for. My number one piece of advice though is to stay strong and know that, even if you do have to postpone, it WILL 100% be worth the wait. We are all in desperate need of some good times – and I truly believe these post-lockdown weddings are going to go well and truly OFF!  If ever there was a need to party, this will be it!

What is your focus on at the moment during this lockdown period?

From a wedding and travel planning perspective, my priority has been to help those couples whose plans have been affected – providing them with all of the reassurance and support they need whilst they navigate these tricky times, and assisting them with re-planning and rearranging where necessary. From a coaching perspective it’s been really busy too though – it’s a tough time for a lot of small business owners, so I’ve been trying to help lots of fellow entrepreneurs put strategies in place to help them continue to grow their visibility during these difficult times, as well as helping offline businesses switch to build an online presence. Growing a brand online is my speciality and so there have been lots of online and offline businesses wanting to learn more about how to protect and grow their brand.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to branch out into wedding planning or business coaching?

Whilst lots of people dream of being a wedding planner, the reality is that it is HARD work. I would definitely recommend doing your research and trying to gain experience where possible, for example by shadowing other wedding planners and assisting on the day. Organisation and time management are key! From a business coaching perspective, I think it’s so important to have experience in what you are trying to teach others in. I see a lot of people jumping on the coaching bandwagon but they don’t necessarily practice what they preach or have the experience to back it up. Focus on your key strengths and the skills you have that you can share with other people. And never over-promise!

Lastly - what’s something you’ve created, cooked or learnt since being in lockdown that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise!

Ha this is a tricky one… mainly because I’ve been incredibly busy with work that I haven’t had huge amounts of time for anything else! I think the biggest lessons though are having a routine (SO important to help you separate work and play), taking regular breaks, and also keeping in touch with people. I really miss face to face meetings with my clients and suppliers, but getting lots of video calls in has helped massively. I’ve also been really aware of trying to protect my mental health and avoid overwhelm during this time – so have been trying to start each day with yoga, and have been switching off notifications on my phone.

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