With 20 years of business under his belt, we spoke to Damien from The Blue Lion Band to find out a little more about the band and share their wedding business success tips.
Q: What do you do?
A: The Blue Lion band is a collective of musicians across the UK. We play regularly together, and tour together, as well as with some big names in the music industry. Using different combinations from our collective we can appear as anything from an acoustic duo to a 25 piece big band of top tier musicians.
Q: What was your business idea?
A: We provide bespoke music solutions for weddings, parties, and corporate functions, aiming to provide an excellent music service without an agent between us and the the client. Using a clever internet interface, we can update information in real time between individual clients and the musicians during the preparation phase of each event. We also designate a music planning consultant for every event; a point of contact for ideas and advice for the client, who is able to liaise with the venue and other service providers personally. We have consistently excellent reviews of our customer service.
Q: Why did you want to do this?
A: While the big headline gigs are fun, they can also become impersonal, so it’s great to be able to perform at more intimate settings. Because we’re able to get to know couples through their engagement and planning phase, it’s a real treat to put on a performance that’s tailored to their taste and style, adding the perfect soundtrack to their big day!
Q: What were you doing before?
A: The life of a working musician is always varied – touring, festivals, recording, etc. – but other than a brief time as a music teacher straight out of university it’s what I’ve always done.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: I’ve worked in the music industry for over 20 years, and have no plans to retire!
Q: How long have you advertised with GfB
A: We’ve been advertising with Guides for Brides for about a year now. The analytics have consistently shown that a reasonable amount of users of the GfB site are continuing on to our website to make an enquiry.
Q: What has been your biggest lesson learnt?
A: Weddings are a unique type of work. Often couples have never organised anything on this scale before, so it’s a daunting task for them. No matter how many weddings we’ve done, it’s important to respect that this is a once in a lifetime thing for the couple. We are very clear from the first enquiry about what we can offer, the different ways we can work with the formalities of the day, and set pricing for basic packages as well as any extras. This makes it easy for us to follow through with the promised services, as well as for each couple to balance the budget and get what they want.
Q: What has been your biggest success?
A: We’ve been able to continue to be a group of musicians without an agent, but still able to provide a great service to our clients. Since we started listing with online directories rather than just trying to direct potential clients directly to our website, we’ve had many more people find us online and doubled our business without compromising our service.
Q: What would be your biggest tip to anyone looking to start a wedding business?
A: Focus on being the best at what you do, and remember your service or product is never going to be the right choice for everyone. Be honest with your clients and refer them on to other service providers if you know it’s not going to work out – you will get plenty of referrals in return, and you’ll have more time for the clients who love what you do.
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