By Veronika Sophia Robinson
Once a person has been certified as a celebrant, they face the reality of setting up their celebrant business. For some people, it happens rather seamlessly especially if they’ve been self employed before; and for others, it can feel such a hugely different way of working and living that it may seem insurmountable and possibly daunting. Here’s the truth: Running a celebrant business doesn’t have to be complicated. Apart from registering as self employed, registering with the ICO, developing a shopfront (website or social media space), honing your craft, and setting up workable systems in your home office, here are some other things to think about.
You’re not just a self-employed person. You’re building a business. This takes groundwork and time.
What I find is that if you see yourself as a business artist, you’ll navigate this with grace.
What does it mean to have a celebrant business? It means having a business you believe in so deeply that you create one that is meaningful. Some people give up on celebrancy before they’ve even started. The key (with any new business) is to consistently show up. It has been said that “how you do anything is how you do everything”. Your diligence, discipline, perseverance, enthusiasm and willingness to learn will shine through every part of your business. If you skimp here, at the starting line, it sets up a template for the whole of your celebrant life. Start as you mean to go! Invest your time, energy, care, attention to detail, passion and purpose into every part of your business. Don’t wait for others to show up. The most important person to show up for your business is YOU. This remains the same whether you’re a new celebrant or one who has been at it for decades.
It’s understandable that when you come to a profession like this one where you have to ‘put yourself out there’ it can feel daunting (especially if you’re an introvert or loner). So many new celebrants have fears about ‘selling’ themselves. If you look at it as sharing, rather than selling, something within you energetically shifts. And, if you can see yourself as a tuning fork, you recognise that all around you you’re working with energy and frequency. When you understand this, everything changes. Sharing your work, your ethos, your values, your passions becomes nothing but a joy. You’re not hustling. You’re sharing. And here is the key: you show up and share whether you’ve got one person following you or one thousand. That one person could be the key to the whole direction of your celebrancy career. Also, DON’T compare yourself to other celebrants. Let them do their thing in their way. You do yours. You’re not in competition with anyone. If you have the mindset of fear or jealousy or competition then that changes your energy and lowers your vibration; that’s not conducive to building a beautiful heart-led business.
When working with our celebrants-in-training, I recommend that they don’t do social media posts to ‘get something’ but to build their business. It comes down to this: people want to feel your energy for life and to be inspired by you. If you’re not inspired by you, your work and your vision, you can bet there’s buckley’s chance of anyone else being lit up.
Be so in love with your life that people want you in theirs. Remember that line from When Harry Met Sally? “I want what she’s having.” When you’re lit up from the inside, it shows.
Do you want to be an empowered business owner? It comes down to two things: creating and connecting. Creation and connection need to be at the heart of any celebrant business, and even more so if you’re a Heart-led Celebrant. When you notice this, and feel it (and feel grateful for it), this will inform all your business ideas and models. So how do you cultivate presence, connection, creativity? The more pleasure you allow yourself, the more successful your business will be. This inevitably inspires others. First and foremost we need to be immersed in living life so that we feel alive rather than just going through the motions. Once this is your base line, then you have fertile ground for building your business life.
How do you do business? For me, I choose to work from places and spaces of ease, creativity, delight, connection, magic, inspiration, communication and by making deliberate promises both to myself and to my clients.
What about you? How you do business? Take some time to really think about this. It could change everything for you.
Do you think that clients come into your life because, for example, you’re on a particular directory or do certain types of reels on TikTok or are part of an association, and so on? We manifest clients by setting intention. This creates an electro-magnetic charge within. When you believe how natural it is to easily and quickly attract ideal clients, it happens. To have this pure desire creates charged energy. It’s captivating and contagious. This is how you draw brilliant clients into your life. When your heart is open, energy courses through your being. It’s magnetic. If you’re clear about what you desire, it will inform your celebrant business. It’s not complicated.
How do you feel about your celebrant business? Again, take some time to think about this.
I feel joy, love, bliss, blessing, curiosity and gratitude.
When you allow yourself to run your business in this way magic happens. Everything you touch turns to gold. The most amazing clients find you. There are no words for that feeling where you want to ‘pinch yourself’ because you can’t believe such wonderful people have been drawn into your orbit (or you into theirs, depending on your point of view). It all begins with recognising that you can adjust your energy and recalibrate. To read frequencies and to be energy curious and energy aware is a brilliant tool in building a celebrant business.
Remember that you’re setting your business up for the long term. To create new clients you need to have a conscious experience of how your vision shines through. Your brand needs to be cohesive and elevate you. To be clear: your brand is nothing more than letting people know who you are and what you value. What’s important to you? For example, my ‘brand’ is attached to the emotions and vibes I feel and that I’d like my client to feel. This will be about freedom, learning, passion, kindness, nature, a sense of the sacred, and being gentle.
So, to look at this further, what am I selling? Across the board in my work as a celebrant, celebrant trainer and author: freedom, creativity, connectivity, wisdom, compassion, healing, inspiration and entertainment.
Now, try this for yourself: In what way are you letting people know who you are and what you value?
What are you selling? (go beyond saying ‘ceremonies’)
My inner power is fierce and gentle, passionate and purposeful, authentic, unique, still and silent, accepting, compassionate and empathic, brilliant and unique.
Describe your inner power?
It is easy for people to give up developing a celebrant business before they’ve even started. I find that such people blame externals (e.g. Funeral directors not calling them). My guiding light is that no one can pass me by who is meant to be in my presence. By knowing this, by living this, by feeling this, I naturally attract the most wonderful clients. This happens with or without a funeral director/wedding planner/directories. The Law of Assumption and The Law of Attraction means people will find me by energetics alone.
To be successful as a celebrant we do not need to manipulate people into buying from us. As business leaders, when we honour and celebrate our art and life people are drawn to us. We simply don’t need to post on social media with ‘book me now’. Being needy can appear desperate and repellent. When we are clear about our intention, have aligned with our values, then we know our brand is being built brick by brick.
We build relationships with future clients whether we’re online or not. Most people, if they’re honest, are terrified of being truly ‘seen’. But we need to be visible and show our essence. This doesn’t have to be social media. It can be by blogging, for example. You get to choose your level of magnetism not some outside force. It’s okay to vulnerable and visible. In fact, it’s essential if you intend to be a celebrant with a thriving business.
Often what holds us back is old memories of being bullied at school or even a work place. And so this lingers below the surface each time we put something out ‘there’, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Not everyone will like you or your posts or your presence. The sooner you can get comfortable with that, the better. As Taylor Swift sang “And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate) I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off.”
When you’re authentic, when you’re being true to your values and ideals, this will shine like a beacon and ATTRACT perfect clients.
Building your celebrant business rests on cultivating your presence through creativity and connection. When you do this with open-heartedness, then the people who come across you will instantly know whether you’re right for them. There’s nothing complicated about that. It’s homeopathic, really: like attracts like.
Veronika Robinson has been officiating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies since 1995. She is a certified Infant Loss Professional; founder of Penrith’s first Death Café; is a celebrant for the charity Gift of a Wedding; and mentors celebrants around the world. Along with her husband, Paul, voice and presentation coach for celebrants, she’s a tutor at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training.
Veronika is the author of many books including the popular Celebrant Collection:
Write That Eulogy;
The Successful Celebrant;
Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner;
Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner;
Three more titles will be added in January 2024:
The Gentle Celebrant’s Guide: Funerals For Children;
The Discrimination-free Celebrant;
The Celebrant’s Guide to the Five Elements.