9 Words Funeral Directors or Celebrants Should Never Say

“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.”

9 words that Funeral Directors and Funeral Celebrants could find themselves saying sometime in the future. That is unless they change and adapt and they act now!

These 9 words were spoken at a press conference when the CEO of Nokia announced that it had been taken over by Microsoft. How sad.

At one time Nokia was one of the leading manufacturers of mobile handsets. Maybe you were one of those 160 million people who could charm the snake on the famous Nokia 3320? I was. So were my children. They begged us to buy them the latest "must have" handset from Nokia.

But they have gone.

What changed? Nokia didn’t do anything wrong. What happened was they never kept pace with the disruptive nature of digital technology. Competitors moved faster. New markets opened and old ones closed. They never responded quick enough. They lost.

Could You Be Saying Those Words?

Could you be added to that list? Could this be the case for many Funeral Directors and Celebrants today? It’s not that you are doing anything wrong. You could be doing lots right.

  • Your customer service, unparalleled. (tick)
  • Your attention to detail, unmistakeable. (tick)
  • Your adherence to old traditions, rigid. (ah ... tick)

The online world of the Funeral Industry is moving forward faster than many firms are aware. Faster than many have even considered is possible. If you don’t adapt and change then, you will get left behind. The competition is getting ready to zoom past you faster than Louis Hamilton in his F1 car.

Funeral Celebrants The Market Is Changing

Take the funeral marketplace for Independent Celebrants for example. The growth in civil celebrants taking Funeral services has grown substantially. Many training companies and professional associations are struggling to keep up with the demand for courses.

As a primarily secular society, so the traditions and memorials around funerals have changed. In my area of the country, like others, around 70% of all funerals are conducted by a celebrant. The organ in the crematorium is gaining dust. The competition for work is high. The standard of celebrants differs considerably. Even in this aspect of the funeral marketplace, the pace of change is incredible.

How do you differentiate your service in this sector of the funeral industry?

Here are three excellent examples of funeral celebrants who are taking forward this space into new and creative ways. These are the people who will not be saying, we lost. Rather, they are the ones who will be showing the way to others. They will be the ones who win.

Louise de Winter - Poetic Endings

Called by some the “Mary Poppins” of death. Louise is prolific in her approach to bringing new and creative events together around the subject of death and funerals. Louise regularly hosts Death Cafes and recently launched, A Feast of Life, a Taste of Death. This is a communal feast that takes people on an exciting journey through life and death via their taste buds. This evening is held in a candlelit summerhouse in their secret garden in Highbury. She plans bespoke funerals for families in unusual venues from concert halls to art studios. Check out her site and style 

Linda Stuart - Life-Cycle Celebrant. Ceremony Expert. Storyteller. Listener

Linda has been a celebrant for many years. Based in Canada, she conducts different types of milestone ceremonies from weddings to funerals. Her website is truly amazing. In a market where most Celebrants have a picture of flowers or a stock photo of a ceremony, Linda takes the storytelling she does for her clients to a new level on her website. If you were looking for a funeral celebrant and came across her site, immediately you will feel confident that she could create something special for your loved one. Check out her website and storytelling.

Zeleka Sutherland – Your White Room

Zeleka too has an amazing website for her celebrant business. Her site sets her apart as a bespoke funeral planner, rather than just a funeral celebrant. Terrifc branding and photos create an online experience before you even contact her. The quality of images, text and style all match the branding. An excellent example of funeral planning taken to the next level in excellence and creativity. Interestingly, this is also reflected in the higher fees she can ask for her work. Check out her website and style here.

The Moral Of The Story

The moral of this story, if you don’t change, and adapt your competition will get ahead of you. It's not that you are doing wrong. It's that they are doinig something new, something different. They are using the disruptive nature of the internet to gain new clients. You were ahead of the crowd yesterday .... but that was yesterday! Those who stubbornly chose to stay put will one day speak those 9 words. 

I have learned that my celebrant business needs to have a makeover. I need to take my own medicine! I could easily say, “I didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, I’m losing business.”

What about you? When was the last time that you visited your online marketing? When was the last time you took a good look at the competition? I’m heading off with a blank piece of paper to invent tomorrow – what about you? I would love to hear your views on this subject. Please contact me.


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