» Holiday Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Bookings

Happy Fourth of July!If there’s one thing people love, it’s a good holiday! The United States has a number of holidays throughout the year that mean time off and fun, themed celebrations. While they’re an excellent time for consumers to kick back and relax, holidays are also an excellent time for wedding professionals to make the most of all the excitement that surrounds them.

The Fourth of July holiday has got us thinking about capitalizing on holiday buzz – take advantage of all the goodwill of an upcoming holiday by using one of these holiday marketing strategies!

Create holiday-themed images to use on your social networks

One of the easiest ways to promote your wedding business during a holiday is to create holiday-themed images. Ask your graphic designer to help if you have one (or know one), or use a free service like Canva to add your own text and logo to the image of your choice. Even a message as simple as “Happy Independence Day” with your logo and a nice image will provide a personal touch and keep your business top of mind without much effort! Post these images on your social networks, or add them as your profile or cover photos on Facebook and Twitter. Just remember to be timely – once the holiday has passed, don’t forget to change your photos back to the regular versions.

Introduce holiday deals and promotions

Another great way to capitalize on the buzz around holidays is by offering deals or running promotions. Most retail brands also run sales during holiday weekends, so couples are likely already on the hunt for a good deal. If you are approaching a holiday and still don’t have an event, run a promotion that offers a special package or additional services for a wedding on that holiday. Or, if your business serves consumers beyond events (florists, makeup artists, photographers), consider offering a discount to get more people in the door on a day where they might otherwise be busy.

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» Creating An Elevator Pitch For Your Business

Creating An Elevator Pitch For Your BusinessWhat you would say about your wedding business if you met a couple in an elevator and found out they’re planning a wedding?

If you don’t have a quick, concise response, this blog post is for you! At colleges and universities across the country, advisors tell students that they need an “elevator pitch”– a short and compelling summary of what they’re majoring in, what they want in a career, and their past experience. The idea is for the job seeker to sell themselves in approximately a minute.

This is a great practice for Pros to pick up as well, because as a wedding vendor, you are constantly job-seeking: each potential client is a potential job and potential income. The elevator pitch can also be pitched anywhere – trade shows, networking events, or meeting someone in the checkout line at the grocery store! So what should your business’ elevator pitch contain? There are three key elements: basic business information, the vision and values of your business, and what sets you apart from other vendors.

Basic business information

Whether you’re actually having a conversation in an elevator or you’re writing a brief description of your business for your website, it’s important to cover the basics. Where is your business located? Which local markets or regions do you serve? What services do you offer? These are all vital pieces of information that couples must know before even considering your business.

Vision and values

This part of your elevator pitch is a bit more difficult than rattling off your basic information. You likely joined the wedding industry because you’re passionate about weddings and your craft, so hone in on why you feel that passion and articulate it! Explain why weddings mean so much to you, and why your product or service is so important to their big day.

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» WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico

Earlier this week, Wedding Pros gathered at the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort for WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico!

At the Networking Night, Puerto Rico Pros had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation.

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico board in the Pro Forums!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack! Congrats to Beatriz Collazo of Beatriz Collazo Event Planning + Design!

WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico
WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico
WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico
WeddingWire Networking Night Puerto Rico Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: June 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from June 2015:

Facebook mobile appFacebook favors video

In late June, Facebook announced that it has made yet another News Feed tweak – this time to take more video engagement into account. Previously, Facebook tracked whether you watch a video and for how long. This new update takes into account even more video actions, such as turning on sound or playing the video in full screen. These actions taken on videos affect the prioritization of videos in your News Feed, so the more you interact with videos, the more videos you’ll see.

Continue reading on Forbes >>

Pinterest unveils Buyable Pins

Though the social network has been building towards more integrated e-commerce for a while, Pinterest has finally unveiled a new type of Rich Pin that allows users to purchase things directly from Pinterest partner retailers like Macy’s or Nordstrom. Pinterest users will be able to see prices, select details about the product (like color), and purchase with one tap of a button with a credit card or though Apple Pay. Buyable Pins will also show up in Pinterest recommendations and search.

Find out more from TechCrunch >>

Twitter adds Product Pages

Twitter has taken a page out of Pinterest’s book with new Product Pages and Collections. These new features include multiple tweets from a brand, but they also have basic product information and the ability to actually purchase those products. Collections look like normal tweets with multiple images, but when a user opens it they get more information and more images which all link to actual product pages. Twitter plans to extend this initial test to provide more personalized and relevant information to users.

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» Pride Month Recap: Marriage Equality, GayWeddings.com News, and More

Each June, the LGBTQ community is celebrated at Pride festivals and parades in communities all over the country (and world!). With so many great things that happened this Pride Month, we wanted to provide a quick recap so none of these awesome events go unnoticed! Check out our highlights below.

Capital Pride Parade

WeddingWire staff, along with LGBTQ-friendly couples and wedding professionals, showed support for same-sex couples and allies throughout the nation by walking in the Capital Pride Parade. Our team was also joined by Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com.

2015 marks the third year WeddingWire has been involved in DC’s Pride Month celebrations. Our team was at Capital Pride in both 2012 and 2013 to help festival-goers learn about the Wed We Can campaign, and in 2014 when we joined the parade on its walk through the District.

Check out the following photos from the parade!

Capital Pride Parade 2015

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» Pro Form Buzz: SEO Tips, Blogging Questions, and More

The WeddingWire Pro Forums are a great place to meet and connect with other Wedding Pros across the country to grow your network. Every day, wedding professionals are talking about a variety of topics, from client concerns to professional advice and best practices.

Google search on mobilee deviceHere’s what Pros are talking about this month in the WeddingWire Pro Forums!

SEO tips for top rankings

In a Tech Tuesday post from WeddingWire Associate Director of Customer Success Brendan McClellan, Pros discuss SEO tips to help them climb to the top of search results. Plus, WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon weighs in on whether or not to consider using multiple domains.

Offer your insights >>

Blogging questions

A Pro asks for help in coming up with blog post topics and tips for blogging consistently. Other Pros share their own blogs and blogs that they follow to make blogging easier, and some share their conventional wisdom based on the impact blogging has had on their search engine rankings.

Give your opinions >>

Putting together a styled shoot

A wedding planner asks for help when putting together a styled shoot. She feels she’s spending more money and time on the shoot than other Pros involved, and she wonders if that’s how it normally goes. Pros give their opinions on what she should expect and how to avoid the same issues going forward.

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» Top Down Selling Tips to Increase Your Bottom Line

June-Webinar_Top-Down-Selling-to-Increase-Your-Bottom-Line_TileWebinar recap!

When it comes to running your business, it is best to try to work smarter, not harder. This attitude doesn’t just apply to your services – it also applies to your sales process! In this month’s webinar for premium members, WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg shared his tips for leveraging top down selling opportunities to help boost your bottom line.

Check out some key take aways below, and watch the full session in the Education tab of your WeddingWire account any time!

Webinar highlights:

  • When it comes to your services and packages, more choice is not always better! More options can be overwhelming. It’s best to keep your services concise, clear and presented from highest to lowest in package form.
  • The three simple ways to earn more money are to focus on higher volume, set a higher average sale, or a combination of both. By getting to know the client needs, and effectively setting your prices, you will be on a path to more revenue.
  • Set the goal to not oversell or undersell for each client. How do you accomplish this? Focus on finding out their interest and needs and trying to sell them the service they want (not what you would want!), avoiding pre-judging any client needs, and selling packages vs. a-la-carte services as much as possible.
  • Work to establish three key packages to keep choices limited and services consistent. Three packages will give your clients enough choice without overwhelming them with options. Consider creating a top of the line package, a standard “featured” package with your most popular services as a medium price point, and a good but more basic package. Then, once the package is selected, allow for add-ons and customization as you see fit.
  • Top down selling works by assuming the higher sale. A higher sale means more work and profits for your business. When consulting with clients, listen to their needs then politely show them your most exclusive offer first, and gauge their reaction. Never start with focusing on your lowest package or you could miss a great up-sell opportunity. After all, no one is ever offended by being presented the best you have to offer!

Sign up for our monthly webinars for more great education, and visit the Past Webinars section within your WeddingWire account for all previous sessions on a wide variety of topics.

» WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle

Earlier this week, Wedding Pros gathered at 331 South for WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle!

At the Networking Night, Panhandle Pros had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night board in the Pro Forums!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack! Congrats to Cindy Warriner of Photocraft by Tom Warriner!

WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle
WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle
WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle
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» Social Media Tips for When You’re Stumped

This post is by Jennifer Reitmeyer. Jennifer has worked in the wedding industry since 1997. In addition to owning MyDeejay, an award-winning wedding entertainment firm serving the Washington, D.C. market, she also maintains a wedding business blog, WeddingIQ, and a blogging and social media service for wedding businesses, Firebrand Messaging. Jennifer is available for small business coaching, speaking, and writing opportunities. Read more at jenniferreitmeyer.com.

The importance of social media to wedding businesses can’t be denied. Used properly, social media is completely free marketing platform that is unsurpassed in its ability to cement your brand identity, create meaningful relationships with your clients and other wedding professionals, and give your business a real, human voice that resonates with people more than a static website or a print ad ever could.

On the other hand, social media can seem completely overwhelming. Most wedding business owners use at least one social media platform for their personal interactions, but knowing how to manage a complete social media marketing program for your business is a different skill altogether. Here are my top five social media tips to make it easier.

Top social media tips

  1. Decide which platforms are most useful for your business. It seems that new social media technologies are being offered all the time (this very topic was one of the highlights of Sonny Ganguly’s presentation at WeddingWire World 2015!). I think it’s safe to say, though, that the most mainstream platforms are the only really essential ones for the wedding industry. All wedding businesses can benefit from having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, because they support easy information-sharing in the form of words and images, and are highly interactive. Pros in more creative and visual fields (or who are good at remembering to take photos of everything) can get a lot out of Pinterest and Instagram, too. LinkedIn can also serve as a good way to network with other business owners. Remember that it’s totally fine to start with just one or two of these platforms – you can learn more, and build your presence, as you go. The most important thing is that you keep up with your social media usage on whichever platforms you choose.
  1. Identify the voice you want to use. Most wedding pros that I know are personally invested in their business, and their brand is largely a reflection of their personality and values. It makes sense, then, that you should put some thought into exactly how you want to represent yourself on your business social media accounts. Do you want your posts to be strictly professional, sharing advice/information and announcing company news? Or do you want to incorporate personal successes and struggles as well, for a more “human” approach? Having a clearly defined voice for your social media presence will make a big difference in how you craft your content, and how your message is perceived.

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» Infographic: Same-Sex Wedding Insights

With the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality slated to be announced by the end of June 2015, now is the time to deepen your understanding of the top same-sex marriage trends. Straight couples and same-sex couples share many of the same wedding planning needs, but how do the traditions and rituals differ? Check out our infographic with same-sex wedding insights from the GayWeddings.com 2014 annual survey to find out how the LGBTQ wedding market is changing.

2015 same-sex wedding insights

» Understanding How SCOTUS Will Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

View More: http://carlyfullerphotography.pass.us/kathryn-amy-weddingThis post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com, the leading online boutique and resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.

From the early, isolated efforts of same-sex couples to attain a marriage license in the late 20th century to the coordinated efforts of engaged couples and advocacy groups over the past 10 years, we now await what may be a monumental ruling on same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

In mid-April, the Supreme Court justices heard four cases which ultimately set the stage for two primary questions regarding legal marriage. Those are: 1. Does the US Constitution require states to perform marriages; and 2. Does the US Constitution require states to recognize marriages performed in other states.

Lambda Legal infographic

Click through for full Infographic by Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal, an organization representing the LGBTQ community, put forth this fabulous infographic outlining what we might expect with a Yes or a No on either or both questions.

Experts suggest that we are likely to have the decision handed down on June 29th or 30th, just prior to the Justices departure for the summer break. The end of the term is typically when the most controversial decisions are announced and this year, with the decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act also expected, will be no exception. It is, of course, possible that the decision could be handed down sooner and as early as Monday, June 22nd. In either case, you’ll hear from us as soon as there is news.

How the court will rule is anyone’s guess, but some believe that Chief Justice Roberts will side with the majority opinion, resulting in a 6-3 decision. And many feel optimistic that, based on the hearing as well as the cases, consequences and favorable public opinion, that the majority will find in favor of marriage equality. The question will be whether same-sex couples have the right to marry in any state or the opportunity to have their marriages recognized in any state (leaving some wiggle room for individual states to work out their own policies – for now).

The WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com team will continue to watch for the decision and will explain in short order what the ruling means so that we might help the engaged couples, yet-to-be engaged couples, and wedding professionals understand what their options and responsibilities are.

Meanwhile, we’ll remain steadfast in our support of marriage equality via our long-standing #WedWeCan campaign and invite you to show your support for marriage equality by sharing your images of love with the hashtag #WedWeCan.

» 7 Ways to Stay Creative and Inspired

The following post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon. Andy is the Founder of Wedding University and The Wedding Marketing Blog, and is an International Public Speaker, Writer and Consultant based in Las Vegas. Andy travels across North America and beyond, presenting to Associations, Wedding Industry Conferences, Regional Gatherings, and Local Meetings.

In the throes of the busy wedding season, it may seem like all you’re able to do is keep up with status quo; you prepare for one wedding, work the event, and then move on to the next. There’s often little time left to devote to creativity, which means you can start to feel like a weddings robot.

Idea! light bulbFew people can maintain creativity, but certain habits can rejuvenate you when you’ve fallen into a rut. Here are some solid ideas to keep you creative and inspired, even during the busiest of times:

Change your morning routine

If you are a creature of habit, change things up! Take a different route to your favorite coffee shop. Maybe pick a different copy shop. You’ll see and meet different people. Change your coffee order; pick a bagel instead of croissant. You know it’s time to do this, when your barista asks, “The usual?”

Pace yourself

Don’t just work til you drop from exhaustion; take breaks. Set a timer for 60-90 minutes, then take a breather. Work in sprints. Take 20 minute breaks to refresh. Get out of the building, take a walk, read fiction, call an old friend, turn on some high-energy moving and dance for a few minutes. In short, shake yourself up, so you’ll look forward to the next task at hand.

Carry a notebook and a pen

Smart ideas, blog topics, and other creative thoughts hit you at random times. Don’t get caught short without a way to record those ideas. I like the process of letting the ink flow, but you might prefer dictation on your smartphone. Cool! How you save the ideas is not the key – just make sure to save them for future action.

Change your soundtrack

Listen to different radio station or music channel. Dig through old CDs and rediscover some of your music. Unclick your favorite, predictable playlist and randomize from your entire collection. Pick up some nature tracks like rain or ocean waves, and let them be this afternoon’s background.

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