The Wedding Business Magazine February 2019

Page 1

February 2019

A New Perspect ive f or 2019 - a f resh t ake on business f rom our new w edding indust ry expert s.

"There's a w ay t o do it bett er - f ind it ." Thom as A. Edison

In This Issue.. Our Cont ribut ors From t he Edit or

4- 6 8

Quot e of t he Mont h

10- 11

#WEDFEATURE w it h Lisa Johnson

12- 17

#WEDPR w it h Meghan Ely

18- 21

#WEDx w it h Tracy Butt erf ield

24- 28


30- 43

#WEDINSTA w it h Alex Tooby

44- 49

Our Favourit e Things

50- 51

#WEDSALES w it h Meryl Snow

52- 54

#WEDBIZCOACH w it h Michelle Lorett a

58- 61

#WEDCOPY w it h Jen Feroze

62- 65

#WEDBRAND w it h Ashley Malone

66- 71

Top Tips

72- 83

#WEDPIN w it h Kat e Cullen

84- 87

Trend Inf luencer: Unique Cakes by Yevnig

88- 91

#WEDTRIBE w it h Nadine Met genberg

92- 95


96- 97

#WEDEXPERT Wit h Kylie Carlson

98- 101

#WEDSOCIAL w it h Christ ie Osborne

102- 105

Show case

106- 109

#WEDMAIL w it h Crist ina Barragan

110- 115

#WEDTECH w it h Sandy Ham m er

118- 121

The Publishers


Contr ibutor s Al ex Tooby Alex t eaches ent repreneurs how t o m axim ize t heir eff ort s on Inst agram . By f ocusing on business grow t h rat her t han vanit y m et rics she?ssuccessf ully guided t housands of ent repreneurs t o m ore loyal f ollow ers, w eb t raff ic and sales! Websit e: al ext Ashl ey Mal one Creat ive Direct or and Ow ner of Ashley & Malone ? a bout ique branding and design agency specializing in t he w edding indust ry. Our m ission is t o give our client s t he conf idence t o succeed in t heir m arket place. Websit e: w w w .ashl eyandm al

Christ ie Osborne Christ ie Osborne is t he ow ner of Mount ainside Media, a com pany specializing in conversion opt im izat ion t hat helps w edding indust ry brands and businesses develop scalable m arket ing st rat egies t hat can beat t he algorit hm s. Websit e: m ount ainsidem Crist ina Barragan I'm Crist ina Barragan, Ow ner and Chief Creat ive Off icer at Posh Peony, w e are a bout ique st yle st udio t hat provides f ull service design and educat ional w orkshops at a local and int ernat ional level. I also t each aspiring f loral designers and prom ot e com m unit y over at Fleursociet y. Phot o credit : Spost o Phot ography

Websit e:

J en Feroze Jen Feroze runs Jackdaw Edit orial - a copyw rit ing service f or t he w edding indust ry. She w orks w it h passionat e w edding business ow ners t o help t hem t ell t heir st ory, and give t heir brand t he voice it deserves. Websit e: w w w .jackdaw edit orial .com Kat e Cul l en Kat e creat es plant dyed silk t ext iles f or t he w edding indust ry. She now also st yles f or f ine art brands, as w ell as running st yling and Pint erest courses t eaching ot hers how t o achieve sales and increase engagem ent w it h brides. Websit e: w w w .k at ecul l Meghan Ely Meghan Ely is t he ow ner of w edding PR and w edding m arket ing f irm OFD Consult ing. Ely is a sought - aft er speaker, adjunct prof essor in t he f ield of public relat ions, and a self- prof essed royal w edding ent husiast . Websit e: w w w .of dconsult Meryl Snow Meryl Snow is t he co- f ounder of Feast ivit ies Event s and t he creat or of The Triangle Met hod. Meryl t ravels t hroughout Nort h Am erica t raining client s t o help businesses get on t heir ow n pat h t o success. Websit e: w w w .m eryl snow .com

Michel l e Loret t a Michelle Lorett a is a business consult ant and f inancial st rat egist f or w edding and event prof essionals. This year, her st rat egy business, Sage Wedding Pros, celebrat es 10 years of doling out indust ry expert ise. Websit e: sagew Nadine Met genberg Nadine Met genberg f ounded Fine Weddings & Part ies in Ham burg in 2015 w it h t he goal of becom ing Germ any?s prem ier w edding and event planning business. She quickly expanded t o Mallorca and she now plans and coordinat es w eddings and part ies f or client s f rom all over t he w orld. Websit e: f ine- w Sandy Ham m er Sandy Ham m er is t he co- f ounder and CMO of AllSeat ed, a collaborat ive net w ork f or planning event s t hat off ers t ools including f loorplans, 3D view, Guest List , RSVP, Seat ing, Tim elines, Mobile Check- In and m ore. Websit e: w w w .al l seat Tracy But t er f iel d Tracy Butt erf ield is a t rust ed Wedding Indust ry Ent repreneur. Founder of WEDx, nat ional t raining f or w edding prof essionals and t he Four Count ies Wedding Aw ards. Ment or and Speaker. She is Direct or of Developm ent f or t he acclaim ed NAWP- UK Websit e: w w w .w

From the Editor KYLIE CARLSON We're st art ing off t he f irst m agazine issue of 2019 by t aking a look at branding but not how you creat e a brand or w hat a brand is. No, w e're t alking about how and w hy you conduct a brand review and f or m e t his is som et hing t hat I do on a regular basis because it 's so im port ant . When I say 'conduct ing a brand review ' I'm not t alking about updat ing m y w ebsit e and logo inst ead I'm t alking about m y business as a w hole. A brand review f or m e is an analysis of t he overall healt h of m y brand f rom t he product s or services I off er, t he w ay I price, and t he client experience t o t he w ay I use social m edia, t he m arket ing I do and everyt hing else t hat m akes up m y business. Last year I did m y biggest brand review yet f or t he Academ y yet and t his did involve com plet ely redoing our w ebsit es but t hat w as only a sm all part of it . We also overhauled our em ail m arket ing, w e changed CRM plat f orm s and w e im plem ent ed new m arket ing init iat ives t hat included lot s of new and excit ing st rat egies t hat w e'd not used bef ore, but w e knew w ould w ork w ell f or our audience. It w as a long and som et im es painf ul t ask but it w as def init ely needed and it w as t im e f or a business t une- up or brand review. In t he sam e w ay as you assess your ow n healt h a brand review is a great w ay t o assess t he healt h of your business t o ensure it is running at m axim um capacit y. I hope you enjoy t his issue of t he m agazine and I'd love t o hear about your brand review s and audit s and w hat w orked f or you and w hat didn't .

Kyl ie x


Concept , planning and st yling: Lianne of Blonde Army Phot ography: Lisa of Lisa Jane Phot ography Videography: Rachel of Rachel Takes Pict ures Venue: Kent House, Knight sbridge London Flow ers: Vict oria and Nicole of St em s and Bow s St at ionery: Nat alie of Nat s Paper St udio Bridal w ear: Sigit a of Jan Si Fashion Shoes: Freya Rose London Veil: Jodie of McFayden Millinery Make Up Art ist : Sylw ia Kunysz Hair St ylist : Zoe of Knot Your Average Bride Tux: New and Lingw ood Bridesm aids Jum psuit : ASOS Dessert s: Danielle of Bespoke Bakes On t he day assist ant s: Chenai of ByChenai and Abbey Joy Mordue Must ard t apered Candles: Curious Egg Models: Bride, Sophia Kat yea. Bridesm aid, Claire Wills. Groom , Tom Wardlaw

Quote of the Month


Your br and is

what other people say about you when you're not in the room. JEFF BEZOS



We sat dow n w it h Lisa Johnson, t he f ounder of Carm ela Weddings, and t he creat or of Lisa Johnson Coaching, w hich st rives t o help ot her am bit ious ent repreneurs in t he indust ry. Johnson t alked about t he benef it s of passive incom e, w hat it m eans, and how t o successf ully begin incorporat ing it in your ow n business. What is passive incom e, in your ow n w ords? How has it changed t he w ay you do/ view business? I t hink t here is such a m isconcept ion of w hat passive incom e is. To m e, it 's about m aking m oney w it hout having t o t rade t im e f or it . So f or inst ance, as a business coach I do lot s of one- on- one w ork, w hich m eans I only m ake m oney if I give m y t im e t o t hat person. Passive incom e is about scaling t hat , so w it h courses and m em berships I can m ake m oney even if I'm on holiday. To put t hat int o a w edding cont ext , if you help people plan w eddings you usually do t hat on a one- on- one basis, but f or t hose w ho m aybe couldn't aff ord a f ull w edding planner, you could do a course t o help brides plan t heir ow n w eddings. It 's com plet ely changed m y lif e and business. I now have a m ult i 6- f igure business in less t han 18 m ont hs w here 80% of m y incom e is f rom passive incom e, w hich m eans I spend m ost of m y t im e t raveling w it h m y young t w ins. It has enabled m y husband t o leave his 9- 5 and becom e CEO of m y w edding business, Carm ela Weddings. It 's m ade

m yself and lot s of m y client s realise t hat it 's about w orking sm art er rat her t han harder, and it also m eans t here's no incom e ceiling because it 's not about how m uch t im e you have. I spend m ost of m y t im e t eaching ot hers how t hey can m ake passive incom e t oo. What advice w ould you give f or t hose looking t o begin t he process f or securing passive incom e, but aren't sure w here t o st art ? It 's best t o st art t hinking of passive incom e like an asset t hat you can t hen m ake m oney f rom t im e and t im e again. A basic w ay of t hinking about it is if you had a spare room - you have an asset (t he room) t hat you have already bought and m ade t o look nice and now you m ake m oney rent ing it out w it hout having t o do anyt hing except m arket it . So t he f irst st ep is t o t hink w hat asset s you have - usually it 's know ledge t hat you have t hat ot hers w ant . Writ e dow n w hat you are know n f or, and w hat is your zone of genius. You'd be surprised w hat you can scale int o a course, e- book or m em bership. I alw ays t ell t he st ory of one lady w ho w as brilliant at knitt ing - she m ade a m em bership f or all t hese ot her ladies t hat like knitt ing, charged t hem ÂŁ5 a m ont h and she'd put a patt ern in each m ont h f or t hem t o use. They'd all use it and show each ot her t heir creat ions in a Facebook group. That lady now m akes over ÂŁ30k a m ont h in passive incom e she already had all t he knitt ing patt erns!

"Now, don't be f ooled t hat passive incom e m eans you do not hing. Work is required at t he beginning t o grow an audience."

What kind of m aint enance does passive incom e require? It depends w hat you do. Som e people put a course on t heir w ebsit e and people can just buy it w henever t hey like (evergreen), so no m aint enance is needed ot her t han m arket ing it . Ot hers do a course t hat t hey m ight do a part of live. I have courses like t hat w here I do an hour t raining live a m ont h. This is sem i- passive because you are st ill doing som et hing t hat t akes t im e. Now, don't be f ooled t hat passive incom e m eans you do not hing. Work is required at t he beginning t o grow an audience f or your course or e- book, t o nurt ure t hat audience, t o m arket your course and sell it . But t hen you can relax and reap t he rew ards. It t ook m e 5 m ont hs t o grow m y f irst audience and nurt ure it but t hen I sold m y f irst course and m ade ÂŁ60k in a couple of days. Ot hers t ake a year or m ore grow ing an audience. I also never st art w rit ing a course unt il I've sold it . How do you organize, rest ruct ure, and prepare your business f or passive incom e? Bef ore even t hinking about w hat courses or e- books you m ight w ant t o w rit e, t hink of your ideal client . Who do you w ant t o help? Once you st art grow ing an audience, t hey w ill t ell you exact ly w hat t hey w ant and t hen you can creat e it f or t hem . It doesn't m ean you can't st ill do one- on- one w ork, it just m eans you've added anot her incom e st ream t o your business w hich is handy if your business is seasonal. It helps t o have a t ech VA even just a f ew hours a w eek t o help w it h t he back end of your business, t oo. How do you m ake t im e f or new project s, like your new podcast ? What 's your philosophy regarding t im e m anagem ent ? One of t he reasons I love passive incom e is t hat it gives m e f reedom . It gives m e a lot of t im e back and I don't t ake as m any one- on- one client s now w hich gives m e even m ore t im e. I w ork 4 days a w eek, 9- 3 because I like t o be around f or m y t w ins w hen t hey're hom e.

Saying t hat , I'm an avid t im e- blocker. I w rit e dow n m y goals every m orning and t hen t im e- block int o m y calendar w hat I w ill do and w hen. If I just w rit e a t o- do list , t he t hings on t he bott om never get t icked off ! My day consist s m ainly of m arket ing on social m edia, speaking engagem ent s, w rit ing m y second book, learning new t hings and recording podcast s or videos and creat ing courses or coaching. What keeps you inspired and m ot ivat ed t o churn out f resh cont ent , especially regarding passive incom e? Know ing I'm changing lives! I have a m em bership group of around 300 f em ale ent repreneurs and have coached over 800 people in m y courses, program m es and groups in t he last year. So m any of t hose people have now been able t o leave t heir 9- 5 t o f ollow a passion or get t heir t im e back by adding in passive incom e st ream s. I love w hat I do and have a passion f or it and t hat m ot ivat es m e. Wit h passive incom e, t hings change all t he t im e - t his year so m any businesses are grow ing audiences on Inst agram st ories and I love t hat , so I am learning and t eaching all t he t im e. To learn m ore about Lisa Johnson, list en t o her podcast , view her off ered resources and m ore, you can visit her sit e here! Int erview by Meghan Ely

# WEDPR Wedding PR oft en w alks hand- in- hand w it h t he success of your business but like all good t hings, it requires a regular check- up t o m ake sure your st rat egies are st ill in line w it h your brand. Perf orm ing an annual review is essent ial t o ensure your press is cont inuing t o serve t he right purposes. First , consider your goals Take a st ep back and look at t he bigger pict ure as it relat es t o your press port f olio. Begin w it h your goals, bot h business and press- relat ed. Think about how you w ant t o be perceived by your t arget audiences, including prospect s, client s, and t hose in a posit ion t o ref er business t o you. Are you building a reput at ion in a cert ain niche, or do you w ant t o be t he t op person at w hat you do in your region? Consider w het her or not you w ant t o increase brand aw areness in t he B2B space am ong your peers, as w ell. From t here, look at your press port f olio f rom t he last 12- 18 m ont hs and see if w here you are being placed f it s w it h t hese goals. It ?s also essent ial t o have analyt ics in place t o m ake sure t hat t he f eat ures you gain are sending business back t o you if t hat happens t o be a priorit y. Don?t be af raid t o t rack your prospect s and see how t hey f ound you. Wedding m edia landscape The fact of t he m att er is, t he w edding m edia landscape is changing at a rapid pace. The good new s is t hat t his opens up a w ealt h of opport unit ies t o diversif y w here you are being seen, but t he dow nfall can be t hat it m ay t ake a litt le m ore legw ork t o f igure out w here you f it in and how t o be seen.

Reviewing Your Press Por tfolio for 2019 BY MEGHAN ELY

Depending on t he out let , you have a f ew crucial t hings t o survey if you?re looking t o am p up your press pickups. Look at t heir cont ent , f or st art ers ? are t hey keeping up w it h regular, t im ely t opics? How is t heir social m edia presence? Are t hey being inclusive of all couples? Is t heir branding up t o dat e, and does it com plem ent w hat you do? Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map not es t hat t his is an im port ant elem ent in connect ing w it h your audience. ?Gett ing f eat ured som ew here t hat doesn?t connect w it h our f ollow ers is t he com plet e opposit e of our brand [of being aut hent ic and honest ]. It m ay get att ent ion, but not f rom t hose w ho support our belief s.? Displaying your press f eat ures Of equal im port ance is how share your press w ins- aft er all, you dict at e how long you let t he f eat ure cont inue t o live on. Krist en Gosselin of KG Event s & Design says, ?Our press f eat ures are displayed on t he bott om port ion of our w ebsit e. Given t hat our w ebsit e is t he biggest resource f or prospect ive client s, t hese press f eat ures display our credent ials w hich w ill inst ant ly develop t rust in t he client . We w ant t o be perceived as a know ledgeable, hardw orking and ent husiast ic t eam of event prof essionals.? How you present your press is your choice, but underst and t hat it does play a role in how you?re view ed by client s and your peers. Tarrant agrees, not ing t hat t hey also share press in t he hopes of show ing t heir audience t hat t hey are expert s in t he indust ry and w hat t hey say is t rust w ort hy. To go beyond sim ply sharing press on your w ebsit e, Gosselin cont inues, ?We rely on Inst agram st ories and post s t o prom ot e any of t he press t hat w e have earned because w e reach a big populat ion. Our policy includes not only show casing ourselves, but our vendors and collaborat ors as w ell.? Gett ing int o t he habit of annually audit ing your press port f olio in t erm s of branding is a great w ay t o evaluat e how w ell your m edia m ent ions represent you and your business.

of dconsult

Words by Meghan Ely

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# WEDx Has your business changed direct ion since you st art ed or is it about t o in 2019? Have you grow n and now have a t eam or you off er a new service or product ? Are you st ill on brand? When w as t he last t im e you t ook a good hard look at w hat you st and f or and checked if t hat is m at ched by t he w ay you present yourself ? In fact , do you act ually have a ?brand? ? or do you just have a com pany logo and w ebsit e? Well it s t im e t o revisit and review ! A logo m erely f orm s one part of your brand ident it y. Am azon CEO Jeff Bezos sum s up w hat a brand is in one sent ence ?Your brand is w hat people say about you w hen you?re not in t he room? ? in ot her w ords your brand is about craft ing t he percept ion of your business, it ?s about experiences and expect at ions. It ?s part rat ional but m ost ly em ot ional. It ?s t he diff erence bet w een a pair of heels and a pair of Jim m y Choos! To sum m arise, it ?s fair t o say t hat your brand is all about aligning w hat you w ant people t o t hink about your business w it h w hat t hey act ually t hink about your business ? and big com panies can spend m illions doing t his. Think Apple, McDonalds, Disney? in your m ind t hey all st and f or som et hing and t hat som et hing has been drip f ed t o you over a period of t im e w it h a consist ent m essage delivered t hrough every available com m unicat ion channel.

It?s time to put your br and in the spotlight BY TRACY BUTTERFIELD

The good new s is, you don?t have t o spend m illions on gett ing your brand right if you adopt som e of t he processes m ajor com panies em ploy in gett ing t heir business ?on brand?. Bef ore you st art t hinking about t ypefaces, f ont s and colours f or a logo it ?s im port ant t hat you develop your ?Brand Plat f orm?. I?ll explain: Your Brand Plat f orm is t he f oundat ion f or every piece of brand com m unicat ion and is essent ial t o your business success. Wit hout it your business can lack an ident if ied purpose. And w it h a purpose, you can st and out f rom t he com pet it ion? your Brand Plat f orm avoids t he ?anyt hing goes? w hen com m unicat ing t o your cust om ers, prospect s and suppliers. To build a Brand Plat f orm you sim ply need t o underst and f ive key t hings about your business: 1. Your Purpose - What do you st and f or? What are you t rying t o accom plish w it h your business? What m akes you diff erent f rom ot her people in your indust ry? What are your core values? Tell a st ory, everyone loves a st ory! 2. Know your Cust om ers ? Know w ho t hey are, w here t hey are and w hat t heir ?pain point s? are; in ot her w ords, how can you help t hem? This m ay be diff erent f rom w hen you f irst st art ed your business. 3. Your Brand Posit ioning - The process of ident if ying an appropriat e m arket niche f or a product (or service or brand) and gett ing it est ablished in t hat area. Posit ioning and diff erent iat ion help you get a st ronger sense of your core m essage. 4. Your Tone of Voice ? It ?s not so m uch w hat you say, it ?s how you say it . Do you w ant t o be an aut horit at ive expert or do you w ant be cool and edgy? 5. Your Value Proposit ion ? Know your w ort h and pit ch yourself accordingly. Are you luxury, qualit y, value f or m oney, aspirat ional or essent ial?

Once you have t hese f ive t hings clearly est ablished, t hey w ill lead you t o your Brand Plat f orm - one big idea t hat w ill clearly com m unicat e w hat you?re all about and help diff erent iat e f rom your com pet it ors. Most im port ant ly, it w ill enable you t o deliver one clear m essage t hrough all of your com m unicat ions. From t hat f irst point of Cont act ; via em ail t o PR and m arket ing online and in person. For exam ple : WEDx ?s Brand Plat f orm is ?St raight - t alking t raining f or am bit ious w edding prof essionals? Only t hen can you st art considering t he visible elem ent s of your brand (such as colours, design, logot ype, nam e, sym bol, im agery) t oget her t hey ident if y and dist inguish your brand in t he consum er?s m ind. It ?s t he science bit and it ?s really usef ul t o det erm ine t hat your logo ref lect s your t rue brand. A f ew exam ples; Font s - Serif = t radit ion, reliable, respect able Script = elegance, aff ect ionat e, creat ive. Blues = dependable, t rust w ort hy Purple = Am bit ion, luxury Have f un and m ake your brand review in 2019 really count . Words by Tracy But t erf ield

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# WEDEDU Every m ont h w e share t he lat est w orkshops, conf erences and educat ional event s w e hear about f rom across t he globe.

MOST CURIOUS WEDDING FAIR Dat e: March 1st - 3rd, 2019 Locat ion: London, UK Websit e: w w ost curiousw

WILD HEARTS BRAND WORKSHOP Dat e: March 26t h, 2019 Locat ion: Auckland, New Zealand Websit e: w w w.w ildheart sw

THE FLORAL STYLIST WORKSHOP Dat e: May 4t h- 5t h, 2019 Locat ion: Warw ickshire, UK Websit e: t hef loralst ylist coach.m

THE FLORAL EXPERIENCE Dat e: April 16t h- 18t h, 2019 Locat ion: The Savoy, London Websit e: t hef

SOUTH WEST WEDMEETUP Dat e: March 5t h & 6t h, 2019 Locat ion: Honit on, UK Websit e: w w w.w edm eet

STYLED SHOOTS ACROSS AMERICA Dat e: April 8t h- 9t h, 2019 Locat ion: Ranger, Georgia Websit e: w w yledshoot sacrossam

DESTINATION WEDDING PLANNERS´ RETREAT Dat e: Novem ber, 2018 Locat ion: Cost a Brava, Spain #w pret reat m ast orroella

The ret reat ?s organizer, Carole Bipat of Marry Me in Spain, caref ully select ed t he w edding planners t hat w ere invit ed t o t his ret reat , based on various fact ors: years of proven experience in t he indust ry, creat ivit y and innovat ion in t heir w edding designs and reput at ion w it hin t he indust ry. In t ot al, t here w ere 9 com panies in att endance: Your Barcelona Wedding, Det allerie, Pearl Sandals Event s, The Experialist , Wedding You Barcelona, Fresh & Wood, Coco & Carl (f orm er WP at Weddings Via Val), Cryst al Event s, and t he organizer, Marry m e In Spain.

Photograph by Carolina Sainz

This past Novem ber of 2018, Mas Torroella, locat ed in t he beaut if ul Cost a Brava area of Spain, host ed t he 1st Dest inat ion Wedding Planners ret reat f or locally- based dest inat ion w edding planners. The ret reat w as creat ed as an educat ional event t hat w ould encom pass various scopes of services required f or a successf ul w edding planner, t he m ost im port ant one being t he design and creat ive aspect of w eddings. Not only w ould t he event help f lex t he w edding planners? creat ive m uscles, it w ould also give t he att endees an opport unit y t o net w ork w it h indust ry peers, enjoy a m uch- needed 2 day rest aft er t he crazy w edding season, as w ell as experience t he villa as an overnight guest . The villa, w hich houses 10 bedroom s and sleeps 28, is an im peccably renovat ed hist orical m anor f rom t he 14t h cent ury, surrounded by 140 acres of farm land and w oods, convert ed int o a t ruly luxurious m anor.

Prior t o t he ret reat , t he w edding planners w ere put t o w ork and had t o get t he creat ive juices f low ing ? t hey w ere going t o com pet e in a w edding design cont est , w hich w ould consist of 2 st yled shoot s: a cerem ony st yled shoot and a t ablescape st yled shoot . The com panies w ere divided int o 3 groups, and each group w as responsible f or creat ing a t hem e, designing t he concept and choosing t he collaborat ors w ho w ould be part of t heir st yled shoot . On day 1 of t he ret reat , t he att endees w ere t reat ed t o a spa session in t he villa?s indoor spa ? w hich is just w hat t he doct or ordered, w hat w it h t he rain pouring dow n out side! Aft er t he delect able lunch, an aft ernoon of w orkshops w ere in st ore f or t hem : A self- m akeup w orkshop f or busy w edding planners. Diana Gali and Miriam Lanzas t aught t hem t heir t rade secret s and t op t ips so t he planners can do t heir m akeup and look fabulous, all in under 10 m inut es ? ideal w hen you are w orking at a w edding! A lett ering w orkshop, host ed by Woodlove Lett ering, so t hat t he w edding planner can help out and creat e beaut if ul signage in a m om ent s? not ice, w hen a f orget f ul Client has overlooked t hat ! A phot ography w orkshop, host ed by Oliver & Viladom s St udio, w hich helps planners get t he m ost of out of t heir sm art phone cam eras. At t he end of day 1, t he planners w ere in f or a t reat ! Not only w ere t hey t reat ed t o a fabulous, 5 st ar dinner served by El Moli de L?Escala ? a w orld- renow ned cat erer in t he region ? t he designers at Mart ina Sposa surprised everyone and kindly loaned t heir spect acular gala dresses f or a phot o shoot f it f or divas. Aft er a night of phot os, dinner and dancing, it w as t im e t o rest up because day 2 of t he ret reat w ould be a long day; t he culm inat ion of over 1 m ont h of w ork designing and st yling t heir st yled shoot s? The concept s and design of each st yled shoot w ere t ruly ext raordinary, w it h varied t hem es such as:

Photograph by Kiss and Chips

Group 1: New Baroque: m ade up of Det allerie, Wedding You Barcelona and CocĂł&Carl, t his group?s st yled shoot paid t ribut e t o t he baroque st yle w it h diff erent st yling t ouches com bining gold and dark t ones w it h an inf usion of colors f or t he f lorals. Florals w ere provided by Flors BahĂ­, m at erial by Abanik Rent Event s and w as beaut if ully phot ographed by Kiss and Chips Phot ography. Group 2: Minim alist Mexico: m ade up of Pearl Sandals, The Experialist and Cryst al Event s, t his group?s st yled shoot w as based on a m inim al approach t o t he Mexican art ist ic cult ure, ut ilizing vibrant , st rong colors in f lorals and decorat ive det ails cont rast ing w it h pure w hit e as t he backdrop. Florals w ere provided by Nonna Event s, m at erial by Alquiler de Host eleria and w as beaut if ully phot ographed by Carolina Sainz. Group 3: Essences de la Terre: m ade up of Fresh & Wood, Your Barcelona Wedding and Marry m e in Spain, t his group w as inspired t o em brace t he perf ect im perf ect ion t hat is f ound in nat ure, it s colors and it s t ext ures, used in com binat ion w it h t he pure, sleek elegance of velvet and ot her m at erials. Florals w ere provided by Molist Florist es, m at erial by Crim ons and w as beaut if ully phot ographed by En Rout e Phot ography. Each group used a diff erent part of t he venue t o show case t heir w ork, be it a poolside t errace, indoor lounge or t he f orest ? t he possibilit ies w ere endless! The t eam s w ere judged based on best phot o, as w ell as various ot her param et ers, such as originalit y, f unct ionalit y of t he chosen space and creat ivit y, f or exam ple. As t he judges alw ays say, it w as very diff icult t o choose a w inner, because each group had very unique elem ent s and design concept s t hat w ere diff icult t o com pare across t he board. But ? a w inner had t o be chosen, and t he jury, w hich w as com posed of int ernat ional w edding phot ographers such as Ivan Franchet , Alf onso Novo, Jennif er Fujikaw a and Oliver & Viladom s St udio, decided on:

Cerem ony w inner: Essences de la Terre ? Group 3 Tablescape w inner: Minim alist Mexico ? Group 2 Congrat ulat ions t o t he w inners!

SPANISH- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Est e pasado Noviem bre de 2018, Mas Torroella, sit uada en la bella Cost a Brava de España, f ue la localización anf it riona del 1er Dest inat ion Wedding Planners ret reat para las dest inat ion w edding planners locales. El ret iro ? ret reat en inglés ? f ue creado com o un event o educacional que englobaría varias facet as de servicios necesarios para un w edding planner de éxit o, el m ás im port ant e siendo el com ponent e creat ivo, el est ilism o y diseño de una boda. No sólo ayudaría a los w edding planners a inspirarse e innovar, t am bién daría a los asist ent es una oport unidad de t rabajar con com pañeros del sect or, disf rut ar de un m erecido descanso después de f inalizar la t em porada de bodas así com o de vivir la experiencia de alojarse en est a villa de lujo com o invit ado. La villa, que t iene 10 habit aciones y aloja hast a 28 personas, es una casa rural del siglo XIV rodeada de m ás de 140 hect áreas de t errenos y bosques, im pecablem ent e rest aurada y convert ida en una aut ént ica villa de lujo. La organizadora del ret iro, Carole Bipat de Marry Me In Spain, seleccionó m inuciosam ent e a las w edding planners invit adas al ret reat , en base en varios fact ores: años de experiencia, creat ividad, innovación y reput ación dent ro de la indust ria local. En t ot al, f ueron 9 em presas de w edding planners las que asist ieron: Your Barcelona Wedding, Det allerie, Pearl Sandals Event s, The Experialist , Wedding You Barcelona, Fresh & Wood, Coco & Carl (ant eriorm ent e WP en Weddings Via Val), Cryst al Event s, y Marry m e In Spain. Ant es del ret iro, pusieron a t rabajar a las w edding planners; y es que ¡iban a com pet ir en un concurso de m ejor concept o y diseño de boda!

Consist iría en 2 edit oriales de bodas, un st yled shoot de cerem onia y un shoot ing de m esa f orm al de recepción. Las em presas se dividieron en 3 grupos, y cada grupo f ue responsable de crear un concept o, diseñarlo y seleccionar los colaboradores que f orm arían part e de su st yled shoot . El 1er día del ret iro, los asist ent es f ueron deleit ados con una sesión en el spa de la villa - ¡just o lo que necesit aban, con el diluvio que est aba cayendo f uera! Después de un alm uerzo delicioso, les esperaba una t arde de t alleres práct icos para ellas: Un t aller de aut o- m aquillaje para w edding planners sin t iem po. Diana Gali y Miriam Lanzas com part ieron sus secret os y consejos para que puedan m aquillarse ellas m ism as y est ar fabulosas los días que est án t rabajando en una boda ? y poder hacerlo ¡en m enos de 10 m inut os! Un t aller de lett ering ? escrit ura art íst ica - im part ido por Woodlove Lett ering, para que la w edding planner pueda ayudar a esos Novios olvidadizos, que no se acuerdan de t raer las señales de su boda, y hacerles unas señales bonit as en el m om ent o. Un t aller de f ot ograf ía, im part ido por Oliver & Viladom s St udio, para ayudar a las Wedding planners a sacar el m áxim o part ido a la cám ara de su Sm art phone. Al acabar el prim er día del ret reat , ¡llegó una sorpresa inesperada! No sólo disf rut aron de una cena de gala de 5 est rellas, con una gast ronom ía insuperable servida por El Moli de L?Escala ? uno de los m ejores cat erings de la zona ? t am bién pudieron vest irse de gala, gracias a la inest im able colaboración de la diseñadora de Mart ina Sposa. Cedió unos vest idos de gala preciosos y las w edding planners posaron para un report aje de f ot os de revist a. Después de una noche de f ot os, gast ronom ía excelent e y baile, había llegado el m om ent o de descansar, porque el día siguient e sería un día largo; la culm inación de m ás de 1 m es de t rabajo, creando y diseñando sus st yled shoot s? .

Los concept os y diseño de cada shoot ing no podían ser m ás dif erent es, y es que f ueron concept os verdaderam ent e ext raordinarios: Grupo 1: New Baroque: com puest o por Det allerie, Wedding You Barcelona y Cocó&Carl, est e grupo decidió reint erpret ar el barroco, com binando sus habit uales t onos dorados y oscuros con un am plio colorido en los arreglos f lorales. Una ejecución en hom enaje a est e período art íst ico con t oques de est ilism o que lo llenan de act ualidad. Flors Bahí realizó el t rabajo f loral, Abanik Rent Event s cedió el m at erial y Kiss and Chips Phot ography f ue la f ot ógrafa of icial. Grupo 2: Minim alist México: com puest o por Pearl Sandals, The Experialist y Cryst al Event s, est re grupo creó una versión m ínim al de la cult ura art íst ica de México, m ediant e la ut ilización de colores vibrant es y f uert es en las f lores y elem ent os decorat ivos, cont rast ando con el blanco puro com o f ondo. Nonna Event s realizó el t rabajo f loral, Alquiler de Host eleria cedió el m at erial y Carolina Sainz f ue la f ot ógrafa of icial. Grupo 3: Essences de la Terre: com puest o por Fresh & Wood, Your Barcelona Wedding y Marry m e in Spain, est e grupo quiso abrazar la im perf ección de la nat uraleza, sus colores y su f uerza, junt o con el m inim alism o, las líneas puras y la elegancia de los m at eriales com o el t erciopelo, dando com o result ado una com posición arm oniosa. Molist Florist es realizó el t rabajo f loral, Crim ons cedió el m at erial y En Rout e Phot ography f ue la f ot ógrafa of icial. Cada grupo t uvo la libert ad de t rabajar en un espacio dif erent e de la casa, t ant o en el ext erior com o el int erior, t ant o en la t erraza de la piscina, el recibidor int erior o el bosque ? las posibilidades eran inf init as. Los grupos f ueron juzgados en base a la m ejor f ot o y ot ros parám et ros, com o la originalidad, f uncionalidad y creat ividad, ent re ot ros.

Y com o dicen t odos los jurados, f ue m uy dif ícil escoger un ganador, porque cada grupo t enía unos concept os de diseño y elem ent os únicos que lo hacían m uy com plejo para poder com parar equit at ivam ent e. Pero, un ganador t uvo que ser seleccionado y el jurado, com puest o por célebres f ot ógraf os de boda t ales com o Ivan Franchet , Alf onso Novo, Jennif er Fujikaw a y Oliver & Viladom s St udio, decidió: Ganador cerem onia: Essences de la Terre ? Grupo 3 Ganador m esa f orm al de recepción: Minim alist Mexico ? Grupo 2 ¡Nuest ras f elicit aciones a los ganadores! Words by Laura Pérez

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Photograph by Oliver Viladoms

How To Make Sure Your Instagr am Effor ts Are Paying Off BY ALEX TOOBY

# WEDINSTA Inst agram is a pow erf ul t ool f or any business in t he w edding indust ry. Whet her you?re selling apparel, planning services, phot ography, or som et hing in bet w een, Inst agram is t he perf ect prom ot ional plat f orm f or your w edding- based brand! The problem is w e oft en put a lot of t im e and energy int o t he app but it ?s diff icult t o t ell if Inst agram is t ruly w orking f or you. In t his art icle I?m going t o t each you how t o perf orm an Inst agram audit so you can conf ident ly det erm ine if your eff ort s are paying off ! What can you learn f rom perf orm ing an Inst agram audit ? A successf ul audit w ill be able t o t horoughly answ er t he f ollow ing quest ions: Are your current Inst agram eff ort s cont ribut ing t o t he success of your overall m arket ing? Is your cont ent resonat ing w it h your t arget audience? Is your brand consist ent and w ell- represent ed? Are you driving t raff ic and generat ing revenue w it h your current Inst agram st rat egy? What can you im prove m oving f orw ard? Now t hat you know t he w hy?s of perf orm ing an Inst agram audit , I w ill w alk you t hrough t he how - t os!

1. Opt im ize your bio and business inf orm at ion Your bio is t he hom epage of your Inst agram account . You have 150 charact ers t o m ake a good im pression, so you w ant t o m ake sure you?re ut ilizing t hat space t o accurat ely describe your brand. If you?re not sure w hat your bio should say, t hink about how you w ould int roduce yourself at a bridal event . To properly opt im ize your bio f or search and discovery, m ake sure you have t he f ollow ing: -

A st rong keyw ord in t he ?Nam e? f ield (t his w ill help people f ind you via search!) Succinct descript ion of your brand & t he services you off er Cont act inf o A call t o act ion (encouraging users t o click t he link t o your w ebsit e!)

2. Revisit your Inst agram st rat egy A lot of fact ors com e int o play w hen reevaluat ing your Inst agram st rat egy. If you don?t have an specif ic st rat egy, now is t he t im e t o creat e one! A successf ul Inst agram st rat egy should include: -

A dedicat ed post ing schedule Daily Inst agram St ories Calls t o act ion on all post s Regular hasht ag research Com pet it or analysis Goal sett ing List ing of pot ent ial brands and inf luencers t o collaborat e w it h

3. Perf orm a Hasht ag Audit Hasht ags are one of t he m ost im port ant elem ent s of your organic Inst agram st rat egy. The right hasht ags w ill bring you m ore t arget ed f ollow ers, t raff ic, and inquiries!

In cont rast , t he w rong hasht ags can att ract spam and your com pet it ors! Here?s som e guidelines t o f ollow : -

Maxim um post count of 500k (larger t ags are t oo popular and your post w on?t be seen) They should be descript ive of your account and your t arget m arket Avoid indust ry jargon Use 30 on every post

4. Review and Analyze Dat a Dat a and analyt ics provide det ailed, pow erf ul inf orm at ion about your audience and your overall perf orm ance on Inst agram . If you have an Inst agram Business account , you w ill have access t o helpf ul dem ographic inf orm at ion t hrough t heir built - in insight s. Here are som e m et rics t o t rack and analyze: Follow er count -

Engagem ent Rat e (ideal rat e is 3 - 5 %) Reach & Im pressions Discovery Websit e visit s Em ails/ Calls

Ident if y your t op perf orm ing (and underperf orm ing) post s t o help you creat e cont ent m oving f orw ard! 5. Check Your Branding Your brand voice, aest het ic, and color schem e should align w it h t he overall t one of your brand. The m ost successf ul w edding account s on Inst agram have a cohesive aest het ic t hat com plim ent s t he brand?s overall look and f eel. The im ages you post should have a sim ilar color schem e, subject s, and t one of voice. For visuals, use an app like UNUM t o pre- plan your f eed so you know w hat it w ill look like bef ore post ing.

Perf orm ing regular Inst agram audit s w ill help you st ay on t rack and f ocused on t he int egral part s of your Inst agram st rat egy. It ?s easy t o get dist ract ed by w hat our f ollow er count is or w hat our com pet it ors are doing but by f ocusing on t he im port ant dat a, w e can m ake inf orm ed decisions, cont inue t o grow, and event ually becom e t he aut horit ies in our indust ry! Words by Alex Tooby



In each issue w e share w it h you som e of t he t ools w e can't do w it hout , t hings w e've f ound w hen researching and som e gem s w e've been t old about by ot hers. They m ake our lives easier and save us huge am ount s of t im e w it hin our w orking lif e. In som e cases t hey are just great Apps t hat w e love t o play w it h. Enjoy! This m ont h w e are sharing som e of t he best apps t o st art your new em ail m arket ing f or f ree.

BOMBBOMB Use t his app t o m ake video- pow ered em ails. bom bbom

CAMPAYN Cam payn t urns your em ail address book int o a new slett er list .? w w

FRESHMAIL You can use t his t ool t o design brochure- like em ails. f reshm ail .com

MAILIGEN Use Mailgen t o send em ail new slett ers, SMS m essages, and social cam paigns t oget her. w w w.m

REVUE Revue allow s you t o build em ails f rom curat ed cont ent . w w w.get

VERTICALRESPONSE Great t o see how your m essage is received on em ail & social. w w w.vert

4 Things You Need in Place for a Strong Sales Str ategy in 2019 BY MERYL SNOW

# WEDSALES Whet her you?re a solopreneur or you have a sales t eam , w orking w it hin an organized st ruct ure can m ake all of t he diff erence in your bott om line. Keeping your t eam account able and com m itt ed is t he key t o closing on leads and grow ing your sales in 2019. Here are f our t hings t o f ocus on, no m att er how large or sm all your t eam . A com pet it ive pricing st ruct ure Not surprisingly, pricing is an int egral part of your sales st rat egy. Too high and you risk scaring off prospect s. Too low and you lose your prof it . Underpricing also discount s t he eff ort s of your sales t eam , if you have one, and lim it s t heir pay even if t hey are ext rem ely successf ul at selling. Your pricing should align w it h t he indust ry norm , but should also t ake int o account your experience, your specialt ies and t he qualit y of your w ork. A f lexible w orkf low All sales f unnels go t hrough sim ilar st ages: gett ing t o know each ot her, underst anding t he client s? needs, educat ing on product s and services, present ing solut ions, gaining t rust , and closing t he sale. These st eps should be f ollow ed by every salesperson f or every lead. How ever, every sale is diff erent . The couple dream ing of an out door spring w edding w ill have diff erent needs t han t he large com pany planning a corporat e New Year gala. That ?s w hy it is essent ial t o keep your w orkf low f luid. Sales script s can be usef ul f or new t rainees, but

t here should be a point w here a salesperson can go int o a sales m eet ing w it hout a script and know how t o st art a m eaningf ul conversat ion w it h a prospect . Keep t hings f lexible, but alw ays m aint ained w it hin t he original problem - solut ion f ram ew ork. A sales t raining m anual If you already have a t rust y w orkf low, you need t o have a t raining m anual f or st ream lined grow t h. Every t im e you bring on a new t eam m em ber, t he onboarding process can eit her set you up f or success or be a t ot al night m are ? it ?s up t o you. A sales m anual out lines syst em s and processes, w orkf low s, f requent ly asked quest ions, and ot her inf orm at ion t hat a new hire w ould need. This lim it s t he am ount of t im e you need t o spend act ively t raining and answ ering quest ions f rom new hires. Inst ead, you can rem ain a resource w hile st ill f ocusing on your ow n w ork. Regular check- ins You should be checking in w it h your t eam (or yourself ) on a regular basis t o ensure t hat goals are being m et and t o assess w hat is and isn?t w orking. I recom m end w eekly m eet ings. Set an ongoing calendar appoint m ent at t he sam e t im e every w eek so it becom es a rout ine. Discuss current leads and cold sales eff ort s, as w ell as w hat each m em ber has w orked on in t he past w eek. Run t hrough t he num bers and ident if y any gaps t hat need t o be addressed in t he w eek ahead. Each of t hese f our aspect s helps t o st ream line your sales syst em and ensure consist ency and account abilit y. No m att er t he size of your t eam , t ake t he t im e t o ram p up your sales approach f or t he year ahead and you w on?t be disappoint ed. Words by Meryl Snow

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Free- t o- air videos f or aspiring, novice & est ablished w edding prof essionals. We

t ake


behind- t he- scenes


conf erences,

w orkshops and indust ry event s, as w ell as going int o t he st udio t o produce som e great educat ional cont ent t o help you in your career in t he w edding indust ry. No subject is off lim it s and w e cover everyt hing f rom pricing t o client consult at ions.

The Inter national Wedding Tr end Repor t 2019

# WEDBIZCOACH Burnout is som et hing t hat all creat ive ent repreneurs face in t heir lives. And, f or w edding prof essionals, t he st ruggle is m ade even m ore real in t he height of our event busy season. How do w e ensure t hat w e?re t aking care of our ow n personal needs in addit ion t o our client s? Exam ine Your Business Processes It ?s t im e t o exam ine t he syst em s w it hin your business. Too m any of us are overcom plicat ing t hings. What needs t o be st ream lined and sim plif ied? What services are you off ering t hat don?t m ake sense f or how your business has changed? What has becom e a laborious process t hat should be sold as a separat e service? I see t his a lot w it h w edding planners w ho off er f ull services. Full has it s lim it s. EVERY service should have it s lim it s. (Unless t hey are paying you a m illion dollars, w hich I doubt .) Where does f ull service begin and w here does it end? What const raint s do you need t o put on t hese event s? Part ial planning is anot her one t hat can easily becom es a f ull project if not corralled adequat ely. You?re in charge. Make sure t hat you?re running your client project s, not t he ot her w ay around. Set Off ice Hours You need t o rein in your w ork schedule. Being available at all hours t o all people is not only bad f or your healt h, but also f ost ers a cult ure of needy client s. Com m unicat e your off ice hours at t he beginning of your relat ionship w it h t hem . For exam ple, ?Our off ice hours are Tuesday

How to Set Boundar ies and Avoid Bur nout BY MICHELLE LORETTA

t hrough Thursday f rom 9am - 5pm . On w eekends, w e w ork w eddings, and w hen it ?s your special w eekend, our att ent ion w ill be on you exclusively f rom Friday t hrough Sunday. Monday is our day off. You need a rest ed planner w orking your event .? If you set param et ers f or w hen your client s can com m unicat e w it h you, not only w ill you have m ore t im e t o get your w ork done (and att end t o your ow n needs), but also your client s w ill respect you m ore. The st range t hing w it h giving client s const raint s is t hat it put s you in cont rol, and client s see t hat you are m ore organized, disciplined, and in charge. They?ll t ake you m ore seriously and value t he w ork you do f or t hem . Schedule Tim e f or Open- Ended Creat ivit y A lot of burnout I?ve experienced in m y 15 years of being an ent repreneur has been a result of not sett ing aside t im e t o w ork on t he bigger scope of m y business, and being chained t o m y client ?s dem ands. It ?s w hen I?ve t aken a st ep back f rom all t hat , t o w ork on personal project s, passion project s, or side project s, t hat m y creat ivit y has f lourished. And m y soul has been soot hed, correct ing it self f rom t hat burnout . The dem ands of problem - solving, ideat ion, and creat ing can be t axing if you?re w orking on client project s 365 days a year. Are you giving yourself t im e t o creat e w it hout a client in m ind or an agenda? Are you giving yourself chunks of t im e f or inspirat ion and rum inat ion? I?m t alking about visit ing art m useum s regularly, f loral gardens, reading books on t he art ist ic process, picking up a hobby (rem em ber t hose?)? or w hat ever f uels you.

Scheduling t his t im e t o creat e f or creat ion?s sake is a diff icult but necessary habit . It requires dedicat ion and no- holds- barred f ocus. Som et hing I?ve f ound helpf ul is having an account abilit y part ner, som eone t hat checks in on m e t o ensure I?m f ollow ing t hrough on t his com m it m ent . I?ve also part nered w it h indust ry f riends w ho have t his sam e burnout challenge ? and w e w ork t hrough creat ive project s t oget her. Having som et hing on t he calendar w it h som eone else ensures t hat it ?s not just going t o fall on t he backburner. I have a com m it m ent t o not only m e, but also t hem . Burnout is Bad f or Business Yes, burnout is exhaust ing and unhealt hy f or you. But , it ?s also bad f or business. If you aren?t excit ed about your business, it com es across in your sales consult at ions, your event execut ion, your t eam relat ionships. And, your business w ill suff er. If you put plans in place t o t am e t he burnout beast , you?ll have a business t hat t hrives no m att er how crazy t hings get . Words by Michelle Loret t a


Honing Your Messaging: The Power of Consistent Review BY JEN FEROZE

# WEDCOPY In t he w edding indust ry, t he end of w int er can f eel like a precious w indow of t im e. The dust and conf ett i of 2018 has w ell and t ruly sett led, and t his year?s w edding season has yet t o st art rolling in earnest . It ?s t he perf ect t im e t o ref lect on your past year: t he calibre of it s client s, t he f ervour of it s celebrat ions and t he w ay in w hich challenges w ere faced and overcom e. So how w as 2018 f or you? Did you att ract client s t hat w ere dream y t o w ork w it h or t hat caused occasional t eet h gritt ing? Did t he w eddings you w orked on m ake you f eel like your creat ivit y w as unleashed or com prom ised? Did bookings com e in easily and regularly, or in f it s and st art s? If t here w ere st ruggles over t he last 12 m ont hs, you m ight f ind t he solut ions lie in your copy. The w edding indust ry is an int ensely visual one, but it ?s t he w ording t hat you use t o give cont ext and clarit y t o your im ages t hat m ake your brand so m uch m ore com pelling. Your copy m akes you ast oryt eller, and t hat is an incredibly pow erf ul t it le t o hold. The w ay you t ell your st ories as a business ow ner is w hat w ill spark your client s? im aginat ions, build connect ions w it h t hem and allow t hem t o st art gett ing t o know you as a person as w ell as t he m onum ent al t alent you are. While it ?s alw ays t em pt ing t o f ocus on t he visuals, Copy. Is. Crucial. And it should never be an aft ert hought f or your business.

Don?t Wait For The Quiet Tim e So by all m eans, use t his quiet period f or ref lect ion on your brand?s m essaging, but don?t w ait around f or t his brief and bright w indow of calm bef ore you dive in. Inst ead, m ake t his t he st art of a new regim e of const ant review. Because yes, copy is im port ant , but it ?s also everyw here. Your pow er as a st oryt eller doesn?t st op w hen you?ve f inished your w ebsit e. Every single t im e you sit dow n t o w rit e som et hing ? w het her a response t o an em ail enquiry, a blog post , an inst agram capt ion or a seem ingly t hrow aw ay Facebook st at us updat e ? you?re represent ing your brand. It ?s a chance f or you t o st and out f rom t he crow d and show case w hat you can do t o t he client s w ho w ill best underst and your unique brilliance. So how do you m ake sure your m essaging is alw ays on point ? Tim e t o break out t he t hree cs. The Three ?C?s Be conscious: Do you really know w hat it is you st and f or? Can you sum up your values as a brand, and w hat it is t hat m akes you diff erent ? If t his doesn?t com e easily or quickly t o you, job one is t o grab a not ebook and get brainst orm ing. In order t o creat e copy t hat w ill resonat e w it h your client s, you need t o be absolut ely sure of t he w ay in w hich you w ant your brand t o be seen. Be conf ident : Review ing your w ebsit e and your cont ent t akes courage. Having w orked out your brand values, be prepared t o be honest w it h

yourself, som et im es brut ally so, about w hat ?s right in your exist ing brand ident it y and w hat ?s not . This process can open t he door t o t he niggling litt le voice of insecurit y and second- guessing yourself. You?re not alone here, everyone?s got t heir ow n version of t he litt le voice ? even Michelle Obam a has adm itt ed t o st ruggles w it h im post er syndrom e ? but t ry your hardest not t o list en t o it . Deciding t hat your brand needs an overhaul and heading int o a rebrand t akes gut s, how ever, so does deciding t hat it ?s already exact ly w here it needs t o be. What ever you decide, do it w it h conf idence ? t his is no t im e f or half m easures. Be consist ent : This one?s arguably t he m ost im port ant . Find your m essage and st ick t o it . A client should be able t o pick you out of a line- up f rom your w ording alone, so look at t he t one you?re using and m ake sure you?re building a brand voice t hat ?s recognisable as w ell as represent at ive. It ?s t im e t o look at your brand w it h an appraising eye, not just w hen you?re quiet , but each t im e you creat e new cont ent . Review doesn?t have t o m ean enorm ous change, and it som et im es only t akes t he sm allest of shift s t o nudge everyt hing perf ect ly int o place. Words by Jen Feroze

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# WEDBRAND It 's am azing how quickly your brand can evolve, even w it hin a years t im e. As a business ow ner, it 's vit al t o evaluat e your brand and all it s com ponent s, at least once a year. So w hat are som e t hings t hat you can look at t o audit your ow n brand. 01 - Your Process: Bef ore diving direct ly int o changing t he visual aspect s of your brand, it ?s im port ant t o look at w hat is going on behind t he scenes. Perf ect t he backend of your business bef ore t ackling any of your branding! What I?ve f ound m ost helpf ul is t o list every client you w orked w it h over t he past year. Writ e out w hat w ent w ell, w hat st ruggles you faced, w hat st ruggles your client faced and det erm ine how t he project ended. If t here w ere any com m on elem ent s t hat need im provem ent , f igure out w hat t hey are and begin t o f ill in any holes. For exam ple, if you had a w onderf ul client s but you f ound you suff ered f rom em ail fat igue because every client w as asking you t he sam e quest ions over and over again. List out every com m on quest ion w it h an answ er and creat e a helpf ul docum ent t hat w ill guide your client and elim inat e you having t o answ er t he sam e quest ions w it h every client . Plus you w ill im prove your client experience as you w ill be addressing t hese upf ront w hich w ill aff irm your expert st at us f rom t he beginning. If you experienced deeper st ruggles w it hin your business like problem at ic vendor relat ionships or even st aff ing changes, you?ll w ant t o t ake crit ical st eps f orw ard t o m ake sure last years issues don?t repeat t hem selves. Rem em ber, no business goes unscat hed w it h having new challenges t o overcom e.

The Three Components Ever y Owner Should Analize For Their Business BY ASHLEY MALONE

At t he end of t he day, your client s and experience w orking w it h you should be your num ber one priorit y. Because regardless of how beaut if ul your brand is, it w on?t change your act ual business. 02 - Your Brand Ident it y: As your business grow s and changes over t im e, your brand ident it y w ill likely need t o be adjust ed as w ell. Most brands st art out w it h a logo t hat t hey?ve put t oget her t hem selves or hired a f riend t o help w it h cert ain visual aspect s. But as you gain experience and m ore client ele, your brand w ill need m ore t han just a logo. One of t he m ost im pact f ul w ays t o do t his is by com plet ing an audit of t he visual elem ent s of your business ? f rom logo design, social m edia graphics, em ail signat ures, t he f ont s in your m arket ing pieces and any com plem ent ary graphics. Your brand ident it y is sim ply how your brand looks and f eels t o your audience and pot ent ial client s. The num ber one t hing you w ant t o achieve is consist ency! Here are som e t hings t o consider as you audit your brand ident it y: Gat her f eedback f rom client s or vendors t hat you w ork closely w it h so you can get an out side opinion. Ask t hem w hat t hey t hink about your brand ? everyt hing f rom your logo, colours, st at ionery pieces and m ore! The key is gett ing f eedback f rom people w hom you t rust and know your business. Com plet e a deep dive int o your businesses values, audience and your goals. Know ing your WHY is im port ant as you m ake changes in your brand. Do a com pet it ive analysis by com paring your key com pet it ors t o see how your brand aest het ic st acks up. Would you hire yourself based off of f irst im pressions alone? Book consult at ions w it h a f ew brand designers and see w hat t hey w ould suggest . Whet her it ?s a f ew sm all t w eaks or an ent ire overhaul, hiring a prof essional m ight be t he best m ove!

A st rong brand ident it y w ill not only allow you t o look prof essional and att ract t he right kind of client s but it w ill give you t he right t ools in order t o build consist ency in your business. Which is key in st rengt hening your brands percept ion and creat ing a m em orable visual experience. 03 - Your Online Experience: An eff ect ive w ebsit e and online experience t hat com plem ent s your brand ident it y is guarant eed t o help you convert m ore w ebsit e visit ors int o paying client s. In t oday?s m arket , a sim ple w ebsit e t hat show cases your w ork is just not enough. Client s are looking f or an experience t hat is im m ersive and inf orm at ional. Here are a f ew m ust - have it em s on a w edding vendor sit e: Include w hat you do and w here you?re locat ed on t he t op of your hom e page. Wit h social m edia being so w idespread, couples and vendors w ant t o know t hose t w o t hings as soon as t hey arrive on a w ebsit e. Even if you are in t he dest inat ion m arket , it ?s im port ant t o list . It can be hard f or a client t o underst and if you?re a f lorist , planner or phot ographer just based on phot os. Your about page should f eat ure a prof essional headshot and a m eaningf ul bio about yourself and your business. Include w hat your brand values are, w hat client s you love w orking w it h and w hat drives your best w ork. These det ails w ill bring in a personalized aspect of your brand and allow you t o build a connect ion w it h a pot ent ial client . Give your client s m ult iple w ays t o connect w it h you! Include in t he least your direct em ail and a cont act f orm t o f ill out . If you don?t m ind phone calls, t hen a num ber is an easy w ay f or people t o get in t ouch. You do not w ant t o m ake it hard f or som eone t o hire you and everyone, regardless of age has a pref erence of how t hey like t o com m unicat e. List your services in an easy yet inf orm at ive w ay! While you don?t w ant t oo m uch cont ent t o read, having t oo litt le doesn?t add value t o t he w ebsit e user.

Think of it t his w ay, your w ebsit e is one of your biggest sales t ools f or your business. It ?s open 24/ 7 and is prett y am azing w hen you t hink about it how accessible your brand can be t o a m ult it ude of people. Whet her you creat e your ow n w ebsit e or hire a prof essional, t ake t he t im e t o plan each det ail and don?t t hrow it up just f or t he sake of having a w ebsit e online. Rem em ber you are not alone in your business journey! Grab som e vendor f riends or reach out t o a w edding prof essional t hat you adm ire. You?ll be surprised regardless of w here you are in your business, how you could help one anot her! Words by Ashley Malone

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Michelle Lorett a, Ow ner & Chief St rat egist of Sage Wedding Pros says... I t ry t o review m y brand every w int er, as I'm looking t o st art a new year. I w ant t o m ake sure t hat w hat I'm putt ing out int o t he w orld is st ill connect ing w it h m y t arget m arket . This requires t hat I ask m yself : w ho is m y ideal client , and w hat is t hat t hey w ant t o see and hear f rom m e? Zainab Alsalih, Founder and Creat ive Direct or of Carousel Event s says... In t odays m arket , t rends are const ant ly em erging, som e of t hem st ick, ot hers fade. It is vit al f or your business t o st ay current , and be at t he leading edge, especially w hen you are in t he business of fashion and st yle, direct ly or indirect ly. I suggest a com plet e brand review at least once every t hree years. You w ould oft en f ind t hat your w ebsit e is already dat ed, and your brand needs a ref resh. It m ay not be a com plet e overhaul, but m inor t w eaks t o keep it f resh and hip. Bruce Russell, Founder / Managing Direct or of Bruce Russell says... It allow s you t o review w here you are, w here you've been, and w here you w ant t o go. Does your brand ref lect t his? I t ry t o look at t his once or t w ice a year - really t o ensure I'm on t rack, but on a grander scale, every 18 m ont hs or so. Elie Berchan, Ow ner of Elie Berchan Wedding and Event s Creat ion says... To keep on port raying w hat your com pany is all about , you should alw ays revisit your branding and give it a prem ium im port ance. It is an on- going process, jot it dow n in w rit ing once a year.

Top Tips

Meryl Snow, President of Snow St orm Solut ions says... One of t he great est w ays t o art iculat e your com pet encies, w ealt h of experience, skills, know ledge, and your overall w ort h in t oday's com pet it ive event s indust ry is t o creat e and nurt ure a brand t hat helps you st and out in t he crow d. Your brand is a living breat hing ent it y and should be ref lect ed in each post , em ail, ad et c. A quart erly deep- dive review is recom m ended. Harm ony Walt on, Founder of The Bridal Bar says... A brand review is not just som et hing t hat should be done annually or every 5- 10 years. A brand review should be const ant in daily business. Wit h each decision you m ake, consider t he brand, t he goals and t he core business and review w het her or not t hose decisions support t hose plans or if t he plans are evolving and changing. Too m any m isst eps off course t hroughout t he year can lead you t o look at t he brand at t he end of t he year in need of a m ajor change. The hope is t hat you don't have t o const ant ly re- invent yourself because of t he recent past but any changes t hat are needed (because all businesses change and evolve) can be done in subt le w ays t hat don't cost a f ort une or cause a m assive shift (w hich oft en cost s a f ort une in rebranding and rem arket ing). Then, at t he end of each year, look back and see w here t he com pany sit s versus t he brand and evaluat e w hat you need t o do m oving f orw ard. Pam ella Dunn, Creat ive Direct or of Pam ella Dunn says... As you develop so t o does your brand, and your audience. St aying current and ensuring your m essage is clear is som et hing I do on m y yearly w ebsit e review. Good w eb developm ent com panies w ill support you, and encourage updat es t o m aint ain a f resh and int erest ing sit e. More t han any ot her business your brand in t he w edding indust ry is about you. About your st yle, design, and your business et hics. It 's about att ract ing your ideal client , and underst anding how t o speak t o t hem . If you love your brand, t he m essage and t he aest het ic, so t oo w ill your ideal client .


Caroline Khoo, Creat ive Direct or of Nect ar and St one says... - brand st rengt h and w eakness - m arket posit ion - w hat m akes t he brand diff erent t o ot hers - brand m arket ing It is im port ant t o be really honest w hen review ing your brand, get ext ernal f eedback and survey t o get out side perspect ive and opinion. Having a really good grasp of your "w hy" are you doing t his is also very im port ant w hen review ing your brand. Cat hrin D'Ent rem ont , Ow ner of Cat hrin D'Ent rem ont Weddings says... I search online w hat t he overall t rends are in branding. Branding com panies evolve t oo and m ove w it h t he t im es. A m ore m odern look but m ost im port ant ly it needs t o represent your business and your m essage you are t rying t o com m unicat e w it h your f ut ure and present client s. If you look at m ine f rom 14 years ago, I am sure you have a grin on your face! It does t ake t im e t o f ind yourself t oo and your posit ion in your indust ry. Finding t he right people t hat can see you in order t o ref lect t his int o your branding t akes t im e. Elie Berchan, Ow ner of Elie Berchan Wedding and Event s Creat ion says... - Be recept ive t o f eedback - Updat e f requent ly - Check t he com pet it ion - Follow your int uit ion

Michelle Anderson, Direct or of Com plet e t he Look says... I personally look at t he f ollow ing elem ent s and t he im pact / result s t hey have in and around m y t arget m arket w hen review ing m y branding: - Logo and im agery associat ed w it h t he branding - Websit e Layout , Colourings, Cont ent , Im agery - Branding Mat erial (such as t aglines) - The language/ copyw rit ing t hat is ut ilised t hroughout t he brands m arket ing I keep in m ind a f ram ew ork of m y m ission, vision, and st rat egy. Who m y ideal/ t arget client ele is and t he environm ent t hat m y business operat es w it hin. Louise Beukes, Founder of BLOVED Blog and BLOVED Hive says... Ask yourself t he f ollow ing quest ions; - Does your brand represent t he business you w ant t o be? - How do you f eel about your brand? - Are you w orking w it h your dream client s? - How does your brand com pare t o ot hers? - Is your USP clear? Then t hink about your t arget audience; - Who do t hey t hink you are? - What is t heir init ial im pression of your brand? - What f eedback are you gett ing f rom your client s? - Are you f orm ing last ing relat ionships w it h your client s, and a sense of loyalt y? - Are t hey passionat e about w orking w it h you? These quest ions w ill help you t o ident if y w hat m ight not be w orking as w ell as it should. Meryl Snow, President of Snow St orm Solut ions says... Pay close att ent ion t o analyt ics, it plays a big role in brand review.

Kat e Cullen, Ow ner of Kat e Cullen says... I have an eclect ic nat ure and som et im es I need t o hone and cut out som e of t he 'noise' as I can oft en priorit ise t hings t hat perhaps aren't quit e t he right f it f or m y brand (not t hat I w ant t o erase m y personalit y, but rat her t hat I w ant t o self edit m ore t o show only t he very best of w hat I do). Gett ing f eedback is really im port ant , and I t ry t o carry a f ew surveys out each year t o m y client s t o ensure t hat t he branding I have is on m essage and giving t he right 'shop w indow ' t o m y pot ent ial and recurring cust om ers. Honest y is really int egral t o a successf ul brand audit - ask f or people's opinions t hat you t rust , part icularly f rom t hose t hat w ill be honest w it h you if your branding isn't ref lect ing w hat you w ant f rom your business. Look over t he last 12 m ont hs of your business and your client port f olio - how m any of t hese client s w ere t he exact right f it f or you? How m any w eren't , w hy do you t hink t hat w as? Was your branding not clearly def ining your niche w ell enough perhaps? Where t here any m isunderst andings about w hat exact ly your product or service provides? Could you clarif y t his t hrough your branded m at erials? Harm ony Walt on, Founder of The Bridal Bar says... When audit ing your brand, w rit e dow n your goals (short t erm and long) and your t arget m arket . Do t he visuals support all of t hose t hings? Are t he visuals t im eless enough in a w ay t o avoid st art ing over year aft er year? Is t he brand aut hent ic or are you att em pt ing t o creat e som et hing you?re not ? Audiences are int elligent ; t hey w ill read t hrough som et hing t hat isn?t t rue. Be realist ic, be t rue t o your core and be const ant ly aw are of your goals and your m oneym aking client base. Pam ella Dunn, Creat ive Direct or of Pam ella Dunn says... As you develop so t o does your brand, and your audience. St aying current and ensuring your m essage is clear is som et hing I do on m y yearly w ebsit e review. Good w eb developm ent com panies w ill support you, and encourage updat es t o m aint ain a f resh and int erest ing sit e.

More t han any ot her business your brand in t he w edding indust ry is about you. About your st yle, design, and your business et hics. It 's about att ract ing your ideal client , and underst anding how t o speak t o t hem . If you love your brand, t he m essage and t he aest het ic, so t oo w ill your ideal client .


Chezelle Rodriguez, Ow ner of CD Weddings says... Do: Ident if y your pot ent ial client s in order t o t arget t heir behaviors and creat e a brand t hat has m eaning. Maint ain consist ency in all plat f orm s, social m edia, print and w eb. Don't : Include personal or fam ily pict ures in your branding. Don't t ry t o cut cost on print m at erials or advert ising if you have done your research and know your t arget audience. Don't f orget you are unique and if your client hired you it 's because t hey saw som et hing in you t hat ot hers do not have. Pam ella Dunn, Creat ive Direct or of Pam ella Dunn says... - Don't over com plicat e - Don't use f ussy f ont s - Don't w orry your sit e is not like your com pet it ors - Do love your brand - Do w ear your heart on your sleeve and share yourself t hrough your brand - Do keep it sim ple

Michelle Anderson, Direct or of Com plet e t he Look says... I believe t hat t he f ollow ing do's and don't s help you t o achieve great branding: Do's: 1. Focus on your core values and ensure t hat your m essage is consist ent 2. Rem ain f lexible t o changing t rends and be w illing t o adapt t hem int o your branding t o st ay relevant . 3. Keep t hings sim ple so t hat t he m essage is clear and concise 4. List en t o your cust om ers and ref lect on t he dat a available 5. Ensure t hat you keep all of your cust om er's needs in m ind including physical, em ot ional and psychological Don't s: 1. Don't adapt t o every t rend and ensure t hat t he t rend is relevant t o your business and product / service. 2. Don't ignore your client s changing needs and behaviours. 3. Don't w ait t oo long t o review your branding because you need t o ensure t hat you diff erent iat e f rom your com pet it ors and you m eet your client 's changing needs. Caroline Khoo, Creat ive Direct or of Nect ar and St one says... - be aut hent ic and genuine - don't t ry t o be like t he rest , how ever do learn f rom m ist akes ot hers are m aking - great branding underst and t he cust om er and needs - be consist ent w it h your brand m essage

Cat hrin D'Ent rem ont , Ow ner of Cat hrin D'Ent rem ont Weddings says... - Do f ind t hat perf ect branding com pany w ho w ill guide you and are passionat e in w hat t hey do. - Don't rush it . - See t he w hole pict ure even if you m ay not have t he f unds t o do it all at once. - List en t o your heart and not everyone around you. Michelle Lorett a, Ow ner & Chief St rat egist of Sage Wedding Pros says... DO f ocus on consist ency. Branding t hat is consist ent in visuals, cont ent , and service is w hat resonat es m ost w it h client s. DON'T assum e t hat your brand is just about your logo. Your brand runs deeper t han t he visual elem ent s. Look at your copy, your m essage, your core values, and t he value you bring t o your client s. Bruce Russell, Founder / Managing Direct or of Bruce Russell says... Change is good, how ever t oo m uch change, t oo oft en can send out t he w rong m essage. People w on't know w ho you really are. It 's im port ant t o have a st rat egy, and st ay current and f resh Louise Beukes, Founder of BLOVED Blog and BLOVED Hive says... - Do m ake sure your nam e represent s w hat you do and appeals t o t he kind of client you w ant t o w ork w it h - Do t hink beyond your logo. Branding is everyt hing t hat goes int o conveying your brand values and st ory, including im agery, visuals and voice. - Do m ake sure your branding is consist ent acrosss all social m edia, w ebsit e, blog and f eat ures. Your client s should inst ant ly be able t o ident if y your w ork. - Do get prof essional help w it h your branding and im agery, it ?s t he m ost im port ant invest m ent in your business.

- Don?t hide behind your logo. You are an im port ant part of your brand. - Don?t rebrand every f ive m inut es, it t akes at least 6- 12 m ont hs t o see result s and st art att ract ing a new kind of client . Kat e Cullen, Ow ner of Kat e Cullen says... Work w it h prof essionals t hat underst and you and your vision f or your business. I t ruly believe t hat t his is w here invest ing in prof essional expert ise pays dividends. Be it a graphic designer w ho can int erpret your ideas successf ully int o eye- cat ching graphics and colour palett es, t o copyw rit ers t hat can harness just t he right w ords t o convey your brand m essage, or st ylist s and phot ographers w ho can creat e m eaningf ul im agery t hat speaks t o your pot ent ial client s. Invest m ent is t he key t ake aw ay f or m e over t he years in t his arena. Even if you have w orked in branding or have expert ise in t his area bef ore, having a det ached and object ive view point should never be underest im at ed. Zainab Alsalih, Founder and Creat ive Direct or of Carousel Event s says... Do: - Sim ple - Clean - Mem orable - Relevant (connect s t o you or t o w hat you do) - Cult urally f riendly (sounds good in ot her languages) Don't : - Fussy - Pret ent ious - Self- im port ant - Misleading - Diff icult t o read, or underst and - Digit ally un- f riendly

# WEDPIN Did you know t hat Pint erest users search f or w edding relat ed cont ent 378 m illion t im es a year? Or t hat 40 m illion people use Pint erest specif ically t o plan t heir w edding each year? And t hat 81% of all Pint erest users st art ed pinning w edding relat ed cont ent bef ore t hey even got engaged?! Wit h st at ist ics like t hese it ?s surprising how f ew w edding indust ry suppliers devot e consist ent dedicat ed t im e t o using Pint erest as one of t heir sales t ools. But it ?s easier t han you t hink t o harness t he pow er of Pint erest , and you can do w ell (even w it hout invest ing heavily in ads) by gett ing som e key t hings in place on your Pint erest account and on your w ebsit e. Most of you w ill likely have a personal account , even if you haven?t yet m ade t he leap t o using it eff ect ively as a business t ool. So, t o begin w it h here is a handy checklist t o ensure you can st art off in t he right w ay. These st eps m ake a huge diff erence t o gett ing seen and f ound on Pint erest so it ?s w ort h t aking t he t im e t o get t hese in place. 1. Convert your personal account t o a business one (pint erest .com / business/ convert / ), or if you don?t yet have an account at all, set up a business one here (pint erest .com / business/ creat e/ ). 2. Claim your w ebsit e. (Head t o Pint erest > Sett ings > Claim Websit e, t hen ent er URL). Follow t he inst ruct ions. 3. Fill out your prof ile inf o ? eg add your logo or headshot and a good sum m ary of w hat your business is.

Har ness The Power of Pinterest BY KATE CULLEN

4. Connect your social m edia and ot her account s like Inst agram , Et sy, Facebook and Yout ube. 5. Consider a Wordpress w ebsit e ? t his plat f orm w orks ext rem ely w ell f or Pint erest and SEO in general. 6. Get rich pins enabled (product pins f or online shops, art icle pins f or blogs) ? t hese display m ore inf orm at ion about a pin f rom your w ebsit e and get m ore engagem ent t han st andard pins. Head here and f ollow t he st eps: htt ps:// developers.pint erest .com / t ools/ url- debugger/ 7. Add a Pin it butt on t o your w ebsit e so t hat people can pin direct ly f rom your sit e. Head here t o f ind out how : htt ps:// business.pint erest .com / en- gb/ save- butt on- f or- w ebsit es 8. If som e of t hese look a bit t oo t echnical f or you t hen speak t o your w ebsit e developer ? t hey should be able t o t ake care of it f or you quickly and easily! 9. Get a scheduling app like Tailw ind so t hat you can m aint ain consist ency w it h your pinning and get bett er engagem ent . Get a f ree m ont h f or bot h of us by using t his aff iliat e link: htt ps:// w w w.t ailw / i/ kat ecullenst yle If you?d like t o t ake m y f ree m ini video t ut orial course w hich covers using t he phone app t hen you can sign up here t oo. Or you can f ind m ine and Madeleine Jones? f ull in- dept h online Pint erest course here. Words by Kat e Cullen

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Yevnig Davis f irst launched Unique Cakes by Yevnig in lat e 2013, and quickly becam e a w ell- respect ed and m uch celebrat ed brand in t he luxury w edding space. In t his issue, Yevnig discusses t he delicat e balance bet w een st aying on t op of t he t rends w hile also off ering her couples a bespoke experience. How did grow ing up in t he Medit erranean inf luence your overall st yle? Grow ing up in t he Medit erranean exposed m e early on t o an appreciat ion of f lavors and t ext ures in f ood and delight s. The sun is alw ays out , t he cult ure is rich and everyt hing just has t o be f lam boyant and ext ravagant . It w as never just about putt ing out a prett y dish or cake, you had t o go all out t o m ake sure everyt hing w as ext ra special. I w as surrounded by t his perspect ive, w hich helps m e t hink so far out side of t he box. Where I lived, you t hought m ore colorf ully in every aspect of t hings. I loved it , and t hat 's w hat probably sparked m y int erest in design, and event ually, cake m aking. Your approach at Unique Cakes by Yevnig st art s w it h a personalized consult at ion w it h t he couple. What ideally do you hope t o f ind out about t he couple in order t o bring t heir vision t o lif e?

When I m eet t he couple ? it ?s all about t hem . I t ry t o m ake a personal eff ort t o get t o know t hem - t o f ind out how t hey m et , how t hey proposed t o each ot her, t heir int erest s. From t here, I slow ly guide t hem t hrough underst anding w hat inspires t hem and w hat t heir aspirat ion f or t heir dream w edding cake is. It ?s im port ant t hat I give t hem t he very best of m y abilit y, service and creat ivit y, so in order t o do t hat , I w ant t o underst and t he f ull pict ure by gett ing as m uch inf orm at ion f rom t hem as possible. Aft er all of t his, w e?re able t o visually give t hem som et hing special t hat ?s t ruly ref lect ive of t hem - t heir st ory, t heir day, t heir t hem e, t heir colors. My hope is t hat w hen t hey st and by t heir cake on t heir Big Day, t hey w ill know t hat I have provided som et hing unique and quit e com plem ent ary t o t heir occasion. Let 's t alk about your bespoke dessert t ables. When you're looking at t he overall st yle, design, and look of a celebrat ion like a w edding, how do dessert t ables play a role in com plem ent ing t hat ? Dessert t ables are t he new est ?w ow ? fact or at t he m om ent , and are perf ect f or celebrat ions burst ing at t he seam s w it h creat ivit y. In t his inst ance, t he cake is eit her not enough on it s ow n, or it needs som et hing t o com plem ent it . The idea is not only t o off er an addit ion t o t he cake, but t o really dazzle t he audience w it h som et hing t hat w ill t ake t heir breat h aw ay. I f ind t hat venues w it h incredible backdrops, high ceilings and gorgeous det ails benef it f rom a dessert t able t hat dresses up t he room f or an over- t he- t op look. How do t rends im pact your design, if at all? And w hat keeps you inspired? Trends are essent ial w it h w hat I do- I need t o st ay on vogue as a creat ive, keeping an eye out f or w hat ?s t he lat est in color schem es, designs and t ext ures. I oft en look out side of t he indust ry t o fashion, f lorals and t he w orld of color, absorbing as m uch as I can and

com m itt ing m yself t o add m y ow n unique t w ist on it . Yes, I do have a signat ure look and f ocus on cust om creat ions, but I do w ant t o m ake sure I am aw are of w hat t he w orld is doing, and t hat I?m up t o speed on t he lat est . As you can im agine, by st aying in t he know, t he couples f eel t hat you are w alking t he pat h w it h t hem , and com plem ent ing t heir choices. For inst ance, t his year, it ?s all about corals and peaches so I m ake sure t hat I bring in sugar craft t hat is in harm ony w it h t his t rend. In fact , in m y 2019 collect ion, you?ll see t hat it ?s ref lect ive of t hese favored hues. What 's on t he horizon f or you? What get s you excit ed about 2019 and beyond t hat ? I have new designs t hat I plan t o release f or 2019- 2020. It ?s all very excit ing, and I hope t o launch in May. It ?s going t o be part icularly big, because w e?re t aking breat ht aking, m odern designs and putt ing a t w ist on t hem - expect t o see a f ocus in charm ing, cont em porary chic designs t hat are all very rom ant ic and unique in t heir ow n w ays. These are looks t hat are going t o last , and I can?t t ell you how excit ed I am t o share it w it h everyone soon. We're also hoping t o grow, and looking t o expand m y services. I'm also hoping t o connect w it h m ore w it h w edding planners and like- m inded creat ives. I?ll cont inue t o keep up w it h t he t rends, being m indf ul of w hat ?s big, w hile also ensuring a bespoke experience f or our couples. Ult im at ely, t hat w hat I w ant t o off er ot her people- som et hing unique, special and dist inct ive. Int erview by Meghan Ely

Kate Nielen Photography

Network for Success BY NADINE METGENBERG

# WEDTRIBE Friends and co- w orkers call m e a "pow er net w orker". Polit e dist ance does not suit m e. I'm int erest ed in biographies, st ories and backgrounds. This int erest has helped m e build a sust ainable net w ork and it ?s t o t his t hat I ow e, as m uch as anyt hing, t he success of m y com pany Fine Weddings & Part ies. As an ent repreneur, it ?s essent ial t o m ake and m aint ain good connect ions. A qualit y net w ork doesn?t only include pot ent ial new cust om ers or cont act s, but also m ent ors. It ?s t hanks t o m y net w ork t hat I t ook t he leap int o self- em ploym ent . My f irst off ice w as in a prim e locat ion due t o t he connect ion I had w it h t he landlady. Ot her connect ions led m e t o f ind qualit y w ebsit e builders. Furt her cont act s enabled m e t o m ast er SEO m anagem ent and becom e a social m edia expert . My f irst jobs cam e in t hrough f riends. A connect ion t o a journalist gave m e press coverage and t hen t he big cont ract s cam e in. Net w orking has been pivot al t o m y success and t hat of m y business. Net w orking is, f or m e, a nat ural and inst inct ive t ool. But if it doesn?t com e nat urally t o you, it ?s som et hing you can learn: -


Find like- m inded m ent ors w ho can support you and help you orient yourself. Take everyt hing in and w eigh everyt hing up, t hough ult im at ely, decisions are yours. Ask f or help and advice and alw ays be ready t o reciprocat e. Net w orking is not a one- w ay st reet , but t he basis of a long- t erm connect ion. Being generous w it h your ow n resources and cont act s w ill alw ays result in a posit ive ret urn.









Know ing inf luent ial people w ill only happen if you t ake t he f irst st ep. Those w ho have m ast ered t he skill of int roducing t hem selves approach w it h a genuine sm ile and t heir hand out st ret ched. An easy: ?It ?s a pleasure t o m eet you, m ay I int roduce m yself . . ? and bef ore you know it t hey?re part of t he conversat ion. Be not iced at event s, but be m indf ul of t he t im e and sit uat ion. Read t he room and not ice body language. Som e m ay f eel t hat a handshake f rom a st ranger is an int rusion. Be aut hent ic and t rust your inst inct s. Collect business cards and regularly att end t o your address book. This m eans: t ake part , be att ent ive, leave only posit ive com m ent s on social m edia. In "real lif e", send handw ritt en birt hday or Christ m as cards and also f low ers f or special people. Ext end invit at ions regularly and accept t hose ext ended t o you. Att end social event s, congresses, openings of businesses and galleries. Join m ailing list s and leave your business cards. Invit at ions t o f urt her event s w ill soon f ollow. Net w orking also applies t o t he B2B sect or. Int roduce yourself t o t he best PR agencies and ask t o be included in t heir dist ribut ion list . Writ e a short but f riendly em ail t he day aft er m aking a new cont act t o express your pleasure at having m et t hem . If you?re int erest ed in an exchange, invit e t hem f or a drink or lunch w it h a concret e place, dat e and t im e. Throw aw ay sent im ent s such as "Let 's have a drink" have no place in eff ect ive net w orking. Include a personable, prof essional phot o of yourself in your em ail signat ure as people rem em ber faces bett er t han a nam e. Nat urally t his is in addit ion your cont act dat a and links t o your hom epage and social m edia account s. Links m ake it easy and invit ing f or people t o get f urt her inf orm at ion and/ or t o cont act you w it h a single click. Good relat ionships w it h service providers are crucial, especially w hen t hings do not go as planned. It ?s in t hese sit uat ions t hat you need people you can rely on beyond t he agreed cost .



To sell luxury, you should convey luxury. Theref ore, invest in high- qualit y business cards; creat ive eye- cat chers w it h a t act ile elem ent . Alw ays have t hese on hand. Invest in your business t ravel by f lying business class; it ?s a great place t o f ind qualit y new cont act s. Give your neighbour a f riendly sm ile and greet t hem . "And, w here are you f lying t oday?" is alw ays a great opener, as everyone has a laugh.

Be it a hologram of Michael Jackson at t he w edding t able or cam els on t he sand; being w ell net w orked f or m e m eans having access t o t he best of everyt hing. This is t he only w ay I can live up t o m y prom ise t o m y client s, w hich has becom e t he cent ral m ott o at Fine Weddings: "Concent rat e on your dress, not t he st ress!". Words by Nadine Met genberg

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This is t he sect ion of t he m agazine w here our Edit or, Successf ul CEO and Creat ive Business Coach Kylie Carlson answ ers your burning business quest ions. In t his video Kylie shares her t ips f or grow ing your em ail list fast ! Click t he im age below t o w at ch t he video.

Do you have a quest ion you w ould like t o #AskKylie f or an upcom ing issue? If so t hen please send Kylie a m essage via t his cont act f orm .

Q & A


Do you w ant t o know t he num ber one t hing t hat w ill help you t o grow your w edding business in 2019? Not Inst agram , or Pint erest or Facebook. No. Try again. It ?s em ail m arket ing. As a Wedding Indust ry Prof essional em ail m arket ing is absolut ely vit al t o t he success and sust ainabilit y of your business. I know it doesn?t sound as sexy as creat ing gorgeous im ages f or your Inst agram f eed, how ever, rem em ber you don?t ow n your f ollow ers on Inst agram , but you do ow n your em ail list . Social m edia is a w onderf ul t hing, and you def init ely need a presence on Inst agram & Pint erest , but it is also gett ing increasingly diff icult t o beat t hose algorit hm s, be seen and heard above all t he noise, and get in f ront of your ideal client on t hose plat f orm s. In 2022 half t he w orld?s populat ion are predict ed t o be using em ail bot h personally and in business. That is a HUGE st at ist ic. As t his issue of t he m agazine is all about conduct ing a brand review I w ant t o share w it h you 3 reasons w hy you need t o be f ocusing on em ail m arket ing in 2019 and w hy it should be som et hing you look at as part of your brand review.

No 1 ? It builds t he Know, Like, Trust f act or Have you ever heard of a nurt ure cam paign? I know it sounds a bit t echy and probably m akes you groan but it ?s act ually quit e sim ple. A nurt ure cam paign is a series of em ails you send out t o your leads and bridal client s t o develop t hat all im port ant relat ionship w it h t hem . As an exam ple, let ?s say you?re a w edding planner and you?ve received an enquiry t hrough your w ebsit e f or a w edding in 18 m ont hs t im e. You could design a nurt ure sequence w it h 5 or 6 em ails t hat are packed f ull of usef ul inf orm at ion on planning a w edding. These em ails w ould be st rat egically designed t o build your know, like and t rust fact or w it h t his pot ent ial client . Let ?s look at w hat you could include as part of your nurt ure cam paign: Em ail 1 ? a quick int ro and a quest ion. Som et hing like ?w hat is t he biggest challenge you face planning your w edding?? Em ail 2 ? t hree t op t ips. Make t his som et hing valuable you know your ideal client w ill f ind usef ul. These could be t aken f rom your FAQs Em ail 3 ? t ell a st ory. Everyone w ant s t o know t he person behind t he brand so t ell t hem your st ory. Why did you becom e a w edding planner? Em ail 4 ? get t hem t o engage. Now t hey know you a litt le bett er t ry gett ing t hem t o t ake part in a quiz. This could be anyt hing such as ?What ?s your Wedding St yle? Who doesn?t love a Cosm o t ype quiz. Em ail 5 ? give t hem som e inspirat ion. Show t hem how you?ve helped a previous client and pepper it w it h im ages t hat w ill inspire. Don?t use people in your im ages t hough, you w ant t hem t o im agine t hem selves in t hat w edding and not be put off by ot her people being t he f ocus.

Em ail 6 ? ask f or t he consult at ion. Now it ?s t im e t o go in f or t he kill and ask t hem t o book a no obligat ion consult at ion w it h you. Give t hem a link t o your online calendar The beaut y of t hese em ails is t hey can all be w ritt en in advance and depending on t he syst em you use also be set up t o go out aut om at ically each t im e you receive a w ebsit e enquiry. The best bit is t hat providing all t his value t o t hem it m akes t he decision t o w ork w it h you so m uch easier, alm ost a no- brainer. Now I?m not saying it ?s easy but once you?ve got it nailed it w ill quit e lit erally t urn your w edding business around. No 2 ? Em ail m arket ing w orks hand- in- hand w it h your social m edia Social m edia is called social f or a reason. It s about being m ore personal and giving people a sneak peek int o w hat lif e is like behind- t he- scenes of your brand. Your bridal client s are on Inst agram t o be inspired and not t o be sold t oo. They w ant t o see t he prett y pict ures f rom t he w eddings you do, t hey w ant t o see w hat t he bef ore and aft er looked like and t hey w ant t o know w het her you pref er coff ee or t ea w hen you?re creat ing designs in your st udio. How ever, your em ails are w here you t ake t hings t o t he next level as you?re holding t heir att ent ion f or longer and you?re aren?t f ight ing so m any dist ract ions. You can have a personal conversat ion w hich is bet w een you and t hem not t he rest of t he social m edia w orld. What you should be doing on social m edia is m aking sure you t ake every opport unit y you can t o get t hem on your em ail list . Every ot her post you do should be direct ing t hem t o t he link in your bio t hat in t urn get s t hem t o give you t heir em ail address.

No 3 ? Em ail m arket ing is cost eff ect ive Yep you heard m e. Ot her t han your ow n t im e in creat ing t he em ail copy you can st art building an em ail list f or f ree. We st art ed off using Mailchim p and as long as your list is under 2,000 subscribers t hey w ill allow you t o use t heir service f or f ree. So w hen you really look at it t here shouldn?t be anyt hing st opping you f rom nailing an em ail st rat egy. I prom ise you it w ill be w ort h it and once you get t his right you'll st art t o see your w edding business grow in w ays you didn't t hink w as possible.

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# WEDSOCIAL Have you ever opened up Facebook, know ing you need t o post som et hing, but had no idea w hat ? Do you ever look around and f eel like your com pet it ors are crushing it on social; even t hough you post regularly, you're not gett ing anyw here near t he engagem ent ? The reason w hy it ?s so hard f or m ost sm all businesses t o produce aw esom e cont ent f or Facebook t hat capt ivat es t heir audiences and drives t raff ic and leads, is t hey don't have a st rong grasp on t heir brand m essaging. Essent ially, your brand is how you show up in t he w orld and how you and your ideal client s t alk about you. When your brand m essages are w eak, scatt ered and essent ially ?off- brand,? it can hurt your chances of com pet ing eff ect ively w it h your com pet it ors on social m edia plat f orm s. Pot ent ial client s w ho are conf used by inconsist ent or w eak branding oft en com pare you t o your com pet it ion on price alone or w orse go elsew here. To put your best f oot f orw ard w it h a clear and concise brand st ory, here are t hree w ays t o perf ect your m essaging on Facebook in 2019: St art w it h Brand Adject ives Look at your brand adject ives (if you have t hem) or t hink of 3- 5 adject ive you w ant pot ent ial couples t o associat e w it h your brand. Now, look at your Facebook page w it h a f resh perspect ive. Do your eff ort s ref lect your chosen adject ives? If not , consider adding m ore branded cont ent and om itt ing t hose pieces of cont ent t hat are off brand.

Reviewing your Br and to Per fect your Messaging on Facebook in 2019 BY CHRISTIE OSBORNE

For exam ple: If your brand adject ives are quirky, unexpect ed and m eaningf ul you w ouldn't w ant t o show case a t radit ional blush pink and gold w edding, even if it w as t he m ost expensive one you've ever w orked on. It w ill conf use your audience at best and att ract t he w rong people t o you at w orst . Include Personal Pref erences in Your Mix. Modern client s enjoy know ing w hat a brand st ands f or beyond t he product . They w ant t o know w hat you believe in, w hat kinds of t hings you like, and w hat you like t o do in your spare t im e and yes, t hat m eans even your dog's nam e and your favorit e books. Why? Because t hey w ant t o book people w ho share t heir int erest s and values. Also, if you t hink about it , if you're a planner or a phot ographer, you'll be spending m ost of t he day w it h t hem on t heir w edding day. This inf orm at ion helps guide t he t ype of cont ent you can curat e f or social as w ell as how it w rit es cont ent on it s w ebsit e or em ail m arket ing. For exam ple, if you love vacat ioning in a t ropical paradise, but you live in Iceland, consider incorporat ing Facebook post s t hat give a f un and colorf ul island vibe t hat m akes sense in a st ark and dram at ic Icelandic environm ent . Or f orget vacat ion alt oget her and use your current reading list as inspirat ion. The point is, you deepen your brand m essaging by bot h gett ing personal and looking out side of t he w edding indust ry. Consider Your Client ?s Dream s and Challenges. Ult im at ely, pot ent ial client s w ill book you if you dem onst rat e your abilit y t o m ake dream s com e t rue and solve challenges. This gives a lot of creat ive scopes w hile sett ing your brand apart f rom ot hers. You should already know your pot ent ial client s' dream s and challenges t hrough your Ideal Client Avat ar, so t ake a look and review your inf orm at ion.

If your client dream s of a luxurious venue and unexpect ed det ails, show how your creat ivit y and design sense, coupled w it h your att ent ion t o det ails, can help produce an ext ravagant event f law lessly. Talk about how your client w ill f eel w orking w it h you and how t heir ent ire experience can be t ransf orm ed w it h your help. This t ends t o be great inf orm at ion t o put on your w ebsit e, but you can also use it t o st ruct ure how you t ell st ories t hrough behind- t he- scenes cont ent on Facebook. As f or challenges, be sure t o highlight any review s w here problem s arose and w ere overcom e. Go ahead and im agine a scenario w here it rains, or t he hall is t oo dim ly lit or a cake has t oppled, and t alk about how you?d w ork t o save t he day. Be realist ic about w hat could go w rong or w hat has, and how it w as solved ? t hat dem onst rat es your abilit ies and pract icalit y. If you consider t he dream s and t he challenges of your pot ent ial client , it show s t hem you have your head in t he clouds but your f eet on t he ground; t he perf ect com binat ion f or w edding hopef uls. When you get clear on your brand and t he st ories you t ell t o support it , suddenly t he w ild w est of m odern- day m arket ing becom es f ull of clear and f ocused opport unit ies f or att ract ing your exact dream client s on Facebook. A clear brand and brand m essage gives you direct ion; it also set s you f ree. Words by Christ ie Osborne

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CARAVAGGESQUE WEDDING For t his shoot w e f ound inspirat ion in t he It alian Baroque. Our st ylist , Monica, had in her m ind t his idea of a Caravaggesque scene, m ade of light and shadow, enlivened by bright and vibrant colors and enriched by sim ple and precious det ails. Anast asia f rom Kut s Flow ers w as able t o int erpret t his vision m agnif icent ly, looking at t he 17t h cent ury st ill lif e paint ings. I love t he fact t hat she picked up t he greenery - m int , berries, pears! - in t he count ryside surrounding Ravello and t hat included it in t he cent erpiece. This great ly elevat ed t he design, giving a t ouch of uniqueness and local f lavor. Finally Karyna handcraft ed som e very ref ined place cards w it h a calligraphy w it h an elegant and dram at ic look. The gold of t he f ont really brings out t he t ext ure of t he paper, w hich w as m ade by hand in t he ancient paper m ill in Am alf i.

The Shoot Team : -

Phot ography: Sergio Sorrent ino Fot ograf ie St yling: Am alf i Soirèe St at ionery: Karyna Gut salyuk Calligraphy Flow ers: Kut s Flow ers

# WEDMAIL You probably have heard t he w ords ?em ail m arket ing? or ?client nurt ure? here or t here in your creat ive indust ry. These are def init ely huge buzz w ords going around and it is oft en preached as t o w hy w e m ust achieve t he ?holy grail? of said st rat egy. The t rut h how ever, is t hat m any ent repreneurs do not know how t o st art or w hy. Let m e t ell you, im plem ent ing a em ail series t hat w elcom es and educat es your prospect s t he m om ent t hey cont act you, is t he f irst st ep t o creat ing t he ult im at e client experience. You m ay have a great w ebsit e, perf ect copy, a beaut if ul social m edia f eed, and all t he bells and w hist les t hat get you leads consist ent ly. Congrat s! You?ve m anaged t o capt ured t he att ent ion of pot ent ial buyers w ho are genuinely int erest ed in your services successf ully. How ever t here is st ill a problem . They aren?t buying. Why aren?t you convert ing leads int o new business? It is really sim ple. The know, like, and t rust fact or is not f ully est ablished in your process and not everyone w ill be ready t o buy unt il it is. Nine years ago, I w as invest ing so m uch int o online m arket ing and alt hough t he leads w ere rolling in, t he conversions w eren?t . The ret urn on m y invest m ent w as very low and I knew I had t o f ind a w ay t o educat e and st and out am ong t he grow ing com pet it ion. It w asn?t unt il I im plem ent ed em ail m arket ing t hat I not iced a huge shift in how leads engaged and responded t o m y off erings. The m om ent t hat I incorporat ed an aut om at ed nurt ure em ail series int o m y lead on- boarding process, I w as able t o educat e and est ablish t rust f rom t he get - go.

Building Client Nur ture Through Email Marketing BY CRISTINA BARRAGAN

My nurt ure sequence is a consecut ive series of em ails t hat provide f ree inf orm at ion, educat ion, and resources t hat allow leads t o get t o know m e, like m e, and est ablish t he t rust needed t o w ant t o do business w it h m e. When t hese com ponent s com e t oget her, I am able t o build a st rong relat ionship w it h each pot ent ial client by nurt uring a relat ionship t hrough t his consist ent com m unicat ion t hat provides value and f requent call t o act ion. Addit ionally, I am able ret ain t he lead?s att ent ion over t im e so t hat I can cont inue t o build t rust and guide t hem int o m y sales process. To get st art ed w it h em ail m arket ing right aw ay, Here are t he m ain com ponent s! 1. Em ail Market ing: Sign up f or a plat f orm t hat allow s you build your list and send aut om at ed em ails. I use Convert Kit and absolut ely love t hat I can int egrat e each lead t hat com es int o m y HoneyBook f orm t hrough t he use of Zapier int egrat ions. The m om ent t his new lead is ?zapped? over t o Convert Kit , m y nurt ure series is t riggered and t he aut om at ed nurt ure series begins. Convert Kit is super easy t o use and I highly recom m end it no m att er w hat level you are st art ing at . 2. Int roduce Yourself : The very f irst em ail should Include a personal int roduct ion about you and t he expect at ions of t he em ails t o f ollow. Let t hem know w ho you are, w hat you do, and your st ory t o get t o know you. Show case your personalit y and creat e connect ion! Don?t f orget t o m ent ion t hat you w ill be sending t hem a series of em ails t hat w ill be valuable t o t heir experience f or t he next ?x? am ount of days. I recom m end 5- 7 em ails in lengt h. That w ay, t hey know w hat is com ing and aren?t w ondering w hy you keep em ailing t hem ! 3. About Your Business: Tell about your business! Here is t he opport unit y t o share t he det ails, t ell your st ory, show your prof essionalism , and get t hem t o t rust your services. If t hey can em ot ionally att ach t o your brand, t hey w ill be hooked f or w hat you share next .

4. Show case your services/ w ork: This is t he opport unit y t o share w hat you do, w hat you are an expert in, and w hat you specialize in or are know n f or. Share t est im onials, aw ards, f eat ures, and anyt hing t o help you st and out . Rem em ber, you are m ost likely being shopped around in your m arket and you w ant t o give t he BEST f irst im pression t o set you apart f rom t he com pet it ion. 5. Provide Educat ion: Provide valuable cont ent in t he f orm of f ree resources such as guides, checklist s, videos, blog post s, or links t o resources. Share your very best cont ent t hat w ill est ablish you as an expert t o build t rust . If value is given, an em ot ional t ie is creat ed and t he need t o ?pay you back? w ill be est ablished. This is called The Law of Reciprocit y and it can eff ect ively get you m ore bookings, fast ! 6. Give call- t o- act ion: Every single em ail should include a call- t o- act ion of som e sort . That can be in t he f orm of a quest ion t o respond t o t o creat e engagem ent and build m ore t rust , a link t o book a consult at ion, a dow nload, an invit at ion t o connect on social m edia, and ult im at ely an off er t o t he close t he sale. If you?re em ails don?t t ell t hem w hat t o do, how w ill t hey know w hat com es next ? It sounds like a sim ple no- brainer, but som et im es being cryst al clear on w hat t o do next is t he nudge t hat is needed t o m ove on t o t he next st ep in your process. 7. Client Experience: Using w orkspaces and w orkf low s t hrough HoneyBook has up- leveled m y business by allow ing m e t o provide an elevat ed experience along t he w ay. I m anage every single lead and client in HoneyBook w here I can easily t rack, f ollow up, and st ay on t op of it all. Having ALL com m unicat ion t hat is exchanged in one single locat ion has been a huge gam e changer f or m e as it keeps m e organized and m y client s f eel m ore at ease t oo. This is a huge unique selling fact or! If you don?t have a CRM of any sort , I invit e you t o give it a t ry.

To get st art ed w it h em ail m arket ing, I have creat ed som e f ree em ail t em plat es t o m ake t he process easier. You can dow nload m y nurt ure series em ail t em plat es and st art im plem ent ing right aw ay! Words by Crist ina Barragan

Technology's Role in your Br and BY SANDY HAMMER

# WEDTECH A com pet it ive w edding brand needs every advant age, especially w hen it com es t o f ront line perf orm ance. Technology- based solut ions like 24/ 7 live chat , a genuine social m edia presence and helpf ul w ebinars allow businesses t o m eet client needs and exceed t heir expect at ions, t hereby elevat ing t he overall cust om er service experience. How can you leverage t echnology t o dem onst rat e t o your client s t hat your brand?s prim ary m ot ivat ion is t heir sat isfact ion? Be Responsive Alw ays key t o qualit y cust om er service, responsiveness is considered one of t he m ost im port ant fact ors w hen m easuring client sat isfact ion, especially in an era of inst ant grat if icat ion. Consum ers have com e t o expect responses t o em ails, m essages and inquiries on- dem and. Ensure t hat you have som eone assigned t o responding t o social m edia m essages, em ail and live chat request s in a t im ely m anner. While it is accept able t o set lim it s, including adhering t o business hours, t he m ore f lexible you are able t o be w it hin appropriat e lim it s, t he m ore likely you are t o t ake advant age of opport unit ies t o go t he ext ra m ile f or your client s, m aking t hem f eel like you are alw ays t here w hen t hey need you. Service on t he Go Technology allow s event pros t o easily engage w it h cust om ers anyw here in t he w orld via m obile applicat ions. Social m edia plat f orm s perm it real t im e brand- client exchanges t hrough post s and com m ent s as w ell as direct m essage. Regular, f riendly updat es t o your brand?s public persona give you a presence t hat client s can check in on anyt im e

so t hey alw ays f eel ?in t he loop.? These kinds of int eract ions help you build a relat ionship w it h your m arket . Use t hem t o project t he ult im at e f riendly, service- orient ed nat ure so you can st and out am ong your peers. Virt ual Realit y Virt ual realit y capabilit ies have t ruly added anot her dim ension t o t he cust om er service experience. VR allow s client s and prospect s t o t our an event space or view design concept s w it hout act ually being present at t he venue. VR is t ransf orm ing t he w ay w e plan and visualize event s, elim inat ing on- sit e m eet ings, and m aking dest inat ion w edding planning, in part icular, easier t han ever bef ore. The idea t hat client s are able t o have a qualit y t our experience f rom t he com f ort of t heir ow n living room honors t heir schedule, unique planning needs and dem onst rat es t hat you have t he ult im at e respect f or t heir t im e and convenience. This is a pow erf ul m essage f or a brand t o send, m ade possible t hrough t echnology. Keeping a Personal Touch While behind t he scenes, t echnology perm it s aut om at ion of t asks adding reliabilit y and f lexibilit y beyond w hat m ere m ort als can att ain, t he client experience should never becom e one t hat f eels cold or ant isept ic (i.e. delivered by eff icient but heart less robot s). Your personalit y has t o shine t hrough, and can via your responses t o com m ent s, your ?voice? in w ebinars and t he w ay t hat you handle concerns t hrough t ools like VR or live chat . Also rem em ber t hat no m att er how ingrained t echnology becom es in our daily lives, it is st ill int im idat ing t o a great m any people of all generat ions. Make it easy t o use your t ech bells and w hist les. Off er t raining, support , and w hen necessary, default t o good old person- t o- person int eract ion. The w edding indust ry is relat ionship- based and at t he heart of every great client experience is t he hum an t ouch.

In closing, it is vit al t hat t op w edding businesses recognize t hat t o m eet t he needs of a fast - paced and highly com pet it ive m arket , it is necessary t o get help anyw here possible. Technology can give your com pany t he advant age it needs t o elevat e your brand above t he rest . Words by Sandy Ham m er

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The Publisher s The Int ernat ional Academ y of Wedding & Event Planning is t he global hom e of 7 online cam puses, each off ering, f lexible and int eract ive courses, f or passionat e individuals w ant ing a career as Wedding & Event Planners, St ylist s and Designers. We are also deeply com m itt ed t o helping individuals w it h a desire t o launch t heir ow n businesses and are proud t o have been part of t he business success of m any of t he w orld's Wedding & Event prof essionals. When you st udy w it h t he Academ y, you can st udy f rom anyw here in t he w orld, it 's as sim ple as connect ing w it h a Cam pus nearest you.