Issue 15 - August 2019
Broadening your services wit h
Br itt Rohr How t o st yl e your brand w it h
Fiona Humberstone 1
12 - # WEDFEATURE wit h Britt Rohr , Swell Press 20 - # WEDPR wit h Meghan Ely 26 - # WEDFEATURE wit h Fiona Humberstone, The Brand Stylist 32 - # WEDBIZCOACH wit h Michelle Lorett a 38 - Trend Influencer: Meghan Brown, Two Bright Light s 43 - # WEDSALES wit h Meryl Snow 48 - # WEDCOPY wit h Jen Feroze 52 - Top Tips from t he Wedding Expert s 62 - # WEDBRAND wit h Ashley Malone 66 - # WEDEXPERT Wit h Kylie Carlson 74 - # WEDPIN wit h Kat e Cullen 78 - # WEDSOCIAL wit h Christ ie Osborne 84 - St rat egic and Sust ainable Growt h wit h Pamela Slim 104 - # WEDMAIL wit h Crist ina Barragan
On the Cover We sit down with Britt Rohr of Swell Press!
108 - # WEDTRIBE wit h Kevin Dennis 112 - Revenue Expansion wit h Kelly Lundberg, StyleMeDevine 118 - # WEDTECH wit h Sandy Hammer 122 - St aying Compet it ive wit h ClÃ©ment ine and Mark Ward , Award Weddings
M eet Our Contr ibutors 4
indust ry professionals brands develop scalable market ing st rat egies t hat bring in more inquiries and leads. Christ ie is a nat ional educator wit h recent speaking engagement s at NACE Experience, WIPA, and t he ABC Conference.
for fine art brands, as well as running styling and Pint erest courses t eaching ot hers how to achieve sales and increase engagement wit h brides.
Creat ive Director and Owner of Ashley & Malone ? a bout ique branding and design agency specializing in t he wedding indust ry. Our mission is to give our client s t he confidence to succeed in t heir market place.
Jen Feroze runs Jackdaw Editorial - a copywrit ing service for t he wedding indust ry. She works wit h passionat e wedding business owners to help t hem t ell t heir story, and give t heir brand t he voice it deserves.
Phot o credit : Spost o Phot ography
Ashley M alone
M eghan Ely Cr istina Bar ragan I'm Crist ina Barragan, Owner and Chief Creat ive Officer at Posh Peony, we are a bout ique style studio t hat provides full service design and educat ional workshops at a local and int ernat ional level. I also t each aspiring floral designers and promot e community over at Fleursociety.
Chr istie Osbor ne Christ ie Osborne is t he owner of Mount ainside Media, a company t hat helps event >
Meghan Ely is t he owner of wedding PR and wedding market ing firm OFD Consult ing. Ely is a sought- aft er speaker, adjunct professor in t he field of public relat ions, and a self- professed royal wedding ent husiast .
Kate Cullen Kat e creat es plant dyed silk t ext iles for t he wedding indust ry. She now also styles >
As founder of Sage Wedding Pros she blends her past as an account ant for Deloitt e, a sales and market ing manager for DDLA, a merchandiser for Coach, and a st at ionery ent repreneur to st rengt hen wedding businesses worldwide. She has been asked to speak at a number of indust ry conferences, including NACE Experience, Biz Bash Live, and The Special Event .
M er yl Snow Meryl Snow is t he co- founder of Feast ivit ies Event s and t he creator of The Triangle Met hod. Meryl t ravels t hroughout Nort h America t raining client s to help businesses get on t heir own pat h to success.
M ichelle L oretta Michelle Lorett a is a business consult ant and financial st rat egist for wedding and event professionals. > 6
Sandy Hammer is t he co- founder and CMO of AllSeat ed, a collaborat ive network for planning event s t hat offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List , RSVP, Seat ing, Timelines, Mobile Check- In and more.
From the Editor 8
9 websit e t hat we've managed to I t hink you'll agree when you look at our new achieve t hat . We've found our 'blue ocean' once again and are happily swimming in it on our own.
We've disrupt ed t he wedding st atus quo and quit e happily done t he opposit e of what our compet itors are doing by saying, 'we don't sell wedding courses we launch successful wedding businesses'. St epping into t he shoes of your ideal client and really analysing what t hey want from you is a very powerful t hing to do. People don't care about what you do t hey care about how what you do will benefit t hem. It 's never about you it 's always about t hem.
KYLIE CARLSON It 's been a massive t hree mont hs for us here at Wedding Academy HQ as we've just had a complet e rebrand wit h a new look, new name and new websit e. Aft er 12 years as t he Academy of Wedding and Event Planning we've rebranded to The Wedding Academy.
Enjoy t his lat est issue and I hope you love t he new look and feel of t he magazine as much as we do.
We've reduced t he amount of courses we offer from seven to just one very focused and t arget ed course to help newbies launch a wedding business. We've gone from 6 regional websit es down to one global sit e.
What I love about
Aft er t his long in business t his isn't somet hing you do light ly, but in order to have longevity in business you have to be prepared to cont inually reinvent yourself and move wit h t he t imes.
this shoot is the
I've oft en used Madonna as an example. Her career has spanned four decades, which is no mean feat in t he pop indust ry, and t he reason behind her success is her underst anding of t he fact t hat nobody in business can st and st ill or rest on t heir laurels.
depth added by the rich jewel blues
Being at t he top of your game like Madonna was in t he 80s is incredibly hard to maint ain. It 's easier to get to t he top t han it is to st ay t here. For us, t hings have changed in our indust ry as well. It 's been int erest ing to see t he amount of people ent ering t he educat ional sphere. Everyone is suddenly selling an online course and is an expert at what t hey do. This has been a challenge for us. Like Madonna we've been top of our game for a long t ime. However, we love an opportunity to improve on what we do. So for us it was a natural t ime to evaluat e what we offer and see how we could different iat e ourselves from t he myriad of new t raining opt ions in t he wedding indust ry.
The Feature Shoot ACCENTS OF BLUE -
Phot ographer - Lizelle Goussard St yling - Jessica Lea Design Tableware & Gift s - MyList Gift Regist ry Flowers - Firenze Flora Dress - Cont essa Bridal
"I suppose my for mula might be: dream, diversify and never miss an angle" One of my favourite quotes from Walt Disney!
13 me to just ify t he expense of finally Offering 1 on 1 lessons was a great way for moving from my garage to a studio I was paying rent for. Taking on t hat addit ional ovehead was scary, so t he way I just ified it was t hat if I could t each a couple of 1 on 1 lessons a mont h, it would help offset t hat cost . The lessons became very popular, and t hen from t hat I've just st art ed sharing a lot about what I do on Inst agram, most ly in Inst agram Stories. And t hat 's not really a revenue based decision at all, because I'm not gett ing paid for what I share on social media- t hat 's just more a passion of sharing what I do. And I love what I do, and I love t hat I have t he opportunity to share it . But from sharing t hat has led to quest ions about online courses or int ensives.
Photo by Court ney Paige Ray
WITH BRITT ROHR, SWELL PRESS
Just few weekends ago in May I had a 2- day int ensive class ? it was t he first t ime I've ever t aught mult iple people at t he same t ime. I offered t he workshop as a whim, just see if anyone would t ake it . To my surprise it sold out pretty quickly, and I had t he amazing opportunity to have 7 women here in my new studio. It was 2 full days of t eaching t hem everyt hing I've learned for t he past 4 years or so doing t his.
Britt Rohr is the creative mastermind behind Swell Press Paper, a boutique design and letterpress company based in Los Angeles. From one-of-a-kind wedding and event invitation suites to sleek and sophisticated stationery and business cards, every single piece that leaves Swell Press?studio doors is a true, intricate and original work of art.
"Maybe wedding season is over, and there?s a lull. I suggest using that time to build foundation and to build systems as if you're not going to have that time again."
What was t he mot ivat ion behind Swell Press Paper when you first got st art ed? Swell Press actually st art ed as a hobby, just driven a passion for Lett erpress and a curiosity of t he art form. And t hen eventually over about 2 or 3 years, t he hobby became somet hing t hat was a sust ainable, long t erm business. When I st art ed it , I never really set out to have t he scale of t he operat ion t hat I have now. It was more just driven from passion and a love of t he art form. Did your business plan always include adding t he addit ional revenue st reams? How did you decide doing so was t he right move for your business? No, it never did. When I st art ed, Inst agram wasn't really a t hing. It was a small t hing but it didn't have stories, it didn't have all t hese features it has now. And only over t he past couple of years have I really seen t he plat form wit h Inst agram grow, and creat e t his demand for more educat ional based cont ent . So t hat 's why I began t he educat ional revenue st ream of Swell Press 12- just kind of based on a whim, as I saw t he demand for it . 12
14 Apart from t he ext ra st ream of revenue coming in, what are some of t he ot her great part s about adding on t hese addit ional services in t he educat ion space?
I t hink diversifying what I do and how I'm making income is a good choice for me - I don't want to get stuck in a rut . What I do is so creat ively demanding at t imes t hat it 's nice to be able to swit ch gears into t he more educat ional t hing. I also found t hat I really love t eaching, and I love sharing what I do. Do you t hink your business would've grown as successfully if you'd decided against doing t he diversifying - why or why not ? Actually, I do. Because if you look at my numbers - t he educat ional revenue is a nice bonus, but it 's definit ely not our bread and butt er. Our bread and butt er is st ill wedding suit es. And so I do, yes. It 's int erest ing because I have a decent following on Inst agram. However, most of t he followers aren't my customers- t hey?re people t hat eit her are int erest ed in what I do, or t hey want to learn what I do. So I'm in t his int erest ing posit ion where I have a somewhat large following, except not all of t hem are my client s. Yes, all of my client s - for t he most part - do find me t hrough Inst agram. But t hen on t he ot her hand, I have t his huge plat form of people t hat I just kind of want to offer somet hing to serve t hem. How has broadening your services affect ed your work- life balance, if at all? The educat ional aspect doesn't really affect t he work/ life balance. Running a business, and t rying to run a business t hat is growing quickly and t rying to st aff it t hat is difficult for work/ life balance. When you are developing ot her revenue st reams, what are some of t he key t hings t o consider? For me, it was more of just what felt right . And I know t hat 's kind of cheesy, but from t he beginning of running my business, my goal has always been t hat I'm going to run a business in a way t hat is aligned to what I want to do, wit h my values - and I'm going to be driven only by what feels right and what mot ivat es me.
I'm not really driven by t he bottom line as much as maybe I should be? but I t hink it 's worked t hus far. What felt right was sharing what I do. Obviously t here are considerat ions wit h educat ion - some people see it as arming your compet it ion. But you can't have scarcity mindset- have confidence t hat if you are t elling someone how you got to a cert ain point , or you're giving someone t ips t hat t here's only one you. You can t ell someone how to do somet hing, but t hey're not necessarily going to do it t he way t hat you do or wit h t he mot ivat ion t hat you do. So it 's kind of a double- edged sword wit h t hat , as far as t eaching ot her people t hat will eventually be in t he same indust ry as you are, doing t he same t hing t hat you do.
What advice would you give ot her business owners and ent repreneurs who are looking t o diversify t heir revenue st reams, but t hey just don't even know where t o st art ? This might sound cheeseball, but it would be to go wit h your gut . Every t ime I?ve list ened to t hat litt le voice inside of me t elling me what to do, even if it might not make sense in a way, I?ve never been wrong.
Interview by Meghan Ely
What do you wish you would've known before ext ending your business int o t he more educat ional side? I don't want to look a gift horse in t he mout h, and I'm so grat eful for how Swell Press has grown and how quickly it has grown. But in growt h, I haven't really had as much t ime to work ON t he business as I'm working IN t he business, making sure deadlines are being met et c. I do wish t hat I had had a more t hought ful approach to launching educat ion. I give out free educat ional cont ent quit e oft en in t he form of Inst agram Stories and Live Q&A's. I do wish I had t he foresight and t he t ime to really plan - in organized way, to pot ent ially monet ize t hat . I?d love to launch an online class - and I just haven't had t he t ime. I wish I had t he bandwidt h to develop a more t hought ful approach to it . Somet imes in t he early st ages of building a business, you might not have t he amount of client s or workload you wish you had. Maybe wedding season is over, and t here?s a lull. I suggest using t hat t ime to build foundat ion and to build syst ems - as if you're not going to have t hat t ime again. We're massively slowing down at t he end of t he year so I can kind of regroup t hings. And we just have so much more riding on it now. Because I have so many more employees, and I have a studio, and I have so much more overhead t hat it means a lot more financially to slow down now, t han it did 2 years ago. So I wish 2 years ago I had t aken t he t ime to build t he syst ems - for when I do expand, t hey're already in place.
Each year, our t eam hand select s t he most innovat ive t rend driven wedding shoot s to complement t he Report . The search for t he best 2020 styled shoot submissions is now on!
So what are we looking for in a submission? In short , we?re eager for your t ake on what ?s going to be BIG for weddings in 2020. Think fresh and inspiring det ails t hat get you excit ed for next year. Be forward t hinking, we don?t want to see what ?s hot now, we want to see new ideas. The top shoot s will be incorporat ed into our Report , as well as dist ribut ed int ernat ionally to t he media. Do you want to put your st amp on t he 2020 wedding t rends? Please email t he following to mart email@example.com no lat er t han Sept ember
We are super excit ed to announce t hat our search for t he top 2020
30t h, 2019:
wedding t rends has begun! We?re working away here at Wedding Academy HQ to put toget her our
A link to a select ion of 50- 75 downloadable images from your favorit e styled shoot
predict ions for t he wedding t rends to look out for in 2020 and we?d love
your input too!
A comprehensive list of wedding professionals involved in t he shoot- to include t heir name, websit e URL, Facebook and Inst agram handles
Our annual Int ernat ional Wedding Trend Report brings toget her t he top
A brief narrat ive on t he shoot - t ell us what inspired you
t rend predict ions from wedding expert s around t he world, showcased
If you are not t he photographer, t hen we?ll need a brief email from t he
alongside forward- t hinking styled editorials. Now in it s 6t h year, t he
photographer st at ing you have t heir permission to submit t he images
Report will be released at t he st art of engagement season and we?re
Please not e t hat :
eager to share your inspirat ion shoot s wit h our readers globally. -
Submitt ed shoot s can be previously published work BUT t he images must be available to begin publishing publicly on or aft er December 1st , 2019.
We will require you to sign a release waiver before we can publish your shoot .
SIGN UP HERE FOR YOUR FREE COPY OF THE REPORT SENT STRAIGHT TO 18
18 YOUR INBOX WHEN IT LAUNCHES ON19 JANUARY 3RD, 2020.
Promoting Press: Top Tips to Diversify Spreading the Good News BY MEGHAN ELY, OFD CONSULTING
It ?s no secret t hat your press will only live as long as you allow it . While many people t hink t hat t he hard work ends once t he feature goes live, in many ways, it ?s just beginning. For most , when t heir name pops up in a real wedding feature, guest art icle, TV appearance or art icle, t he immediat e react ion is to post far and wide on preferred social media channels. And while t his is a great st art , it ?s essent ial to mix t hings up to ensure you?re reaching all of your int ended audiences. So where do you go from here? SEND OUT AN E- MAIL BLAST Engaged couples crave great cont ent so when your name pops up in a wedding- relat ed art icle, don?t hesit at e to share wit h a dedicat ed, branded email blast to your audience of client s and prospect s. Did you chime in on a great piece about wedding vendor cont ract s? Pull your quot e for t he email blast and t hen direct readers to t he full art icle wit h a link. 20
For Shannon Tarrant of WeddingVenueMap.com, t his is her go- to for new press 22 features. ?I make sure to put t he link into my mont hly email newslett er. It 's a very easy way to posit ion WeddingVenueMap.com as an expert to bot h brides and grooms but also our vendor community.?
Minimally, set up a reminder quart erly to revisit t he page and add your favorit e 23 ment ions, bearing in mind what will resonat e most wit h your audience. If you?re ready to get even more organized, make sure you have a word doc or Google Doc set up so you can add all of your press to one spot as it comes in. It will make it t hat much easier to revisit when t he t ime comes.
Worried you?ll st art clogging inboxes? Then consider a mont hly or quart erly email t hat shares a roundup of t he top features you can encourage couples to visit as t hey plan t heir Big Day.
CONSIDER YOUR MARKETING MATERIAL Wit h t his new exposure comes t he decision of how you?ll use t hese features to market yourself st rat egically, keeping your t arget audience in mind. Beyond posit ioning yourself as an indust ry expert , t here are a variety of ways to present your press ment ions to t he public t hat align wit h your brand and appeal to pot ent ial client s. One of my favorit e ways of doing t his is by using Canva to design graphics to share on social media channels; complet ely user- friendly for creat ing on- brand visuals.
GO LIVE! When you offer expert advice for wedding art icles, t here?s a st rong chance you wish you could have expanded furt her. Whet her you?re sharing t he pro?s and con?s of family style dinner service, or offering your favorit e t rends for coming year, you surely have more to add to t he conversat ion. Wit h t hat , consider jumping on Facebook or Inst agram and share more wit h your audience on t he topic. Include a link to t he art icle in t he first comment , to encourage your followers to read t he art icle for t hemselves.
Addit ionally, if you?re seeing consist ent success and want to pursue ot her avenues of direct ing back to your websit e, Tommy Wat ers of The Renaissance suggest s creat ing a blog for your business. ?Blogs are fun, informat ive, and a fant ast ic way to reach t housands of pot ent ial client s. By publishing a blog on your websit e, t hen post ing about it on social media, and spending a small amount to promot e t he post , your analyt ics will skyrocket and you will have t housands of hit s back to your blog which will go back to your websit e as well.?
REPURPOSE FOR AWARDS Typically, your real wedding features will include some of your very best port folio work of t he year. Don?t stop at social media promot ion- t his is a great opportunity to showcase your t alent s by submitt ing t hese weddings to indust ry awards. For t he most part , you?ll already have all of t he det ails and photos at t he ready, so repurposing t his cont ent for an award submission will be fairly easy. UPDATE YOUR BIO AND COMPANY PROFILE
The above st rat egies allow you to not only spread t he word furt her, but your editorial cont act will also appreciat e t he addit ional pushes.
For t he bigger pickups, you?ll want to consider updat ing your biography anywhere it ?s available online, as well as in your speaker int roduct ion, if applicable. Press gives you addit ional t hird- party credibility- which is especially crit ical when couples are researching you ext ensively before t hey even reach out to you for t he first t ime.
Earning press for your wedding company has a wealt h of benefit s but ult imat ely, it 's essent ial to remember t hat how many people see it is heavily impact ed by your post- press promot ional st rat egies.
REVISIT YOUR PRESS PAGE Depending on your volume of press, you?ll want to consider updat ing your web sit e?s press page at least quart erly. The general rule of t humb is to creat e a press page for your sit e once you have 3- 4 st rong press features t hat you?re eager to 22 cont inue to share. 22
Get the Strategies you Need to Br ing M ore Clients to Your Wedding Business Mast er t he skills required to st and out from t he crowd and grow a profit able and sust ainable business ? whet her you?ve just launched or are a seasoned pro. Everyt hing you need to grow your wedding business! Turn your side hust le into a full- t ime business t hat turns a profit in just 60 days. WEDDING CEO SCHOOL Wedding CEO School is an online t raining program t hat shows you how to get more bridal client s so you can make an impact in your wedding business and turn a profit in just 60 days. 8 Weeks of Live Training wit h Wedding Academy CEO, Kylie, as she becomes your mentor and coach diving deep into t he psyche of your wedding business. Plus, lifet ime access to t he full Wedding CEO program of video t raining, worksheet s and t ranscript s. Limit ed to 20 PLACES only so don't miss out .
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deserve. It 's also about creat ing a brand 27 t hat support s your business commercially. Of course your brand should look gorgeous, but more import ant ly, it needs to work for your business.
When I first launched my blog, I was in t he process of writ ing How to Style your Brand and I saw my business as a combinat ion of consult ancy, workshops and sharing cont ent online. It 's st ayed pretty t rue to t hat vision but in a very excit ing and supercharged way! I could never have dreamed of running a workshop in New York, or having two best selling business books. And t he ret reat in Mallorca (now in it s t hird year) is a complet e dream come t rue.
WITH FIONA HUMBERSTONE, THE BRAND STYLIST
How does your branding differ t hroughout each of your companies? How do you give each of t hem unique ident it ies while st ill keeping branding consist ent ? Good quest ion! I t hink your brand has to evolve and innovat e for it to remain fresh and excit ing for you and your client s but obviously, everyt hing needs to be pulling in t he same direct ion or you'd just look nut s. For me, it st art s wit h being clear about what each company st ands for, what set s it apart and t he impact I want to creat e. Then I'll creat e a vision t hat allows me to communicat e t hat . I do t his for each creat ive project too: each ret reat , workshop or course t akes on a mini- t heme of it 's own which means t hat it 's fun to develop and const ant ly keeps me on my toes. Because I am oft en creat ing offerings wit h t he same kinds of object ives, and I'm consist ent ly delivering t he same sort of t hing, it makes sense t hat my brand ident it ies will feel consist ent . It 's about knowing your style and st aying t rue to t hat whilst giving yourself t he freedom to innovat e.
Fiona Humberstone is a best-selling author and the founder of The Brand Stylist, a business focused on helping empower entrepreneurs to craft incredible branding. She has created a number of workshops, online courses, retreats, and other resources to help small business owners find their creative voice. Tell us about your journey t o becoming The Brand St ylist ? It 's a story really of following my passions, playing to my st rengt hs and creat ing a business t hat would work around my growing family. I'd sold my brand and design agency in 2012 and had a couple of glorious years at home wit h t he children. When it came to launching my next business, I was det ermined to creat e somet hing t hat pulled toget her t he t hings I found most inspiring, t hose I knew I did really well and t hose t hat I knew could set me apart . I'd seen t he gap in t he market before selling my previous business and could see it could be a lot of fun.
"For me, branding shouldn't be complicated. It's very simple: work out what sets you apart and communicate in a way that allows you to own your space. To elevate, you need to differentiate yourself: to offer something your clients can't get from anyone else. "
I'd worked wit h hundreds of ent repreneurs in my previous business (a design and print company) and felt passionat ely t hat I could inspire and educat e t hese go- gett ers to get t he most out of branding t heir businesses. We oft en know what we like aest het ically, but my t hing is about creat ing a vision for a brand t hat feels elevat ed. One t hat helps you win t he work you want and creat e t he impact you 26
What are some lesser- known t weaks a 28 company can do t o elevat e t heir brand?
I'm not sure it s so much about lesser known tweaks as just about putt ing t he commercial needs of your business ahead of what you like. For me, branding shouldn't be complicat ed. It 's very simple: work out what set s you apart and communicat e in a way t hat allows you to own your space. To elevat e, you need to different iat e yourself: to offer somet hing your client s can't get from anyone else. It 's about making yourself irresist ible, showcasing your brilliance and always keeping your eye on t he vision. In your opinion, is it harder t o work on t he branding of a new company or rebuild t he branding and re- brand an exist ing company? Why is t hat ? Rebranding is definit ely more of a challenge. You have t he legacy of a business to t ake into account as well as t he future vision and t hat can get in t he way. Rebranding can feel like a much bigger, scarier project . The st akes are higher: you know you need to change how you communicat e but what if you alienat e your client s? The key is to get dazzling clarity first around what makes your brand unique and t hen make sure t hat you creat e a vision t hat support s your commercial object ives.
Interview by Meghan Ely
#WedEdu Every mont h we share t he lat est workshops, conferences & educat ional event s we hear about from across t he globe.
Wedding CEO School St rat egies for a profit able wedding business. Online course closes 6t h Sept .
Br idelux Symposium For t he wedding indust ry. Taking place Oct ober 30t h - November 1st in London
She Can.She Did. The Midweek Mingle on Thursday 26t h Sept ember, 6.30pm- 9.00pm, London.
Wedding M BA AP | EX
Wedding Merchant s Business Academy event Oct ober 14t h- 16t h, Las Vegas
The Aisle Planner Experience t akes place in Las Vegas on t he 14t h of Oct ober. 30
W hen Should You Diversify Revenue Streams?
BY MICHELLE LORETTA, SAGE WEDDING PROS
Aft er a few years in business, you may be asking yourself: should I diversify my revenue st reams? Should I expand into ot her areas? Should I offer new product s or services? The answer is? MAYBE! In t heory, everyone should diversify t heir income. I want to see wedding professionals earning more, and building more profit able businesses. But ? diversificat ion isn?t for everyone. Or, not everyone is ready to diversify. Three signs t hat a business is READY to diversify: 1. The primary business is profit able and operat es effect ively. You are going to have a LOT of success wit h a second st ream of income if your first set of services is already profit able and running smoot hly. When you int roduce a secondary source of income, it will require t hat you t reat it like it s own independent project . While you don?t have to set up a separat e company for t his new offering, you?ll want to t reat it as it s own baby ent irely. This means t hat you?ll need to pour as much t ime and energy into t he new venture as you did your original venture. 32
If your primary services (or product s) are34 st ruggling, or st ill gaining momentum, you?ll find yourself st ret ched t hin wit h your effort s. While t rying to launch two separat e set s of services, you dilut e your t ime and energy. You?ll spend 50% of your t ime on each. And, it ?s really hard to build great ness if you?re only able to put 50% into somet hing. Great ness requires 100% effort .
35 space where t he secondary service So, what happens if you find yourself in t hat pushes out your first offering? That may be OK. You may decide aft er a while t hat t he secondary income st ream is a bett er place for you to spend your ent repreneurial energy.
A few years aft er beginning Sage Wedding Pros, I began to feel t hat way. I enjoyed t he st rat egy side of t he wedding business more t han my st at ionery business. I didn?t plan it t hat way? but it turned out t hat way. Somet imes, a secondary source of income becomes THE SOURCE of income! And, it ?s a great way to evolve your career.
Make sure your primary source of income is t hriving, and go for it wit h a secondary revenue st ream! 2. A second revenue st ream is a natural ext ension of what you are already known for.
In summary, a lot of t his is about t iming. The t empt at ion can be to jump in quickly to a secondary source of income. I get it ? making a go of t he wedding business can be an uphill batt le and somet imes we are looking everywhere for dollars. But , don?t jump too quickly! There is t ime to make it all happen. Creat e a profit able first set of services, build t rust wit h t he market , and consider t he st rat egy for managing your first and second services so t hat bot h can t hrive. You?ll be humming in no t ime!
You?ve built t rust wit h your market . A second revenue st ream is a way to get more back for your buck (or more from t hat t rust ). If you have a capt ive audience who want s more, give t hem more! If you?re st ill working to find a market t hat knows, loves, and t rust you implicit ly, t hen work to build t hat first . Somet imes I see diversificat ion happen too early and it confuses t he audience. For example: a wedding planner who expands into floral too early in t heir business can leave t he local indust ry wondering what t hat business owner is doing. (?Are t hey a planner or a florist? Or what??) You?ll lose t rust if you haven?t defined a st rong brand wit h a st rong following. Once you have t hat t rust in place, you can expand in any number of ways. People will support and applaud you along t he way because t hey are already in love what you offer. 3. Your primary service won?t be compromised. (OR, if it is compromised, you?re OK lett ing it go.) Remember when I t alked about dilut ing t ime and energy? That ?s a real t hing. There are only so many hours in t he week. When you decide to add anot her service or product , you?ll want to make sure t hat your primary offering isn?t compromised. In an effort to bring in more income by offering a second income st ream, if you lose t he first one, t hen you?re essent ially just replacing t he primary income st ream wit h a different one.
VOXER Wit h my t eam spread around t he world it isn?t always easy to have conversat ions wit h t he ent ire t eam but wit h Voxer I actually can. It ?s essent ially a walkie t alkie App t hat allows you to send your voice message to mult iple people. Imagine being at a large scale wedding and being able to message your whole t eam of assist ant s all at once using Voxer? Who has t ime to type t ext s in t hat situat ion? This was always going to be one of t he tools for my wedding business list .
Our Favour ite Things
PDF FILLER Have you ever been away t ravelling wit h no access to a print er, but you urgent ly need to fill in a PDF form and send it back wit h your signature on it? I have and PDF Filler is a God send because it let s you upload your PDF and sign it online just as you would if you were in your office. All you need to do is upload your signature and t hen t he doc and t he rest is easy.
SLACK It ?s like a privat e Facebook Group on st eroids. The perfect tool for your wedding business. You can creat e a t eam, share document s, t ag people and creat e sub- channels wit hin your work space. It ?s genius for managing weddings. You can set up different channels for different aspect s of t he wedding and t his is done using hasht ags.
In each issue we share wit h you some of t he t ools we can't do wit hout , t hings we've found when researching and some gems we've been t old about by ot hers. They make our lives easier and save us huge amount s of t ime wit hin our working life. In some cases t hey are just great Apps t hat we love t o play wit h. Enjoy!
So you might have # decor # ent ert ainment # cat ering et c. and you can set t hese channels to public or privat e but it allows you to immediat ely communicat e wit h any of your t eam at any t ime. It works across all plat forms and t he best part is IT?S FREE.
This mont h we are sharing some of our must have wedding planner t ools.
39 publicat ion sit es or reading t hrough t he publicat ion sect ion of t he Two Bright Light s Community, making not es about which ones fit your style. Then go ahead and rat e t hem A, B, C, and so on. Once you have a couple A?s you know t hat t hose are your go- to?s, followed by t he B?s and so on. Now you have a great list to spread out your submissions.
Photo by Anee At elier
5 WAYS TO DIVERSIFY YOUR SUBMISSIONS STRATEGY
Figure out how to make submission request s your best friend: At t his point you probably have a decent port folio of work to choose from. But somet imes even aft er t he research, it ?s hard to figure out where to send a cert ain shoot . That ?s when submission request s are invaluable. Make a point every week to scroll t he request s on Two Bright Light s- chances are t here?s somet hing in your port folio t hat ?s a perfect fit ! Bonus point s if it ?s a publicat ion you have never submitt ed to.
By Meghan Brown
Showcase all of your services: Did you know t hat gett ing published isn?t just for weddings? Editors are looking for everyt hing from family shoot s and mit zvahs to anniversary part ies and holiday t hemed event s. The secret to success wit h t hese publicat ions isn?t really a secret at all: approach t hem just like you would a wedding submission - include all t he vendor informat ion and t he story behind t he shoot /party. The only real difference is t hat you end up including fewer images, especially for port rait sessions. Looking for a publicat ion t hat features party inspirat ion? The Bash, The Frost ed Pett icoat and Part ies365 are some of my favorit es.
Meghan Brown is the Director of Two Bright Lights, an all-in-one online tool to help get your work featured on hundreds of publications, and How They Asked, the go-to web and social media brand for everything proposal-related. If you?ve been in t he indust ry for over a year, you likely remember t he big announcement t hat Style My Pretty was pot ent ially closing (# SaveSMP worked!). We?ve also seen Brides Magazine and Mart ha St ewart Weddings t ransit ion to digit al only publicat ions. These event s have brought up a lot of conversat ions about t he future of publicat ions and how to manage your earned media st rat egy. To set t he record st raight , publicat ions aren?t going anywhere! That being said, t here is always opportunity for change, so you want to make sure you aren?t putt ing all of your earned media effort s in one basket . Just like you would never invest all your personal finances into one individual fund; it pays to diversify! Capeesh? Now we underst and why it ?s import ant , but how do we make it happen? Here are 4 ways to diversity for your submissions st rat egy: Make a list of your goal publicat ions: Sure, you probably can name your top one or two goal publicat ions off t he top of your head. But did you know t hat t here are pot ent ially hundreds of blogs and magazines t hat reach your t arget audience? This 38 is where it pays to do a litt le bit of research. Spend t ime searching t hrough 38
40 "Did you know that getting published isn?t just for weddings? Editors are looking for everything from family shoots and mitzvahs to anniversary parties and holiday themed events."
Use non- exclusive publicat ions to t heir full pot ent ial: While you may at first t hink t hat each event or shoot has limit ed life, you?d be surprised by how much you can make each album work for you! That ?s t he beauty of non- exclusive publicat ions; t hey are okay wit h receiving submissions t hat have already been published somewhere else. Think about it , t here may be some cross over in t he readers between publicat ions, but most of t he t ime it ?s a different market . And it ?s very unlikely t hat each publicat ion chooses t he same exact photos to feature in t he post - when you?re submitt ing 100- 150 images, t here?s so much room for variety. We?ve seen single sessions get published 10- 15 t imes. And don?t forget t his st rat egy works for your non- wedding submissions as well! Hold a styled shoot to reach a different client group: Have you been dreaming about creat ing somet hing tot ally different in hopes of reaching your ideal client? Or maybe you?re t hinking about rolling out a new service offering? And maybe t his new style/service will help you cat ch t he att ent ion of a new publicat ion? That ?s where creat ing a styled shoot and pit ching it to a new- to-you publicat ion can be a huge benefit ! Gat her your favorit e friendors and produce an event t hat is just too good to pass up! Whet her you implement one or all of t hese st rat egies into your submissions workflow, be sure to cont inually re- evaluat e shift s in bot h t he indust ry and your business to make sure t hat your market ing remains aligned. Pretty quickly, you?ll be on t he road to submission rockst ar st atus! 40
Transfor ming Your Exper tise into a Thr iving Consulting Business BY MERYL SNOW, SNOWSTORM SOLUTIONS
When you?re in business for a while, you naturally become an expert in your work. Perhaps you have an encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, or you?re a pro at sett ing up a funct ional layout . What ever it is, consider your knowledge as a valuable asset in your repertoire. Consult ing on somet hing you?re knowledgeable and passionat e about is a grat ifying endeavor t hat comes wit h t he bonus of an addit ional revenue st ream. Let ?s walk t hrough some considerat ions to keep in mind if you?re t hinking of making t he move. BEING A CONSULTANT IS STILL A BUSINESS First and foremost , you are running a business, and not hing should get in t he way of t hat . In our indust ry, it ?s easy to t hrow in free it ems to enhance an event enhanced and impress our client . If you t hink about it , you?re tossing money away when it should have been t hought of during t he planning process. Consult ing is no different . You will hear difficult stories, guarant eed. However, at t he end of t he day, you are only account able for your business. 42
44 bono work t hat genuinely need help and Each year, I choose a few companies for pro can?t afford consult ing? it ?s import ant for me to pay it forward. Yet , free work should never t ake precedence over paid client s. Keep your business as a top priority ? aft er all, it ?s t he result of your blood, sweat , and t ears.
45 UNDERSTAND YOUR PLACE IN YOUR OTHER BUSINESS
Becoming a consult ant inevit ably means spending less t ime focused on your ot her business. This requires having a t eam t hat you t rust to carry t he weight wit h minimal oversight . You can st ill att end meet ings and make decisions, but you need to t ake yourself out of t he day- to- day to invest your t ime and resources in consult ing.
Be caut ious of providing free informat ion in indust ry chat rooms & Facebook groups, too. If you oft en reply to post s wit h free advice, it can backfire for 2 reasons: They will expect free answers all t he t ime.
Consult ing is rewarding, as you get to see your effort s help someone else?s business grow. Focus on being success- mot ivat ed ? as long as you are achieving your goals, t he money will flow in.
Your advice may answer t he post er?s quest ion; however, someone reading it may use it and find it ?s not a fit for t heir company due to st at e laws or t he like. The purpose of consult ing is not only to drive t he learning curve, but also to help guide companies toward t he correct decisions based on your experience working wit h many ot her successful companies. KNOW YOUR OPTIMAL ENVIRONMENT FOR CONSULTING Everybody has a cert ain environment in which t hey work best . I?m a people person and t hrive in creat ive at mospheres. You may be t he most effect ive in sweat pant s from your living room. Regardless of what suit s you, find a place t hat makes you feel comfort able and at ease as you expand into consult ing. If you?re used to being wit h creat ive people, consider looking into a co- sharing space. If you prefer t he silence of your home, creat e a sanctuary area where you can keep your work life away from your personal life. PREPARE FOR INCREASED REVENUE ? AND RESPONSIBILITIES Consult ing is a wildly profit able gig because t here?s no overhead or employees to pay. It ?s just you. Profit margins are upwards of 90% if you?re st rat egic about it . The flip side of t hat income is t hat all of t he responsibilit ies fall on you. You are no longer managing, you are doing ? and you are doing everyt hing. You have to work for your money, but it will be profit able as long as you charge for your wort h. People will pay for expert ise, so don?t undercut yourself.
Academy TV 46
5 Ways to Fast Track Your Wedding Business "Are you looking for information on how to start a wedding business or wedding planner business? The Wedding Academy can show you how to book more weddingsand how to book more brides." 46
Suit Up! Refining and Redefining Your Brand Voice For Different Audiences
BY JEN FEROZE, JACKDAW EDITORIAL
Indulge me. I?m going to st art t his piece wit h a pep t alk. If you?re reading t his as a business owner and t hinking t hat you?re already doing t he t hing you know how to do, and t hat you don?t have anot her st rong enough st ring to your bow, stop right t here. Every single one of us has a range of t hings t hat light us up, t hat make us t alk at a million miles an hour and t hat we?re desperat e to share wit h ot hers. Things we?re passionat e about , or, to phrase it in an import ant ly different way, t hings we?re expert s in. We t end to get hung up on t hat litt le word: ?expert ?, and it can oft en hold us back from embracing t he passions and skill set s we possess and turning t hem into lucrat ive business avenues. You can be a legit imat e expert in a field and st ill be const ant ly learning. You can be a legit imat e expert and st ill get stumped somet imes. You can be a legit imat e expert wit hout having to be t he world?s leading experton a part icular subject .
So have a t hink about what you?re already50knowledgeable and passionat e about ? whet her it ?s a hobby complet ely unconnect ed to your current business, a process you?ve come across t hat has st reamlined t he way you work, or an idea t hat follows you into your dreams at night and is st ill t here when you wake up in t he morning. Somewhere in t here is t he germ of a new business venture ? I guarant ee it .
Think of it t his way. Your brand voice is a facet of t he great glitt ering diamond t hat is 51 you. It ?s real and it ?s genuine, and it speaks to t he people you want to be reaching, but it ?s only part of who you are. You can focus on different facet s for different audiences in order to make t he most meaningful connect ions possible wit h each separat e group of client s. The voice you use in your business cont ent is t he Spiderman to your Pet er Parker (or vice versa, depending on your t arget audience), and you?re in cont rol of which part s of yourself you let people see.
DON?T JUST RINSE AND REPEAT I?m not here to t ell you how to fan t he spark of t hat idea into a flame, or what you personally should pursue in order to diversify your individual business and bring in mult iple income st reams. You already know what it is you need to do, even if you need an ext ra shot of self- belief in your morning coffee to help you go out t here and do it .
So suit up, get out t here and make t hat leap into a new business venture. You?ve got t he knowledge, you?ve got t he heart and you?ve got t he voice for it .
What I am here to do is to remind you t hat wit h new revenue avenues come new ideal client s, and t herefore new and nuanced ways of connect ing wit h people. This is not t he t ime to simply rinse and repeat when it comes to your copy and brand voice. Even if t he ways in which your new client ele differ from t hose of your original business are subt le, t hey st ill require careful considerat ion, as does t he way in which you present t he new arm of your business. SO HOW DO I STAY AUTHENTIC? What I?m suggest ing here is t hat you t alk to two pot ent ially very different set s of people in ways t hat genuinely connect wit h each of t hem, while all t he while st ill sounding like you. Sound like a t all order? It ?s not . The idea of unflinching aut hent icity has become somet hing of a shouty buzzword across social media recent ly and I want to be clear t hat I?m in no way recommending being fake or disingenuous here in t he way you present yourself, merely t hat aut hent icity and t he conscious craft ing of your brand voice aren?t mutually exclusive. Let me explain. As a business owner, you are at t he core of everyt hing you do. You?re driven and passionat e about what you can do for your client s, and mot ivat ed to help t hem in a way t hat has meaning. When you?re t he heart of your business, you can?t fail to be present in all aspect s of it s present at ion. However, t hat st ill doesn?t mean t hat simply writ ing t he way you speak is enough when it comes to your brand voice. 50
W hat are some ways53that you've diversified revenue streams within your business, and what did that initial process of doing so look like?
Harmony Walt on, Founder of The Bridal Bar says... I have diversified my business several t imes in my career. It began t hrough
Top Tips From The Exper ts
licensing. Over a decade ago when couples were st ill shopping locally and less online, I licensed my business model and The Bridal Bar name into ot her cit ies. Eventually went pivot ed away from t hat model as t he market changed and blogs and social media came into play. From t here, we launched a dest inat ion wedding blog, Jet Fet e by Bridal Bar, to answer t he call of t he growing dest inat ion wedding market back in 2011. Then, I licensed The Bridal Bar name into product s and home goods on a royalty basis. Aft er t hat , we expanded to t he airwaves on iHeart Radio wit h t he first weddings t alk radio show on iHeart . I now also have a collect ion of wedding websit es wit h Appy Couple and a few new fun project s in t he works. The init ial process was somewhat t rial and error but all of our addit ional revenue st reams have st emmed from demand. When I see a void in t he market or a new concept coming up and no one in t he wedding space doing it , t hat 's when I jump and somet imes learn as I go. Brit t ny Drye, Founder + Edit or- in- Chief of Love Inc. Magazine says... I consult wedding pros on how to make t heir businesses more LGBTQ+ inclusive, as well as t ravel and speak on t he topic for professional wedding chapt ers and conferences across t he count ry. I found t hat so many wedding pros were excit ed to work wit h LGBTQ couples but t heir market ing didn't relay t hat . If you're an expert in a field, educat ion is a really fant ast ic way to build a second revenue st ream t hat also places you as a t hought- leader in t he space.
W hat advice would you give other 55 entrepreneurs or business owners that are looking to add additional streams of revenue, but perhaps aren't sure where to star t?
Est her Kefaloukos, Direct or of Confet t i Fair says... This is actually a process we are going t hrough at t he moment . We are adding subscript ion- based digit al services (consumer and B2B - 2 in t he works), and selling affiliat e product s for consumers, in addit ion to our advert ising revenue. We are also looking at our in- demand B2B product s, and offering t hem as st and- alone opt ions in addit ion to our 'packages'. Finally, we plan to develop topical/ knowledge cent red sect ions of our websit e, which will eventually
Meryl Snow, President of SnowSt orm Solut ions says...
t ransit ion to premium paid cont ent .
The init ial process t hat generat ed t hese plans included brainstorming,
Treat t he new revenue st ream as a separat e business wit hin your business wit h it s own P&L (profit & loss) st at ement , market ing, st aff, and goals.
assessing our compet encies, consolidat ing our service offering so we could see
what was missing as well as of course budget ing.
Regist er as a DBA (Doing Business As) wit h st at e & federal government & insurance company
Sarah Almughamis, GM and Co- Owner of Q8 Planner says...
Companies can derive similar benefit s from diversifying by expanding into new market s
First , you need to know your point s of st rengt h and t hen ut ilize t hem for revenue
st reams. In my case t he lack of knowledge and pract ice in t he planning process
When making t he decision to diversify, you'll need to t hink not only about what your company does but about what it does bett er t han your
in Arabic, so I have published one booklet and one det ailed book about planning.
Also, t here are some seminars and workshops I do for brides all in Arabic. Rent ing some of your it ems can generat e some ext ra revenue.
Brit t ny Drye, Founder + Edit or- in- Chief of Love Inc. Magazine says...
Laura Gonzalez, CEO of Blossom Event s & Wedding Design says...
Think out side t he box and look for voids in t he indust ry. If you find yourself saying "It would be great if someone made somet hing for t his, " or if you hear your
We decided to grow our business to a luxury market , we decided to offer a
client s say "I wish a wedding pro would offer t his type of service," t hose t hought s
service of event design and decorat ion for weddings and luxury event s in t he
could t ranslat e as voids in t he indust ry, and opportunit ies ripe for t he picking.
process we had to sect ion our market , t ake different profesional courses to
Also, don't be afraid to look OUTSIDE of t he wedding indust ry. The wedding
specialize in different areas, design, florals, est ructures, et c..
indust ry is t he combinat ion of mult iple indust ries - - fashion, beauty, food and
We had to invest in market ing, equipment and make alliances wit h ot her
drink, int erior design, t ravel - - so much of what we do can t ranslat e elsewhere.
Terrica, Owner of Cockt ails & Det ails says... To get somet hing you've never had, you have to do somet hing you've never done. Don't be afraid if somet hing looks daunt ing or you have to t ry somet hing new. The most import ant piece of advice I can offer is to make sure what ever you 54
54 55 incorporat e meshes well wit h your brand. You don't want to dilut e or confuse t he
brand you've worked hard to creat e wit hin your market . 54
Michelle Anderson, Direct or of Complet e t he Look says... 56
I would recommend t hat you st art by57redefining your ideal client , t his st ep allows you to discover if t he client 's needs, want s and expect at ions have changed across t ime. When you know your client it allows you to t hen hon t he paramet ers of t he research port ion of your new revenue st ream development process. These couple of st eps will provide you wit h t he foundat ions necessary to creat e a well developed and sound revenue st ream. Kat e Cullen, Owner of Kat e Cullen says... Definit ely research, research, research. Ask people if your idea appeals to t hem, t rial it on people t hat are posit ive about it and learn t he pit falls or posit ives of your plans before launching t hem proper. Look at what it already being offered in your sphere, how can you niche down to give ext ra value to pot ent ial customers. Build your audience first before launching so t hat you underst and who is int erest ed and t hat t here is a market for it first , be it wit h email market ing or building a social media following init ially base don your idea. Michelle Loret t a, Owner of Sage Wedding Pros says... -
I t hink you want to be realist ic wit h your reasons behind seeking anot her form of revenue.
If your primary source of revenue performs well, t hen it gives you GREAT leverage to int roduce a second st ream. People t rust you and are willing to invest more wit h you.
If you're want ing to diversify your income so t hat your career is more diverse. And, so t hat you can 'ret ire' out of t he wedding business. Then - t hat 's anot her import ant move to consider!
However, if your first line of revenue isn't bringing you enough income, maybe it s wort h examining what isn't working so t hat t he same mist akes aren't replicat ed wit h t he addit ional forms of revenue. Adding anot her revenue st ream to a poorly performing primary source of income isn't always t he easy answer.
Michelle Loret t a, Owner of Sage Wedding Pros says...
W hat are some common misconceptions of diversifying revenue streams for a business?
59 revenue sources are going to make I t hink people t hink t hat addit ional
t hem more EASY money. It is never easy. It 's oft en like st art ing an ent ire second business. AND, aft er a while, it may mean t hat your first core source of revenue begins to suffer (and earn less) at t he result of more focus on t he new service. Here's what I mean: -
If you have 40 hours in a week to devot e to business t hen all your t ime goes into t hat business. If you have two businesses (or two st reams) t hen t hat
Laura Gonzalez, CEO of Blossom Event s & Wedding Design says...
40 hours get s split ... if it 's equally, each business is only receiving 20 hours
1.- Less is more!, do not t ry to cover a lot of t hings and neglect what you really
of att ent ion. At some point , you'll likely make a choice of where to spend
are good at .
your t ime in order to make one of t hem more viable. -
2.- Assume t hat you can do it wit hout any experience, do not do it , do some
some point , I had to choose where I want ed to put my energy and t ime - to
Business Consult ing, personal coaching and t ry to be execlent !
give 100% to one t hing. Ot herwise, I was half- a* * ing bot h. -
Michelle Anderson, Direct or of Complet e t he Look says...
If you want BOTH revenue sources to t hrive, t hen make sure your CORE (primary) revenue st ream can run on it s own (wit h litt le involvement from
Some of t he common misconcept ions are: -
It 's what I saw wit h my st at ionery business and Sage Wedding Pros. At
you). That will give you t he t ime and energy to personally invest in t he
That each new revenue st ream will require you to hire addit ional st aff to
second st ream.
meet t he new demands on your business. -
That your main income st ream will not be impact ed by market changes and will provide consist ent revenue and income st ream for t he life of your
W hat are some things to avoid when consider ing expanding your offer ings to generate other avenues of revenue?
That diversifying your businesses income will result in your business failing.
That to add a new income st ream will t ake a large amount of t ime and invest ment from you as t he director to make it viable.
Kat e Cullen, Owner of Kat e Cullen says... That it is a quick fix to earn money during 'down t imes'. Like anyt hing, anot her revenue st ream is essent ially anot her business, and requires all t he same t ime
Sarah Almughamis, GM and Co- Owner of Q8 Planner says...
invest ment and proact ive approaches as your main income if it is to succeed. Opening anot her business especially if it is in a different sector and you don't Terrica, Owner of Cockt ails & Det ails says...
have t he experience nor t he knowledge to do it . Look for somet hing relat ive to what you already doing and know about . Or creat e somet hing new and great not
That it 's easy! Keep in mind t hat what58ever avenue you t ake, it needs to be
like what is available in t he market .
t horoughly t hought t hrough as your brand is att ached. 58
Est her Kefaloukos, Direct or of Confet t i Fair says... -
Don't look at what your compet itors are doing - it is never going to work for you. St ick to your mission, and diversify according to your own budget , abilit ies and customer profile
Don't add somet hing irrelevant to your service offering, as it will dilut e t he power of your brand
Don't sacrifice efficiency for diversificat ion, unless you can afford to scale your business
Meryl Snow, President of SnowSt orm Solut ions says... Keep t he new business relat ed to t he indust ry you're in. If you're a Wedding Planner, it may not be a good idea to st art a plumbing business. Be careful not to choose a revenue st ream t hat may devalue your current business Harmony Walt on, Founder of The Bridal Bar says... Make sure t he offering support s your core business effort s. If t he expansion is too far from what makes you money today, it may t ake away too much of your t ime and effort to keep bot h going successfully. These ideas should ult imat ely always support your core business and compliment it . Design programs t hat help each ot her, not fight wit h one anot her. Also look for passive st reams of income whenever possible - make money in your sleep, don't make more work for yourself!
W hy Passive Income isn't the Only Way to Diversify Your Wedding Business BY ASHLEY MALONE, ASHLEY & MALONE
Oft en t imes in market ing, we see planners, florist s, photographers, et c., building out online courses, downloads, and ot her st reams of income to earn ext ra money out side of one- on- one work. However, from my own experience, anyt hing t hat 's labeled "passive" might as well be called "act ive." I have yet to meet any business owner who actually does anyt hing passive to make money for t heir business. When it comes to branching out into ot her st reams of income, t ake a good look at what you love doing best in your business. Then build out a service or offering based on t hat love. A good rule of t humb when market ing a new service to your audience is to keep it exclusive (for only a select set of individuals). Just in case t hings don't work out , you won't be forever t ied to it . This way, you can t est t he wat ers and build out your offering organically.
65 plan or wait ing for t he right t ime. Don't wast e t ime your t ime wit h a business Launch fast and quickly. Then once you book your first client , you can jump in and find t he t ime to make it happen. If you spend t ime second- guessing yourself or wait ing unt il you're ready, you'll likely end up t aking much longer t han you ant icipat ed. Or if it 's somet hing ent irely new to t he market , someone might do it first .
Then, if all else fails, consult . Once you've built a successful business, what bett er way to give back to your indust ry t han by helping new ent repreneurs break into t he market . Don't worry about revealing all your secret s or having copycat businesses. If you are genuinely t here to help and you're confident in your brand, you shouldn't fear sharing what has made your business t hrive.
67 le bonus, you can t ake right now to I?m giving you 3 act ionable st eps, plus a litt move your business forward and st art filling your diary wit h wedding client s.
NO 1 ? CREATE YOUR BRAND STORY A logo is only one small part of your brand. In today?s social media driven world we all want to know t he person behind t he brand. We want to know t heir story, t heir values and what drives t heir business.
GET MORE CLIENTS FOR YOUR WEDDING BUSINESS
And t his has never been t ruer t han in t he wedding indust ry where we work wit h people on such a personal level. Your bridal couples want to know why you do what you do. ?People don?t buy what you do; t hey buy why you do it . And what you do simply proves what you believe.? ? Simon Sinek
By Kylie Carlson
People connect wit h stories and your ideal client s want to be able to connect wit h you. You?ve launched your business but t here?s nobody emailing to book a consult at ion or block out a dat e in your diary. To put it simply you need to get more client s for your wedding business.
" Your client experience should under promise and over deliver and give your clientsa reason to shout about you, tell their friends about their incredible experience with you and leaveyou fantastic reviews."
Sound familiar? I hear you. When I first st art ed my wedding planning business I didn?t have a clue where to st art . I was complet ely overwhelmed and had no idea what I was doing. Pricing was a figure you just plucked out of t he air and I had no idea how to promot e myself. I cert ainly didn?t know who my ?ideal client ?was in fact , I didn?t know what an ?ideal client ?even was. There were no courses available on running a successful wedding business, so it was sink or swim t ime. I?m hoping t hat if you?re reading t his t hen you?re serious about your wedding business and you?re ready to t ake it from a hobby to a profit able business t hat pays 66 t he bills. 66
68 They want to have t hat moment of clarity where t hey t hink ?OMG she really get s me. It ?s like she?s inside my head.?
How can t hey have t hat moment if t hey don?t know your brand story? Creat e t hat emot ional connect ion and avoid st ereotypical copy such as ?We creat e amazing weddings for t he discerning bride?. For a st art who is we? If you?re a solo wedding planner t ell your story in t he first person. Make it real and build t hat connect ion. Secondly, every wedding planner is going to claim t hey creat e amazing weddings. There?s not hing dist inct ive in t hat . Not hing to set you apart and make it uniquely you. Inst ead t ry niching down and being specific but st ill t elling t he personal story. ?I work wit h cont emporary couples looking to disrupt t he wedding st atus quo and do t hings t heir way.? See t he difference? Take a look at your websit e and I mean really look. Don?t do a ?kid surface look?go deep and analyse it . Is your story on t here? Does it read well? Would it make you want to book a consult at ion? NO 2 ? DESIGN YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE A client experience is t he journey your client s go on wit h you from t he first touch point to when your client is celebrat ing t heir first wedding anniversary. It ?s t his t hat you can really own. Nobody else can creat e a client experience t he same as yours. It ?s unique to you. Your client experience should under promise and over deliver and give your client s a reason to shout about you, t ell t heir friends about t heir incredible experience wit h you and leave you fant ast ic reviews. There?s not hing as powerful as word of mout h referrals but to get t hose you have to creat e an amazing client experience for your client s to shout about . 68
NO 3 ? PHONE A FRIEND
Want to learn more from Kylie? She is current ly offering t he opportunity to just 20 wedding pros to work wit h her personally in Wedding CEO School, t he online program t hat will show you how to book more client s for your Wedding Business in just 60 days. htt ps://www.weddingacademyglobal.com/wedding- ceo- school/
So many t imes we overlook t he power of our exist ing network. Take a look around your friend circle and I mean really look. How many of t hem have friends gett ing married or are gett ing married t hemselves? Do t hey know you?re st art ing a wedding business? Have you actually told t hem and put it out t here? Don?t hide your light under a bushel. Shout it from t he rooftops and let people know your business exist s. One of t he first people to book me as a wedding planner was an old college friend who I?d forgott en about . But t hey?d seen what I was doing on t he old Friends Reunit ed sit e, t he precursor social sit e to Facebook. (Yes, I?ve been in business t hat long) They?d been following what I was doing and out of t he blue I got an email asking me if I?d be int erest ed in t alking about t heir wedding. Of course I was. The t hing is people will oft en st alk you on social media wit hout you even knowing. If you?re not putt ing yourself out t here, you?re missing out . Take t he opportunity to t ell everyone you can t hat you?re a wedding planner, floral designer, wedding stylist et c. and t ake yourself seriously. BONUS TIP ? TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY If you don?t t ake yourself seriously in business nobody else will. When someone asks you what you do don?t say you?re t hinking about st art ing a wedding business t ell t hem what you do wit h pride and say it out loud. I know t his probably seems like a bit to t ake in but t rust me t hese are just some of t he t hings t hat can make all t he difference between a profit able business and an expensive hobby.
We love the stunning stock images created by the team at Sourced Co. Their eye for detail and colour is per fection!
Diversifying your income with Pinterest BY KATE CULLEN
You may already be using Pint erest effect ively to get good mont hly engaged unique viewer numbers (t he number underneat h your profile name), and even be pushing lot s of lovely couples to your websit e to buy or book wit h you. If you?re not yet happy t hough, here?s a quick run down of t he best ways to secure t hose all- import ant viewers and click t hroughs: Make sure you have rich pins enabled: product pins for product s (perfect for accessories, jewellery, shoes, dresses, st at ionery) and art icle pins for your blog (ideal for wedding planners, photographers and florist s). Rich pins display ext ra informat ion t hat can help someone to decide if what t hey are seeing on t he pin is just what t hey want for t heir wedding at t he price t hey want to pay. Pin consist ent ly and oft en wit h new pins t hat you have creat ed and make sure t hey link back to your websit e. But how can you expand on t his init ial Pint erest success and use it to make more money more easily? Pint erest can be a great tool for t hose wishing to diversify t heir business, part icularly if you have a great idea for ?passive income?during t hose off- season mont hs t hat could help even out your income across t he year. 74
76 HOW TO COME UP WITH A PASSIVE INCOME IDEA:
4. Creat e a new board every mont h so77t hat you are always providing fresh cont ent and increasing your SEO too!
1. Try to be as unique as possible, creat e a niche t hat people aspire to or t hat solves a problem t hey have ? creat ive skills are in much demand and admired ? t ap into t hat . If what you do is more readily available already, t hen t ry to find a new way of looking at it or present ing it .
Whet her you are selling physical or digit al product s, Pint erest is a great sales tool and can be used to gain an incredible boost to your income.
2. Look at your business, is t here anyt hing you do for client s (however small) t hat t hey could learn to do for t hemselves wit h your expert guidance? Have any of t hem ever asked you how you do somet hing? 3. Do you have skills t hat you don?t current ly use in your business t hat you could link in to make somet hing even more niche? 4. Do you have a t hriving blog or huge social media following t hat could support income t hrough advert ising or by affiliat e sales in somet hing relat ed (but not compet ing) wit h your business? 5. Creat e an ebook, online course, book, podcast series, kit or guide based on your experience and skills. 6. If you are a graphic designer or photographer consider selling some specific designs. Pint erest can be a superb sales tool for all t hese different ideas, and as graphic pins are part icularly favoured on Pint erest , coming up wit h headline grabbing quest ions t hat you can turn into a good pin t hat links to your resource on your websit e (or Et sy say) can be a great way of bringing in some ext ra money. I use Canva for t his and it makes it really easy ? you can choose t he opt imum Pint erest pin size and t hen creat e away in your brand colours ? add a logo and it ?s done ? quickly and simply. Ways to promot e t hese ideas on Pint erest could involve: 1. Running a compet it ion on Pint erest 2. Creat e group boards and invit e people to join 3. Creat e a ?t ribe?on Tailwind and build a group of people t hat will pin and repin each ot her?s cont ent to reach a wider audience (just make sure you keep t he t ribe members in your niche so t hat it works to bring in t he customers who want to buy or book your product ).76
4 Ways to Diversify Revenue Streams for Wedding Pros
BY CHRISTIE OSBORNE, MOUNTAINSIDE MEDIA
You?ve finally made it into t he black, or perhaps your business has been cruising along for a few years. Unfortunat ely, recent financial analyst s have been predict ing anot her recession on t he horizon. Things feel st able for now, but can your business wit hst and out side financial fluctuat ions? Luckily, t here?s a way to make your business bett er able to weat her downswings in your indust ry. Diversifying your revenue st reams is a good way to buffer against t he vagaries of t he market . Not relying on one sole source of income means you can dodge and weave wit h t he ups and downs of t he economy. Here?s some ideas and t ips for keeping your financial foot ing in leaner t imes. START EARNING PASSIVE INCOME Think affiliat e sales ? earning a commission for recommending anot her company?s product s. Sounds simple, right? On one level, it is; you don?t have to creat e a product . The company you?re promot ing will give you a t racked link and, anyt ime someone clicks t hat link and purchases, you get money. 78
The key to effect ive affiliat e market ing is80 believing in t he product you?re promot ing. It can be almost anyt hing, but you should be able to back up your endorsement .
81 make up a subst ant ial part of your While your on- t he- side services might not business, t hey can give you a backup when revenue dips.
So, how do you st art?
REQUEST REFERRAL FEES
St art wit h affinity product s ? t hat is, product s t hat relat e well to your business. For example, if you are a wedding planner, you could sign up to provide promot ions for a st at ionery provider. Or, if you know a great florist , you could recommend t heir services and provide an affiliat e link. You can also make use of t he connect ions you?ve made wit h client s, even aft er t he wedding.
Referral fees are as old as t ime, but t hey st ill work! If t here?s a florist , cat erer, or venue you rout inely recommend, ask if you can get a kickback for bookings from your recommendat ion. Go ahead and network wit h local vendors to creat e referral programs, where you?re all working toget her to provide t he best services and product s in your area. There?s not hing wrong wit h support ing your local vendors and services ? pulling toget her can creat e a much more st able environment for your business.
You have an email list and cont act s. Why not send a client an affiliat e link to a service or product you know t hey?ll enjoy t hat may not be wedding- relat ed, but makes sense for t heir everyday lives? For example, many planners sell t ravel packages long aft er t he honeymoon. Or, if t hey didn?t get t he Kit chenAid Mixer on t heir regist ry, send an affiliat e link when it ?s on sale.
Once you diversify, be sure to get t he word out t hrough networking and advert ising. Don?t make t he mist ake of t hinking t hat new client s will come once you build it ! If you?re known for floral arrangement s, shake t hem up wit h new t ent rent als or venture into flowers for sci- fi convent ions. Promot e all you do, and everyone you support . What goes around, comes around!
INTRODUCE NEW PRODUCTS AND COMPLEMENTARY SERVICES You probably know what your client s want beyond what t hey ask from you. That means you can provide complement ary services t hat ant icipat e t heir needs. If you are a wedding planner, consider adding design or floral services. Venues could offer rent als. Think of all t he t hings used on your grounds or in your space: t ables, flowers, light s, heat lamps, piĂąat as, you name it ! For photographers or even DJ?s, photo boot hs are a popular idea t hat are ent ert aining for bot h guest s and couples ? plus, t hey get fun pictures t hat show off t heir personalit ies. BRANCH OUT WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF CLIENTS Anot her st rat egy is to offer your current services to different client s. If you?ve been cat ering exclusively weddings, consider corporat e event s. If you?re a baker, reach out to your previous client s wit h special occasion cake specials just before t heir birt hday or anniversary. If you photograph most ly weddings, reach out to social venues like town celebrat ions or special event s.
85t he wedding indust ry, but in software There's kind of an int erest ing case - not in where 37 Signals creat ed a product called Basecamp. Based on customer needs, t hey added a whole number of ot her product s to t he mix, like Highrise and Campfire. Then, when t hings got too complicat ed, t hey refocused t heir business just on t heir main product , which was Basecamp. So I always say - probably because I've worked wit h so many different types of people - t hat t here is rarely a rule t hat fit s for everybody.
Strategic & Sustainable Growth
Again, for cert ain businesses where t hey have a really clearly defined market and st rong capabilit ies - it makes more sense to not divert t heir energy and att ent ion. Many ot her businesses - and I would imagine t his would be relevant for your audience of people who work in t he wedding indust ry - like event planners and photographers and makeup professionals and hairstylist s and cat erers. For most of t hese types of service providers, you do need to make sure t hat you are mit igat ing risk by diversifying.
WITH PAMELA SLIM
So somet imes - especially if you have a highly local business, anybody who's been around long enough has lived t hrough some economic downturns. We have t he upside, and t hen we have t he downturn. Maybe you live in Florida or somewhere in Sedona - where a lot of people might be doing dest inat ion weddings.
Pamela Slim is an entrepreneur that focuses on helping other small business owners and entrepreneurs find their footing and set up a strategic, sustainable formula for growth. She is also an author, community builder, and former corporate director of training and development at Barclays Global Investors. Her business solutions have proven results, and she notably established the K'e Main Street Learning Lab in Mesa, Arizona - a grassroots, community-based think tank for small business economic acceleration.
And t hen all of a sudden t he economy t anks, and people begin to change t heir buying behaviors. So if you are only focused on doing one t hing for a specific market , it can put you at risk. And t hat 's really what some of t he ideas are behind having diversified revenue, is t hat in t he case of a service professional, you might do makeup for brides and bridesmaids. You might do makeup for photo shoot s or business people, right? You might have a way t hat you can be diversifying your market s.
Would you say t hat diversifying revenue st reams is a good fit for every business, and why or why not would you say t hat ? The short answer is no, it 's not a fit for every business. Because I t hink it depends on t hree t hings: t he purpose of t he business on one side, t he business model on t he second - and t hen t he t hird is t he int erest s and t he skills of t he founder.
That is different t han running a tot ally different type of your business.
So t here are cases where you see a business having a singular funnel of revenue. Let ?s say it is an app. If t he founder is somebody who want s to put really focused att ent ion into building t he product , into st rengt hening it , into doing specific work to get it out in t he market place, it can be dist ract ing to have a whole number of t hings t hat you're working on. 84
87 So you offer courses, you do coaching, speaking engagement s - you wear a lot of hat s wit h your business, and you're also an aut hor. What does t hat process look like for adding addit ional revenue st reams? How did you concept ualize t hat when you knew t hat you want ed t o branch out ?
So for me, t he revenue st reams are usually a litt le bit more about services and channels t hat are useful and relevant for my client s and my customers. For many years, I just had a purely virtual business. So I wasn't able to be meet ing wit h people in person all t he t ime, and so t hat 's why I did virtual classes where people can log in from anywhere in t he world and I can t each and t rain to meet t he needs of people who are in different locat ions. Three years ago, we opened our Main St reet Learning Lab in downtown Mesa, Arizona. So I do actually a lot more in person work now wit h local client s. I also have client s who fly in from around t he count ry to do all day st rat egy sessions. But to me, t he design of what I offer - for my values as a business owner - is generally t hinking of how can I really be making sure t hat I meet t he needs of my ideal customers? And I can have people who are at different st ages of t he business journey. So where t he bulk of my individual client s are people who are at a st age of growt h in t heir business where t hey can afford for int ensive hands on business coaching, for ot her people t hat is cost prohibit ive - because t hey're earlier on in t heir journey. I t hink t he ot her t hing t hat I have used t hroughout t he years - it 's t he benefit of being in business for 23 years - I've done t hings t he right way and I've also done t hings t he wrong way and t he hard way. But as much as possible, I use what I call, "The st acking principle.? This is where, for any one act ivity t hat you do, you examine what are different ways you can st ack different opportunit ies on top of each ot her to make it even more effect ive and efficient? So when I do have a new book out t hat 's on a part icular topic, it makes sense if I?m t raveling around t he count ry speaking about t he book or I?m doing podcast s int erviews about t he book, and t hat I also have a course relat ed to t he book. Or I might have a ret reat t hat is helping people to absorb t he messages from t he book. Or I have service offerings t hat are helping people to implement t he t eaching from t he book. 86 87
88 aut hors. Focusing your offerings on It 's a very common model t hat you see from your current book or t heme allows you to st ack opportunit ies and maint ain focus. So even t hough now I've writt en two books, I'm working on my t hird, which I'll st art writ ing t his year. I could be writ ing and speaking and t eaching classes on everyt hing t hat I've ever done in all t he years in business, but it would be very confusing for t he market - and it means t hat I would have scatt ered messaging. So part of a recommendat ion I make to people is really to look at - what is your main focus audience, are t here some core messages t hat you can get out - where t hen are you also going to have services t hat are direct ly relat ed to t he t hings t hat you're speaking about?
And so - where you are doing an analysis89 of t hings t hat you know t here is an int erest in, t hat many people have asked for - t hat makes logical sense for you to be offering in your business. It can stop you from just having a bunch of random ideas of what you could do, and putt ing t hem all out t here. I have seen just about every buyer behavior in my own business wit h client s. There are t imes where you are confident you will have massive sales wit h a new offering, because everyone has been asking you for it for years. When you finally release it , you have tot al cricket s. Conversely, somet imes you randomly make somet hing up one night and publish it , and t he next day you have 100 people sign up. So somet imes it 's not fair, I just always t rust t he market . A main philosophy I use wit h client s is to help t hem to pract ice t he lean st artup met hodology t hat comes from software development what t hey call an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product . Where you get t he leanest version you can of an offering out t here. For some people, for service providers, it can be where you don't build t he whole t hing yet but you just build t he sales page and release to see if you get any buyers. You always have to make sure you are et hical and have t he t ime and resources to build and deliver it , but you don't want to build somet hing big and complicat ed if you're not sure if t here's a market for it .
What happens when people don't do t his, I call it t he curse of t he compet ent . It happens when you can do many t hings and you can t alk on many topics. So a client asks, "Hey, can you do a workshop on t his topic?" And you're like, "Sure, I can do t hat ." And t hen t he next week, you do one on somet hing else. And t heoret ically you t hink, "I'm doing great , I am making money!" But from t he market ?s perspect ive, it looks like you're doing a whole bunch of different t hings. You're about t he signal t hat you're sending at t hat given t ime to make sure people know what you're current ly focusing on. Somet imes you run into cash flow st ruggles, which is very common. It ?s fine to work on a side project to address t hat issue, but I would not broadcast t hat message to t he market , for fear of confusing t hem.
So first st ep is having an analysis of what are likely areas where people have been asking for it? Or you might know t hat t here's a good healt hy compet it ion in t he market place, t hat many people are int erest ed. And t hen you do want to look at t he same kind of st acking principle. How can you leverage work t hat you've done before? How can you st ructure somet hing, so t hat it won't t ake so much of your t ime and energy? So if you have been an independent service provider - I always t ease like my hair and makeup people t hat I'll go to when I get my hair done for a photo shoot like, "It would be so cool if you had some tutorial - t hat 's not like an expert doing it , but it 's really designed for somebody like me." How, in t en minut es, could I have t he smoky eye t hat I can wear when I go somewhere fancy?
You ment ion learning t o "break overwhelm.? What advice would you give t o somebody looking t o expand t heir offerings or services in a way t hat 's diversifying t heir revenue, but maybe t hey aren't quit e sure where t o st art ? I t hink t he analysis t hat you want to have when adding different st reams of revenue, is - first about doing some kind of an evaluat ion to see what t hings t hat are most in demand. And when you've been in business for a while, t here could be t hings t hat people are always asking you for. So you might deliver a cert ain service, and t hey say, "I know you did my engagement photos, but it sure would be great if you did some type of family port rait package.?
So if somebody sat down and did my hair, and it looked great ? t hey could say, "Hey, and by t he way, here's a litt le tutorial for 20 bucks where you can get t he same look yourself." I would be much more likely to buy it . I used to call it "to have fries wit h t hat ," or have a litt le ext ra add- on. Now maybe it 's more like a side of kale salad.
90somet hing somebody might want to Grocery stores really underst and t his, like buy upon checkout . It ?s just st ructuring your services t hat way so t hat t hey don't require a tot ally new market ing channel, but just leveraging t hings people want . Yet , minimizing t he amount of energy t hat you have to spend to deliver t hem.
91 I was committ ed to designing it , to delivering it , to just really showing up fully so t hat I had t he experience of actually delivering it . And t hen to put t he energy into building my audience, so t he next t ime I delivered it would be st ronger. Somet imes it just t akes a while for people to get to know you and like you and t rust you - and ot her t imes you find you just have t he wrong kind of t hing you're t rying to sell, and you have to go back to t he drawing board.
Just circling back, when you ment ioned people request ing somet hing from you, whet her it 's product or service, t hen doing it and hearing cricket s. What can you do t o prevent t hat ?
And t here can be compet itors who sell 500 copies of a product you feel is inferior to yours. But very oft en, you don't really know what 's going on in t he back end. Somet imes people invest a lot of money in Facebook ads, where t hey may have a lot of people who are part icipat ing, but t hey're also invest ing a huge amount of money in sales and market ing, right? So when you look at t he end numbers - in some cases you can make more profit t han somebody who sells a lot more.
I wish t here was a super easy answer. But t he best advice is just to get some working version of it out t here as quickly as you can for people to buy it . Because I do know t hat t he buying behavior is a t hing t hat makes a difference. When you're analyzing why somet hing is not working, t here's usually a variety of factors, right? Somet imes your market ing copy is not really st rong, or your sales copy. Or t he price point might be off. And so, somet imes t here's a litt le bit of t est ing and t rying t hat you can do. It 's good to maybe look at examples in t he market place, and you can see examples of how people are delivering somet hing successfully. So t hat maybe t here's a precedent for what you're doing.
How can business owners make sure t hat t heir new st ream of revenue remains consist ent and relevant ? I t hink when you do get used to building on t hings we've t alked about so far where you do have a clear sense of who your t arget market is, you begin to have a t rack record of successfully delivering a service wit h consist ency. And you're doing act ivit ies in order to always be generat ing new leads. Then you're building new st reams of revenue t hat are based on t he healt hy ones t hat you have, right? They make sense in my customer journey.
But as I said before, it can be a frust rat ing t hing where t here's not really a ironclad predictor of how well somet hing is going to do. One of t he t hings I see a lot wit h service providers, coaches, consult ant s is where - you do line up a number of part ners, people who could co- promot e, maybe affiliat e part ners, right? So t hat you're not only relying on your audience, but you're also having some ot her people who are putt ing some market ing muscle behind somet hing.
Add product s or services t hat you know t here's a market for, people have been asking for. And t hen deliver t hem in such a way t hat it minimizes t he amount of t ime t hat you have to spend. So you're not just cont inually adding more of your service hours. I don't even really use t he t erm "passive revenue," because it 's never passive. It t akes a lot of energy in order to do it . But it really is sett ing up a revenue st ream, t hat wit h t ime and good email market ing and good syst ems, means t hat you do not have to be t here in order to deliver t hat service, right? I t hink t hat 's a litt le bit more passive. So when you have t hat - and you find t hat you're making t ract ion, you're seeing some posit ive momentum wit hin t hose st reams - t hat 's where st aying t he course and invest ing more energy and just support ing t he growt h of t hose is really import ant .
But generally when I'm working wit h newer ent repreneurs, I just t ell t hem t hat t hat 's part of t he ent repreneurial gaunt let and part of really developing your chops. It ?s putt ing offers out t here, and t hen, where you really need to have t he experience of delivering an engagement . It 's good to get in t he habit - even if you have a smaller number of people who are t aking you up on it , to deliver it all t he way t hrough. I know when I first st art ed doing my individual coaching, t here were t imes at first when I had programs t hat I was releasing, where I didn't have many people at all. Because I just wasn't known as an expert coach yet . I had been a successful consult ant , but I had a tot ally different client base. 90
93soon. They get very frust rat ed, because I t hink a lot of people stop t he journey too t hey put all t his energy into designing it . And I say t hings very oft en t hat I know make my client s want to pinch me. Just like, "I know you feel like you're on mile 23 of t his marat hon, because it 's t aken you so long to develop t his product and you've worked so hard. But from t he market 's perspect ive you're on mile one." They don't know t he process, and so a lot of people get really frust rat ed. Whet her it be wit h book sales or product sales, t hey're so t ired from t he energy it t akes to creat e it . And you have to really reset your expect at ions to have enough t ime and focused energy, so t hat you give it a chance to really be successful and be consist ent and let it grow.
In your experience - for t hose t hat maybe get a lit t le frust rat ed at first - what does t hat t imeline look like? I mean, I would say to really see any type of movement , like a minimum of six mont hs. And really more like twelve mont hs of consist ent market ing energy and act ivity in order to begin to see some movement . There really is a difference - if you're brand new and you're st art ing in an area t hat you have not had a background and experience in, if you don't already have connect ions in t he market place, it can be much harder to get inst ant t ract ion. I know in my own journey when I became a consult ant 23 years ago and quit my full- t ime job, I already had a very st rong skill set in a market t hat had a high demand for what I was doing. I had some good cont act s. So really from t he very beginning when I st art ed wit hout having a market ing plan - I didn't have any idea really what I was doing on t he market ing side - t hat I was able to very quickly be actually more profit able t han I was when I was an employee. I always t ell my client s t hat just was because of t his whole number of factors, of having somet hing t hat was highly sought aft er. It was in t he Bay Area. There was a high growt h in t he economy. And I'm somebody who's not afraid of networking and selling and market ing. It could look complet ely different if you are designing a new product t hat t he market doesn't really underst and. And if it 's your first t ime as an ent repreneur, for some people, t hat t akes five years. No matt er how great t he t hing is t hat you're offering, t here's not always an inst ant answer. But I t hink areas where you can cont rol more in your design and in your 92
95 you st art ed t o grow and expand your Was t hat init ially a t ough t ransit ion, when offerings?
planning is moving out of t he mindset of,94"This is a great idea.? And inst ead, really having direct cont act wit h t he customers t hat you want to work wit h, right? Make sure you really deeply underst and t heir problems and challenges, t hen you're going to be using more of t hat language in your market ing copy, and hopefully you keep growing.
No, I'm very st range in t hat - I know for a lot of people t hey?re agonizing decisions. I am just very in tune wit h future t rends. Usually like a litt le bit ahead of t ime, wit h what 's of int erest to me, what 's t he market looking at , what are t he kind of messages I need to be writ ing about in a book? And I generally make decisions of aligning myself, so t hat I don't get caught not knowing exact ly what 's next . Or in a situat ion t hat 's complet ely unatt ainable.
You?re really involved wit h your communit y, you?ve done mart ial art s, and t hen, of course, you have a family on t op of t hat . How has growing your business and diversifying t hese revenue st reams affect ed your work/ life balance - if at all? And how has t hat affect ed your overall workflow over t he years?
There definit ely have been some situat ions where I didn't plan as well, and I was super, super busy at work. In my ideal world, I would just have not hing else to do besides writ ing. So far two books in, looking at t he t hird - t hat is unlikely to happen. I just learned to get up a litt le bit earlier. It ?s so wort h it to have a book done. But t hen working wit h many different people, t hat 's not always t he case. I t end to be pretty chill, and I do well wit h a high level of risk. I really do put a priority of being present and just enjoying what I'm doing, and just not gett ing ahead of myself. Like focusing on what I'm doing, do it , t hen go on to t he next t hing.
I'm always designing to fit t he life t hat I want to have. So my own definit ion of success is really to enjoy my life while I'm living it . And in order to do t hat , when I'm working wit h client s, t hey have to be client s I enjoy, and doing work t han I enjoy. I love my family, and I don't like to be t he kind of person who's on 24/ 7. I do work a lot , because I enjoy what I do. But I want to make sure I have t ime at home. So t hat can be driving decisions I make around pricing, around my financial goals. My business can look different t han somebody who is purely mot ivat ed to grow really, really fast and be included on one of t he fast est growing company list s, right? For me, personally, t hat is not as import ant . I want to spend t ime wit h my family and be wit h my kids right now at ages t hey are, and be present .
It comes down to business priorit ies. I really believe, and I've seen it wit h working wit h so many t housands of people now over t he years, t hat everybody has a different compass and different values, and t here's not one t hat 's bett er t han t he ot her.
I design backwards from t he quest ion: how do I want my life to look? And t herefore, what are t he kinds of business decisions t hat I want to make in order to support t hat? So one of t he reasons why we opened our Learning Lab is because a lot of my work was requiring t ravel, all t he t ime. And we really want ed to have a place where we could be doing more local engagement , and so t hat t he kids can part icipat e.
I know for me - I'm very clear as to what my priorit ies are and so people are welcome to t ell me what I should be doing. I love to be open to ideas, it 's really import ant to remain open, because I could be missing t hings. But I also know t hat I'm t he one t hat ult imat ely get s to decide. What do you wish you had known when you first began t o expand your business offerings, and t herefore int roducing new st reams of revenue?
That 's an example where it 's working backwards, based on what 's import ant to me. And at different st ages - as t hey get older now, t hey're more independent . I actually do have more opportunity to be focusing on some growt h areas in t he business, and I really see t he next five years as developing some super st rong st reams of revenue t hat are different from what it is t hat I've priorit ized before.
I t hink it is t he principle of st acking t hat we t alked about before. One of t he reasons why I came up wit h t hat met hod and began to use it wit h client s, is t hat I did have t he shiny object syndrome somet imes of always having new ideas for
97 t hem, and not necessarily t hinking in t hings to do and creat ing t hem and releasing t he long t erm about how t hey were relat ed to each ot her, and how t hey were relat ed to doing much longer t erm market ing in order to build up a consist ent revenue.
For my own personality style, I would get creat ive ideas or people would be asking me for somet hing, and I love to creat e t hings, so I would creat e it and release it but I wouldn't necessarily sust ain it . Somet imes t hat 's just part of what t he business journey is. But I also don't believe in regret . I don't sit back, t hinking, "Oh man, if I would have made t hat change, life would be different .?Because I don't find t hat to be product ive. As an insight , I t hink t hat I wish I would have had a litt le bit more design paramet ers around what I want ed to do. And to be a litt le bit more focused on market ing somet hing for an ext ended period of t ime, or figuring out - let 's say aft er I launched a live class ? how to turn t hat into more of a passive evergreen type of a class. It would?ve probably gott en me some more money, and saved me so much creat ion t ime. It 's hilarious - I have lit eral piles of courses and art icles t hat I?ve creat ed. So t hat ?s one of t he t hings I?m excit ed about leveraging, actually going back and repackaging, as opposed to always creat ing somet hing new. Interview by Meghan Ely
The Wedding Academy We are excited to share our brand new look! 98
Over to Kylie Aft er 12 years leading t he w ay in educat ion f or t he w edding indust ry it w as t im e t o disrupt t he st at us quo a litt le. The w ay educat ion is delivered has changed and w hat w as im port ant f ive years ago isn't any m ore. People don't need cert if icat es hanging on t heir w all t hey need act ionable inf orm at ion t hey can apply t o t heir w edding business right now. That 's w hy w e don't sell you a course w e help you launch 102 a grow a prof it able w edding business. 102
5 Types of Diversified Income You Can Implement in Your Creative Business BY CRISTINA BARRAGAN, POSH PEONY
The lat est buzz in t he creat ive indust ry is all about creat ing mult iple revenue st reams of income to accomplish t he holy grail of ?Diversified and passive income?. Since business can be seasonal for some creat ives, creat ing supplement al income is crucial to our business success. Solely relying on one principle income can leave us vulnerable to limit ed cash flow and financial hardships when we least expect it . Not only will diversified income give you flexibility wit h your finances, it will also generat e more profit s during slow mont hs, set up recurring income in some cases, and allow you to scale your business to new lengt hs. There are 5 ways you can easily set up diversified income in your creat ive business wit hout having to spin your wheels t rying to figure it all out . In my business, I current ly have mult iple revenue st reams by diversifying my services and product s, offering educat ion, part icipat ing in affiliat e market ing, and t aking on collaborat ion project s. Each of t hese st reams bot h cont ribut e to ext ra cash flow and in some 104 cases, passive income while I sleep! I didn? t have to st art a new business, get ext ra
t raining, or invest any addit ional money to get st art ed. It was all built around 106 int ent ional st rat egy wit h my email list and market ing.
Speaking engagement s, styled shoot s, open houses, pop- up shops, networking 107reput at ion and relat ionships wit h event s, et c. are all great ways to build your professionals who will in turn refer new business to you. When you t ake t he t ime to nurture t hese relat ionships and build a t rust ed network, t he return on your invest ment is going to pay off because you will cont inue to be top- of- mind and a referral t hat can be t rust ed to serve well.
If you are a product or service based business, you can diversify your income by creat ing opportunit ies t hat offer an ext ension of what you do. In my wedding floral design business, I offer services in design for corporat e event s and I also freelance for ot her designers in my area. I have creat ed recurring income by offering mont hly delivery of floral arrangement s for local venues as well. As for my product s, I offer an online shop wit h downloadable resources for wedding planning. You can also offer t angible it ems t hat may include branded swag for engaged couples, et c.
Before you get st art ed wit h diversified income, t here are a few t hings you may want to consider. I highly recommend t hat you secure your primary income first to make sure t hat you can commit ext ra t ime in building t hese addit ional revenue st reams and your current operat ions st ay lean to avoid gett ing overwhelmed. Next , you want to get clear on your financial goals so t hat you have a t arget to go aft er and develop a st rat egy to do so. Finally, it is import ant t hat you are clear on your ideal audience so you can st art building t rust among t hose t hat follow you and will lat er buy from you. But most import ant ly, make sure you are very aut hent ic wit h everyt hing you put fort h to avoid spammy sales and losing t rust wit h t he prospect s you?ve worked so hard to build.
Educat ion is anot her easy avenue to explore in diversifying your income furt her. I creat e workshops bot h online and in person to t each floral designers how to creat e luxury designs and build bett er businesses wit h classes t hat include pricing, branding, market ing, et c. Workshops can also be offered to your client s, past client s, or t he general public during holidays to creat e t ake home pieces like Christ mas wreat hs, floral crowns for Mot her?s Day, and Valent ine Day arrangement s. What ever you do best in your business, is t he perfect opportunity to offer your knowledge and monet ize it . Especially digit ally wit h courses, memberships, and downloadable resources. This cont ent lives forever and you can creat e passive income by promot ing it t hrough t arget ing ads, email market ing, and evergreen sales funnels. Affiliat e market ing is anot her great way to get involved wit h product s and services you love to promot e on a commission base. Almost every product /service t hat I use in my personal or business life, has an affiliat e program t hat you can be a part of. Simply reach out , sign up, and promot e your links wit h your audience. Since I have been building my email list for t he past 9 years, I have a fairly large audience of floral designers who get occasional emails about t he product s and services I use to make my business successful. The key here is to be genuine about t he product s/services you promot e and also be very t ransparent as to why you love t hem and WHY it makes your life/ business bett er. If you promot e for t he sake of promot ing, you will come off very spammy and t hat is NO WAY to approach affiliat e market ing on any level. Last ly, get involved in collaborat ions in your area wit h ot her creat ive businesses in your area and indust ry to creat e opportunit ies to network and build your expert ise. 106
BUILDING A POWERFUL CONNECTION
By Kevin Dennis
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current international president for WIPA. In a people- cent ric indust ry, it ?s common knowledge t hat your relat ionships wit h fellow creat ive part ners reign supreme. Not only can st rong collaborat ions cont ribut e to your overall success as an ent repreneur, but t here?s immeasurable value in building a support syst em around you and your business. A powerful connect ion can help your reput at ion, creat e last ing friendships, and lay t he foundat ion for a st able place wit hin your market . TAKE THE TIME TO BE PRESENT AND RESPONSIVE We underst and just how st ressful it can be to keep up wit h emails and client meet ings on a day- to- day basis, let alone ensure t hat you?re t aking t he t ime to nurture your professional relat ionships. However, keeping your communicat ions act ive is t he key to st aying at t he forefront of t he minds of your creat ive part ners. 108
110peers, or invit e t hem to get dinner or Carve out some t ime to check in wit h your drinks next t ime you?re in t heir area. One of t he t rickiest part s of st aying in touch is t he fact t hat our network branches out globally, so we rarely find ourselves in t he same st at e at t he same t ime when it comes to some of our business relat ionships. Respond to emails and t ext s in a t imely manner, and be present in your communicat ion. Doing so will posit ion you as someone your creat ive part ners feel comfort able wit h, and t hat can yield referrals down t he road.
CREATE A STRATEGY FOR THOUGHTFULNESS Think about t he last t ime t hat you received an unexpect ed card, gift , or t hought ful message on your birt hday or for a life milestone. It felt great to be not iced, right? We st rongly believe t hat t his is one of t he best t hings you can do to cult ivat e great relat ionships, regardless of how long you?ve known each ot her. Generosity is always well- received. Give referrals and t est imonials whenever t he opportunity arises. Keep t rack of your colleagues?birt hdays, company anniversaries or milestones, and send you're well wishes in t he form of a card, email, or small gift . Putt ing t hat good energy toward ot hers will come back to you! CONSIDER THE VALUE OF ASSOCIATIONS AND CONFERENCES Indust ry associat ions and conferences are amazing places to meet new people and put in face- t ime wit h exist ing part nerships. While t hey do oft en require financial invest ment and sett ing aside t ravel t ime, att ending t hese event s can offer opportunit ies to help grow your business, and even expand your educat ion. A leadership role isn?t a required goal when it comes to joining associat ions, but it ?s incredibly useful if you?re aiming to st ay on t he radar of ot her indust ry pros. Bring your business cards, set aside some t ime for one- on- one meet ings, and ut ilize t hat t ime to re- connect . Before you know it , you might find yourself on a preferred vendor list , and t hat can equat e to more consist ent profit . No matt er how successful and in- demand your business may become, you will never be too busy to do what is necessary to grow your business. St art wit h act ions t hat not only promot e what you do but push ot hers towards t heir goals as well. Paying t he goodwill forward will ult imat ely come back to help you pursue your next business goals. 110
113 experiences, and it was t hen I was like, "Okay, do you know what? I don't have t he funding and t he background to do t his. St ick wit h what you know and do t he personal styling and shopping.?
So t hat was t he foundat ion t hat I st art ed wit h. Then 12 mont hs into t hat , I saw anot her gap in t he indust ry to offer an online wedding regist rar. So I was in t he malls a lot , and - obviously because I was shopping - my best friend at t he t ime was a wedding planner, and she was saying to me, "Where can people go and buy t his? What would you t hink about t his?" Then she referred to me a couple of her client s. And I was like, "Ah, t his could be a really good idea to launch a wedding regist rar t hat was online, and guest s could buy from all over t he world."
WITH KELLY LUNDBERG, STYLEMEDIVINE
When we t alk about different revenue st reams, t hat t hen became anot her revenue st ream for me. And t hen in 2008, 3 years aft er launching t he init ial business, I sold t he online wedding regist rar for a profit of $10,000. So I've always had different revenue st reams. Even 5 years ago, I launched my eBook. And now I've got an online course.
Kelly Lundberg is a celebrity stylist and the CEO of StyleMeDivine, a boutique company based in Dubai that offers styling services to clients. After gaining international popularity, Kelly became a keynote and guest speaker at web and technology events, speaking on her online style forum. StyleMeDivine provides a unique perspective to empower and enable each client to take their personal style to the next level.
What did t hat init ial revenue expansion kind of look like as it relat ed t o your business? If I t ake a st ep furt her back to my unconvent ional st art up in business, I basically went to t he bank for a car loan, because I saw t hat as being t he only viable way t hat I would actually get money to st art a business. And t he laws here in t he UAE meant t hat you needed to have a t rade license, and you needed to have 100,000 dirhams in your bank account - in order to get t his t rade license, which I didn't have. And so t he only way to do it was to get a loan. So I took out a loan for a car, and t hen t he bank manager asked me what kind of car I want ed. And I basically lied to him and told him t hat I was going to buy a Porsche, because it was t he only expensive car t hat I could t hink of t hat was actually t hat much money.
When you st art ed St yleMeDivine back in 2005, did you have any init ial vision t o event ually diversify your revenue st reams if t he company t ook off ? My init ial business plan was to offer a sort of personal shopping to tourist s t hat were visit ing Dubai as a holiday dest inat ion. I had come from ret ail, but also had a t ravel and tourism background. So I had t hought t hat would be t he t arget market , and t hen t he more I explored business, I t hen decided what was missing in t he UAE - a luxury gift experience company. So not just offering personal shopping, but offering luxury spa days and hot air balloons - and all of a sudden, my business idea sort of grew arms and legs.
He told me t hat I had really good t ast e! Like I was 24 years old - honest ly, why would I need a Porsche? Three days lat er, t he funds were in my account . And t hen I used a lot of t hat to kind of st art my business, live off of, and for business expenses. I used t he remainder of t hat to set up t he online wedding regist rar. But it was so long ago, I can't even remember what t he st at s are in t erms of like, what 112 113 t hat brought in. It was like more t han a decade ago.
In t he beginning, I had always t hought to myself - I want ed to name my business an actual business name, and not my own name. Because I'd always seen it as a business t hat one day I'd like to sell or t hat was solely reliant on myself. But t hen it 112 t ranspired t hat someone else was also sett ing up somet hing similar and just gift 112
114 How long did it t ake for you t o see real income generat ing from your ot her revenue st reams?
115 , "Isn't t hat part of evolut ion? That of t aken aback at t he t ime. Because I t hought you gain knowledge, t hen you share your knowledge?" That 's how I see t he world works in my head. And I guess from t hat , if someone's reading t his and t hey've got knowledge t hat t hey want to impart - don't t hink, "I shouldn't share t his, because someone else will t ake my job." Because I believe t hat t here's enough work for everyone, I really do.
I wasn't in a posit ion to buy designer clot hes or anyt hing like t hat . Everyt hing I earned went back into business. If I remember right ly, it was probably when I moved. My best deal was when I moved into JBR. So it was probably year 3, to be honest . Where I actually sort of felt like it was sust ainable.
And at t he same t ime, it is your duty, I believe to also share t he knowledge t hat you've got , and your way t hat you've learned it and t he t echniques t hat you picked up to inspire someone else who's young or more vulnerable or less confident . Because ult imat ely helping ot hers has outwardly helped me in my business. It 's helped build my profile. And it 's giving back to t he community. It has a lot of t ick boxes.
I was earning an income t hat at t he t ime - at 28 years old, and I was happy. What was your t hought process? How did you know it was sust ainable, even t hough you weren't really seeing direct income generat ing from t hat revenue st ream yet? I guess I could just afford to live. I wasn't doing anyt hing smart like saving, but I knew I was following what I was passionat e about . I covered t he bills. So whilst it wasn't in t hose days, like an ideal situat ion, a big job might come in and t ide me over t ill t he next mont h. So it was sust ainable to t he point t hat it covered my cost s.
What sort of preparat ion went int o creat ing t hose workshops and mast er classes?
You're a keynot e/ guest speaker at t echnology and web event s as well. So how did you know t hat you want ed t o branch off int o a more educat ional role?
Well, I t hink one very import ant lesson I took - cert ainly from doing my first online course, and just t he experience t hat I've developed recent ly is - t hat so many people, myself included, go to a lot of det ail on creat ing a course before t hey actually sell it . And t he reality is - and cert ainly somet hing t hat I now mentor, is t hat by all means have a rough idea of what you're going to t alk about and what your cont ent is going to be. But don't spend 2 or 3 weeks preparing t he cont ent , because someone might not buy it .
To be honest - I love inspiring ot hers to act ion. I t hink ult imat ely t hat is t he bottom line of what I'm most passionat e about . So my vehicle in t he early days was style. And it was inspiring ot hers, really inspiring ot hers to dress wit h purpose, and t hat 's where I saw t he act ion. Whereas, t hen t he more experience you get , you want to t ake it to a bigger level and you want to help more people and help more client s.
When I'm mentoring, t hat 's one of t he pieces of advice I give. I just had a stylist t he ot her day in New Zealand t hat I was speaking to on t he phone t hat said, "Yeah, I've spent t he past 3 days writ ing cont ent ." I said, "How many people have you got on t he course?" And she said, "Well, 5 people are int erest ed." I said, "Whet her 5 or 50 people are int erest ed, it ?s more import ant to focus on how many people have paid you t hus far, as t hat ?s your real indicator of demand for what you?re putt ing out t here." She said t hat no one had paid her yet , and so I said, "Take a st ep back, press pause on creat ing cont ent , go and make sure t hat you've got 5 people t hat are going to pay you, t hen pick it back up again where you left off."
But t here was only one of me. Which meant t hat t he business model needed to change. Because t he purpose of me want ing to help more client s meant I couldn't do it alone. So I looked at various opt ions, like franchising. I looked at anot her sort of business model, like an agency model. And t hen in t he past 2 or 3 years, it 's really come down to offering a mentorship, an academy- which is now t he SÂˇACADEMY. Everyt hing t hat I've learned in t he past 14, 15 years is all now in one piece, in one place. Someone has also said to me in my early days - when I went into t he more educat ional and t raining sort of aspect - "Why are you doing t hat? Because t hey'll only st eal your jobs. And it 's not right , you shouldn't be doing t hat ." I was a bit sort
I would say t hat when it comes to preparat ion, t hat 's somet hing t hat I would definit ely say is up t here. And everyone's got a sense of style t hat you can learn 114 115
116 from. My style maybe doesn't necessarily agree wit h everyone. There is someone else out t here. But t here's always a way for you to be able to communicat e what you do to someone else.
117 What do you wish you had known before you first init ially st art ed t o diversify your revenue st reams?
Int erest ingly, it 's kind of come in today. I've maybe hung on to t he wrong people for too long. You diversify and you grow, but t he people t hat you're working wit h or your cont ractors or your suppliers, don't necessarily grow wit h you. So you have to let go of t hem, because t hey might not share t he same vision as you or t he same att itude or t he same values or beliefs.
How have your expanded revenue st reams benefit ed your business overall? There are t imes where a big project will come back in, and I will reinvest t hat into somet hing else in t he business. For example, I had a big cont ract wit h t he world's largest mall earlier t his year. And all t he money t hat I've made from t hat , I'm going to put back into growing t he SÂˇACADEMY. So it 's nearly just evolut ion to t he point t hat , it just t akes it to t he next st ep. I t hink somet hing I've always been aware of is t hat t here's always got to be progression - so how are you going to progress? What do you want ot her ent repreneurs t o know t hat are considering t o diversify t heir revenue, or explore ot her avenues of income? Obviously, I t hink it 's really import ant to have diversity in your revenue st reams, and look at ot her ways t hat you can be making money. That 's what ot her businesses do. I always remember a friend in t he early days - when we bot h st art ed our business at t he same t ime. And I had said to her, "What are you going to do about commissions t hat you get from kickbacks and what- have-you?" She was like, "No, no, no - I'm going to give t hat all direct ly onto my client s." And I was like, "I don't t hink t hat 's like business." And I remember t hinking, "You've got to have t he business mindset t hat as much as we want to do everyt hing for our client s, you're running a business at t he end of t he day." I do t hink t here's a fine line between diversity and addit ional revenue st reams. And t here is t he ent repreneur's curse - which I will hold my hands up and say t here has been t imes where I've been very guilty of having far too many ideas on t he t able, and not enough t ime - and t herefore not focusing on t he t hings t hat actually are bringing in t he revenue. So yes, diversify - but just be mindful of t he ent repreneur?s curse.
Utilizing Tech to Help Juggle Your Revenue Streams WORDS BY SANDY HAMMER, ALL SEATED
Technology has advanced exponent ially in t he past decade and, nowadays, it seems as if t here?s an app for anyt hing you could possibly need. This is great news for event professionals who want to expand t heir businesses, as t ech can help develop and st reamline mult iple revenue st reams. Not only can it help you grow your revenue, but an invest ment in t echnology also saves you money at t he end of t he day. Increased efficiency allows you to bring in more business, and can be t he factor t hat set s you apart from your compet itors. As you st reamline operat ions furt her, you will have more t ime to work on mult iple levels of your business and explore new endeavors t hat can open up addit ional revenue st reams. Wit hout diversificat ion, you?ll lose t he innovat ive spark in your company and miss out on many opportunit ies for growt h and income. Here are some of our best pract ices for using t echnology to st reamline your business to make way for new revenue st reams. 118
IDENTIFY YOUR PAIN POINTS
It ?s wort h not ing t hat implement ing new121 t echnology doesn?t mean you need to lose t he personal touch of your company. You can st reamline your operat ions while remaining aut hent ic and reachable to your client s. Respond to emails prompt ly and show your brand personality t hrough social media. If anyt hing, your commit ment to quality customer service should grow as you shed t he inefficiencies t hat were holding you back.
Technology is only helpful if it saves you t ime, so find t he areas in which your t eam is losing efficiency. If it ?s not broken, don?t fix it ? but if it is, find a t ech solut ion. Get wit h your t eam to underst and what t heir biggest obst acles and, more import ant ly, make sure t hey?re on board wit h t rying a new solut ion. Det ermine whet her it ?s a change t hat needs to happen now and be prepared to creat e a t raining plan when t he t ime comes. TEST OUT NEW APPS Once you know t he areas t hat lack efficiency, explore t he apps and programs t hat can help you solve t he problem. There are so many opt ions on t he market , so it ?s about t est ing t hem out to find t he right fit for your company. Most plat forms offer free t rials, so t ake advant age of t hose to save on cost s. Paid apps are great invest ment s, but only when t hey serve t heir purpose. Here are a few of our favorit e tools: -
Slack ? Promot es int ernal communicat ion and keeps your inbox as lean as possible. Trello ? Simplifies project management wit h t ask list s and collaborat ive features. Google Suit e ? Allows for easy collaborat ion t hrough file sharing and shared calendars. Roboform ? Stores login informat ion securely and is easy to access for your t eam. Expensify ? St reamlines receipt scanning and expense management .
DON?T RUSH YOUR TEAM Pushing too much t echnology at once can st ress out your t eam and cause confusion quickly. If you want your digit al solut ions to st ick, int roduce t hem one at a t ime and set aside a period for t raining and perfect ing t he new process. Check- in wit h your employees regularly to see how t heir experience is going and look for ways to make it as easy as possible.
Complement ing t his wit h advert isement s on social media or dedicat ed wedding magazines will help too. Find your t arget audience and put an advert or a list ing in. Make sure you balance t he exposure wit h cost and visibility compared to t he compet it ion. Will you advert really st and out in a long list of suppliers? If you have limit ed funds, concent rat e on a small number of effect ive opportunit ies. PRis also a great way to get your work known.
Test t he market
WITH CLĂ&#x2030;MENTINE AND MARK WARD
Take your t ime to develop and t est whet her a new business line will work. Do it small before going big so you can t est t he logist ics and make sure you?re ready for t he big launch. Test your business wit h a few small orders first to see if you?ll be able to cope wit h it . In an event s business, gett ing it wrong would have big repercussions so it ?s import ant to be ready! Invest t o your means
ClĂŠmentine and Mark Ward are a husband and wife team who have developed Awardweddings, a successful destination wedding planning, styling, photography and film business, based in South of France.
Don?t spend too much invest ing in new equipment , software, et c? if you?re not sure you?ll get good use out of t hem. Get cont ract s to just ify t he invest ment so you?re sure to use t hem.
When running your own business, it ?s import ant to st ay compet it ive in such a growing indust ry. Aft er 10 years running our business, we?d love to share some useful t ips t hat have helped us grow and remain successful:
In our decorat ions business, we don?t invest in it ems unless we are sure to rent t hem out . We wait to have enough demand before I invest . Same for t he photography side, we buy studio equipment if we know we?ll get several jobs to just ify it . This may change in t he future but it ?s a safe approach for t he beginning. Alt hough you will make less profit t he first year, at least you?re not at loss. At t he end of t he day, you can be reassured t hat you are not gett ing into too much debt .
Use your personal and professional cont act s t o ent er new market s When st art ing a new venture, use your personal and professional networks in order to develop your port folio. This will help grow word of mout h around you and soon you?ll get cont ract s! If you don?t feel like you have t he cont act s, get out t here and make some; for example, why not invit e people to come toget her to produce an Inspirat ion shoot?
Concent rat e on one main business wit h off- shoot s It can be difficult to run several big businesses at t he same t ime, especially if you?re on your own or in a small t eam so concent rat e on your main earner, but don?t neglect t he side opportunit ies. You can have small side businesses running by t hemselves, t hat you push when you can and mainly run t hanks to your cont act s. As a photographer, you can photograph more t han weddings and get into property, families, businesses, et c?
Push your business wit h a bit of advert ising Wedding shows are a great way to meet lot s of couples in one place, and t here is not hing like face- to- face to turn enquiries into bookings. 122
There can be some downsides to having mult iple businesses such as invest ment in workload and cost . The obvious ones are t hat you need to run mult iple communicat ions and pot ent ially manage several websit es. Anot her import ant risk is t hat you may spread yourself too t hin compared to ot her suppliers who specialize in t heir field. Do somet hing properly or not at all! Find your niche and expand wit hin it Explore t he side services t hat couples need next to t he one you propose. Couples like one stop shop when t hey can organise everyt hing easily in one place. For example, as a wedding planner, couples need decorat ions; as a photographer, some couples like photo boot h, et c? by offering t hese ext ra services to your client s, you ensure to have more revenue coming from each cont ract Think about t he fut ure How do you st ay compet it ive in such a growing market t hat is mainly focused on young people? How about sharing your expert ise wit h t he new comers and provide some t eaching or consult ancy? There?s a world of opportunity out t here to build a litt le empire. Analyze what your client s need and carefully expand your services based on t his.
The Publishers Everyone in t he Wedding Academ y fam ily has st art ed out w here you are right now, at t he beginning. We underst and t he very real f ear of failure and not having t he conf idence t o get st art ed. But all t hat changes w hen you have t he know ledge. Wit h know ledge com es conf idence and w it h conf idence com es self- belief. Put all t hat t oget her and you have som et hing very pow erf ul. We give you all t he t ools you need t o succeed and banish t he overw helm . We?re here t o support you, cheer you on and cat ch you if you fall.