» Network Like You Mean It: The Art of Building Strong Relationships

Networking is extremely important in the wedding industry, as the Pros You Know could help you get your next big lead! At WeddingWire, we are very enthusiastic about the power of networking, and enjoy the opportunity to bring local Pros together at WeddingWire Networking Nights and Happy Hours!

Attending networking events is important, but knowing how to conduct yourself to maximize the contacts that you make, and how to positively convey your business to other Pros, is even more important. Based on our experience at WeddingWire hosted networking events, find below some top tips on how to positively represent yourself and build valuable connections. Remember, being a good networker is a bit like being a good date, so read on to see how you can make yourself, and your business, as appealing as possible to other industry Pros!

Arrive early
The old adage, ‘the early bird gets the worm’ is still around for a reason. Arriving early to a function or conference says, “I care about being here and this is a priority for me,” without having to say a word.

Have your digits handy
Being able to swiftly pass a business card to a colleague or potential client speaks volumes about your preparedness. Additionally, it already puts it in the person’s head that you’re accessible, and therefore will be easy to work with for future events.

Talk about THEM
As an independent business professional, you are aware of the pride you take in your own best work. Keeping this in mind, give attention and pay kind regards to other professional peers. Showing your appreciation of other businesses will encourage them to take notice of your work as well.

Remember details
Everyone is flattered to be remembered, and the more you can recall about your conversation, the better. Pro tip: take quick notes on the back of any business card you collect when you have a moment after the event. Note when you met the contact, a unique quality, or what you discussed that you had in common! This will help you to remember the Pro, and also provides you with personalized information to include in your follow up.

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» Exclusive WeddingWire Discount for Wedding MBA

Don’t miss out on one of the biggest industry events of the year! WeddingWire is excited to be speaking for the 5th consecutive year at the Wedding Merchant Business Academy (MBA) convention in Las Vegas, October 2-4, 2012.

We are also pleased to announce an exclusive discount currently available for WeddingWire members!

Sign up today and save $120 using the WeddingWire Registration page. Current pricing ends tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31st, so be sure to secure your ticket today!

Wedding MBA is the nation’s largest educational event dedicated to the business side of the wedding industry. The conference is full of great education, including presentations by WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, and CEO, Timothy Chi. They will be presenting on pressing industry topics including what is next in technology, big business ideas for small businesses and much more!

The WeddingWire team looks forward to seeing you in Vegas this fall!

» We Had a Great Time at WeddingWire World!

Thank you, once again, to all the wonderful Wedding Pros who attended the inaugural WeddingWire World this past Monday in our nation’s capital!

The WeddingWire team was thrilled to come together with Wedding Pros throughout the country (and even some international travelers) for a day filled with education and valuable information from industry experts, along with networking and fun surprises!

All guests gained great educational information to power their businesses from our team of experienced presenters. Presentations included “The Power of Local Marketing; Close More Sales, Today; Keeping Your Business in Tune; What’s Trending? A Report from Martha Stewart Weddings” and more.

We hope all Pros enjoyed the day as much as we did! In addition to the stellar presentations, some highlights from the day include:

  • The breathtaking view from the conference location at the Roof Terrance Restaurant within The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • The opportunity for Pros to meet with our Customer Success Managers one-on-one to maximize their Storefront and discuss their WeddingWire account
  • The excitement of two Wedding Pros guessing the closest to the total number of Starbursts in the jar for the “Guess How Many Starburst Challenge” – and them both winning brand new iPads
  • The awesome tweets throughout the day to @WeddingWireEDU giving feedback, top take-away’s and more (be sure to check back soon for a WeddingWire World themed Featured Pro Tweets post)
  • Mixing and mingling with guests during the post conference Champagne Toast
  • Taking funny pictures with friends—new and old—in the photobooth

Cheers to a great first WeddingWire World conference! Please feel free to comment if you have any feedback; we would love to hear from you!

Check out some photo highlights from the event, below. We hope to see you all at WeddingWire World 2013!

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» Entering the Mobile Revolution: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Business

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Entering the Mobile Revolution: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Business’ as part of our monthly webinar series.

Each one hour webinar for paying members is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This month’s webinar focused on:

  • How to prepare your business for the mobile revolution
  • Mobile trends, interesting statistics and fun facts about mobile growth and it’s impact on your business
  • How to connect with potential clients, and stand out among the competition on mobile devices
  • The impact the mobile revolution has on search results
  • How to mobilize your business by dinnertime, using the Go Mobile tool

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for paying members. Stay tuned for more on our upcoming August webinar!

» Thanks for Attending WeddingWire World!

Yesterday, we held our inaugural WeddingWire World at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. We wanted to say a huge thank you to all the amazing Pros who attended, and for sharing the great feedback and awesome tweets throughout the full day of education, networking and fun!

We look forward to sharing all presentations and follow up materials with you soon. Here are a few snapshots from the event, with more to come! Also, be sure to check out some photobooth fun thanks to DC Photobooth!

We hope to see you all next year!

» Optimize Your Storefront with the NEW SEO & Links Tool

Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to generating traffic for your Storefront and website, and should be a top priority for your business. Achieving a strong SEO ranking will enable your business to show up more frequently in relevant searches, reach higher placement on search pages, and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.

We know that SEO can sometimes seem daunting, so that’s why we’ve made it easy to optimize your WeddingWire Storefront and business website with our new SEO Tool for paying members.  

SEO Tool Features:

  • Optimize your WeddingWire Storefront for Search Engines in 3 Easy Steps:
    • Create a Unique URL: A customized URL will point directly to your Storefront and will get indexed by search engines
    • Add primary keywords attached to your website link
    • Fill in the best SEO content for your business with the help of WeddingWire’s content tool, which creates unique local content for search engines. Adding additional content that includes keywords associated with your business will help make your Storefront more attractive to search engines.
  • Get Indexed in Top Search Engines:
    • Your WeddingWire Storefront is automatically indexed across the top 3 search engines—Google, Yahoo!, and Bing—with your customized SEO settings. In addition, your reviews get pushed into your Google search result. Being indexed in the top Search Engines allows for potential clients to quickly find your Storefront when searching for services that you provide in your region, and makes you stand out from the competition.
  • Add SEO Links from the #1 Wedding Network:
    • One step in developing your overall SEO structure is to establish strong, direct one-way links. The general rule with links is: the more links directing to your website from other relevant websites with strong, established SEO, the better your overall search ranking will be on top search engines. Good news! Each of the WeddingWire network sites, including WeddingWire, Martha Stewart, Brides and more, provides a one-way direct link to your business website, passing link juice to your site and enhancing your SEO.

Learn more about optimizing your Storefront, getting indexed in top search engines, and SEO links in our Education Center. Get started today!

» Introducing the New and Improved ProMotion Builder

WeddingWire is committed to developing new and innovative features to keep your business at the forefront of technology, and that’s why we are excited to provide you with the ability to create unlimited videos personalized for your business with the new and improved ProMotion Builder! Yes, that’s right—with the new updates, paying members have the ability to select from a variety of video types to create as many videos as you want!

The ProMotion Builder allows your business to easily build a high-quality video by selecting a video type, choosing a background theme, adding photos from your account, selecting a song from the music library, and adding information about your business. The ProMotion Builder then creates and renders the video in minutes, giving you a professional online, digital video to showcase your services.

The ProMotion Builder’s five types— commercial, events, holidays, real weddings, and seasons— allow you to show off your best work and the breadth of your services. Videos are a top technology tool for connecting with your audience, and can be easily shared with potential clients.

Video’s consumer impact is growing rapidly, so don’t let your business fall behind!

  • Video was noted as one of the top 5 small business trends for 2012
  • YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world, after Google
  • According to Cisco, online video now makes up 50% of all consumer Internet traffic
  • Online video viewers will reach 169.3 million in 2012, and is growing fast

Get started with the newly enhanced ProMotion Builder today! Have questions? We are here to help.

» Today Only: Enter to Win 2 Tickets to WeddingWire World!

We’re only a few days away from our inaugural WeddingWire World conference at The Kennedy Center! But, today could be your lucky day! We have reserved a very select number of seats to giveaway to our wonderful Wedding Pros!

You’re invited to enter to win a pair of complimentary tickets for you and a colleague to
WeddingWire World on Monday, July 23rd – just complete the entry form using the link below!
Tickets are valued at $199 each, but if you are one of our lucky winners, you will receive two tickets
and a day full of information, education, and fun with our featured speakers and networking
with our other registered local Wedding Pros.

ENTER TO WIN >>

View the registration page for updated agenda info and speaker details.

Please note: The giveaway will only be open from 9AM to 6PM EST Wednesday, July 18. One entry per business will be accepted. Winners will be notified at 10AM EST on Thursday, July 19, 2012. The giveaway includes (2) complimentary tickets to WeddingWire World. Any additional expenses are the responsibility of the winners.

» WeddingWire Networking Night New Orleans

Yesterday evening, we held our WeddingWire Networking Night New Orleans at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. Similar to past events in Portland, Nashville, Tampa, Phoenix, Denver, Orlando, Austin, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Raleigh, Seattle and Dallas, local New Orleans Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other area Pros across all service categories. Additionally, we provided a bit of education to help grow your business from WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, who presented on upcoming Social and Mobile trends.

We would like to take a moment to thank the wonderful partners who helped make the event possible:

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» Account Update: Improved Navigation, Updated Marketing Tools!

We are pleased to announce we’ve incorporated your feedback into a fresh, new design and updated tools within your WeddingWire account.

As mentioned in our announcement email last Thursday, the biggest news is that we’ve updated your Account Navigation to make sure everything is organized and easy to find!

UPDATED MARKETING TOOLS:
You can now find your online marketing tools, which include ProMotion builder, Social Media Checklist, Go Mobile, and our new SEO Links tools organized under the “Marketing” Tab.

We have also enhanced our popular ProMotion Builder, providing our paying members with the ability to create unlimited videos (with new themes and unlimited edits) to showcase their business offerings.

Additionally, we’ve launched a new SEO & Links section that provides our paying members with multiple ways to further optimize their listings for Google, Yahoo and Bing.  With these new changes, and more to come in the near future, there is no easier way to take control of your Advertising, Marketing, Client Management, and Networking needs.

OFFICE TOOLS:
We’ve created a new area to house your Inquiry Manager and Event Manager to give you quicker access to managing your inbound inquiries, appointments, and leads.

Lastly, we’ve preserved all the existing functionality from the previous version.  All features have simply been organized into one of the 6 navigation areas that you now have access to.

Our team continues to work hard to provide the leading technology and features to help you power your business.  We have lots more in the works and will be excited to share with you as we get closer to launch dates!

Login to your account to check out the new changes today!

» Google Celebrates Diversity with the ‘Legalise Love’ Campaign

Just a little over a month ago, WeddingWire launched our Wed We Can campaign, celebrating DC’s Capital Pride Parade and our partnership with GayWeddings.com.

So, imagine our delight as we were perusing some headlines, and read via Mashable that as of Saturday, July 7th, Google has launched a campaign called ‘Legalise Loveto mark their support in eliminating gay discrimination worldwide. Google wrote in a statement, “‘Legalise Love’ is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books.”

Google is not the only tech-focused company committed to supporting same-sex couples. Since 2007, WeddingWire has made same-sex avatars available to couples who use our site, and recently, Facebook also updated its icons to include options for same-sex couples when they post a ‘married’ relationship status to their profiles.

While it may seem like a simple change to some, to the couples in the LGBT community who now feel included and represented by such influential companies, it’s a strong show of support.

» Unique Ways to Promote Your Social Media Accounts

In order to have a successful social media strategy for your business, it is important to keep in mind the need to promote your social accounts outside of just positing on Facebook and Twitter to ensure your content reaches a broad audience.

Here are some unique ways to promote your social media accounts:

  • Add to your Strorefront, website and blog: Be sure your social media accounts are active on all your important online business sites so people who are interested in your company are able to follow you. Also, add share buttons to allow your followers to share your content and reach a broader audience.
  • Add to your business cards and email signature: Reach people you interact with offline. By adding your strong social media accounts to your business contact information, they will be able to reach you in a new, fun way while you build your followers.
  • Include on your promotional items and marketing materials: If you have brochures, fun promotional items, signage and more, add your social media accounts.
  • Create a contest: Creating a contest or give-away is a great opportunity to drive traffic to your social media accounts and add followers. Prizes can be gift cards, complimentary services or a personalized prize for an engaged couple. Promote your contests at bridal events and through your own networks. 
  • Mention it in conversations: Social media drives so much online conversation, but few people discuss it offline! At your next event, bridal show or networking experience, mention your blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. If people do not know you are using social media to promote your business, they will not know to look for you and the valuable content you provide.

Social media is an important way to promote your business expertise and showcase your work. If you are working to build great content and connect to your audiences, you should be sure to share your accounts actively.

Do you have unique ways that you have shared your social media accounts or built new followers?