» Introducing Education Expert Jennifer Reitmeyer

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

We are pleased to introduce Jennifer Reitmeyer of WeddingIQ, a new WeddingWire Education Expert!

Jennifer will be contributing guest posts and sharing her small business expertise monthly on our blog. Check out Jennifer’s first post, Tempering Expectations and Generosity, below. Welcome, Jennifer!

Jennifer has worked in the wedding industry since 1997. In addition to owning MyDeejay, Inc., an award-winning wedding entertainment firm serving the Washington, D.C. market, she also maintains a wedding business blog, WeddingIQ, and is available for small business coaching, speaking, and writing opportunities.  Read more at http://weddingiq.com.

At some point in every Wedding Pro’s career, there comes a time when a client is less than happy with the product or service that was received. Almost inevitably, that Wedding Pro is crushed – even more so if the client writes a bad review – and the Pro immediately thinks of all the ways that he/she went above and beyond for that client:

But I upgraded their package for free!
But I threw in all these extras!
But I did three more consultations than I normally do!
But I sent them such a nice free gift after the wedding!

This kind of thinking makes sense – after all, many Wedding Pros I know are incredibly generous, thoughtful, and really put their heart and soul into their work. It stings to have someone not appreciate our extra effort.

As logical as it is, however, this thinking is also flawed. The fact is: people don’t value what they receive for free. I think this is true for several reasons:

  • Throwing in “extras” left and right calls into question the true value of a company’s product or service – if you’re trying that hard, there’s probably a reason.
  • Convincing an uncertain buyer to purchase from you by piling on the freebies may get them to sign, but it also may create resentment later if the client decides they feel manipulated or that they spent more than was intended.
  • Including tons of “off-the-books” stuff only increases the client’s expectations of you. After all, if you’re willing to override your standard packages and contracts, why shouldn’t the client think you’ll be willing to do anything else they ask, too?
  • Giving away things that the client didn’t even want doesn’t absolve you from delivering on what they do want (and paid for). Consider this: if you went to a car dealership and received a free navigation system, but the car itself didn’t run well after you drove it off the lot, would you be satisfied?

Rather than throwing in more and more upgrades, you’d be better served by focusing on your product and your customer service processes to identify any possible shortcomings. This will be much better insurance against dissatisfied clients than giving away the store.

» WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland

Last night, WeddingWire was thrilled to host WeddingWire Networking Night in Cleveland!

The event took place at the showstopping House of Blues Cleveland, and brought together wonderful local Pros for an evening of networking and education. Similar to past WeddingWire Networking Nights and Happy Hours held throughout the United States this year, Cleveland Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with area Pros across all service categories, and meet with members of the WeddingWire team.

Thanks to all the Pros who joined us; we enjoyed meeting you!

We would like to extend a special thank you to our incredible partners who helped make the event possible:

Finally, congrats to Al Kozak of Visual Memories Forever, the winner of our drawing, who will receive a WeddingWire prize pack!

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» Featured Pro Tweets

In our Featured Pro Tweets series, we highlight interesting tweets that we receive to @WeddingWireEDU. We love to share your insights, feedback and thoughts with other Wedding Pros!

Check out some latest top tweets below, and thanks to all Pros who share great tweets with us. When you are tweeting, tag @WeddingWireEDU and you could be featured next!

https://twitter.com/PSCatering/status/273098422893023232
https://twitter.com/MusicManIowa/status/268469199645577216
https://twitter.com/marryinhawaii/status/268457744653242368
https://twitter.com/WeddingWireEDU/status/268456490476650496
https://twitter.com/Dianemusic/status/268046830833639424

» Why We #Like Facebook Business Pages: Part 1

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

Did you know that Facebook accounts for one out of every five pageviews online? With 1 billion users and growing, Facebook is not only the top online social networking site—it is also a powerful tool for small businesses. Top keys to maximizing Facebook’s impact is to invest time in designing, developing and managing your business page to ensure you are effectively using the channel to showcase your services and expand your reach, ultimately growing your client base.

Still not convinced about the power of Facebook?

  • Facebook receives 500 million logins each day
  • Facebook’s user base is more than 3x the size of the U.S. population
  • 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each week
  • Every 60 seconds, 136,000 photos are uploaded, 293,000 statuses are updated and 510,000 comments are posted!
  • There are over 2 million currently engaged couples on Facebook

With so much activity and potential clients spending time on Facebook, it is crucial that your business page is a positive reflection of your company. We recommend using 5 easy steps to help you establish a strong and engaging presence on Facebook:

  1. Create a Facebook business page with appealing and fresh content
  2. Design your Facebook business page to guarantee conversions
  3. Set your custom URL using your business name
  4. Monitor Facebook Insights to learn about your effectiveness
  5. Use social media management tools to help streamline your social efforts

Step 1: Create a Facebook business page

Every business in the wedding industry should have a Facebook business page! If you have not already created one, visit www.facebook.com/business to get started. The site will give you simple, step-by-step instructions on how to build your page, connect with people, engage your audience and finally, influence friends of fans.

The same way that you place value in your own website, your Facebook business page should be another extension of your company.  It should be easy for potential customers to learn about your business, whether they find your website or your business page on Facebook.

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» Inside WeddingWire: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the WeddingWire team!

We certainly have a lot to be thankful for! As a company, we are very grateful to all of the wonderful Wedding and Event Pros like you, who have helped to shape an incredible 5th year for our business. We also look forward to opportunities to give back during the holiday season, and throughout the year, by supporting communities in need and participating in volunteer efforts such as our holiday Toys for Tots gift drive.

At WeddingWire, a favorite holiday tradition is our annual company Thanksgiving potluck feast! From turkey and ham to mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, the full staff comes together and shares their dish of choice, while enjoying delicious food and spending time catching up with team members.

Check out some photo highlights from our team Thanksgiving below, and we wish you a wonderful holiday celebrating with your friends and family!

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» WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh

Last night, WeddingWire was excited to host a WeddingWire Networking Night in Pittsburgh!

We were thrilled to hold the Networking Night event at the stunning LeMont, and truly enjoyed meeting all the wonderful local Pros! Similar to past WeddingWire Networking Nights and Happy Hours held throughout the United States this year, Pittsburgh Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with area Pros across all service categories, and meet with members of the WeddingWire team.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the wonderful partners who helped make the event possible:

Finally, congrats to Jessica Holloway of Holloway Events, the winner of our drawing, who will receive a WeddingWire prize pack!

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» Pinterest Launches Business Accounts

Last week, Pinterest introduced business accounts and tools—a new set of resources designed specifically for businesses.

Now, companies can create business specific accounts by signing up with a company name, versus first and last name only registration. Once you register your business, you can also verify your website, a process we outlined in a previous post. Once your website has been verified, you will receive a verification badge on your business Pinterest page. If you are already using Pinterest for your business, good news! Existing accounts on Pinterest can be easily converted by following the steps on the business site.

This is a great way for you to keep you personal Pinterest account and business account separate, as well as a way to gain transparency for your business. During sign up, Pinterest makes it easy for you to add “Pin it” and “Follow” buttons onto your websites and blogs, to gain more followers and traffic on Pinterest.

Interested in learning more about this new announcement? For more information about the accounts, how to transfer your personal page to a business page, and how to take advantage of the tools directly from Pinterest!

» When’s the Best Time to Get Social?

While posting relevant information is the best way to showcase your business and attract clients on social media, keep in mind that the time you’re sharing could affect your social traction.

Check out this awesome infographic, designed by Raka with information provided by bitly, for the best times to post for maximum interaction!

Best times to Tweet:

  • Twitter gets the most traffic 9AM to 3PM, Monday through Thursday
  • Avoiding tweeting after 8PM on weeknights, or 3PM on Fridays

Best times to post on Facebook:

  • For the highest average clicks to your content, post Wednesday at 3PM
  • Facebook traffic is highest during the work day: 9AM-4PM, Monday through Friday

Also, be sure that your posts and tweets contain relevant content; otherwise, if you’re sharing anything and everything, your posts could be considered “noise” by your audience. Engaging posts that encourage your audience to take an action (for example: comment, “Like”, retweet) are great – you want your audience to be sharing and commenting on your posts! Additionally, if you ever have a giveaway or promotion, be sure to post it on Facebook! Who doesn’t love a freebie?

For more information on how to maximize social media for your business, check out our recent webinar for premium members: Get Social, Whether You #Like It or Not.

» Be an SEO Superstar

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Be an SEO Superstar’ as part of our monthly webinar series for premium WeddingWire members.

Each one hour webinar is designed to inform Wedding Pros about the latest industry trends and technology insights to effectively and strategically grow your business.  This month’s webinar, dedicated to Search Engine Optimization, focused on:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basics, and the impact of search on your business
  • Google’s latest search algorithms, Panda and Penguin
  • Key steps to build a stronger search engine ranking over time
  • What is social sharing, and how it impacts if engaged couples find your business
  • 7 items that could flag your website as spam, and how to avoid them
  • All about the WeddingWire Search Engine Optimizer

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. Don’t miss December’s webinar, ‘What’s Next in Tech.’ Register today!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Minneapolis

Yesterday evening, WeddingWire was excited to host WeddingWire Networking Night in Minneapolis!

We had the pleasure of holding the WeddingWire Networking Night at the fabulous Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis, and loved meeting all the wonderful local Pros! Similar to past WeddingWire Networking Nights and Happy Hours held throughout the United States this year, Minneapolis Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with area Pros across all service categories, and meet with members of the WeddingWire team.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the fantastic partners who helped make the event possible:

Finally, congrats to Brooke Ringdahl of Ta’Rooke Photography, the winner of our drawing, who will receive a WeddingWire prize pack!

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» Maximize Your Impact When Working Virtually

From time to time, weather, personal events and more can impact your daily work schedules, and sometimes you and members of your team may have to work from home or on-the-go. Today, it is easier than ever to connect with your employees, colleagues, clients and contacts virtually, so working virtually can be extremely productive.

Follow these top tips to maximize your productivity from a virtual office, working from home or travel:

  • Hold your regular meetings:

In order to stay on top of your work, it is best to try to hold your regular and previously scheduled meetings, even if you have to do so on the phone. If you have the time and the resources to connect, it is best to keep your work moving, and stay in touch. This way, your work and decisions re moving forward, and your being out will not hold them up—which would ultimately lead to creating more work and stress for when you are back to your normal routine. If you are unable to join, see if a co-worker can run the meeting without you, and send you notes of the items discussed and next steps.

  • Avoid distractions:

Working remotely can be distracting, if it is outside of your usual routine. Working from home, a trip, or a friend or family’s home can bring outside distractions which can draw your attention way from your workload. It is easy to get side-tracked by your laundry, an engaging conversation, or the TV. Do your best to set up a daily schedule, and dedicate a certain amount of time to the tasks you need to accomplish that day. Try to find a quiet area, free from distractions, where you can focus on your work and establish productivity.

  • Share documents:

When you have your documents saved on a cloud, it is easy to access them on the go, and share with others. Using tools like Google Docs, you can quickly locate your work from any computer or tablet, even if you do not have your own work computer with you. Also, if you need to update or share these files, you can do so on-the-go, and not fall behind! Don’t have a Google email (Gmail) account? Set one up in just minutes for free!

  • Use chat and video chat:

Using a chat system is a great way to stay connected, even when you are not in the office. Connect with your staff through chat systems such as AOL Instant Messanger or Gchat through your Google email, and keep updated on your workloads, questions and more. Additionally, you can hold your meetings face-to-face with video chatting, such as using Google Hangout. You just need a webcam and for your team to have Google email addresses.

  • Stay in touch:

It is important to stay in touch when working out of the office, and keep your co-workers, other vendors and clients posted on your whereabouts. If you are going to be out of touch for a few days, be sure to set-up and out of office with information about how to contact you in case of an emergency, or directing to a co-worker who can manage any questions.

Working remotely is easier than ever before with today’s technology, but it is important to stay productive, communicate effectively, and set expectations to take advantage of your workday.