» WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City

Yesterday afternoon, Salt Lake City wedding professionals gathered at Pierpont Place for WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City!

At the Mix & Mingle, Pros from the Salt Lake City area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the afternoon (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City board in the Pro Forums!

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

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack: Congrats to Cherie Johnson of Mon Cherie Catering & Events!

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
Continue reading

» WeddingWire Workshop Denver

Yesterday, local Denver Wedding Pros gathered at The Denver Athletic Club for WeddingWire Workshop Denver, an event focused on managing your business!

At the WeddingWire Workshop, Pros gathered for an in-depth presentation on the tools available within the Clients Tab of premium members’ WeddingWire account. In addition to receiving this tutorial, attendees also enjoyed a Peer Insights Panel, met their local WeddingWire representatives, and networked with other local Pros during a closing reception.

WeddingWire Workshops are the newest addition to our variety of educational events and networking opportunities created for Wedding Pros, which include our annual user’s conference WeddingWire World, networking events such as WeddingWire Mix & Mingles, WeddingWire Networking Nights and more. We look forward to hosting more local WeddingWire Workshops in the near future!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us and participated in the Workshop, including our panelists from Frontrange Floral, Mountains and Meadows, Lyssabeth’s Colorado Wedding Officiants, and Ignight Entertainment. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Workshop Denver board in the Pro Forums!

We’re excited to share some highlights from the event and additional resources including access to our Clients tab Quick Start Guides, the WeddingWire Education Guide for more business tips, and great photos from the evening (as seen below).

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

Finally, congrats to Heather of Wedding Treasures Bridal & Tuxedo, the winner of the WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Workshop Denver
WeddingWire Workshop Denver
WeddingWire Workshop Denver
Continue reading

» Support Marriage Equality with #WedWeCan!

Support Marriage Equality with #WedWeCan!

On, April 28th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court will begin to hear cases on the matter of marriage equality from four states: Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. The cases have been consolidated under the name of the Ohio case, Obergefell v Hodges, and will test two questions: whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage and whether states have to recognize the same-sex marriages of other states.

Currently, same-sex marriages are legal in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, and the status of marriage equality is on stay pending appeal in seven additional states where the constitutional bans were overturned.

We’ll be watching and waiting for a decision from the Court into May or June, but in the meantime we would like to invite our community of wedding and event professionals to show your support for marriage equality and join our Wed We Can movement!

Wed We Can was developed from the partnership between WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com, the leading niche-based wedding planning resource and boutique, dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. The campaign represents our shared investment in and commitment to the unions of all loving couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Today, we’re unveiling a new logo for same-sex marriage supporters to share across their favorite social networks. We invite you to share images of what love means to you with the hashtag #WedWeCan, and help us make history as one movement that stands for marriage equality and a commitment to be inclusive of all couples!

Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: April 2015

What's Next in Social Media

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

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

What’s Next in Social Media: April 2015Facebook updates News Feed algorithm (again)

Facebook has once again updated the way its News Feed algorithm distributes page posts from users and brands. In an effort to improve the balance of posts between other Facebook users and brand pages, posts or articles from brands are being reduced in favor of non-business content. It’s unclear how much these updates will affect businesses, as there are a number of factors that determine placement in the News Feed – but be sure to watch your Insights over the next few weeks.

Learn more from Facebook >>

Twitter acquires Periscope

Earlier in the year Twitter announced its acquisition of Periscope, a live streaming app that allows users to broadcast their streaming video via Twitter. Previously, an app called Meerkat made live streaming video popular, but Twitter’s Periscope makes sharing your live streams easier and faster. Because it’s integrated with Twitter, sharing a live stream can be accomplished with the same experience as sharing a tweet with your followers.

Continue reading on TechCrunch >>

Pinterest releases Marketing Developer Partner

Pinterest has debuted a new program called Marketing Developer Partner, which allows Pinterest partners and publishers to create, schedule and publish Pins and boards for their clients. Currently, social media management platforms like Hootsuite do not allow for scheduling or publishing within their platforms, but a new API would change that. Pinterest also announced plans for an Ads API to give outside ad platforms the ability to push ads to Pinterest.

Continue reading

» 4 Easy Ways to Fix Your Website

This article was written by WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg, CSP. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is an author, business consultant, a member of the National Speakers Association, and the wedding & event industry’s only Certified Speaking Professional®. Learn more at alanberg.com.

As we head into the busy wedding season, your wedding business’ website may not be your top priority. However, every day that someone visits your current site and doesn’t take the action you want, it costs you money! Whether you’re making a new website or looking to improve the one you have, now is always the best time to make improvements.

4 Easy Ways to Fix Your WebsiteHere are four easy ways to fix your website now (the low hanging fruit):

  1. Put text calls to action in multiple places on every page. This is the simplest fix for most of the websites I review. Graphical elements may take some time, however almost all of you can make text changes yourselves or have them made easily by your webmaster. Go to every page on your site and look for the places where you tell them something about what you’re going to do for them. Follow every instance with text that tells them how to get that result. Then include a link to your email and/or your contact page and phone number. Be sure to explain why they should be contacting you to make each call to action compelling.
  1. Link the photos on your homepage to relevant pages on your site. Visitors to your website are attracted to colorful and moving objects, so use those objects to lead them to the content they want to see. Don’t just add links to the photos; make it clear where they’re linking to by putting text on the image if you can, or by editing the image to put the text right on it if you have access to photo-editing software.

Continue reading

» Pro Forum Buzz: Fall 2015 Bookings, Contract Advice and More

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

Here’s what Pros are talking about this month in the WeddingWire Pro Forums!

Pro Forum Buzz: Fall 2015 Bookings, Contract Advice and MoreContract advice

Do you allow anyone other than the engaged couple to sign a contract? If the bride or groom isn’t the person paying for your services, is the paying party authorized to sign the contract? Wedding Pros from various categories share their experiences.

Weigh in >>

Fall 2015 bookings

Pros discuss their bookings so far for the 2015 fall season and whether or not they have the capacity for more. Also discussed: booking patterns, booking variances by month and what constitutes a “busy” month for different types of Pros.

Join the discussion >>

Sharing price quotes

An Invitations Pro believes that her prospects and some wedding planners are using her price quotes to haggle with competitors in the area. Have you ever experienced this sort of situation? How would you prevent price-shopping clients from ruling you out right from the beginning?

Share your experiences >>

Continue reading

» Building a Team that Represents Your Brand

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.

Any business owner knows that hiring the right people is incredibly important to their success. Less clear, however, is exactly how to do it. How can we find good people, train them effectively, and motivate them to represent the brand we’ve worked so hard to create? Here are five steps to building the best team for your business:

Building a Team that Represents Your BrandKnow your brand, inside and out. You certainly can’t expect anyone else to understand your brand if you don’t understand it yourself. And if you don’t understand it, you definitely can’t articulate it to your team! Your brand encompasses what your company does (its service or product), who it serves (your target clientele including demographics, style, budget, buying habits, priorities, and values), how your marketing looks, why you’re different from your competition, and how people perceive your company when they hear its name. Make sure you’re crystal clear on all of these things, so that you can define your brand to the team you’re hiring.

Look for people who are not only good, but good for you. In most wedding-related fields, character traits are as important, if not more important, than education and job skills. You can usually train people on how to do something, but you can’t train them to have the personality, values and qualities that will make them the right fit for your business. I recommend that every business owner identify 3-5 key traits as a starting point for narrowing down new hires – for example, in my DJ business, I chose nice, polished and resourceful. I need genuinely good people, whose appearance and demeanor reflect well on the professionalism of my company’s brand, and who are capable of thinking on their feet and solving problems creatively. My team and I can teach them how to DJ and how to work a wedding, but if they don’t have those three essential qualities, it’s never going to work.

Continue reading

» 5 of the Most Shareable Blog Post Types

	5 of the Most Shareable Blog Post TypesComing up with ideas for blog posts can be time consuming, especially when you get stuck in a rut of posting the same types of articles all the time. Adding more variety to your post types will not only make writing easier, it will also pique the interest of your readers by providing a new format. If you’re not sure how else you can format your business’ content, we’ve got some great data to share.

NewsCred, along with Fractl and BuzzStream, recently analyzed 220,000 articles from 11 verticals over six months to determine what content resonates best on social media and when to post for maximum impact. We’ve broken down their data below to provide you with the most shareable blog post types!

1.  List Posts

Study results: 22.45% of total shares

Best months for sharing: June, September, October

List blog posts offer a number of points on a particular topic that support a general conclusion. List posts have become very popular due to popular news sites like Buzzfeed, which publishes a number of list posts each day. List posts, like infographics, are easier to read and understand because of their simple formatting. Think about the various options a couple has when booking your business and list them, or provide a list of ideas for each season.

2.  ‘Why’ Posts

Study results: 22.32% of total shares

Best months for sharing: September, October, November

‘Why’ posts provide readers with a reason or purpose and provide details that support a given conclusion. These posts serve to convince your readers that your conclusion is the right conclusion! Here’s your chance to really persuade your audience on your own viewpoints. For some wedding professionals this type of post could be a piece on why engaged couples need a Pro in your service category, and why they should book your wedding business.

Continue reading

» How to Write More Effective Emails

How to Write More Effective EmailsDespite the fact that we all receive dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of emails a day, a recent poll by MarketingSherpa suggests that 72% of U.S. adults prefer communication with companies to happen through email. The high volume of email in today’s inbox doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send emails, it means you should be smarter about the emails you send!

We share some suggestions to help you write more effective emails, below.

Make sure all your emails provide value

This tip is first in the list because it’s the most important! Email is a valuable marketing channel, but only if your audience remains active. If your emails are consistently promotional or provide no value, you run the risk of a higher unsubscribe rate. Once a user unsubscribes, you’ve lost that connection. Don’t waste your audience’s time with emails that don’t cater to their needs or offer something useful. Whether you dial back on the number of emails you send or create your own customer segments to provide a more targeted message, look at every email you send as an opportunity to build value with each individual on your email subscriber list.

Use the KISS method

Keep it short and simple. Don’t get too complicated with your message – the most effective emails are clear, concise and compelling. Some businesses can make their point in a paragraph, while others need more room to properly explain the offer. Unfortunately, there’s no magic word count to know, but you can test a few different lengths to see what works best for your audience. Remember that the point of your email is to get the user to take a next action, whether that action is to click through to a landing page, answer a question or provide a certain reply. If you add too much information, the point will get lost. And don’t forget that most emails are opened on mobile devices, so shorter is better on small screens!

Continue reading

» Wedding PR: Embracing Brand Journalism

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you, as well as more about our new wedding PR kits, please visit us today.

If you’re a millennial, or anywhere in the vicinity of being a millennial, then you’ve spent the majority of life being sold to. And because of this, companies are having a more difficult time reaching their audience through traditional PR methods.

While press releases, media pitches and ads in general still have their place, companies are eager to find additional methods for getting their message out and engaging with prospective clients.

Wedding PR: Embracing Brand JournalismEnter brand journalism, a discipline that marries storytelling with promotion.

The fact is, stories connect us in an authentic way to our readers. The transparency involved invokes trust. And trust builds loyalty.

Brand journalism is relatively new to the public relations world and is now making its way into the wedding industry. It’s a perfect fit if you think about it – nearly every weekend you have a new story to share about a happy couple in love.

So how does it work exactly?

First, you need to dig into the story of your brand as well as develop the message you want to get across to your defined audience. You’ll also need to ask yourself what type of content will resonate with your target market. Just like qualifying company news to determine if it’s newsworthy, you need to put yourself in the role of the journalist and ask yourself if your prospective readers will actually look forward to reading what you have to say.

For some, that may mean in-depth profiles of each event, or perhaps behind-the-scenes peeks into planning.  If you pride yourself on your relationships with your clients, then perhaps they’re willing to share their story about how they came to work with you, and how you made a difference in their day. If you’re focused on building a personal brand, then be ready to share actual glimpses into your life – from the design of your office to the shoes you put on your feet in the morning.

Very simply put – if you’re having a conversation with your audience, what would that look like?

From there, it’s time to develop actual content. If you’re a strong writer, then it’s time to get to work. If it’s not your particular strength, then consider bringing in a writer to help craft your message. Regardless of what you do, make sure you do so from a place of authenticity. The moment you lose sight of this is the moment you lose your reader.

For many companies, their channel is their own web site and if you already have a blog in place, it can certainly be your platform to start. Like any good promotional strategy, you’ll need to continue to monitor it and evolve with the changing needs of your audience.

Ira Glass once said, “Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” So the question remains – what story are you ready to tell about your brand?

Image Source

» Top Wedding Planning Tools for Your Clients

Top Wedding Planning Tools for Your ClientsAs the wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community know, we’re committed to providing the top tools to help Pros build, manage and grow their businesses. What many wedding professionals may not know, however, is that WeddingWire is also a valuable resource for brides and grooms! We not only help them find their perfect professionals, we also provide tools to help them plan each important detail related to their wedding.

The more educated and organized couples are before they make an appointment with your wedding business, the better understanding they’ll have of the value of your service and all the ways you can help them plan and execute their wedding vision. Find out more about the wedding planning tools we offer for engaged couples below!

Wedding Websites

Creating a wedding website is a great way for couples to put all the pertinent information regarding the Big Day in one place for all their friends and family to see. Your wedding clients can personalize their WeddingWire wedding website easily with our sleek new website editor that even allows couples to use their own photo as a custom backdrop for the design. Couples can create their own custom web address and interact with guests before, during and after the wedding with a social guestbook. Plus, our wedding websites are mobile and tablet friendly, with a stacked design that displays perfectly no matter what device your clients prefer.

Wedding Budget

One of the most important aspects of wedding planning – not to mention one of the first tasks necessary to start booking wedding professionals – is to set the budget. The WeddingWire budget tool helps your clients track spending across all service categories by suggesting budget allocations for each part of the wedding. Couples can then add or remove line items depending on their specific needs, as well as redistribute funds based on which areas are most important to them. Your clients can also set up payment schedules by recording due dates and creating payment reminders to make sure nothing falls through the cracks! A good understanding of their budget will help couples understand the true value of the different service categories, which means they’ll be better prepared for your appointments.

Continue reading

» Video Marketing: The Six Keys to Success

Video Marketing WebinarWebinar recap!

Making professional videos for your business doesn’t have to be difficult or daunting. In this month’s one hour webinar for premium members, WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly joined Animoto’s Partner Management Director, Jeff Kahsen, to share the importance of video marketing.

Jeff and Sonny shared why video marketing matters for your business, how to create a successful video, and the six keys to video marketing success.

Learn more about these six keys below, and watch the full webinar to get all the great video tips!

  1. Make it personal: Use video as a way for the audience to get to know your brand a bit. Don’t be afraid to show your personality! This will make the video more interesting and engaging, and create a positive brand impression for potential clients.
  2. Show, don’t tell: Don’t just tell them about your work, show them through great images! Shoot live video, add your favorite photos of your work and maybe include a testimonial to showcase your work visually.
  3. Less is more: The sweet spot for a video’s length is between 45 and 60 seconds. Interest for videos can drop off quickly, so anything beyond a minute may not be viewed in its entirety. Also aim to create an engaging first 10 seconds and work to keep the full video brief to get a lot of views.
  4. Add your logo: Make sure you brand your video by adding your business logo! A great place to do this is at the start and end of the video to make a lasting brand impression.
  5. Include music: Music is a great addition to your video. Whether it is soft background music or the focus of the audio, it helps to make the viewing experience pleasant and your video seem professional.
  6. Call to action: Don’t forget a call to action! Tell your viewers to take a step once the video ends. Whether that is to contact you, view your website or Storefront ,or even share something on social media, make sure you end with action!

Excited to take on video marketing? Get started creating unlimited, professional videos in minutes for your business with the WeddingWire Video Builder tool, powered by Animoto.

Did you know that all of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros? Get great education about the topics that matter most to you, available any time!