» How Advertising and Marketing Work Together

Pro to Pro Insights

Brian Lawrence, Sell the BrideThis post was written by Brian Lawrence, one of the industry’s foremost authorities on marketing in the wedding industry. Brian has consulted with many wedding professionals and wholesale suppliers at www.brianlawrence.com. Brian also owns Local Traffic Builder, a nationally-known web design, marketing and social media firm serving the wedding and event industry. He is the author of “The Wedding Expert’s Guide to Sales and Marketing” and “The Invitation Business Report” and has helped thousands of industry professionals with his marketing insights through personal consultation, books, seminars, blogs and articles, and speaking engagements at leading industry conferences.

How Advertising and Marketing Work TogetherWhile many wedding professionals think that marketing and advertising are one and the same, there are important distinctions between the two. Advertising is a strategy for getting your business in front of as many potential clients as possible, while marketing is a strategy for making sure your business stands out from the competition. Both are necessary to reach and book wedding clients.

For your advertisement on WeddingWire or other online listings, your business should focus on:

  • Clearly communicating your products/services
  • Images and/or videos of your work
  • Consistent and recent client reviews
  • Pricing and/or any deals or discounts you offer

But for your marketing strategy, consider the following as ways to distinguish your business from the other listings the couple passed before you:

  • A well-written About section that describes who you are and why you’re a good choice
  • A website that provides more detail about your business and why you’re unique
  • Text on your website or blog that speaks their language to connect with potential clients
  • Strong calls-to-action that guide potential clients through the inquiry process

Both advertising and marketing are about pulling clients towards you, not pushing them to book you. The aforementioned tactics will help you drive potential clients to take action – whether the action is as small as clicking your ad or as big as signing a contract. When a bride sees a photo that she can imagine herself in, or a couple sees a review from an authentic client, they’re compelled to take action.

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» Updates to Your WeddingWire Account: August 2015

client proposal imageYesterday, we rolled out a new Client Proposal feature and review improvements to make it easier for users to review you. Learn more below!

Introducing Client Proposals

Due to member requests, we are excited to announce a new addition to your client management tools within your WeddingWire account. You can now create client proposals to send to prospective clients!

Easily customize your package options to share with prospective clients. Then, when you book the client simply convert it to a client contract with just a click to keep you organized and to save time! Take a look »

Review Improvements

Review ImageNow your clients can review your business directly on WeddingWire easier than ever with new improvements to the client review experience.

Updated features include saving the review while they write it so no info gets lost, the ability for newlyweds to submit a review without a password, and updating the Review Collector tool to default to your custom WeddingWire URL. Request new reviews »

Questions? 

To learn more about the new client proposals feature, check out this article. Review the Support Center for more information on all updates and common account questions, or email pros@weddingwire.com any time.

» Promote Your GayWeddings Listing with a Custom Button

We’re excited to announce new GayWeddings.com custom buttons you can add to your website or blog to showcase your service to same-sex couples! Get started promoting your GayWeddings listing and boost your Storefront traffic by adding your button today.

Get your button by following our step-by-step instructions!

  1. Choose your button design from our four badge options
  2. Enter your GayWeddings Storefront URL, which you can easily grab from your WeddingWire account under the Networking tab
  3. Paste your GayWeddings Storefront URL into the form to get your custom code
  4. Add the code to your business website or blog, and your button will appear!

GayWeddings listing badgesLooking for more? You can also add a Wed We Can badge on your website or social media accounts, and show your support of all couples by joining in the #WedWeCan social media campaign.

Have additional questions? Learn more about our partnership with GayWeddings.com, get instructions on how to opt-in to the directory (open to all WeddingWire professionals), and learn how to customize your GayWeddings.com profile image. Plus, you can always contact support@weddingwire.com with any of your account needs!

» 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.

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» Announcing Custom Review Cards!

We are excited to announce a new added benefit for WeddingWire members: custom review-focused business cards!

WeddingWire has teamed up with MOO.com to introduce new review cards, which make it easy to initiate a professional request to ‘Review Me.’ You can hand these cards to your next client post-event, or use them to show off your great reviews to a prospective client and help close the deal. To make it even more exciting, these cards are always 20% off for WeddingWire members!

Check out the designs and learn how to place your order, below!

WeddingWire Review Cards

Ready to create your cards?

  • Simply visit moo.com/weddingwire, designed just for WeddingWire members
  • Select either the Review Us on WeddingWire or Read Our Reviews on WeddingWire cards (or get both!)
  • Click ‘Start Making’
  • Click the card to add your details: business name, name, Storefront URL, email address, phone number, and even add your logo if you would like
  • Select your paper preferences and the number of cards you would like
  • Checkout! Your 20% off discount for WeddingWire is automatically applied to your order of WeddingWire Review business cards

Did you know? Upgraded Pro can customize their Storefront URL so it will fit better on the card (and be more memorable). Here’s a quick explanation of how to do it!

If you are not a premium Pro, you can still set up your own bit.ly link to make it simpler for prospective clients to find your Storefront, and simply add it as a custom link when creating your cards.

Not sold on the value of reviews for your business? Here are a few reasons why reviews matter, and check out our infographic all about how reviews impact your business’ success!

  • Today’s engaged couples are searching for their wedding professionals online, and 95% use online reviews to select their wedding professionals
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Wedding pros with 10 or more reviews on WeddingWire receive an average 123% more Storefront clicks
  • WeddingWire is the most trusted and largest vendor reviews site for engaged couples, with over 2 million vendor reviews

So what are you waiting for? Order your cards and let your clients do the business bragging for you!

» Your 2015 WeddingWire Resolutions

Your 2015 WeddingWire ResolutionsNow that it’s 2015 (we can’t believe it either!), your business is likely busy preparing for the influx of 2015 brides and grooms who got engaged over the holidays and will begin planning their dream weddings. But before you hit the ground running, it helps to make a list of your business’ resolutions for the New Year.

For Premium WeddingWire members, many of your business’ resolutions can be tied to tools within your account! We’ve made a list of the top WeddingWire resolutions that will make your business more effective and efficient in 2015.

Take time to re-evaluate your Storefront.

While we suggested it last year, re-evaluating your Storefront should be a recurring task. Update your messaging to include any new products or services, and try to upload some new photos to show potential clients that you always have new, fresh experiences to share.

Make your website work better for you with our Website Widgets.

Engage clients when they visit your website with helpful widgets offered through your WeddingWire Account, including the ‘Contact Us’ widget,the ‘Reviews’ widget, which showcases your recent reviews, and more. WeddingWire Widgets are easy to install – no need for a web developer.

Learn new things by registering for WeddingWire World 2015.

Join us for WeddingWire World 2015 in Washington, D.C. to learn from our lineup of industry experts and special guest speakers about what’s new in the wedding industry. WeddingWire World 2015 will be a two-day event March 16-17, so cross this item off your resolutions list now before prices go up!

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» Top Apps to Help You Work Smarter

In this day and age, smartphones have become a lifeline for business operations. We use mobile devices to schedule, analyze, remember, and complete all sorts of tasks both for our business’ and our daily lives.

Luckily, there are a ton of great apps available to help you be more effective and help you get more work done. We’ve compiled a list of great apps for Wedding Pros that will help maximize your productivity and keep you organized!

top-apps-to-help-you-work-smarterNeed an app to manage to-do lists? Wunderlist is the app for you!

With Wunderlist you can…

  • Create to-do lists that you can access on your smartphone, computer, or tablet
  • Share to-do lists with other people
  • Attach photos and PDFs
  • Delegate to-dos
  • Set reminders for to-dos

Need an app to help with your time management? Toggl Time Tracker is the app for you!

With Toggl Time Tracker you can…

  • Track how much time you are spending on certain apps or websites
  • Track employees time management
  • Export time sheets
  • See what you spend the most time on and use the info to plan accordingly

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» Introducing the WeddingWire Education Guide

WeddingWire believes in the power of education to keep your business ahead of the competition so you can gain new clients. We’re excited to announce that the 2014-2015 WeddingWire Education Guide is here, full of tips and strategies for growing and improving your weddings and events business!

The WeddingWire Education Guide provides lots of great content to answer your most pressing business questions from how to get more reviews and marketing strategies that work to the top client advice, networking suggestions and much more.

Check it out today!

Education Guide

» Best Practices for Real Wedding Submissions

One of the most crucial aspects of developing strong wedding PR for your business is getting published. Whether you’re a DJ, florist, venue, caterer, wedding planner or any other wedding Pro, getting published will expose your business to an even wider audience. WeddingWire’s real wedding features are a great place to display your work and share your amazing weddings with our network of engaged couples.

Check out our latest infographic for five best practices to get your business published through real wedding submissions from WeddingWire Education Expert Meghan Ely.

Best Practices for Real Wedding Submissions

» 7 Productivity Apps for Wedding Professionals

Wedding and event professionals are often out of the “office” a lot, which means you’re depending on mobile devices to keep you up to date with everything. It can be frustrating enough to get work done while you’re on-the-go, so it’s important to use the right apps to keep everything straight! Here are seven of the top productivity apps for wedding professionals from our Pinterest board, Apps to Make Your Life Easy!

	7 Productivity Apps for Wedding ProfessionalsCarrot

Have trouble keeping up with your to-do list? More than just a to-do app, Carrot rewards you for completing items on your list! Each time you complete an item, Carrot awards you points which unlock other features. These upgrades to the app make it easy (and addictive) to keep checking off the tasks on your list. We promise you’ll want to keep adding tasks so you can cross them off!

Chronos

If you’re wondering where all your time goes, look no further than Chronos. Without having to manually enter your time and tasks, Chronos automatically categorizes your time to help you analyze what you do each day. You can also track progress towards personal goals to make sure you stay on track.

DocuSign

The DocuSign app provides a simple and secure way to electronically collect signatures. This app eliminates the hassles, costs, and lack of security in printing, faxing, scanning, and mailing documents! If you don’t have access to WeddingWire Client Sites, it’s the next best thing to being able to quickly and easily get the documents you need from your clients.

Mailbox

Have trouble managing your email? The Mailbox app is for you! Mailbox combines your accounts to one place where you have the option to snooze certain email conversations so you can focus on more important items in your inbox. Plus, the app learns from your actions to help keep your accounts under control – the way you would organize it yourself!

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» Top Google Apps for Wedding Professionals

Top Google Apps for Wedding ProfessionalsIn the wedding industry, a day of work extends beyond 9am-5pm for many wedding professionals. Between actual client events, appointments with prospects and other business errands, you often find yourself out of the “office” more than you’re actually in it! With all the back and forth, you want to have access to everything your business needs.

If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you may be using outdated business tools simply because they weren’t available when you first started your wedding business. Google offers a suite of apps that help businesses get work done faster, and the functionality is only getting better by the day. Read on below for the top Google apps for wedding professionals today!

Gmail

For those old-school Pros who prefer Outlook (or Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.) for their email needs, Gmail is worth a second look! Google’s email product, Gmail, provides a number of helpful features for wedding professionals in particular. Because Gmail is a web-hosted email service, you can access your account from any computer, tablet, smartphone or other device with Internet access! This means that no matter where you are or how you’re accessing the Internet, you’ll be able to communicate with prospects and clients. And with 15GB of free storage, you don’t have to worry about deleting emails to make room. The best feature, though, is that you can also get a custom email with your company’s domain name which runs through Gmail! It’s free for personal users, but for a few dollars a month you’ll get the professional look you’re going for and never lose access to your business’ needs. Check out our list of Gmail tips and tricks to help you save time!

Google Drive

Ever want to share a document with a colleague or collaborate with more than one other person? If you’re emailing Word documents or Excel spreadsheets back and forth, you may experience issues dealing with the multiple versions. Google Drive is the perfect solution for wedding professionals who need lots of data and information at their fingertips at all times! With Google Drive, your business can go wherever you go. You can organize, edit and share documents from any computer at drive.google.com, or on-the-go with the Drive mobile app. Multiple users can be in your documents at one time, and you can add comments/track changes as you would in a Word doc. The spreadsheets in Google Drive are also extremely useful to keep track of all your event information and expenses. You can also upload photos, videos and other files to keep them accessible to multiple people from multiple devices.

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» Gmail Tips and Tricks to Save Time

Email was originally invented to help us communicate faster and more efficiently, and to ultimately make our lives simpler. However, in these days where an overflowing inbox is all-too-often the norm, it can feel like taking the time to read all your emails and respond is a job in itself. Below are a few helpful Gmail tips and tricks available to help make your email work for you!

Gmail Tips and Tricks to Save TimeCanned Responses

If you feel like you are consistently sending the same email over and over, take advantage of canned responses. Gmail’s canned responses are pre-scripted emails at the tip of your finger tips which you can edit before sending. Canned responses are a great time saver, and you’ll also be certain that your messaging is consistent.

Pro Tip: Consistently sending out your price sheet? Rather than copying and pasting from a word document or somewhere else in your computer, set up a canned response you can easily add into the body of any email and then edit quickly to personalize.

Undo Send

Have you ever sent an email without proofreading or just wish you could take it back right after clicking the “Send” button? Gmail’s Undo Send allows you to stop the email from leaving your outbox if you change your mind within a few seconds of sending. You’ll have to be quick with this feature, but it’s worth it for those last minute, silly mistakes!

Pro Tip: Undo Send saves you from appearing unprofessional if you accidentally mistype your client’s name or notice a typo right after sending. This support article will walk you through adding this feature to your Gmail settings.

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