» Becoming an Entrepreneur in Someone Else’s Business

Pro to Pro Insights

Jennifer Taylor, Taylor'd Events GroupThis post was written by Jennifer Taylor. Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui.

So you love the wedding industry, but aren’t so keen on the responsibilities that come with owning your business…

While it may seem like everyone in the industry is starting their own business, remember that it’s entirely acceptable if that’s not in your sights. Every professional has a different path and, just because you’re not into the idea of running the show, that’s not to say you can’t be a valuable asset in the industry. If anything, many small business owners need support so there’s certainly a place for you to put your skills to good use.

Becoming an Entrepreneur in Someone Else’s BusinessOn the other hand, some future entrepreneurs are simply not quite ready to launch their business, whether for financial or experiential reasons. Either way, finding a workplace in the industry will help you develop your local network and provide you with the experience to really make a name for yourself.

If you’re new to the industry, look for a company that will push you to grow as a professional and are eager to help with your career path. While searching for the very best fit, don’t limit yourself to a specialty. Even if you want to focus on event planning eventually, getting some experience with a catering company or at an event venue will provide you with some down-and-dirty experience that will help to expand your skill set.

Be prepared to hear from other entrepreneurs that you should start your own business or that “you’d be so good at it!” Even though you would be great at it, that doesn’t mean it’s the right venture for your career. There are many reasons to avoid starting your own business, so don’t let peer pressure make you feel like you’re missing out.

When you do find the right place to nurture your skills, be sure to settle all of the nitty-gritty before hitting the ground running. You’ll want to determine whether you’re a payroll employee or an independent contractor – this affects your taxes significantly, so be sure to understand your role. In addition, you’ll need to know how you’ll get paid – are you making a percentage of your clients’ billables or are you paid hourly?

Once everything is sorted out, it’s time to start hustling – and hard! Just because you’re not the business owner doesn’t mean you won’t play a big role in the company, so be prepared to do everything you can to push the business to its full potential. You are an equal part of the company’s successes and failures – keep that in mind!

As you learn the ropes, don’t be afraid to ask about other aspects of the business that you may not be involved in like writing a business plan or handling all of the expenditures – this will help you understand the owner’s decisions and give you an opportunity to be more helpful along the way. It’s really the best way to become a valued member of the team, so don’t shy away from immersing yourself into the company’s culture.

Sure, getting a job is important, but getting the right job is even more important – for you and the company alike. Find a place that values your skills and will help you boost your reputation within the industry. If the first or second places aren’t ideal, keep looking!

» Congrats to the 2016 Weddi Awards™ Winners

Weddi Awards 2016

We are pleased to announce the 2016 Weddi Awards™ winners!

The Weddi Awards™ is WeddingWire’s annual award program distinguishing exceptional businesses and individuals in the wedding industry in the categories of Professional Achievement, Customer Excellence and Innovation + Creativity. Review the full list of winners, and navigate to the award categories, then click on each award name to find out the individual winners.

All winners were announced at the Weddi Awards™ reception at WeddingWire World 2016 last week. Winners receive a trophy to showcase their win, materials to help spread the word, and bragging rights on the Weddi Awards™ website for the year!

Thank you to all those who participated in the Weddi Awards program this year through nominations, voting, judging and collecting great amounts of reviews, endorsements and traffic to great features on WeddingWire. We appreciate your commitment to success and integrity in the industry, as well as your support of colleagues and other Pros.

We look forward to continuing to evolve, expand and improve the program in the future. Stay tuned for details for the 2017 Weddi Awards™ program later this year via the Weddi Awards™ website!

» Voting is Now Live for the Weddi Awards™!

Weddi_Award16_logo_stacked-teal-black-TMThe Weddi AwardsTM, WeddingWire’s latest awards program for distinguishing exceptional service in the wedding industry, has now launched the voting pages for all Weddi Award nominees!

Earlier this fall, we launched the program and accepted submissions from Pros and peers to honor exceptional work in the industry through a variety of awards in the professional experience, customer excellence and innovation + creativity categories.

To vote, visit the website and click through the award pages to find out what Pros you know have been nominated, and vote for your favorite entry for each voting-based award. Each individual can only vote one time per award (per device), so pick your winner carefully!

The top three nominees with the most votes per award will move on to the final stage of the competition, and will win a free ticket to WeddingWire World 2016 and a special invitation to our Weddi Award reception at the event where the ultimate winner as determined by our panel of 11 industry judges will be announced!

If you or an industry friend has been nominated, share the news! Email, post, and tweet with a  link to their award’s voting page and ask your audience of past clients, colleagues, friends and family to vote from now through December 23, 2015 when voting closes at midnight EST. All nominees will be contacted to learn if they are in the top three per award by December 31, 2015.

For more information about the Weddi Awards™, please read our press release here.

Additional questions? Please refer to the Weddi Awards™ FAQ page, or you can reach out to us directly at weddiawards@weddingwire.com.

Good luck to all the nominees!

» Submit Your Business for the Weddi Awards™!

The Weddi AwardsTM is WeddingWire’s latest awards program for distinguishing exceptional service in the wedding industry. You can submit your business or industry colleagues who deserve recognition to win!

Honor extraordinary work by submitting your business or a peer for a Weddi AwardTM in the main categories of Professional Achievement, Customer Excellence, and Innovation & Creativity. Business’ with the most total wedding reviews on WeddingWire in the US, Canada, by region, and by category will also win. View all awards on the Weddi Awards™ website, and see some highlighted awards below.

Weddi_Award16_logo_stacked-teal-black-TMYou could win:

  • Best Real Wedding
  • Most Creative Use of Social Media
  • Most Total Wedding Reviews by Category
  • Most Effective Branding
  • The Rising Star Award
  • Most Helpful Mentor Award
  • Most Charitable, Wedding Related
  • And more!

The top three candidates for each award will receive a complimentary standard ticket to WeddingWire World 2016, where candidates will be invited to a special awards reception where winners will be announced awarded with a custom trophy (and bragging rights!). Be sure to purchase your WeddingWire World ticket now before our next price increase, and any tickets purchased by winners will be refunded.

Applications close after November 18th, 2015, so don’t wait! You can submit to as many awards as you would like, but you can only submit once per award, per business.

Submit Your Business for the Weddi Awards™!

Learn more and start submitting today!

» Updating Your GayWeddings.com Listing

This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com, the leading online resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.

I’m feeling awfully reflective these days.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve just started the book tour for the release my new book (co-authored with photographer Thea Dodds), The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography, and that’s got me into a storytelling mood.

Updating Your GayWeddings.com ListingOr perhaps it’s because this month – May, 2014 – marks 10 years of marriage equality in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In some ways, it feels like May of 2004 happened a heartbeat ago; in other ways, it has felt like a long (once lonely, but increasingly crowded and joyous) journey.

It’s also been just over 10 years since we launched our ‘gay-friendly’ directory (which we now refer to as our LGBTQ-friendly directory and which is now powered by WeddingWire), where we showcase wedding professionals – straight and gay alike – who are ready, willing and able to serve same-sex couples. More importantly, what was once a catalog of several hundred professionals nationwide has grown in size to one of over 90,000 Pros. And yes, I still get chills every time I say that.

But, here’s the thing: wedding professionals nationwide have enthusiastically signed up to serve the LGBTQ community via our wedding directory, but the majority have not yet updated their settings to reveal their sensitivity to this market.

Continue reading

» Key Takeaways: What’s Next in Tech

Key Takeaways: What's Next in TechWebinar Recap!

This week, WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly presented our monthly webinar, What’s Next in Tech! Sonny shared his top predictions for the future of technology – and how they may impact your business through next year and beyond.

During the webinar, Sonny shared lots of surprising tech trends, the latest exciting new technologies and how they may impact our daily lives and businesses in the future.  Below are his top four tech recommendations to keep in mind as we consider what may be coming next in our technology-focused and fast paced world.

1) Change is the only constant: Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Don’t get too comfortable with your technology of today – and be sure to keep yourself and your business on par with what is happening in the technology space of today to stay competitive and tech-forward with your business. Remember, when it comes to technology, the only barrier is imagination!

2) Social expansion is on the rise: Social media can no longer be considered a fad. In the past few years, the keys to social media success have been YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. However, emerging social networks are growing fast, including Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr – and your target audiences are spending a lot of time on these sites. Consider expanding your business’ social networks to reach more new clients!

3) We are in the mobile revolution: Within the next 9 months, there will be more mobile devices than people on earth, and we are quickly shifting to a ‘mobile first’ world where people are actively opening email, searching the web and sending inquires on phones and tablets over desktops. How does your website look on a mobile device? Mobile and tablet friendly web design is crucial to business success from clients searching for you from their devices. If you haven’t mobilized your site, get started with the Mobile Website Creator tool and have an easy-to-use and visually appealing mobile business site in minutes.

4) It’s time to prepare for the internet of things: By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices. These will include self-driving cars, health-monitoring watches, smart eyewear and more. Our everyday technologies will also simultaneously ‘talk’ to one another. For example, if you get an email that your morning meeting was delayed, your alarm clock could be notified to sleep in 15 minutes later, and your commute could be adjusted for your car’s GPS to take into account a different traffic pattern automatically.

Learn more about all the emerging technology and these big four trends by viewing the full webinar! Also, all of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros if you want to check out past webinars you may have missed.

Stay tuned for information about next month’s webinar: Top Business Resolutions 2014!

» Introducing…The New Project Wedding

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more.

For many months, we have been hard at work redesigning and revamping WeddingWire’s sister site, Project Wedding – and we are so excited to present the new and improved Project Wedding to you!

Project Wedding is a one stop shop for discovering, collecting, and sharing wedding inspiration. From real wedding photos to DIY projects, wedding dresses to décor, and lots more, Project Wedding is all about helping couples create their wedding vision. Project Wedding members can browse through thousands of inspiring wedding photos and ideas, easily create inspiration boards, and then share those boards with family, friends, and wedding professionals (like you!) to gain feedback. Members can also follow users that inspire them, including fellow Project Wedding users, our editors, and experts.

project wedding logo - new

Project Wedding is a great tool for wedding professionals – and a site you should share with your couples. Your clients can easily create inspiration boards of photos that inspire them, and then share those boards with you. You’ll be able to clearly get a sense of your clients’ sense of style, color scheme, and favorite details – and provide your comments and ideas seamlessly.

Want to be published on Project Wedding? We’re always looking for amazing real weddings, as well as photos of wedding details – cakes, flowers, favors, stationery, and more! Find our real wedding submission guidelines here, or feel free to email us at realweddings@projectwedding.com for more details.

» Just Announced: WeddingWire World 2013

WeddingWire is excited to announce our second annual WeddingWire World!

Save the date! The one-day conference will be held on July, 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. Come and learn about the latest trends & tools for your business from industry leaders, get one-on-one advice on how to grow your business, and network with wedding industry peers!

Be the first to know! Sign up to stay informed about WeddingWire World 2013 registration, and special access to early bird discounts.

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» Tech Update: Facebook News Feed Facelift

Yesterday, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, announced that Facebook’s News Feed will be changing to a more visually appealing layout.

The News Feed will move to a design that focuses on images and video content. Another notable change is that Facebook’s new look will appear the same on your computer as it does your tablet and phone. This is yet another example of how the world is going mobile first!

Zuckerberg is comparing the new Facebook’s News Feed to a “personalized newspaper” where you will be able to organize and categorize your feed based on the type of content. For example, you’ll have the ability to create a Friends feed, a Music feed, a Photos feed, an Industry feed, and so forth to categorize your updates based on your interests. Also, the more you check a certain feed, the more important it will become to your account and will show on the top of your list of feeds in order to make the entire experience of the Facebook network more customizable. Check out the full overview of redesigned News Feed from Mashable. The new version started rolling out yesterday, so stay tuned for these changes to your feed!

Are you excited for the new Facebook News Feed? Do you think it will impact your business?

» 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.

» 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!