» Can You Hear Me Now? Communication Tips to Get More Replies and Bookings

July-Webinar-ImageWebinar recap!

Communicating with clients in this day in age can be very confusing. Technology has transformed not only the way we communicate, but what we should be saying and how we should be saying it.

It’s important to be familiar with the best modern communication practices in order to get more replies and book more couples! In this month’s webinar for Premium members, WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg shared his tips for successful communication in the wedding industry!

Here are the 6 T’s that Alan suggests for better client communication:

    • Technology. With literally thousands of apps available for communication–from Messages, to Live Chat, to email, to calling, etc.– it’s difficult to know the best way to get in touch with a couple. At the end of the day, customer convenience is the motto to live by. Follow their lead using their preferred communication type. If you’re making the first contact, email is typically your safest bet, as most couples prefer email over all other communication methods.
    • Timing. The faster you respond to a couple, the more likely it is that they will choose your business over others. Most couples expect a response within 24 hours, so if you know you won’t be able to get back to them before then, at least make contact to let them know you will be in touch soon.
    • Text. Whatever method of communication you choose, be sure to keep your message short and sweet. Also make sure that anything you send can be easily read on a mobile device. Alan suggests that you avoid using attachments and graphics when possible, as those tend not to load properly on mobile devices.
    • Tone. When it comes to your tone, the golden rule is to mirror your client. Get a feel for their manner, and respond accordingly. However, don’t feel obligated to ditch your unique voice, and don’t change your tone once you’ve booked a client. Stay true to yourself and your business personality!
    • Transition. Alan says that one of the most important elements to remember (and one that many business owners forget) is to always provide a call to action. Give your clients a sense of direction, letting them know what the next best step is. However, don’t be pushy; you don’t want to rush them or make them feel forced into an appointment.
    • Tenacity. Don’t give up on a sale if you haven’t heard back right away! Couples are very busy when planning a wedding, so follow up to remind them that you still care about their sale. Ask for the sale if they ask you a question, but avoid seeming impatient. It’s a best practice to follow up 3-5 times on a lead before you let it go, just remain professional and try different approaches to see what gets you a reply.

For more great advice, watch the full webinar, and be sure to check out Alan’s blog all about the business of weddings!

Pro tip: WeddingWire Messages is a fast and easy way to connect with couples, available now in your account! You’ll be notified about new leads or messages, and you can reply using your email, account or mobile device. You’re easily able to send attachments, manage conversations and client details, and move from inquiry to marked as booked instantly. Learn more here!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids

Yesterday, wedding professionals gathered at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining and Banquet for WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids!

At the Networking Night, Grand Rapids pros had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Director of Market Insights, Andy Whittaker.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and gorgeous photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Loren of YoloEventPics!

WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at the Gem Theatre for WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit!

At the Networking Night, Detroit pros had the opportunity to enjoy a historic venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Regional Manager of Customer Success, Megan Hayes.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Trevor of Me + Him Photography!

WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016 Continue reading

» Account Updates to Reviews and Messages

We’ve made some updates to your WeddingWire experience to help you connect with more couples searching for their wedding team. Learn more about these updates to reviews and messages below!

Additional Details in Reviews

Recent reviews now display more information about the services you provided for past clients. These details are listed to give users more context about what offerings that reviewer used from your business, such as whether a venue was booked for a ceremony, reception, or rehearsal dinner; or if they had additional services such as event set-up, uplighting or catering.

How do we get this information? After submitting a review, couples are able to complete an optional set of questions based on your business category, as well as the types of services you provide as noted in the FAQ section of your Storefront. If the user completes these optional questions, the additional information will be listed with their review to help confirm which if your business services they used for their wedding that other couples may be interested in.

Review Enhancement

Read Your Reviews>>

Quick Replies to Messages

It can be difficult to stay on top of your leads while also managing current clients, especially during busy season! Now, in addition to personal message replies, you can also let a couple know if you’re unavailable on their requested date with a ‘quick reply’ right from your message notification email or within your account. Simply click on ‘Not Available’ to auto-generate a customizable message to thank them for their inquiry, and indicate you’re booked on their date. Continue reading

» Infographic: Building Your Reputation Through Wedding Industry Relationships

A strong reputation is one of the best marketing tools you can have as a wedding professional – so don’t be afraid to network locally with potential clients and build relationships with other wedding pros! By reaching out to your peers, you can create professional connections that can lead to more referrals which means more leads. It’s important to get involved in your community to spread your name and your business skills in order to develop a powerful reputation.

Check out our latest infographic, which provides important highlights from our recent webinar all about building your reputation through wedding industry relationships, hosted by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon.

June_Webinar_Infographic

To learn more, watch the full webinar available any time to all Premium members. And check out the latest industry data and reports available at WedInsights.com!

» Gay Weddings By The Numbers: The Year Since Marriage Equality

This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings, 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.

From a market perspective, one of the most interesting results of our post-marriage equality existence is that the economic impact story will finally be revealed rather than projected. As we cross the threshold of June 26, 2016 – one year since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v Hodges decision – we can now offer our first concrete snapshot of what did happen nationally for same-sex couples and the wedding market.

Gay Weddings By The Numbers: The Year Since Marriage EqualityIn addition to our 2016 Survey of Contemporary Couples and Wedding Trends – a highly disciplined national study of more than 1,400 LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ recently married couples, conducted by the research teams at WeddingWire and Community Marketing & Insights, along with the unmatched same-sex wedding market experience of yours truly (17 years) and Bernadette Smith of the Gay Wedding Institute (12 years) – Gallup and a scholar from the Williams Institute have offered some analysis of what has happened in the past year.

The headliner, of course, is that Gary Gates, a recently retired distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute of UCLA, analyzed our Contemporary Couples report and the Gallup report, concluding that same-sex couples spent more than $1.3 billion on their weddings in the past year. I think it’s safe to say that the economic impact in this past year was clear.

But what can we expect moving forward?

To answer that question, here are some economic and demographic highlights that may impact your decision-making as you consider your approach to expanding your services to be inclusive of all couples:

  • Gallup estimates that approximately 123,00 same-sex couples married in the U.S. in the past year.
  • The Gallup poll showed an increase in couples living together who reported being married as having grown from 38% pre-Obergefell to almost half of all same-sex couples (49%) post-Obergefell.
  • Gallup estimates that 3.9% percent of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBT.

Given the above, it’s important to note that Gallup, in looking at its poll results between June-Nov of 2015 and Nov 2015-June 2016, sees the spike in same-sex marriages may be leveling off. This is certainly a trend that I expected to see that is, once federal marriage equality occurred, any couples who had been waiting for this milestone would be prepared to get married in relatively short order and more ‘typical’ market rhythms would be upon us.

So, while we saw 123,000 couples spend $1.3 billion in the past year, can we count on this as a stable predictor?

Continue reading

» #WeDoLove for the Anniversary of Marriage Equality

This Sunday, June 26, 2016, marks the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality!

The court ruled that the right to marriage is a fundamental right for all – that there is no legal or moral justification for standing in the path of marriage equality. Members of the WeddingWire and GayWeddings teams were on-site to witness the historic decision, and spent the morning celebrating with the LGTBQ community and straight allies in attendance.

To celebrate this monumental anniversary, WeddingWire and our sister site, GayWeddings, collected video submissions from wedding pros and engaged couples alike telling us why they “do love” in support of marriage for all and they did not disappoint! Check out the inspiring video below to be reminded of why marriage equality is such an important victory for love that impacts all of us.

Together with GayWeddings, WeddingWire is proud to continue offering resources and education to all engaged couples and wedding professionals. We hope you enjoy celebrating this important moment in history this weekend with loved ones!

Spread the love and let the LGBTQ community know that you’re ready, willing, and able to help them plan the wedding of their dreams by adding our GayWeddings badges to your website or blog. Or, if you haven’t yet joined the GayWeddings directory to start reaching more same-sex couples, learn how to opt-in and customize your main image on GayWeddings today.

» WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at The Clayton on the Park for WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix!

At the Networking Night, Phoenix pros had the opportunity to enjoy a modern venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Regional Manager of Customer Success, Katey McBurney.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Cori of the Phoenix Art Museum!

Click the photo below to view the highlight video by Distinctive Wedding Videos.

WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix

View the rest of the event photos below!

WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Phoenix 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at 214 Martin Street for WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh!

At the Networking Night, Raleigh pros had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Donald of Showtime Events!

WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Raleigh 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at Carmine’s Little Italy for WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas!

At the Networking Night, Las Vegas pros had the opportunity to enjoy a private venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Director of Market Insights, Andy Whittaker.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Constance Mosebo of MXI Studios!

WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Las Vegas 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa

Yesterday, wedding professionals gathered at 1930 Grande Room for WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa!

At the Networking Night, Tampa pros had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Associate Director for Customer Success, Kyle Mihalcoe.
Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Ronnette of The Vault!

WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Tampa 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at the Mansion at Fontanel for WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville!

At the Networking Night, Nashville pros had the opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Regional Manager for Customer Success, Megan Hayes.
Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and fantastic photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Kate of Owsley Design!

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville 2016 Continue reading