» 3 Ways Online Contracts Can Help Grow Your Business

WedInsights

	3 Ways Online Contracts Can Help Grow Your BusinessWhen it comes to closing the deal and signing on the dotted line, many wedding professionals unintentionally end up delaying the final sale due to outdated processes surrounding contracts and payments. As a result, engaged couples can become frustrated trying to find the time to meet in person or find a printer or fax machine.

In today’s digital age, millennials expect to do most of their wedding planning and vendor communication online. Using an online contract can not only help you close the deal faster, but also reflects well on your reputation as a tech-savvy wedding business! Below are some compelling statistics about the use of online contracts from Volume 8 of the WedInsight Series:

Over 60% of couples are required to sign a contract by meeting in person or by printing, signing, and sending the contract back.

Fax machines and scanners are no longer a household device, so why force your clients to spend time tracking down these devices to deliver you a signed contract? Plus, businesses that require their clients to fax a contract back take 1-2 days on average to receive a signed contract. Today’s couples prefer to use online methods, so use it to your advantage to make closing the deal as convenient as possible.

When given the choice, a couple’s most preferred method for signing a contract is using an online contract platform.

Using antiquated, offline methods could have a negative impact on your business’ reputation. The majority of couples perceive businesses that require contracts to be signed and sent back via fax or snail mail to be outdated and not tech savvy – which could give couples the same perception about your business. Make sure this same perception doesn’t carry over to your professional work by staying up-to-date with modern technology to show that your business is able to adapt.

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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.

» 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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» Latest Updates to Your WeddingWire Account

Latest Updates to Your WeddingWire AccountThe last few months have been very busy for our team as we prepared for this weekend’s latest release with brand new updates to your WeddingWire account. Below are some of the biggest changes you’ll notice when you login!

Access your account on any device

To make running your business even easier (and accessible from anywhere you go), we’re working to make the WeddingWire platform fully responsive! You can now use any device to access your Dashboard, Clients, Reviews, Education and Settings tabs.

Try it out now >>

Reviews keep getting even better

The new Manage Reviews section allows you to easily view, respond, and dispute your reviews within the Reviews tab. In addition, engaged couples now have the ability to submit a review before their wedding date for all categories as long as they have a signed contract. Get new reviews early while they are most likely to rave about your business!

Request new reviews >>

New Clients improvements

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» 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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» Power Your Client Management System with WeddingWire

Did you know you can manage your entire business through your premium WeddingWire account? Over 60% of our first year Pros have tried our Client Management tools as a way to digitally send contracts, invoices, questionnaires and more!

Power Your Client Management System with WeddingWireEven if you already have a customer relationship management system in place, WeddingWire’s Client Management tools offer a number of advantages over an outside system. Below are a few reasons why managing the whole client relationship process using your WeddingWire account will benefit your business!

Because our tools are within your WeddingWire account they’ll save you time, and they’re also extremely user-friendly for your clients. Potential clients can submit inquiries through your WeddingWire Storefront and receive word back from you via customizable auto-reply emails. When they decide to book your business, you can easily see your upcoming, past and completed events at a glance to track your past and current inquiries and booked weddings in one place.

In addition to easily managing your inquiries and bookings, WeddingWire makes it easy for you to send contracts and receive signed copies back quickly through the e-signing feature. Your clients will be directed to a customizable Client Site that is password-protected and secure. They’ll be able to view whatever you publish for them, such as a contract, invoice, or questionnaire in a safe and client-specific environment. You can easily customize your client site by changing the color scheme, or adding an image or logo so each site is branded as an extension of your business website but personalized for your client with their details. Keep in mind your clients do not have to have a WeddingWire account to access the client site and it is completely mobile friendly!

When you’ve used your Client Site to send documents back and forth securely and you have your signed contract ready, you can also accept online payments using your WeddingWire account. Our ePayments feature allows online payments to be received via each Client Site and sends them directly to your bank account, while automatically tallying the amount against the invoice for ultra-easy bookkeeping. Received a check in the mail? No problem. You can always manually record any payment you receive anytime.

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» Online Tools for the Creative Entrepreneur

Online Tools for the Creative EntrepreneurAs busy wedding and event professionals, you probably don’t have a ton of free time – if any! With everything on your plate, it can be hard to find the time to be creative with your business. Whether you’re looking for emerging trends in the wedding industry, trying to stay up to date with industry leaders or just thinking about new ways to make your customers happy, you need the right tools to access all that information quickly and efficiently.

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners have the same problems; you’re expected to be in-the-know about all aspects of your business, but you rarely have the time to keep up with it all. Luckily for you, there are plenty of online tools and apps to make your life easier!

If you want to be creative but still get everything done, use these online tools to save time!

Trend Tools

Pulse – Use the Pulse app to pull all your favorite news sources into one custom stream. You’ll keep your finger on the “pulse” of what’s going on with your favorite websites, publications and news sources. It’s easy to use on your phone or tablet, so you can quickly look through your stream when you have a few extra minutes on the go.

Pinterest – Your business may already be using Pinterest to add your own business’ images to get more backlinks to your website, but you can also use Pinterest as a quick and easy trend spotting tool! Follow your friends in the industry (or even WeddingWire!) for wedding inspiration, and follow WeddingWireEDU to easily scan trends in the business and tech world.

Data Tools

Google Analytics – If you aren’t already signed up on Google Analytics, it’s time to start. Google Analytics allows you to track traffic on your website and blog and see more information about your visitors, what pages they visit, and how long they stayed on your site. You’ll see which areas are performing well and which areas need improvement so you can increase web traffic and conversions. The best part: it’s free!

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» WeddingWire Workshop Phoenix

Yesterday, local Phoenix Wedding Pros gathered at Grayhawk Golf Club for one of our first WeddingWire Workshop events, focused on managing your business!

At the WeddingWire Workshop, Pros gathered for a comprehensive training on the tools available within the Clients Tab of premium members’ WeddingWire account. In addition to receiving hands-on WeddingWire account training, attendees also learned more about eventOS tools, met their local WeddingWire representatives, and enjoyed light snacks and beverages while networking with other local Pros after the training session.

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 2014!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us and participated in the Workshop. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Workshop Phoenix 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 Guide, 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 evening possible:

Finally, congrats to Michelle Hart of Antique Wedding House, the winner of a WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Workshop Phoenix

WeddingWire Workshop Phoenix

WeddingWire Workshop Phoenix

WeddingWire Workshop Phoenix

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» Using Inquiry Questionnaires and Auto Response Emails

With the end of engagement season and the start of wedding planning for all the newly engaged couples right around the corner, your business is going to be managing an influx of inquiries. Being able to manage your new inquires, your current clients and your already-booked events can be a lot to juggle!

Using Inquiry Questionnaires and Auto Response EmailsWeddingWire launched a variety of tools in our Clients tab to help Premium Pros manage their clients throughout all phases of the booking process, from first inquiry to payment. These tools will help you run your business more smoothly by streamlining the process for you as well as your clients. Two of the ways you can quickly and easily improve your efficiency is by taking advantage of WeddingWire inquiry Questionnaires and auto response emails.

With our Questionnaire tool you can build a custom questionnaire for your prospective clients to complete before you even speak with them. This will make your first conversation more productive, as you already have the basic questions out of the way and you can spend time with the client and deciding if they are the right fit for you.

Haven’t used an inquiry questionnaire before? Not sure of questions to ask prospective clients?

Think basic – What is their event date? What is their wedding theme? How many guests will be attending? What is the best time to connect with them to discuss your services further? Keep in mind that most couples are reaching out to multiple vendors for more information about their services – don’t make your questionnaire too long. For examples of questions to include for your service category, see this post about the benefits of a questionnaire!

Be strategic – Ask your prospective clients how they found your business. You’ll want to know how they found you, and asking when it’s still fresh in your client’s mind is likely going to yield better results than waiting until later. Ask specific questions like, “Have you read any reviews about my business?” to get more details on their search process.

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» WeddingWire Workshop Orlando

Yesterday, local Orlando Wedding Pros gathered at Mission Inn Resort & Club for one of our first WeddingWire Workshop events, focused on managing your business!

At the WeddingWire Workshop, Pros gathered for a comprehensive training on the tools available within the Clients Tab of premium members’ WeddingWire account. In addition to receiving hands-on WeddingWire account training, attendees also learned more about eventOS tools, met their local WeddingWire representatives, and enjoyed light snacks and beverages while networking with other local Pros after the training session.

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 2014!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us and participated in the Workshop. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Workshop Orlando 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 Guide, 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 evening possible:

Finally, congrats to Cally Bastin of Elegant Weddings of Orlando, the winner of a WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Workshop Orlando

WeddingWire Workshop Orlando

WeddingWire Workshop Orlando

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» Tools for Growing Small Businesses

Tools for Growing Small BusinessesWith 2014 laid out in front of us, it’s time to decide what goals you’d like to achieve and how you’re going to achieve them! It’s one thing to make a New Year’s resolution, but it’s quite another to follow through on it.

If one of your goals for 2014 is to grow your business, then this post is for you! We’ve got your four top tools and tips for growing small businesses to help you reach your growth goals.

Implement a social media management system.

Social media is no longer an option for many small businesses. Growing your online presence through social media properties can help you reach new potential customers and grow your brand awareness. It can be hard to find the time each week to spend on social media, especially when you need to log in to each account and make your updates.

A social media management system allows you to manage multiple accounts from one place. You don’t have to log in and out of your various accounts, and you can see feedback from fans being pushed right to your system. You can even schedule posts ahead of time so that you don’t have to get on every day at a certain time if you’re busy! There are free to low-cost tools like Hootsuite that allow you to do all of these same activities.

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» Top 10 WeddingWire Resolutions

Top 10 WeddingWire ResolutionsIt’s 2014 – whether you’re ready or not! We know you’re probably dreaming up your personal New Year’s resolutions, but have you considered your business’ New Year’s resolutions? What do you wish to accomplish or do differently as a business this year?

Premium WeddingWire members may find that many of their business’ New Year’s resolutions can be accomplished from within their WeddingWire accounts. If you’re ready to make your business more effective and efficient in 2014, try our top 10 WeddingWire resolutions!

Update your Storefront.

It may seem simple, but a few updates to your WeddingWire Storefront can make a huge difference to new and potential clients. 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.

Configure your Mobile Site.

Mobile usage grew significantly in 2013, and it will only continue to take over in the New Year. Our Mobile Site Creator allows you to mobilize your own business website in seconds! Customers on-the-go will see your photos, reviews, and info so they can contact you with the tap of a finger.

Join a conversation in the Pro Forums.

Grow your professional network and industry knowledge by becoming a regular in the Pro Forums! Thousands of Pros nationwide are there to offer expert advice, personal experiences and professional opinions to other Wedding Pros. Try jumping into a conversation that interests you and see what you can learn!

Stay up to date on Education.

Since you’re already reading this blog post, you’re off to a good start! You always have access to our Education Center, but you can deepen your relationship with WeddingWireEDU in 2014 by liking us on Facebook, adding us to your Google+ circles, and following us on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You’ll never miss a post or event!

Optimize your Storefront for Search.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has only grown in the past few years, which means it will continue to be important in the New Year! Improve your SEO rankings for your Storefront and your own website across Google, Yahoo and Bing by creating a custom url, receiving direct inbound links and adding custom SEO content all from within your account.

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