» 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!

» Review Your Fellow Pros with Endorsements

Review Your Fellow Pros with EndorsementsCollecting feedback about your wedding business is an important part of your business’ growth. With over two million reviews collected so far on WeddingWire.com, we know that reviews play a huge role in a business’ online reputation in today’s modern world!

Did you know that in addition to collecting reviews from your clients, you can also collect endorsements from other wedding professionals through your existing WeddingWire account?

Think of an endorsement as a review from a fellow wedding professional. Reviews from your clients show potential clients how well your business delivered on the day of the wedding or event, but endorsements from other professionals help potential clients see how credible your business is amongst your peers. Both reviews and endorsements, together, give a full picture of your business’ reputation.

Not convinced? Here are three reasons why professional endorsements should be part of your feedback process:

  • Getting professional references has never been easier. Easily receive endorsements for your skills and business practices from other Wedding Pros you’ve worked with and build more credibility with potential new clients.
  • Build instant credibility and strengthen your professional brand. Accumulating endorsements from other local Wedding Pros will instantly add credibility to your business and show that your professional network recognizes your work.
  • Endorse the Pros you know and give back to your peers. Endorsing other businesses is a great way to recognize your colleagues and help strengthen your peer connections within your network.

Use the Pros I Know tool to send or accept invitations to connect with other wedding and event professionals you know or have previously worked with. You can easily navigate between your connections, those you sent invitations to, and those who you received invitations.

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» 5 Steps to Build Your Online Reputation: Part 2

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

Yesterday, we featured Part 1 of “5 Steps to Build Your Online Reputation,” featuring the importance of knowing what your audience is saying about you and your business, and how to make feedback an important part of your business process from the start.

Review the next two keys to building a powerful online reputation below, and check back soon for the final step!

All Types of Feedback are Welcome – The more positive feedback you receive, the better results you will see for your business.  Reviews are the most powerful form of client feedback, but don’t forget about testimonials, social mentions and endorsements.  Testimonials have always been a strong way to gather feedback on your own website or blog.  Social mentions and likes can be a quick and easy way to get clients to leave feedback.  Getting a bride or groom to ‘like’ your business on Facebook only takes seconds, but can reach a large audience.  Finally, endorsements from other wedding professionals can show your expertise within an industry context.  We have made it simple to collect all forms of feedback on WeddingWire to help strengthen your business reputation.

Pro Tips:

  • 95% of engaged couples use online reviews to select their wedding vendors
  • Double-digit reviews drive more success! Our research shows that businesses with 11 or more reviews get +106% more traffic to their profiles and listings
  •  52% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations
  • When you receive a positive feedback, share the good news on your website, blog and social media!
  • Be sure to follow up and thank your clients for taking the time to provide feedback

Remember the Four Keys – The four keys for effective reviews are: Quality, Quantity, Consistency and Recency. Receiving high quality reviews are important because they show you provide great results, and that your previous clients were very happy with your service. A high quantity of reviews shows your track record of a lot of business, and therefore a lot of experience! The more reviews you receive over time shows your consistency from year to year, and helps to ensure potential clients of what they can expect. Finally, it is important for you to continue to request new, recent reviews so that engaged couples know you are still on top of your game!

Pro Tips:

  • WeddingWire recently launched our new Review Collector Tool, which makes it simple to get reviews from your past clients.  Simply enter email addresses of past clients, craft a message and it will automatically send emails to gather reviews on your behalf.

» Pro Network Basics

We all know the old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” At WeddingWire, we are passionate about the value behind networking online and in the wedding community to establish personal contacts with both potential clients and other industry professionals.

Creating contacts is particularly important in the wedding industry, and WeddingWire offers a unique professional networking tool, the Pro Network, to connect your business to other Wedding Pros. Take advantage of this tool and connect with your colleagues, share endorsements and highlight your accomplishments. Pro Network endorsements serve as colleague reviews on the site, and can be effective to grow business and gain potential clients.

To get started, simply click on the Pro Network tab within your WeddingWire account to see the different ways you can connect with other local Wedding Pros and manage your network.

Pro Network Basics:

Pros I Know – Send or accept invitations to connect with other Wedding Pros you know or have previously worked with. You can easily navigate between your connections, those you sent invitations to, and those who you received invitations from. You will be automatically notified via email when you receive a new invitation request so you will know to log into your account to make new connections! Once connected, you can give and receive endorsements of each other’s businesses. Use the search bar on the far right of your screen, and review your personalized suggestions from the Pros You May Know section to send requests to connect with other colleagues.

Preferred Pros – Create your list of trusted Wedding Pros from the Pros I Know section. Your Preferred Pros list can be added to your Storefront, shared with clients through email and printing, and displayed on your website or blog using our Preferred Pros Widget.

Endorsements – After a connection has been made, you have both the ability to give and receive endorsements. Think of an endorsement as a review from a Wedding Pro. Endorsements can be displayed on your Storefront for potential clients to see, and you can use the Endorsement Widget to share them on your website or blog.

Associations – Are you a member of any wedding associations?  Share your credentials, and add them to your network. Simply search by the name or location of the association and click to request to join.

 

» HOW TO: Refer a Pro

Have you worked with other Wedding Pros that might want to join the WeddingWire Network? We make it easy for you to send them a quick invitation, then you can connect through your WeddingWire Storefronts! Be sure to add them as a Pro You Know or give them an Endorsement after they join.

Here are the steps:

1. Login to your WeddingWire account

2. Visit http://www.weddingwire.com/vendor/VendorRefer

3. Enter the email address of the Wedding Pro you would like to invite

4. Include a personalized message

5. Click “Send Invites”

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» Get More Referrals

In the wedding industry networking and referrals are an important part of your business. Follow the tips below to help ensure your past clients refer you to their friends and family.

Meet Up. Take the time to meet with your clients one-on-one. This will help you form a stronger bond and build your relationship so they are more likely to feel a connection and refer you to their network.

Say Thanks. Don’t forget to say thank you after the wedding! Whether its with a card or a small gift, make sure you do something and wish the newlyweds well in their new life together.

Check In. Keep your relationship strong for years to come by checking in on anniversaries. Use this time to wish them well, while reminding past clients of what a great job you did for them and could do for others!

Share the Love. If you are booked on a certain date, keep a list of other Wedding Pros you know will take care of the client you can refer them to. Usually they will return the favor – expanding your reach and exposure!

Endorse Others. Use WeddingWire to endorse other Wedding Pros you know. It’s simple – just log into your account and search for their business. The majority of the time, the other Wedding Pro will be sure to vouch for your business as well.

What has been the best way for your to receive referrals in the past? Leave a comment below to let us know!


» Build Your Online Reputation: Step 2

This post written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.
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Step 2: Promote Positive Feedback

Feedback can come in many shapes and sizes.  As a business owner it is good to promote all types of positive feedback, in particular Reviews, Testimonials and Endorsements.  Reviews have become extremely important in the online world as consumers want to make informed decisions.  Building reviews for your business is critical to success and should be aggregated on reputable websites that showcase reviews across a wide set of businesses.  This will enhance the credibility of the reviews that you receive.

Testimonials are also another great form of feedback and can be used very effectively on your website or blog.  If you receive letters or messages about the work you have done, you should show it off.  Consumer testimonials tend to be less formal than reviews, but can help showcase the great work you have done.  Also, it is important to get endorsements from your peers.  Reviews and testimonials come from your clients, but having other wedding professionals vouch for your services can provide additional credibility.  You may also receive feedback on social media sites or blogs.  Make sure to treat these with the same type of respect and respond in a timely manner.  When it comes to these different forms of feedback, there are three factors that determine your success:

Quality of Feedback – Having high quality feedback is the first thing a customer notices.  Positive reviews, testimonials and endorsements show customers that you are good at what you do.

Quantity of Feedback – Quality matters, but you need to make sure that you have a large amount of feedback.  This is also important in case you receive some negative feedback.  Quantity shows your track record over time.

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