Improving your social media content is something we all strive for as wedding pros. One of  my favorite I Said Yes! advertiser perks is that they share all advertisers on their Instagram + Facebook stories. That is to say, other than shows, blogs and giveaway marketing. For this reason, I am constantly looking at wedding pros’ social media.

Social Media content from I Said Yes! FL

Without a doubt, the best and easiest accounts to feature are the wedding vendors who are constantly posting on their social media! It’s so easy to share when you consistently have new weddings and ideas on your Instagram accounts. Likewise when you feature new services, set ups and products. These are the things I Said Yes! engaged couples  want to see! Further, the more exciting, engaging and alluring your content is, the more likely it will grab their attention when we share.

What If I Don't have content

The main issue we run into, is from newbies in the wedding industry. For instance, those who may no yet have 100s of weddings to pull images from. However, it’s also obvious that some heavy hitters, who have been in the industry for decades, can also have a difficult time finding their footing on social media. Specifically Instagram. So what should you be posting and what are the main rules when posting on social?

Well, all social media platforms are wildly different. For example, a longer trailer of your work may be appropriate for your YouTube channel. But might be too long for an Instagram reel. Next, an article where you’ve been quoted will most likely garner more attention on LinkedIn than on Instagram. Consider how the main rules for posting on social will vary from platform to platform. When discussing Instagram specifically,  there are several main rules to remember:

5 rules for your social media content

Professional Photos

Use Professional Photos as much as possible! Screen shots and poorly captured iPhone pics on a wedding professionals’ IG does not SCREAM “hire me”. In fact, it screams, “I’m not up to date”. Need to get your hands on professional photos? Reach out to the photographer after weddings you’ve serviced. Or even better, reach out to the couple themselves. You will want permission to use your clients’  wedding photos. As a rule, this is best discussed from the beginning on your intake form. Also, it’s never a bad idea to request that professional photos are emailed to you once received. Thus allowing you to be forthright and let them know, you woudl LOVE TO SHARE their wedding photos. In return, you will send them a gift card for coffee or something more specific from your business. Most couples are happy to oblige. Subsequently may event want to be tagged. So don’t forget to ask and make a note!

Spam Belongs In The Trash

Let us say that one more time: SPAM belongs in the trash! Hopefully, couples know who you are when browsing your IG photos. Because your IG handle is your business name and you are NOT using a personal IG. Obviously followers should be able to easily locate your Linktree or other landing page link. Similarly your website should be on your Instagram, and your default photo should be your logo. Or a photo that is easily identifiable as your business and sets you a part! Do NOT spam your IG photos in the text. This is NOT something anyone wants to continue reading. The text and copywrite for all your IG photos and posts should actually speak to the image you posted and not be ANOTHER commercial for your business.

Space It Out!

The worst thing you can do is share all 100 photos of the wedding you just did all at one time. What does this mean?! OK, so we do this at I Said Yes!. But let me break it down for you. After a wedding show, I Said Yes! will publish ALL the photos from that wedding show on our Facebook page and with GREAT reason! In this situation, we want all the vendors and couples from that show to be able to GRAB their photos, share them and TAG us! However, for Instagram, this is NOT the best idea, SAVE something for your social media content later down the road.  That is to say, don’t spam us all with photos from the same wedding every day for the next 4 days. To clarify, we mean posting 1 photo at a time or multiple photos a day (insert eye roll). For this reason, take your time. Chiefly, save some of those shots for later down the line. You never know when a taco bar photo might just SERVE you later. Salud!

Tag and Give Credit

When posting past weddings, it is  VITAL that you tag the photographer! In fact, you should be TAGGING all the FEATURED wedding pros in all your posts. Whether you are posting these wedding photos on your personal or your professional social shouldn’t matter. Because you are in the wedding industry, which means, you are expected to KNOW BETTER and take the time to tag those who helped to produce whatever photo, event, styled shoot, dinner, etc. you are sharing! YES this takes time and work. HOWEVER, it took time and work to produce every detail of whatever exhibit, bouquet, picture perfect wedding party, etc. you are posting.  I promise, the tagging will take way less time than it did to produce whatever intricacies are within those images. You like the credit when it’s your up lighting, cake, video, event, etc. So make sure to GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE (this means tagging planners, florists, cake artists, linen companies, etc.).

Hashtag 5 or 30?

Hashtags are one of those topics that everyone and every social media manager and company has to decide for themselves what makes sense. You can have up to 30 hashtags per post for IG posts, but should you use all 30? It depends, how often are your target clients finding you through your hashtags? Are they relevant to the image or to your business and brand, or all 3? For I Said Yes! FL Instagram we tend to use all 30 hashtags because we are a resource to all Florida engaged couples and that’s a lot of different types of brides, grooms and weddings. But if your brand has a very specific type of groom or bride, maybe you don’t need to utilize all 30 hashtags every time you post. Whatever you do, we now know that IG will penalize your content within the algorithm if you use the same hashtags every time. With that said, CHANGE up those hashtags and don’t be lazy!

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Stay tuned for the next social media content blog: If I’m NEW, What Can I Use For Content? Also, join our weekly e-newsletter to get the newest blog directly to your inbox.

For more wedding pros tips, tricks and business help, visit the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros Blog.

Guest Blogger: Regia Carani of Be Seen Social and I Said Yes! Social Media Manager

Generally speaking, humans don’t like being uncomfortable. However, this blog encourages you to practice being uncomfortable. As a result, you may be able to re-program your brain to achieve goals you thought unattainable.

Programming Your Own Limits

Alex Honnold is a real-life superman. Or is he?

He is unequivocally the greatest free solo mountain climber in history. Free solo climbing is fingers, chalk, rock. That’s it. In 2017, Honnold free solo climbed El Capitan in the Yosemite National Park, considered by some to be the greatest physical achievement by any human. Ever. The 2,900′ route Honnold traversed often takes a team of professional climbers with full gear two or three days to summit.

Honnold did it with no ropes, all alone, in three hours and fifty-six minutes.

vendor Blog Practice Being Uncomfortable

This Is Super-Hero Stuff

Of his exploits, Honnold has said, “My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I’ve pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible.”

It turns out there’s some scientific basis for that statement. Honnold was tested by neuroscientists a few years ago to measure his fear response mechanism – that fight or flight part of your amygdala, the pre-historic lizard brain, that reacts below your conscious control. Alex had no measurable fear response.

No Fear

“Of course! ” you might exclaim. “Clearly, he has no fear if he climbs 3,000′ without a rope!”

Not so fast. Zero fear response at the subconscious level of the lizard brain is typically only found in instances of profound mental illness or brain damage. By all accounts, Honnold is suffering neither. Why then, does he register no fear response?

Scientists are not sure, but they think maybe he’s actually programmed it out of himself. The fear response appears distributed across a typical bell curve. Some people are jumpy, and some are chill. The neuroscientists that studied Honnold presume he was on the “chill” end of the spectrum to begin with, and that through more than twenty years of constantly testing his limits, he’s literally programmed fear response out of his system. He may have re-written the code in his lizard brain. He does not experience fear because there is nothing in his subconscious reacting to the stimuli.

practice being uncomfortable

As it happens, not only is there a neurological explanation behind Honnold’s incredible mental and physical strength, there might be biological proof behind the “coding” process. Daniel Coyle, the author of The Talent Code, writes, “There is, biologically speaking, no substitute for attentive repetition. Nothing you can do – talking, thinking, reading, imagining – is more effective in building a skill than executing the action, firing the impulse down the nerve fiber, fixing errors, honing the circuit.” What Coyle is describing is the process by which myelin, the insulation wrapping our brain circuits, is applied. It appears that the circuits with the most insulation are the ones that get fired the most and therefore are the ones that function the fastest. Externally this begins to look like what we call variously skill, talent, or even genius.

you can re-program your brain

Writer and brain coach Jim Kwik has said, “Don’t fight for your limitations because you get to keep them.” It’s entirely possible that if you’re firing the neurons telling your lizard brain that you can’t do something, you’re adding more and more insulation to that neural path. In effect, you might be making the “I can’t” circuit the fastest, most efficient one in your brain.

The good news is that the process works on any neural pathway that is fired repeatedly. That means you have the ability to re-program your own brain!

It means, in the end, either consciously or unconsciously, you are steadily programming yourself, all day, every day, to be exactly who you are.

There is only fear if you practice being afraid. There is defeat if you practice defeat. You also have the nearly limitless ability if you program your brain to achieve goals. You get to decide whether to push the bubble of your comfort zone or not.

There is a mountain out there. Stand in the valley, or climb it.

Guest Blogger; Mentor, Artist and Humanitarian – Mark Ernest

Find more business tips, advice and information, like this practice being uncomfortable blog, on the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros Blog

The question being answered today is, why invest in an I Said Yes! listing online? 

wedding vendors by category on I Said Yes! FL

we know you are busy

First, our team takes the work out of it for you. That is to say, we know you are busy and don’t have the time to put in creating the listing. Therefore we do the work for you. Our staff members have been in the industry for over 15 years and know what to look for when building your listing. Knowing that your website should be the best representation of your business, we go there first. Then use that information, plus your social media pages as a map to create your best listing. We want your online profile to get the best SEO possible. Also standing out against your competition. Finally, you will receive an email from our team so you can review the listing, provide additional photos and videos if needed. Then voila, you are done! 

We Blog

One way we keep our SEO fresh is by regularly posting on our I Said Yes! wedding inspiration blog. Featured in those blogs are local wedding professionals. When you invest in a listing on I Said Yes!, we link directly from the blog, to your listing. Resulting in additional views of your profiles, increased visibility and recognition. When your friendors submit Real Weddings in which you were a participating vendor, you get tagged and linked.

Also remember you can submit to the blog at any time. We take Real Weddings, Styled Shoots and Expert Advice. The link is always available on the wedding pros tab on I Said Yes! FL.

In the same vein, when we put a link to the blog you were featured in on your I Said Yes! listing it creates an additional layer of credibility to your online presence.

our followers see you more

Next, why should you care about our followers? Because we feature our advertisers quarterly (and many times more often than that). For instance, when you join us for shows and as luncheon sponsors and blog contributors, we post on our IG stories and FB highlights. Blog posts are posted on IG, FB and Pinterest, and we introduce new advertisers on social and tag your IG/FB pages as well post your I Said Yes! online profile.

Follow us on social:

Facebook
Facebook Pros Page
Instagram
Instagram Pros Page
Pinterest

What's Shows Got To Do With It

A lot actually! Why? I Said Yes! FL runs FB/IG and Google ads throughout the year to get the word out to Florida brides and grooms about our wedding shows and wedding planning date nights ( I DOs and BREWS). Here’s the great part, we no longer promote free show tickets, which means these brides/grooms are buying in. For this reason, these couples mean business. That is to say they are serious about their wedding planning and want to know more about you.

Next, we send all these buying brides/grooms to isaidyesfl.com to register for their show tickets. That is 1000’s of engaged couples throughout the year being directed right to our website where your online profile lives. 

Further, as a pre-show giveaway or grand prize show vendor we feature you and your online profile within the FB event page. And on IG as well. Then we link your online profile whenever possible. Starting with when you first sign on to advertise with us. 

Stay Awhile

We want the engaged couples to stay on I Said Yes! FL and go exploring. For this reason, we do a number of different things to encourage them to stay a while. First, we post grand prizes, exciting show exhibits, show sponsors and other show related info on show pages. Consider this a digital program with the purpose to educate attendees before show day.

Second, the I Said Yes! FL wedding blog is packed full of helpful information and inspiration for couples looking to plan their wedding.

Last, but certainly not least, we have a website giveaway. As part of the entry, couples are required to reach out to 2 I Said Yes! FL wedding vendors through the Request Pricing button on individual online profiles. This ensures that engaged couples who are actively planning their wedding are signing up for this giveaway. And finding the perfect wedding pros to help complete their big day!

Want to be a website giveaway sponsor? Contact us for more information. 

Listing Levels on I Said Yes! Listings

Choose the listing level that best fits your companies marketing plan and budget. Three options are available (Click Here to learn more):

  1. Premium is $125 per month and is toward the top of the page in your category. Also choose from either 2 additional cities or 1 complimentary networking ticket per calendar quarter.
  2. Featured is $75 per month and is toward the middle of the page in your category. Look for the “featured” badge.
  3. Basic is $65 per month and falls under the “other” heading in each category.

Get Started Today

Get started for as little as $65 per month. Click Here to review the agreement. 

Request additional information or speak with an I Said Yes! Team Member by emailing info@isaidyesfl.com

added benefits

We love our vendors and for that reason, we want to give you more than you pay for. That’s why we provide all of these added benefits when you are an advertising partner with I Said Yes! FL:

  1. Discounted tickets to networking events
  2. First chance for limited I DOs and BREWS booths
  3. First consideration for sponsorship opportunities
  4. Opportunity to be featured on the Inspiration Blog where we will drive our 34K+ local social media followers direct to the site and to the blog posts
  5. Spotlights/highlights on social media when you become an advertiser
  6. We will promote and share your wedding related specials or events on social media (restrictions apply)
  7. Opportunity to be included in 1 of our weekly newsletters sent out to our couples database with a link directly back to your listing
  8. Dedicated, local, boots on the ground team working hard behind the scenes to help your business find success
  9. Back linking for SEO building through your online listing
  10. Website traffic is VITAL, here’s just some of the ways we drive traffic to our site so that more engaged couples can interact with your listing:  Wedding Show and I DOs & BREWS  FB + IG ads / Wedding Show & I DOs and BERWS registration pages with purchase ticket prompts directly from our website / Giveaways: we run social media and email marketing campaign giveaways which direct contestants to our website / Daily Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest Interaction & Posts / Back Links, vendor badges, membership back links / Weekly blog posts

The team at I Said Yes! is passionate about helping the businesses in our industry find success. We look forward to working with you too.

Improve your wedding blog submission to I Said Yes! with these 3 topics. That is to say we want you to submit to our Wedding Inspiration Blog. Moreover, we want you to Get Featured and receive all the benefits that come along with that. However, there are some requirements involved and the information below will help you improve your submission.

REal Weddings

First up, Real Weddings Blog Submissions. No doubt this is the most common submission. Certainly we are all wedding vendors whose businesses are about producing the perfect wedding for our couples. Nevertheless, there are some hurdles for this topic. 

To start you need to have photos.  As a rule, wedding inspiration blogs are photo heavy. Generally speaking the readers are looking for inspiration and ideas for their big day and they need to be visually intrigued. But we know that providing photos for the blog can be a difficult task for some vendors, depending on your category. Consider preparing in advance by connecting with the photographer and telling them you want to submit it as a blog and you would like some photos for that purpose. Also, blog posts do not have to be high res images, so you may be able to snap some photos with your phone before and after the wedding. Here is the important part, we need minimum 8-10 photos for the blog submission.  Preferably horizontal orientation. Along with a variety of details and subject matter.

views of ocean at summer wedding Florida
Real Wedding Photo by Laiacona Photography & Design

Now along with the photos, there must also be content or text. Below is a list of questions to help build the context of the real wedding blog submission. Similar to the photos, consider contacting the planner to have them help you with the answers. 

  1. Time of year, wedding theme and/or wedding inspiration
  2. Special moments, dances, ceremony traditions
  3. I DO Crew, who was included and why and special wedding guests
  4. Unique touches. For example, the best wedding pet attendant, powerful live wedding music, live entertainment, fun dances and unique non-traditional wedding vendors
  5. Signature cocktails, funny beverage names, and themed menu items
  6. Wedding cake design, cake topper, grooms cake and dessert station
  7. Explain the cool exit at the end of the night, or the after party theme
  8. Special gifts from bride to groom and vice versa
  9. How the couple met, got engaged and how they chose their wedding date and venue

A few more important reminders. For instance, real weddings must have taken place in the last 16-18 months. Further, photos need to be originals. Meaning we need a link for us to download them from your Dropbox or you can uploaded through the submission link. Also real wedding cannot have been submitted to another blog or print publication in the last 90 days. Above all, a list of the participating wedding vendors with their full company names along with the product or service they provided. 

Styled Shoot Wedding Blog Submission

Second topic for wedding blog submission is Styled Shoots. Similar to the real weddings, we need 8-10 photos, original content and a list of participating vendors. In this situation, you may have more involvement with the theme and inspiration behind the styled shoot. However, we have provided some content starters to help you provide the highest quality submission. Different from the real weddings, the styled shoots need to be with-in the last 6-8 months and not published with-in the last 90 days on another blog or print publication. 

  1. Theme and/or color scheme
  2. Time of year, season, setting
  3. Inspiration behind the shoot or what was the initial reason this shoot came to life. For instance, a popular television show or theatre performance. Or a new line of rental items or wedding dresses, to name a few.
  4. Why this specific venue, design elements and pieces were chosen

Need more advice, check out this blog by Styled Shoots Across America  owner Heather Benge –  Styled Shoots: 8 Important Reasons Why You Should Do Them.

outdoor wedding ceremony at Cypress Creek Farmhouse
Styled Shoot at Cypress Creek Farmhouse. Photo by Honeywood Photography

Expert Wedding Advice

Last, but not least is Expert Wedding Advice. As a rule, this should not read as an infomercial or advertisement for your company. Instead it should be a piece to assist the brides and grooms with their wedding planning. Again including 8-10 photos reflecting the content of the blog. Also a list of any vendors involved. Especially the photographer. And again, the content.

Certainly this is your area of expertise, but we want to give you a few idea starters. Couple these with this thought, “what do I want a couple to know about my product/services that will make their wedding planning easier, or create their perfect wedding day.”

  1. Top 5 things to consider when booking your venue, DJ, Photographer, etc.
  2. How to incorporate horses and other animals into your wedding
  3. What to know about ordering wedding cake and desserts.  How to estimate how much you need.
  4. What do I need in my wedding day emergency kit
  5. Wedding planning checklist for your product/service
  6. List the top 10 most popular first dance songs by genre
  7. What are you constantly speaking to your couples about during appointments?  Undoubtedly this will make an excellent blog.

How to lists and Top 10’s are easy reads and helpful for answering couple’s wedding planning questions. The sky is the limit in this wedding blog submission topic. 

Wedding Blog Submission

Finally, it’s time to do it and do it often. That is to say, submit your real weddings, styled shoots and expert wedding advice. We at I Said Yes! make it easy.  There is a submission form under the Wedding Pros tab on isaidyesfl.com.  Start making blog submissions a regular habit and reap the benefits of back-linking, featured badges, social media shares and more. 

Close the deal now. Certainly a hot topic for the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros blog. As the team is out and about at wedding shows and events we are having the opportunity to speak with engaged couples. Subsequently we are seeing a trend in couples booking weddings now (Summer and fall 2021), for 2023. Therefore it is important that you, as a wedding vendor, find ways to lock in your bookings with these couples.

Close the Deal on I Said Yes! Vendor Blog

Why Close Now

The current trend is that weddings are booking as much as 2 1/2 years out. Therefore it’s imperative that you, as the wedding vendor, find ways to close the deal with them now. Otherwise, they may lose interest or get distracted by by your competition. For the same reason, you don’t want to say to yourself, that business is too far out for me to spend time with them.  The opposite is true. Surely if a couple is interested in your product and service, you want to secure their business early with a contract and deposit. The result being you ensure the business will be there in 2 years. 

how to close the deal now

Of course each business will have different options for closing a deal now. Creating a sense of urgency is important to close all deals. However, with these 2 1/2 year out couples, it’s even more urgent to sign them now. As aforementioned, you don’t want them to loose interest. Henceforth, here is a list we have put together to help your mind start coming up with creative ways to close the deal now. Be considerate of your company’s future expenses and profit margin in 2 years when working on your closers. Find ways to provide added value without discounting when possible.

1. Sign the contract now and secure 2021 pricing for your 2023 wedding.

2. Secure product/service now with just a 10% increase over current pricing for a wedding in 2023.

3. Throw in complimentary upgrades if they sign now. For instance, fire pit, outdoor entertainment package, design service and lighting package to name a few.

4. Free swag bag for confirming their business with you now. Gather branded giveaways, gift cards, wine glasses or beer mugs, wedding planning calendar and other merchandise to create a loaded gift bag.  Even consider partnering with other wedding professionals to share your swag with each other to provide an even more enticing closer gift.

Take the time to figure out what added upgrades your product/service allows for. Especially one that won’t cost you money or cost little to give for free. Definitely use these to close the deal. Everyone loves getting something for free.  These are all emotional buying decisions, tap into that emotion and provide a reason for them to close now.

how to stay top of mind

So they aren’t ready to commit. That’s OK. Next step is to stay top of mind with them until they are ready to make their final decisions. Of course you will have to work at this marketing to make it work for you, but it will be worth it in the end.  A few ideas to be sure this couple remembers you. 

1. Ask them if it is OK to add them to your e-newsletter. Let them know that your emails will supply them with valuable wedding planning tips and advice.

2. Invite them to see you perform at a local club if you are a DJ or live entertainment.

3. Offer them complimentary or discounted tickets to all weddings expos and events where you will be exhibiting.

4. Request they follow you on all social platforms and be sure to reply to any comments they make.

5. Set up a drip email campaign as a consistent contact and follow-up after your initial meeting with them.

6. Share links to helpful and informational wedding planning blogs provided by other resources, like I Said Yes! Wedding Inspo Blog. This shows that you care about their entire wedding.

Although this blog specifically speaks to the current trend in wedding planning, it absolutely applies to all weddings as you work toward staying first of mind and closing the deal.

Visit the I Said Yes! Vendor Blog for more tips and tricks for business in the wedding industry. 

Styled Shoots – how do they help your wedding business? We asked Heather Benge, Founder of Styled Shoots Across America, to answer this questions for us.

creative freedom

Build your portfolio and attract new clients by showcasing your creativity in a styled shoot. What does this mean exactly.  As wedding professionals, we have access to content from our couples weddings. However, when a client is paying for your services, you are at the mercy of what they want. Sure they probably choose you because you are good at what you do. However you still have to use their colors, their style, etc. Styled shoots give you the freedom to show off your own style and create whatever it is that YOU want to create. Further you can create new trends – be a trendsetter! A lot of my branding clients tell me that they would love to create something out of the box, bigger or better than they’ve ever done. But they just can’t get anyone to hire them for it because they have no previous experience or images to show that they can do it. Therefore, this is your chance to try something bigger and better to show clients that you can make it happen!

Styled Shoot at Maitland Museum of Art

Styled shoot created for the cover of an I Said Yes! magazine. Photographer: PB and J Studios / Planner: For The Love of Events / Dresses and Tuxedos: All Brides 2 Be / Cake: Morgan Hunter Desserts / Linens: Over The Top Rental Linens / Rentals: Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals / Floral: In Bloom Florist / Venue: Art and History Museum of Maitland / Hair & Makeup: Laura Reynolds Artistry Hair and Make-up 

branding your business and social media

When you do a shoot, you can choose to do them in colors and styles that match your brand. That is to say, use it to your benefit and get the most out of it! Consider this, what do you want to show off on social media? Or are you tired of not having a diverse client base? Further are you ready to showcase some new skills? Certainly you will attract your ideal client by showing off your ideal work. In fact, it is the best recipe!

For example, the photos above are from a styled shoot created by The Event Company.  The owner had been dreaming of a way to use her company colors.  See the entire shoot in this Remarkable Moody Romantic Wedding in Orlando blog.

Contributing wedding professionals – Wedding Venue: D’Space Orlando / Photography: Tracy Townsend Photography / Planning, Design and Tabletop Rentals: The Event Company / Floral Designer: Atmospheres Floral & Décor  / Bridal Gown: Ivy Bridal Shop / Hair & Makeup: L. Santana Designs / Cake and Mini Cakes: Sugar Dreams by Dessy / Stationery and Signage: Bare Lettered Designs / Love Letters: Stationery For Lovers / Event Rentals: Clermont Party Rentals / Linen & Charger Plates: Longwood Weddings and Events / Videographer: Dreamscape Photography / Mobile Bar: Bubble Buggi
Ceremony Officiant: The Ginger Officiant

networking and vendor relationships

How can you refer another wedding professional if you’ve never actually worked with them? In this situation, turn to styled shoots. Unquestionably they are a great way to work with someone so that you can refer each other! Similarly, I highly suggest that no matter what you contribute to the shoot, you should absolutely show up on the day of. Assuredly I have met some of the best creatives at shoots. This is a time to get to know each other, see others work/workmanship in person and build relationships. 

Styled Shoot Florals for 1970's themed shoot
The Van Cam for a Styled Shoot in Orlando
80's throwback wedding cake
1970's Styled Shoot at Mission Inn
records for reception table chargers

Consider turning a networking event into a styled shoot. For instance, Mission Inn Resort & Club Weddings hosted and I Said Yes! Networking Event with a throwback to the 70’s. They worked with their sponsoring vendors and scheduled time before and after the event to turn this into a styled shoot. This allows the sponsoring.

Contributing wed pros – Venue: Mission Inn Resort & Club Weddings / Planner: Bella Sposa Events / Floral: Greenery Productions Inc / DJ and Lighting: Soundwave Entertainment / Cake: Le Petit Sweet / Rentals: Dishie Rentals / Photography: KMD Photo + Film / The Van Cam / Calligraphy & Hand Lettering: Wild Ivory & Co

gain experience

Maybe you are a photographer who struggles with shooting in harsh sun. Then a styled shoot in the sun is a perfect way to experiment with your camera settings and gain some experience in a less pressured environment than a real wedding day. Likewise, embrace rain or darkness. Whatever the case maybe, it will only help you learn to adapt to these conditions. In the same vein, maybe you’re a cake baker and you need to see what kinds of frostings or designs will hold up in certain heat condition. By participating in this styled shoot, you can now be comfortable when consulting with a client on cake placement and timing at their wedding. Same with flowers. No doubt, you don’t want to find out on a client’s real wedding day that hydrangeas don’t do so good out of water in a bouquet for 5 hours in the hot Florida heat.

styled shoots give you exposure

The good thing about styled shoots is everyone knows everyone’s credit information. Activity breeds activity. In this situation, TAG EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING, EVERYTIME. All it takes is one image from a shoot to hit social media and all of sudden thousands of eyes are on your work.

book more destination weddings

People ask me all the time how I book weddings in other states. My answer is always the same. You have to be seen in those states. That is to say, you can’t just hashtag #newyorkweddingplanner on a random picture from a wedding in Texas and hope someone will book you. For this reason, you need to get out and go to the destinations you are wanting to be seen in. Next explore the area and take pictures of the surroundings. Further do a styled shoot. Indeed do anything to get yourself noticed in the local area. For example, I did a styled shoot in Hawaii and I’ve gotten at least 5 different inquires for Hawaii weddings since then. It works if you put in the work

Blog Your Butt Off

Blog your wedding business blog butt off. No, seriously, if you don’t do another thing to grow your business in 2022, add a Blog {or, Journal if you wanna be fancy} to your business website!

Blogging might be one of the most underrated, underutilized ways to market your business, and it’s way easier than you might think

What Exactly Is A Blog?

Technically speaking, ‘blog’ is short for ‘web log,’ it is an ongoing journal entry with the most recent posts found at the top of the page.

What started out in the Mid 90s as a personal record of day-to-day activities, travels and hobbies, has grown into an easy and efficient way to engage businesses’ potential customers.

In the wedding and events industry, we have a ton of potential information to attract new clients. Undoubtedly it can easily be used in a wedding business blog.

Do I REALLY Need A wedding business Blog?

ABSOLUTELY! Do a simple test – go to your favorite search engine and search for your business. Obviously not by your business name because most potential clients don’t know you by name. Search for your business by service category and location just like you would if you needed something for your home. Search for something like Orlando plumber or Central Florida landscape service.

Does your business come up on the top of page one or consistently on the first few pages? If so, the next test is, are those rankings due to paid ads? For most businesses, those top listings come at an ever-increasing price tag.

The goal of the blog is to send traffic to your website, where {hopefully} you connect with readers, showcase your expertise, and get them to take the next step to book your services.

How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?

There’s an old {old} joke that goes, “A man stops a stranger on the street in NYC and asks ‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” and the stranger responds, “Practice, Practice, Practice.”

As corny as it sounds, it’s really true – especially with blogging. Consistency is key. You’re not going to be amazing when you start out. You might not even be really good for your first thirty blogs. But consistency is key. You’ll grow and get better with time – you’ll get more knowledgeable and you have to start somewhere. And, a few okay blogs are way better than zero blogs. So blog your wedding business butt off and feed the beast! 

Feeding The Beast

Search engines are a beast, they need to be fed, and they need to be fed consistently.

Search engines have a mechanism known as web crawlers. They search the internet for content that is then cataloged and listed by topic and content.

The more you publish blog posts, the easier it is for web crawlers to find your website and catalog your content. The more times they catalog your content, the higher you begin to rank on search engines.

The reality is that ranking well on search engines doesn’t happen overnight. Much like getting Followers and Likes on social media, it’s a slow build. You need to pick the right keywords to get a search engine’s attention and write content to engage the people who find your site.

One Page At A Time

One of the keys to writing well is remembering that each page is a unique entity – and not just for search engines. Write like it is the only page of information on your business they can see!

 

Whether it’s a search engine finding your blog content to catalog it or someone who sees you on a search engine and clicks the link, the principles are the same. We need to treat them as if they know nothing about us, and they need to know who we are, what we do, and where we do it.

say my name

Always try to include your business name, not an abbreviation. Too many people use short cute, acronym abbreviations for their business name, and no one is searching for those terms. Duplicate your social media name, email url name, and business name, which should all be the same, with-in your blog. Recognition and consistency.

location, location, location

Including the location tells people they are in the right place. If you don’t include Orlando, Daytona, or Tampa along with DJ, you are now in the same search engine pool as every other DJ in the entire world. Including your location narrows the field from millions to a few hundred.

what do you do?

Too often, we read blog posts about a business, especially when they showcase real weddings, and have ZERO idea what the product or service that company offered in the wedding.  Tell the story of the wedding day from your own point of view. You want to highlight the things your team did on the wedding day.

make connections

Another important part of blogging is hyperlinking. You always want to build community. You want to give credit where credit is due, and none of us can do this alone. But, just as importantly, web crawlers pick up on those links to other websites and add to your ranking. Additionally, give yourself a little love. Be sure to link back to some related articles on your website. Anything from weddings at the same venue to other weddings and pieces showcasing the same design style, colors, or ethnicity of wedding can all add search engine value.

Blogging for your business might seem like there is a huge learning curve. But, if you know how to use a search engine, you can add value to your blog posts pretty quickly. Creating a content schedule, much like any other social media, makes the process of coming up with new content easier too!

Blogging helps you control your narrative and is one of the most affordable ways to market your business. You own your story, what you promote, and how search engines find you.

Content provided by guest blog writer:

Mark Kingsdorf is the retired owner of Wedding Ghost. A boutique content creation and coaching business previously located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. As one of 47 Master Wedding Planners globally and with more than 30 years of experience in weddings and events, Kingsdorf worked exclusively with small wedding businesses. 

Find more wedding business tips, tricks and advice on the I Said Yes! Vendor Blog. For instance, How To Get More Leads With A Small Marketing Budget

Cover photo by: Bellamore Studios

Trademarks is the topic of today’s vendor blog. As a wedding professional you understand the value of delegating and hiring others to work in their zone of genius. But have you considered that your zone of genius may be copied by another? Following this, think about the investment and sweat and tears it took for you to build your brand. Now how important is all of that to you?

We asked Nequosha Anderson, of Anderson Law Firm LLC to guest write on our I Said Yes! Vendor Blog today.  She offers expert advice on how to protect your wedding business.

Trademark Meme

Why Trademark?

The wedding industry is bouncing back from the Pandemical (aka the COVID-19 pandemic). Consequently the likelihood of others stealing your hard earned intellectual property to build their good fortune is alive and real. That is to say, more and more people continue to steal and copy your “signature offer”. Whether intentional or not. For this reason, did you know you can be proactive in the protection of your “zone of genius”. 

What is a trademark?

Well, my friends, let me introduce you to my little friend, known simply as “trademark”. A trademark is a form of intellectual property protected by United States Law. For instance, you may know a trademark as brand names or logos. Correspondingly, when you see a particular brand, you are immediately thinking of what they sell. For example, Carolina Herrera is a famous wedding dress designer. Assuredly, you can just picture her romantic dramatic styled dresses. In fact, you can distinguish her dresses from another designer immediately. Unquestionably, in the business, that knowing is what we call, “source recognition”.

Trademarks are words, designs, symbols, devices, and names used to identify the source of one good from goods made from another source. Above all, trademarks are invaluable assets and are protected at the federal level by the Lanham Act. Now understand, simply having a brand does not mean you meet the requirements for trademark protections.  For this reason, to protect your brand, it must be distinctive and used in commerce.

BUT WHY SHOULD I trademark MY BUSINESS NEQUOSHA?

For starters, trademarking, helps to protect your business identity. Second, it protects against others using the same or similar business name or logo. Third, federal trademark protection extends NATIONWIDE! Lastly, a trademark registration is a business asset, and it can be licensed or sold – show me the money! Also, did I mention that a trademark can be renewed indefinitely, unlike a copyright protection.

Storytime A.K.A Real Life example

STORYTIME. Let me tell you a story about a wedding event planner who went against the Most Powerful Woman in Entertainment — Beyonce. Have you heard of Veronica Morales? In this situation, Morales is the owner of “Blue Ivy Events”. She registered and received a federal trademark in 2009 for the name of her business. However, in January 2012, a famous little baby girl by the name of “Blue Ivy” was born. Of course her famous Mother, Beyoncé, wants to protect the brand of her daughter’s name. Obviously Morales, who secured a federal trademark protection prior to Blue Ivy’s birth, challenged Beyoncé’s right to use the term “BLUE IVY” in a particular class of protection.

In the end, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) did not move forward with Morales’ argument of likelihood of confusion. So the moral of the story is, Morales secured her brand, fought, and continues to fight to secure the protection of her brand. And my friends, you can too, even if you end up going against Beyoncé! NOTE: Morales can still use the trademark she secured prior to the birth of Blue Ivy.

Copy of a Trademark Certificate

How To Get Started

Now, if you have a logo or phrase that is unique to your event wedding business that you want to protect, I welcome you to reach out to me to book your free consultation.

Anderson Law Firm LLC, trademark and business protection expert

Anderson Law Firm LLC

Nequosha Anderson, Esq

info@andersonlawfl.com

andersonlawfl.com

IG: @esquire44

Get more leads is the topic of today’s blog.  Subsequently we will dive deep into the many effective ways to generate more leads, convert these leads into actual bookings. Further, who will then refer you to all of their friends & families. Content provided by guest blogger and expert adviser, LeadClicks.io

The Lead Generating, Lead Converting Sales-System

Every single wedding vendor needs a legitimate way to increase the amount of people who inquire. We all know that sales is a numbers game. Due to this, it’s important to have a full pipeline of potential clients.

However, even if you had a million potential leads; if no one is actually converting into a booking, it is useless. So it is equally important to effectively convert a good amount of leads who inquire.

This is why we created a simple method to getting as much traffic as possible. Then being being able to convert your online visitors into an inquiry. Of course then turning that visitor into a real paying customer.

Getting More Traffic

There are thousands of ways to skin a cat. But we’re going to narrow it down to the (number) ways you can get more online visitors to view your products & services (For Free).

Who knows much about SEO or even what SEO even means? Search Engine Optimization. That is to say, you’re trying to rank higher when people search for your service. Why exactly?

First Page Search traffic clicks reported to be as high as 92% in recent years. Second-page results are far from a close second coming in at below 6% of all website clicks.

Easily put, you need to be first on Google when someone searches for your services. Even more easily put, if you’re not first, you’re last

#1 online listings

For all those reasons, the most effective way to do this is through online listings. Online listings make it easier and more convenient for consumers to find vendors just like you.

Here are our recommended online listings for vendors:

Top Wedding Vendor Directories Ranked

  • Google My Business
  • I said Yes! FL
  • The Knot
  • WeddingWire
  • Yelp
  • Facebook Business Page

#2 Social Media

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to be active on Social Media as a small business, but nobody really knows how to actually create sales from it.

The end goal of your social media platform is to drive traffic to your website. So how do you actually turn these likes & followers into real customers? Here are some step-by-step instructions that you can start today in order to generate more website visitors from Social Media.

Step-by-step Instructions for social media

Choosing the right platform

First, remember you don’t need to be on every single social media platform that has ever existed. Assuredly, it’s more important to learn where your ideal customer is hanging out. Certainly then be extremely active on that specific platform. For example, if you are a photographer, Instagram is most likely the best platform to showcase your work.  In contrast, if you are a wedding planner, Pinterest is a great way to share your ideas with other newly engaged couples looking for inspiration.

Profile Optimization

You should treat your Social Media like the face of your business. As a rule, make sure that you have a business profile on whatever platform you are on. Assuredly, make sure it is set up with the right size dimensions for your profile picture and banner backgrounds.

Not only that, but ensure that the content that is posted is of the highest quality. This will gain the trust of your followers and potential customers. Remember, if your content is low quality, they might assume that your product or service is low quality.

How to create quality content to get more leads

For some it can be unclear what content is appropriate for your viewers, and what actually gets people to engage. This is why we came up with a rule of thumb for all Social media posts called “V.E.S.T” which stands for the following:

  1. V = Value
  2. E = Engaging
  3. S = Stimulating
  4. T = Trending

These are the biggest reasons why most people decide to view your post, follow you, and or share your content.

v.e.s.t

VALUE: If something brings someone value, they are most likely going to want more, ask more questions, or share it with other people. Examples of giving value are offering good tips, advice or important information.

ENGAGING: To make a post “engaging” you want to ask engaging questions, or give them a call to actions like these –

  1. Double tap if you love honeymoons.
  2. Drop your dream-wedding destination below.
  3. Head to our story and swipe up for 20% off.
  4. Send to a friend who’s getting married.
  5. Save this post for wedding inspiration.

STIMULATING:  Anther reason why people engage with your content is because it’s stimulating.  Maybe your posts are about delicious food you cater. For the most part, this will attract a log of people to your channel. Because in today’s world, you possibly have only .3 seconds to grab someone’s attention while they are scrolling.

TRENDING: One of the biggest reasons why Social Media gets shared, is because it’s a TRENDING topic of conversation. Consider a new video of a celebrity getting married, or a new dance move that everyone is doing. The more you share trending topics, the more up to date you will seem on Social Media. Accordingly, people will follow you because you are in-the-know.

how to use hashtags

Don’t forget to use Hashtags! How do you use Hashtags properly? Let’s keep this simple. When you post on Social Media, at first you want to use as many hashtags as the platform will allow.

Following this will increase the amount of people viewing your posts. For example, if you are a DJ, using hashtags like #DJ #Music #Party #Remix #Dance will help you attract more of the right viewers for your page.

lead conversion (converting clicks into customers)

Let’s say you’re getting more & more people to visit your website; how do we actually get those online visitors to inquire? Remember, we’re looking to get their name, number, and email address so we can continue to follow up with them later.

Now you ask what’s the secret to getting people to give you their most precious information? The simple answer is making sure your image online looks legitimate, and this starts with your biggest online asset, your website.

Your Website

Your website is the hub of your entire internet marketing bubble. Everything you do should be centered around getting people to land on your website. So, we need this to be extremely legitimate.

Here are a few components to what makes a website GREAT.

  1. User friendly experience:

Great websites are clean and professional. Especially, make sure your website is built with your ideal customer in mind and is extremely user-friendly.

By spending time on the design, ensuring its high quality, site visitors will be able to better understand your offer, and be able to inquire easier.

  1. Simplicity:

Great websites are simple and user friendly. Singularly, visitors must find everything they need quick and easy. If users have to wander around the site trying to find what they need, they will get frustrated and leave.

  1. Original Content:

A good stock image is okay to use if it’s relevant to your business. However using original content of your products & services will gain the trust of your visitors. Particularly being extremely transparent of your previous work, your results, and your products will result in more sales.

  1. Beautiful design:

Having a low-quality website will only make people assume your service is low quality. Unfortunately, that isn’t the truth. Above all, first impressions are extremely important. What exactly is a high-quality website? We’re talking about high-definition images, accurate and compelling ad-copy, branding, and clean layout. If people see you take your website seriously, they will only be able to assume you take everything else seriously. As a result they will inquire. 

  1. Speed:

If your website is extremely slow, your online visitors will end up leaving the website before everything loads. Unquestionably it is extremely important for your website to load INSTANTLY. People’s patience on the internet is extremely slim. Therefore if your website isn’t loading fast enough you will lose out on so many people who intended to inquire. Don’t overload your website with useless content that will slow down the website.

  1. Interest Funnels:

An interest funnel is a contact form that allows the lead to give you their information. When you create interest forms, make sure your forms notify your lead that a form has been submitted and that you will reach out to them shortly. This form should also notify you, and or your team members to get in touch with the new lead. Similarly these forms should also be integrated into a CRM, which we will get into.

sales system for getting more leads

So, you have a great number of potential interests in your products or service, now what? You need a method of managing these interests and potential customers. Hence, every single potential customers information should be saved in some sort of software or sales database. This is exactly how you never miss out on any potential interests.

For this reason, you need a Sales System that helps you track and manage contacts, and tracks what part of the sales cycle you are in.

This is a key factor that most small businesses, vendors, freelancers, and service providers never execute on. Consequently, without a sales system, it is extremely easy to let a lot of leads slip through the cracks.

Every business needs a system to understand how many leads they actually have, all of their leads contact information, the last time you called, emailed or texted your leads, and how much the sales could be if closed.

In order to properly manage leads, you will need a Sales Database, or CRM.

Of course, make sure you are familiar with certain sales techniques. We recommend you call, email and text every single lead until they give positive contact (this is when someone answers with positive intent to learn more or sign up). Also make sure you’re not being too pushy. But remember to encourage them to sign up for your services. 

Conclusion

Although down the road, investing into Digital Advertisements like Search Engine Ads, or Social Media Promotions could potentially be beneficial, it is way more important to establish a strong web presence with your website, online listings, and social media first.

Here at LeadClicks.io, we hyper-focus on helping you turn clicks into real customers. Our Marketing Values include Lead Generation, Lead Conversion & Full Transparency. We hope you got a ton of gold nuggets from this blog! We would like to thank I Said Yes! FL for giving us the opportunity to help their audience continue to grow bigger & better!

Read similar blogs on this topic on the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros Blog.

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