My Absolute Best and Worst Business Investments of All Time

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

The price of anything is the amount of life exchanged for it.

 
Grab your dark roast and join us as Lauren lays it all out on the table with her top best AND worst business investments she has made to date. From masterminds and mentors to courses and workshops, it is about to get all kinds of vulnerable up in here so that you don't have to!
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as Lauren lays it all out on the table with her top best AND worst business investments she has made to date. From masterminds and mentors to courses and workshops, it is about to get all kinds of vulnerable up in here so that you don't have to!


EPISODE 34 COFFEE CHAT REPLAY

 
 

Episode 34 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

 

Grab your dark roast and join us as Lauren lays it all out on the table with her top best AND worst business investments she has made to date. From masterminds and mentors to courses and workshops, it is about to get all kinds of vulnerable up in here so that you don't have to!

LDC of WBL

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


Pricing for Profit

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

A Profitable Business: From Covering Expenses to Scaling for Growth 

 
Staying Productive while on the verge of burn out
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we chat about all things profitability within your business from walking you through what you should be making each month to cover expenses to scaling your business for growth!


EPISODE 33 COFFEE CHAT REPLAY


Episode 33 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

The Creative Boss Membership: Waitlist

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

 

Grab your dark roast and join us as we chat about all things profitability within your business from walking you through what you should be making each month to cover expenses to scaling your business for growth!

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Welcome! If anyone else having a day that just feels totally like its supposed to be a Monday? I am.

I want to dive right in and not take up too much of your time. I so appreciate the fact you are here with me. I know how valuable time is. Especially for the momma’s who this is the first day of school. How many of us are drinking bloody mary’s or mimosa’s right now? Hell yes.

We are going to be talking about pricing for profits. Pricing is absolutely one of those topics that I cover with my one-on one clients within the first two sessions. It is something that about 90% of business owners are completely out of alignment with. They aren’t in alignment, congruent or balanced with what they should be charging and what they feel they are worth. That has a lot to do with underlying issues that again, I always uncover with you. You’re not just making these superficial changes to your pricing. It is one thing to say you’re going to restructure your packages and charge this this and this… but in reality often times that is not taking care of the problem. 

My clients think that just changing their pricing will make shifts happen. If you do not feel good about your own pricing or feel you are worthy enough to be charging that… then its not going to work. You will fight it and struggle with it. It won’t be congruent across the board. That is what I like to work on with people. If you do not feel good about yourself or you are not truly that worthy or valuable, then it doesn’t matter if you change every structure and cost of goods sold and time… it doesn’t matter.

Cost and Demand

Let’s dive into the actual meat and potatoes of stuff. Pricing is a formula. It is not just a guess. There is a strategy that goes into it. You have to carefully combine the cost and the demand. You have to weight he products that all clients want with your total cost. That is also known as the cost of goods sold. If you are a service based business then you are still factoring in your time. Right? That is still a major cost of everything. You have to make sure you are including that in what you are packaging up your services or products.

Time is absolutely what people underestimate the most when trying to price out services because they are just looking at what they want to make. They aren’t factoring in their time, they aren’t factoring in mileage, they aren’t factoring in your lens or camera body. So many things! At the end of the year they sit back and look “well that didn’t work”. And then they can’t figure out why.

Pricing is a very careful combination of cost and demand. Many creatives fail to factor in the time they spend in their work. YOU… I am looking at you. You are the most valuable cost of your product. And in order to feel filled and valued by your product you have to have an income. You have to pay yourself first. If you aren’t actually making something at the end of the day, there is no point. That is one thing so many people fail to do.

Another thing I want to point out is the only way you can change the price of your product is one of three different ways. You can’t just raise the pricing just because you feel like it. There is a strategy to this. You either have to change the expense of the product or service or you change the amount of time you are spending or you are changing how much you are paying yourself first. Those are the three different ways you can change the price of your service or product. Increasing the product price should eb based on those three things.

I see this happen a lot… you have to ignore your competitors pricing. You do not want to begin to compare or copy anyone else’s pricing. I would even go so far as to suggest, don’t even both at what they start at… guess what1? You don’t even know if they are making a profit. So why on earth would you want to look at that if you don’t know if they are making a profit to begin with? People can put on a really big façade and make it look like they are making money, but that doesn’t mean they are. That is one of the biggest mistakes I see time and time again. Creatives begin to collect pricing from all their competitors and they start to analyze it and make their own price list to be this better version of all of those packages they collected, but it is so much less important to be conscience of what your competitors are doing around you. Just use your efforts and time by doing your own thing. Just do you! That is another thing, you won’t feel worthy about charging triple times what you would’ve initially charged. It will never sit well. Your clients will pick up on that and pick up on the misalignment. If you do not feel you are worth $2,000… they will pick up on that and then they won’t book you. You will have this problem of “why isn’t anyone booking me?”. It all starts at the root. It all begins and ends with you.

Dig Deep

Another thing, I see so many people just say “well I don’t have any clients on the books, so I’ll take whatever I can get”. How many people have said that? Part of that is it is okay to say “no”. It is okay to say no because what that is doing you are honoring yourself and your worth. IN the long run it will save you from trying to rebuild your own sense of value. It will help you stay in this place of valuing yourself and feeling worthy of charging what you are. I promise you, if you give someone a discount or you barter with someone against what your better judgement is telling you… those people will end up being not your ideal client. They will be pain in the ass clients too.

Do not base whether or not you say yes to a client on “well they have a fabulous network”. “They will bring me in a whole lot of future clients”. I will be the first to tell you… very rarely do people that ask you for a discount for your services or products very rarely do their people flock to you because chances are if they are asking you for a discount, their people will too. If they are not part of your target market, chances are their friends are not either. So many people will say “its fine, I gave them $200 off, but they have such a good network…” They think they will make it back in the long run. No guys. That is awesome positive thinking, but what you are trying to do is back track and make the decision that you made based on your value okay. That is not okay. That is why so many people struggle with pricing because (AGAIN) you do not realize how much your pricing has permeated your business… how much your perceived value of yourself and worth of yourself has trickled within your business. And then you start to put band aids on other areas of your business.

Pricing is where it begins and ends. You got into business because you were fired up. You felt a passion, felt a calling… whatever it may be. It is a business at the end of the day. You have to make money form this. You aren’t doing this just for the sake of humanity. You need to still love what you do, you need to not feel burn out… and how do you do that? With being paid what you are worth.

Story Time

I’ll tell you a quick story. A couple months ago even though I have been doing this now since 2010, I forgot this lesson. My clients started to walk over me. I was busy all the time but I wasn’t making any money and I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore. It was draining me. To be honest… doing things that weren’t my favorite or were coming from a place of passion for me… made me feel even more burned out. I have this need in myself to be a people pleasure. I would bend over backwards for everybody and anyone. Who ended up suffering because of that? Me, my family, my work, my soul. Everything began to suffer. Instead of being this badass entrepreneur, I took a step back and realized this isn’t how I want my business to look. I made the changes. This is the harsh reality of being an entrepreneur. We love what we do. We love people. We want to serve. However, if you aren’t serving yourself first, you aren’t going to be able to fill anybody else up from that cup., It is an uneven exchange. Then you begin to resent your business. When I sat down and nailed the formula for pricing my own work… I gained the clarity I needed to be able to say no to certain things. It is a process.

I am not cookie cutter. I am not your mainstream educator. I come at everything in life, in my business form a different angle than mainstream. I always have. I lead with my heart and my intuition and I am going to tell you the reality without sugar coating it. I don’t feel anyone out there teaches pricing quite like this. Here is the heart and soul of it.

Value Yourself

How many of you have said…

  1. “My clients are confused by pricing.”

  2. “I don’t know how I came up with my pricing.”

  3. “My pricing is heavily influenced by my competition.”

  4. “My sales averages are lower than my goal.”

  5. “I have products or services for people to see, but they are rarely sold.”

  6. “My clients don’t buy the packages or services I really want them to.”

  7. “I am nervous to discuss pricing with my clients.”

  8. “I feel under valued or under appreciated at times.”

This is a universal formula, however you have your own influencing factors. You have things that will weigh heavier within that formula than say someone else who has 17 children.

If you can relate to any of those quotes, know there is a problem with not only your pricing structure but also your self worth. This again, will be the 16th time I’ve said it… this is a much deeper rooted situation than you realize. This is the type of thing, again, I work with people on. Anybody can teach anyone pricing. You go on google and you can look up pricing formula for blah blah blah. What you won’t find is someone who will sit there and tell you why and how to really get to the root of that.

Psychology of Sales

If you give people too many options. If you hop on a website or a restaurant and there are way too many choices, what happens? Decision fatigue. People do not make a decision. You are not going anyone a favor by having sixteen different. You are doing more of a disservice to people. The reason why many professionals will have three packages is because the psychology behind it says people will choose the middle package 90% of the time. They will choose the middle. I’ll tell you why…

Say your toaster breaks and you need to buy a new one. Hop on amazon because prime is life and you start looking at things. You are looking at price and reviews. You don’t want a $5 Walmart toaster because chances are it might blow up and then you spend even more money fixing your house. But on the flip side, you know in your head you do not need a $500 toaster. Unless it is buttering that toaster for you and washing your windows at the same time… you do not need it. Why? You value other things in life. So where does that lead you? Somewhere in between. You may not have a specific number in your head of how much you want to spend, but you have a range. Anywhere from $25-$60. You know you have a range. You are going to go with something within that range. What is going to help determine that? Most of the time reviews. 

So again, your middle package is where most people will buy from you. They do not need to have all the bells and whistles (most of the time). But you also don’t want to just have bare bones minimum. Does that make sense to you?

If you want to be making X number of dollars on every single client, you make that the middle package. You make the package you want to be making the most sales with… the middle package. You want to show people there are other options, but the middle is where you want people to go. When you want to add additional packages, take away items from the bottom package and add it to the top. Your clients will gravitate towards the middle. The smallest package should be bare bones minimum. There is a psychology behind this.

People gravitate towards the middle because it implies a value and it is easy and convenient. People will also implicitly assume it is the most popular selection. It makes them feel comfortable to make that investment with you and knowing other people have made the same choice.

Factor in Costs

Here are some costs I want you to pay attention to. I’m not sitting here giving you the pricing formula you need to be using, because it looks a little different for every person. The structure looks the same. You need to factor in these costs to every job you take on. Are you accounting for your…

  • Phone

  • Cellphone

  • Rent

  • Electricity

  • Marketing

  • Education

  • Postage

  • Mileage

  • Insurance

  • Vehicle

  • Bank fees

  • Credit Card Fees

  • Computer

  • Camera

  • Lenses

  • Printers

  • SD Cards

  • Website

  • Subscriptions

Are you taking into account all for those things? Probably not. These are also costs you need to be accounting for. So when people come to you and say “you’re charging X for blah blah blah!?” Yes. This is my business. If you were going into a Target you can’t just expect everything to be displayed neatly on the shelves and not paying people to do it. That is part of it. You really have to be thinking about all of these things. Especially with planners or photographers or anyone who is just starting out… they are not factoring in that stuff because it begins as a side hustle and then two or three years into the business they aren’t making a profit and they wonder why. This is why!

What are you worth per hour? How long does it take for you to go from brand concept to finished product? Or editing photos? You have to think about these things. You are not just pulling a number out. It doesn’t matter what sounds good. You have to go through the motions.

I would suggest writing out all of the costs associated with your business. Write them all out. Then if it is a yearly fee, divide it by twelve. Then you have it as a monthly payment. From there you need to be figuring out how many clients it would take you to cover your costs. So in order for you to stay in business it will cost you $2,000, then okay you should probably have a bare bones package of $2,000 or something close to that. You need to be covering your expenses with only one or two or three clients. Anything above and beyond that (technically) is profit.

I would love to know if this is stuff you’ve put thought into. I also would like to know the answer to these questions…

  1. “My biggest hurdle with pricing right now is…”

  2. “My biggest hurdle with my current price list and my packages is…”

  3. “My clients have given the following feedback on my price list…”

Are you setting aside money for taxes? When you start to make a profit with your business you need to be paying in taxes. Are you setting aside at least 30%? Qapital. That is my solution. Any time a check goes into an account, it can automatically take out 30% for you. I have managed to actually save a ton of tax money without having to think about it because it happens before you even realize it.

Wrapping It Up

So guys… what this helpful? I hope this chat helped. My sole goal from this chat was to show you that you are worth it! If your pricing or strategy for figuring out your packages and services… if you want help that is absolutely something I can work with you one-on-one.

If you are going to rearrange your packaging and pricing, make sure you are factoring your time and all the expenses we talked about. Write down your expenses first. Make sure you getting your money.

If you have any questions, let me know. So much love to you guys. I will be chatting with you in a couple of weeks. Have a great rest of the week.

Q + A

Q: How do you suggest raising prices? All at once? Small steps?

A: You can change the expense of the product or service. You can change the time you are spending on the product. Or change how much you are paying yourself. You don’t always have to jack up the number, maybe you just need to take a look and see how much time you are spending or how much you are paying yourself. I would suggest doing it across the board. I would do it within incremental steps within that strategy. If you change $1,000 and you want to jump to $3,000… that won’t sit well with you. Maybe first do $1,500. Do it in stages. Make sure you are actually making something when everything is said and done.


LDC of WBL

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


Staying Productive Even While Riding on the Burnout Bus

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Remaining Productive While on the Verge of Burning Out

 
Staying Productive while on the verge of burn out
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we break down the illusion that we are always supposed to be chugging full steam ahead like the Little Engine That Could. Learn the tips and tricks I use in my OWN business to stay productive even when it feels like I've got a permanent assigned seat on the Burnout Bus.


EPISODE 32 COFFEE CHAT REPLAY


Episode 32 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: I’m so excited to be back! Yay yay yay! Happy Tuesday! Let’s get this show started. How are you all doing? How have we been doing since the retrograde? For those of you who don’t know right now is a shadow period. Right now things are a bit crazy still. Things are sort of leveling out here.

*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK* Housekeeping!

Few housekeeping things first and foremost. I sent out an email to everybody yesterday and for those of you who haven’t’ seen or paid attention… guess what!?

1. We are now officially Creative Boss Life. YAY! A little bit behind that, I recently realized a couple months ago that what I do and what I teach and preach and what I want you to learn is applicable to people across all spectrums. All industry’s! We are no longer just Wedding Boss Life, we are now Creative Boss Life. So if you have friends maybe they are bloggers or content writers or video producers… then bring them on in! Now our community is expanding very rapidly. I saw a huge growth after making that change. So very excited about that.

2. We are going to be doing our Facebook Lives every other Tuesday. Back in action, I am back and it feels good to be back. I feel energized and excited to be here again. It will be every other Tuesday. We won’t have one next Tuesday. I will post a calendar though so you can have the dates and write them in your own books. All that fun stuff.

3. The winner of the giveaway! The winner of the contest is the other thing I want to share, but I will wait til the end on that. Last week I wanted you guys to have a chance to have a one on one coffee and clarity chat with me and get a full spread for your business so in order to do that you just needed to invite your friends and biz-besties in the group. It has been my goal to get 1,000 group members by the end of August and we are pretty close. So there is that.

The Burnout Bus

We are going to be tuning in and chatting today about riding on the Burnout Buss. You and I and everybody that has been in business for a little bit, we all know that burnout is real. It doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your business, burnout is inevitable. Burnout for everyone looks very different across the board. For some people that could mean needing to literally crawl into bed, pull over the covers and not come out for a week. For other people it means you are lacking your creative juices. It manifests itself in all kinds of different ways.

Today I am going to share with you some tips and tricks that have helped me ride the wave and sometimes I feel like I have a freakin’ assigned seat on the burnout bus and I’m not allowed to move, but I will share with you what helps to get me through until I’m energized and back at it.

First and foremost, I really want to drive this notion and idea home for you guys. We are not powered by solar energy. We are not energizer bunnies, we are not programed to always be on. We are not programmed to always be going 100%. We need to recharge. We have to! You have to! If you don’t, what happens? You die. Well figuratively. 

That is the biggest premise of what I am talking about today. You are not programmed to always be on at 1,000 miles an hour. Its not how we were born to be. It is not how our brains are wired. If you want me to dive into the psychology of it all, I can. Do you know that? That’s what my background is in. I kind of combine psychology in ways in which you don’t necessarily notice it. 

Before We Dive In

A couple of things that you really need to understand before I give you the tips and tricks. Picture ourselves as seasonal. You have periods of growth, you have periods of rest, you have periods of dormancy. Like winter, fall, spring summer. We have talked about that in a previous episode, embracing the cycles of your business. It applies to everything. Stress plus rest equals growth. Write that down.

STRESS + REST = GROWTH

If you are finding that you aren’t getting enough rest in general, if you aren’t sleeping well at night, if you are burning the candle at both ends… that isn’t helping you. As business owners I feel we have gotten into this myth that if you work really hard that is what is going to take you to the top. I have to pop your bubble. That is not what is going to bring your business o the top. I immediately felt like some of you went to think that rest is just sleep or being lazy. That isn’t further form the truth. Rest isn’t just sleep, its not just sitting around, and its not just being lazy. The reality of things is that stepping away form whatever it is you’re working on and being able to shift your focus… whether that is physically getting up and going for a walk or getting up and doing a chore you need to or going and picking up a book you are enjoying. Those are things that are going to help you shift your focus. It allows your brain and your body to take a little step back and to get away from always working so freakin’ har and always pushing yourself forward. Sometimes, maybe I’m alone on this, sometimes my biggest ah-ha moments and moments of clarity are when I’ve just stopped. I’ve just taken the time to listen and maybe I’m meditating or simply being present. Or maybe I’m just sitting outside, it doesn’t matter. But those are the moments where you are going to get your clarity. If you can take a step back and give yourself some time every couple of hours… take a vacation on a bigger level! Step away on the weekends. You shouldn’t be working 7 days a week. 

How many people are excited about Mondays? Please tell me. If you view Monday’s as a curse… tell me.

What it does by taking a break, stepping away… it allows our really difficult stressful burnt out periods to be more productive. Let me repeat that. When you take a break, when you take a vacation, when you are bale to shift your focus, when you are able to getaway on the weekends and put work aside and you aren’t always pushing forward… you are allowing those stressful periods to be more productive. 

For all of the people that are really excited about Mondays, that means you are doing a really good job of balancing the rest and the stress. Whenever or not your hate Mondays, that shows you if you are growing. If you are despising Mondays… that means you are probably just working yourself to the bone and you are not able to really accomplish those goals you’ve set for yourself. You are probably burning the candle at both ends. If you’re in the middle… that means you are trying to figure out a balance for yourself at this point. You would have to like Mondays 50% of the time and be excited about it, but are you excited about it when you aren’t burnt out? When does that excitement come up? Look at that for yourself. I can tell you when I am tired and exhausted that is when I do not want a Monday to come. That is a red flag for you to take an inventory and look within. If you are feeling pissed off that Monday is coming… that means you are probably burnt out in some area. Maybe you like your job but sometimes the weekend is your busies time. Well did you just have a super busy weekend? What does that look like for you?

Evidence suggests that burning the midnight oil too often leads to less productivity. Not more. If you do it once in a while, what I am talking about here… if you pull an all nighter, you have this huge project you need to get done and it is 2am and you are still going at it. If you begin to do that once a week or a couple times a week or three to four times a week, you are going to burn yourself out even more and you are not going to be more productive. What I am trying to say here… when you give yourself rest and when you give yourself grace and when you are just giving yourself permission to not be on 24/7, your productivity and growth is going to shoot through the roof. You are going to feel refreshed and feel like you just had a day at the spa. You will feel so much better about your work and life.

Staying productive while on the verge of burning out

What happens when you are just going at it? If you are incapable of performing executive functions, meaning unable to use your reasoning skills or problem solving skills… if you are unable to use those skills your working memory doesn’t function as well. Your ability to manage tasks goes way down. This is the psychology behind this. I was look at articles and studies. There is evidence and facts that backs this up. 

Recovering from Burn Out

How many people are burnt out? How many people are just waking up and are not grateful? How many people?

What happens, when you start to get that is it will continue to spiral until you put a wedge in that and recognize it. Don’t be afraid to say no. That is one thing I want you to write down. I am giving you permission. Do not be afraid to say no. What happens when you are burnt out… your ability to filter what you should be working on versus what needs to get done versus what is not a priority, you are in a tunnel vision on having to get it all done. Your ability to reason and say no to things also declines. Don’t be afraid to say no especially when you know you are on the verge of or in the present moment of being burnt out.

Something else to help you recover from being burnt out and feeling like this is providing yourself with a  way to decompress. I was talking with a client last week, and they were like “I don’t have any hobbies, I don’t really know what I enjoy doing anymore”. How many people feel that way? How many people don’t know what your hobbies are anymore because you are so consumed with growing your business? And that is not a bad thing. That just means you are really friggin passionate about doing what you are doing. But often times you get so engrossed in growth and making it work that you lose sight of what really also makes you happy for having a way to decompress. 

Whether that means going outside… get a hammock! I am not even kidding you… when I got my hammock last year I was like ehh… may not use this. I got it as a deal, end of the season. I use that thing so much I kind of am even impressed with myself. If I know I am about to explode on my children or husband or both… often times I know when I am at my breaking point. I will say “okay mommy is going in her hammock”. They know… don’t mess with her. Don’t talk to her. She will supervise as long as you guys are away. She will make sure you aren’t breaking anything but leave her alone. She needs time to read, to just sit, to be present and recharge. For me it sounds so silly, but my hammock is such a beautiful way for myself to decompress.

My work used to be my hobby too for the longest time. When I failed to realize that I didn’t have any hobbies that made me happy anymore, guess what? My business was just kind of coasting. It wasn’t growing. I don’t know if there is any correlation there, this was a few years ago. But when I really started to get hobbies and do things for me instead of feeling selfish about this, then that is when I also was able to start resting. Not being lazy, but resting. And that is when I started to see my business grow again. Take it for what it is.

A few other things I want to point out. Some major tips to help you recover.

  1. Recommit to relaxing. I am giving you permission. So many of us need to hear that because we feel, we live in a very egocentric society and it is very go go go me me me. Sometimes when you are flipping the switch you almost need to say “is this okay I am doing this?”. Recommit to relaxing. Every single person needs to step away from work every now and then. Even if you are a creative entrepreneur and you love your job. Make time in your schedule to relax. I’ll tell you. I know often times when I wake up, I know what my level of productivity is going to be. I can feel it. If I am burnt out I might as well not even bother, if I do try to accomplish big things, its not going to happen and I just wasted an entire day. So if you are waking up and feeling burnt out, why not take the time to relax. Do something for you.
  2. Make non-flexible monthly and quarterly goals. When you have goals written out for yourself, it doesn’t matter what date you get it done, as long as you get it done by the end of the month… that gives you a much wider range of time to get it done. You don’t feel you have to be at it every second. If you wake up and feel today is not the day, then give yourself that grace and try again tomorrow.
  3. Don’t get distracted. How many of us immediately upon waking up check social media? My hand is up for a reason. I am working on this myself. Just because I am giving these tips to you doesn’t mean I am immune to them. I have just taken stock and inventory of what helps and what doesn’t help. Try to do that. I have also noticed if I wake up in the morning and I’m in a fabulous mood and then I look at Facebook or Instagram and somebody is talking about the tragic murder that happened in Colorado recently… I actually was having a fabulous day, I was on it. I felt like I wasn’t burnt out, I read that and complete game changer. I remember I didn’t get anything else accomplished for that day just because I was so consumed. It was so overwhelming. If you are able to maybe hold off until lunch time, until you have your big tasks done for the day. Just putting down the technology down for the day. As a society, especially as creative entrepreneurs we are more plugged in now than we ever have been. It makes it really difficult to leave work at the office and actually unwind when we have the chance to do it. Turn off your phone or computer and enjoy the moment. If you have set office hours for yourself, you shouldn’t be working outside of those. Don’t try to add one more thing to your list. You are not following your own boundaries. If you aren’t following them, how can you expect a client to follow them? Be present. 
  4. Burn out can also really affect us physically. When I am burnt out I am exhausted. I get more migraines than normal and I don’t want to be around people. I can be really negative. With all of that, notice those signs. They are coming up for a reason. Give yourself plenty of rest. Get sleep. Make sure you are drinking a lot of water. I feel like absolute garbage if I don’t drink enough water in the day.
  5. Ask for help if you need it. I used to be the biggest nay sayer of this. No. I notice that when I actually ask for help, I feel so much more relieved immediately. The problem with that is you have to ask the right people. If you are asking a friend to help you with a project for your business and maybe they have never spent a day of their life working for themselves, they work for a corporation or something, they may not be the best fit for the project. You have to ask someone as dedicated as you are to help with the task. What does that look like? I needed help last night in trying to figure out how to speed up my website. My website all of the sudden is lagging super bad. I can’t figure out why, so I need help. What do I do? I am going to ask someone who knows what they are doing and in exchange pay them! Do I have the money to be spending on speeding up my website? It depends on how you want to answer that. Do I have the money? Yes. Do I want to be spending it on that? No! But do I think it is going to help my business? Yes. For me I would much rather give someone that money and have the stress be gone, than just continue to be stressed and have it permeate and trickle into every area of my life.

In Closing…

Just remember, please, to take a step back and give yourself some space and grace to evaluate the current situation. Be honest with yourself! Can you identify the sources of your stress? Internal or external? How can you reduce the anxiety it is causing you? How can you prevent feeling burnt out in the future? Taking steps to recover from burnt out and recognizing the signs and the symptoms can help you recover quicker in the future.

That is my biggest takeaway from all of this. I so easily overcommit to stuff. I know that. I give give give, because that is just who I am. But it is when I start giving too much of myself that I really become burnt out. That is why I had to take a couple weeks off from doing these. But now, here I am, I took a couple week hiatus and I feel awesome, I am stoked to be here. I think by doing it every other week it will help maintain that level of balance. I love doing them! I love doing these LIVES because it brings me so much joy, but when you start to feel it is more of an inconvenience or a must do versus something you love doing, that is when it is burn out.

STRESS + REST = GROWTH

It is a balancing game. That is it!

If you guys have any ideas for coffee chats and themes, tell me! Our next Facebook Live is going to be September 4th. Please put it in your calendar because they aren’t going to be every week.

And now the winner of the contest… drumroll… Lindsay Tuller! Yay! She has 7 or 8 people that joined. A few of you had one here and a couple, but she had quite a few. Yay! Get in touch with me! We will schedule that out. I have all kinds of fun stuff in the works. I hope you are finding this group and community is still helpful and bringing joy to you instead of having it be another thing you have to be a part of.

So much love to you all! I hope you have a fabulous rest of the week and I will be chatting with you soon!


LDC of WBL

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


5 Crucial Ways to Balance Your Business and Personal Time

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

The Balancing Act of Time Management for Wedding Pros

 
The Balancing Act of Time Management for Entrepreneurs
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we talk about what a balanced time split looks like for your business and personal life while hustling your money maker off as a creative entrepreneur.


Episode 31 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

The 5 Crucial Ways You need to be balancing your time as an entrepreneur

Lauren Dragon-Cook: How are we doing on this beautiful Tuesday? It is almost August… I cannot believe that. That’s a little crazy.

Today we are going to be chatting about a couple different things. We are also going to be making some announcements and all kinds of fun stuff. You are going to want to stick around until the end! This is going to be a relatively short episode.

I know we are in the middle of the summer. I know that obviously we are all busy. We all have so much shit happening. If you are a mom… if you are working part time on your passion and full time on a “real business”, then you know summertime is busy as hell! So I don’t want to take up too much of your time today. I just want to give you a couple of strategies that I use for myself to help balance out the chaos.

Funny story about that… I actually was using them yesterday and I didn’t even realize it. Yesterday (very quickly) I am working on SEO for a very good friend/client of mine and her website literally went down for half the day. Hen on top of that I was working with another client and getting their replay out for a video that they had purchased and that wasn’t working. My husband was being super needy and all the things! It was your stereotypical shit-show of a Monday. So I was like “oh my god I just want to start drinking right now, its like 9am in the morning”. And I didn’t for two reasons, 1) that would be a little irresponsible and 2) I was out of wine. It’s a little bit of both there.

I was using some of these five tips I will be sharing today. Hopefully you can apply them to your everyday and try to balance out your business with life in general.

Five Tips and Strategies

First things first… these are five strategies to help balance out your business life and your personal life, because even though they are very integrated and very much one in the same, you have to keep them at arms length at certain times, otherwise you will go bat-shit crazy. Your business will infiltrate your family time or you personal stuff that you have going on be inhibiting your business hours and what not. So I want to teach you five tips that hopefully will be super helpful for you.

1. You need to start being more consistent with your actions.

You hear consistency is key from leaders and podcasts and hear it everywhere! Great, but what the hell does that mean? What I like to think of when I think of consistency… try to set some sort of routine for yourself. Your routine can be different every single day, but try to at least have all Mondays you do this and on all Tuesdays you do this. That way you know what to expect and you know what it coming down the pipeline. That way you are able to kind of easily dodge bullets if they are coming your way. Just being consistent with your actions also goes for if you tell one client that your office hours are until 4pm on Wednesdays but then in the same breath you tell another client that your office hours are until 9pm on Wednesdays, that’s not consistent! And then you have no idea who you told what to! Its just about consistency. If you say one thing and set one boundary for yourself… stick to it! 

Now here is the flip side to it. If you find it is not working, you do not have to hold onto that shit. This is not family member that we have to keep in our lives from day to day… no no no. You get rid of it. You throw it out. Try something new. You have to find what works for you and your schedule.

2. I guarantee you, if you are struggling with trying to balance this (all of it) and you’re a woman I promise you, you are not taking proper care of yourself.

So if you are not doing this, you cannot give to anybody else. Think of yourself as a bucket. There is a hole at the bottom of your bucket. It is always open. That means people are always taking from you. What happens if you have have a faucet up top, what is going to happen eventually? Your bucket will run dry. You won’t have anything else to give. Think of it as a cycle. You have to give to you in order for you to give to everybody else. We all can feel really guilty if we take time for us. If we go to get a massage or a mani pedi or just go for 10 minutes and take a walk. You have to take time for you. If you can feel yourself starting to burn out, take the time. Don’t feel guilty. I am giving you permission to not feel guilty about that.

3. I can almost without a shadow of a doubt say that if you are struggling with balancing it all, you yourself don’t know what balance truly means to you.

You have to figure out what that means. You have to figure out what your weekly schedule is going to look like regularly. How much will you allow on your plate /How may appointments will you allow? I will be the first to tell you, I’m guilty of this. If you feel like you are overwhelmed and there is too much on your plate, I am giving you permission to get rid of the crap you can. Reschedule them. If you have too many appointments  or too many kids activities or too many baseball games you have to go to or whatever… reschedule it. You can’t give 100% of yourself if your wick or flame is about to burn out. You can’t do it. I don’t know what this is the way it is, but in our society especially as women we are supposed to be fucking superheroes! You can’t be super woman! You can only do so much and do not beat yourself up if you recognize that. 

In all actuality if you can see that you maybe have overbooked yourself, that is a strength! That is not a weakness. You shouldn’t look at it as “I do too much”. No don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t do that. Do the opposite. Recognize… “I really thought I could do more, I’m just not feeling it this week. I need to reschedule”. That is it! I’m giving you permission.

4. This is a big one! I think that as entrepreneurs we are always on.

We are always on. We are just like a train. Always chugging along. We are picking up other stuff as we go and we are trying to manage it all. But here is the thing… when you are spending time with your family… spend time with your family! If you are working, the you need to be working. You can’t try to multi-task like a mo-fo and expect to give it 100%. Yes we can do that, and we can do it well. Especially as female entrepreneurs. Am I right? We know how to do that. But it will burn you out without you recognizing it. If you say to yourself “okay my work hours are done at 5pm every day”, put that computer away. Put the phone away. You close it up and put it away for tomorrow. Nobody will die if you don’t het back to them with an email. No one will give you this terrible review if you don’t get back to them that same day. If yourself some grace. When you are present with your friends and family, be present. Don’t be checking emails. If you are working, give it your all! Don’t be answering the phone calls from your husband or wife. You are working. Just because you may not have an office in an office building doesn’t mean I’m not working.

5. How many of us tend to procrastinate?

How many of us tend to really… you know you have to get something super important done but at the same time you also know you can get X, Y, Z done… I’m guilty! You think if you are getting more done, then you are getting more accomplished. Right? Logic. Well I don’t know about you, but for me personally anytime I ever do that, I always notice that that one big project that I have going on, then gets pushed another day. I keep doing that. I can keep doing all the little things, but that big project just keeps getting pushed out further and further. So what I would recommend (and I have been trying to do this more lately) get that big project done first. Because then, I find that my brain is free. I’m not taking up space “ugh I still have to do this…”. There is space to get that done. Your brain isn’t occupied by clutter anymore. Try doing that one big project first. 

If I were to go onto my Wunderlist, and look at all of my tasks. I have BIG stuff on there from back in February. But that’s what happens if I put those big projects aside. There is some saying “eating your frog first thing in the morning”. The idea behind that is you’re knowing out the biggest thing first, you are getting it out of the way so that for the rest of your day if you have anything left you are wide open and free so you can actually be creative.

There are five quick, but super beneficial tips. Nothing ground shaking monumental.

Announcements

Sale

If you are not on the email list and don’t get emails from me like three times a month, then you don’t know. I am running a sale. Right now you can get 25% off any product, any item in the shop. If you have been eyeing email templates or blogging questionnaires or the whole wedding planning package, then now is the time to do it. That will go until I think Sunday. Take advantage of that. The code is “Birthday25”.

Announcement number two… drum roll!

I am officially launching a membership! For all of my intuitive boss babes and boys I am launching a membership that will be one of a kind experience. This is not a sales pitch, I am just telling you about it because I am so excited. It is going to be a combination of woo-woo, intuition, the universe, and actually following your gut with business strategy with practical tips like this! Because, I don’t know about you guys, but has anyone found anything out there that is kind of like that? I made the logo last night and it is called “Intuitive Boss Life”. Original I know. I am going to be opening it probably later on this fall. My guess is November. But in the mean time if you want to get on the waitlist, I am going to need 20-25 beta-testers. VIPS. My go-tos. Then let me know and I will get you on the waitlist. I am pretty stoked about this. I really truly feel it is something that is missing from the creative industry in general. 

What I will be offering the membership is I will be doing 2 hot seat calls a month. A group of three of you two times a month will be able to hop on with me and we will be able to do a deep dive into your business and I answer all of your questions and problems you have and that is included in your membership. Having a one on one with me starts at $375 so okay, just saying. I will also be doing two monthly forecasts a month. You can kind of know what is going on energy wise and what is coming down the pipeline. And a whole bunch of other goodies. Again this is not a sales pitch, I am just telling you kind of what is involved.

The last announcement…

this LIVE, this episode is going to be the last one of July, but I will be taking the next two weeks off in August for myself, to recharge, and to figure out where I am going to be going with things. I am in the process of chatting with a very good friend of mine and having her hop on here and possibly take over one LIVE a month, but in the mean time I will be taking the first two weeks off in August. So that means the third week in August I will be back in action. I want you guys to take a break for the next two weeks. Take a break from the clutter. Take a break from all the emails. Take time to be you. Before we know it the summer is going to be gone.

There are the major announcements. I want to answer any questions that anyone has! What is going on with your businesses? What are you encountering that you just can’t handle. 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I am so thankful for you all and this community. I thank my lucky stars for the path this community has taken me on. So again, the next two weeks in August there will be no LIVES. We will take a summer break and the third week we will regroup. We will get you going for the remainder of the season. I will put the waitlist link on this episode!

Love you guys, have a fabulous rest of the week. If you have any questions, as always I am here. Post the questions in the group. The group is huge and growing and we are at almost 1,000 members, but ask because it is a great group of people to offer advice and support.

We have a pretty kick ass community and I am so blessed and grateful and thankful!

So much love and light.


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


My Favorite Ingenius and Underutilized Way to Market Your Wedding Business

Using Quizzes to Grow Your Business

 
Using Quizzes to grow your wedding business
 

Maybe you've seen them on industry leaders websites and questioned how the hell they were able to create something so flawless? Maybe you thought to yourself, there's no way I could make anything like that? Maybe you questioned, what the hell would I make one about? 

Quizzes. I'm talking about quizzes here people. And luckily for you, I have the answers to all those questions above and will have you on the fast track to generating leads for your business while you sleep! 

One INCREDIBLY underutilized and oh-so-mysterious tool that I have only seen a handful of people use in the wedding industry is the quiz, along with contests, (but I'll save that juicy info for its own post...)

The Why

If you are really struggling with nailing down your ideal client, quiz answers actually benefit you immensely by helping you to better understand what matters most to your best clients. What an easy way to learn more about your target market!

Not only that, but quizzes showcase YOU as being the go-to expert in your niche along with standing out from the competition. Hell, if nothing else, who DOESN'T like a good ol' Buzzfeed quiz? <-- My all time personal fave

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Household names like Marie Forleo, Ashlyn Carter, and Jenna Kutcher are just three badass lady bosses that immediately come to mind when I think about who uses quizzes in their marketing strategy. Obviously, whatever they are doing is working!!

The How

Surprisingly, this is the easiest answer of them all. Instead of hiring a developer or trying to create a homemade app that resembles an epic Pinterest fail, use the most user-friendly and cost effective tool I've come across. That my friends, is Interact. (Yep, that’s an affiliate link. They’re good peoples, and I totally dig their product). 

I found Interact’s quiz software super easy to setup and incredible customer service.

The What

Quiz Suggestions

Well, luckily for you, my friend, I've provided a few suggestions of the kind of quizzes you could be creating! 

Wedding Planners

  • What type of bride are you?
  • What type of wedding theme fits your personality?

Wedding Photographers

  • Choosing the right location for your engagement session

Beauty

  • What bridal look reflects your personality? 

Florists

  • What type of flowers fit your personality?
  • What design elements will reflect your wedding theme?
  • What type of centerpieces should you go with?
  • What type of ceremony decor fits your style? 

Portrait Photographer

  • Choosing the perfect location for your next session
  • Which color combination best suits your family's personality?

Quizzes aren't things industry professionals take advantage of very often. Highlight the quiz on social media and send an email to your list of subscribers! Looking to drum up new clients? Run a Facebook/Instagram ad campaign to your quiz! You want to make sure to really showcase it. 


Lauren - founder of Wedding Boss Life
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success. Let’s set up a time to chat!


Automation is the Heart and Soul of Your Small Business

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

The Unicorn of the Online Business World: Automation

 
Automation is the Heart of Any Successful Wedding Pro's Business
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we show you how automation is literally the unicorn of the online business world. Wouldn’t YOU want to do the work once and reap the benefits for the rest of forever? Forever, ever.


Episode 30 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 30 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Done For You Templates

Dubsado

Aisleplanner

ManyChat

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: How the heck are you!? Good morning to you all. Let’s get started. Let’s jump in.

Today we are talking about automation and workflows and how it is going to make your life a whole heck of a lot easier if you know how to implement automations into your business. Nobody wants to be strapped to their phone 24/7 or trying to remember to send our questionnaires for timelines. All of those things. I am going to do a basic automation 101 today.

We are going to be chit-chatting about workflows and systems so you might be thinking, “Well, Lauren said we were going to be talking about automation today.”

Well that is kind of what a workflow is. A workflow can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me it is an automated set of tasks and to-dos that happen without me even having to worry about it or think about it. It can be all rolled into one.

We are going to chat a bit about how to actually map out your client process, how to create templates for yourself, and the heart and soul.. .how to automate all of this stuff. No one wants to worry about whether or not they sent out a thank you or how many people actually remember to ask for a review once the job is over? I know I wouldn’t. There is just too much stuff going on in life. Systems are all the guidelines and processes, everything you do with a client from start to finish. It can start as soon as someone inquires, sends you an inquiry form to you and all the way through til the end of a job. What does this look like for you? What are the steps you take?

Let’s dive in!

No Systems in Place?

What does it look like if you don’t have systems in place? What does it look like if you are just trying to do everything all at once and not remembering anything at all? You are going to be starting from scratch with every new client. You will be doing so much extra work for yourself and so much more time than is needed. Lets say a potential client contacts you. Then the email sits in your inbox until you remember to reply to it. You write an email from scratch lettings them know the first steps in working with you. And then you write another email after that because you completely forget a detail you were supposed to send to them.

Does that sound familiar to anybody?

That is how chaotic it can look when you aren’t using a system or automation.

With Systems in Place!

When you are using automation and workflows within your business a potential client contacts you, you have an automated email response with everything they need to know that get sent out within 15 seconds after they’ve inquired. You don’t forget anything important. They can easily set up a consult call with you and on the consultation you have a set of questions you can go over and things to talk about because you have it all ready to go for yourself.

Doesn’t it sound so much better?

Why Systems?

Why would you want systems? Why would you want automation? Why would you want workflows? Well you are setting the foundation for each new client. Again, you are not starting from scratch. You have the same process. You make sure nothing gets left out. You are keeping things consistent. That way maybe you forgot to send someone an email requesting a review, but then you asked another person who maybe wasn’t your favorite client anyway. Delegating gets a whole hell of a lot easier. This way you know what sets of tasks can’t be automated when you are working with a client. You know what you have to do yourself.

And you look like a Rockstar! You look like a professional badass. All of these things are being triggered for you, but to the client you look like you are on top of your game and you have it all worked out and you know what you are talking about. They are thrilled that they hired you.

Mapping It Out

What I tell all of my one-on-one clients when they are working with me to try to figure out their workflow in particular and what they can automate themselves… you need to take out a pen and paper. I don’t even care if you are completely digital. There is something to having to write it out that is triggering every task in your brain and in your memory what you should be doing.

I would suggest go back to your very last client. Try to remember every single step that happened as you were working with them. When someone inquires with you they are essentially asking one of two things: 1) are you available on my date or 2) what is your pricing? Maybe you don’t list your pricing online. Those are the two main questions that everybody asks. Everyone wants to know, unless they for some reason are able to see your calendar and see you are open on their date.

What you can do is generate an email that says something like this…

Thank you for reaching out to us. I am thrilled to talk with you more about your big day and answer any questions you might have. I know this isn’t a personalized email but you can expect one within the next 24 hours. If you haven’t had a chance to see our pricing you can do so here…”

Automation is Everything as a small business owner

Maybe you link to a PDF or show a hidden link to your website that has your pricing information on it. If that is something you wanted to do you want to make sure google isn’t able to crawl at or index that. If they do that and have this hidden page with all your package information if someone were to type in “LDC price” that page will show up. Just make sure that page isn’t being indexed by google.

You can link to many things in this email. That way you are doing two things. You are not only buying yourself time in order to respond to them but you also are going to look like you are a Rockstar professional because they are receiving something immediately. Maybe every other person they inquired with it took them 2 days to get back to them. But here you are... even if it is an automated response because it has your voice in it. It doesn’t have to be this robotic thing.

That is the start of thinking how your workflow works. I’ve given you an example workflow to help jog your memory. If you are a wedding planner, portrait photographer, or a wedding photographer you can actually download completely free workflow over on my blog. If you search at the bottom for wedding planner workflow… that post will pop up and that is where you can download the PDF that maps out different tasks and what not. For the wedding photographer, I think there are 55 steps. And the wedding planner something like 44. Definitely worth looking into.

Sample Workflow

So here is your workflow:

  • Client inquires
    • Respond to email with informational PDF
  • Arrange phone date
    • Where you cover pricing and the process of working with you

Do you want to call someone? Or do you not want to? For me, I’ve found my biggest success is when I did hop on the phone with people. They could actually hear me and your voice is going to signal a bunch of different emotions than an email would.

If they then say to you, “yes I want to hire you”, great! But what do you do then? That is a major step for so many people because now it is real. Now they have to know what they are doing or at least seem like they know what they are doing.

  • Send contract/invoice
    • Follow up with thank you card

Make sure to send them a thank you card or a welcome package. Having an automated email go out when someone does pay the deposit. That way you can say 

“thank you so much for making my deposit. I look forward to working with you guys.”

  • Add client to CMS (client management system)

If you don’t have software like Dubsado or Honeybook or 17 Hats, that is fine! However, what I will say to that is you are doing more work than what is necessary. You are doing so much more of the tedious crap that literally if you had a program you wouldn’t even have to give it a second thought. Make sure all their information is added. Another suggestion I have is add those clients to your address book. How often do you see you know where the venue is but you don’t have time the day of the wedding to look at the address or where the venue is… it is easy! You have it handy.

I also in my phone I have a different label for the fiancé’s name. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten the fiancé’s name. But now when I enter in the contact information I put that name in there. That way I can reference it easily.

  • Establish to-do list
    • And other necessary documents

What are things and particular times you want to make sure you are doing? Any other documents you need to have should go out!

  • Planning
    • All the elements you walk a couple through

Do you send them a checklist? What do you send them that they need? Just something to think about as well.

Templates!

Please create templates for yourself. And for the love of God, if you haven’t already created email responses, if you haven’t already created client forms for yourself, if you haven’t’ already created stuff like that… do yourself the favor… hop on over to the shop and just get them. Buy them for yourself. The 65 email templates, canned responses, client forms, timeline questionnaires, blogging questionnaires… if it is not your strength don’t force yourself to try to create something like that right? I wish I had those forms in the beginning. Once you have your workflow down you need to actually start putting in the actual PDFS and forms.

What templates do you need? A lot of people get really distracted by the word “templates”. Let me break this down really quickly for you. A template is something you create with the intention of sending to your client and instead of needing to recreate that same document over and over again, you save it once and use it from then on out. That is it! I have so many people call me “what is a template? What do you mean?” This is what I mean!

  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Questionnaires
  • Proposals
  • Packages
  • Emails
  • Forms

Just a couple of the different things that are in the shop.

Let’s Get to Automation

This is where the magic truly lies. I didn’t want to just dive into this part especially without giving you a little context if automation is completely new to you. It saves you so much freakin’ time! Time you know, time is worth its weight in gold. It is more valuable to me than money. I don’t care who you are, I would much rather have an hour for myself or an hour sitting at the computer responding to emails that could’ve taken me 5 minutes if I had just pulled up my templates. Right?

You’ve got resources such as Dubsado, Honeybook, 17 Hats… and aiseplanner.

Aisleplanner… is fabulous but it is not an automation client management tool. Yes, it helps you to be a Rockstar and if you have a particular client that maybe you would rather chew your foot off than have to talk to all the time (we’ve all had them), it allows you to take a backseat. It provides your checklist and budget and the area where people can enter in their guestlist and seating chart. The list goes on. However, when I actually started with Dubsado, Aisleplanner had yet to come up with an invoicing tool. It just didn’t exist. No contracts or forms within aisleplanner. So I joined Dubsado and it was the perfect marriage of two worlds. You need something where you can actually track the other to-dos… sending out things in a specific set of times, your invoices, all of those things… your book keeping! It is super helpful to have.

Aisleplanner, again, I’ll be writing a blog post all about the differences between Aisleplanner and Dubsado. I get this question once or twice every few days. Be on the look out for that blog post.

Wrapping it Up

That is just the basics on what automation can do for you and your business. One quick tip I have for you guys, especially those of you who are super new… if you use Apple Mail or Gmail (maybe outlook too), instead of having a signature like “Lauren Dragon Cook with email and website”, put every single canned email response as a signature. Create a new signature for every single response and name it. You can name it wedding inquiry. So next time someone inquires, all you have to do is go to your signatures, find wedding inquiry, and boom! There it is. You’ve saved yourself like 5 minutes!

What area in your business sucks up most of your time? What area are you asking for a robot to do? Can it be done automatically? Do I have to do this for the rest of my life?

Are there areas in your business right now where you are asking yourself these questions?

I think that wraps it up! I absolutely love chatting about this stuff as you can tell. So next week is our last official weekly episode. From that point you might see some changes. I’m still processing those changes but at least know next week is the last official you can count on it no matter what coffee chat within Facebook and everywhere.

From there we will shift into how things will look moving forward. I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week. Try your best to ride out some of these waves we are all feeling in some way, shape, or form. Know it will be over eventually.

If you have any questions as always contact me, reach out, DM me on Instagram. Reach out wherever you are a creature of habit on and thank you! I hope this was helpful in some way. I will talk with you guys soon.

Q + A

Q: Instagram posts are so draining!

A: Oh yes girl! There are so many resources out there to help though. What I like to do… I have a folder in my Google Drive (you can do this in Dropbox or any cloud storage) and you want to create a folder you just dump photos into that you know someday you want to use. So for my stock photos that are on point for my brand, in this folder. Photos I did from a wedding, when the photographer sends you the gallery… pick your favorites! Don’t download them all and have it take up all that space. Then what you can do is easily access those photos. One other tip I have when it comes to Instagram. Your photos don’t have anything to do with your caption. Nothing! It can be a picture of a coffee cup and you can be talking about weddings you had last weekend. It doesn’t have to be all about the same thing! That is one hang up I find a lot of my clients have. They feel they have to be talking about whatever they are showing. You just want to be focusing on resonating with your ideal clients. You want to be focusing on what problems they have and are you able to answer them.


Q: I am so tired of answering messages from Facebook.

A: That is absolutely where “ManyChat” would be a fabulous alternative for you. One of two things you can do… I did do a video awhile back and it talks all about “ManyChat”. I walk you through how to set it up and what to say. So if you go to my website you’ll find it. All you need to say to people that are inquiring on your page and its getting real old… and then you have emails and texts and Facebook… no no no. Keep that shit all in one place. Otherwise you are going to drive yourself crazy. I know I did. What you want to do in an automated message that goes out to any person who messages on Facebook:

“Thank you so much for writing to us. Our Facebook messages are a hot mess and we rarely check them. (Be Honest) the best way to reach us and get in touch is through email. You can email us your question here…”

You are saying to these people I take my business seriously and I want to keep track of your message so do it here. But you are also saving yourself the headache of trying to manage all these different things. If you don’t want to us “ManyChat” (it is a free service until a certain number of stuff), you can create a shortcut in your phone. So in settings on your phone you can go to “general” and then to “keyboard”. You want to click on “text replacement” and push the plus sign to add a new one and then type out whatever it is you want to say. And then in the shortcut option all you want to do is type in something that will trigger your memory. So like “fff”. Anytime you type “fff” that message pops up. So that way you don’t have to ever worry about actually typing the whole damn thing out again.

I use this trick a lot on my computer with Alfred. I don’t know about you guys btu I use a lot of emojis and for me I do most of my writing on my iMac in my office. So I don’t know about you but having to go into my keyboard every single time and find the emoji I wanted to use… got old real quick. With Alfred you just need to type in the word “snip” and you can say heart or unicorn and the emoji will pop up. It is a beautiful thing!

Or if you have URLs you write ALL THE TIME. Or your email address, you feel you are writing it every other sentence… in Alfred all you need to do is “option and space” and he pops up and you can start to type in “!wbl” and for whatever I had it set to it would pre-fill. So you could do URLs or your email or package information.


Q: It is important to track client payments and notice when they are received. We are still on mailed checks.

A: If you don’t use an automated system, I would suggest having one folder on your desktop and that is where you have your contract template, where you have your proposal template… where you keep all of your canned emails. And then I would create a spreadsheet. If you are using a payment processor, like Wave or Stripe or Square, you can use Zapier on your end to connect the two. If you are using a payment process in Zapier you can connect to that payment processor to a particular Google sheet so anytime a payment is made it is the middle man and will push the payment to the Google sheet. That way you have a record of what the heck is going on. It automatically gets updated. That way you can easily see who is doing what and where people are at.

If you are new to using a payment processor… they all charge a 2.9% transaction fee. I would highly encourage you to incorporate that into your pricing. At the end of the day it might add up to $50 or $100 over the life of working with a client, but bill that into your package. Don’t create that as a separate line. Don’t say “credit card processing fee”. Do not do that. I see so many people do that and no… you don’t need to say that to them. 


Q: Any way to send canned email automated replies for the 100’s of random client emails?

A: You could do a couple of different things. You could go through those emails and see if there is a common denominator or a universal word that shows up in all of them. If you find a keyword you can set something so it triggers that word. That might be kind of difficult to do. What I would do (as crappy as it is) is unless you have a chat bot redirecting people to a different place, I would have something where you have a word shortcut on your keyboard. Maybe make that the very first thing on your client packet like “I love questions but feel free to send all of your questions here”. Or set up a different email entirely and pool them all into one place.


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


5 Powerful Reasons Why Your Wedding Business Needs a Welcome Video

Why you need to stop making excuses and start leveraging video in your business


Spin Rose Films On Site Filming

In business, I often watch fellow creatives perpetually hunting for the “missing link” or that one bit of magical information that will set them apart from the rest and launch them into the ethers of success. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that mystical transformational tip is a fallacy. It doesn’t exist. 

What DOES exist though, is the chance to learn how to utilize tools and skills that others FAIL to implement into their businesses. 

You’re probably saying to yourself, what is Lauren talking about this time? 

I recently had the absolute pleasure and incredible opportunity to work with the dream team of videographers to create a one of a kind about video for my website. Did you know that using video is one of the fastest ways for clients to trust you? Trust = buying clients (if you needed me to connect the dots for you). 

Not only are Zach and Kayla of Spin Rose Films down to earth, immediately put you at ease, and have two of the biggest hearts of anyone I know, they made this little country bumpkin look like she was destined to be amongst the Hollywood elite! 

Video is great for SO MANY FREAKING reasons, but for the sake of time, I’ll list my top five favorites:

  1. It can help boost your confidence of being on the other end of the camera. 
  2. Professional video immediately helps to establish your credibility and trust within your niche and potential clients.
  3. If you are a terrible writer, or don’t have the money to hire a copywriter at the moment, video is able to translate your brand’s message into a concise and visually pleasing way. 
  4. It gives your viewers (and potential clients) an easy way to understand what it is you do or what the process looks like when working with you.
  5. Very few wedding creatives use professional video to reach their clients. Leverage that!

A Few Video Stats for My Fellow Nerds Out There

  • Currently in 2018, including video on your homepage can increase conversions by 80%!
  • 99% of businesses who are already using video say they’re going to continue issuring a video marketing strategy. Marketers rely on video as an eye catching, authentic, and powerful way to share messages.
  • 76% of marketers say it has helped them increase their sales and increased their traffic to their website.
  • 72% of people would rather use a video to learn about a business’ services.
Shoot Day with Spin Rose Films for Welcome Video

Video marketing is growing SO much, it is becoming the leading strategy for business owners, and the beauty is you dono’t have to be salesy about it. You just be you and attract the right kinds of people. Also… consumers watch a crap ton of video—it’s literally EVERYWHERE on social media. So there are many avenues to get new faces to see you and your business!

Once your video has been shared in various ways on your website, social media, or promotions, it is LITERALLY doing your marketing work for you and drawing people to your business. Wait - marketing that is done FOR me? I don’t need to lift a finger besides clicking the post button? SIGN ME UP!

We are all well aware of the sheer number of wedding photographers, florists, planners, etc. out there in the wedding industry, but let me ask you a question. What makes YOU unique? Why should people work with YOU? Video is the perfect way to express emotions and tell your story effortlessly.


Lauren of Wedding Boss Life

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.

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The Art of Block Scheduling

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Make Your Day Productive as Hell

 
Make Your Day Productive as Hell
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we talk about the idea of block scheduling and different ways you can implement it into your business to become a powerhouse of productivity!


Episode 29 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 29 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

 

Lauren Dragon-Cook: How are you guys doing!? Grab your coffee, get comfy… today is going to be super super laid back. We will dive into an area I think a lot of people could use help with.

Let’s get started. I’m going to announce for the first time ever there are some major shifts happening in the back end of my business. When I have a better handle on what that all kind of looks like, I’ll be sure to let you know the details. But all good! All growing! All amazing shifts. I am going to preface that this episode probably will have some profanity in it. That’s how I’m feeling this morning. Feeling like a shit show. So if you have little ones in the room, put some headphones on or watch it later tonight.

Major things are happening, I don’t want to give too much away. But thank you guys. When I have a handle on some of that stuff I will be sure to let you all know. I am getting rid of the stuff in my life and business that no longer lines the fuck up. It just doesn’t line up anymore or make any sense. I finally grew the balls, essentially, and I am cutting that shit out. You are going to see a little bit of a different structure within the group and within the business itself. But all good stuff!

Change is good when we embrace it. It is when we fight it that it become a shit show.

What is Block Scheduling?

Today we are talking about block scheduling. How many of you have heard of it before? How many of you use it regularly? Is it something you have always wanted to try?

Block scheduling for me is something I have been using in my business for probably the last 5 years or so. It has been a major game changer in how productive my days are. You guys that know me well, you know I am all over the place. But when it comes to my business… I’m pretty good because I have a system. It is everything else that is 52 card pick up.

One thing I want to drive home, first and foremost… right away… block scheduling sounds SO RIGID. Right? It sounds like you’re boxed in, literally. It doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t! I would encourage you not to have it be so rigid because the frustrations and the feelings of ‘oh fuck I didn’t do that today, oh man I have so much shit…” No! I want you to stop right there.

Block scheduling is what you make it. So for me, it is a lot looser than what you may see on Pinterest. What you may read in other blog articles. I will tell you how my system looks. The LDC and wedding boss life way of things. Its never mainstream.

Typically what I like to do is I have a running to do list. When I am driving in the car or when my kids are about to kill eachother because they are practicing for the WWE and an idea out of the blue comes to me… I have a running list in an app “Wonder List”. You can do this anywhere. On your notes on your phone, they have all kinds of specific note apps you can download. But I like to use “Wonder List” because I can then have it on my computer and front there I am able to check stuff off that I am able to complete. I really like to cross stuff off or check it off to make it feel I accomplished something that day.

Block Scheduling for Entrepreneurs

Lists, Lists, Lists

I have a running list of stuff. The beginning of each day, I will go onto that list and I will see what needs to get done. This list is EVERYTHING. Everything for the business. It isn’t “oh yeah doctors appointment or go to the dentist…” No. This is… batch content or send an email or check in with those vendors. It is those types of things. I want you to try to keep a separate list for your personal stuff. “Don’t forget to do the laundry… pet medicine”. Keep them separate. 

The way I keep them separate is I go into my calendar and I create a thing, I create an appointment and block off the time because for me and Wedding Boss Life especially, my calendar is connected to my booking calendar. So people can schedule a call with me dependent on where I have time in my day. So if I know I need to get the laundry done and I have 17 loads to do then I need to make time for that. How do you do that? You schedule off the time in your personal calendar.

As far as your day to day stuff goes, this is how my typical day looks. I take a look at my to do list and I have it broken up into sections. It is the “someday” (could be 50 years from now, but someday) this will happen. You know why this is good to have? So often we can beat ourselves up because we have all these fabulous ideas as creatives and our brains are always going and sometimes you just need to get that idea, that thought out! You need to put it somewhere! That way you can have more space and more of a creative outlet for you to think of new ideas.

Having a section “someday” is perfect for me. It is where I do my brain dump. I know I need to write this blog post about… but it doesn’t have to be right now, it doesn’t have to be this month. It is for the down time you have. That is one section.

The other section I have is “the week”. I pull the more important stuff and dump it into the week. I do the week part every Sunday. That is my routine, without even thinking about it anymore. You’re coming off of the weekend and it is helpful to know where your week is headed. I don’t know about you, but I like to have a little bit of direction. Then every single day I pull in three items… I give 100% into everything I do. Now I have found over the last few years that when I overextend myself, when I try to tackle a million and seven things during the course of one day, chances are I am fucking exhausted by the end of the day and maybe I completed one thing. But what I did in the process was I managed to open up six other projects. Am I alone on that? Please tell me I’m not alone on that.

Today is one of those days my friends, I just don’t care. I choose three. If I get those three things done throughout the course of the day… fabulous! I can then work on more if I am feeling up to the challenge. But I know that these are the priorities I need to complete.

What I typically do is I break out my day… morning, early afternoon, later afternoon. I don’t do the whole hour thing. You will see some people do “9-9:30am social media… 10:30am-12:30am emails”. I don’t run it like that because having that hourly rigidi structure is overwhelming for me. I just know I need to get THIS done, before lunch. I need to get this done before I go to pick up my kids.

What I would suggest is kind of mentally know those blocks of time are three to four hours each… ish. Depending on if you have children or if you’re working late that night. Knowing you have a good chunk of time to dedicate what you need to do. 

I always do my hardest crap first. That is the stuff you will put off until the cows come home. If you can get that done… getting that crap that will be in the back of your mind done immediately, then no matter what you are winning for that day. Instead of having the anxiety sitting on top of your shoulder… 

“you gotta do this, gotta do this”.

 Then you won’t do anything well! That’s how I am.

One other thing that I think a lot of people fail to do, is designate specific days for things. I do NOT write blog posts every day. I do NOT schedule client meetings on Fridays. I don’t. Fridays become my self care days. 

Self-Care Days

You have to schedule a day for your own stuff. You have to do stuff that is going to fill you up. You have to refill your bucket and recharge your batteries. You have to feel you have a handle and grasps and balance on life. You can’t do that if you are dedicating every single day to your business. Unless you are married to your business, you are sleeping with your business, procreating with your business... you have to find a balance. Otherwise you are going to burn out faster than a forest fire…

Find a day, even if it is just an afternoon. Maybe that is when you schedule your doctors appointments and dentist appointments, stuff for your kids. It is really helpful to know you have that day. I cannot fully commit myself to working a specific day if I know I have a hair appointment. I just can’t focus. I will sprinkle in the stuff maybe I didn’t get around to for that week, for the days I schedule my appointments too. So maybe I need to do a client check in call. That is something I can do in the car, that is something I can do on my appointment days. I would highly recommend doing that.

One thing I learned way bac in the early days of being an entrepreneur is take those phone calls while you’re driving. You are driving somewhere you need to be, why not get some work done while you’re doing it. 

Set a Timer and Turn Off Notifications

I’d love to hear what has worked well for you, what tips and tricks you have. One thing I have found that works well for me if I only have a little bit of time to do something (maybe its at the end of the day and I have a little bit of time left) one thing I have found that is super helpful is from IKEA. Love IKEA. It is a little clock timer thing. Set a timer for yourself. When that goes off you know you are done. That way you aren’t having to check the clock all the time. You know you are done for the day. You’ll get to it tomorrow.

Timers and shutting off notifications. The do not disturb function is my favorite thing in the whole world. I’ll often get people that send me an email or text late at night and they preface it “I’m sorry its so late”. But hey, I don’t hear it. Do not disturb is my fav! 

I don’t know how people can live in certain Facebook groups. I just don’t know you get stuff accomplished! How do you work? I am so thankful they are always there to answer questions, but how do you deal with all the constant notifications.

There is an app/program called “Station”. Have you ever heard of this? This is a game changer. I started to use it but I haven’t gotten to a place where I’m using it consistently, but when I do use it I feel I am winning at life.

It takes all of your beautiful apps and puts all the ones you use regularly in one place. This way I can be out of everything! I just have what I need open. That way you can’t say “Oh I just need to hop on… blah blah blah”. Station is a beautiful beautiful thing!

Summing It Up

That was today. It was so random and all over the place. Okay. Totally so so random.

Really quickly, I do want to see how all your week’s are going. How are you guys doing? There is a lot of crazy energy at the moment that is happening, so I just want to check in with you guys. 

It started yesterday will just feeling really tired. Tired of dealing with the stuff that drains me. Tired of dealing with

There is a lot of shifting that is happening and it is making people feel like they are crazy. Just in the calls I had yesterday with people, people I’ve never spoken to… one person just burst into tears just knowing that it is okay. It will be okay. There will be clam again, this is not becoming the normal. The reason you’re letting all this shit go is because you’re supposed to let it go. That is why you are feeling these things, because you are energetically letting so much crap go. Everybody is.

Fucking love you! Next week… automation! I am so excited! Next week I will be giving you the quick tips and actionable steps to automate your business. If you are using a client management system, let me know! I want to know how to frame this for next week. If you are not using a management system, let me know that too!

That is it! Love you, love you hard. Hide under the covers, I probably will be later on. Its one of those days. Try to have a fabulous rest of the week if you can. I will chat with you soon and thank you for the feedback. Truly, I mean that more than you know! We will see you next week! Bye!


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


How to Clone Your Ideal Client

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Cloning Your Ideal Client is Easier Than You Think!

 
 

Grab your dark roast + join guest host, Heidi Thompson of Evolve Your Wedding Business, and I as we chat about the steps you need to take in order to make sure you book your ideal client, every time, on autopilot!

Heidi Thompson is the best-selling author of Clone Your Best Clients and the founder of Evolve Your Wedding Business where she specializes in business and marketing strategy for wedding professionals. She helps wedding professionals grow their businesses and reach their goals without going crazy in the process. Her business & marketing expertise has been featured on several wedding and business outlets including The Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Wedding Business Magazine, Sprouting Photographer, Photo Biz Xposed, Honeybook, WeddingWire World & she’s an advisory board member for the UK Academy Of Wedding & Event Planning.


Episode 28 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 28 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.

Links

Heidi: Website | Book

SurveyMonkey

Typeform

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Good morning everyone! How the heck are we doing on this lovely Tuesday? Today I am super stoked because we are in the presence of our guest today… Ms. Heidi Thompson. She is a badass when it comes to marketing and systems and all of the fun stuff I love so much. I am so excited she is here. Today she will be chatting with us about how to clone your ideal client and make that whole process a little bit easier on yourself. 

Heidi has been in the industry for over a decade now. She has been marketing and doing her jam for awhile. She knows her shit, guys. So without further ado I am going to let her take the stage. So welcome! Welcome to the chaos.

Heidi Thompson: Hey! Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to be here. I even got up early for it!

Lauren: I know you’re freakin’ west coast, its like 3am over there. I don’t even know what time it is.

Heidi: Neither do I. So today I want to talk to you about not JUST your ideal client, but how to clone your best clients. You get to choose who you work with and I think this is something a lot of people forget. But the way you market, determines who you attract and determines how likely it is that you are going to be able to command a higher price and close them at those prices.

I would be curious to know if you know who your ideal client is? This is the bedrock of everything. When people ask me questions, “Should I do this? Should I advertise here? Should I do that?”, its like okay… we need to figure out who you are talking to. It depends… if your people don’t use wedding wire to find their wedding vendors, then no it is not worth you spending money even if that works for someone else.

Ideal Clients as Human Beings

I think the really important thing is to know your ideal clients as human beings. This is a common mistake people make. They box them into these weird demographics. So I work with people between the ages of 25 and 45 who live within 50 miles of my zipcode and are getting married. Okay. Are they a Walmart shopper for their groceries or are they a Whole Foods shopper? That tells you something about a person and what is important to them and where their priorities lie. That is important because our values shape our purchasing decisions.

A lot of people get hung up on “this person doesn’t value what I do”. Okay cool, not your person. There is so much freedom in that. Saying I don’t need to work with that person. Yes it takes some balls to trust that another person will come along, but knowing who you are trying to attract , what they value is going to help you attract more of them and become the go-to person for them.

Lauren: So someone we have who commented in the live says their ideal client is…

  • Type A personality
  • Busy professional
  • Highly educated
  • 25-32 year olds
  • Edgy
  • Don’t want cookie cutter weddings
  • Think outside of the box
  • Like to break the rules

Heidi: So I love that she included this last part, because where a lot of people stop is busy, educated, and an age range. But that doesn’t tell you HOW to market to that person. That doesn’t tell you what to make your messaging to help you stand out. As an example, I have a wedding planner that I’ve worked with for awhile. She initially was marketing herself based on “your busy, I’m going to save you time, this will be awesome” … the typical kind of messaging you get around a wedding planner. She went through the process that I teach both in my book and programs and she interviewed her best clients and asked them all sorts of questions what made them decide to work with her and what options they looked at and cared about. It turned out the business was a factor, but it was priority number three or four. What the true driving force was that the people she was attracting has large families. They had been to their brothers, sisters, four of their cousins weddings and all the same. It drove them nuts. They don’t want the same experience for their guests. They want something different but want to incorporate their traditional traditions. The way you market that is not “you’re too busy”.

So what you start saying is “I can help you have a wedding that isn’t like your cousins and your brothers, but maintains those traditions”. You become a category of one. There are all those other planners and then there is you.

Another commenter says their ideal client is:

  • The mother
  • Not to be responsible for details
  • Enjoy the event

This is good. This is interesting that you know that. A lot of people would just assume. But if a lot of those responsibilities are falling on the mother of the bride, then it makes absolute sense to market to the moms. 

Lauren: One thing that I want to make note of is that I am seeing a very common similarity here. Obviously yes you want to know the level of education, the age range, the sex… those types of things that are measurable you can go into the behind the scenes of your google, of analytics and see those exact figures. Instead of you guessing the age range or thinking your ideal client is a male and then hop on the behind the scenes and see 94% of your website traffic is female, then you have to change that a little bit.

One thing Heidi is really driving home for you guys is the finer details, the mom that doesn’t want to be bothered with the pesky details, the people that are thinking outside of the box and like to break the rules. Those components are what is going to set you apart from the competition. 

Someone else just commented and said they are still trying to figure out their ideal client, but she has learned that she is not her own ideal client. That is so true. Just because you are creating this image of what this person looks like for you… that doesn’t mean that you have to fit into  that same category. You can still work with hose people and treat them like gold and give them the best service you can, but it doesn’t make you would pay for your own services. Right?

Figure out what is going to set you apart. Yes you need to know the core details, but really…

  • Do they like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? 
  • Do they shop at Walmart or Whole Food? 
  • Do they rent an apartment? Do they own a home? 
  • Do they enjoy traveling or are they a homebody that loves to entertain? 

What do your people like to do?

Heidi: I like to ask people too, to encourage that sort of thinking… what do they geek out on? Everybody has their favorite things. Everybody has their stuff they are into. If you can appeal to someone on that human level, that really sets you apart. 

My friend Marie is an officiant. She is a total self-professed nerd. She talks about Game of Thrones on her website and she attracts people who are like “YES YOU ARE MY PEOPLE”. At the end of the day you work with people you like and trust. And we tend to as humans to like and trust people who have things in common with us.

Figuring out that you are not your ideal client is a BIG STEP. Very big step, because that is a level of maturity in your business of realizing you don’t have all the answers and you need to go to your people and listen to them. This is what I am such a proponent of is your people are such a wealth of knowledge. The book that I wrote about this is how they will tell you how to market to them. All you have to do is ask them the right questions and piece it together and work backwards, but you can’t do that if you assume you already have all the answers. 

“But I don’t have any clients…”

Lauren: Two questions. One, what do you do if you are just starting out in the business and you don’t have any clients to ask? But two, what are the types of questions that you would ask these people?

Heidi: So what do you do if you are just starting out? First, be open to working with people, but I really think it is better to make a hypothesis and test it, than to just wait and see. It is very had to attract anyone if you are being very vague in general. I would make an educated guess of who you think you want to work with. You can change this later. And even if you are further in business, there might come a point 5 years down the road where you determine you love one subset of people you work with and you want to work with just them, so you change things up to work with just them. This is constantly evolving and forming. So don’t feel you get locked in. You are the boss, you get to do what you want! Which is both great and terrifying.

I would encourage you if you are new, to make an educated guess. Take a stab and hypothesis of who you think you want to work with. If you know anyone like that kind of person, talk to them! Ask them these questions and figure out what matters to them. If you don’t know anyone like that, you want to make sure this person does exists. Look at people who are running businesses in other markets. Is there anyone that is targeting this person? How are they talking to them? How are they marketing? What tone are they using? What platforms are they using? You never want to assume people have done their homework, but is can be a clue. It is a good indicator of a direction you could go for. Anytime you can observe this group of people in person, online, in groups… it helps to get that kind of intel about them, But it is okay to start with a guess and develop it from there.

Think about who you want to be the go-to person for. There was another coordinator I worked with who wanted to be the go-to person for couples where at least one of them was of Mexican or central American heritage, first generation in the US. They were an American kid growing up, but their values and traditions are still really important to them. Maybe grandma and grandpa don’t speak the best English, so having Spanish is important. She built her entire business around these people. She decided she wanted to be the go-to person for Mexican American couples who really wanted to incorporate their traditions but do their own thing. Have a modern spin, but have someone who understood where they were coming from. 

So you are going to attract your ideal client, but it is like a bullseye. You are also going to attract the outside rings. You are going to attract white girls like me, who wish they were Mexican.

Maybe you don’t know a ton about your ideal client yet, but its part of an investigation that goes deeper and deeper and deeper.

Surveys and Questions

Lauren: Yes, and I love when you mentioned the bullseye. That is such a fabulous visual. Yes, you are niching it down to the point, but you are still going to attract a larger population. So many people get so distracted by this idea that they won’t be able to reach enough people, but you are going to have the subset that falls in there. They may not be your “ideal ideal client”, but they are still in the realm. They are still in that gray zone. They are not in the abyss. They have a lot of the same qualities and characteristics.

One thing I would like to mention is right before I launched Wedding Boss and I was very close to expanding LDC, I conducted a survey. I’m a nerd. I love statistics. I love it! I’m a psych nerd. I want to know the human behavior and what they think.

This is something I would encourage you to do if you are on the fence, I would encourage you to conduct a survey. Use Survey Monkey, Type Two, WooFoo… create a really simple survey. Email all of your past “best” couples. The ones you loved working with! Say “Hey I wanted to see how you are all doing. I am running a quick giveaway/contest. If you decide you want to answer a wicked short survey, I will enter you in for an Amazon giftcard.” It doesn’t have to be huge, but think about that… you spend $25, $50 on a giftcard somewhere and you are going to get all the information you could possibly need. That is then how you clone your ideal client. Think of it as an investment. 

So Heidi, what are some questions you could put into a survey or ask Facebook groups of brides? What could they ask?

Heidi: So for previous clients I always like to ask:

  • Where did you look?
  • How did you look?
  • Where did you conduct your research?

If you find out they all rely on a couple of blogs or they ask for recommendations form other vendors, that tells you where to double down on your marketing. That tells you where to pay more attention. Not all marketing techniques are created equal. It depends on what you people are involved in and what they respond to. You want to ask questions along those lines.

You then want to get into their thinking.

  • Why did you book me instead of someone else?

The line of questioning I really like to take here is just being super curious. Like a three year old. Why? Over and over and over again. I like to do this as having conversations with people, because we edit ourselves a lot when we type. So asking questions on an initial survey and then calling someone to follow up and elaborate.

So in the instance of the planner I was just talking about… why does it matter that your wedding is different? This brings you to the main point, you get to the core reason.

So you want it to be different because you want your guests to have a different experience. You don’t want them to be bored like you have been at previous weddings. Maybe you want to one-up your sister. Who knows! 

Lauren: I love that, yes!

Heidi: But that is the kind of thing you could include in your marketing technique. 

“If you want to have the best wedding your family talks about… choose me”.

It is really hard to market to someone when you don’t know what is going through their head. That is why I really want you to make a hypothesis, because when you don’t make people feel anything… apathy is the worst thing someone can feel about your brand. I would rather someone hate me than feel nothing. That means I am not being specific enough about who I am for. On the flipside… who I am not for. Something to think about.

You don’t want to just be mean, but you definitely want to say “this package, my services… I work with couples who x, y, z.” If someone is reading that and they don’t fit that mold, they aren’t for you.

You want to get to know the social components of who these people are and what makes them tick. So if you and your best client went you for drinks, what would you talk about? You want to appeal to that. That is why my favorite question to ask is “what do you geek out on?” You want to be able to incorporate that. Yes the decisions around purchasing are super important… you want to know how you are coming across because a lot of time you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t realize were your superpower of how people perceive about you. But you also need to know how to talk to these people as people in your marketing and stand out in such a way that when someone lands on your site, they feel something. They feel they are in the right place for them. 

Lauren: They feel they are home.

Heidi: Yes.

Be True to You

The Art of Cloning Your Ideal Client

Lauren: I love that. It is so important to be true to you. Just like you guys, we all can sense BS. Our clients can do the same. So if you are trying to attract a certain type of client and yet it doesn’t resonate with who you are... why!? You can’t jive with that. It will be like vinegar and water. Be true to you. You have heard me say this again and again. When I finally incorporated the woo woo back in March… shit changed, guys. It was making it rain. The heavens opened up, rainbows and unicorns started falling. Yeah I was doing alright. I was doing okay. But once you really integrate with who you truly are, that is when the magic happens. Something to think about.

Heidi: Yeah and you make a good point. You don’t have to BE your ideal client, but you have to LIKE your ideal client. It is someone you want to be around, regardless of the fact you are not that person. You still like them and like working with them. Maybe they aren’t your best friend, but you still really enjoy being with them.

What often gets lost so much in business is you get to design the business and the life you want. It is very easy to go in the direction of “oh I have to do this and work with these people and now I’m miserable and I hate my life”. But that is all up to you. You decide who you attract with how you talk about what you do with your marketing.

As a business you are solving a problem. Sure we are not curing cancer here, but we are still solving a problem that someone has. Things that they are worried about are things you can really call out and tease out in your website and the types of things you post on your social media. It needs to be specific to the problem that they want you to solve. If it is a problem you assume they have, that won’t lineup. They won’t feel as strongly as “yes this is exactly what is going on through my head right now, how did you know?”. Well I know because I’ve worked with people just like you and I used their words in my marketing.

Language, Language, Language

That is another key piece is when you get answers to questions from people, don’t edit them. As much as you possibly can, use their exact worse. The cursive knowledge will force you to talk about what you do in a way that someone who has never done it, doesn’t get.

Lauren: Yes and that is something so many people forget. We use terminology that we all know, we all speak, but it is not their love language. Those are not the words that they would us. Do you have a good example?

Heidi: For me I was trying to boil down a quick one line of what I do. I put it to my group and asked which of these resonates most with you?

  1. I help wedding professionals make more money without going crazy in the process.
  2. I help wedding professionals grow their businesses without going crazy in the process.

People hated the making money one, which I was like “alright…”. Then I used the one that my group most identified with. It is the same thing, but it is a different way of saying it. If I had said it the other way I would have driven people away who could’ve been my ideal clients purely because I didn’t understand what it was that they wanted. What problem they wanted solved.

Lauren: Absolutely. I love that. It made me think… if you have a Facebook page or a group, create a poll and ask them certain questions. What was one added bonus of working with me that you didn’t anticipated?

Heidi: What do you wish you knew before you went through the wedding planning process? That gives you all these ideas of how you can market to people. You can turn that into blog posts or social media posts to address these issues that came up for people that they didn’t know they were going to have.

Lauren: I love this. This combined with SEO… I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but these strategies combined with SEO is all the advertising you would need in the world.

Heidi: It is all in your ideal client’s head. It is who they are and how they think. There are photographers who really focus on working with tattooed couples, who don’t want to hide their tattoos and show them off. If I was covered in tattoos, that is who I would want to work with. I want to work with someone who knows how to show that off even if they cost more. Now it is not “this photographer or that photographer”… it is “this photographer who absolutely gets me and all of these other photographers”. 

Lauren: Yes and they are willing to spend the money if that means they are going to get exactly what they want.

“I have to do…”

Heidi, one of the last questions I want to ask is what is one of the biggest takeaways or biggest hidden secrets that you tell only your paid clients? One is one of the biggest monumental shifts?

Heidi: I think something that comes up a lot is what you “have to do”. The overwhelm that comes along with that. You get to design the business that you want. You get to design the business around the ideal clients that you want to have. You don’t have to do all the things. In fact, during our workshops in the wedding collective that we have, one of my favorite questions to ask people is “what are you going to stop doing?’

Lauren: PREACH! YES!

Heidi: Because you can just pile on and pile on, but what is not working? Get rid of it. You don’t have to do it. Just do what works.

It can be simpler than it feels like it should be. I really like to encourage people to focus on just a few marketing channels as part of their marketing plan. You can’t focus on ten things, that is against the definition of the word focus. Its not going to happen.

Lauren: Where are you when I need you? One thing! One!

Heidi: Maybe there are two or three things that work well for you… good keep going! Not to say you can’t experiment. Pick one thing to experiment with for 90 days. Maybe you are going to work on your Pinterest or Instagram or your SEO. Dabble in one thing at a time and know that that is okay. I think a lot of this is giving yourself permission to not drive yourself crazy. You don’t have to work 10 hours a day. You don’t have to work 8 or 6 hours a day. If you can be effective in less time, awesome. No one is clocking your hours. If you can get the job done in 4… cool you have the rets of the day. Take advantage of it. It is definitely a mindset shift to allow yourself to stop.

It is something I struggle with too because I like to just go go go, but knowing the difference between what you need to do because it is working and what you can let go of… is super refreshing.

Lauren: That is huge. Such a good piece of advice. Love it.

Heidi, seriously thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for giving up your early ass morning to be here with us. Really.

Where can people find you Heidi?

Heidi: My main website is evolveyourweddingbusiness.com and that has all of the things. My blog, podcasts, how to work with me. If you are interested in picking up my book, Cloning Your Best Clients, you can go to evolveyourweddingbussiness.com/clone and that will direct you to Amazon where you can pick up the eBook or paperback. You can really go to town on this “close your best client” strategy.

Lauren: Thank you. You are just a wealth of information and I feel so lucky and grateful to have had you on here to share your knowledge with all these people.

That wraps up todays episode! Join us here next week. If you liked this episode, like it and subscribe! It helps to get the word out to everyone that actually needs to hear these lessons and tips to help their businesses. Thank you so much Heidi, and have a great rest of the day you guys!


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


How to Stop Comparisonitis - The Deadly Business Killer

Get Real Series

3 Ways to Stop Yourself from Playing the Comparison Game 

by Brianne Hultzman

 

Brianne Hultzman, owner of Hultzman Photography, joins us on the blog today to talk about three different tricks she uses to stop herself from playing the deadly game known as comparison. 

 
Comparisonitis - The Deadly Business Killer
 

Comparison game in business

Want to know a secret? Sometimes I like to fall off the face of the earth for a while. Not in a literal sense of course, but definitely when it comes to social media.

Why do I do it? Well, easy. When you become so consumed in what is trending and what’s going on social media, sometimes you forget to jump back into reality. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself scrolling through Instagram instead of playing with my daughter. I was so consumed with what everyone else is doing in the photography business that I started feeling bad about my own.

The comparison game. It is 100% real and it 100% sucks. There, I said it. It sucks.

In this industry, we find ourselves hearing over and over again, “Don’t compare yourself to other people.” Yeah, OKAY. But how do we stop ourselves from doing it? Here is the answer…

how to stop playing the Comparison game in your business

1. Take a Break

Get off your damn phone or computer. Walk outside and get a breath of fresh air. Meditate. Play with your animals or kids (or both if you multitask.) Your life isn’t worth spending time on social media pondering the thought of who is and who isn’t better than you. When you take a break, you can actually start thinking of new and fresh ideas that you want to somehow incorporate in your business or personal life. After you have taken a break…

2. Find Inspiration

Have you heard of Pinterest? It’s pretty amazing if I do say so myself. But start pinning stuff that you want to do! Or even better, go somewhere where you can find inspiration. Maybe that is a greenhouse, or a humane society, or even your backyard. Wherever that may be, find inspiration in things that light you up. What is it in your life that sets your soul on fire? Whatever that may be, go do it! Last but not least, after you have found your inspiration…

3. Implement those Ideas!

DO IT! I dare you! Once you take the initiative to actually implement the ideas you were inspired by, do it. Not only will it make you feel better, but you will be able to share your inspiration with others! It’s a win, win.


Brianne Hultzman is the creative genius behind Brianne Hultman Photography, a photography studio specializing in weddings, maternity, and couples that serves Western and Upstate, NY. Growing up, Brianne always had a point and shoot camera by her side so that she would never miss a moment of what was going on around her. Nowadays, things haven't changed a whole lot! She turned her hobby into a profession in 2016 and has never looked back! 

Leave her some love on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written?

  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?

  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it?

  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?

  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?

  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!

 
 

The Reality of Working from Home as a Creative Entrepreneur

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

What It Actually Looks Like to Work From Home

 
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we disspell the common misconceptions surrounding the elusive idea of working from home. We will cover how to become more productive with your time and how to avoid getting sucked into the household chores during work hours! 


Episode 27 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 27 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wunderlist: App

Manifestation Book: Unleash Your Inner Money Babe - Uplevel Your Money Mindset and Manifest $1000 in 21 Days by Kathrin Zenkina

Wedding Boss Life: YouTubeFacebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Show Notes

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Good morning! How are we all doing? I hope you are all doing very well on this lovely Tuesday morning. 

Thank you for tuning in with me today. It means the world to me that you choose to spend even a half hour, hour of your time with me every week. I feel there are so may options out there and so many things we need to be doing, so it really does mean the world to me. Thank you for that.

Housekeeping

Two quick things before we get started that I want to make mention of. First and foremost I am going to  pull some cards for you guys after this live, it will be a separate live that I’ll do right after this one because there is some crazy shit happening right now as far as shifting and energies and stuff. 

The second piece is I have to tell you what happened yesterday. OH MY GOD. I will be chatting more about that in the live I’ll do right after this episode. Yeah, talk about manifestation! 

Lauren’s Journey Working at Home

Without further ado… I am here to chat with you guys about the struggle and the bliss of what it looks like to work from home. I would love to know if you work full time from home, if you are balancing a full time job and your side hustle, if you do work from home how many years have you been an entrepreneur playing the game? I would love to know. Is this a goal you want to achieve and start working from home? Let me know. 

The realities of working from home as a small business owner

A little back story about my stay from home journey. I have been working form home now for almost a decade. That makes me feel real friggin old! It is true. Since 2009 and it has been one hell of a wild ride. From being engaged and working from home to then being married to then popping out children and juggling that. It has been crazy. I’ve seen the ebbs and flows of what it can look like when you work from home.

I am going to share with you a few little trinkets I have picked up along the way that have really helped me in staying focused while working from home. Some elements that you really just need to give yourself grace with. As creatives, as entrepreneurs, we are out own boss. We are in charge of our business. We are in charge of our own hours. We are in charge of how many hours and work we are doing. 

I think that we all go into the transition, if we do choose to work from home, where we think we have to be hustling 24/7. We have to be friggin pumping out… go go go go go! Working into the wee hours of the morning. I cannot tell you how many all-nighters’ have pulled in the past and then woken up to take care of kids and work the next day.

Often times, its like “holy shit is this worth it!?” I am working more hours working form home than I ever was working for someone else. For me I had that ah-ha moment I think about 3 years ago. That’s when things started to change for me anyway. I felt like this shit was for the birds, I needed to change it. Pinterest was huge, it was great for brides and all of these things… BUT this was also before a whole lot of the articles about “how to work from home and be productive” started to be published from bloggers and creative leaders. Its not like I had this roadmap of how to work from home.

I am going to try to give you what my road map looks like. You can take what you want form this. You can leave the rest. You don’t have to take a damn thing. You know how this works with me. What I would suggest is if something resonates with you then jot it down.

Fighting Structure vs Embracing It

Here we go! One note that I wanted to point out before I did start giving you the tips and the tricks... there has to be a happy medium between fighting structure as a creative (because I don’t know about you but if someone tells me you have to work 9-5 and only have a 20 minute break, I’m gonna be a big old eff you!). I want to be in charge of what it looks like for me to work from home. I do not need it to be dictated by anyone else. So there has to be a happy medium between fighting structure and then on the flip side treating out business like a full on corporation. So this is what I have found works for me.

You have to do what feels best for you. There is no set rule for working from home. Is every single day going to be the same? I can almost guarantee you, absolutely not. It just isn’t.

Lauren’s Roadmap

Some things that have begun to work for me, that I’ve noticed through the years…

  1. Get Up and Get Going: I am not a morning person whatsoever. I would much rather have calls with someone at 11pm than I would at 8am. Just how I operate. BUT I find that I am most productive when I get up and start working in the morning. Now I’m not saying I’ll wake up at 6am, nope that’s not happening. Nope. BUT instead of feeling like a momma bear and stirring from my slumber, I will just get up and get at it. Something that has helped me to do that, I know that in the back of my head when the kids are gone and when the husband is gone I can go back to bed if I want. I know I can. Do I ever? I would say maybe 10% of the time. Very rarely do I actually go back to bed. But it helps to get me up! Get up and get going in the morning, even if you are not a morning person.
  2. Make Yourself Feel Good: (Disclaimer: If you know me at all, you know me I love me some lulu lemon pants. I love my yoga pants and my comfies.) HOWEVER, I feel like I can take on the day no matter what the day decides to throw at me when I make myself feel good. What do I mean by that? I mean get up, take a shower, get dressed, put some makeup on. You don’t have to go to the nines. Make yourself feel good. If you are not a make up person (I am not) I just throw on some mascara, do my brows, and call it a day. Another thing I always do every single morning is I eat breakfast. I have to. If I try to take all the medication I need to in the morning on an empty stomach… girl that shit ain’t gonna be pretty. I have tried to cut out all the boxed stuff, but eat stuff that fuels you and will get you ready for the day.
  3. Schedule time throughout your day to move: Give yourself breaks. If you are like me, I will just work work work work work, then my alarm will go off to get my first kiddo from school and I’m like “shit I haven’t even eaten today”. And then what ends up happening? “Well maybe I’ll eat when I get home”. And then I don’t eat and then I have a glass of wine while I’m cooking dinner for everyone and then I feel like I’m down for the count because I haven’t eaten all day! Some days that is okay right? But not everyday! Schedule time to get up out of your seat. If you have to set an alarm to eat lunch, do it! During that time, throw a load of laundry into the washer. You shouldn’t be basing your work day based off of what has to get done around the house. That is key. If you are looking at your load of dirty laundry or the dishes in your sink, right now during the work day is not the time to be doing that stuff. There are exceptions. Yesterday was a major exception for me. Because I recently just bought “Unleash Your Inner Money Babe”, it is by Manifestation Babe. I just started reading this and the first exercise in this book was to clear out the clutter in your wallet, where you pay your bills, where you store paperwork. So I had to have the excuse and be given a reason to do that. I am not kidding you, it took me almost 4 hours to clear through all of the paperwork that had just created little piles all around my office and kitchen counter and spare junk room. Everywhere! Long story short I ended up throwing away an entire trash bags of papers. FULL! So if you are giving yourself the time and space to clean up your office, that is okay! It is not necessarily doing the dishes or the laundry, right? If you feel you have to get that other stuff done, do it during your breaks. You’re given breaks if you work a 9-5, right?
  4. Setting Boundaries: Set work hours for yourself! This was a very heated debate I had with a group of individuals on The Rising Tide Society recently. One of the business owners said “If I were just not to respond to an email and just let it go, they will hire someone else”. Okay, well do you really just want them as a client anyways if they are just going to pick the first person that responds to them? I don’t know. You have to set boundaries for yourself. If you see an email come in at 6pm at night and your office hours that you have set right from the gate and people know you will be “out of the office”… you don’t respond to the next day. If you use Dubsado you can schedule out an email to go out with your business hours. Go into your email signature and add your office hours. When I was giving too much of myself and always on, I was getting the most burnt out. If you know me even a little bit, you know I’m a people pleaser. That’s just how I am. I want people to be happy all the time. However if it comes at the expense of my own health, sanity, and well being, that is a problem. When I noticed that was happening I had to set up boundaries. And I have to tell you guys, when you say “I’m going to take every Tuesday off and never work a Tuesday those will be my personal days” you’ve already built in time into your schedule to get your hair done and run those errands, get a massage. That way it won’t interfere with the rest of the stuff you have going on. If I schedule an appointment to get my haircut at 9:30am, and the by the time I get back to my desk and I’m able to start working, I’ve got all of maybe 2-3 hours before I have pick up a child or run there or run here. That is not enough time to really dive into a project. For me 2-3 hours I maintenance. That is the quick stuff, responding to emails, creating graphics for the next coffee chat… but it is not enough time for me to sit down and plan out my content strategy. I need to feel like I have enough time and unconstrained. When you put limitations on creativity, what happens? Nothing. For me I have to have an entire day where “this is the day OI will schedule my shit and everything else will fall into place”. 
  5. Boost Blocks of Time: Some people will call it setting a priority list or have one to-do you have to get done. For me, I don’t like to put such rigid constraints and boxing it in like that. For me, again, I am a creative by nature. I would much rather know “Okay I have the morning to get my stuff done and whatever it is you need to actually get done today, but the rest of the afternoon (after lunch) is for you to work on whatever comes to you”. I feel a big thing that comes up for me recently, especially in dreams, is really just going more with the flow or where my creativity takes me. Of where I feel inspired to work. When you continue to try to go, go, go and do, do, do that is masculine energy. Feminine energy is creativity. It is the nurturing and listening and all of that. So what happens if you just go, go, go all the time? You burn out! You have no creativity left. It is tough, but it is a balancing act. I would suggest maybe just for a week try this and see how it goes. I can almost guarantee you, you will be way more productive when you do work on the stuff that has to get done than if you just go like the little engine that could. Listen to yourself! If I am not in the mood and not feeling it, but I continue to push it what happens? For me at least I get zero accomplished. Just listen to yourself, you know when you are going to be productive or not. Now sometimes you can’t always give yourself that grace, but if there isn’t something looming overhead, give yourself that grace. Be kind to yourself.
  6. Have water/snacks at your desk: If you are like me and get so entrenched in what you are doing, bring the whole water pitcher. That way you don’t have to go up and down to refill. Also store snacks. I will always have raw cashews and stuff I can nibble on. That way if I am in the middle of something and I don’t want to break my concentration, I can still eat something.

Did those points resonate with you? Any ah-ha moments? Was it something you just sort of needed to hear today? Sometimes that is all we need. We need to know what we have been thinking or have been doing.

I’d love to hear what your favorite tip or reminder that you just heard was.

I also use an app called “Wunderlist”. I have a running to-do list of stuff I have to get done for the week. And if I get to it… great! If I don’t… that’s okay. That way I can go back and forth between my creative elements and what I really need to get done for the day.

I am going to hop off and come back to pull some cards for you and tell you about my manifestation story. Thank you so much!


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


A Letter to Me Before I Made It

Get Real Series

A Letter to Myself Before Beginning My Business

by Kasey Kyprianou

Kasey Kyprianou, a trailblazing stationer and lead badass designer of revelry + heart, joins us on the blog today! As the saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20." Wouldn't it be great to have a remote that could transport you back in time to tell your past self what mistakes to avoid and lessons you should learn in your business? Well, this post is the next best thing as Kasey talks about the types of things she would have loved to tell herself before she began her business! 

 
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Hey you.

 

I know how much you love people. I know how much you need validation that what you do is good enough, important enough and pretty enough to be valued. Use this when you’re feeling doubtful.

A letter to my business before making it

 

I know you struggle with charging for you work. I know you think you know how to reach people.

 

I know you hate sales, and think everyone is out to swindle you, because you’ve been taken advantage of and manipulated more than once in life.

 

I also know your heart. You pour it into your work, and can’t settle until you know your client loves it just as much as you do. I know this is why you take it so personally when it doesn’t go over like you planned. You care. A lot. Maybe too much, but I’m telling you it’s not too much, I promise.

 

You’re trying so hard to make it. To wear all the hats. You can’t figure out SEO, facebook ads, what analytics are or what they mean. You can’t crunch numbers, but you’re trying, the iPhone calculator and spreadsheets be damned. You have the resources.

 

You’re afraid to be successful. Because success will mean more pressure. More at stake. More room for failure as the expectations rise. You can do it.

 

You have it in your blood to make a name for yourself. Business entrepreneurship runs in your blood, and even if they never mentored you or taught you a single thing, it’s in the hidden parts of your brain, waiting to be sparked to life and activated. It wouldn’t be the first time you taught yourself something.

 

You can’t do this alone. You’re going to burn out, get frustrated and bitter. You have to invest in more than a savings account. You have to not worry about buying that paper, and instead, spend money on making it.

 

A Letter to myself before I made it

You need to let down your walls in order to get inspired. You need to let go of the thoughts that what you’re thinking can’t be done, that no one will buy in, because you’re wrong. If they don’t do anything but buy-in to your crazy ideas, you will get buy in. And your creativity will flood faster than you can anticipate, faster than you can articulate, and you’ll get so excited by your own abilities.

 

No one is going to believe in you for you. But I do. And you don’t have to give yourself away to prove your worth.

 

Raise. Your. prices. You don’t need a tool or someone to tell you how much or what they should be. Trust yourself. 

 

Your competition is not who you think it is, and those who are, are charging 5x as much. You deserve to make money on your expertise, your talents are worth their weight in gold, even if you think it’s something that comes effortlessly.

 

You will never run out of clients because someone does the same thing as you, but better. I promise.

 

Stop listening to what everyone else is doing and beat your own path. You love the road less traveled, so why are you longingly looking at the traffic jam?

 

Buy the software that will help you make money. Invest in those who will do the same. They are not out to get you, but I know you’ll check their references, just in case.

 

You will become your billboard, so turn inward, think about who you are, and when you think you’ve got it nailed down, you’ll find a whole other side. She is ready to take on these challenges in ways you were much too afraid to approach before. She’s been there all along and she’ll never leave you.

 

You’re multi-talented, but focus your effort on what you love. You’ll blossom when you stick to the things you like.

 

Ironically, you’re going to learn how to makes sales. It’s not your favorite thing, but there is an element that you’ll find you absolutely love, and oddly enough, it can be one of the most fun parts of the process.

 

You’re going to run into people who make you doubt yourself. You’ll find those who support you without asking in these moment. You’ll build a thicker skin each time. Don’t you ever feel like what you believe in isn’t as valid as those who criticize you.

 

You don’t have to ask for people to like you. You will find the right people the more vulnerable you are. The less you try, the better your results.

 

You’re going to make money.

You’re going to break through the noise.

You are going to make an impact.

You are brushfire.


 

Kasey Kyprianou is the owner and founder of revelry + heart, a custom design studio for couples that revel in their authenticity and crave design that evokes conversation. In a past life, Kasey was a graphic design student who interned at a stationery store in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was there that she worked on projects with the likes of Brenden Fraser and Flo Rida. Now, a seasoned business owner, she owns her own studio and designs for her own celebrity clients around the world. She's an envelope-pusher, a family treaty peacemaker, timeline expert and non-traditional stationery queen.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

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YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

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The Awakening

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Tuning into Oneself and Business

 
 

Grab your dark roast + join guest, Brianne Hultzman, and I as we talk about Brianne's road to self-discovery and what it has looked like for her business. Spoiler Alert: this is what happens when clients work 1:1 with Lauren! 


Episode 26 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 26 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Episode Notes

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Hello everybody who is tuning in! Welcome to the cool kids club! I am Lauren Dragon-Cook, the owner and founder of Wedding Boss Life. I am with Brianne Hultzman who is an amazing photographer. She is based in New York now. She traveled across the country to Colorado where she was living with her husband and daughter who just turned one. She is now living in New York while her husband is deployed.

Let’s do the dang thing, shall we? We are going to be chit chatting today about Brianne’s journey essentially and what it has looked like for her in the just the last… how many months?

Brianne Hultzman: Since January, so like 6 months?

Lauren: It’s only been six months? This is going to be such a good one.

Brianne: It’s only been six months.

Lauren: I can’t wait. We are here lets do the damn thing. Brianne, tell us a little bit about you. Who the hell are you? Why should we love you? What do you do?

Brianne: Alright, so I am Brianne. I am a wedding and portraits photographer based out of Western New York. I will be turning a quarter old… 25 this year. I have a daughter, her name is Kayleigh. She just turned one last month. My husband is in the army so we travel everywhere! We just this last year went from living in NY to Indiana to Colorado and now back to New York and then moving back to Colorado and figuring out what is next!

Lauren: That is a lot.

Brianne: It is a lot of moving. I think I’m an expert packer now.

Lauren: Is that even a thing? Awesome!

So Brianne, you are a photographer. You obviously love the creative world and everything that revolves around there. Tell me a little bit about where your business was say December 2017. 

Six Months Ago

Brianne: December 2017 I was really slowing down in my business. I was in Colorado for almost 8 months and I noticed my business was really slowing down. I was in a slow season. I was excited for a new year, but I was also worried because I literally had no bookings for 2018. Probably for about 3 weeks after going into January, once again I had no bookings. It made my gut sink, because I was thinking is it me? What is wrong? I actually booked one session the entire month of January and it was proposal at garden of God and then again it went silent. 

I had never been in a slow season before because the year prior I remember having 32 sessions in January. So going from 32 sessions the previous year to one session. It was heartbreaking. Is it my prices? Is it me? Does my breath smell bad? What is this!?

Lauren: So fair enough though, you had concerns with what was going on.

Brianne: It was rough.

Lauren:  What was the turning point for you? Where were you like… I need to do something about this? I need to figure out what is going on.

Brianne: I was thinking to myself, clearly there is something wrong. I was listening to podcasts all the time and getting any information I could possibly get. I am also known for adding myself on Facebook groups, so one day I’m on Facebook and scrolling to look for anything to do with weddings. Suddenly on the side bar it said group of wedding creatives. I thought that sounded neat so I clicked it and added myself. When I did that I had to answer three questions and then I was added to your email list. 

The next week I got a welcome video. I thought it was so nice! I loved it! After I had my welcome video I wanted to check this girl out and find out what she was all about. I heard about doing a check in with you for 30 minutes for free. I went ahead and signed up for the 30 minutes and either that night or the next day I got a video from you. I remember when I was answering the three questions I said I was a new photographer. And when I watched the second video you sent me, you told me I was not a new photographer and that my work was incredible. I felt like this woman was my soul sister right now. I went ahead and sent the video to my best friend and was like “dude I am so excited. I get to talk to her on Wednesday and she is going to rip my whole website apart. I am so ready.”

I had my 30 minute chat with you which turned into a whole hour chat because our vibes just clicked and were so perfect. At the end you said “listen, I know I can help you one on one.” And I was like “well can’t I just do free 30 minutes from now on?” And you were like “nope.” So you told me how much it was, my heart sank for a second because I didn’t have money at the time. But I sat on it for two days and even though I didn’t have the money, I made it a point to make sure I could do it. Somewhere deep inside I knew I needed some sort of coaching. I needed someone that wasn’t a photographer to tell me what to do. That just made sense. And that is how it all started! 

Lauren: Half the time I don’t even know where people are coming from or how they found the group. I have no idea. So its pretty cool to listen to your experience. So where were you at though personally? Lets get real and raw. That is the whole point of these Tuesday chats.

Did you even realize that you were struggling? Where were you at? What did life look like for you?

Brianne: I was a lot like grumpy. I was so sad and so depressed. My husband went out to a training in California for the army and I’m over here just taking care of our daughter. Basically single mom-ing it. I didn’t know what to do. I was very sad. I was in a really deep dark place and I honestly thought about just quitting photography all together. I was thinking everything negative. Nobody wanted to be around me and I don’t blame them whatsoever because I was pretty depressing. 

Lauren: Aw, the muffin. But you know what… lets point this out for a hot second. Look at where youa re now and you can look back and see that.

Brianne: Holy…

Lauren: So many people go through life and all they do is point their finger at someone else. Blaming other people for their problems. I am saying to you… this is huge! That is a lot of looking inwards.

You were a hot mess basically.

Brianne: Yes.

Brianne’s Experience with Lauren

Lauren: So when you decided you wanted to jump on the Lauren train and work with me, you were looking for business guidance and help and someone to tell you what the hell to do. To make it flourish. 

Brianne: Yes, give me direction. Give me a road to be the next Jenna Kutcher basically.

Lauren: We will take it! What ended up happening during our four sessions. I would love to hear form your perspective.

Brianne: Holy smokes. There was a ridiculous amount of self reflection. We just really broke everything down. I know the first session you were giving me tips and tricks and ideas. What I need to do with an email list and my website. We worked out my brand voice and how to present myself the way I talk right now. When you go ahead and look at my website, it is a clear representation of how I talk in general. That was HUGE!

There was just a lot of self reflection and going back and thinking back to where it all began. I could go on for days right now!

Lauren: No that’s fine! I have gotten many emails in the past, “now that you’ve come out of the wedding creative closest, do you only do business stuff? Do you only do x, y, and z?” I think this helps people paint a really good picture of what to expect.

Brianne: It was… the first session or the second session… you told me that you were into the woo-woo and of course I was like “Yes! I got myself a psychic and a life coach and I am so excited! My life is made!” I went ahead and had you pull cards for me and what it was like.. two days later everything that happened on it was ridiculously accurate and I texted you like “WTF Lauren!” I was mind blown! 

Our third session together we really talked about my feelings towards my business, another couple tips and tricks, and a card reading. It hit me like a bunch of bricks. I was crying, you were crying, we were balling. It was very intense and after you told me to work on my website and between that time I went ahead and worked on it. You asked me if I was the same person because it looked nothing like your website before. Which is pretty amazeballs. 

Shifting from Dark to Light

Lauren: It really is. I just love the fact… I think that you were in a super dark place. You already have admitted that. It was a lot of negativity towards yourself.

Brianne: I felt so guilty. Trying to stop me feeling so guilty all the time. Like even if I ate a Cheeto I would feel guilty, something as simple as that. I always felt the need to have permission for Lauren to say “hey you can go ahead and do blah-blah-blah.” I was unsure, but that was you saying “go ahead, I’m giving you permission just do it damn it.” So I did it and I felt way better about myself but also how my business has just thrived off of it. I have been able to raise my prices now and feel confident with my pricing which is just huge! Now I know my self worth which is big. To be back in the place where I was in January, self worth out the window… self care out the window. That was bad. And I’ll be the first to admit I struggled with post partum depression and I would get back into that mode and feelings of suicide and it was really bad. You really got me out of it.

Lauren: But how? What did I do? What did we do together? What did we do to shift that? I remember that moment, but I want to know if you remember it.

Brianne: I have mom brain, I don’t remember anything right now. But I do remember going through my whole personal life and sitting down and doing a lot of reflection. We figured out where everything stemmed from. That was big. How everything connected. 

Lauren: I remember the moment. It was either the second or third session. I remember your grandfather came through.

Brianne: Oh my god, I’ll tell you! That was so crazy because I was thinking about my grandpa a lot. He actually came through and he just had this smile on his face. I just keep seeing joy. Joy, joy, joy, joy. 

She kept seeing joy and It didn’t make sense at first. And then it hit me… my grandma’s name is Joyce. It does not get any closer to that. And of course he always had a smile on his face. Around that session too my daughter was looking around and looking at the couch and she would just start laughing at the couch. I would see things in the corner of my eye and then when grandpa came through it was such a relief. I miss him so much. You said “its okay baby girl.” And I remember thinking I don’t know if he would say baby girl, but I know he would remind me it was okay. I think when he gave me that “its okay, keep going”, I really took that into my life and it pushed me even farther and farther. 

Lauren: I totally remember that and remember where a lot of your stuff stemmed form when you were six, so I had seen the number six just pop into my head. I remember the back of my head hurt really badly and I said there was a traumatic event. There was something that happened when you were six. I just kept seeing it. I said the back of my head is hurting, why? And that is when you said to me “yeah I was in a car accident.”

Brianne: A mini van hit a motorcycle head on and there was some serious neck damage to the motorcyclist. My parents pulled to the side of the road and us kids were sitting in the back. I wasn’t allowed to look back because it was very traumatic and ever since then I have had very bad anxiety especially on the road. Even just getting close to a car in traffic… the anxiety comes back to that. Once I realized that it got better from there. Not to say I don’t have any anxiety anymore about it, but it was nice to bring it back to the surface to see where it stemmed from.  

Shifts

Lauren: That is when a lot of your shifts happened. I could feel the shifting actually happen.

For those of you who don’t know… I am intuitive and part of that is being an empath. I can actually feel your emotions when we are having a one on one conversation, but I can also feel when energy begins to shift. The reason why I saw a shift and why my head was throbbing was because I was feeling those things you were feeling.

That was the moment where you woke up. My divine purpose in life I have been told by friends who are energy healers and by many people… is to wake people up. Wake up souls essentially.

From about January to March things started to come into alignment for you. What did you start to see? What did you see all the time? Signs? 

Brianne: I literally would see repeating numbers all day everyday. I would have 111, 333, 313131. I paid off my student loans. I’m not going to tell you the number, but I’ll tell you it was repeating.

Lauren: What did it mean?

Brianne: It was saying I was on the right path and everything I was doing was good. There was abundance that would be coming my way.

Lauren: Yes. You paid off your student loans… what was the van? Remind me.

Brianne: Oh I forgot about that! You can’t make this stuff up. I am reading a book right now called “effortless Entrepreneur”. It is by these guys who run this company called “college hunk, hauling junk”. Never heard of it before in my life. I was in Florida at my in-laws house and I was reading. It was such a quick read, which was weird because anyone who knows me knows I hate reading. I went ahead and was reading this book and it was just insane! I was highlighting everything. And we had to go to Lowe’s and I went to Lowe’s and we are driving back onto the highway and suddenly there is a car in front of us and it was the college hunk hauling junk. I texted Lauren, “you would not believe what just happened”. The entire trip I was there I think I saw it 6 times within the last three days and then when I got back to Colorado I kept passing a sign that I never saw before. It was on a picnic bench. I was just like… how!? 

And now I am on a different book called “You are a Badass at Making Money” and you have to say a daily affirmation of “I love money and money loves me”. The craziest thing happened… I was cleaning out the spare room and I came across the cards form my bridal shower three years ago and I found $40 in gift cards that I never used. And then yesterday I was in the car joking around saying “I love money and money loves me” and I bought myself two lottery tickets and I won $25. 

Lauren: Oh my gosh. So many people I feel when the shit starts to shift, as I like to say, you are going to probably be perceived by others as being bat-shit-cray.

Brianne: Oh I am totally being judged by my parents. But hey, it works. I am also on another book called “You are a Badass”. It’s a great book too.

Lauren: I just remember, when you had seen that van you had had a revelation of some kind and I was reading your text and I said “yup, she is in alignment” and then literally you texted me about the van the next day and it was like “yup, there is the universe giving her a wink.” 

This group, this community that I have strived to create is so much more than just systems and processes of how to run your business. 

Brianne: Absolutely. This is the best group I have ever been a part of. I feel very safe in this group that I could actually express myself and show off my work.

Lauren: I know we talked about this before, just having a successful business begins and ends with you. If you are not right, if things are off in your own life then how are you going to have this picture perfect business if you yourself are struggling with something? That is why I wanted Brianne to tell her story. There are so many parts that are being left out and what not, but it is okay because I think everyone is getting the general jist of the story. It is a transformation. It is a matter of literally just transitioning into who you were meant to be. That is exactly where Brianne is at right now. She has embraced and shifted exactly aware of where she is.

Brianne: I totally want everyone to jump on the LDC train.

Lauren: I mean… there is no stopping.

Brianne: It is life changing to be mentored by you, honestly. I talk about you literally every day. You are basically my big sister. No life.

Lauren: Aw thank you babe. It makes me tear up. Oh tell me about your husband! Right before he left, he wanted to hop on the phone with me and get a quick reading basically. I just smile thinking about it. I felt something shift for him as well.

Brianne: Absolutely.

Lauren: Speak to that for people.

Brianne: So basically what happened was I would get readings every two weeks? I went ahead and told my husband to get a reading done. I set it up and texted her and asked her “are you able to do a reading at 8pm?” Obviously he had to work that day and so we set everything up. He was really anxious at the beginning. He wanted his grandparents to come through. His grandma passed away in October. At first, I wanted to be in the room listening to this, but they wanted to be private.

His grandma came through at 3pm earlier that day, basically make a presence that “hey I’m here”. He got very teary-eyed and then towards the end his grandfather came through. He is the one that made Brian who is he is today. His message to Brian was “I look to you as a son”. I know that Brian felt his grandfather was basically his father growing up and taught him some life lessons and morals. Everything stems back to his morals. Brian also got clarity on what kind of career he wanted to do because obviously every place has pressured him to be more in the medical field. He was thinking “maybe I want to get into environmental science” but after talking to you he knows in his heart where he is supposed to be. If he says something doesn’t feel right, I don’t question it whatsoever. He trusts his gut now and figured out he wants to go to school for environmental science during his stint in the military. 

The Business and Body Awakening

Lauren: I love it. Because Brian is married to a creative and doesn’t necessarily mean he himself is a creative. I think just speaking to that, is huge. Speaking to the fact that what we are doing in this community, it applies to everyone. It doesn’t matter. The core of community and what I’m trying to give you all, applies to everybody.

I love your story, Brianne. I think it really speaks to how difficult it can be and how easily you can loose hope. But then at the same time, if you get a little nudge or wink form the universe to keep going at it… it can easily transform you.

Brianne: Absolutely.

Lauren: It is crazy. 

Brianne: It is hard to put it into words. Honestly. One, how everything has changed… but two, when I moved to New York I didn’t even know if I was going to get business. You reassured me so many times that I was going to get business. And now I am sitting here like “I’ve got business!”  

Lauren: You are such a nerd! Oh my gosh… Last week or the week before you had said “I was questioning whether or not I should move back home…” and then what did you see.

Brianne: The hailstorm in Colorado. In Colorado they had hail the size of tennis balls. They were massive! Peoples cars were wrecked. Holes in everyone’s cars and houses. They said it was the most intense hailstorm in 23 years.

Lauren: I have to laugh, because once you “wake up”, coincidences aren’t a thing anymore. They don’t exist. It is all about things we are not seeing.

Brianne: Yes and now I want to help wake people up. You might be doing it right, but just going about it in the wrong way.

Lauren: I love your story and I love how the last 6 months you have completely done a 180 in every facet of your life. But that is you, girlfriend. That is YOU! That is not me or anything I did. That was you doing the work.

I am so proud of you. I really am. The [path that you are on and the level of growth that you have had. If you keep the mindset you have embodied and stay at it.. the sky is the limit. I am so proud of you That is why I wanted to have you on a coffee chat, because I think so often people think “oh that can’t happen to me”. Or they think it only happens for people who hustle every single day.

Ah-Ha Moments

Would you say a lot of your biggest ah-ha moments came from quiet moments?

Brianne: You are not kidding! All of my great moments are not from when I’m hustling, its in the quiet times and moments of realization where I get an idea. I go through this every single day it feels like. This last week I came up with three ideas just randomly.

I take more naps now. I don’t go full force and not pay attention to my kid because I need to focus on my work. I take breaks. Breaks are happy and good times. Honestly, work smarter not harder. Taking that sort of mindset and incorporating the breaks.

Lauren: I love it. Looking back on January 1, 2018. If someone had said to you, you are going to completely transform not only your life but your business. And you will be rocking and rolling and kicking ass and taking names. Would you believe it?

Brianne: Well YOU said it, but I didn’t believe you. I will be the first to admit it. I did not believe you when you said I would be doing a complete 180. And now I am sitting here like… I wish I did it sooner. But obviously this was the right timing. 

Lauren: It was. If you had done it sooner, it wouldn’t have been the right time. Everything will happen the way it is supposed to happen, I am a firm believer in that.

I wanted you to speak today, Brianne, so you could show people what is possible for someone once they get out of their own head and take control of their business. It really does blow my mind even tough I work with people every day and small shifts begin to happen. I really am genuinely so proud of how far you have come.

Next week are in July! Holy crap! The theme for July is productivity. One thing with productivity that I think so many people fail to remember is everybody is given 24 hours a day. Everybody has the same number of hours. What it really boils down to is a lasting connection with your business and hours… not a lack of time. Not to say that sometimes we don’t feel we have enough time… stuff happens. But what I am saying is that sometimes we need to spend the time on what direction we are taking and getting some guidance. 

Closing Remarks

I will be posting July’s monthly schedule so you can be kept up to date. I would suggest you all go onto your favorite podcast app and click the subscribe button. When you subscribe you are going to get the notifications there is a new video. So if you do have a fear of FOMO and you are afraid you will miss an episode, click the subscribe button. This will help our community in front of more people, but also will help notify you when stuff pops up. 

Thank you so much for tuning in! If you have any suggestions of somebody that is an expert in a specific field that you would love to have talk within the group, send them my way! It doesn’t matter what you do. Thank you so much and I am so grateful for all you guys bring to this community and for you Brianne. I am grateful for all of it!

We will chat next week about productivity. Have a wonderful rest of the week everybody!


Q + A 

Q: I have always wanted to build my own crochet business, but I am so afraid of putting myself out there.

A: Do it. When you start a business you have to put yourself out there! It sucks because you might feel that no one cares what you do… but people do care! Just go balls the wall! I am here and present and I am going to do this. Don’t look back and do it!

Don’t let the fear of the what ifs and unknowns hold you back from living your best life. Living a life that you know if your heart you were meant to live. So many people on their death bed don’t say they wish they had worked harder or worked more, they wish they had listened or followed their passion. I think that speaks to something for use. Your people that love you, they will find you. They will always find you. Look at me! Look at what I have created. So many people look at what I do and say I’m bat-shit-cray and that is okay. But the people whoa re supposed to be here… are.

 

 


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


Manifest Your Goals

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

The Wedding Boss Life Goal Setting Method

 
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as Lauren explains her process that she uses in setting her own short-term and long-term goals for not only her business but life as well!


Episode 25 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 25 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available on iTunes! Listen to the episode by clicking the link below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new episodes.


Links

Wedding Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: How are you doing on this lovely Tuesday? I am so thankful you are here and wanting to spend precious time out of your day with me! Today we are going to be talking about goal setting and goals and what does that even mean for people.

I talk to a lot of people during the course of the day and I am finding that more and more people want to be setting goals and yet they have no idea where to even start. “I know I want to have this dream house, but how do I get there?” I want to help you guys connect some of the dots in figuring that all out.

Without further ado, we will dive in.

How many of us struggle with, not so much figuring out what you want, but how to get there? How do we get form point A to point B when it comes to goal setting?

First things first, one thing I think most educators and most thought leaders and most gurus (if you’ve ever watched a webinar on goal setting or taken a course or listened to a podcast), what most people fail to realize is the fact that goal setting and intention setting and manifesting and inspiring… all of those things are on in the same. It is just a matter of where you are at in your life and how you look at the world, how you look at things.

Before I started my woo-woo journey, I would have only said goal setting. These are my goals, my bucket list, my dream… that is just one way to look at it. Now that I have been down this path for the last 6 years or so, I’ve come to realize that it is all the same thing. Goal setting is the same thing as manifesting as creating a dream board. It is just a matter of how you approach it.

I am going to do something I guess not every business leader or business owner does. I am going to incarnate a little bit of how I myself set my own goals and how I’ve been able to attain them. And what it looks like to manifest. For those of you that don’t know and are looking to see what that’s all about… how many of you have heard of the word manifest or manifesting? 

Manifestation

The power of manifesting is real. It is legit. Really quick story… I told some of you this story but my Macbook that I’ve had for 6.5 years, literally was about to self combust over the winter. The fan was gone and I did not feel comfortable leaving it on unsupervised, because it was literally going to blowup. So I needed a new one. If you know me at all I don’t do anything half-ass. I’m all in or not at all. It’s the same thing when I make a purchase. If I am going to buy a Macbook I want to make sure it is the one I want. I’m not just going to buy something. I was saving up two grand essentially for a new Macbook and I was like $450 short. When you really dig and dive in to this whole manifestation thing the power of it is honestly amazing. I was like “I’m in no hurry, I’m alright, but by the end of the week I’ll have what I need to buy that Macbook”. I just went about my business. I set that intention. I literally just had it in my head. I will have the Macbook by the end of the week. I just put it out there. Because I felt it so strongly, it wasn’t just a desire or a wish… it was already on its way. 

I went out to the mailbox in the middle of the week and I have a check. The check is from State Farm from 2011 for $287 because we had overpaid that in 2011. I shit you not! I’m like “Oh okay alright, thank you!” I continued to go about my day. Later that night I remember hoping on Dubsado and I am an affiliate with Dubsado but not because of the money, but because of how much I love the company and the service they offer. I had never checked my affiliate earnings, ever, because I just didn’t care. I went on there and that night I have $405 in my affiliate account. Same day. On a Wednesday. I had said by the end of the week I will have that money. I even had extra on top of that! Like what!? That insane, it is still crazy to me. And now I have my Macbook.

That is the power of manifesting. That is the power of setting intention. That is the power of goal setting. If you believe it whole heartedly and you realize where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing… if you are in it to win it then it will happen. It is when you start to have doubt and when that doubt creeps in. Its when you start to do a bit of self sabotage talking. It doesn’t happen. And we don’t even realize that we are doing it! It is how we were born and raised in this society and culture. But if you are able to kind of learn how to separate it and leave it to the curb, I promise you some crazy stuff with start to happen.

Lauren’s Technique

I am going to show you how I personally set my own goals and intentions. It is a combination or how you think about things, how you react to things, but also the law of attraction. First you have to set your intentions. You have to set your goal. I’m sure some of you have heard the acronym SMART goal. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Setting a goal for yourself and what can goals look like?

There are many different categories for how to set that goal for yourself, right? You can set a goal for yourself based upon finances, health/diet, business, family… you can have these different goals but you have to kind of separate them. What you can do to yourself is if you start to see all these goals you have for yourself but they aren’t dispersed into their proper categories it can get overwhelming! I’m like “oh my god way too much shit, I can’t”. It is one of those things where you have to take it step by step. 

Write Them Down

Sometimes that can be annoying to hear. You just want the end result. But half the time you receive a gift from the universe along the way. If you are so set on the end result, you are going to miss all that stuff along the way. Happiness comes from the journey not the destination. The journey is part of the goal setting process. What I would encourage you to do is write down all the goals you have for yourself initially. Anything that comes to mind. 

“I want to be debt free.”

 “I want to be able to pay my bills on time.”

 “I want to have 25 clients each season.”

Once you have written them all down it is really important to be realistic with how long it is going to take you. If you say oh it’ll happen in 10 years for every single goal you have, its never going to happen. You have to push yourself but still be realistic enough with the goal setting you have. If you said you want to have 25 clients by the end of the season and here we are two months in and that leaves us four months… okay if you have 0 on your calendar that would average out to 6 clients a month… okay well how will you get those 6? It is a matter of breaking it down.

The other piece of it that other people don’t talk about is looking at the end result as if it has already happened. You have to live it and breathe it. It has to be part of your daily life. This is where affirmations come into play. Look on Pinterest for affirmations that correspond with your goal. What happens is when you start to combine strategies and the law of attraction magic happens. That is literally the heart of Wedding Boss Life. I combine the strategy with woo-woo to really enhance and emphasize your success.

Add Your Bucketlist

I am telling you this works! I’m not just preaching! I’m telling you from experience it works. Once you can kind of write down all of these goals… add your bucket list stuff to it! Add the things you have always wanted to do. For me… I want to go to Hawaii, I want to have a ride in a hot air balloon, before I die I want to have dreadlocks. These aren’t necessarily goals but fun stuff I want to happen. 

Now once you start to figure out how short of a time frame you want it to happen and you’ve separated them into different sections… that is when you can start to really see the progress and work towards the goals. You are able to have weekly or daily tasks that you are doing to work towards those goals. Visualize that they are already done!

Measure Your Success with Tools

The Wedding Boss Life Goal Setting Method

This is now when you start to measure your success and watch the growth. Maybe sometimes you might shift your goal or your goal with change. 

There are so many freakin’ worksheets out there and stuff on Pinterest… endless stuff to help you set your goals. But remember most people don’t talk about combining the two. It is combining the actual strategies as well as the mindset. You can’t just create a goal and chug along… it can happen much faster if you allow the other side of things to play a role.

There are no goals that are too crazy. Nothing out there that is too insane. I want to help you break it down. Sometimes you just need a friend and someone to tell you what you need to do. They will help you figure out how to go about it. Feel free to let me know what your goals are. Let me help you.

Breaking It Down

Some categories to get your wheels turning: 

  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Saving money
  • Business
  • Family, partner

Are their projects you want to take on in your house? What do they look like? Make sure you still write those down. How many of you are guilty that have this honey-to-do-list and you forget what half of the stuff was you need to do? ME! Painting the deck is one of mine… it has taken us 2.5 years. Maybe another goal is your spiritual journey. Make some goals for yourself!

Someone in the group mentioned they’d like to retire their parents. Lets break that down a bit, first you would need to know what they are living off of now. You need to know what they are making this year now and if that is comfortable for them? Do they want to be making more than that? Are they content? So now you have to live and survive and carrying yourself but also them. You have to combine those two areas of income. You need to figure out how much YOU need as well. Then you just start to think… how much do I charge per wedding? How much do I charge per shoot? How many will I need to do per year to make that happen? Taxes play a role too.

It can seem so daunting when we set goals like that for ourselves, but if you start to realize you only need to do X number of weddings a year… how am I going to get those weddings? That’s where you start to really break it down. Its sort of one big circle.

Really checking in with yourself to see if you are on track. Knowing how much you should be making per month… you just need to have faith that the month after will be better. You’ll make it up. Just be prepared and flexible to see the different levels of growth and what not.

Measurable Goal Example

Another thing I manifested… I wanted to have 1,000 people in my group, our Facebook community by the middle of the year. Here we are and it is June 19th and we are at 894 members. Pretty close! Numbers don’t necessarily matter to me when it comes to likes, but it was just a measurable goal for myself. If I were to say “I want to help all the people in the world and have them in our group”… okay good luck with that. I just wanted to have a measurable goal!

Closing

Enough of that, I said I was going to really start to try to keep our coffee chats to 30 minutes and YAY I did! Another goal… YAY! I hope this was helpful for you! As always, if you have any questions or just are stuck with a goal you have… reach out! I’m happy to help you. Put it in the group and get some feedback form other people. 

If you want to help me reach one of my goals, invite all your people! What if we got over 1,000 people by the end of the day?! I would need to throw a party.

Much love to you all. I will be seeing you next Tuesday. We are going to be chatting with Ms. Breanne. She is a photographer but she is going to talk to you a little bit about what her journey has looked like when it comes to shifting stuff and what it looks like to work with me one on one and the changes she has experienced. 

Thank you for joining me and I will see you next week!


LDC of WBL
 

I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.


Why Networking is the Lifeline of Your Business

Get Real Series

3 Unique Networking Ideas to Grow your Business

by Casi Smith

Casi Smith, owner and lead photographer of Pine + Honey Photography, joins us on the Get Real Series to chat about 3 different ways to utilize networking to its fullest extent within your creative business! 

 
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I feel like we all have been there (or are still there) where we are just so tired of no one seeing us or booking us. Our photos are great, we post to social media daily, and we engage with people. Why isn’t our business moving forward? 

One basic reason - The internet is a black hole. 

Wait, what does that even mean? 

You have so many people posting great photos, great content, just like you, using the SAME STRATEGY. We all do it. Yet, you're not getting any more booked weddings because of it. 

But, I’m not here to talk about social media strategy. To be honest, I don’t believe there is a one size fits all, or even a magic formula. I truly don’t believe in it. 

What I am here to say is that you need to get out from behind your computer screen to go and...

Network

What?! Leave my computer?! But I need to edit, respond to emails instantly, be on social media constantly! 

Nope. You can leave for like 10 hours. Trust me. 

My business was dying. It was because I was doing what everyone else was doing. People (brides, clients, everyone) can find a great photographer online easily, but the only thing that differentiates you from “Suzie Photographer” down the street is you. 

Your personality, the way that you make them feel, the effort you put into getting to know them. IN PERSON. 

The reason I say this is because people want to feel like they can trust their photographer, that they will make them feel good and have their best interest in mind. 

So, what am I doing to make this happen? 

1) OFFER FREE FAMILY SESSIONS AT A BUSINESS LOCATION

I am networking with businesses in my community. 

I reached out to a local winery and offered them something. I would take photos of families for free, in exchange to get families to come to their winery. I know wineries struggle at getting people to drive all the way out to buy wine, especially families, so I saw it as an opportunity. 

I’m not getting anything out of this. I am building a network. You know what happens when these families get their free photos? They’re going to brag about me. 

That winery, they may hire me to do product photography, or not. I don’t care. I just need to meet people in real life. 

Networking is the Lifeline of Your Business

Referrals do come my way, but what happens when they dry up? What are you doing to actively build your referral network? 

2) STRATEGIC FACEBOOK ADS

I ran a facebook ad offering engagement sessions for free to build my portfolio. 

You may say, “What? But you just said to get out from behind the screen!!!” And you’re right, but this allows me to do just that. What is the best network to leverage? Your social network. 

I have people tagging people they know who are engaged for me. And guess what? Those free engagement sessions may just turn into full wedding sessions. 

3) STYLED SHOOTS (BUT NOT THE WAY YOU THINK)

I am doing styled shoots, not to get the photos, but where I collaborate with other photographers. 

We take photos and videos of each other to post behind the scenes / in action on our social media.

Why? Because I can’t take photos of myself or hire someone to do this for me all the time. 

This also builds my network with photographers. What happens if they get a bride requesting them to do a wedding but they’re booked? They will refer me and I will refer to them! 

Collaboration helps you. Stop feeling so dang competitive. 

These are just ideas. Take them or leave them, but just realize that the internet only takes you so far. We work in an industry that involves human connections. Why don’t you start your marketing efforts that way? 

Wishing you the best!

Casi


 
 

Based out of Oregon, Casi Smith is a natural light photographer that specializes in weddings, engagements, newborn, and family portraiture. She thrives off of the ability to tell and preserve everyone's story through her art! 

 

Leave her some love on Instagram or Facebook!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


Stop Glancing Over the Fence if You Want to Fly

Get Real Series

HOW TO STOP COMPARING YOUR BUSINESS TO YOUR COMPETITION

by Kasey Kyprianou

 

Kasey Kyprianou, a trailblazing stationer and lead badass designer of revelry + heart, joins us on the blog today to talk about all embracing your individuality and kicking feelings of imposter syndrome and FOMO to the curb!

 
Stop comparing your business to your competition by kasey kyprianou
 

“A rising tide lifts all boats.”

If you’re in the wedding industry, you know that this is the motto of the Rising Tide Society, and while super idealistic in nature, it’s not always easy to do. I am guilty of following other designers and getting imposter syndrome just as badly as anyone else.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, burnt out, and feel hopeless as a solopreneur. It can seem like your industry is oversaturated and that you don’t provide anything unique enough besides just being you. Is that enough?

Well, it’s a great start. But who are you? What makes you different? Why do you people want to work with you? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, do some soul-searching. You can’t sell yourself if you don’t know what you’re selling. I have this running joke that I know myself down to being a shoe string fry--when I desperately want to be a curly fry.

how to stop worrying about what other businesses are doing

The best thing I learned when launching my non-traditional design studio, revelry + heart, was to find out what my competition was doing, what the industry was doing, and swim like a salmon upstream in the opposite direction.

Trends? Fuck 'em.
Pantone color of the year? No thanks.
Fashion collection runway releases? I’m good.

Blame my rebel streak, (it’s cause I was born during Mercury retrograde), blame the fact that I never fit in with the cool crowd, blame my creative side, I just hate everything haute.

So how did I change up how I approached wedding stationery? I made it black. I made it on wood. I made it on tile. I make kickass wedding invitations that are keepsakes before your guests even get to your wedding. They make people talk.

Because people talk anyway right? Might as well get them talking for the right reasons.

How did I take it farther? I made my motto “following hearts, not trends.” I don’t design frilly invitations with lace anymore, I source that shit out to the people who do it and love it. I design only when my heart is in the job, when I can push my clients without pushing them away.

I design for people who revel in their authenticity and crave statement pieces that evoke conversation.

And if you think I make piecemeal, think again. I design wedding aesthetics, taking couple’s personalities and pushing them into every available space. From hashtags, to unique ceremony suggestions, to signature drink names--I believe everything can be personalized way beyond just slapping on a monogram.

Yesterday I suggested making an ice cream sandwich and eating it as a unity ceremony.  Because why the hell not.

My couples are not afraid to be themselves and push boundaries with me. It makes them stand out and have weddings that are unlike anything else their family and friends have ever seen. They are totally unique celebrations of their love with something the mass market can never capitalize on--a relationship with a creative like me who actually listens to them and doesn't try to cram them into a box or a design that I made 6 months ago.

Stop looking over the fence if you want to fly

How am I disrupting the industry? I do facebook live shows on topics like “stop slut shaming your wedding” and “don’t have shitty wedding favors.” I drink wine with my followers and host a kickass wedding planning group--where industry professionals are not only welcomed, but encouraged.

I approach topics like anxiety during engagement openly.

On the business side, well, I don’t follow rules there either. I charge for proposals. Couples get the retainer back when they book a package with me, but otherwise, it pays for my time, my ideas and my sketches.

I create mood boards with little to no influence based on pinterest weddings, but rather photos of the couples’ venue, pets, homes, and passions. Pulling elements from them to create something unique like canine bohemian chic or retro molar elegance. Yes. Molars, like the teeth. I guess you could say I pull teeth for my DDS couples. Dedication to my craft, amirite?

I have DIY options for couples that want the insight and some skill of a professional designer, but can’t afford full service design for their whole wedding.

I don’t follow … okay, I try not to follow stationery designers. If they do social media better than me, it gets to me, even though I know first-hand that an epic performance on social media does not equal profit, bookings or success.

I openly bash styled shoots. I create controversy because it gets people thinking, and talking about how to do it differently.

So how can you disrupt your industry? What is something that’s common in your craft that you can flip on its head? What rules are you willing to shatter? What assumptions do you want to break free of?

Because your gut is right. There ARE a ton of people who do what you do, at the core of it all. But if you find how you solve your client’s pain points, there will be no competition.

Go out there and kick ass.


 

Kasey Kyprianou is the owner and founder of revelry + heart, a custom design studio for couples that revel in their authenticity and crave design that evokes conversation. In a past life, Kasey was a graphic design student who interned at a stationery store in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was there that she worked on projects with the likes of Brenden Fraser and Flo Rida. Now, a seasoned business owner, she owns her own studio and designs for her own celebrity clients around the world. She's an envelope-pusher, a family treaty peacemaker, timeline expert and non-traditional stationery queen.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

1477442009346.png

📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!