Live Intuitive Business Clarity

Creative Boss Life Podcast: Episode 37

Trust Your Inner Knowing

 
Live intuitive business coaching
 

Grab your dark roast + join as Lauren delivers some business guidance and clarity before we enter 2019!


EPISODE 37 COFFEE CHAT REPLAY

 
 

Episode 37 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

Creative Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!

bit.ly/CBL15MinDiscovery

If you felt motivated by this video, resonated with the content or were identifying with stuff I said in the video - let's chat about where you are! 


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: I’m so excited for this! So excited to be able to do this for you all today. Welcome! Today we are going to do something a little bit different and give you all a bit of clarity and insight into what is going on in your business. You will get to have your questions answered in real time. And if you are catching the replay, don’t worry! You will still get to have some insight and clarity into your business because the universe does this weird thing where you hear things exactly in the timing you need to hear it. Any message you receive during the replay is intended for you as well.

I want to dive right in. I want to try to really quickly pick up on your energy. See what is going on and try to give you some clarity and insight. If you have a particular question or hurdle or block… let me know! Otherwise what I am going to do for you all… often times people will hop on my LIVES or catch the replay and they don’t have a particular question. They just want to get some overall insight. That is amazing.

The Spread

With that all being said, one way I do that is by pulling a quick spread. What I want you guys to do is think of something that is going on in your business right now. Maybe something you are struggling with, something you need an answer to. Something you need some guidance outside of yourself towards. Think of that. Have that in your mind and then select 1, 2, or 3.

Whatever card ends up coming up for whatever number you selected, that will give you insight to your question to your block. Right now, I don’t know if you are aware, right now Venus is in retrograde and then the very same day it goes direct, guess what? Mercury is going into retrograde. So what does that mean? That means we are going to be kind of… you might experience a funk for the next couple of weeks. That is okay. What you need to do and understand is anytime Mercury goes into retrograde it will bring up things for you that need to be let go of or healed or they are things you just need to pay attention to. Just want to throw that out there.

You are hoping on for a reason. Anything that comes out of my mouth is divinely guided. So select 1, 2, or 3.

The very first card… relax the hold of darkness and be a cause.

  • This will mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. However I think this has something to do with the inner critic. This moment in your life requires courage. You are being asked to allow yourself out of one level of known reality and into the next level of higher voltage reality. To access this reality you have to leave from known waters. Others may think you’re crazy for doing so. You have to leave behind the dark wavy grip of hesitation, procrastination, second guessing, and the belief you have to do everything on your own. 

This is a brand new deck to me so I am not as familiar and well versed in it as my other ones. This is a heavy one though. We are all in a moment of major up-leveling. What does that mean? Right now if you are listening to this, you are in a period of transition. Just sitting with this and being okay with it. Just being okay with what you are currently doing. You will know when the time is right to make the next step. To jump into the light. It is not right now.

This is definitely heavy but it is a uplifting kind of heavy. Calling out the elephant in the rom but then you are going to be taking care of that elephant. It is bringing it to light.

Number twos… funny little story.

I didn’t know this deck existed until I went to Chicago. The first thing we did when we got into the workshop was to pull a card and I chose this deck: Sacred Rebels Oracle. It is a beautiful deck but I had never worked with it before. The card I selected was this one… she feels, she knows.

Live intuitive business coaching
  • An illumination is erupting from within you as a vision that is bringing what was once obscured into clarity. This is not likely to happen as a blindly shocking light, but as a more of a softer gentler knowing. It is like knowing something without understanding exactly how or when you came to know it. This insight will assist you and you are asked to honor it. You will know which insight it is at the right time. Your heart will tell you. You are therefore being asked to rely on the clarity that is coming to you now or has just recently come. Gently and firmly from that place of knowing into act and take your next steps forward. This oracle comes to you with guidance, particularly about long range or long term developments. Something that is far bigger than the immediate situation, an issue or moment is of importance. Although you will only have a dim sense of that possibility at best. This oracle brings you specific guidance. The situations in your current life are particularly geared towards a more specific manifestation that is coming to you, according to your life path and purpose. This is a stage of preparation and of building a foundation that will hold you strong and centered as your creative journey unfolds and your life path becomes ever more brilliant and luminous. So keeping plugging away, remain patient, but most of all be hopeful and trust in the light you see ahead of you. For it is the light that is within you simply revealed more fully and all that is happening now is happening to that end.

So. Yeah. You know! You know! I don’t how else to describe it. You know that you know. Right now you need to take the time to prepare. It is not about looking to the next step, it is about creating the foundation, building the base in which you are going to them build up the blocks. It is not about moving onto the next step. It is about making sure what you are doing right now is damn solid.

Number three…  beyond the mind of a heart beat.

  • You have to let go some of the chaos you are experiencing right now. It almost feels like you are getting swept up in a tornado. With that… getting swept up you are seeing things from a different perspective but it is making it inflated. Making a mountain out of a molehill. This is not in a mean way, but you are kind of allowing your mind to guide you right now so what this card is saying to you… beyond the mind of a heartbeat. You need to start leading from your heart. Maybe you recently made a decision in your business and you are second guessing yourself. Maybe you are suck on the strategies and planning, but you are losing sight of what is most important. That is the passion. That is the truth.

Stop the chaos. Stop the craziness. Stop the outer goings on. Put that all on hold. You know what you are supposed to be doing, but you are not listening to your own self.

Final Card

I hope that this helped. I want to choose one last card because I feel there needs to be one last punch.

Boom… seeing the true you.

  • This is for everybody that stayed and watched and listened. We are in a period right now energetically speaking it is time to get rid of the BS. It is time to drop that baggage off at baggage claim and never pick it back up. If you have been afraid of being yourself. If you have ben afraid of really stand in your truth and light, embody who you know you were meant to be but you aren’t sure how to get there… now is the time to do it. The universe will have you back now more than ever. If you are wondering “do I take that first step”… just be honest and be in alignment with who you know you are supposed to be.

  • This oracle has come to you rather because you have been putting too much faith in the reflections others have of you. To the point you might not be honoring all that you are and all that you are becoming, because you believe too little of yourself. 

Anytime a wild card or umbrella card comes out, it is the overall encompassing theme. Pay attention to this. It is almost like this card is saying you have been staring at your reflection for so long that you don’t even know what your true face looks like anymore. Like a mirror but the mirror is cloudy and jaded. So either wipe that mirror clean or take the time to actually truly look at yourself.

In Conclusion

I hope this was helpful for you. I’m feeling like I should absolutely extend the offer to anyone of you who need to get just a bit more clarity and haven’t taken advantage of hoping on a discovery call with me. Totally free. You can get a bit more guidance towards your situation.

Its time to pull the masks off. It is time to embrace who you are, who you are supposed to be, who you want to become. It is time to start making the necessary changes and stepping out of your comfort zone. Stepping into the true you.

As always, sending you all so much love. I will not be doing a Tuesday LIVE next week as I will be at a conference. The next LIVE you can expect is on the 20th. You can expect to see that.

I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your night! I hope this was helpful and I will chat with you all soon! Bye!


Q + A

Q: Brianne… What do I need to do next in my business?

A: You need to be present in the now. I am being shown you writing in a book or journal. You need to actually take the time to focus on the now. Because you are missing a lot of the lessons that are trying to be conveyed. Trying to be shown to you, by focusing on the next step. Whatever it is you’re working on, instead of doing it half-assed… do it well. Master it. That is what I am being told. That is what I am feeling. Master that… because you don’t need to worry about the future. You just need to worry about the why. You need to worry about the why and what. You need to focus more on what you are doing now. Stop trying to focus on the next thing.


Q: Marissa… I am trying to start my first business and I keep getting second thoughts I won’t succeed. Am I just being self conscious?

A: Yes. It is not that you are being self conscious it is that you are allowing fear. It is activating your self sabatore. What that means is you are scared of both failure and success. I know that might seem a little silly. You are allowing that to consume you. You are allowing the inner critic that we all have to come through. What I would say to that, if you had this passion and drive and this wanting/need to create something and start something… focus on that. Go back to that. Don’t let the fear of not knowing how to do this and this and this, stop you from being able to continue on. I’m seeing this almost inner battle happening. Two forces basically playing against each other. What you need to do is put them to rest and that way you will be able to move forward.


Q: Bev… I am getting inquires for weddings but when it comes to booking they are backing out for one reason or another. Is it me or is it them?

A: It has to do with two things. One they are not your ideal client, but more so they are sensing… When you are unsure of yourself, when you aren’t feeling worthy, that energy comes out. Whether or not you realize it. It comes across though and to other people as being unsure of yourself. What I want to say to you and coming through really strongly… you need to write down a piece of paper… you need to write the words “I Am Worthy”. You need to put that somewhere you will see it every single day. You need to remind yourself of this. Two things need to happen. A) we need to get the ideal clients flowing back in, but it is good you have inquiries coming in because it means you can make the tiny little tweaks in your own behaviors and things so that way you are going to be able to basically change those clients that are inquiring to your ideal clients. But B) invite your ideal clients to find you. You can easily do that by saying “I can now clear the passage, I can now clear the space for my ideal clients to find me easily now”. That is it. Just think it. You are creating the bubble for those people that need to be finding you, to find you. Sometimes we stop our own growth and continuing. You are not blocking yourself, but you are also not valuing yourself as much as you should be.


Q: Sheeron… I am starting my business and I feel like I have so many blocks. One of them is that I don’t feel good enough and telling people I am good at what I do. 

A: So as I sit with that…I feel like I can’t breathe. It feels like you have some stuff, I don’t want to call it baggage. It is just experiences you have experienced previously. Childhood, young adult, traumatic experiences that haven’t been closed on. It has nothing to do with the business, it has everything to do though with being able to stand in your truth and own who you are and embrace your light and passion. You are not going to be able to do that because it feels like you have just a couple of black holes that are sucking all of that from you. But also I am being told you get up in your head. That is also because of past experiences. 


Q: Ellen… I’m wanting to start my business would like to intern or work for someone else first to get solid experience, but for 5 years now I haven’t been able to even volunteer my time for free. Beginning to feel like maybe this is a sign I should not pursue it or does this mean I should just jump in?

A: It has more to do with the fact you are… when we have something we really want, when we have something is either a goal and we are close to achieving it… what we tend to do as humans is we tend to sabotage the shit out of it. We can come up with any number of reasons that X, Y, and Z won’t work. It has nothing to do with the fact you are “too busy”, it is that you are almost… I don’t want to say it like this but “too intimidated” or worried or anxious about what could possibly happen. You would much rather stay in the comfort zone than take that leap. But you need to take that leap. You need to cut the chords that are sucking you dry, all of the obligations you have… you need to just leap. I keep seeing a net... you will get caught. It has nothing to do with your own schedule your own time. It has to do with a matter of whether or not you really want to go outside of your comfort zone.


Q: Brianne… With the situation I am in, are they going to be understanding or is there a shit storm coming my way? Already contacted a lawyer to be prepared, but maybe I am over thinking it.

A: Yes, but you need to make a point to set that intention. You need to put that in motion. We have a new moon coming up, it is the perfect time to do it. Set that intention that this situation will resolve itself in the best interests for all parties involved. Write it on a piece of paper, fold it, leave it somewhere, and then let it go. That is your spurring and stemming it into action.


Q: Bonnie… Since I ended up going at this alone I feel so overwhelmed with clients who have dried up or just straight up disappeared. I’m starting to feel like I’m grinding my gears and its not going anywhere. I am starting to think maybe I need to just quit.

A: Its not that you need to quit, its that you need to refresh. Its that you need to refresh and start a new. You need to start over. I want to encourage you… new moons, setting intentions, this is a perfect time to cleanse and renew all that. You need to start thinking that you aren’t just trying to maintain this business as it once was, you need to start realizing that you have the power and you are in the driver seat and you can create whatever it is you want. Maybe that is a rebrand for you. Maybe that is calling it something else. But just shifting and cleansing that energy that is wrapped up in this, is going to be huge for you. Also too, knowing to trust your own intuition and knowing what signs to look for is also going to be huge for you. I just saw all kind of stuff for you. I would encourage you to start that process. Because that is also going to really make sure you are creating from a space of truth and creating the vacuum for it to all happen. Right now it is also like you got a hand-me-down car. You wanted this brand new SUV, fully loaded and then you got your older brothers 1992 Honda civic. You can’t picture yourself all kinds of pimped out if you are rolling around in a 1992 civic. You have to make the imagery and what is happening align, then that is when it will really take off.


Q: Sheeron… So how do I proceed? I have been working on letting things go.

A: It has deep roots. Its almost like a vine. I just want to make this clear… I can only see what your guides allow me to see. I am just getting a feeling. The feeling I’m getting is it is so intertwined in everything it is going to take some… work. You have to do some cleansing and clearing and healing. But again, that has nothing to do with your business succeeding or not or whether or not you should start your business. It has to do with the longevity of it. If you want it to be sustainable, we have to work on that. One way you can do this is by tapping into your own intuition. By really sitting with the things you need to let go. This is something too I work one-on-one with my own clients on. If you want to hop on a discovery call with me, I am more than happy to do that. Starting to think about the things that need to be let go of, but you also need to heal that space. It is one thing to let a kite go, but it is another thing to know what you are going to do with the string you have left over. Are you going to throw it away or keep it? That is healing.


Q: Ellen… I have taken courses but am afraid of what I don’t know. That is why I would like to work for someone else first. But I haven’t found anyone who will help me. I’m also afraid of jumping in and starting…

A: You know all you need to do to get started. You are going to stumble and trip and that is okay. That is part of the process we all go through regardless of whether or not we intern with someone else, regardless of whether or not we have a degree in it. You will stumble in the beginning. I want you to know you have everything you need to get started. Now when it is time to scale and time to grow, lets revisit it. But right now you’ve got this. You’ve got an entire group, community of people that are here cheering you on. This is a safe space. This is a safe space for growth and transformation to happen. I literally will scan people that come into the group to make sure there is no ill-will or ill-intentions. I take the time to do that because I truly believe in community and fostering that love. We need more spaces like that, now more than ever.


Q: Brianne… So yes going into IPS? Just need that permission.

A: Again, its being present in the moment. I can’t make this up… you need to be present and focused on what you are doing now. Not the next step. So no… your guides are not giving you permission.


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.


Your Clients Won’t Show Up Unless You Do

Creative Boss Life Podcast: Episode 36

Do you live in a perpetual state of worry or trust?

 
Clients won't show up unless you do
 

Grab your dark roast + join as you learn what is holding you back from a life of abundance and being a #bossbabe to a booming business!


EPISODE 36 COFFEE CHAT REPLAY

 

Episode 36 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

Creative Boss Life: Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram

Looking for more resources? Check out the Resources page!

bit.ly/CBL15MinDiscovery

If you felt motivated by this video, resonated with the content or were identifying with stuff I said in the video - let's chat about where you are! 


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Welcome back everyone! We’ve got some people in Canada, in the Carolinas, in Connecticut, in New Hampshire… all over the place.

I think you are all in for a teat today. I am pretty stoked about this talk. For the month of October the theme is in preparation for engagement and holiday season. But today I really felt like I needed to talk a little bit more on a deeper level. I felt like you all needed to hear some hard truths and some tough love. So that is kind of why I decided to throw this curveball in there today.

Today we are going to be talking about why clients aren’t banging down your door, why they are not showing up for you in the way you feel they should be. Maybe you feel you are doing everything right, maybe you feel you are pumping out content or showing up on social media… you feel you are checking off all those boxes but for some reason the clients aren’t showing up the way that you’d like them too. Does this resonate?

We are going to be talking about why those clients probably aren’t showing up for you. It has more to do with the way you are kind of living your life. To be honest. If you are living more in a state of worry and wondering where the next thing will happen, wondering where you will be able to connect the dots down the road, if you are living for the future, or if you are living in more of a state of trust in the present. Maybe you’re really focusing on gratitude. This may be something you have heard about on a TED talk, it could be something you’ve heard about anywhere… but I keep getting these kits lately. These downloads and pings from my guides saying to me “your people, your community don’t need another strategy, they don’t need to know another technique, they need to actually step back and we need to take a look at some of their stuff.”

I can almost guarantee you almost everyone on here has in some way shape or form has repelled a customer from them simply because of your own beliefs and how you saw yourself.

How Many Of You…

State of Trust in Business

First things first, if this is you… if what I am about to say resonates with you… I want you to tell me! Number 1: How many of you feel your clients emotions on a really strong level? It is almost like you are experiencing exactly what they are. You are feeling the emotion behind what they are saying or what they are concerned or worried about?

Number 2: If this is you… also tell me! How many of you often worry too much? You worry about things that are maybe out of your control. Or maybe you worry about the littlest of things.

Number 3: How many of you tend to not see the true value of your work to see the true worth of your work, because it just comes naturally to you? Because it is something you do day in and day out. It is something you think “oh wait you don’t know how to do this?”. And then you get confused because they don’t.

Ladies and gentlemen, the reason why we are talking about this again is because I felt really strongly last night… I hadn’t come up with a topic for todays conversation, there was a reason for that. I didn’t start to really dig deep until last night because I felt I needed to put it on pause and look at it when we got closer. So much shit is changing, guys. Whether or not you are new to energy and the universe and universal laws, it doesn’t matter. If you are listening or watching this right now, you are living on this planet. With that comes certain rules and laws that we just kind of either don’t acknowledge or recognize or we don’t care. The people that actually take the time to start to learn about these different things and apply them to their life and business, are the ones that start to see significant growth.

Trust vs. Worry

Let me ask you some real questions… I want you to be honest with yourself.

In life, in general, do you feel like you are living in a perpetual state of worry? You don’t know where your next client will come from. You don’t know what the future holds for you. You aren’t clear on what your goals are. You are just riding the wave. Maybe you don’t feel like you don’t know what your purpose is, genuinely. Maybe you feel lost and lacking legit clarity. You don’t know where you should be really going. That keeps you up at night!

Or maybe… you are living more often than not in a state of trust. You know without a shadow of a doubt you are taken care of. You are going to be okay. The clients are going to come. You know you are going to get clarity soon on whatever direction you are going to be taking in your business.  You know what areas personally you should be working on.

Do you trust more than you worry? Or do you worry more than you trust? I want to know. You are not alone. There is a reason why I am talking about this. There is a reason why this is todays episode and talk. So often so many of my clients will come to me and say “I already have my systems set up and I’m doing well marketing and my SEO is on point… why am I not getting the clients?”

Let me be 100% honest guys… that has nothing to do with business. It doesn’t. The law of attraction means that whatever you put out there you are going to get more of. If you are living in a constant state of worry, then the universe will show up and give you more scarcity. It will give you more things to help you worry more.

If though, you are just going to leave it to chance, you are going to trust that everything will work out exactly the way it is supposed to. If you are living in that mindset, the universe will show up for you. It will give you the answers and the end result you have been wanting. But when you start to really worry, it stops that from happening. It stops that tidal wave, that surge of energy from happening.

I want to ask you guys, I posted this on my Instagram last night and it speaks to today. Have any of you ever worried yourself into a blessing or worried yourself into a solution? Me neither.

You have to take a step back and really think about what are you giving gratitude towards. Even if you are living right now and it is hard for you to get out of bed. Maybe some days are more difficult than others, maybe some days you just feel defeated and walk away from it all. I get that. I get there too sometimes. But even on those days, what are you grateful for? What are you giving thanks for?

In your business, maybe you aren’t exactly where you want to be… but right now you are growing. Especially if you are here. But even on the days when it is hard to find the good in things… you have a bed to sleep in. You have electricity. You have a phone. You have internet. You have hot water. You have air in your lungs. You have tiny things to be grateful for. When you start to call out those tiny things and write them down… you start to find the good outwardly. You start to see it on a much larger scale. You are then able to find the silver lining in any situation.

What ends up happening in the long run is the universe shows the fuck up for you. You are living in a state of gratitude. You are thankful for the things that you have and the universe wants to give more of that. It wants you to feel that way always.

Is this making sense? I want to make sure because I feel I am only literally scratching the bare bones surface of this. This is the foundation. What I am talking about sets the foundation and tone for manifesting. I have had many of you guys reach out to me asking how you manifest. How do I get started? If you aren’t here in this place I am talking about and living in a state of trust, it won’t happen for you.

Story Time - Manifestation is Real

I want to paint a picture for you of what it is like to live in a state of trust instead of worry. Last winter my laptop literally was about to self combust. It was overheating and it was only 7 years old. I knew I needed to replace it. Did I have the money at the time? No I didn’t. It was slow season for me and slow season for my husband. So obviously we are not going to worry about buying a computer at that moment. But after months of saving a little but I was only about $400 or $500 short. I started to worry… “where am I gonna get it from…” I started to do what we all do and I started to get up in my head. I started to worry.

Then I took a step back and reminded myself that it was stupid! I don’t need to worry about this, it will work out the way it is supposed to work out. I flipped the script and I said to myself… I am going to get this computer by the end of the week. It was clear! I am getting it by the end of the week. I don’t know how it is going to happen and I don’t need to know how. But it is going to happen.

A day or two goes by, no changes. Another day… no major changes. And then on the third day I go out to my mailbox and inside there is a check from State Farm Insurance from 2011. Because we overpaid by $287 back in 2011. Now… mic drop that one. A couple of things I want to point out though.

  1. We no longer have State Farm. We switched.

  2. We moved.

How it got to me, beyond me! Do I need to know? No. There was that piece. Then later that night all of the sudden I felt called to check Dubsado and see if anyone has signed up under me. I love Dubsado, but I don’t talk about it to make money. I talk about it because I feel it is a solution for so many people who run creative businesses. I have had Dubsado at this point for a year and a half. I had never checked. So I checked. $410 was just sitting waiting for me in my affiliate account. Had it been there all along? Yeah, but had I stopped to think about it when I was in my cloud of worry? No.

So what happened? I was able to get quiet with myself and say “You know, whatever is going to happen is going to happen”. There was all the money I needed plus enough to get me a pair of earbuds. That is me painting the picture of trust versus worry.

Worry took me months and months and months of planning or stashing away or feeling like a chipmunk putting the nuts in my tree. And then when I realized it was dumb… I decided to trust. It happened guys, I can’t make this stuff up.

Again, these are the types of things business owners don’t pause to think about. When was the last time you took stock and inventory of what was going on inside?

I had someone comment on my Instagram and it was in regards to collecting feedback from you all. I asked when the last time was that you served your audience instead of thinking you know what they want and what they are experiencing? For so many people it was such a good reminder. I had someone in the comments say to me “I’ve asked but I’ve never gotten an answer. I’ve offered incentives and I’ve never gotten an answer. I don’t know why.”

So really quickly, I tapped in to see what was going on and it took me all of 3 seconds to see she is in a constant state of worry. Living in that state of worry is repelling people from her. What I’m saying goes much deeper than just how to run a successful business. What I am saying can help you in life.

If you are looking to dive deeper in this area or just in general, then send me an email or message me. Lets discuss it. I really am getting this feeling that many of you are really resonating with what I’m saying. You will be identifying with the little pings I am saying. You are feeling tired. If you are ready to take things to the next level, let me know.

In Closing…

With all of that being said… I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear if todays’ episode was helpful. Did this bring you a bit of clarity? There is a lot that goes into business. I don’t care who you are! I don’t care if you are an authority figure rocking your niche in the industry. There is so much more to business than strategy. When you show up, your business shows up. But if you aren’t right, you aren’t where you are supposed to be… neither is your business. 

To recap… your clients aren’t going to start showing up to if unless you do! Unless you are showing up and living more in a state of trust versus worry and constant “what is next!?”. If you can trust that the universe has got you, then you are going to be okay. To take that one step further… you have to make that conscious decision. You have to say what it is you want. You have to say or write it down or making that decision or setting that goal… you have to say “I want this. I am worthy of this”. You don’t have to worry about how its going to happen, that is the universe. If you just set the intention I guarantee you the universe will show up if you are living in a state of trust.

I hope this was helpful! This is what I am passionate about. This is what serves me. This is what my purpose is. To dig deep and uncover the shit that nobody else talks about to help you grow your business quickly and efficiently. You already have the answers inside of you of what you are supposed to be doing. But have you taken action? Or are you living in a constant state of fear or worry?

Without further ado, I am going to hope off and let you go. If you are feeling anything I said to you resonated… lets talk! Its not like I am going to sell you anything. Seriously. Lets see where you are at.

If you are on my email list you would’ve seen my new packages that I am going to be rolling out for 2019. YAS! If you are interested in taking advantage of those while they are still at 2018 pricing... let me know! This is me living in a state of trust.


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!


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.


Are You Running a Hobby or a Business?

Get Real Series

PSA for All Entrepreneurs: Hobbyist vs. Business Owner 

by Kristen Vinci-Taylor

 

Kristen Vinci-Taylor, a passionate family photographer, sheds light on a topic within the creative industry that separates the hobbyists from the business owners. Which category do YOU fall into?

 
Are you running a business or a hobby?
 

Are you hustling as a part-time entrepreneur while working a 9-5? That's awesome, it makes me so excited when I meet other people who are driven and motivated to work for themselves. In the photography business, I work with a wide variety of vendors from brick and mortar businesses like bakeries and wedding venues to small businesses like T-shirt designers and centerpiece creators. 

Are you a legal business

In today's digital age, more and more home-based businesses are popping up and people are turning their hobbies and passions into side income business ventures. Recently as I've tried to diversify my vendor base I've run into more and more of these, "hobby turned start up" business ventures and it has created a legal and ethical conundrum for my own business. Let me explain why: many of these new startup businesses haven't gone through the process of establishing themselves as a legal business.  

Now you may ask, "What’s the big deal if they haven't established themselves as a business, it’s just a hobby and why not try to make a little money while you are at it?" 

There are several tax and legal implications for my registered and licensed business if I work with an unlicensed business. The hiring business assumes all liability when working with unlicensed vendors. In most cases, that is an unnecessary level or risk assumed by me and my company when I work with people who haven't gone through the process of getting themselves established. Each year when tax time rolls around, business taxes become more complicated as the work performed by unlicensed and unregistered businesses are itemized and subject to greater scrutiny.

Praise

I applaud you, side hustler, for chasing your dreams and turning your passions into something sustainable. However, you are hurting the rest of us that DON'T have a 9-5 job to fall back on for income. One theme we all share is that have invested thousands of hours, sleepless nights, tears, frustration, and pure joy into our passion. The main difference is that only SOME of us have taken the time and money to turn our startups into legal businesses so that we don't negatively effect the creative industry as a whole (and run into legal complications down the road).

It’s pretty simple and very advantageous to turn your hobby into a licensed and registered small business if you want to start working for yourself and chasing your dream. I can only speak from experience in New Jersey, but the process was fairly simple and the turnaround time is rather quick. 

Steps in Becoming a "REAL" Business

  1. Protect yourself and your business. File for an LLC or other liability protection entity.

  2. Speak with your state about obtaining a tax ID number. (For NJ)

  3. Speak with your local town or county clerk for licensing information.

  4. Determine your requirement for insurance for your business.

Making your business legal

The whole process was completed in under a week and the peace of mind that I had in completing these necessary steps was huge. It's unfortunate that as business owners we need to even consider lawsuits and things possibly going wrong, but accidents do happen. By going through the process to register and license my business I'm now protected in case of an accident.

I wanted to shed light on a few misconceptions surrounding business legalities for both hobby enthusiasts and new business startups and expose the real reason why you should become "legal": The peace of mind once the process is completed is worth its weight in gold. The last thing anyone wants is to have an accident occur with their shiny new business and lose their livelihood because of lack registration and licensure.

There are certain unnecassary risks that I've seen people take with their businesses and I just wanted to share my own experiences in hopes that people will finally understand just how easy making a business legal can be.

 

*The content in this posted is not intended as legal advice. The content should be taken under advisement by the reader as a source of information, but not legal advice.  Seek the counsel of a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction as well as a CPA before making any significant business decision such as determining licensing requirements.


 

Kristen Vinci-Taylor is the owner and operator of Smile Photography LLC located in Manahawkin, NJ. Being a business owner has become her passion after walking into an elective Photography class in college and has never turned back. She opened her business in February 2012 with no real direction of where she wanted to take it. After 5 years in the  industry she now is focused on newborn, chilld, and family photography.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, 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!


How to Market Your Wedding Business by Using Contests

Using Contests to Boost Your Audience and Become Booked Solid

 
How to market your wedding business through contests
 

The Why

It should come as no surprise that people love to win free products and services or receive something at a heavily discounted rate. Tie that into the fact that many people enjoy a good ol' competition, and you have a winning combination for marketing success. 

Or as my 4 year old likes to OVERsay... Winna Winna, Chicken Dinna!

I've personally used contests in the past at least once a season and let me tell you -- every single contest would add upwards of 1,000-1,500 people to the Facebook page and catapult bookings. The one that got the most traction was always the children’s portrait month. 

Let me tell you a little story...

There once was a photography studio that went from having clients sporadically to completely filling their calendar within two weeks time. What would YOU be able to do with the income you generated from an entire month’s worth of clients, shoots, weddings, events, projects, etc.? That is the power of a contest, my friends.

Not knowing whether or not it would catch on and desperate to fill their calendar, the photographer threw her hands in the air and said, “Hell, why not give it a shot?”

The Marketing Secret to Scale Your Business Like Crazy

After the contest was over and the results have been tallied, the photographer's audience had nearly tripled in size within just a month's time. The number of clients that continued to pour in became so large that the photographer had to start turning away business. Wouldn't that be an incredible feeling - to be so booked up and consistent that you were actually turning clients away or booking them out months and months in advance?

The Logistics of Contests

It was called Children’s Portrait Month and it happened during the entire month of July (a typically slow month for many). The weather is still nice, kids are out of school, it was a no-brainer.The photographer went through the calendar and selected dates that she would be willing to hold shoots. I would highly encourage you to add at least 2 or 3 Rainy Day Reschedule Days since it IS July we are talking about here... Each shoot would be 30 minutes long PER CHILD. If the parent(s) wanted to join in on the photos, it is an additional $50 to be paid at the time of session. The next step was to figure out the locations of those shoot days.

Tip: Create a PDF document of your dates and locations and timeframes to easily send to people or, better yet, post on your website and redirect people to the URL!

Now it was time for pricing and the fine print. The cost of the session should be MUCH lower than what your normal rates are. We are talking mini-session prices here, people.


As an example:

The Who

$50 sitting fee (per child)

50% off all print orders

(1) FREE 5x7 of each entrant

Ages 6 months to 10 years only please.

The What

Grand Prize is valued at over $____ and includes:

$_____ gift certificate

20x24 gallery block

The How

Winner is chosen based on the highest amount of likes/votes each entry photo receives on the Facebook page (This is where having a giveaway type website platform comes in handy like Rafflecopter, Gleam, or Woobox to name a few. Pay for it for a month then cancel it, but once you are using that platform you are able to have these people share the photo with their friends).

The When

Discount pricing available August 1-31st, Voting begins August 11, The winner will be announced on August 18.

 
Example Contest Spreadsheet Tracker

Example Contest Spreadsheet Tracker

 

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PIN THIS POST

TO EASILY REFERENCE WHEN YOU ARE READY TO CREATE YOUR OWN CONTEST!

Once that was all figured out, it was time to create the flyer, social media graphic, and finalize the wording.

To Recap:

  1. Select dates
  2. Select locations
  3. Select time frame for each day
  4. Determine what the winner will receive
  5. Figure out pricing
  6. Create graphics and promo materials

Tip: Count up how many shooting locations you like to use in surrounding areas (expand your reach by expanding your radius) and then that will give you a good idea of how many days of shooting you should be including within the contest information.

Now that we've established why you should be running contests and promos within your wedding business, it's time to discuss the part that so many creatives get hung up on...

Contest Suggestions

Well, luckily for you, my friend, I've not only broken holding a contest down into bite-size steps, but I've also provided suggestions of the kind of contests you could be holding! 


Wedding Planners

  • Favorite Engagement Session
  • Favorite Wedding / Design
  • Favorite Couple
  • Favorite Unique Detail
  • Favorite Theme
  • Favorite Love Story

Florists

  • Favorite Bouquet
  • Favorite Overall Design
  • Favorite Centerpieces
  • Favorite Ceremony Decor

Wedding Photographers

  • Favorite Engagement Session
  • Favorite Wedding of the Season
  • Favorite Blooper Shot
  • "First 25 that mention this post get a free engagement session"

I would say at least 1/2 of these people will hire you to shoot their wedding if they are looking for a photographer. AND if you need to build up your portfolio this is a perfect way to do it.

Portrait Photographer

  • Children’s Portrait Month
  • Favorite Family Month
  • Favorite Newborn Month
  • Pet Portrait Month

You can always note that you will make a donation to the humane society from all the sitting fees during the pet portrait month. 

Contests and giveaways aren't things people take advantage of very often. You shouldn’t just be giving a discount all the time to try to drum up busy. Highlight the giveaway on social media and send an email to your list of subscribers! You want to make sure to really showcase it. Holding a contest is a great way to beef up the calendar if you are looking for clients!


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!


How to Create a Referral Program for Your Business

The How To's of Setting Up a Referral Program to Keep New Business Flowing In

 
How to Establish a Referral System in Your Business
 

Creating a Referral Program for Your Wedding Business

Referrals Fuel Your Business

Word of mouth from past clients has always been one of the the biggest contributors to the growth of small businesses and yet it is often overlooked as a HIGHLY effective marketing strategy.

Recommendations are truly invaluable to a wedding pro not only because it is much easier to build upon an existing relationship you already have with an existing client than it is to find a new one, but also because you are almost guaranteed you will receive another ideal client similar to the one you currently are working with because they will be referring you to their immediate circle comprised of friends and family!

Let’s think about this for a second: If your friend were to tell you how absolutely incredible/wonderful/helpful/amazeballs a business or service is - would you believe them and want to hire them if they could solve a problem you have? Probably.

How about if that COMPANY were to say to a new bride or groom that they are all of those things (and more)…

S/he would probably think the wedding pro was bat shit crazy and narcissistic and run for the hills. Right?

An Example for the Referral Payout Structure

1 Wedding Referral = $50 cash + some extra goodies

2 Wedding Referrals = $75 cash + some extra goodies

3 Wedding Referrals = $100 cash + some extra goodies

Referral Program

Referral Program

This is an example of what to say on a graphic or card that you send clients.

The Fine Print of the Referral Program

The best part about a referral program is that it is open to anyone, even if someone hasn't been a client of yours. For every referral that someone sends your way that results in a signed contract, the referrer scores at least $50 cash money! Translation: The more you refer, the more $$ (and goodies) someone can get. It’s really that easy.

Thank you for checking out the blog and for sharing our resources with your fellow friendors and colleagues. Most importantly make sure to tell your referrals, to tell us, you sent them!

 
Generate New Business Effortlessly with a Referral Program
 

Tip #1: Someone doesn't have to be a prior client to refer a client. Anyone can receive the referral cash bonus.

Tip #2: Make sure to add this line to your email blurb, card you send, etc. "Most importantly make sure to tell your referrals, to tell us, you sent them!"


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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Email Lists + Newsletters

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

The Importance of an Email List and What You Should Send Them

 

 
The Importance of Email Lists and Newsletters
 

Grab your dark roast + join us as we dive into why the heck anyone in the wedding industry even needs an email list, what the benefits are to having one, and the types of content you should be sending your subscribers!


Episode 19 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 19 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.



Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: How is everyone doing on this fine Tuesday? Today we are going to be chatting a bit about email lists and newsletters. It is something that I feel a lot of people get very disgruntled with because they feel it is one more thing they have to do and try to manage within their business. Bu the reality is, you know what you are kind of doing and you’re not creating any extra work for yourself because you are just repurposing stuff you are already doing. I’ll dive into that a little bit more.

Let’s get started! Why not! 

Do I Need a Newsletter?

One question I get asked on the regular… do I need a newsletter? I only have two people… do I need a newsletter? Let’s chat about this a bit. If you have been paying attention at all to social media, Facebook, Instagram… you actually don’t own the people that follow you. You don’t own your “likes”, your followers. Especially now that the Facebook algorithm has changed drastically. Less and less of our posts are being seen by our ideal clients and audience. It makes things a little bit difficult when you are of the mindset that by posting on social media you are doing your do-diligence for people that are watching you and haven’t hired you yet. These people will tune it and see what is going on… and then they see if they want to hire us. They are in the shadows lurking! The reality is it is harder and harder to get in front of our ideal clients. The long and short answer to this? Well… yeah. 

If you want to protect yourself from all the changes on social media. If you have products that you sell in addition to your services or you want to upgrade your services with somebody that has already hired you for the day of coordination package but you would love to upsell them to a more expansive package. 

Having a newsletter will bring clients down a customer journey. Its almost like dating. They get to know you, you wine and dine them a bit… and then you ask them… do you want to be my boyfriend? Do you want to be my girlfriend?

Why you need an email list as a wedding pro

Having a newsletter is almost like a VIP club. You are getting a group of “special clients” because you can give then extra value. You can tell them about deals and promotions first.

Building Credibility

The biggest thing I find with a newsletter is you are truly building credibility. You are building it not just for you as a business owner, but also because it is putting you in a position of authority within your industry. The power of what a newsletter does! Wow!

People start to look forward to receiving emails from you. They will immediately open it up and be like “yay!”. It is something people begin to look forward to. The difference I want to talk about between a newsletter and a blog post is a blog post should be an in depth description of whatever you’re talking about. You might talk about “3 tips on how to survive planning your wedding” or “how to choose your color theme”… You are writing for SEO. You are writing a post because you want to get the content out there. But a newsletter can do a lot of different things! One thing I enjoy doing is I’ll write a blogpost but them give a little snippet of it in my newsletter. It can be talking about even more in YOUR own voice. Someone that has signed up for your newsletter wants to know more about you. They want to know the inside scoop. They want to know who you really are. 

Our website can be superficial. But the beautiful thing about a newsletter is you can really be yourself. You are attracting your ideal client. So if you are not yourself… if you are scared to be speaking in a way that reflects who you are… then that is who you are going to attract. Instead, you want to be yourself in your newsletter! You can utilize it to send time sensitive information. I sent a reminder (when I remember) to my newsletter list when I want to mention a coffee chat or I’ll mention I launched a new SEO course. This gave me the opportunity to offer them a discount before anyone else and it was a thank you.

It is a quick snippet. When you start to think about “do I really want to get into a newsletter?”… just keep it short. Think about YOURSELF when you get an email. When you get an email that is about 75,000 words long… do you read it? Do you read the whole thing? I know myself and I am looking for the bold or the numbers. You want to make sure you are writing things that will captivate your email list and not repel them.

You Own Your Email List

Another key element of a newsletter is you own that list. You own your email list! You might be thinking “well what is the point? Why do I want this email list? They are a one and done”. That is where you are wrong. What ends up happening (from my experience) when somebody signs up for your email newsletter, regardless of whether or not they are getting married themselves, they will send out that information to other people. One of my most shared newsletters was when I did a break down of all the wedding shows, bridal expos in the area for the upcoming two months. That was my number one shared newsletter. It’s a get out. The people who it was shared with… then joined my newsletter and email list. Don’t think that just because you may be an officiant or wedding planner or florist you can’t benefit from having an email list.

How Do I Start?

With all of that being said, another question I get asked is “Well this is all great grand and wonderful,  but how do I get people to sign up for a newsletter? How do I even start that process?” Please, if nothing else from today, please do not just say “join my email list, subscribe!” Don’t just say that, please. You can do that, within your blog on the side bar. But make it more fun than that! People view their email addresses as a commodity. Some people make fake email addresses because they sign up for so much crap and they don’t want to get spammed. But a lot of people view their email address as a commodity, so they are exchanging that with you for valuable information. What are you going to provide to them that is valuable? They want to know that they are going to get something out of this “relationship”. Everybody wants something for free. Everybody thinks that by signing up for this checklist or this guide… it may be the secret missing piece. The reality… probably not. BUT this is helping you as a business owner. We are using this principle in that regard. 

Where Do They Sign Up?

Easy ways you can have people sign up is maybe you don’t have an opt in yet. Maybe you haven’t created a checklist or a guide… that is okay! You can say “if you want to be kept in the loop with all the bridal happenings… sign up!” There are different ways to go about it. I would definitely suggest putting a place for people to enter into your email list on your about page. On your blog on the side bar within each blog post! If you go onto my website and look at my blog posts, there is a spot for people to join at almost every single post. Think about it… where is the bulk of your traffic going on your website? Are they looking at your pricing? Probably. Would that be a good place to put something? YES! That is where you are getting a lot of traffic. People want to be kept in the loop with information and advice and tips for the expert. They may not necessarily hire you, but they will share that with their friends. I promise you! Don’t feel you have nothing to provide. If you are someone who has already written a lot of blog post… REUSE THOSE! They can be a part of your newsletter. It is really easy to just take the first two sentences, stick it into a newsletter and say something like “find out the other three tips HERE”… create a button, click on it, and now you have someone who trusts you now and looking forward to your emails BUT you also just sent somebody to your website and bumped up your SEO.

The main source of traffic for my website is from Pinterest. But guess where I am sending them> YES! I’m sending them to opt-ins and blog posts where I know there is a place for them to sign up for my email list. That is how between October and now… 6 months I have grown my email list to almost 2,000 people. That is just from having valuable content and pins. 

Another place a lot of people don’t realize that they can have a location for people to sign up… is within your email signature! I just think that is so brilliant!  I have it on my signature. I am sending anybody that wants to join to THIS group. What do they do when they click on this link? I ask people a set of three questions… one of them is “would you like to receive my 10 free templates? If so leave your email”. That has worked so well! I would say 85% of those people leave their email address. Do the math on that! Super simple!

If you are a bride and you email me at my LDC email, and they click on the link “bridal resources” I am sending them to my blog. But you could have that opt-in already on your website and you can send them to that specific place so they can sign up. Again, having it in your email signature is a great place to do it. Create a graphic that when they click on it, it brings them where you want them to be… and they can sign up!

Opt-Ins

If you are a portrait photographer… trying to figure out what to pack and what to bring and the outfit for a boudoir shoot… that was harder than trying to find my wedding dress! What I would suggest is creating something people can use as a checklist. Anytime you are doing a reveal as a blog post… create an opt in (the checklist) of all the stuff they should pack prior to your shoot. Then on your website you ask for their email address and in return they will get that PDF you created. It is something you create one time… but for any boudoir shoot you can use that as your opt-in. One and done! It is so much easier when someone can break it down for you. We see these leaders in the wedding industry and they have opt-ins upon opt-ins constantly! Well they’ve either been in this for a long time! Its not that they sat down one day and created ALL of them. No, they started out with one. Create one that can be super universal!

If you are trying to create an idea of an opt in… put it into the community! You will get some feedback as to whether or not people will actually want it! Ask me! I’ll tell you the honest truth! Get advice. Or if you are lacking creativity, go back to the questions you get all the time. And then create something off of that! Then when someone emails you asking that question… you send them along the PDF. Which then brings them to your website and then getting them on your email list!

The majority of my newsletters… start to pay attention. There is a method to my madness. I will typically send reminders for coffee chats, but I will also send you out a newsletter. I try to minimize that… I hate getting tons of spam email from people. But you can expect two regular newsletters from me a month. See what I talk about. Use it as a guide. If I have a new download or guide to something…I’m going to talk about that!

Use Your Existing Content

Don’t send a newsletter out to your email list, just saying “hey I wrote a new blog post”. Don’t do that. INSTEAD take the first few sentences or paragraphs, repurpose it… make that your newsletter and say “if you want to read more, check it out here”… then they may not even know it is a blog post. That is part of using your content!

You are creating a pathway for your client and audience. They sign up for your email list to get a free resource, but then you are building trust with them and it s a journey. You can share things like your favorite tools and resources. This is one of my favorite emails to send… I do it probably every 4-5 months. I will quite literally say “how can I help you?”. Those that know me well enough know that I genuinely care. Its not a sales pitch. You can very easily do the same thing with people on your email list. 

  • How can I help you right now? 
  • What are you struggling the most with? 
  • What is giving you the most grief? 
  • What is holding you back from doing a boudoir shoot?

You are having a conversation with people. Its almost profound, but at the same time it is so simple it seems stupid! Answering common questions is also super helpful. Maybe you’re getting the same questions a lot of the time… write an email out answering some of those questions!

What Do Newsletters Look Like?

I want to go over some newsletters I have used for my LDC newsletters. I use Active Campaign. I tried InfusionSoft, MailChimp, MailerLight… for me Active Campaign is the best fit for my business. It is very easy.

I created a template for my emails, and that way I never have to go back and re-create it again. I introduced myself, the wedding experience… basic information. For one newsletter I sent people a list of my favorite resources to use. At the bottom of that newsletter I said “To see the full list of resources and their descriptions head to my website…” and then it sent them to the complete blog post. BOOM! DONE! 

Another newsletter I sent out “Why a DIY wedding isn’t always less expensive”.  I also did one tipping and feeding their vendors. Right there you are providing the solution to the problem. There are multiple ways you can go about solving industry problems, but people don’t take the time to be proactive. They are only reactive.

Last Remarks

I hope this has given you a little insight into the value of having an email list. A lot of people say this feels like just another thing they have to do. But once you’ve set it up… it is so easy to tap into! Initially it can be difficult to start, but if you want help with that I am more than happy to talk with you.

Next week I am so excited! Monday is our “LIVE”, not Tuesday. It will be the SEO workshop. Exclusive! I am leaving for Florida on Tuesday, that is why we moved it to Monday. But it is not something that will be available to watch like all the rest of the “LIVES”. 

I will be chatting with you all next week so please have a fantastic rest of your week!

Q + A

Q: With bio make up could you offer make up tips or list tips and tricks in a newsletter?

A: Absolutely! I would suggest including a video tutorial. If you have already recorded something, you can have that video be embedded in the newsletter. Also, if you are an affiliate of anything… you would include a link to your “shop” as the back end. If you are talking about a new lipstick, where can they find it? Well put a link to it. But instead of just linking to the normal place… use your affiliate link. Then they make a purchase and you get a partial commission. But make sure that any time you have an affiliate link to anything you have to state “this email/newsletter contain affiliate links”. If you don’t… BAD. You can then say, “But I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t fully stand behind or support.

 

Q: Is it okay to use an opt-in as a “bit-ly” address for them to click on? Or would it be better to use a “sign up here”?

A: You can always use a “bit-ly” link as the hyperlink, but I always recommend highlighting the text and making that into a hyperlink. Statistically speaking people are more likely to click something highlighted. This will also help to track it. However, will a provider like Active Campaign, I will see who actually clicked on that link. You can also insert a button! People love them!

 

Q: For people who respond to your newsletter asking for help, how do you respond?

A: I will typically email them back and offer them a free 30 minute coffee and clarity chat. I can always insert that into the initial email I’ve sent out as well. You can try it without sending the link and then if you get a reply doing it that way and seeing which way has a better response? But honestly it is whatever you decide in the moment.

 

Q: Regarding make up, asking something like “what are your concerns for the wedding” could be helpful?

A: Yes you absolutely can. Or you can always ask what look they are going for and provide them some examples. Show a couple different looks and then say “for the full list of beauty looks go here”… and link it to your blog post. You will find that until you have built up a significant email list, you may not get a lot of dialogue back and forth. It took a while for that to happen for me. If your list is growing, I would absolutely suggest doing a blog post and then taking the first part of it and including that in your newsletter. I’ve seen people create a grouping of their favorite things. They include graphics and descriptions and those always seem to have a great response rate. 

 

Q: As a calligrapher I am losing business to graphic designers and savvy brides, any advice on how to stand out?

A: That just sucks, it hurts my heart. Show them why they should hire you over doing it themselves. Whether that means that your product will last a life time, versus their work. I’ve seen a lot of calligraphers sell their work online. You could sell your products as digital downloads. A lot of people are willing to pay when it comes to doing the work for them, but they may not want all the bells and whistles. Unfortunately the problem of having brides use digital calligraphy, is not going to go away… unfortunately. But the people that are doing it themselves probably aren’t your ideal client anyways. But that isn’t to say you can’t sell them your service. It just may not be wedding calligraphy.

 

Q: What platform do you use for email?

A: I personally use Active Campaign now. If you want I can show you a bit of the backend, just let me know! I use Squarespace for my website. I use the app Zapier as a middle man. So when people go onto my website and sign up using their email address, it sends it to Zapier, which then transfers their email address to Active Campaign. 


Top Legal Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Protect Yourself While Staying Aligned with Your Business

with Guest Host and Lawyer, Suzanne Quinn

She will be diving into the TOP LEGAL TIPS for wedding creatives and how to protect yourself while still staying aligned with your business goals.

 
Suzanne Quinn on Wedding Boss Life
 

Episode 17 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 17 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.



Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Good morning everyone! Today we have Miss Suzanne Quinn with us. She is a very dear friend of mine. We met last year and we basically made chicken salad out of chicken shat and so here we are! 

Suzanne Quinn: That is one way of saying it!

Lauren: Yes! Let’s dive in really quickly and from there we can answer some of your questions! Suzanne is a lawyer, she is a dear friend… Primarily what kind of law do you work in, Suzanne?

Suzanne: I have been practicing for 18 years. I do small business, corporate, estates, and real estate. I used to do family law as well but I do not do that anymore. I have a lot of knowledge, but it not something I practice anymore. Now I mostly shift my focus to working with business owners and entrepreneurs. So many people don’t have what they need to be operating their businesses.

Top Legal Tips for Busy Wedding Pros

Lauren: It is so true and I feel so many people see hiring a lawyer for X, Y, Z as a luxury. It is something they always put off, so I am so excited you are here!

Without further ado Suzanne is going to talk to you all for a little bit and then we will dive into your questions!

Suzanne: I just wanted to talk a bit about why it is important to talk about contracts. The reason we need contracts is basically any time you have an agreement with anybody, it should be in writing. It is to protect yourself, protect your client, and to make sure you are both speaking the same language and understanding each other. Sometimes you have a conversation with a client about what it is you are going to do for them and there can still be misunderstandings. In the old days everything was on a handshake, but the reason the practice of law and contracts have developed the way they have is because people stopped honoring those handshakes or there were too many misunderstandings with what was supposed to transpire. The best thing to do is have everything in writing so it outlines what you are giving and what you are getting. 

What happens if you cancel? What happens if they cancel? What is the refund policy? And there are other clauses that go into every contract to protect yourself. There are many things you should have. 

Websites

If you have a website, you want to have website privacy policies, especially if you are exchanging private information. What is your policy on what you do with that information? Who do you share it with? Do you even share it with anybody? There are also liability waivers, especially if you are in health, nutrition, fitness, you want to have disclaimers on your website saying “consult your doctor before doing anything”. You don’t want to have that additional responsibility. 

On your website you want to be able to protect your intellectual property. People should understand what is expected from them and what is expected from you.

What Ifs

Maybe you need to have a client service contract. If you have a customer or a client, this contract will outline what the terms will be. What happens if you want to get out? What happens if they want to get out? Both of those things can be in there. 

If you have very specific things you need to put into your contract, a basic contract template you find online isn’t going to cut it. You can easily customize a contract to anything you need to include!

Releases

Another thing to keep in mind are releases. You want to be able to show people your work. Whether you’re an event planner or photographer, you want to be able to show all your people what you’ve done. You will want a release from your clients stating you can use their photos or testimonials on your website. 

Contractor Agreement

You might also need a contractor agreement. If you are working with someone or someone is doing some work for you, you want to make sure it is clear that they are not an employee of yours. This is for the government. You want to make sure the IRS doesn’t accuse you for not reporting taxes because this person was an employee. It helps to fortify your position and this persons position. This again is to protect yourself, your family, your money…

Owning a Business

If you own your own business you want to have an estate plan. It is not that hard. It is just never at the top of anyone’s to-do list. What would happen if… You want to have a plan for the future! Often we avoid things that we don’t see as being a priority right now… but planning for your business’ future is so important. 

Lauren: Yes! It is just like doing your taxes… you don’t want to do it, you don’t look forward to doing them… but it is a necessity. Sometimes in this business we find ourselves exhausted and overwhelmed and we feel we don’t have time to make for these business essentials… but we have to recognize these are essentials! They need to get done. And finding a way to balance it all will help.

Affordability

Suzanne: Part of what I do is I have templates for business owners. I created these because I realized after practicing for 18 years that a lot of people couldn’t afford to go to a lawyer to get what they needed. My biggest concern, once I started my online business was the more people I talked to the more people said they didn’t have contracts. They were just starting out their business and they didn’t have the capital to pay $5,000 retainer for a lawyer. So they were not getting what they needed. My goal was to try to create an affordable way for people to get what they needed without breaking the bank. 

Lauren: How do people find you?

Suzanne: I don’t have a group yet, but I do have a Facebook page called “Sisters Guide to Law”. If you go to that page you can book a free 20 or 30 minute call where we talk about what your business is and what I think you need for your business and we can take it from there. Depending on your budget I do everything from selling you templates, (start at about $197), to customizing a package for you, to doing it individually. It just depends on what you need and what you want to pay for.

Lauren: Suzanne is definitely different that most stereotypical lawyers. She brings the element of compassion and empathy. She is going to not only tell you what you should do for your business, but she also values what is right. This is something Suzanne has been doing for years now, but something she is finally tapped into a little but more. I want her to talk to you about universal law, but I think it is very important as business owners and creatives to find people that you can hire for your team that guide you. Find a lawyer you resonate with! It doesn’t have to be weird! They are humans, not robots!

Employees vs Subcontractors

Suzanne: I just want to go back toe talking about contracts for people who are helping to run your business. Some of the things the IRS will look for come tax season are things you want to be prepared for. So if someone works for you and you only, that sometimes is a problem. Are you giving them a paycheck? Or are they paid hourly? They look at whether or not it is task based. Are they coming to your place to do the work? All of these things factor into whether or not they consider them to be an employee. If you are having one of those subcontractor agreements you want to have an end date. You can always contract them constantly or renew it as many times are you need to, but having an end date goes a long way to showing they are not an employee. If it is open ended they might still look at your contract. If they see they are being paid hourly, works at your location, and there is no end date, and they don’t work for anybody but you… they could still view them as an employee. 

Universal Law

This is something I always incorporated in my own practice. When I talk to people about the law there are a few things we need to consider. The laws of man are very black and white. There are always gray areas of course when you get into the nuts and bolts of it. But when you have laws that are drafted on the books they say “this is what is legal and this is what it not”. 

The thing about where you are and what the law says, it doesn’t take into consideration what is right. You might be entitled to something by the letter of the law, but it might not necessarily be the right issue. Let me give you an example:

You are a photographer. You have a wedding booked and they agreed to pay you X mount of dollars, you save the date, and its probably too late to book another wedding then. One of the people dies. Technically, your contract probably says they need to pay you in full or at the very least the deposit is not refundable. So legally, you are protected. Now… what would you do if you were that bride and your fiancé suddenly passed? Would you not want your photographer to refund you that deposit? Of course! And as a photographer you probably would want to refund that deposit, but you are really tight on cash and you are not going to be able to book another wedding during that period. What do you do?

This is really a conundrum. Maybe you really need the money. Universal laws are pervasive through all time and all religions. Doesn’t matter whether you have faith or you don’t. If you go back through Ancient Greece or Egypt, there are common themes. Certain things are universal truths. These are universal laws. Depending on what source you use there are either 7, 12, or 12 with 21 sublaws, but I like to go with 12 because it is simple.

  1. Law of divine oneness
  2. Law of vibration
  3. Law of action
  4. Law of correspondence
  5. Law of cause and effect
  6. Law of compensation
  7. Law of attraction
  8. Law of perpetual transmutation of energy
  9. Law of relativity
  10. Law of polarity
  11. Law of gender
  12. Law of rhythm

So we have all of these different laws… which one would apply in the above example? I believe it is the law of cause and effect. Kind of like karma… and the other laws I would say apply are the laws of attraction and vibration. The law of vibration says that everything you are and everything you think and everything you say is energy. All of our thoughts are energy. We are constantly in a state of worry. We are worried about a lack of money and in a scarcity mindset. All of that worry, just will keep us in a low vibration. The law of attraction says all of that will attract more. You will keep attracting the negativity because you are vibrating at a very low point. 

If you are presented with this situation and you are in that scarcity mindset, I don’t think it is going to bode very well for you. Right? If you don’t use your compassion and you only think of yourself and you go to a very negative place, then you will stay in that negative place. 

You have to balance all of universal laws and what you think is morally right for each situation.

This example came up the other day in a group I am in. I stated that no matter how much you feel you need the money, I would give it back. Whereas other business owners said “why don’t you keep the deposit and explain why” or “why don’t you keep some of it and give some of it back”. At the end of the day I don’t know what she decided to do, but if she could just let go of the worry that I need the money.. I think all other things would fall into place.

Lauren: This is why I freakin’ love you Suzanne! You bring your expertise to the table and your candor and your professionalism, but at the same time you provide this entirely different perspective. It is a beautiful thing.

Suzanne: You will always find a lawyer that will fill your head and tell you stuff and they will fuel you to move forward because it lines their pocket. I hate saying that because I am a lawyer and lawyers already have a bad name, but there is a reason for that. I have been up against a lot of lawyers who egg their clients on. They fill their clients head with all the things they could get or what they should get because they know they will make $50,000. I am not interested in making $50,000. I am interested in your keeping $50,000 and making $5,000. That is why lawyers have a bad name, lawyers are not interested in moving forward your life forward in a positive way. They are reading what is right in front of them.

When I talk about the laws of the universe they really do intersect so much with our laws. The law of action says the universe is not going to give you what you want if you don’t take steps to make it happen. That vision board isn’t going to do anything for you. The law of action says if you want your business to succeed you need to start to take steps. Even if they are baby steps, but you have to move forward. This is where I come in… you want to have a business and protect your family and what you have… the law of action says get your ducks in a row. Get what you need and do it properly.

Don’t go to someone else’s website and copy their contract. You don’t know if a lawyer looked theirs over. You can take the right steps and it doesn’t have to be taking all the money out of your pocket. It is a matter of finding the right person. Do your homework.

Lauren: I see this a lot with people just starting out on their businesses. They may not have a whole lot of money to play with. The idea of spending money on something that you may or may not need isn’t appealing. You can only put it off for so long until the inevitable will come in some shape or form. I hear more and more business owners that have situations where they do need a lawyer and they don’t even know where to begin. It is not something they’ve educated themselves on. They just put it off. And to be totally honest I did too. 

Suzanne: And then you met me!

Lauren: Yes it is so true! And if I hadn’t, I very well could’ve needed a lawyer! 

Suzanne: And the truth is… not all lawyers are terrible. We all have bad experiences. I’ve had bad experiences with hairdressers and photographers… but it doesn’t mean all photographers or all hairdressers are bad! So not all lawyers are bad! It might just be a greater percentage that shows a little bit because of the nature of the business we do. It is adversarial by nature. To find one that is not as condescending might be a bit challenging… but we are out there!

Lauren: She is a beautiful unicorn! She really is! The other great thing about Suzanne also is she is everywhere! She knows people from all over the place. Even though she lives in Canada she has a lot of connections in the states.

Suzanne: Someone has stated that morality wins over legality in the example from above. Obviously the groom dying from that example is an extreme case, but there are so many instances that can come up! What if you had an event and they lost their job and the ability to pay for it and they had to cancel? What if their father had a stroke and they had to move in with them and they have to divert the funds to that? There are so many situations that aren’t so cut and dry! That is where you have to think about… put yourself in that person’s shoes. What would you need at that point?

And there is always the risk of people lying to you. You have no way of knowing what is true and what is not. I do believe in the law of cause and effect and karma and if they lie to you to get out of a contract and you let them out… you didn’t do anything wrong. That is what they have to deal with… later it will come back to them.

Retainer or Deposit?

Lauren: One question that just popped into my head because I’ve seen it time and time again… is it retainer or is it deposit in the contract?

Suzanne: I don’t know how many people work on retainer. Lawyers typically work on a retainer. The way that works is you pay me $5,000. That is your retainer. That is paying me up front and as I do the work, I send you a bill and then take the money out of the trust account. Now unless you have a trust account that is separate, I don’t think it is a retainer. Everyone else works on a deposit. That is why I think your service contract has to be very specific.

Here is what the terms of the payment are… here is the full price, here is the deposit, the deposit is non refundable… these are when the payments are due. What happens in terms of a cancellation? When are they allowed to terminate?

If you haven’t done any work yet or haven’t finished the work yet, then I think there is room for a refund. It really depends on the type of industry you are in. 

Lauren: I think that is probably the variable. As long as you do not use the word retainer, you are good! But make sure you use the terminology “nonrefundable”. Really drive home the fact once they make that payment, they will not get it back… unless something tragic happens and then it becomes a universal law and morality. 

Suzanne: You never have to put the “unless” in your contract. You have protected yourself and then you have the discretion to give it back or not to give it back. Otherwise it gets too complicated to put that language in. There are too many variables there.

Releases Cont.

Lauren: Another thing that just popped up for me. This might apply more for photographers, but if I’m a wedding photographer and I got this stellar dance shot of a whole bunch of people dancing or it’s a photo of the bridal party and I want to showcase that. How would you protect yourself if someone were to hop on the website and say “well I never gave you permission to let you us that photo of me”. Because obviously you cannot have 150, 100 people sign a model release. How would you go about that?

Suzanne: Its an interesting conundrum. Theoretically you would love to have whoever is in that picture sign a release. I would put it into the contract for the couple. I would state “on behalf of the invitees to that event they are giving consent to use any photographs”. Now will it hold up in court? Maybe not, but that is the best you could really do. 

Perhaps if you take a great photo and you recognize it at the time, perhaps you chat with the people in the photo and ask.

Lauren: And how will a verbal consent hold up?

Suzanne: You could record it on your phone. We have so much technology now, so instead of having it on a piece of paper you could have a release on your phone and have them sign it electronically.

If you are doing an event like a grand opening of a restaurant or something and you take a photo of a man with someone other than his wife and you post it. That could be an issue. So in that case you might want to bring some releases with you.

Payments

Suzanne: Being in a situation where your client doesn’t pay you or doesn’t pay you on time… this will happen to everybody in the business industry. It has happened to me. I have a client who gives me a retainer but then the retainer runs out? What do I do? “Oh well I won’t be going to court for you”. Here is family law the court will not allow us to do that. So if your client’s retainer has run out, you can’t get off the file because it would prejudice the client.

You can be screwed in a couple ways and it does suck, but it happens.

Lauren: But in the end… cause and effect. It will always come back at them in some shape or form.

I feel a question of the hour some people may have but could be uncomfortable to ask… if someone already has a contract but they just want you to look it over for them, what is your flat rate?

Suzanne: I think it about $197 to review a contract. That is if its about 5 pages or less. But if it’s a 30 page contract, we will have to talk. Most contracts though are not that long. That goes the same for when you are signing a contract for someone else. As much as we are all business owners, awe are also clients. I can also review other contracts for you that you are signing as the client. It is always excited to get a second opinion.

Lauren: Suzanne is just such a plethora of knowledge, especially when it comes to verbiage. Because as we all know with emails… it is a paper trail. You have to be careful what you do say in emails. Not to the point where you worry yourself, but know you should be doing most of your corresponding via email with regard to things related to the contract or may need documentation.

Wrapping Things Up

So Suzanne, thank you so much! This has just been so amazing to have you here to answer our questions and give us your knowledge.

Suzanne: It has been so lovely to be here. I have added a little blurb below about how to create your will, since that is something I do. I do not create templates for wills, since they are more personal. Or you can use this information and use a local lawyer to get it done.

Having your estate plan in place is essential. You need to have a last will and testament. This will direct your money and assets to people after you have passed on. What you are talking about is a living will. A living will states your wishes that you want carried out when you are still alive, but unable to make decisions for yourself.

All of this is stuff you should have if you have a family and a business. It explains what you need to think about when you are drafting that. And I’ve also posted a blurb about the top tips for entrepreneurs. 

Lauren: I love you! Thankyou so much for being here and answering all of our ridiculous questions. Please check out Suzanne and her website! It is under construction currently but you can find the link below so you can connect with her!

Thank you for tuning it! Next week we will be chatting with Casey, so don’t miss out!


Q + A

Q: I’m a photographer and I use cake in some of my photos. What would I do if I have a client who has a good allergy?

A: There are writers you can put right in the contract. Sometimes I tell people if there is something particular you want to focus on, you not only have them sign the contract, but you have them initial that paragraph. Some people might say down the line that they didn’t read the whole contract and you just told them to sign the last page. You want to be able to protect yourself against that. 

 

Q: I’ve been stuck trying to find a lawyer to create contracts for my photography business for many months. I’ve done searches, but none seem to do business contracts from their websites (as far as I can tell). I’ve asked a lot of local business owners, but none of them seem to use lawyers to create their contracts. I had one lawyer from out of state tell me the starting price point to create contracts is $800. What are some tips to finding a local lawyer to create my business contracts? What is a starting price range I should expect to pay for creating contracts? 

A: Price range is a very individual thing. You will get some lawyers that charge you $500 and others that will charge you $5,000. So what are you paying for? Generally in lawyer terms you are paying for that lawyers experience and you are paying for their location. Are they downtown or are they in the suburbs? You are paying for how big their cliental is. I have a HUGE client base and I have more work than I can handle, therefore I am going to increase my price because I can. There are so many variables and it is hard to say what the starting price would be.

In my case, it is an hourly amount. It depends… sometimes I do flat rates. If it is something I am custom drafting it depends on how long it takes me. Now I have templates. This is a whole other thing… you can go online sometimes and find templates yourself. Way more economical. Once you’ve done that… I would always recommend finding a local lawyer to look over it. That consultation process could save you a lot of money.

Now to find a local lawyer that does this… sometimes we cannot put everything on our website. It can be difficult to figure out. Any local lawyer who does corporate law should be able to help. A lot of lawyers who are general practice lawyers will do a lot of things, but they might not do individual contracts because of time constraints. But I would say if you are searching local, look for a lawyer that does contract law. 

 

Q: I had a florist’s friend who had a client pay primary fees, signed the contract, and then kept putting off the final payment which was due prior to the wedding. The contract stated that if the amount is not paid in full, then the flowers will not be provided for the wedding. Consequently, the florist did not deliver the flowers. This client also did not pay some of her other vendors as well. Was the florist correct in what they did? Can you withhold delivery upon non-payment?

A: Yes, the florist was well within their rights to do that. Once she delivers them and then they don’t pay? She is screwed. If people don’t pay and then she delivers the flowers, she is chasing the money. On the other hand, she could get the payment paid in advance and the not deliver or provide a lower quality and then the people are stuck chasing her. But it sounds like in this case it was clear in the contract the terms of the agreement and therefore she was well within her right to make that decision.

Some people I know have a term in their contract that states all payments will be paid in full four weeks prior to the event. That way it gives them a buffer in case something happens in that time frame. 

 

Q: Do you know any creatives in the wedding industry who have been sued?

A: (Suzanne) I don’t know any wedding creatives who have been sued. But I do know several business owners who have. When people are unhappy with their particular situation they just sue everybody, including their lawyers. Nothing ever stuck, but it still means you have to defend and go to court.

 

Q: I went on to one of those free sites to get a terms of service and a privacy policy. Are those okay to use?

A: I can’t really speak to there’s, but you might want to have someone else look at it to make sure it is covering everything it is supposed to cover. You want to make sure it will cover everything for your business. Its not necessarily one size fits all.

 

Q: Should you talk to a lawyer in order to figure out social security and retirement?

A: You will work with a lawyer for your estate plan to get your documents in place. Maybe you also work with a financial advisor. You want to make sure as a self employed person you are thinking about the future because the benefits from the government won’t be sufficient when you retire. You want to make sure you are putting away money for your future.

 

Q: What is it when it is called when you have someone who works for you and you have them sign something so they cannot take any information when they leave?

A: Non-disclosure agreement. I have these templates too. 

 

Q: What is the difference between a non-compete and a non-disclosure?

A: A non-compete means they are not going to steal your clients or operate a business in the same regional area as you and compete with you. Non-disclosure means they are not going to share your client list or other proprietary information you have.

 

Q: What documentation do you need to have for an LLC? What should we as the general creative realm be?

A: The problem with sole proprietor is you are creating your business in your name. They will be contracting with you as a person. When this happens it opens you up to liability. So if you own a house or a car or have money in the bank, they are suing YOU and all of that can be touched. When you have an LLC corporate then the corporation is an entity unto itself. You will be contracting with the company not Lauren. If they sue anybody it’s the company. They can only attach the company assets in the lawsuit. An LLC limits your liability when you are contracting with other people. 


Setting Yourself Up for Success

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Live Q + A with Tiffany Learned of Detailed Engagements

Join us as we ask Tiffany Learned of Detailed Engagements the questions most people aren't willing to answer! Why did she start the business? How does she get new clients? What is the best business investment she ever made? What are her biggest challenges as a wedding professional? 

 
Setting Yourself Up for Success
 

Episode 12 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 12 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.


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Tiffany and I wanted to do a little Q&A. Ask the things you would otherwise be scared to ask because it is us!

Tiffany J. Learned: Nothing is off limits!

Lauren: One thing that Tiffany and I wanted to chat about is if you saw the pricing debacle… scandal if you will. This networking group called the Elite Wedding team had written this blog post, rather they paid someone to write this blogpost for them, and it was very interesting because it ended up saying in one of the bullet points was “know what your competitors are pricing and undercut them just a little bit so you can get all the business”. We wanted to see if you have seen it, read it, what your thoughts were. It created a bit of a storm in the wedding industry.

Tiffany: 100%

Lauren: What are your thoughts on it Tiffany?

Setting Your Business Up for Success

Tiffany: It is unfortunate because a lot of people when they are starting out, they are going to use these resources. They will go online to these forums, experts, and pros and read this information and take it as the Bible! People are trying to learn, to educate themselves, and grow their business. So if this is what they are reading and learning… then they are taught this is what they need to do. Unfortunately it is so wrong! I want to “Jersey Housewives” flip the table because this is so wrong! This is the worst advice anybody could give anybody who is starting out or wanting to bring up their business to the next level. I cannot say it enough… do not do this!

It is good to know your competitors’ prices. But don’t email them pretending to be a potential client. I can sniff that from a mile away and I will call you out on it. Don’t quote your vendors this way. Talk to them. We will give you where our baseline prices are. I’ll give you a range. If you are starting out, guess what, you are not going to be able to charge what I charge because of the time and experience. So please do not go out there and pretend to be an inquiry. That is so dirty.

I could go on and on about this for days. Here is the bottom line about that piece of advice. First off, if you think that you can undercut your competitors prices and get the clients… you will be out of business really fast. Your mindset should be that you are really really good at what you do. You will get the client.

I’ve had competitors email me “undercover”. It was actually her assistant. So I told her “I am so flattered that you would want me to do your wedding and not your boss!”. How else should I approach this?

There will be dirty people in the industry, people that are not friendly. Do you. Do what makes you feel good. I tell people that I do the shit I do at the end of the day so I can lay my head on the pillow and not feel any guilt at night.

Lauren: Absolutely you need to be able to sleep at night. What is also going to get you ahead in any position you are in, is the dirty always comes out. Always!

Tiffany: Always, you can smell it on people when they are being fake. Not cool.

Lauren: Someone wants to know… 

“What do you think about putting pricing on your site. Should or shouldn’t?”

Tiffany: I live by the motto at least put out a starting price. I don’t put full pricing on my website, but bottom line... get them qualified. You need something on your website. To be honest you are just wasting their time and they are wasting yours as well if they aren’t qualified. I start by telling them what the price is for “save the date”. That’s where it starts to give them a qualifier. If they are already a little surprised by that price maybe they are not our client. That is okay too.

Some wedding pros are not in the planning business… they are florists or hair and make up… give them some sort of idea. Even if it is a big range. I know a lot of us are very flexible with our pricing when it comes to things that are very important to us. We are business owners get to be flexible and decide when to switch things up. But we should have something on our website to give our clients a sense of whether or not they qualify for the average pricing.

Lauren: I like to compare it to LuLu Lemon. I fell in love with them, but I knew their pricing going into it. If I didn’t know that those people charge $90-$120 for a pair of yoga pants and I went up to the register and then they told me the pricing… I would be livid. You best believe I would walk out of there. But because I knew going into it… this isn’t something I’m going to buy on the daily, it changed for me.

You need to have a price reference for them. You should have your website set up so within 3-4 clicks they can find it. They get to your homepage then there is your about page and depending on what they are looking for, they will probably end up on your price page. But if they cannot find pricing on your website easily, they will bounce. That is actually hurting your business because you are not getting the inquiry but it is also hurting your SEO. We don’t talk about this aspect of it, because bounce rate is not good. You want a low bounce rate. If someone hops on your website and they can’t find your pricing they are going to hop off and that doesn’t look good. That is hurting your business. 

Tiffany: It all plays into everything. A lot of people lay the other side of things by not putting pricing on your website. And I get it because when you are first starting out it can be scary. But we have to give this information tour clients. When I first started out I didn’t have my pricing on my website. So when I was talking to clients and sending out pricing I was framing it as “is this okay?” Like what, no! Then I would end up having a conversation with this person, fall in love with them and their ideas, want to do their wedding, and find out their pricing is peanuts. That is not fair to do to anybody. So if you have something in mind, stick it on your website and stick to it as much as you can.

Lauren: Yes, you’ve already touched on this aspect too. You already know the people inquiring with you unless they miss your pricing page completely… they are going to be qualifying leads! There are a lot of pros to it. Obviously.

Tiffany: I was talking to someone in the wedding industry a couple weeks ago. She is a make up artist and she was saying she couldn’t charge what other people in the industry were charging yet. I told her she absolutely could. I told her she has to get out there and own her crap. You need to feel professional. If you have your pricing the same as other competitors it makes you look legit. It goes back to what those people posted on that blog… being the lowest priced person in the business is not a good thing. You are going to get a different cliental. You won’t get your ideal clients.

I hope you figure out what your ideal client is.

Lauren: You will have some people out there that hate the term ideal client. But if you don’t even know who you want to work with, why are you doing it? It is a matter of you yourself need to set up parameters of who you want to work with. It is not so much for them, but for you.

Tiffany: When we say ideal client I’m not saying you want to have blondes that are 5’4”… just want to make sure we are clear.

Lauren: This is not Tinder!

Tiffany: When you go to my Instagram and look at all the weddings I’ve done, they are all extremely unique! But that is my client. My clients want a very unique experience. They are not New England. They are coming here to get married. So when we say have an ideal client, you have to think about a few different things, but one of them is they need to work within your budget. Starting off, I did not do this. I fell on my face a bunch of times. I took on some wedding I shouldn’t have taken. Not that I was in over my head, but they didn’t value and appreciate my service. Because I devalued myself because I put my prices way down… I was new, I was green, I was just building my portfolio… you know all of these things we say to each other to excuse our behavior. I kicked myself in the ass in the end. I charge more now and I am happier. My clients are more appreciative. They value my services more now that I value my services more. MIND BLOWN!

Lauren: Just coming from the woo-woo perspective… a lot of the reason why people undercharge themselves is because they truly don’t feel as if they are worth it. They have their own blocks to sell. That shouldn’t translate to your business. When you’re an entrepreneur you don’t have that luxury. You end up undercharging yourself, working more, and then you burn out and you hate it!

Tiffany: You resent your job. You resent your business. Your baby that you’ve built from nothing. Now all of the sudden you resent going to work. I don’t go to work. I work for myself and I fucking love it. This is not a job to me, this is not a career to me. It is a passion that happens to make the money as well. If you don’t value yourself you are going to start to think of it as work and why do that? I feel so bad for the people that do.

Lauren: I’m right there with you. I am paving the way on something that has not been done yet in this industry. I’m setting the rules, but that is beautiful because you get to set your own ground rules. Don’t let anyone else dictate your own life. 

Tiffany: I know there will be people reading this that will say “Easy for you to say Lauren and Tiffany, you’ve been in the business forever”. Which is funny because I’m only 24 years old. But they are going to look at us and say how dare you tell me everything is good and fun. Well its not! It is not easy. Lauren and I had a very heart to heart conversation about 2 weeks ago because I was in a low place. And I needed to snap myself the fuck out of it. Because I worked so hard for my business I need to make sure it is doing what it needs to do. But I am human. We do not need to be on all the time.

If anybody has a perfect Instagram it is because they have a really good app that is taking their photos. That is real.

Lauren: Another thing I want to point out… is sometimes when people are coming into the industry they do not understand the repercussions of their actions. They think their action of charging $200 to do a full day coordination is only serving them. No… it is a ripple effect.

Tiffany: It is teaching the public that that is what the value is. You get Little Suzy who booked someone for $200 to do their wedding, then another person who is getting married asks how much did you pay your planner? Then when someone who comes in who is doing it full time, has the experience, and sends over their pricing they are blown away! You are then dissed for over charging, even though you are not. 

It comes back to put that pricing on your website. Justify it! You don’t need to go into a rant, but you build value and your clients see it. They will get those prices and not be super shocked. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. If you don’t like the conversation, change the conversation.

Lauren: Someone asked…

“I just got a booking from my first bridal show and I sent them my first follow up email. How many times should I reach out?”

Tiffany: Figure out a way to put something in your subject line that will make you stand out. Hold off a bit until you send that next email. Give them time to breathe. They are glazed over after a bridal show and their inbox is full. I get really good responses on a Sunday afternoon.

Lauren: Over on the Wedding Boss Life shop we have email templates you can purchase and it includes subject lines and content you can literally copy and past. Over 65 email templates that are invaluable! If you use the code “gimmie15” you’ll get 15% off.

Tiffany: And do not worry if they miss it. Because if they are someone who is getting a ton of emails and booking vendors right away, they probably aren’t your client. You want someone who is going to take a minute to make an educational decision, not an emotional one. 

Lauren: That is the quote of the day!

Tiffany: I’m going to share a planner story about setting boundaries. First off, if I am not working and it is sunny out, I am on the water. But I am always plugged in. I went away back in January for my grandmothers’ 83rd birthday. We go an inquiry on a Friday afternoon and I didn’t respond to it until 8pm that night. I then followed up on Monday morning. She responded that she had booked the first person who had responded to her on Friday afternoon. I immediately was “nay nay”. So basically what that translated to was she didn’t value our services. She didn’t actually care about who did the wedding. She needed a body to fill the position. That is not your ideal client. Don’t worry about missing the ball. Your right clients will come to you.

Think about it! If I had responded right away, was on the phone with her right away… I’m setting the expectation that I am available all the time.

Lauren: No thanks.

Tiffany: For the last twelve days we’ve had snow, I’ve only had power for four of them. I’ve been taking phone calls in my car because I have a hotspot. But I had to set boundaries with my clients. We had no power, my basement was flooded. And I had one potential client text me and said “I got your auto reply saying you are without power and might be a bit of a delayed response, so I’m texting you to see if you can take a call right now?” This is a potential new client. BYE!

If they Facebook message you, Twitter DM you, Instagram message… reply with an email! Say “I got your message, to keep everything straight I reply through email. All of my communication works like this. I am in the office for X, Y, Z… let me know when works for you”. 

When I was an early planner maybe 6 or 7 years ago, I would’ve been so hungry for business I would’ve said “absolutely, let me bend over backwards to be able to call you”. And I ended up reaching out to him later on and he is a really sweet dude. Very excited about his wedding, but I had to set boundaries. He respected them 100%! So don’t be afraid to set expectations either. We teach out clients how to treat us.

Lauren: I find more times than it should, vendors fail to set expectations and boundaries because… 1) they aren’t confident enough of themselves and 2) they don’t want to piss anybody off. That is only going to hurt you, because then when they are texting you at 11:30pm you can’t get pissed at them. You didn’t set up your boundaries. If someone gets offended because you can’t reply at all hours of the night, that is on them.

Tiffany: A lot of us are so afraid to set boundaries and we are the ones who suffer. Clients are fine with you setting boundaries! They are fine with it! And if they aren’t… they are not your ideal client. That is okay. Quality over quantity.

I don’t want anyone to think that Lauren and I are poo-pooing on decisions you’ve made because you’re not as experienced. We’ve made these mistakes too. I fell on my face a bunch. I did a bunch of thigns I thought that were right at the time. You just need to learn how to filter all the stuff out to figure out what you need to do.

Lauren: Stay in your lane! One question I get all the time is

“How do I get new clients? How can I appeal to new clients? Should I be using Facebook Ads?”

If you are just starting out in the industry and you do not have money to be throwing around like toilet paper… Even people that have been in the industry for a long time but they have strict marketing budgets set and they are successful. The main reason why they are still successful and how they have been able to get their name out there is because of referrals and SEO.

The millennial bride hops on google and has to do a quick search, are you gonna come up? If you don’t know what youa redoing with SEO you need to either hire someone to do it for you or learn it yourself. Take a course!

Tiffany: I’m going to take that one step further. This is a mistake I see a lot of new people make. Get your business set up to take a client. Instead of investing your money in Facebook ads, wait until you have a contract. Not one that you go offline. But one you sat down with a business lawyer and fully understand. You need to get your standard operating procedures together… get your shit in order before you take a client. I do hope when people do get excited and jump into the industry, they take it seriously.

In my contact at Detailed Engagements it says our clients will not work with a vendor that does not have a contract or licensures associated with their craft. Now not everyone needs a license to do what they need to do, but they might need permits. Get your stuff in order first! I cannot tell you all enough how many new people I’ve seen come into this industry and I start asking them about contracts and insurance and they look at me like I have no idea what I’m talking about. A contract does not just protect your clients, it protects you. You should have a qualified business attorney make that contract for you and put it together. I spent $1,200 into a revision for a contract I had made. It is a business expense too so it is not just throwing away money. You have to understand your contract. Understand what these terms mean. Invest in yourself first before using advertisements and paying for marketing.

Lauren: I can already tell we are going to have people say “well how do I know I’m going to even get any clients? I don’t want to drop all this money on something that isn’t going to pan out”. 

Tiffany: Why did you start this business? Why did you decide one day you were going to do X Y Z? Because you love your craft. Invest in yourself. Believe in yourself. If you get too far ahead of yourself and you get 20 clients because you dropped your prices too low and you are overwhelmed and things are moving too fast. Now you don’t have a contract for when a client says you are not doing such a great job. You have to get this stuff in line.

How do you get a new client? Get into your wedding community. If it costs you $300 a month to advertise on wedding wire, don’t do it. Take that $300 and get coffee with 50 different vendors. Talk to people. Go to other vendors in the industry, bring them coffee, bring them chocolates. Don’t harass them, don’t just show up. But get in front of them. Be a real human. Don’t fake it. Show them what you got. “Hey can I have ten minutes of your time? I know you are really busy. I am expanding my business, I’m taking it to the next level, and I would love for you to think of me for your new clients”.

Get in front of the people who are working with clients already. It will help.

Lauren: I recently heard a story from another client of mine. She has a very good friend in her niche and she was sending $1,600 a month on Wedding Wire. That is a mortgage payment. Please don’t do that to yourself. A) you are going to get the clients who are price shopping anyway. B) Take $200 of that go invest in the SEO course on the website, use the post weddingbosslife, you will set yourself up for success without having to pay $1,600 a month!

Tiffany: I do not spend a penny on wedding wire or the knot for my business. I do not spend a penny in advertising right now. I don’t. I can’t explain it to you… I’ve don’t it a couple of times, maybe 6 months here 6 months here because I’m doing the wrong thing. It never turned out. There was no return in investment. When I realized it was time for me to get involved in my community, it returned an investment like crazy. And I grew and amazing network!

Lauren: One of the best I’ve ever seen.

Tiffany: I am so lucky to be a part of this network, but I couldn’t have done it without getting in front of people and talking to them. Eventually the right doors open and I was okay. That is why now I will take phone calls and emails. I want to help other people the way others helped me.

Lauren: We have another question!

“What are your biggest challenge as a pro?”

Tiffany: Biggest challenge as a pro… two! Feeling like I was a fraud. Feeling like I was still that little kid that was hustling to try to get there. But when I dug deep and really peeled the layers back, it was because I realized I was still working really hard. I was humble about the way I was. I felt like I was not good enough or I wasn’t “there yet”. I was setting those expectations.

I realized I was making those fear based decisions and assumptions. I’m not cocky, but I work my butt off. I love what I do. I love my clients. I give 110% to them. That was a big one.

The second struggle as a pro, the higher you climb the more people who are at the bottom of your ladder trying to make it fall over. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else, but I’ve been doing me and I’m fortunate with the direction it has taken. Sometimes it brings about the not so nice people. Stay true to you and what is good for you. 

Lauren: Let’s do another question.

“Did either of you have a mentor when starting?”

Tiffany: I did. My mentor kind of went in a different direction than I did as I grew in my business. It can be someone you look up to or someone you learn from. I recently old my mentor that she was my mentor and she had no idea.

Lauren: I never had a mentor. But here is the thing… If I could go back and do it over would I? To get here? No. Because I needed to go through what I went through and learn the way I learned it because I wouldn’t be a mentor myself for people. 

What I can’t handle is when people claim to be business mentors or coaches and yet have no idea what the person actually does. It can be in any industry! You have to find someone you jive with.

Tiffany: My mentor came into my life because I think she was meant to be someone who was a solid foundation for me. I wasn’t looking for one. Again, do we have similar paths and career? No, but looking back on it now I didn’t realize the experience I was getting from her.

A mentor doesn’t necessarily need to be someone who is in your position. It can be any facet.

Lauren: Let me re-frame this. The way I started I was a studio manager for a wedding photographer in Boston. She was also my bestfriend. I learned… I got my start in the industry on my own because I was running the business for her. I taught myself but I had the influence and the handholding from her.

Would I have liked a mentor? Yes! I spent many many hours of my life that I won’t be able to get back with my kids! Trying to learn it, so I can push the business forward. That is why I give so much now. 

Tiffany: Back when we first started, no one was having these conversations. It was a lot of smoke and mirrors. There were a couple of schools you could do online courses with. And books you could fill out. But we wouldn’t be having conversations like this 6 years ago.

We have had things we have had to learn our way through, that is why we are here now. It does us now good if we can’t spread the word through our industry. We are de-valuing our industry if we can’t build people up.

Lauren: I want to ask you a question Tiffany…

“What has been the best business investment you have ever made?”

Tiffany: That is a tough one. I’ve made a few bad ones! For me personally, my office is a very good business investment. Having a physical space outside of my house has been a great business investment for me. Having a space that is work. The difference between work and home. I know not everyone can do this. I couldn’t do it for years. But ever since I moved out, its been great. It has been a scary investment, but a great one for me.

Lauren: That is awesome!

Tiffany: Don’t beat yourself up if you are not there yet. I wasn’t either! I was talking with a client and she was commenting how I talk freely and don’t have a script. And I told her that she couldn’t compare herself to me. Give yourself a break! Own your craft! Invest in yourself.

The office is my first best investment, but my contract was probably my second. A dedicated website and email address. Pay for it. Do not send me an email asking me to refer you to clients if you have an @gmail account. I don’t know if I can take you seriously.

Lauren: You ideal clients probably won’t take you seriously. 

I did not have the kind of resources I felt I could invest in a whole lot. I was also so cautious. I think my best investment thus far… I paid for a three hour business deep dive with a psychic. That hands down I started to see immediate growth right after. It wasn’t even actual tips or things I needed to start doing. It was my won mindset and stuff I had been carrying around for so long. The psychic could immediately see it. That was an investment. 

Tiffany: Isn’t it interesting we both answered the same question and we had very different responses. That goes to show you need to make an investment that is good for you. You need to do the contracts and basic business stuff down, but other than that you need to go with your gut. What works for me, what works for Lauren may not work for you. 

I wanted to talk about not copying someone else. Finding your own path. Being your own person. Finding your voice. I am telling you… there is that voice in all of us. It tells you what you should be doing. It is just drowned out by all this basic shit that you have turned up way too loud. For too many years I didn’t make a huge business moves. I was too afraid. I still worked a side job. It was hard. The second I made the decision to jump off my fulltime job and do this full time… it was so scary. But I was able to let my fears go. I had to listen to that voice that was telling me I could do it! The other voice telling me I was a failure went away.

Lauren: If you let fear and worry dictate that conversation the you are only going to create more of that. You aren’t going to see the results you want because you aren’t open to receiving them. You shut that door.

We do have another question…

“Do you have any advice on hiring independent contractors or permanent employees for your small business? How did you decide fair pay for them?”

Tiffany: That is when you have that amazing business lawyer that is on your side. You can get a business lawyer when good stuff is happening, not just when it is a bad situation. Know the employment laws of your state. Personally I won’t even get into giving advice here because it is not in my wheelhouse. You need to contact local business lawyers who knows about employment law in your state. It is different to NH, ME, AZ… it doesn’t matter. Talk to yoru accountant. Figure out what those laws are before you make a move.

Lauren: Very similar thread, but I did a lot of research myself. I found sage Wedding Pros. She is amazing! She has created essentially employee handbook. It breaks it down as to what subcontractor will look like vs an employee. It was about $150. I thought I wanted to grow and expand. But then I realized I still had questions. I noticed on Sage Wedding Pros will do consult calls. I went into that conversation with all my questions and nailed them all out. I had every single answer I needed and I was able to move forward.

Here is the funny twist of events here. Instead of taking all that advice and putting it to use… it took me spending probably close to spending $600 to realize I hated planning. I didn’t want to grow my business! But it took me taking those steps to find my true calling now. You can view it as a mistake, poor judgement… but if I had never done that I would probably still be doing planning actively and burnt out. I did that all in December, Wedding Boss Life was born in February. One year later! We are here!

Tiffany: That is awesome and really good advice. Sometimes you have to figure things out to figure out what isn’t going to work too. Educate yourself!

I don’t think that was a mistake, that was your path. That was what you were supposed to be doing. You gained a bunch of knowledge! When you align yourself with these professionals and gain knowledge, you are going to be a success no matter where you go in life.

Lauren: That is true for everybody!

I hope all of this was helpful! We love your questions, so please reach out. Have a fantastic rest of your day and week!

Tiffany: Cheers to the sun being out!

Lauren: Praise!


Batching Content

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Batching Content: Saving Lives 1 Day at a Time

Ever wonder what the hell a "batch day" was, how to do it, or why people rave about them? Join us as we break down HOW to go about batching up to SIX MONTHS of content in just 1 day!

 
Batching Content
 

Episode 11 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 11 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.



Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Hi guys! Happy snow day! First things first… I want you all to write down any questions you have about batching content. The word “batch” to me sounds like I’m making brownies! It is really intimidating if you’ve never done anything related to batching content before. So write down those questions!

This is going to be VERY informative! This coffee chat will have a lot of actionable steps.

If you have heard of batching content, if you have ever contemplated learning more about it, if it is something that has been on your to-do list… you are not alone! There is a lot of information out there. I am only offering you what I personally do. Feel free to pull from other resources, but I will be talking about what works for me and my business.

Planners, Planners, Planners!

First things first. I have tried just about every freakin’ planner known to man! Meaning… I have tried the powersheets, the day designer, Erin Condrin… I have tried A LOT of planners. They help keep me on track, but what I find is I start to use it the way it is supposed to be used for the first month and then I forget I own it… whoops!

In regard to trying to plan out your social media and blog posts, a planner like those I talked about aren’t necessarily the best to use. Now I’m not telling you to buy a prettier planner or that the one you have right now isn’t good enough, that’s not what I’m saying. But what I have found that works well for me and the type of business that I have, content needs to be planned out. That’s why batch days are the bomb!

The number one game changer for me is the “content planner”. It is AMAZING! If you have no idea what this planner is… go onto my website and click on the resources tab. It will be the first or second blurb on there. That is how much I love this thing! There is a lot of noise and shit we can buy into, but I don’t suggest or post anything that hasn’t been a game changer for me. Anything you se on that page has worked for me! Again, I’m not wanting to sell it to you.. I’m just telling you what has worked for me.

The Content Planner is amazeballs! Before each month you get a blank page and a section for you to use. You have an area for monthly goals, hashtags you want to use, hitlist and collabs…

How to Batch Content Like a Pro

You know, the ideas come and then we totally forget what we are thinking about! So the beautiful thing about the content planner is the calendar section. You get to track your growth, you have weekly goals, and then you have space for all your content. This is holding you accountable as long as you stick to it. This is where I create my monthly themes, where I create my ideas for our coffee chats… it has a section for “this month I will, this month I won’t”. So for the month of February my “won’t” was “I won’t criticize myself”. It was an awesome reminder to keep me in check, as cheesy as this all sounds! This past months “will” was talk about batch posts and tie into Instagram stories and consistently post in Facebook group. BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK! This is how I plan out my content.

I want to explain how I can plan out a years worth on content in a couple of days. There is a holidays and marketing dates section in this content planner. You will look like a Rockstar because it was ALL the holidays and marketing dates you could ask for! If you create hasthtags around these events you are going to look awesome and you will stand out. All I end up doing is if I see a marketing day for the month, I put it in my calendar and if I remember I will post something about it. For example, March 3rd was national unplugging day. If you go to my page, I wrote a post about it! Just an extra cool tool.

Planning Out Your Year: Themes

Here is what I do… first you want to come up with a theme for every single month of the year. I want you to think about what are topics, what are themes, what are points within your business that you LOVE talking about. Maybe your clients ask you questions about it all the time. Ask yourself, what do you love to talk about with your clients? What are you an expert in?

Example… maybe you are a planner and you get asked all the time “how do I choose a wedding theme?”. That right there is an idea for you. Take it and run! Maybe you have a month all about rehearsal dinners. Maybe you have a month you talk all about budgeting.

I have written down all my content theme ideas… so for example:

  • Slow month season, what you should be doing to get ready
  • Marketing: be a resource, not a sales pitch
  • Mindset
  • Profitability
  • Wedding business trends
  • The last month, what to do just before your wedding
  • What to do when you’re feeling burnt out

Those are just some ideas I’ve come up with for my business. But there are so many options!

Pick out twelve different themes you want to focus on for your content. When I say content I mean blog posts and social media. DO NOT create more content then you need. Let that sink in… once you create something, whether it be a post or an idea… use that for all of your social media channels and all of your blogging. You will repurpose it.

Planning Out Your Year: Posts

Once you have come up with these twelve areas give yourself a round of applause! Next, grab your calendar and label what each months’ topic will be (for at least the next 3 months). Coincide with what all your couples are planning and doing right now. You want to then focus ALL of your social media posts and your blog posts around that ONE TOPIC. This will help with shiny squirrel syndrome. This is where you are posting different things every single day and you don’t have one main focus. What happens when you do this? For me I end up falling off the bandwagon and I stop posting after a few days because I’ve run out of ideas. This concept will help eliminate this. You know no matter what you have your theme to fall back on. Any idea you have, jot done! You can use it somewhere else, you just want to make sure you are always relating to your theme for the month.

Maybe your theme for the month is “how to choose a wedding theme”. You have a post talking about how to choose a theme just for you. You can do a post all about classic weddings. You can do a post about rustic theme elements. Maybe you do a post about garden theme elements. Once you have this basis, you just go crazy with it! What do people want to know about themes? What do they struggle with surrounding wedding themes?

Consistency is Key!

Once you have different aspects of your main theme, that will be what you post about. Now I get questions all the time about how many times you need to post. The key is consistency. I know I’ve said it before but consistency truly is key. It keeps you on track. Think about when you are doing a diet, what works the best? Consistency. If you eat a salad one day and then you decide you are going to eat McDonald’s the next and then Wendy’s and come back with a salad. How does that work out? Not so good.

If you know you don’t have the time to post something six times a day, don’t do that. Six times a week? Don’t do that. Six times a month? Maybe that is more doable for you. Do what feels right for you. What someone does down the street from you and what your bestie does is going to be different. You do not need to replicate what anyone else is doing except what feels good for you. If you try to replicate what someone else is doing and it doesn’t feel good for you, will you keep up with it? No!

When you create your theme and different ideas within your theme… you have created all different ideas for posts! Maybe you’re thinking you need to create a different post for Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest… nope! When I post something on my business page, I will probably repost it in my group a week later. I just change the photo. Check it out! Look at other businesses and see what they are doing.

Lets say you’ve created 8 posts within your theme. All you need to do is find 16 different photos. You can find 8 square photos for Instagram, 8 rectangle photos for Facebook… you are just using different photos! Same content and same wording, you are just choosing a different day.

Let's say post number one you’ve created… maybe its “How to know when you’ve found the right florist”. That is your post! You will post that on Instagram the first day of the month. Then you will post that same exact wording with a different photo on Facebook on the 17th of the month. This is where your content planner comes in handy! This is how working smarter not harder is coming into play. This is how you batch.

Have fun with this. It is supposed to be fun! Your content will be based around things people want to know about and stuff you see come up again and again. Don’t be afraid to talk about what someone else in the business is talking about. You will put your own spin on it.

Plan Out Your Year: Organization

If you have Dropbox or Google Drive or Evernote you want to create three different folders. You will have a posted folder, a to post folder, and a verbiage folder. From there you will have your different monthly themes. You are creating a framework for yourself. That way if you find a photo during your batch day, plug it in there! If you are talking about wedding themes and you find a great garden wedding photo, put it in there! That way you have everything right at your finger tips. You will have it on your computer but also on your phone on the go! You don’t have to run back and forth.

If you are better at speaking than you are at writing… I got you! So many people have told me they suck at writing or it is not their strength… well okay! All you need to do is find a voice dictation feature. Go on your phone and use voice memo. There is always a work around, a solution to one of your hurdles. Trust me… I have probably found the solution in the time I’ve been doing this.

Tips and Tricks

The last thing I want to drive home… it is only as difficult as you make it. Nine times out of ten coming up with content is difficult because you feel you don’t have enough time or reality sets in and you have no idea where to start. Use this as a framework to work off of. I’m hoping I’ve been able to make it a bit easier for you to come up with ideas and a process that will work for you.

Key takeaways… think of the themes first. What are the areas you talk most about with your clients? Then think of all different ideas that fall under that umbrella. The longer the post you have regarding that idea, the better! Then you can turn it into a blog post. Then you can take a paragraph at a time and turn it into your social media post. Then link it back to your blogpost! You do not have to re-create the wheel! If your clients did not see it on Facebook, then they will see it on Instagram or your website. They won’t see it in every place. We might think they do, because we are posting the same thing everywhere, but they don’t. Remember, you are not posting all of these in every single place every single day. You are spreading it out.

By using this content planner I am keeping track of where I am supposed to post things and when. You can track how much your business is growing month by month. There is something rewarding in actually knowing the numbers!

Creating content doesn’t have to be painful! Once I started to create without the pressure it became so much more fun! I was able to put my voice into it more. Now I will run to my planner when I have an idea and in the back of it I have a list of ideas that I keep for blog posts. They are all in one place.

That is batching for the most part! We really just scratched the surface but if you have questions… get in touch with me! Thanks for joining me once again.

Q + A

Q: Have you found a particular image size to use for all platforms?

A: The problem with using a one size fit all is it doesn’t work. There are certain image sizes that work better for others. At the end of the day 800x800 is the size to go. Use Canva. I do recommend customizing for each platform. 

Q: The content planner you are featuring is currently sold out for 2018. What should I do instead?

A: I would get a half inch binder. Create a space you can track your growth and create your weeks mapped out. Have a space for each of your weekly goals, your monthly theme, your wills, your won’ts, and then have a space for your wins. Then have a sheet where you can track your monthly goals, your hitlist, your collabs, and your ideas! This will at least get you on track and giving you all the tools we talked about.


Pinning with Purpose

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Pinning with Purpose

Our resident Pinterest guru, Sandi Griffith, shows us how to successfully use Pinterest to drive traffic (and LEADS) to your website!

 
Pinning with Purpose featuring Sandi Griffith
 

Episode 10 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 10 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

Tailwind - get 1 month free by using this affiliate link

The LadyBoss Collective: WebsitePinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Sandi's Pinterest Course

How to: Easily pin Instagram photos to Pinterest

Apply for Rich pins


Transcript

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Hi guys! Without further ado… this is sandi. I’ve known Sandi now for… oh I don’t even know…

Sandi Griffith: Probably six or eight months.

Lauren: Yeah! Awhile! That works. Sandi…. You know when you meet someone and you just hit it off and you just know if you lived closer you’d be hanging out in your jam jams and letting eachother’s kids beat eachother up. This is that! She is amazing at what she does. She does social media. She has worked for herself, she is now part of a trio of amazing lady bosses that offer all kinds of services for creatives. Her jam is Pinterest! She is going to drop how wedding creatives can start using Pinterest more to start leveraging traffic into your website. And turning that traffic into leads and clients… Pinterest is not considered asocial media platform necessarily. More of a search engine. People don’t understand that and they don’t use it as they should. So without further ado the floor is yours! Have fun!

Sandi: Thank you so much for having me! I own my own virtual company that specializes in social media. I did just join two other lady bosses, we opened our own business that goes into a lot more depth and we’ve built courses. That is a whole different company, so if you really want to up-level, that is the place to go. 

What is Pinterest?

Let’s talk about Pinterest! It is a visual search engine. Not a social media platform. You’re not going to make friends and groups and constantly talk to people. When you are doing Pinterest the biggest thing people make the mistake of is having their personal and business combined. We all want to look up our own DIY stuff for our home, even though we are running our own business. You do that and you confuse your audience. So I recommend separating the two. If it is personal you should just hide it or start a separate account. It keeps your business aligned with what your clients are looking for. Yu don’t want to confuse them.

Cover Boards

You want people to land on your coverboard and know exactly what you do. I land on Lauren’s Pinterest and I know this girl is a wedding genius! I have to hire her!

Lauren: I don’t know if I would go that far… but okay!

Sandi: You want you first board to be ONLY your stuff. They know by going to Sandi’s Pinterest it is going to be all of her advice on that first board. All the other boards will be something you’ve repined and all of your content.

Pinning with Purpose

That is how Pinterest works! It is visual! You want capturing images, with titles that scream “I want to click on this!” Great way to build your email list for any business. Maybe you are in law… you are a lawyer… you can build your email list this way. People will click on it and it will take them back to your website. They are opting into something… and four or five months later… BOOM you are going to have a new client!

Lauren: That is so true. You all know, I am very transparent. When I first started… how the hell am I going to start attracting my people? How am I going to start building my email list? I’ve noticed that the majority of my clients and people who I have connected with come through my Pinterest! It is crazy, it still blows my mind. 

Traffic: Guiding People to be your Clients

Sandi: One thing I love about Pinterest is you get to choose where you are driving your traffic to. So I create an image and I have to make a website that people are going to when they click on that image. I can choose my website, I can choose my blog, my Facebook, my Intstagram. I get to choose what my clients are going to and what they are going to look at and receive when they get there.

Lauren: Yes! There is a lot of terminology you may not know… so feel free to go to Pinterest and look and what we are talking about.

Stay True to You

Something you want to do if you are not doing already doing it, is on your profile page… be directing people to where you want them to go! Go grab this freebie, go grab this thing! Not only are they going to learn who you are… but you are adding them to your email list. A great place to talk about who you are and what you do, is right here! Make sure you also add a link for them to sign up. You want to bring something to the table that no one else does. You will have your own flair on it! And it people find you on Pinterest, that means they are attracted to something you are doing anyways! Just because people have done something similar before, doesn’t mean you can’t!

Sandi: There are hundreds of pictures out that! But they want me… I am loud, I am high energy, and I curse a lot! An ideal client that curses and wants a badass Pinterest board, they aren’t going to go to the other gurus. Make sure you own who you are when you create this stuff. Stay in your zone because that is what your clients want.

Where to Get Started

Lauren: What are some common things… if someone is just getting started on Pinterest, what would you recommend?

Sandi: Find your keywords first! When you create boards, when you create pins… you want your keywords! Here is a secret on how to find these. Go into the search tab on your computer. Type in whatever you want to focus on… so photography! It comes up with keywords for you! It is telling you what words to use. Then create your sentences from these.

The more generic you are in the search engine, the more words will come up. This will do the work for you!

Lauren: I love Pinterest more than Facebook! You are not only learning something and wasting your time… but it is prettier! Lets say you are a photographer and you are trying to figure out what your ideal client is looking for… it is right here! You have about 150 ideas! You can have a board that is for boudoir outfits, for boudoir in the bedroom, hair and make up ideas for boudoir shoots…

Sandi: When you add a description you want to stick around the 300 characters. It will get long, but just use a bunch of run on sentences that are using all of these keywords so you are picking them up every time! You always want to do a call to action…

  • Repin for later!
  • Comment on what tips you have!
  • Click here for more ideas!

CTA’s are so important for that. You are telling people what to do and as humans you like to follow directions… some of us!

Lauren: Me.. not so much! But that is why we are moms and drink copious amounts of wine.

So 300 characters for your description, does that apply to boards as well?

Sandi: Yes. Your board description allows 150… but you want to use it to the MAX!

Client Work Flow

Lauren: Lets walk you through a typical client workflow on your page.

Sandi: I as a client… I know I want to do some sexy stuff for my husband. So I’m going to google sexy military photos. If you followed those directions… your stuff will pop up! If they have a good description, they are telling me what to do, I will probably click on their website because I want to see more of their photos. People will see the pictures and if it is a thumb stopping graphic… they will click on your site. That is where you should have an opt in. Have a newsletter! Have a link for a Facebook group. You want to build a relationship with them. People don’t go to Pinterest or Facebook to buy… they go to get relationship and ideas. After the relationship they buy.

Lauren: They key element you don’t want to miss… you want to reel them in! They are going to get to know you. 

Sandi: Do not loose them! If they are clicking on your image they like you and you do not want to lose them.

Lauren: There is a natural progression… a natural work flow, you want your clients to go through when they find you on Pinterest.

Do you think the end result should be to re-pin something? Or they are going to a website listed with that pin?

Sandi: You want them to go to your website. You want them to like your stuff so much and grab it that they are running to your website because they want more of you. They are clicking on your pin… you want those people! They are going to buy from you… 3, 4, 5 months down the road.

Pinning!

Lauren: Think of interest as the place they are going to first meet you. What content and information is going to be enticing to them? What are they searches they are doing? Bring them in!

Tip! Long Pins are what get re-pinned the most.

Sandi: 728x1400 is perfect. The longer the better. People love visual! Don’t just have someone’s face… literally do different graphics. Step 1 for wedding planning, Step 2, Step 3, with fun little graphics.

Go into detail on what you are going to get from each blog and each posting. Remember those keywords!

Lauren: What is a rich pin?

Sandi: If I am on Lauren’s website and I like a blogging title she has, I don’t have to put the title on Pinterest… it just appears. I will drop the link for applying to get rich pins. It takes 2-3 days… but it helps to verify your site.

Lauren: You want to make sure your website is verified because it trickles down! If you don’t have your website verified, your Pinterest won’t be verified.

Sandi: If you website is verified on Pinterest and pull your analytics, you can see which pins are being clicked on the most. You can see what images are capturing your audience. You can create future graphics around what you know your ideal client likes.

Lauren: Now if you are super mind blown right now… Sandi has a course!

Sandi: I have two courses, one is free and the other is $27.00. Each day it will give you prompts and walk you through on how to create graphics, how to get rich pins, how to get your site verified… STEP BY STEP!

Lauren: You are a wealth of Pinterest information, Sandi!

Sandi: I love Pinterest! I’m on it all the time. But again, you want to separate your personal from your business. When you re-pin you want to be conscious of what you are re-pinning. Stick to colors that are close to your theme. If something doesn’t fit that, don’t re-pin it! Remember, Pinterest is all visual.

Followers

Lauren: Because I had 450 followers from my personal, what I did I converted my personal page to a business page, BUT I made all of the boards relevant to me all secret. That way people can’t see them. But what it automatically did was keep all the people in my circle I wanted to keep. You have to do what works for you!

Sandi: We are in the society now where we all want to be loved. We want hundreds of likes. We want followers. I can have thousands of followers… but if they are not my ideal clients they aren’t going to re-pin my stuff and comment. Don’t worry about the numbers… worry about having the right people! Across the board. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest!

Closing Remarks

Lauren: This has all been SO freakin’ helpful! Mark your calendars because Tuesday March 27th we will be bringing all of the lady boss collective.

Sandi: We do everything from blogs, newlestter, course creation, work books, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest! Everything! We are a wealth of knowledge on all aspects.

Lauren: Even if you don’t have the ability to pay for outsourcing… the amount of time and sanity outsourcing will save you, is SO worth it!

Next week’s coffee chat is all about batching content. I will show you how I managed to over the course of a day nail out a ton of content. Also how to disperse it amongst your platforms.

I will make sure you have all of Sandi’s info! Get in touch with her!

Sandi: Drop me questions, get in touch with me! Thank you for having me!

Lauren: Have a fantastic rest of your week, have a fantastic Tuesday!


Q + A

Q: Is having a Facebook Group as well as a blog valuable on your website?

A: That is up to you and how much time and dedication you have. You can have a Facebook group, but if you don’t have the time to put into it… you will hurt yourself. You can do just as much from your blog and website. If you don’t have the time… don’t do it!

 

Q: Do you see people linking their Instagram posts to their Pinterest?

A: I do recommend doing it! It drives traffic back and forth!

 

Q: How do you attract local people that will lead to local sales?

A: On your Pinterest you wait to have your location. You can go into settings and do that. Use that location as a keyword!

 

Q: Have you found it successful to link your Facebook to your Pinterest?

A: Yes. Tell them where you are sending them! If that is where all your information is at, they want to find that.

 

Q: Do you automate Pinterest?

A: You can! You need Tailwind. The more you pin, the bigger following you will get. I recommend pinning 30-50 times a day. No one has time for that shit! If you join groups and tribes, this will help. I will post more information on Tailwind below. 

 

Q: In promoting a local venue on Pinterest, should I be posting just about the venue or local florists, cakes, etc?

A: No! Get that local stuff in there! Support local. Do the venue, but get others in there. It is all about community. 

 

Q: Should we have tips in the pictures as well? Or just photographs?

A: People are always looking for tips! That is why they are going on Pinterest. It is a search engine! It is the prettier version of Google!

 

Q: What is the rule of thumb about pinning your content and re-pinning others?

A: I say 40/60. Pin 40 of your own, and 60 of others. You will hear all different numbers, this is why you want to look at your analytics so you can find what is best for YOUR company. Sharing is caring. Pinterest karma is a real thing.


Make It Rain Website Leads

Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

Make It Rain Website Leads

Grab your dark roast and your headphones. We will be sipping coffee and chatting about: how to create website elements that have leads steadily streaming in!

Ever wonder how some wedding pros have a constant stream of inquiries knocking at their door? Find out the insider secrets on this weekly coffee chat as we talk about everything from About Pages to brand voice and how these elements help to make it rain website leads!

 
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Episode 5 Coffee Chat Replay

 
 

EPISODE 5 PODCAST

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



Transcript

Make it Rain Website Leads

Lauren Dragon-Cook: Hello! Happy Tuesday everyone. We are going to be making it rain website leads! One of the first things I want you to really think about… take out a pen, take out a piece of paper, jot this stuff down… I want you to really look at your website (for those of you who are not particularly tech savvy, this is for you!). I want you to look at your website and pretend you are a potential client that is looking to hire somebody that does what you do. I want you to try to figure out if your website is speaking TO your potential clients or AT your potential clients. There is a big difference! I cannot tell you how many of my own clients come to me and realize its talking AT them. You’re not wording things in a way that is speaking to him. Its not their love language. Maybe you keep things very professional, which is totally alright, but there is no feeling of who you are in your website. What I notice is so many people try to keep it professional but what they forget is people are hiring you because they fall in love with you!

I just got done writing a blog post for Dubsado, I love Dubsado! The blog post is “Five Signs Your Welcome Guide Probably isn’t so Welcoming”. What I’m seeing more of in the wedding industry as a whole, so many people are keeping this professional but there has been a major shift in the business world. Especially creatives! You are going to start seeing a lot of people don’t want a quick transaction anymore. They are not buying something and running away in the sunset. They want to be wined and dined and loved on. They want to fall iun love with the idea of something. They want to be part of a larger story. They want to be part of your brand and your growth and your story. So how that translates for us is you can’t be afraid to show who you are! If you are professional… then that’s who you will attract for an ideal client. But if you’re not attracting your ideal client then there is a reason for that. You may not be speaking to them. They don’t resonate with you! There is nothing on your website that speaks to them.

Think about when you hop on someone’s website… are you going to be more inclined to stick around and check things out if people are saying slang words you say all the time? I might be more apt to stay there. That is real life, that is who you are! I want to read about it! But if you are not willing to let yourself show… then what that is doing is turning away people. Your ideal client is not resonating with that. You are not speaking their love language.

Your website is your space. I want that to resonate with you. I want you to have this be part of you, because there is often a disconnect between who a person is, what their brand stands for… versus what their website shows you.

About Pages

This all leads me in talking to you about your “About” page. I hope you are sitting down, because I’m about to legit blow your mind if you have already not heard this from me. Your about page has nothing… NOTHING… to do with you. Yes. Let me explain. Your about page needs to be doing a couple of thing for your potential clients. Somebody is going to be popping on your website and they will see your “home” page. My home page shows a little bit about who I am but it really is basically calling to them. I wanted to call to my ideal client. It directs them where to go on the website. The next place people go is the about page. After here is was always services and pricing.

So lets focus on the about page. The about page has nothing to do with you. My first statement on this page is: 

“I am a wedding junkie and an organizational nerd.”

 What I did there is acknowledge that they might be having a problem with organization. Next line, 

“During your wedding planning you will need someone who loves wedding planning because this ain’t McDonald’s and lets face it, you won’t always be loving it.”

I’m trying to resonate and talk with… NOT AT… my ideal client. You have to add a little bit of you into the body. On my about page, I say who I am (mostly for SEO), but I speak to their struggle. They don’t need to enjoy wedding planning, that is why they have me. I am speaking to them. I’m showing them that it is okay if they hate planning, because chance are they are looking for a planner because they hate it themselves. If someone is looking for a venue, they want to know… 

  • Is it renovated?
  • Is it up to 2018 standards?
  • What is it going to provide me that I can’t get from another venue?
  • What level of service am I getting?

They want to see what the venue is all about. They don’t care about the details.

Let's go over a photography example… your client isn’t going to care if you went to photography school, if you graduated form Harvard in 1999. Couples are selfish! Highlight this!!! Couples are selfish. They want to now what you can do for them. They don’t genuinely care about you yet. 

Think of it as you’re going on a first date. On your first date are you going to tell them you were divorced or tell them the stuff you don’t necessarily share on the first date? Probably not.

LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE

You don’t want to go overboard with the about page. You want to show them that you can solve their problems. What do I mean by this? You want to show them how you can solve the problem better than anyone else. Write like you speak! You don’t have to embellish. 

“I have been living and breathing weddings ever since I was like three and I got my first Polly Pocket that just so happened to be the Wedding Edition.”

I’ve chosen to say it this way, rather than saying…

“I’ve absolutely adored weddings ever since the young age of three.”

See how that sounds different?

Speak to their problems, speak to what they are struggling with. Anybody can do this. 

“Between work, your relationship with family and friends, you might be finding it hard to breathe. Much less spend 250 hours… the average time it takes to plan a wedding.” 

What I am doing is I’m showing them my expertise, because I know how long it takes to plan an average wedding. Then from there I am speaking to them. I’m not speaking at them. I’m saying, I’ve got you, I feel you. You are struggling right now. You are juggling a lot of stuff! I’m acknowledging the fact that it is okay they have a problem. But I can fix that problem and this is how… They need to I know that you get it. They have to feel assured you understand what they are going through at that moment. If they are not 100% sold, they won’t contact you.

If planning itself takes 250 hours to do, if they are working full time, maybe going to school too… time is valuable. If they don’t feel 100% assured you are going to help them and would be a good fit… they won’t reach out.

Your about page needs to show your ideal clients you are an expert at what you do.

“There is a good chance you are feeling rushed and overwhelmed…”

I’m playing into their emotions.

“It is turning your walk down the aisle into a destination rather than allowing you to enjoy the journey and the experience.”

You are tapping into their struggle.

BREAK IT UP

The other thing I encourage you to do, break up your about page! Don’t have it be all text. I see so many about pages that are just straight up text. Think about yourself… if you hop on a website and you see nothing but a college textbook, are you going to read that’s shit? No! Of course not! Why would you? 

Break it up… you can do that with images. If you are just starting out and don’t have any images, use a testimonial. If you don’t have a testimonials, reach out to past people that you have worked with on some level, ask for a testimonial! Reach out to those that can attest to your character. It doesn’t have to be wedding specific. Maybe a past co-worker or somebody that really inspired you to get into the industry.

If I know you more than just a Facebook profile, ask me! I get a really good sense of who you are and what your strengths are.

CALL TO ACTION

You need a call to action on every single page on your website. Put a button. What I* mean by this… if you aren’t directly showing people where they need to be going on your website, they are going to be like “well that was fun”, and away they go. If my about page resonates with them, what are they going to do? They will click a button and where will it bring them? My contact page! That way they don’t need to be questioning whether or not they should contact you. Its in front of their face!

I have it bring them to a Dubsado form. So when somebody submits this, then it automatically goes into my Dubsado. I am getting information about them. Go check out my contact page and copy some of the information I have!

  • What is your wedding date?
  • What is your budget?

I want to understand the kind of wedding they are creating. But lets be honest, we don’t want to be working with a super small budget. I want to make sure you appreciate what I do and treat me with respect. Those are the people that often have the mid-range budgets.

  • Where is the venue?
  • How many guests?
  • Is it okay for me to give you a call?

Now, I hate talking on the phone when it comes to brides. I felt like I needed to feel them out. It was always a guessing game. So if they say, they would rather communicate via email... YES.

The last question I want to point out is… what they think they need? There is a big difference what they will tell you via phone or email, versus what they think they need. More times than not, I would have somebody say “HELP”. But then they ended up only wanting me to help them the month of. Or vice versa. They thought they had it under control, but they needed some more hand holding.

So that is the basic run down of the about page and contact page. Make sure you are asking them where they are coming from. Please! If they are a referral, chances are you are going to want to send something to the person they referred them. A handwritten card goes a long way. If they found you from Facebook, that means whatever you were doing worked! But you won’t know unless you ask them those questions.

IDEAL CLIENTS

You will find some people are all about finding their ideal client and some people are “there is no such thing as your ideal client”. I am all about finding out who your person is. If you don’t have a good sense of this, chances are they won’t come around. I genuinely believe if you start to paint a picture in your head about your ideal target audience, you will be able to speak to them. I encourage you to go onto Pinterest, create a secret board, and think about your favorite person or bride or groom and really figure out what you liked about them. Every person has a different client they are trying to attract.

TYING THINGS UP

Thank you so much for sticking around. I really appreciate all the love you send out. I will see you all next Tuesday!

Q + A

Q: What if I offer more than one type of service?

A: You want to make sure you are showing people all of the services you offer. Your ideal client is going to be somebody that doesn’t have the time to dedicated to all of this. You want to say something like “time is of the essence, especially if you don’t consider yourself a creative and you don’t have the vision, let me help you bring it all together so you know your wedding will be beautiful and executed well.” Customize your about page!

 

Q: Does it make more sense to boast about your credentials?

A: Sprinkle in your experience. They want to know you are good at what you do.

 

Q: How do you feel about pricing?

A: Let me put it this way… if I were to fall in love with LuLu Lemon all over again (I just found out who they were), and I don’t know that their yoga pants run anywhere from $80-$100, then I will be pissed because I just fell in love with your yoga pants, but I don’t want to pay that much! So I suggest giving a starting price. Maybe you require a deposit of _____ for a higher priced package. At least that way they have a frame of reference going into it. They can make their own decision moving forward. They won’t be mad at you later on. Giving them a starting price is not a bad thing. Maybe you have base offerings and then you have add-ons. Are your base rates only based on hours? Or is it all inclusive? It matters what your packages are, but do what is right for you.

 

Q: Do you think you can have too many pages on your website?

A: Yes. It can be overwhelming. However, I have never seen an instance where an about page and contact page together has worked well.

 

Q: What do you use for Facebook Live?

A: I use ecamm. It is amazing. This one is my favorite. It is a download. You can customize it, you can have guest speakers… If you do want to have a guest speaker, you have to order an extension… but its cheap! I have a coupon code so I can give that to you!

 

Q: What about Instagram?

A: I just signed up for Tyler Mcalls’ workshop he is doing for Instagram stories. They scare the shit out of me! I do use Instagram often: weddingbosslife. It took awhile for me to start liking it. But once I started posting more regularly, I really did fall in love with it. Instagram and Pinterest are my two favorite platforms for finding clients and my tribe and providing value to them. We can talk more about Instagram in another Coffee Chat!


The Do's and Don'ts of "Playing Nice in the Sandbox"

Talk it Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat

The Do's and Don'ts of "Playing Nice in the Sandbox" 

Join Lauren and guest, Tiffany Learned of Detailed Engagements, as we dive into the do's and don'ts of getting started in the wedding industry!

 
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Episode 4 Coffee Chat Replay


Episode 4 Podcast

Our coffee chats are now available as a podcast 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

Tiffany: Website | Instagram | Facebook


Transcript