The 3 Biggest Hurdles for Wedding Vendors

March 27, 2012

In 20 years of working one on one with Wedding Vendors (over 2100 individual businesses now) I have found that they typically suffer from one or more of the following 3 mistaken belief systems , which if they were able to overcome, they would soar like an eagle in their businesses (instead of waddling like a duck). Those three mistaken Belief Systems are Fear, The “Build it and they will come” syndrome, and Undue Patience. Here is a deeper explanation of each:
1. Fear
When a Wedding vendor has fear in their business, they will find excuses to not improve (such as “I don’t have time”, “I have to improve my ‘skills’ first” or , they will find excuses to excuse their results (such as blaming the economy, blaming the Brides, or blaming the competition) or they will find excuses why they will never step out of their situation which is deadly (If you are not growing, you are dying) . There is a certain amount of risk that any entrepreneur needs to take, but when you can learn from the mistakes of others, you minimize that risk. Simply said, 1 ounce of success will overcome 50 pounds of fear. Most of the fear that wedding vendors have is in their heads.
2. Build it and they will come.
In the movie “Fields of Dreams”, Kevin Costner’s character heard the whisper from the field “If you Build it they will come”. Many Wedding vendors try to employ this philosophy when it comes to their marketing. Simply put it out to the world that you provide stuff that Brides need and you are naturally a match. Sorry to say- doesn’t work that way. Just because you have marketing out there, does not assume the match with the bride and your product/service nor does it assume that your marketing connects with your prospects. It is your responsibility to put every effort into insuring you have the best possible message out there to the best possible medium. Those who really do well in their wedding businesses focus on their message and insure they get it out there as much as they possibly can.
3. Patience for the above to be overcome
95% of wedding businesses I speak to (not consult- that is a lot, but those who I speak in front of are about 80 times larger) do not track or measure the proper areas of their businesses. Because they do not track or measure, it is as though they are simply waiting around patiently for “something” to happen. Waiting around patiently will kill your business. You need results now and every day the doors of your business are open.
Let’s face it; there are risks involved with owning your own business, but nothing and I emphasize NOTHING is secure. Sure you can go work for someone else and wonder if one day you will walk in after 15 years of blood sweat and tears and simply be “let go”. You have also seen in the news people who contribute to a pension plan, only to have it wiped out in a day because the company filed for bankruptcy. The only security you have is what you create. Once you have started to create your security, you need to learn the techniques to make it easier, better, stronger. You and you alone are responsible for your results- Good and Bad. Further- you need not become complacent in your poor results. You need to get personally upset until you get to where you want to go.
Take a look and see if you suffer from any of these issues. It may be just slightly, but by improving slightly, you potentially see great results!
Until Next week, Here’s to Your Success!
There are ways to overcome these three “Business-Blockers”
http://theweddingmastermind.com/?p=8
In this complete home study course, you will learn the techniques of those who OWN their marketplace. This home study kit is 12 audio CD’s with a companion 64 Page workbook at a price that is affordable on any budget.
http://theweddingmastermind.com/?p=8

The three things to know about Facebook

March 21, 2012

If you are Facebook (and you should be for business- approximately 90% of your future brides are), you are no doubt ready for the upcoming timeline changes that will happen at the end of this month. I have seen many comments about timeline, whether people like that format or not. The share some thoughts with you about Facebook that may help you get past liking or not liking the new changes.
1. You are the product- not the customer. With Facebook, the way that they make money selling ads to the people who use Facebook. The people who use Facebook like you and I are the product. As Facebook is a free format for us, and we are the product, we must accept that and press forward using Facebook as such. When you’re the product you don’t get the ancillary benefits that you do as a customer. Facebook is a wonderful, wonderful creation, which has changed the way in which we communicate. I see things such as “I am leaving Facebook. In going to Google Plus”. It is my recommendation that you do not leave Facebook. Not yet. It is also my recommendation that you do get a Google plus account.
2. Change is inevitable. Can you remember back to when you first got onto Facebook? The look, feel and function of Facebook has dramatically changed over just the past three years. Guess what – it’s going to keep changing. Facebook was recently evaluated at a $100 billion value. Last year, gross receipts from Facebook were around $3 billion and the net off a that $3 billion was approximately $1 billion. In a former life I worked for a business brokerage. We would find businesses to sell and in doing so we would have to put a valuation on them. Never in my career did I ever see a valuation that was 100 times its net value. This indicates to me that once Facebook has stockholders, they will want a lot of performance from Facebook. Performance on Facebook means more advertising. More advertising means Facebook will change. You may have already seen on the login screens, advertisements. Is my view that they will start charging to advertise on the timeline cover photo. Currently, the terms of service state that no marketing message can be put on your timeline cover photo (even though many are already blatantly disregarding this). It’s only a matter of time before Facebook starts to enforce this. If and when they do enforce list is my suggestion that they will probably start to sell a premium membership. Nonetheless, things are going to change at Facebook – you can count on this.
3. b2b Facebook vs. B2C Facebook. In my world I work primarily with a business-to-business model. In your world you work primarily with a business to consumer model. When using Facebook on a business to business model, my goal is to simply warm up the lead and let people know I am here by giving great content and engaging conversation. In your business to consumer model you need to do the same. The one slight difference between B2 B and B2C on Facebook is this; on a B2 C model you cannot sell at all. On the B2 B model the rare times where you can sell is when you have a special offer to a select audience, i.e. your fans on your business page. Using Facebook in a business to consumer model in the wedding world, you need to offer them great content which is all about their wedding. Remember that this is social media and social media has been way over emphasized (in my opinion) as a way of marketing your business in the wedding world. Girls do not get engaged and say, “let’s go to Facebook to find my wedding vendors.” They go the more traditional routes (and I know I’m going to get a lot of static for this) of doing searches on Google, going to bridal shows, and picking up magazines that they find at places such as bridal shops and venues. The principle of Top of Mind Awareness is where you want to keep your business, not In Your Face obnoxiousness.
Facebook should be a tool for you to use and understanding the three principles spoken of here will help you in that strategy.
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!

The 5 irrefutable laws of Marketing to Brides

March 12, 2012

In 20+ years of Marketing to Brides and helping Wedding Businesses figure out their advertising, I have come up with what I call the 5 irrefutable, immutable absolutely Rock-Solid Laws of Marketing. These laws may seem simple. Maybe they even seem fundamental, but simply said, when followed and adhered to your marketing will take off, it will launch higher and will soar with results.
Here are the 5 Rules
Rule #1 of Marketing
If they do not know about you- You cannot be an option in their purchase. Have you ever went to the store to buy something that you had no idea existed? Usually doesn’t happen. Those who find you did so because of your marketing. Those who don’t, well….
Rule #2 of Marketing
You are not their only option so you need to stand out. Unless you have a really really dumb idea for a business, you will have competition. You will always have competition out there. You need to stand out from your competition and make them understand your differences. If you market based upon who you are, you stand a better chance of attracting the Brides who will be drawn to what you offer.
Rule #3 of Marketing
You need to speak to them on their level about what matters to them. Speaking about things in industry terms or even worse, what matters to you, will repel your prospects. You need to stop speaking to your prospects like an owner, but start to “Speak Bride”.
Rule #4
You can only take one step at a time in their process. Most Brides have not bought what you sell (or at least in the quantity that you sell it – they may have bought flowers before for example, but not as much as they will need for their wedding). Taking her by the hand and showing or telling her what to do next is what you do.
Rule #5
To keep your customer, you need to exceed with your customer. When we get what we expect we are rarely thrilled. Think about how many weddings/Brides you have sold in your career- how many were satisfied Brides? How many of those refer you on a regular basis. By exceeding expectations, you stand a better chance of getting referrals (we don’t usually or seek after repeat clients in the Wedding World )
In my new Home Study Kit- The Wedding Mastermind, I cover how to specifically work with each of the above rules and how to “tweak” your marketing to give you the better results you are looking for this year. In this 12 CD set (and a .pdf 64 Page workbook ) you will find solutions to help you get in front of more Brides, and Sell more Brides. This set will have a limited time offer. Here is the link for the Sales page:
http://theweddingmastermind.com/?p=8
This set is an outstanding value and I will be opening it up to more than just my subscribers. Check it out to see if you can build your business with this product!

Until Next Week, Here’s to your success!

The Wedding Mastermind

March 7, 2012

This is one of the most important emails I have ever sent, but I want to tell you a story first.
For the past few weeks I have been speaking about the release of a new product which I recently completed. I am thrilled to tell you about it, but let me give you a little back story first.
When I first started speaking 3 years ago, I created 3 Audio CD’s which were all centered on Marketing to Brides. I found that the price in the industry was about $99. These sold very well and were well received. People were able to use what I taught in these CD’s and benefit greatly.
I had many questions at my seminars about Bridal Shows, so later I added one more CD, Bridal Show Success Secrets. I maintained the price of the completed set at $99. Again- great reviews and wonderful Success Stories. I would hear from Industry veterans who were finding phenomenal successes (One photographer of 25 years called me after a Bridal Show and said “Rick you are a Marketing God!” because he got 5 times the appointments than ever before)
I then found that the Sales meeting was a challenge too many, so I added one more CD, Sell More Brides (and kept the price for the now 5 CD set at $99). Results from this CD- fantastic. People reported to me that by using just one technique they were able to close more Brides on the spot, which had never happened before.
After being in the business for 20 years, and working one on one with over 2000 Wedding Vendors and their businesses, I have found that there are many who are knocking it out of the park. There are some who are masters in one or two areas of Marketing and Selling to Brides. And there are others who have not had any training (yet alone specific to Brides) on Marketing and are shooting in the dark at many times at the wrong target with the wrong ammunition.
My clients, those who attend my seminars are constantly telling me the great results they have had with what I taught them. The easy to use, Common Sense approach to dealing with Brides has been worth many times what they spent with me. I hear this day in day out. Customers who have raised their prices and gotten more bookings, Customers who were suffering but were able to focus and turn around their results right away. In some cases, people have written to tell me that I saved their businesses. That’s what it is all about for me!

By the way- you can see what many have had to say here:
www.youtube.com/GetMoreBrides
About 8 months ago, I decided I needed to “up” my game. I had specific information that I knew would work (Information about Networking, How to overcome the “Give Me a Price” Bride, and much more). I wanted to create a complete set of information where people could benefit even more from the strategies and techniques of those who have been very, very successful. I was able to carefully develop 7 more CD’s. I decided to also include my special reports and a copy of my book, 7 Steps to a Stress Free Wedding. Further, I included my first 5 CD’s (Mentioned above).
You can see the complete description here:
http://theweddingmastermind.com/?p=8
I have about 11,000 people who are receiving this email today and have printed up 400 sets to release right now (one other lesson I have learned is that I need to leave room for adjustment- just in case). If you would like to take advantage of this limited offer, I would be thrilled and honored. I will also offer you a 30 days Money Back Guarantee (I stand behind everything I sell)

Click below to see all that is included- This is truly a phenomenal offer and will help your business now.
http://theweddingmastermind.com/?p=8

Facebook Faux Pas – what not to do….

February 28, 2012

Last week I noticed that one of my colleagues had placed a response on a facebook page, to which someone else placed what was basically an advertisement for their wedding business. My colleague responded “Not sure how you think you will get any business by spamming other people comments?” which I fully (FULLY) agreed with. I see folks like this who think that simply putting out on facebook that they are a business who does “xyz” will somehow magically bring them business. I write this article with these folks in mind.
First things first- if you do this- it does not benefit you. It would behoove you to stop.
If you see someone else you know doing it- Tell them to stop.
Facebook is referred to as Social Media- meaning that is where you go to see your “friends” and “like” things. You socialize there. That is the place you go to relax (and sometimes, people are too relaxed). You don’t go there to argue (well, some people do) or to stress. Some people are less than social, but simply said- it is the place where you go to hang. Can you imagine a friend showing up to a Backyard Grill and setting up a card table to start selling you and your friends a financial product?
There is a component of business which can be effective for you on facebook. Keep in mind that my business model is different than yours, so my strategy on facebook is different that what I will suggest to you. I apply a Business to Business model, whereas you mostly apply a Business to Consumer model. That said- you also have other “friends” in the industry who can potentially do or send business to you who are on facebook.
Here is what I want you to realize about facebook- it is only meant to warm a relationship- not solidify or close the deal. When you post up your “stuff” (by the way- especially to a group who will not buy from you- remember your fellow vendors are not your customer and posting on their walls will not make you warm and fuzzy with them to where they want to refer you either).
There is another conversation that we should have- what do you do with your facebook fan page and all the “likes” you strive to get? I , again, see vendors asking for reciprocal “likes” (you like me, I like you). What will that do to get you business? If you are looking for pure numbers, give me a call and I will tell you how to get hundreds of “likes” for a few bucks (I don’t by any means recommend it- I got all of my likes by being out in front of thousands every year, didn’t buy any and I give my facebook fans unique content and special offers- but again, my customer base is different from yours.
My advice is to do 2 things with facebook: 1) give content 2) drive conversation. When you are giving great content, it is content that matters to your prospective client base. It is something that will benefit them and set you up as the expert. If you drive conversation, you are getting your prospective clients to engage and interact with you. By doing this, you are creating trust, you are getting them to get to know you and sidle up to you as someone they may go forward with.
If you use Facebook in these 2 manners, you will warm up many more relationships. You may not close a single deal, but this may be the water that gives life to the seed. The water starts the production of the fruit, but in and of itself does not create any fruit.
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Facebook Success!

The Case for Higher Prices

February 21, 2012

In the past few years of going out speaking and selling my CD’s and consulting I have found an interesting situation. To best describe this situation, let me state it simply: those who invest will reap the rewards. Those who don’t, don’t. Sounds simplistic, but as I explain my experiences deeper, you will understand and see my point of view. Let me “tee-up” what I have found.
When I first started in the business, I knew that I needed to have some form of back end to monetize what I teach. I had not yet thought about one on one consulting. I could either charge speaking fees, but in researching it, I found that 95% of the associations I chatted with were no able to afford speaking fees. Further, I knew that a 1 or even 2 hour talk would do little to really solve problems and challenges. As I did not yet have videos of myself speaking (I now have about 20, but in the beginning, nada, zilch, zero), I sent out some of my CD’s thinking “they will hear what I have to teach about and it will make sense to have me come speak to their group”.
What I have found out since then is the point of this article; 95% of those who received the CD’s didn’t even open them.
I put my heart and soul into this material and felt it had such infinite value, yet they would not even open them up- WTH! Fact was, it wasn’t personal. People are busy, they have life happening all around them. They simply had no skin in the game. They received this “free” thing in the mail and it had exactly that value to them. At first, I was offended, but when I pulled my head out of my armpit I realized that it was my problem, not theirs.
I figured out that those who paid me more got more out of what I sold them. Those who just came for the “free advice” or even paid a little to attend a seminar would go away satisfied, but true effect of what I taught them really did not take hold. Not that my materials we not valuable- but let’s face it- going to a 1 or 2 hour seminar does not give the constant reinforced instruction necessary to understand a concept or to master a technique.  I call this phenomenon of learning through investing “Paying for Attention”.
This article is not about me though- it is about you. I speak about what I have experienced to show my point. With you- the more people pay for your product or service, the more they want it to be absolutely fabulous and wonderful so they can almost brag about what a genius they were to hire you and pay that extra money.
When a Bride (or any consumer) invests, they want to be proven correct that they did indeed make a wise move. This “paying for Attention” principle works for every Wedding vendor out there, just like it works for me. Now simply paying for garbage is still paying for garbage. If the product or service that you sell is not up to snuff- get it there. That said, most times vendors hesitate to raise their own prices or raise the bar in their business because they have some poor belief systems which are not working for them, but working against their business.
If you prefer to waddle around in the world of low prices, you will be stuck there and will never be able to make enough money to retire and have a proper exit strategy. If you, however, wish to retire well off and make the money you deserve, it may be time to raise your prices and set the standard.
100% of my customers could have bought something cheaper whether it be consulting or information products. Doesn’t mean it would be better , in fact, I can guarantee that most of the cheaper stuff is in fact garbage. By the way- after selling thousands of CD’s I have only had to do one refund (that was to a Photographer with 35 years experience and was truly doing everything on the one CD I suggested he do).
Until Next week, Here’s to your Success~!

Selling Results

February 8, 2012

If I were to ask you to tell me 5 reasons why a Bride should book with you, what would you tell me? Maybe that you offer excellent customer service. It might be excellent quality. How about you care about your clients. All of those are excellent reasons to do business with someone. The problem is that none of those mean anything to your prospective clients. Let me explain before you get all in a wad (trust me when I say- I have around 11,000 people who receive my emails and every week, I hear the differing opinions who either misunderstand or interpret what I say fully differently than the other 10,999 people who read the same message ). Brides do not buy features- they buy results. They also do not buy on logic- they buy fully emotionally. Selling in a style which is suitable to how they buy will not only increase your sales, but will increase your referrals.
Back in the early 90’s I took a sales course called “FAB Selling” . This course taught us how to sell Features, Advantages, and Benefits.
Here is what a feature looks like- A photographer gives 5 hours of on location photography.
Here is what an Advantage looks like- With 5 hours of shooting, you will get about 1200 images
Here is what a Benefit looks like- Out of 1200 images, you will get photos you will want to share with everyone you know all the way down to sharing with your grandchildren.
We live in the Wedding World 24/7 and forget that our prospects do not understand or comprehend what our “features” mean on a deeper level which would actually mean something to them. We often put industry buzz words, we speak in vague terms (i.e “we offer outstanding quality”) Speaking to our prospects about what A) matters to them B) They understand C) they will respond to will help us to get more of these Brides to act how we want them to act.
Here is another example: Nobody has ever bought a shovel to hang in their garage and admire. They bought that shovel to dig holes- the result. When you sell based upon the result- and again, please note: the result that your customer is looking for, you end up selling more effectively. Pretend you to go into a travel agent looking for the result of sitting on a lounge chair , soaking up the sun, sipping on a cold drink, listening to the sea gulls and the ocean gently lapping at the beach, yet the travel agent spoke about customer service, and quality, and guarantees. It may not touch your buttons as much as a travel agent who starts in by talking about, “you must be in desperate need of a vacation- when was the last time you went on a vacation?” or “That sounds like a perfect getaway- are you able to do it often?”
Homework assignment: Go find the nearest Wedding magazine and start browsing through the ads and see how many sell features vs. selling results. I pick up magazines in every city I visit and browse through them. Let me share with you that were you to make this adjustment correctly (by correctly- run it by several people – let me take a look at it and make sure that it is truly pushing some buttons), you would be amongst the 1% that sell and market results.
Results matter- they are sexy, exciting and fun. Features bore the hell out of me and your Brides.
What are your Results? (please comment below)

You won’t believe what this Bride had too say…

January 31, 2012

This posting was made (of all places) Craig’s List. As you read it, put yourself in this Bride’s place as best you can (I left the typos and the misspellings in there-not me  )
WHY is finding an amazing wedding photographer so difficult? :/

I am a Bride who is getting married this summer and have yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer.

WHY because the word “WEDDING” is involved photographers think they can change you $ 3,000.00 for wedding photos? Oh, because no bride is going to go without so they are going to pay it, because they HAVE to. They are ripping people off for all they have! Why when you want to get married it costs you AT LEAST 15 grand after all is said-and-done? Its such CRAP!! I love all you $ 3,000.00 photographers out there but i think your prices are WACK. All your doing is hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them.. and thats owrth 3 GRAND!!! You’re making so much money its crazy. I just wish people would be more realistic. I mean the “average” persons salary for 1 freaking month is somewhere around 3 grand. (Thats making 19$ an hour) So you’re going to take someones WHOLE MONTH paycheck for one flippen day of photos? Just because you CAN!!?????? So that maybe they will not be able to feed themselves or pay any other bills they have, right? It makes me SICK!

I know im speaking for more than just myself right now. Alot of brides out there think the same thing. & I bet all you fancy photographers wont even read this. oh-well.
Maybe there are cheaper photographers that will read this and LOVE to take my photos :)
Here was my response:
I have read your letter and wanted to hopefully enlighten you.
The tone of your letter infers that there is a great conspiracy to out there to “rip off Brides”. As someone who is firmly in the middle of the Wedding Industry, let me tell you that you could not be more wrong.
The average Photographer will spend typically 8-10 hours of “taking pictures” as you put it , on your Wedding Day. For each wedding they “take Pictures” for, they will also have to do approximately 5-7 hours of continued education so that when they “take pictures” they will be doing the best and most advanced techniques. Many times this education costs money. Further, the average Photographer will spend around $300 and 4 hours (for every time they “take Pictures” ) of marketing efforts and dollars. The Photographer will on average meet with 2 brides for every one that books (to “take Pictures”), which takes around 3 hours. Let’s pretend that the admin stuff of their business magically takes care of itself (the bookkeeping, the licensing and the ordering of supplies, hiring and firing of employees- the day to day operations) This admin stuff doesn’t magically take care of itself (and the expenses are still there too) , but let’s just pretend. Going back to the “taking pictures” there is also approximately 6-8 hours of back end time for every 1 hour of shooting time. This includes the “editing of a few pictures” as you put it, sorting down from 1500 + images (and they have to look at them all) to a manageable amount (this alone takes around 8 hours) and putting together albums, as well as uploading them to the internet. So your 8 hours of “taking Pictures” added with the 5 hours of continued education, coupled with the 4 hours of marketing and the 48 hours of post production adds up to 67 hours (at a minimum) worth of work divided by what ends up to be around half- $1500 = around what you suggest the average bride makes (based on if they stay booked which there is not guarantee)= a little more reasonable rate. Oh, but wait, I did not include the thousands of dollars in equipment, the travel time to and from the event, the insurance, the fees for phones, internet and studios which it costs , not to mention if they have to pay an employee. You are further assuming that they simply go out casually for a few hours once or twice a week and knock down 200-300k a year from “unsuspecting brides”.
Here is the good news- You can find someone who is cheaper. The Problem is that a camera and a business card does not a Wedding Photographer make. If once you find that person, you may decide to keep looking, you can find someone cheaper than that. If you even keep looking all the way up to the day before your wedding, guess what- there is always someone cheaper. Fact is you are equating these photographers as a commodity which they are not. Ask around the industry with non-photographer wedding professionals and see if they have heard of nightmare stories of the photographer a) not showing up b) screwing up the pictures when they did show up c) not providing the final product (it got lost, destroyed or otherwise) afterwards. I see cases such as those all the time on Judge Judy. I mean, why does Lexis rip off people so much- it has the same tires, steering wheel, windows, engine, etc.. as a Kia doesn’t it?
My advice for you is to not blame the price, but to appreciate the reason behind it. Good luck on your wedding (btw- if you need a referral, I am happy to share some names of professionals who care in the Puget Sound area. They will probably cost more, but you will get what you pay for)
Sincerely

Rick
http://www.getmorebrides.com

What are your Thoughts?

The High end Bride Myth

January 23, 2012

I see articles, I see advertisements I see people trying to “lure” in Wedding Vendors to get more “High End Brides”. Let me be blunt- there is no such thing. Maybe there is though….. I think they are standing next to the Polka Dotted Unicorns. The High End Bride that is being touted here is the Bride who has tons of money and she wants to spend it with vendors like you. We like to think that she exists because Price is such an issue in the wedding world. Of course we get Brides who spend more money, but simply said- does that mean they have more money to spend or this- She has more priority on the amount of money that she is willing to use with you.
I want you to think about this: How would one attract a “High End Bride”? Do you only advertise in certain parts of town? Do you make them bring a W-2 with them for their consultation? And even if you determined that this Bride had less income, would you turn her away if she paid for your services? Probably not. The Idea of searching after the High End Bride is a pointless search.
Let me prove my point. When was the last time you had a Bride who said- “Money is No Object! – Here is my No-limit Credit card, do with it as you will. “ Doesn’t happen. Think about the girls from the best, more upscale parts of town. It has been my experience that those Brides are even more keen on negotiating, than are the Brides with less affluence. Just because she lives in a nice house, in a nice part of town does not indicate that she wants to just throw caution to the wind. In fact, she probably got to the nice house in the nice part of town because she is very cautious.
Let me repeat- Stop going for the “High End” Bride and Start going for the “High Priority” Bride. This does not mean that you should not take a Bride who wants to spend a Bunch of money with you. Let me explain:
The High Priority Bride is one who will spend what she needs to spend with the right person because she truly believes she is getting value in exchange for their offering. She is the one who may come into the consult with a $1500 budget, but you end up writing a contract that is twice that amount, maybe 3 times as much! Each Bride has a different set of priorities, so my advice to you is to not pre-judge any brides based on economics, geography, how they dress or anything that has anything to do with price.
Now the obvious question is , “How do I find out what their priority is?”. Simple, they are the Brides who call, email and show up for appointments. They are focused on potentially hiring you for their wedding and they are following the steps of someone who is motivated to get what you have. Those who do not show up, who show up late, who never call or email simply do not have the priority.
Very rarely in the Wedding industry do I come across someone who will be so selective in their processes of hiring a Bride (it is hiring when you do the choosing) that they will exclude someone who looks or is lower income/means. My suggestion that if you do not meet that category of Wedding vendor, that you proceed and meet with as many Brides as possible. You can not predict which ones are willing and able to spend money with you. Further, while there are major indicators out there of what their budget is, their budget for other items such as venue, dress, etc… have little to no bearing on what you potentially sell them. Do not pre-judge Brides who could potentially spend money with you to the point to where you lose business.
Until Next week, Here’s to your Success!

How to use Email Successfully

January 17, 2012

I recently read a headline on how to make a multi- million dollar company through email marketing. As I opened up the email and read about how Groupon had used email marketing (combined with referral marketing) to become a $6 Billion company (that is what Groupon was offered by Google to buy them). For those of you who are not familiar with Groupon, there is great benefit to using them- Here is a link for you to check out the local deals that they offer:
(click here and then find your local city) http://www.groupon.com/r/uu16272133
Groupon offers it’s users something they want- local deals on things they are interested in.
Now you may be wondering “How do I make email work for me” I will share 2 ideas that have and will work when you use them correctly. The fact is, if you can get your email opened, you have a chance of getting your consumers attention. If you can get their attention, you have a chance of getting them to engage or take another step. If you can get them to take that step (i.e. go to your website) you have a chance of building trust to get another step out of them.
Let me first ask you this question; Are you trying to get your consumer to take too many steps at a time? If so, how is that working for you? Fact is, the consumer who does not purchase what you sell often if ever will move forward with great caution unless you clear the path (in other words, show them you are trustworthy). Most people use Email completely wrong, and in so doing, lower the bar to where when used correctly, the proper email will not only shine, but will become extremely effective.
The wrong way in using email is in these three manners; 1) they blast out offers which are trying to get the Bride to take too many steps at once 2) They assume the need/relationship/sale 3) They are written from a business centric bias rather than a consumer centric bias.
Here are two email methods that work : 1) Be free with information- give them the reports, the ideas and the information they are looking for without giving them too much to where they think they have it all and can do without you. 2) Set yourself as the Gold Standard giver- when you are the expert and state your information as such (i.e. “When hiring a Wedding Consultant, be sure they have these 5 qualities to insure a magical, stress free day” is much more concrete than is “I feel that you should want 5 certain qualities when looking for a Wedding Consultant”. The Gold Standard Giver is the wedding vendor who sets themselves up as the expert and freely imparts advice, tips, and useful information to the Bride that is not “salesy”. Invite the Bride to interact, whether she does business with you or not.
Using the above 2 techniques together is the only way I have seen Email work in the Wedding World. I know that many of you are gathering your lists from the Bridal shows. These lists have value. These are Brides who have raised their hands and essentially said, “ I am going to buy certain things for my wedding, I may buy them from you if I am convinced”. Brides are mostly new to getting married, and while they can find a myriad of info online, there are 2 main reasons why she hesitates: 1) She is scared of making a bad choice 2) She gets too much conflicting info.
Help her to trust that you have the info she needs and that you will not steer her in the wrong direction and use email to build this trust. Email when used right is AWESOME- I would not go without it!
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!


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