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Michelle will be speaking at Trouvaille Workshop

10456823_688550807861333_1400531056273264221_nHi everyone! Kelly and I just got back from our first ever Be Sage Conference. (More on that later!) AND – we are gearing up for  a few speaking engagements this Fall. I want to tell you about Trouvaille Workshop, a seminar at which I’ll be speaking this October 5-7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Trouvaille is for creative, entrepreneurial and driven women who operate or want to own multi-faceted wedding planning businesses. The more you want to learn, grow and extend your design and back-end business knowledge, the better. Trouvaille is a truly hands-on and comprehensive workshop experience designed to inspire and encourage growth across all realms of any planning and design business. Attendees will learn necessary skills and insight within a safe, high-energy and totally straight up awesome environment.

I spoke at the first Trouvaille workshop last April and Rhiannon puts on an excellent learning experience. The education was top notch. The workshop is a great blend of business and creative education. (And the goodies, treats, and swag were so special.) I also loved how friendly and open everyone was at Trouvaille. Rhi is a very warm and caring person and it definitely carries through to workshop attendees as well.

TROUVAILLE-256

credit: Bradley James Photography

I’ll be speaking on hiring, training, and managing your team. This is perfect for those wedding pros who have been wanting to hire their first intern, contractor, or employee and aren’t quite sure of the steps. I’ll be navigating the differences between the 3 types of workers, what you should be looking for when you hire someone, how to hire someone, and the training and leadership that goes along with growing your team.

I’ll be joined there by Laura Hooper (of Laura Hooper Calligraphy) and Mary Phan (of the Sketchbook Series). These very artistic ladies can teach me a thing or two! I’m excited to work on my very rusty creative skills.

There are only a couple seats left… so make sure to snag one here to attend!

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August 8, 2014 - 8:11 am

Rhiannon - I cannot wait to have you again, Michelle! Thanks for being so awesome!

Do You Know About StationeryHQ? You Should!

Hello friends! I am going to share a little golden nugget with you today.

There is this AWESOME company in California called StationeryHQ. And, you need to be ordering your printed goods from them. I’m not only talking to stationers out there, but also photographers, wedding designers and wedding planners (anyone that provides printed goods for clients)… and any wedding pro that prints materials for their own marketing (business cards, postcards, etc.)

Chair Hangers

Chair Hangers

Let me share a bit about my own personal experience with them…

  1. I create a pdf print-ready file in adobe software.
  2. Upload it to their easy-peasy ordering website online.
  3. Select my quantities. (I love their LOW MINIMUMS!)
  4. Add to cart, pay.
  5. And a few days later… VOILA! The cards are on my doorstep, ready to mail!

AND – they are beautifully printed on great quality paper and cardstock! (I especially love their collection of DOUBLE THICK cardstocks.)

This is SERIOUSLY the easiest printing process I have ever experienced in my life. (Remember, I used to be a stationer.)

About StationeryHQ…

StationeryHQ.com was born after spending a few years developing processes and technology for TinyPrints.com. As the online custom stationery and gift market grew, the founders saw a way to enable independent creatives to bring their businesses to life. They adapted that technology and built out a high end product line.

Who StationeryHQ works with…

SweaterBoyzThe company’s ideal clients are designers or pros that have access to designers. High quality electronic files get high quality printing results. That said, ordering from the site is super easy once you’re file is ready. And having lots of customers allows us to offer wholesale pricing so everybody wins.

This isn’t just for stationers…

Paper decorating at weddings has become so popular that everything from the invitations to signage and banners and even customized favor boxes can be provided by wedding planners. There are several photographers that include photo thank you notes and guest book as part of their wedding packages.

The People of Stationery HQ

I’ve worked with StationeryHQ on some projects and they are fabulous people! They’re incredible responsive and have fantastic service!

Erin Sarpa, Creative Director for StationeryHQ, shares…

“We have really dedicated people who take pride and ownership in making our customers happy. There’s even a gigantic banner in the manufacturing area that says “Make the Customer Smile”. Above is a photo of our CEO and one of our awesome Customer Representatives, General Blue Sweater and his trusty sidekick Captain SweaterVest (aka Mark and Jack).”

Give them a go at… https://www.stationeryhq.com/

______

disclosure: Stationery HQ is a sponsor of our Be Sage Conference. However, I’d be gushing about them to you even if that wasn’t the case. They are fabulous!

 

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July 25, 2014 - 10:01 am

Mark - Wow. This is so awesome. Michelle, you are too kind….(but I love it).

August 14, 2014 - 11:37 am

Shelly-Ann Guinn - Hi, I would love to be connected to this great resource!! I also think I need help with branding and marketing by work better.

Thank you,

Shelly-Ann Guinn

What Are Your Employees Posting on Social Media?

Do you have a social media policy for your staff? If they’re an employee of your company, they may be instagramming, facebooking, tweeting, snapchatting, texting, and whatsapping images of your events. This could be awesome if it’s done with your company’s branding and marketing strategy in mind. OR, it could be detrimental if there has been no guidance given to them about what is not appropriate.

Instagram-logo1.gifHow do you create a social media policy for employees? We have a few thoughts on this…

  1. You should have an employee policy handbook. (We talked about this here and provided a template for purchase here.) An employee handbook is a guide of company rules, protocols, and standards. It goes beyond just the social media policy… discussing everything from how to dress, how to deal with conflict, vacation/sick policy, and so on.
  2. If you already have an employee handbook in place, you’ll want to add a social media section. You’ll want to describe:
    • What is the employee allowed to put onto social media?
    • Does the employee need approval before each post?
    • How should the employee talk about the company on social media?
    • Are there any branding elements that need to be portrayed on social media? (eg: all images are shot in natural daylight against a light background)
    • Who owns the images? (If the employee leaves the company, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t passing them off as their own. OR – if they had active ownership in the event, maybe it’s fair to have them own the images with an explanation that it was work they did for your company.)
    • How should the employee refer to the event? (“My wedding”, “The Company’s wedding”, “This wedding we all did as a team”?)

Keep in mind – these guidelines are for EMPLOYEES, not contractors. A contractor does not work for you. They work for themselves. You have less control over what a contractor shares online. HOWEVER, you can safeguard your business by ensuring that your contract with your contractor (yes – you need a contract) has terms for brand representation.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any good or bad stories to share on this topic? Share in a comment below.

Need more help with hiring, training, managing? Do you need help with interns, contractors, and employees? Make sure to check out our human resources toolbox: The People Plan.

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Be Sage Conference Speaker: Alison Howard, The Wedding and Event Institute

We are thrilled to partner with a range of amazing speakers for our Be Sage Conference this August. When we sat down to set our curriculum for Be Sage, we asked ourselves: “What are the challenges that experienced business owners have in the wedding industry?” We came up with a list of questions and found the best people to speak on these topics.

Limelife Photography_Alison Howard Events-28We are thrilled to introduce you to Alison Howard who will be speaking on why video needs to be a part of your marketing strategy.

Alison is the Director of Wedding Education for The Wedding and Event Institute. She is a business and life coaching to aspiring and fellow entrepreneurs, hosts regular a YouTube show geared toward brides and aspiring wedding planners, facilitates yearly workshops where she teaches attendees how to break into the wedding industry and speaks on the power of video marketing for various prestigious organizations across the country. Alison Howard provides luxury wedding planning services to her clients as the owner and executive director of California-based Alison Howard Events.

She will be addressing the following questions…

QUESTIONS:

Why do I need to be using video in my business?
How can video bring me sales and make me money?
What equipment do I need to make videos?
How do I get started with videos?

5 Things You’ll Learn from Alison:

  1. How to use video to differentiate from competition.
  2. How to use video to showcase personality and knowledge.
  3. What equipment is necessary to implement video into a marketing plan.
  4. How to create alternative streams of income via the use of video.
  5. How to close every sale using video marketing.

We feel pretty strongly about partnering with companies and individuals that mirror and augment our own core values. Here are 3 core values that are fundamental to Alison and how she does business:

  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • FUN

We hope you’ll join us this August!

BE SMART. BE BRIGHT. BE SAGE.

Get your ticket for Be Sage Conference, by clicking here.

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Be Sage Conference Attendees to Earn Certification Credits with Wedding & Event Institute

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We are thrilled to share that Be Sage Conference is an educational seminar approved by Wedding and Event Institute. Attendees will receive certification credits with WEI upon completion of the conference. The WEI certification is an accreditation program where participants must complete a business plan, a marketing plan, and educational hours. WEI is raising the bar of our industry by creating a program whereby wedding pros are asked to show competency and business sustainability. It promotes the need for continued education in the wedding industry and gives professionals a chance to earn a meaningful designation that is supported and managed in association with the WEI Advisory & Certification Board. This board is made up of 15 renowned wedding professionals (including Sage Wedding Pros) and is the only independent board of its kind within special event education.

The Be Sage conference is aimed at wedding professionals at that two-year plus point in their business and will help them to take their business to the next level. It is the perfect conference partner for the WEI Certification Program with some very tangible takeaways. As always, we commit ourselves to providing deep business education where attendees walk away with the skills to immediately implement what they have learned.

At the start of 2014 WEI launched their new Certification Program for Wedding Professionals, which offers anyone in the wedding industry the chance to become certified. WEI’s certification program is the only one in the wedding industry that focuses on business success in addition to the execution of wedding services. We have partnered with WEI because we feel strongly that the certification qualifications mirror Sage Wedding Pros’ commitment to business excellence.

There are two streams of certification. The first stream is offered through online certification courses and the second stream is offered through our certification conference partners.

By attending an approved certification conference attendees will be eligible to apply for one of three certifications:

  • CWP – CERTIFIED WEDDING PLANNER™
  • CWP – CERTIFIED WEDDING DESIGNER™
  • CERTIFIED WEDDING PROFESSIONAL (CWP) ™

Attending the conference is the first part of the application and attendees will receive confirmation of attendance from the conference organizers after the conference, which should be submitted with their application.

The second part of the application involves our certification exam, details of which can be found on our website or by clicking the links below. We use the word exam loosely as it is more of a project than an exam and each one is relevant to the certification that is being applied for.

The Be Sage conference is the next level in education for your wedding business. It provides 2 days of education on in-depth business practices and applications to use in your business. This isn’t just fluff and theory. This conference will give you tools to succeed. The early bird pricing for the Be Sage Conference ends soon so make sure you register, as places are limited. Take your business to the next level and Get Certified! Click here to register…

 

 

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June 26, 2014 - 1:46 pm

Leslie Wong - Hello Michelle,

I am very intrigued by the Be Sage Conference. I’m on the founding team of HoneyBook, which is a revolutionary app for wedding planners. We are growing our presence nationally from our home base of San Francisco. I’d like to chat about opportunities to be involved with the Be Sage Conference and have some time early next week or the week after.

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you!

Leslie
(925) 818-167

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