• Sage Wedding Pros is committed to creating operationally and financially sustainable businesses in the wedding and events industries.

  • the next level
    strategy conference

    easy-peasy
    business planning

    hiring, & training
    at your fingertips

    downloads, tools,
    checklists, & e-books

    meet mingle share
    with wedding pros

Do You Have Conviction?

This is something I’ve noticed in the 17 years since I graduated college: people who are good at selling have confidence, conviction, and unwavering belief in what they are selling.

In our industry… as much as you want to believe that you are selling flowers, or photography, or lighting, or paper… at the end of the day, the client is choosing YOU. Do you have unwavering belief in yourself and what you do? Do you have have conviction?

This American Life is one of my favorite podcasts (radio shows)… a couple weeks ago they broadcast a show on this topic: It’s Not the Product, It’s the Person. The first 2 segments are my favorite. In the first story, a little girl sells 25c lollipops for $1. (“A 300% profit!” she exclaims.) People buy from her because they are buying into her. In the 2nd segment, a budding entrepreneur pitches his business idea to a venture capitalist for funding… and FLOPS. It’s a great piece in which you can hear how completely unconvincing he is in his presentation.

What do you think? Do you have unwavering belief in what you do? How do you work on this? Share in a comment below.

Facebook This|Tweet This|Email This|Contact Us|Link This
September 19, 2014 - 5:56 am

Niccole Dreiling - I’m a social entrepreneur, a GenX woman distracted, disturbed by the ignorance and passing by of the serious fundamental needs and rights of living human beings in this country, first and foremost, and world.
I do not wish to be rich, but with no money to invest, with no campaigns for investors (currently) and after conquering a lifetime with major trauma and loss woven throughout, I’m still standing, grateful for what little I have and he’ll vent on utilizing every skill, connection and ability – right here, right now, to firm a social enterprise with no bounds. I’m developing my own site, I’m designing my own cards, with the power of intention, absolute conviction in every action I take, and Faith in all I do, the “right” people continue to enter my life and this will be a beautiful thing. The programs planned will allow all aspiring (as well as engaged, operating & achieved), entrepreneurs & StartUps to work together to lift each other, another is focused on “health” in sports, and not just physical or mental but financial discipline and education, legal representation and long term stability, and there much more!!!

So wish me success, as I do for you.

Ab Imo Pectore !
Niccole Dreiling

Hire the Right Person for the Right Job

You hired Sally to do invitation assembly but you’re disappointed that she doesn’t answer the phone.

You hired Jenny to be your office manager but you think that she’s maybe made a lot of mistakes in your Quickbooks.

You hired John to be your photo editor but he hasn’t written a blog post in weeks.

Does this sound familiar?

I see this challenge every day… Overtired and overworked business owners who want more from their employees.

Creative Commons: flicker (Yoel Ben-Avraham)

Creative Commons: flicker (Yoel Ben-Avraham)

But here’s the rub…
No one is good at everything. And you have to accept that everyone has limitations to their talents. (You aren’t good at everything are you?)

So that employee who is so very artistic and creative and detailed… Have her focus on assembling wedding invites. She isn’t your superstar sales person. That’s ok!

The office manager who ultimately doesn’t know accounting probably shouldn’t be managing your books. (Unless of course you invest in some Quickbooks classes for them.) [This thought totally stresses me out. I don't know how many wedding pros' accounting I've looked at in recent years with huge errors because this job was handed to the wrong person.]

Make sure you have the RIGHT person in the RIGHT position. Focus on making the most of that person’s strengths. (And if that means you have two 10hour/week employees instead of one 20hour/week employee… in an effort to have everyone in the right role, then so be it.) You’ll be happy with their results and they’ll be happier in their job.

What do you think about this? What’s been your experience? Share in a comment below.

Here’s another post on why you should avoid hiring a ‘catch-all’ employee.

Need more help with hiring and training? Check out The People Plan.

 

Facebook This|Tweet This|Email This|Contact Us|Link This

REFINE Workshop: For Novice and Aspiring Wedding Planners

We have a lot of new wedding planners ask us how they can get their jump start on wedding planning. We always tell them they need 2 things:

  • learn the trade (learn the actual wedding planning – the craft)
  • learn the business (learn how to run a business – the ‘behind the scenes’)

I want to share with you a educational seminar that combines both… REFINE Workshop from The Wedding & Event Institute.

refine

Here’s a bit about the workshop from The Wedding & Event Insitute…

The REFINE Workshop is a degree level program combining both formal online training with an intensive hands-on workshop and is the first of its kind to offer both aspects. The program is designed for aspiring and novice wedding planners who want tangible tools and solid takeaways to improve and grow their businesses.

Designed for wedding planners with less than five years in the industry seeking to start or restart their businesses correctly, our Director of Wedding Education Alison Howard, leads the hands-on workshop providing attendees with all the tools, templates, and procedures that she personally developed and uses in her own wedding planning company, Alison Howard Events.

In addition to the workshop there is also an online component, which has been developed over a number of years by the course specialists at the Wedding and Event Institute and has been given the formal ISES tick of approval. This segment can be completed either before or after attending the workshop.

Guest speakers include Christopher Confero an inspired lighting, graphic and floral designer, deemed by The Knot founder Carley Roney as the “talk of the south,” and Lauren Grove of Every Last Detail, a nationally acclaimed wedding blog with a focus on personal details and the education of brides.

We are currently offering two more dates for 2014:

  • Dallas – 29-30 September 2014
  • New York – 15-16 October 2014

Workshop Component

Day 1 – Sales and Marketing

  • Identifying Your Target Market
  • The Power of Branding
  • Selling Your Services
  • Using Social Media
  • The Pricing Point
  • Using Video within Your Marketing
  • Blogging as a Marketing Tool
  • Selling to Millennials
  • Building Effective Networks

Day 2 – Working With Clients

  • The Alison Howard Wedding Planning Process
  • The Client Experience
  • Understanding Your Client
  • Responding to Inquiries
  • Email Tips & Strategies
  • Life/Work Balance
  • Conducting Consultations
  • Coordinating a Wedding Rehearsal

Online Component

  • Trend-Spotting and Setting your Wedding Business Apart
  • The Secret of Successful Styled Shoots
  • Harnessing Inspiration & Using Story Boards
  • The Psychology of Color in Weddings
  • Branding Your Wedding Business
  • The Business of Blogging
  • Setting Up A Social Media Strategy in the Wedding Industry
  • Getting Published and Maximizing PR
  • Pricing Your Services
  • The Mindset of Selling to Wedding Clients

Upon successful completion of both the workshop and the online component you will be able to apply for Master Level Certification – CWP+M – Certified Wedding Planner Master Level™.

For more details or for registration please visit our website: www.weddingandeventinstitute.com/workshops

Facebook This|Tweet This|Email This|Contact Us|Link This

Be Sage Conference – Recap of Day 2

We’re doing recaps of Be Sage Conference this week. Make sure to catch up with our Day 1 recap here. Our conference was a HUGE hit. Experienced wedding professionals got into the nitty-gritty of how to expand their businesses.  (If you are interested in our next Be Sage Conference, make sure to sign up for more information and SPECIAL pricing at www.besageconference.com .)

The following is our recap of Day 2…

Betsy Butwin, an attorney with Friedman Iverson, taught attendees about the value of their intellectual property. And, even more exciting was her sharing how to license or franchise that intellectual property for added revenue. This is a session that was so meaty that it could have been covered in an entire day’s worth of learning.

Betsy

Barbara Taylor, owner and founder of Allan Taylor, talked to attendees about how to create value in their businesses… namely, how to build a business that is worth selling (even if you don’t plan to sell it). I loved this talk! She showed attendees how to value their business. She also talked about what makes a business more saleable (more valuable).

Barbara

Our final talk was led by Amy Flurry of Recipe for Press, who talk about how to get publicity. Amy walked participants through her step-by-step approach on how to pitch a story to editors. (She also gave every attendee her book! It was like Oprah visiting our conference… “EVERYONE gets BOOOOOOOKKKKKSSSS!!!” {crowd goes wild}) Amy also shared some great case studies of business owners who made some simple tweaks to their sites and branding to get more ‘press-ready’ in the eyes of magazines, blogs, etc.

Amy

If you are interested in our next Be Sage Conference, make sure to sign up for more information and SPECIAL pricing at www.besageconference.com .

Here is another recap on day 2 from Wedding & Event Institute Blog: Highlights from Day 2.

____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

All images courtesy of  Jennifer Kathryn Photography

event venue: Greenhouse Loft

floral design: Fleur Inc.

placemats: 5 by 7 designs

Be Sage Conference book: designed by Mintwich Design, printed by StationeryHQ

“I Want Candy” table designed and sponsored by: idieh design

Gold book sponsored by: Honeybook

Attendee illustrations created by: Lauren Martin of Style Palette

“Be Organized” table sponsored by: MENGUIN

 

Facebook This|Tweet This|Email This|Contact Us|Link This
September 24, 2014 - 8:29 pm

Lauren Martin - Michelle,

The event looked beautiful and so fabulous! Thank you so much for reaching out to me, what an honor to create those custom illustrations for your event. I enjoyed connecting and look forward to following Be Sage in the future. All the best!

Xx
Lauren Jade
Make it a Double

September 26, 2014 - 3:54 am

Michelle Loretta - Thank you for being a part of our conference Lauren! People were so wowed by your beautiful work!!!

Be Sage Conference – Recap of Day 1

Earlier this month we put on the first Be Sage Conference and it was a huge hit! This conference was created for experienced wedding professionals who are looking for ‘next level’ education. It is our mission to provide valuable in-depth learning where people walk away with actual ‘how to’s’ that they are able to implement. (If you are interested in our next Be Sage Conference, make sure to sign up for more information and SPECIAL pricing at www.besageconference.com .)BeSage1The following is our recap of Day 1… come back tomorrow to see Day 2 (where we learned about licensing, selling a business, and getting publicity.)

We began the conference with a Meeting of the Minds. I shared the inspirational story of Sukiyabashi Jiro, the famous sushi master, and asked participants to push themselves to continue learning. As part of our launch we wanted to give attendees the opportunity to get all their dreams, goals, aspirations out of their mind and onto paper. Collaboration is a big part of Be Sage Conference… we had attendees share their ‘big ideas’.

BeSage2

Xochitl Gonzalez and Mayra Castillo of AaB Creates (formerly Always a Bridesmaid) led us in a discussion on How to Evolve Your Brand. These smart ladies shared how they have changed their business in the course of the last 10 years. They talked about how they went from doing 45 weddings per year to 4 weddings per year. They also shared how they separated their day-of wedding coordination business (Just About Married) from their full planning and design (Aab Creates). They led attendees through a series of exercises to help them plan the evolution and next stages of their businesses.

BeSage3

Kelly and I believe that it’s SUPER important to learn from leaders outside of the wedding industry. Jane Park, CEO of Julep Beauty, shared with us her secrets on How to Utilize Social Media for Market Research.  She taught attendees how to use google adwords, facebook, twitter, and other social media to test new ideas before launching them. (Julep also shared some of their fabulous beauty kits with our attendees!)BeSage4

Our final talk on Day 1 was presented by Alison Howard, Director of Education for Wedding & Event Institute. She led a talk on How to Utilize Video for Marketing. Alison shared step-by-step how she got started doing video and how it’s changed her business. She talked about the basic tools we need and how to get better quality video with some sneaky little tips. Youtube is the 2nd most searched engine (after google)… you need to be doing video!

BeSage5

Read our recap of Day 2 here! If you are interested in our next Be Sage Conference, make sure to sign up for more information and SPECIAL pricing at www.besageconference.com .

Here are a few other recaps from around the globe:

Run Your Business to Sell It (and other Lessons from Be Sage Conference) – from Always a Blogsmaid (Aab Create’s blog)
What I Learned at Be Sage Conference
– from AU Wedding Academy Blog in Australia

Highlights from Day 1 – from UK Wedding Academy Blog

____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Credits include:

1st Set:
image credit (clockwise from upper left): Sage Wedding Pros, Jennifer Kathryn PhotographyJennifer Kathryn PhotographyJennifer Kathryn Photography

nametags: Michelle Edgemont Design
floral design: Fleur Inc.
coasters: designed by Michelle Loretta (Sage Wedding Pros), printed by StationeryHQ

2nd Set:

image credit (clockwise from upper left): Jennifer Kathryn Photography, Sage Wedding Pros, Jennifer Kathryn PhotographyJennifer Kathryn Photography

Be Sage Conference book: designed by Mintwich Design, printed by StationeryHQ

3rd Set:

image credit: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

pencilcase: Doodledog Creative

4th Set:

image credit: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

beauty boxes: Julep Beauty

5th Set:

image credit: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Facebook This|Tweet This|Email This|Contact Us|Link This
August 19, 2014 - 9:30 am

Jessie - Wow! I love how diverse and concrete all of the ideas and presentations were (though I didn’t expect anything less of you, Michelle!). I hope I can attend in the future.

August 19, 2014 - 11:27 am

Vicky Choy - Excellent conference ladies! It was exactly what I was looking for and one of the few truly education conferences out there. Very well done. Vicky Choy, Event Accomplished

H o m e
C o n n e c t
S u b s c r i b e
S e a r c h