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Be Sage Conference Speaker: Amy Flurry, Recipe for Press

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.

QUESTIONS:
HOW DO I EXPAND MY PRESS COVERAGE?
HOW DO I CATCH THE ATTENTION OF MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, BLOGS, AND TELEVISION?

AmyFlurryIntroducing: Amy Flurry, Author of Recipe for Press

Amy Flurry is author of the popular guide to DIY publicity, Recipe for Press, designed to strengthen relationships between entrepreneurs and editors. Amy’s twenty years as a contributor to some of the biggest publications on the newsstand including InStyle, Conde Nast Traveler, Country Living, Design Sponge and Lucky, brings fresh perspective to in-house communications.

In addition to Recipe for Press, Amy co-founded Paper-Cut-Project, a company that conceives highly crafted installations for Kate Spade, Hermes, Valentino, Cartier and the Victoria & Albert museum. Paper-Cut-Project’s work has been featured in the NYT, Italian Vogue, Nylon, Selvedge and Marie Claire Taiwan.

Amy is also creative director of Parlore, a new project management app and marketplace for interior designers. She lives in Athens, GA with her husband, Alan, and two children.

5 How To’s you’ll gain from Amy:

1) How to craft a winning pitch.
2) How to make your website more editor friendly.
3) How to create relationships with media influencers.
4) How to get the attention of an editor in less than four seconds.
5) How to improve your product and brand photography.

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 Amy and how she does business:

1) Relationships
2) Consistency
3) Storytelling

We hope you’ll join us this August!

BE SMART. BE BRIGHT. BE SAGE.

Ticket sales are open for Be Sage Conference.

__________________________________________________

Here’s a little refresher if you missed our post last month about our new conference:

We want you to have a deeper business strategy that will take your business to the next level. This isn’t a business theory conference. And, while you will certainly be inspired, we aim to prepare you with actual tools to use in your business (not just a hope and dream.)

We will continue to add conference details at: www.besageconference.com

Greenhouse Loft, Chicago | August 3-5, 2014
Tickets go on sale February 10th at 9am PST

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Be Sage Conference Speaker: Betsy Butwin, Friedman Iverson PLLC

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.

Questions:
How do I franchise my business?
How do I license a service or product?

BetsyButwinIntroducing: Betsy Butwin, Attorney with Friedman Iverson PLLC

Betsy works with clients in the wedding, music, and creative industries. She helps entrepreneurs launch their businesses, draft and negotiate contracts, and manage their intellectual property. She also heads Friedman Iverson’s estate planning practice. She teaches intellectual property and contracts at the Institute of Production and Recording.

Betsy will co-presenting with our own Kelly Simants who will be sharing her own experience with the licensing of her wedding planning business, Sweet Pea Events.

3 How To’s you’ll gain from Betsy:

1) How to manage and make the most out of your business’ intellectual property
2) How to navigate and negotiate licensing opportunities; how to legally protect yourself in a licensing relationship
3) How franchises work and what are the legal requirements

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 Betsy and how she does business:

1) Treat clients and co-workers with respect and integrity
2) Do great work
3) Help people pursue their passions

We hope you’ll join us this August!

BE SMART. BE BRIGHT. BE SAGE.

Ticket sales are open for Be Sage Conference.

__________________________________________________

Here’s a little refresher if you missed our post last month about our new conference:

We want you to have a deeper business strategy that will take your business to the next level. This isn’t a business theory conference. And, while you will certainly be inspired, we aim to prepare you with actual tools to use in your business (not just a hope and dream.)

We will continue to add conference details at: www.besageconference.com

Greenhouse Loft, Chicago | August 3-5, 2014
Tickets go on sale February 10th at 9am PST

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Simple Tips to Better Manage Your Calendar & Meetings

A few years ago, I found myself running ragged as a Wedding Planner.  I was spending the majority of my time driving from meeting to meeting, with little time spent in the office.  Even though I was batching the majority of my meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I was still spending WAY too much time in meetings.  This was a problem for a few reasons – 1) I was burning out from driving all over the place – not to mention it was expensive 2) I was working late nights and early mornings on client work since I was spending the majority of my time in meetings out of the office 3) I didn’t have a strategy for my calendar and meetings.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Here’s what I decided to do – I printed off the previous calendar month and highlighted all of the meetings that were NOT focused on generating revenue.  I was shocked – about 50% of my meetings were being spent with appointments that ultimately were “non-revenue generating” meetings.  What is an example of this type of meeting?  One of many examples – I met with a local magazine that I knew I wouldn’t advertise with as they weren’t a match for my brand, but thought it would be good for them at least to know who I am and I liked the sales rep.  What’s the problem with this?  I didn’t have 2 hours in that week to meet with someone who I had decided wasn’t going to help bring me sales, at the end of the day.  Yes, it was fun to meet her and good for the magazine to know who I am, but really not the best use of my time.  I easily should have said NO to that meeting. So, what’s an example of a “revenue generating” meeting?  This would be a case where I met with a new venue in town where I KNOW our target clients are going to be booking at, and talked with them about how we could partner together.  This type of meeting has the potential for sales down the road.  And guess what…that relationship I’ve established worked, and we’re sending referrals to each other now, we’re on their preferred vendor list, etc. Before you schedule ANY appointment, simply ask yourself the question – does this meeting have the potential to bring me sales or help my business in some way?  If not, you probably need to politely decline the meeting offer and spend your time focusing ON your business, your clients, and your work-life balance.  Once you better manage your calendar from this strategic perspective, it is incredibly FREEING and SMART because you’re spending your time focused on what’s most important for your business and your sanity.  Grab your highlighter and take a look at your calendar to see where you can improve!

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February 19, 2014 - 11:50 pm

Jen - This is definitely something I need to do! I completely agree with you on the saying no to meetings and projects that are not going to result in future business and revenue.

March 21, 2014 - 9:07 am

Natalie - Great article Kelly! I will definitely take this approach when scheduling my meetings.

You Can’t Have ALL the Trade Secrets

It’s a great time to be a creative entrepreneur. There are more and more people willing to share what they know. It wasn’t like this in 2004 when I launched my stationery business. Not only were people less willing to share, but also it was hard to get information. (You couldn’t google ‘how to price flowers’ and get too many valuable hits.)

coketradesecretI think people who’ve been in business a few years are usually happy to share what they can.  I share what I can about having had a stationery business so that others can succeed. It’s one of the reasons why I started this blog almost 5 years ago. Kelly is the same way. I’ve seen her give very detailed information about her business to help a new wedding planner. She sometimes goes as far as sharing internal documents with that new planner.

But – here’s something you need to know – you can’t have ALL the trade secrets.

First, you need to build trust and credibility. (If I share this with you, will you use it wisely?)

Become visible in the industry: attend networking events, ask to have a coffee, build a relationship. THEN, after all that, people will be more willing to share.

It’s possible that this wedding pro becomes a friend and/or mentor… take the time to build that relationship.

Here are 3 rules to follow when someone is willing to share their business with you:

  1. Allow the wedding pro to volunteer what they want to share. Don’t pry.
  2. Be respectful of their business and know that they won’t (and shouldn’t) reveal their trade secrets.
  3. Give thanks (lots and lots and lots of THANKS).

Never expect someone to give you the secret sauce. There are trade secrets that no one should share. (Doing so would be incredibly foolish.)

There are things that one might share with you that may not apply or you will not be able to apply to your business. For example: The price/cost/profit/expense mix is so different for each individual, one can’t merely apply a formula to their business and expect success. (I recently saw someone ask a wedding designer how she priced her services, what costs were involved, and what she earned at the end of the day. This wedding pro was happy to share her prices, but anything beyond that is ‘secret sauce’ in my opinion.)

Be respectful. Respect that it may have taken them YEARS for the elder wedding pro to learn everything they know. Never pry for information that isn’t yours to have. (I had a stationery designer once ask me for the names of my suppliers. I spent years building relationships with these suppliers and they were proprietary to my designs. I didn’t think this was an appropriate question. But – I was more than happy to share a few printing sources with her.)

Lastly, please take the time to THANK the person. (Speaking from personal experience, it’s not often that I’m thanked for ‘answering a quick question’ – even via email.) It takes time to provide this help… even a quick 5 minute email response is incredibly valuable. A quick thank you response is enough acknowledgement that you are appreciative of their insight.

What do you think, wedding pros? What have you been happy to share? What is your limit? And – what’s been helpful to you when you were getting started?

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February 11, 2014 - 1:57 pm

Adriaan - Thanks for sharing! :-)

I will add to not be afraid to ask. One will be surprise how much will be shared. I tend to ask sometimes inappropriate questions without my knowledge, but still learn a lot when they explain that the question was not appropriate and gave good reason for it.

February 11, 2014 - 4:03 pm

Kate - THANK YOU for writing this post… it is something that comes up often in conversations with other wedding professionals and 99.9% of the time it is helpful to both parties and fosters a really great working relationship. Unfortunately, I got burned once by another industry peer and it has really changed the way I choose to share my knowledge and information. It is truly unfortunate when someone thinks it is okay to use your generous sharing in a negative way. Thank you again for this post!

February 11, 2014 - 5:00 pm

Michelle Loretta - I agree… don’t be shy… be respectful, but don’t be shy!

February 11, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Michelle Loretta - I’m sorry you had a bad experience! I hope it hasn’t turned you off completely from sharing. (I bet you’re understandably guarded tho. I would be.)

March 21, 2014 - 10:17 am

Bernadette - Great article as always, I help planners all the time (as I’m a planner, 11 years and counting) but there has to be a line.

I won’t for example share my contracts, proposals, profit margins etc. But I will help with how to create formulas for creating price packages, marketing, PR.

I never class someone as a competitor, I class them as a fellow colleague and sometimes friend. Does that make me incredibly “soft” to use a UK expression, probably but I wouldn’t change that for the world!

Be Sage Conference – Tickets on Sale Today

We are thrilled to announce that ticket sales are open for Be Sage Conference.

Here’s a little refresher if you missed our post last month about our new conference:

We want you to have a deeper business strategy that will take your business to the next level. This isn’t a business theory conference. And, while you will certainly be inspired, we aim to prepare you with actual tools to use in your business (not just a hope and dream.)

This conference will answer the following questions and more:

  • how do I expand to another market?
  • how do I license a product or service?
  • is franchising something I should consider in my business?
  • how do I retire?
  • how do I transition from my day job to a full-time business?
  • will financial leverage benefit my business?
  • how do I evolve my branding to reflect the growth my business has made?
  • how do I capitalize on trends before the competition?
  • how do I get on Oprah?

We will continue to add conference details at: www.besageconference.com

Greenhouse Loft, Chicago | August 3-5, 2014
Tickets go on sale February 10th at 9am PST

BE SMART. BE BRIGHT. BE SAGE.

 

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