5 Ways to Cope With peak Wedding Season

You have worked up to this moment. Wanting your summer order book to be bursting at the seams. But you are here, after all the effort you have put in and it’s hard. It’s tougher than you imagined it to be. You are working all the hours under the sun and more. You feel guilty for not being as “slick” with your brides as you would like to be. You feel guilty for not being with your family and friends. You feel guilty for not doing the washing, have a spotless house and for using dry shampoo for the fourth day in a row. You feel guilty for eating a snickers and a packet of crisps for lunch which you don’t manage to eat at lunchtime but at 4pm. You are in peak wedding season!

I don’t really have any magic solution for you with this other than to say…

…you are not alone in this

…it is totally worth it

…you are doing a fantastic job, even if you don’t have a boss telling you that (you gotta have a word with her!)

…your brides LOVE what you do and you are probably unnecessarily worrying over things

…it will get easier when you are out of this season of business

…recognise what you are doing and reward yourself!

You see, you will have peaks and troughs in your business. You will be busier some weeks/months than others, so you have to accept that that is a fact because of the industry you work in. For some wedding professionals, this is less of an issue but if you are an on the day supplier then you will have busy and quiet times and you need to accept and flex to that. These are your business seasons (read more about what I mean by that here).

I just wanted you to know that you ARE doing a great job and don’t let the guilt get you down. Focus on what you are doing, knowing it is what you love and see the shiny side to those late nights. Who needs sleep anyway!

I have a part two to this which will come next week to help you, but for now, know you are doing great.

If these kind words are leaving you feeling “Yes, Emma, that is all lovely but let’s get real…what can I do from a practical perspective?” then I have 4 things that may help. I know that you will feel like punching me in the face when you read these because they are super obvious and super annoying, BUT they work!

5 Practical Things you can do

1. Manage expectations (and remove the guilt) by putting an out of office on your emails to say something along the lines of

“Thank you for your email blah blah blah. I am in peak wedding season here at [xx] HQ and my heart and soul is going into every bride and groom order that is in my order book for the next few weeks. I love what I do and am currently stuck elbow deep in [something relevant for your business i.e cake mix/stationery pretties/sashes and bows…] which means there may be a slightly longer response time to your email.

If you are a booked bride know that you are a priority for me at the moment and I will be in touch with you about your order.

If you are enquiring then please bear with me, your email is super important to me and I will get back to you but it will be in a [x] days time. In the meantime, you may want to come and follow me over on [choose your social media platform of choice] to see what I am up to.”

This out of office will not only manage the expectations of your brides it will also help you to feel less stressy about not replying super quickly and it will grow your social media following.

 

2. Put a pipeline together of all your wedding orders and quotes

Do you have an overview picture of the wedding orders you need to deliver and the enquiries you need to chase? Having a pipeline of all of these will make it clearer for you to see exactly what you have got to work on and when. Having this clarity will help you see where you have gaps, where you are super busy and this will help you plot out your time. To do a pipeline, simply grab a piece of paper and list under each of these headings what you have:

  • Orders in progress (Orders you are physically working on right now)
  • Proofs Out/With client (Orders where you are waiting for the bride to come back to you)
  • Orders coming in the next 3 months (The next batch of orders you have to work on)
  • Orders coming down the track (All orders outside of the 3 month window)
  • Enquiries out (All enquiries that you have replied to that need chasing)
  • Completed orders – follow up (All orders that you need to follow up on with testimonials etc)

3. Choose a set day a week where you do your admin, ordering and generally sorting sh*t out.

If you know that Wednesday – Sunday you are busy sorting weddings for the weekend then chose a Monday or a Tuesday to do your wedmin. This is where you get all the tasks done that you need to do, but instead of trying to fit time in in between making/creating/delivering you are doing it all on one day. You can write all the emails that you need to send that week and save them into your drafts so that on the day you need to send them, you can just go into your drafts and press “send”. This makes you feel less stressed and more in control of your bride relationships. It is better for you to email them with an update than for your brides to email you.

4. Plan out your week.

I KNOW that this is possibly one of the most annoying things people can say to you when you busy BUT it works! Sitting down at the start or at the end of your week and getting crystal clear on what NEEDS to get done and what you would LIKE to get done means you can be very intentional with your actions. It means you can see how much time you have to work on your business and this will help you get focused If you just sit down to do “some work” one day, you will faff and waste time thinking about what you need to do instead of just doing.

5. Keep a track of where you are with each order.

I am sure you have an order process for each bridal order that you have but make sure it is up to date with tasks, deadlines and actions. Once you have each bridal order set out, you will feel so much more organised and in control of what you need to do. You will feel like a proper business woman rather than a hot mess of a one. Well less of a hot mess anyway. If you don’t have an order process set out – this needs to be something for you to prioritise. It doesn’t need to be fancy or over the top – just a simple “do this do that” workflow of how you manage your orders so you can feel in control.

GUILT

The last point I want to make in this blog post is about the guilt I know you are feeling when it comes to your personal life. Whatever guilt it may be and whoever you feel you are letting down, just speak with them and let them know that you know it is tough during this peak period but it will get better. Don’t try and people please and burn yourself into the ground doing that, make your loved ones aware of what is going on so they can be forgiving because they will be, I promise. Then, make sure that the time you do spend with your loved ones is well spent. Instead of sitting down in front of the telly, go for a walk and actually talk. Make a mobile dinner and go and sit in the park and get some space and give yourself 100% to that moment and that time. Leave your phone at home. The world will not come crashing down, I promise. If you feel guilty for your partner, dedicate one night a week which is “date night” and do something together that you can both look forward to. These little pockets of time can make you feel so much better so be intentional and the guilt will feel less.

Remember what I said at the start – you re doing an amazing job and it is all worth it.

You got this.

When things go wrong

Sometimes things just don’t go to plan

Do you ever have one of those days or weeks when everything seems to go against you Emma? Things happen that you hadn’t planned for, things take longer than you expect them to, things go wrong, things that you cannot control take over. You just have one of “those” weeks.

I kind of feel like that today as I write this and as I look back on my week just gone (a little ritual I do every week with a cuppa and my trusted Wedding Biz Planner).

Some fabulous things happened this week, like really awesome things, but, even though I am aware of them I always lean towards the negative. I always get fed up about the things that happened that were not really in my control at all.

I naturally tend to focus on what went wrong.

This could be the learner in me. I am always looking to learn and when things go (technical term) t*ts up I want to know how I could make it better.

It could also be the perfectionist in me (which is something that I know holds me back). Not saying that everything I do is perfect, far from it, but I always strive to do my best work so when that doesn’t happen, I get frustrated with myself.

It could be the negative nelly part of me coming out with a louder voice than the one that blows my own trumpet (I have never been very good at that bit of being a human, I don’t think many of us are).

Do you resonate with any of these Emma?

What is the point of this rambling?

Really it is to say that we are all the same. If you feel like you have had a rubbishy week then it is normal. Sometimes you can’t put your finger on why you feel like you have had a rubbish week. It could be just the way you feel, the time of the month or (if you are a sensitive soul) the moon phases.

But only you can identify whether you want to continue to feel like that or, instead, whether you want to release the week and start next week fresh. Only you can change your mood. Only you can reframe a situation so it becomes less frustrating. Only you can shape how you want to feel.

Yes, you may have external factors that add to your mood but only you can control whether you allow them to infiltrate into your mood.

So as you sit here reading this blog post, think about out how you want to feel tomorrow when you wake up. What mood do you choose to be in? Because it is a choice, no matter what is thrown at you.

How to Make a Decision

How to make a decision in your wedding business

Today I wanted to talk about new opportunities and how to make a decision on them. I am sure you have heard of shiny object syndrome. This is where you get sidetracked with something that is new. Perhaps a new thought, a new project, a new idea, a new “must have” system, a new thing that someone else is doing or perhaps a new opportunity that is unexpected.

When are these opportunities the right ones to pursue and when are they not?

There is often no right or wrong answer BUT there is something you need to do before you go off and get stuck into that new thing.

You need to validate it and see whether it is right for you, for where you are right now in your business.

You need to feel the desire, the excitement, the nervous energy of it.

Then before spending time on it, you need to look logically at the pros and cons with your business hat on.

Here are some questions to think about:

  1. Does this fit in with my goals and objectives for this year?
  2. How does this project make me feel?
  3. What is the best possible outcome from doing this?
  4. What is the worst possible outcome from doing this?
  5. How long will it (realistically) take me to complete?
  6. Will working on this project take me away from something that is more important for my business right now?
  7. Does the success of this project rely on another task that is still to be done?
  8. What happens if I park this idea for 6 months – will it still be there for me?
  9. Does it fit in with where I want to take my business?
  10. Do I have the time to do this and do it well?
  11. What are the barriers to making this a success?

Then, draw up a list of Pro’s and Con’s. Really simply, on a piece of paper or in your journal. What are the pros and cons of this new opportunity? Draw two columns and just brainstorm away. It may be that you spend a few days doing this and keep coming back to it. Keep the list in the kitchen, in your handbag, next to the bed so as a thought pops into your head, you can jot it down.

It is useful to have this pros and cons discussion with someone else, someone who is independent of your business who will look at it more objectively, more black and white, without the emotion.  I often have these types of conversation with my husband.

Yes, YOU need to be emotionally connected to something before you do it BUT you also need to logically know it will work because it is not normally the passion that stops things from happening, it is normally the practical things like time and money.

So perhaps something has come up for you recently that you have been pondering – hopefully these questions will help. If not, then save this email somewhere for the next time you get that grand idea, or you get that email in your inbox with a new opportunity.

Your intuition will often tell you whether it is right to do but get practical as well because that helps you to identify the hurdles that you may face.

The self-doubt fairy [Free Pep Talk Audio]

The self-doubt fairy [Free Pep Talk Audio]

Do you have one? I do.

I think, if we are all being honest, we all do. Even the most confidence, most accomplished business owner has one.

The self-doubt fairy is the little voice that sits in your mind, picking away at the things you are doing, picking away at the flaws, the weaknesses, the things you don’t know. It is the little voice that keeps you playing small and that stops you from moving forward, from taking action and from just giving things a go.

You see, no one knows anything when they do something for the first time. Everything is always done for the first time once. And it is totally natural and normal to have worries and concerns about whether it will be any good, whether it will work blah blah blah. But until you give it a go you won’t know.

Today I wanted to share a little pep talk audio with you about dealing with the self-doubt fairy. Listen to it whenever you feel like you need a little kick up the bum, when you feel that the self-doubt fairy is taking over.

I hope it helps.

Let’s talk Comparison

The C Word

I am not talking about competition, I am talking about comparison.

Let’s get real for a moment. The wedding industry is a busy one. There are lots of suppliers out there and there will be lots of suppliers offering the same kinds of services and products as you. On the flip side to this, there are also lots and lots and lots of lovely couples out there getting married, and you only want a small piece of the pie!

But the danger of being in a busy industry is not competition as such, it is comparison.

The more you look, the more people you find to compare yourself to. The more comparing you do the worse you feel about your business. Because you are looking at the other business through rose tinted glasses. Through the shiny veneer of their website and their social media. You do not see the struggles they have, the people they are comparing themselves to (which could very well be you you know).

Remember, throughout your business journey you will always look up to someone and there will always be someone looking up at you. This is the process of business evolution.

But how can I manage that Emma?

You manage it by saying

“If they can do it then so can I”

Because you totally can.

And you totally will if you remember this.

 

What does it take?

Hard work and commitment

Let me get real with you on this Sunday evening. Please don’t hate me.

  • Building a business takes hard work*.
  • It takes commitment.
  • It takes falling** and picking yourself up again.
  • It takes working on consistently*** and it takes focus.

I would LOVE to say that there is a quick way to grow & build the business that you want. I would LOVE to say that if you do this ONE THING everything will change dramatically.

But you know what? Building a business is hard. And you have to put the work in and be committed to making it happen.

You may look at other people and they “they have it sussed”. They very well may do but I can pretty much guarantee that they are either putting on a good show OR they have put in the hard work and commitment to get to the point where they can find the balance easier.

If you find that week after week you have not moved forward you NEED to look at the reason why. You need to look at the excuses you are feeding yourself. You need to ask yourself the question “Do I actually want to make this work?” and be really honest with your answer. I am not saying this so you turn round and give up, I am saying it because sometimes you need someone to give you that kick in the pants to say “Come on girl, you can DO THIS but before you can, you need to BELIEVE it aswell.”

*Hard work doesn’t mean horrible. It means getting stuck in and taking conscious action. Action that means something and that will move you forward. Hard work can be fun, especially if you surround yourself with others who are doing the same.

**Falling does happen in business. Sometimes more times in one day, one week, one month than you would like but it does happen. But you gotta learn from those falls and see how they can help you improve next time. Falls can give you cuts and grazes but these cuts and grazes are all part of remembering your story. Like the random chickenpox scar you have from when you have it as a child. It is part of you.

***Consistently doesn’t mean working day and night. It doesn’t mean being a slave to the desk, to your brides, to your emails. It means showing up on a regular basis, whatever that regular basis is for you. You would have started your business for one of many reasons and you need to make sure that your business allows you to do the why you started your business. So you have to build your schedule around that but you have to be strong with yourself and be consistent. Stop letting those excuses slip in. “O,that can wait till tomorrow…” How many times do we say that  week…!!

There are things that can make your business building adventure fun and enjoyable though – it’s not all doom and gloom I promise! In fact, having your own business is wonderful, really really wonderful.

Here are three things that can make it soooo much better:

#1 Having a community of people around you who “get it” and who are on the same journey. If you miss community, support and want to learn the how to of building a wedding business then why not join us inside The Wedding Biz Club >> http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/weddingbizclub/

#2 Having a path to follow to make the next step easier. OK, so there is no “one size fits all” approach to growing a wedding business BUT there is a clear route that you need to follow to ensure the actions you are taking are in the right order. If you want a simple to follow, do this then do that checklist of how to start, build and grow your wedding business, at your own pace, then The Path is perfect for you >> http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/path

#3 Pretty stationery! Because that just makes everything better… The Wedding Biz Planner is a planner designed for the wedding industry, in consultation with real wedding business owners. Grab yours here >>> http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/weddingbizplanner/

Let’s make this next month and beyond TOTALLY epic!

 

Be your own kind of wonderful

Be your own kind of wonderful

(and sod everyone else)

Brides buy from people they connect with, people who “get” them and what they want, people who they trust will give them what they want. YOU do the same. You are more likely to buy something from someone who you connect with. Your brides are no different.

Ok, so yes, they DO need to be attracted to you (your brand), they do need to see that you offer something they want (your products and services) and they do need to know they can trust you to deliver (your love notes from past brides) BUT the more of YOU you can infuse into the whole journey, the more of your own unique power that is your own kind of wonderful, this makes you (and therefore what you offer) even more irresistible.

Being your own kind of wonderful, and letting that come through rather than following what “so and so down the road is doing”. We can fall into the comparison trap waaaaaaay to easily and it does not help us in ANY WAY.

Every single business owner is at a different point of their journey in this crazy business building joyride & you need to know where you are right now & how you can infuse more of YOU into what you do. This doesn’t necessarily mean posting MORE on Facebook or Instagram, it means posting content from a place of real heart- this is what will connect your brides to you and make you irresistible.

Think of what bigger investments you have made recently (I am not talking 2 for 1 on your cleaning products!). What made YOU make those decisions? What made YOU buy? When you look beyond the “They had what I wanted” I bet it was the feeling you got (perhaps from the professionalism of their website. Brand or how they replied to your emails), the trust you developed (because you saw them, what they did and had clarity over how they could help), the experience that they took you on (making you feel happy inside).

There are lots of wedding businesses out there who offer the same as what you do. BUT only you offer what you do in the way that you do it so you HAVE to let that show if you are going to stand out from the crowd.

But how?

  • Think about what you do currently each day, each week in your business. Posting on social media, sending newsletters, replying to enquiries, dealing with brides.
  • Now think about ONE thing you could do to make it even better. One extra thought that would just up level it a little.

This is how you start to alter the impact that your work has on the brides you want to bring into your business.

We are constantly evolving. Constantly developing what we are doing.

That is all part of the journey.

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How to make massive progress on a project

We can all make excuses for not moving forward on projects and the classic one is “I don’t have the time”. Well today I want to share with you how I make my projects happen and it works.

When I have a chunky project to get done I like to put aside a day or a few to really blast through it. This works really well for me because it makes me feel super accomplished and it also aids the creative process I go through when I am working on a project – this keeps me focussed. I find that for some things I need to warm myself up. I need to get into the zone and sometimes this can take a little bit of time, but once I am there I can stay really focussed (most of the time!)

But it can be REALLY hard to stay focused on one thing so today I wanted to share with you what I practically do to make big leaps forward on my projects.

These are the steps I take:

1. Block out the time

I look in my diary and I block out which day(s) I have to work on the project based on current client work and other appointments. I choose the day(s) and BLOCK THEM OUT.

2. Remove distractions

For me, distractions can be a real productivity killer and if I don’t get rid of them, they niggle me and I use them as excuses to stop the focus and get distracted. Distractions can be anything such as tidying the kitchen, making the bed, putting the washing on to picking up your phone and scrolling on Instagram for an hour. So, before I start my work day I remove the distractions that I know will bother me.

3. Schedule social media for the day

Social media can be a real time suck and if you need to get focused, you need to remove the time suck so either day before, or very first thing, schedule the social media posts you want to post that day so you don’t get distracted.

4. Get the project notebook out

One of the tricks that works for me across my business is having different notebooks for the core areas of my business, so I ONLY HAVE OUT the one that is relevant to the project I am working on. This means I do not get distracted by anything. I always have my Wedding Biz Planner next to me to capture ideas (you can get yours here!) but apart from that, I clear my desk of any other distractions that are not relevant to this specific project.

5. Set yourself up

For me, this is having a nice big glass of water, a fresh cuppa, a candle burning and anything around me that will inspire me. I consciously set myself up for the day and make sure I have with me what I need and what makes me feel good.

6. Allocate breaks

I will set out at the start of my day when I will have a break, so I can manage how much I can hope to get done in each segment of work. I will always make sure I have a proper lunch break because if I don’t, I get really exhausted and this does not make for a productive afternoon. I tend to read a book for 30 mins, do some painting or go for a walk. This is what I call my creative play. I do something that will make me feel like I have had a proper break. I often find this also gives me ideas and inspires me for the afternoon ahead.

7. Struggling to get into the zone?

IF I am struggling to get “into it” I will go for a walk (if it is not raining!) or do some stretching (if it is raining!) and this normally gives me the boost I need to get back to the project in mind.
If this doesn’t work, I connect back to the reason WHY I am doing the project and the benefits that it will bring me – this normally helps to get my creative mojo back!

The key things for me are

1. Knowing what I want to achieve
2. Giving myself regular time slots for breaks

I know we all work differently and sometimes, the thought of dedicating a whole day to one project can feel super luxurious but trust me, doing this means you make big progress on something that has no doubt been on your to-do list for a long time. Just try it once and see how much you get done and how good you feel afterwards.

Finding your rhythm and becoming as productive as possible will really help you grow your business quicker.

If you don’t know WHAT you should be working on then you may want to take a look at my self-study course, The Path, as this will give you the answers you are looking for. Read more here >>>

Making time to feel good is not a luxury

Making time to feel good is not a luxury

*Cue the eye roll*

I know you are reading this and doing the eye roll and I am not judging you for this because I would have done exactly the same thing just a few months ago. I used to get super frustrated by business owners I followed making out they had the “perfect” day every day.

Life is not perfect. We all have our restrictions and our own freedoms. You may not be able to spend an hour reading, meditating, doing yoga, painting – whatever the thing is that you would like to introduce into your days, every day.

But you don’t need to spend hours doing it.

10 minutes is all you need.
3 minutes sometimes.

Creativity is really important in the way I work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Even though I am not physically making pretty things to sell (well, my downloadable workbooks are always pretty snazzy) I need to find time to have some creative play so that I am inspired to do what I do. It has always been an important part of my life.

Even just for 10 or 20 minutes. A nice little break. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

For the past week, instead of flicking through Instagram Stories during my lunch break, I have spent time doing something creative. The image here on the banner of this email is a little painting I did in the week. Just by spending 15 mins doing this I felt refreshed and ready for my afternoon.
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But I used to see this time as “wasted time”. I used to see doing things like this as a luxury. I even used to put planning into the luxury box – thinking I didn’t have time to do it and I should just take action. Planning is not a luxury. Over planning and getting stuck is, but setting out the path you are going to follow is not.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As I have grown as a business owner I have realised what things work for me to keep me going. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Meditation, journaling, creativity, taking time out, getting fresh air, knitting, yoga, reading – these are all things that make me feel good so I make sure I get at least ONE of them into my every day because I know that they will fuel me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

10 minutes is all you need.
3 minutes sometimes.
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Just make sure you make time for YOU and for the things that fuel YOU. You will be a better business owner for it, I promise.

Make a list of things you would like to introduce into your day and for the next week try and spend at least 5 minutes every day doing it and see how different you feel. It will make you feel MUCH better than flicking through Instagram or Facebook, I promise. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Here is to creativity and feeling inspired! Make it part of your week next week.
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Lots of love for you on this Sunday.

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P.S. If you want to make your business building journey easier, join me for my free online workshop on 26 March at 11am (click here to register) and it will help you to create a simple plan to grow your wedding business which means you have more time to do the things you want to but don’t have the time to do right now (or so you think).

 

Asking for Help

Asking for Help

I remember when I was young, it felt like a weakness to ask for help. Anyone else remember feeling like this?

I remember the first real job I had. I would be petrified to ask a question about something or ask for help. I don’t really remember why, I suppose it was because I thought that asking for help would make me look like I couldn’t do the job, like I was weak. And I wasn’t.

As we get older, I think we ask more questions and are not embarrassed about doing that. We want to understand why something needs to happen that way, or why we are doing it at all. I suppose that is because as you get older you get more conscious of the time slipping by (hello closer to 40 than 30) realising that you never get it back again, so we want to make sure the time we spend doing something is actually for a reason, for a purpose.

But I still think that we don’t ask for help enough.

This has really been highlighted to me over the past few months with being pregnant – I still find that I am doing just as much as I was before because I don’t want to appear weak or use pregnancy as an excuse why I shouldn’t do things.

I KNOW that we don’t ask for help enough in our businesses. I think this is partly due to money sometimes but mainly I think it is because we want to feel like we have it all covered, we can do it all and that makes us better business owners. But you know what, it often times doesn’t – it makes us knackered because we are spending too much time working on things that are not what we are good at.

If you are a cake maker, a photographer, a stylist, a stationer, a designer, a florist, a planner, a [insert your wonderful wedding skill here] that is what you are good at so don’t keep kicking yourself when you get stuck with the marketing side of your business. You are not meant to be good at that. Yes, it is your responsibility to take control of it & take action on it but there is an easier way, I promise. It doesn’t have to be so hard, so exhausting, so frustrating, so overwhelming.

It is OK to ask for help.

Know that asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. It is a sign of courage, of taking control, of being a REAL business owner. Asking for help needs to be part of your business building journey because it makes it easier, it makes it more fun, it makes sure you enjoy the bits of business that you enjoy!

I know that if I needed a cake made I would go to an expert rather than “have a go” myself so don’t feel bad if you have to reach out for help if the thing you want to do is not the thing that you DO do.

Lots of love

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P.S. If you feel like you need that helping hand in your business, my new course The Path is out. Check it out >>>here<<<

Enjoy The Ride

Enjoy the Ride

When you start, build or grow a business you are most definitely going on a journey.  A journey like no other that you have been on. A journey that is unique to you, your dreams, your goals, your life, your desires.

Everyone’s journey will be different because that is what makes businesses different. Different personalities, different outlooks, different views, thoughts and ideas. That is what makes business exciting and inspiring! It is your difference that makes your perfect for your perfect couples.

You know what the most important thing is in your business?

You have got to enjoy the ride.

However you landed into your business. Whether you are just starting out or in it full time. Working on your own or have a team. Perhaps you are thinking about starting a wedding business or trying to grow it in your spare time. You may even have been in business for years and looking at how you can get even better. Wherever you are, there is one thing that has to happen in order for you to stay connected to your business & that is enjoying the ride.

Yes, there will be bumps. There will be turns in the road you were not expecting. There will be hills that feels as if they are impossible to get up BUT you have got to do it all with a smile on your face and know that each bump, each turn, each hill is teaching you, developing you and will ultimately make you a better and stronger business owner (and woman).

So, ask yourself 

“Am I enjoying the ride?”

If the answer is no, then don’t just pack it all in – think about WHY you are not enjoying it. What can you change, introduce or stop doing to make it more fun?

If the answer is yes, then whoop! I am so pleased for you. Your next step is to think about what could make you enjoy it EVEN more because this will help you move to that next level.

There will always be a solution.

Let’s say you are not enjoying your business because you are lonely – you can reach out and find a community that is there to support you, that get you.

Let’s say you feel disorganised with no clear path to follow – find one to follow to reduce the overwhelm and get you moving.

You can do this. Totally.

Scroll to the bottom and get your motivation message for this week to use as your phone backdrop. Just right click, save as image and upload as your phone background. To remind you to Enjoy The Ride.

With lots of love

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YOUR SCREENSAVER [right click, save as image and upload as your phone background]

Stop Being Nasty!

Stop being nasty

We all have insecurities about how we look and how we sound. It is kind of natural, especially as women, we are always so super critical of ourselves.

We say things to ourselves that we would never even think about saying to anyone else.

We can be really horrible to ourselves.

Think about the thing you always think about yourself that you don’t like, the negative things you say about it in your head, to yourself. Would you ever EVER say them to anyone else? Even someone you don’t like? I am pretty sure you will say “No! Never!” here because you are a nice person *I can tell!*

So why do you say them to yourself?

Being self-employed it can be really hard to stop this happening, the negative self-talk, because we are with ourselves for so much of the day, we are inside of our own heads. We are constantly judging, looking, being critical of what we are doing, even when we have done something that is pretty damn good – we still pick faults.

I am saying this from my heart and I am sure I am not alone with this!

You know what stops me from being in my head too much?

  • I journal. I try to do it every day but that doesn’t always happen, so I don’t feel guilty about it.
  • I make time for creativity. Creativity is an important personal value for me and it helps me create time to be inspired for my business too. At the moment I am in nesting mode in prep for Baby Etheridge to come into the world, so I am knitting at the moment (and reading a lot which is nothing really to do with bump, but it helps inspire me).
  • I have a community around me. When you are a solopreneur (in other words, just you and the cats all day every day) you NEED to connect with other people who “get it” otherwise you go crazy. I connect with the ladies inside my Wedding Biz Club every day and I am also part of a wonderful mastermind that keeps me sane.
  • I think about what holds me back, my insecurities, and I look for solutions to them. If you want to know my two biggest insecurities, then sign up for the free Instagram Stories Challenge that starts tomorrow and take a look at the prep work videos – this challenge will give you some community as well over the next week.  SIGN UP HERE>>>

So, what is the message here?

It’s simple.

STOP BEING NASTY TO YOURSELF!

Try to minimise the negative self-talk for the next week, notice when you are doing it and try and stop it.

Be kind to yourself. Be nice. Just like you are to other people in your world.

With lots of love on this Sunday

 

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A key trend for growing your wedding biz in 2018

Video…

I know…it sounds super scary and OK, let’s be real. It is. Putting yourself out there for everyone to see, judge and be critical of. But you know what, people really don’t care about THAT THING that you obsess about that you don’t like about yourself. That thing that you put under the microscope. Whether it is your voice you don’t like, the fact that you want to lose a few pounds, that you need to have your hair done before you take the plunge…you know, all those excuses we tell ourselves as to why not press that RECORD button.

Video is ridiculously powerful for your wedding business not only because it gets brides to SEE YOU (I know, that is the scary bit right! – but they have to see you to know you exist) but it gets them to trust you and build the confidence up with you and that is something that you can struggle to do with words.

But I totally know that recording yourself on camera and putting it out to the world is scary, but that is why I have put together the free 5 Day Instagram Stories challenge to help you get more confident in doing it. In a safe place. With other supporting you. Over the 5 Days we will work together on:

Day One – Confidence & Look and feel

Day Two – What to talk about & Equipment

Day Three – Practice & Review

Day Four – Do your first or improved Insta Story

Day Five  – Plan the next one

You will also get a handy workbook and be invited to a pop-up Facebook Group so I can support you and build that confidence & there will be a competition with a prize running inside the group to get you taking action!  >>>REGISTER HERE<<<

In this challenge, we are focusing specifically on Instagram Stories because it is the easiest and simplest way to get more confident with being on camera without needing any fancy equipment apart from your phone and the Insta App. BUT all of the tips you will learn in this 5 days are going to be super helpful for doing ANY kind of video. Whether that is a Facebook Live, a welcome video for your website, a video of your products, a video for YouTube or…well…any type of video to help you grow your wedding biz.  The tips will not only make you feel more confident with being on video, but they will also help you be more confident at wedding fairs, when speaking with brides at consultations and speaking and networking with other suppliers.

 

Join me in the free 5 day Instagram Stories Challenge which starts Monday 26 Feb. It’s totally free and it will help you be more confident in your business – even if Instagram Stories is not something you are thinking of doing just yet. >>REGISTER HERE<<

 

 

 

 

With love 

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How to do an Instagram Story – A Quick Guide

Always wondered how to do an Instagram Story – here is a simple quick guide!

Instagram Stories are a really great way of telling your story and really, when you think about it, marketing is simply about telling stories. Stories about your products, your services, you, what you do and how you work. This is what really attracts brides to you and engages them aswell.

I love Instagram Stories because it is a nice and easy way to get your real story out there in a natural and quick way.

But you may wonder how to do one – here is a very simple quick start guide to doing an Instagram Story.

TOP TIP – If you pop your phone on airplane mode you can practice without the worry that the video will actually be posted!

Instagram Stories is just one possible way of getting visible with your brides and visibility is something that is a constant thread running through your business. It is part of The Path of being a successful wedding biz, just one piece of the puzzle.

How to do an Instagram Story

  • Open Instagram
  • Press the little camera icon on the top left of your screen
  • Your screen will show up like a video
  • Down the bottom of your screen you will see various options which you can explore but for your first one we want to make sure we are set on normal
  • Tap the circle button at the bottom to take a photo or hold it down to take a short 15-second video
  • You can switch the camera around just like a normal photo to face you or away from you
  • You can add a filter by pressing the face icon and choosing the one you want (you can add a filter afterwards aswell)
  • As you record the video, a little circle will start running so you will know when it will cut out (this gets easier to manage the more you do!)
  • You can then edit the photo or the video by adding text, stickers and gifs by pressing the buttons on the top right
  • You can also remove the playback sound by pressing the speaker icon
  • Tap done
  • You can swipe left or right to add a filter
  • The story will not share until you tap the “add your story” icon on the bottom left
  • You can keep adding stories or pics and they will stitch together in the order that you record them
  • They last for 24 hours
  • You can also save your stories by pressing the “Save” icon and you can share it as a post once it is live if you want.

Simple!

But there may be one thing that is stopping you from doing this and that is your confidence.

If you want some more help with getting started with your Instagram Stories, join me for a free 5 Day Challenge which starts 26 Feb where we will work on your confidence and get that first story done!  Register here, it’s totally free >>> REGISTER HERE 

A story of confidence (and why you need to have it if you want to grow)

Does the thought of SEEING and HEARING yourself on camera totally freak you out?

I get it – I really really do. 

When I started my business I was so petrified to put myself out there that I just hid. For ages. Hiding behind the logo, the brand, the things I was doing.

And then I realised that when I was buying ANYTHING, whether it was a programme to build my business, a product to use on my skin, a handmade gift for a friend, essentially anything that was handcrafted by someone and not made on mass by a department store, I wanted to know who I was buying from.

I remember planning my wedding and searching for the suppliers I wanted to use. This was a time when I was still in my corporate days so it was before I had my own wedding business and before I started teaching other wedding businesses how to grow, so I had a very raw experience of searching, deciding on and booking our wedding suppliers, just like many of your brides do.  I remember one of the key things to choosing who we did was not price, it was how confident we felt with them – would they deliver what we wanted and meet (if not exceed) our expectations. That was really the key criteria. Would they show up on the day. I wanted to KNOW the person who I was trusting to turn up and do my wedding. I needed that confidence.

And you know what, the only way of getting that confidence is by standing tall and letting yourself step out from behind the brand.

And that is what I realised way back when when I started my business – I needed to be SEEN. I needed my clients to SEE WHO I really was & I knew that this would build the confidence that they had in me (which would mean they would ultimately invest in me).

Knowing this spurred me on to break through the scary, pee my pants, petrified-ness of doing that first video. But when I did my first ever video, it was BEFORE Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, it had to be an “official” YouTube video…and that was even more scary.

WHY?

Because YouTube was “proper”. There are so many polished videos on YouTube and that is kind of what you expect when you watch a video there. Whereas nowadays (that makes me sound like my mom!) Instagram Stories makes it easier than ever to have a go without all the super scary pressure of perfection.

Yes, even with using more instant tools such as Insta Stories you still need to be professional and on brand – everything you do in your business is a reflection of your brand after all. So you don’t want your dirty washing in the background or to go on camera looking like a hot mess (this will not build the confidence we are trying to get), you do not want to have something in the background that shows lack of attention to detail (like that house plant that is sprouting out the top of your head!!!)– this will leave a subliminal negative effect on your brides about your lack of attention to detail – not something that anyone wants.

Insta Stories has made it so much easier to start getting confident with being on camera BUT I still get that it is scary.

That is why I want to help you build the confidence that you need to grow your wedding business and Insta Stories is a great place to start because it also ticks the visibility box as well.

Join me for a free 5 Day Instagram Stories Challenge where I will be sharing with you some top tips and tricks to get you using Insta Stories as part of getting out there to your brides.

We start 26 Feb!

Register here, it’s totally free and there will be a pop-up Facebook Group so you can get my support and practice in a safe place.

Getting clear on your big why

Are you really clear on your big why and do you connect with it each and every day?

It is all too easy to just plod along and do “stuff” because “stuff” is what we do. But we don’t really want to live like that do we? We are self-employed for a reason – and connecting back to that is so very important to making intentional decisions in your business.

You see when you are clear on your BIG WHY – the reason you are building what you are – it keeps you focused on working towards that and achieving that.

Being clear on your why is key to what you are doing. Why do you do the business you do and what is the deeper why of it all?

Everyone’s why is different and that is really beautiful because it shows that no one business is the same. You may have started your wedding biz because you wanted to get out of the corporate rat race (that was one of my reasons). You may have started your business because you were forced to, one way or another, but you still chose to do it which means you have the passion and the drive. You may have started your business to get you more freedom and flexibility in your life, taking the little ones to school, picking them up, looking after someone – whatever your reason.

Your big why is WHY you do what you do for you. Yes, you may provide wonderfulness to your brides but WHY do you do what you do.

Having clarity about why you do what you do helps push you forward when you need that kick in the pants. It helps to pull you out of the despair when you feel like giving up (because we ALL have those days!).

It helps you to stay focused on your goal and the importance to you of achieving what you set out to.

You may reflect on your big why every now and then, or even just at the start and the end of a year. But I want to challenge you to do something that makes this so much more powerful. I want you to get clear on your BIG WHY and the CONNECT with it each and every day. Have it written somewhere that you can see it, have it somewhere that you can read it, connect with it at the start of each day. This is so powerful, trust me.

Over the past 12 months, I have done exactly this. I wrote it in the front of my planner and looked at it as the first page each and every day and the power that this has had on me is amazing.

This stuff works, and that is exactly why I have included it as one of the first pages inside of my beautiful Wedding Biz Planner Front and center so you can connect with it every day.

You can get your copy of The Wedding Biz Planner today and start making this part of your everyday.

 

With love

 

 

 

 

CRAFTING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SO IT WORKS FOR YOU

Crafting your social media so it works for you

Like most things in life, you have to craft something for it to be beautiful & your social media is the same. You need to spend time designing it so that it works and delivers for you and your business. This means that you really start to talk to the brides and grooms that you really want to be working with, that you want to build your wedding business around. Craft the strategy, design the process and you will have success. Just like everything in your biz, you do need to put some time and focus into it, but when you do this, they will work.

Here are three things that will stand you well with your social media success

1. FOCUS

You cannot be everywhere. There are soo many social media channels now that you cannot possibly do all of them and do them well. Social media is not your job, it is a tool for you to book brides so you can do your job. 

So choose one or two social media channels and do them well by posting good content and being consistent). If you are unsure where to focus then grab The Social Media Guide here as it has a handy dandy visibility tool picker to help you decide >>> http://bit.ly/wedbizsocialmediaguide

2. CONTENT

Content is basically the words you write and the images you use. We are exposed to content consistently in our world and we have busy minds and low attention span so it is super duper important that the words and the images you use on your social media are speaking to the brides you want to work with & telling the story you want them to tell.

Your content has to attract their eye and also has to be something they will be interested in. You are better posting less frequently and posting good quality content rather than blasting stuff out every 5 minutes that is just noise. We are after connection and your content needs to have purpose.

When you start to post content your brides care about they will engage with you so make sure you respond and engage back – that is kinda the whole point of this stuff.

Creating strong content is really key in your business and if it is something that you haven’t spent time looking at, now is a good time. It is a crucial step in the business building journey.

 

3. CONSISTENCY

Consistency is key in everything you do in your business and there are some really good reasons for this.

 #1

You never know when your bride is going to come across you so the more consistent you are (in other words, the more often you post on a regular basis) the more likely she is to find you.

#2

Consistency builds trust. Let’s say your bride has been following you for a while and then you suddenly go quiet…she will not think “Oh, she must be busy” she will more likely think that you are not around anymore, or, even sadder, she will just forget about you {sad face}.

#3

Consistency builds traction and by this I mean the more often you do something, the easier it becomes, the more you enjoy it & the more engagement you get because brides start to notice you.

#4

Consistency builds your brand and you need a strong brand to stand out in this busy industry. The wedding businesses that thrive are the ones that have a clear message, a strong brand and a consistent presence…social media can help you build all of these things.

I could ramble on about this for ages, but hopefully, you are starting to see that consistency, showing up regularly in your business, is king when it comes to growing any business but especially one that is in a busy marketplace.

If you feel you need more help, why not sign up for the free 6 part training series which walks you through some of the basics or getting your message right >>> http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/moochtosmooch

This is taken from the Social Media Guide – for the full guide and a 31-day posting schedule download it here for free >>> http://bit.ly/wedbizsocialmediaguide

See your social media as telling a story about you, your brand, your products, and your brides will engage with you *and book*!

 

The Wedding Biz Club: The online community for wedding biz owners who want to be part of something. A place of support, connection and EDUCATION.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

What to ask yourself when you feel stuck

We all feel stuck sometimes, (some weeks more than others!!). We can feel smothered by the to-do list, the must-do list and the dream list. This feeling kinda comes part of the business owner package! But it is easy to get stuck into non-action. Not doing anything productive, useful or well…anything (otherwise known as THE FAFF!!).

Looking at your to-do list you may not know where to start, and this question will help you.

What is the next logical step?

Let’s say you have 30 things on your to-do list, one of those is “Look at the way I welcome booked brides into my business.” This is GREAT action, BUT if you are not actively getting bookings, it does not make sense to look at this as a priority. But let’s say you have an action on your to-do list such as “Look at the packages I offer” then it makes way more sense to work on that action because when you know what you offer you can sell it in a way that will attract your brides.

Does that make sense?

Sometimes the projects that are on the list are not for right this very second – they may be excellent things to work on but in the future. Looking at how you welcome booked brides into your business is an key action for creating an amazing customer experience but if you are not getting those booked brides, it is not a key focus for now – it may be in 3 months time when you start to get the flow going.

Just to say, you also need to use your intuition here. What feels like it is the next best thing for you? You have to tune into your intuition because this can guide you way more than you realise.

So, if you are stuck in stickiness of your business, ask yourself…

“What is the next logical step”, look at where your biz is right now and figure out what you need to focus on.

If you need help, join me and the other wonderful wedding business inside The Wedding Biz Club and I can help you get unstuck in the Business Path Questionnaire you get sent when you join.

 

 

So, remember

“What is the next logical step?”

You can figure this out and you can make this happen. I believe in you.

 

 

 

 

 

The secret to success (and it’s no what you think!)

Ok, so there is no real secret potion that is going to make you super successful, (if you do find one though can you promise that you will let me know?!) But, after working in my business I can only talk about what has worked for me.

And this one thing has made a humungous difference to the way my business works out, and my life for that matter.

It is incorporating habits into my every day and tracking them.

Simple eh!

Perhaps not as simple as it sounds…especially at this time of year. When a new year comes we have this urge to say that we want to change EVERYTHING all at once. This does not work (read my blog post on this here and how I handle it). We fail not because we don’t have the desire but because we try and change too many things at one time (read more about that here).

We need to focus on introducing one or two new things at a time, otherwise the overwhelm strikes and well, we all know what happens then…

Successful people have good habits [Download a free habit tracker here >>>]. Habits that help them become the person they want to be, the business owner they want to be, the mother, the wife, the daughter, the care, the [whatever hat you are wearing today].  But it is not just about setting habits, it’s about tracking them and seeing when they are not working for you.

As an example. 

I have introduced many habits into my life really consciously over the last 12 months or so and they happen pretty much every day. I notice from tracking that it is the weekend that these habits don’t get done. I can choose what happens here, I can either change something about my weekends so that they do get done or I accept that my weekends are different and that’s OK. Only by tracking can we see where we need to make change, or when we need to celebrate that we have stuck to it!

What habits am I tracking at the moment?

DAILY:

  • Journal
  • Meditate
  • Yoga/Pilates
  • Daily check-in with my body and mind
  • Take vitamins
  • Tidy one area of the house
  • Do clear to do list
  • Transfer savings daily (even if it just a £1)

WEEKLY:

  • Clean down emails
  • Clean down download

There are quite a few here BUT remember, I have been introducing these into my world over the past 12 months or so.

 

ACTION TIME

So, what habits do you want to introduce into your biz and your life?

If you are unsure, just try one thing and be as specific as you can.

For example “Drink more water” Try and set HOW many glasses you want to drink – make it measureable

The example I use above “Tidy one area of the house”. That works for me because it could mean an entire room or it could mean to tidy the clutter off the sides. My intention here is to maintain a tidy and organised home (if you don’t open the drawers!).

Get your free download habit tracker: DOWNLOAD HERE

Inside of The Wedding Biz Planner, there is a monthly habit tracker that you can use as part of your regular planning to help you to stay accountable.  This is just one part of the planning system – you can read more here >>>

For you to take intentional action in your business that will cultivate growth you need to spend time each month to set out what you are going to do, in line with your goals. Remind yourself what the 3 core priorities are for you that month, based on your big plan. Plot out what commitments you have in the monthly calendar. Keep a monthly master to do list which you can start to pre-fill in throughout the year. Brainstorm ideas for what marketing you are going to do that month and lay it out in the content calendar. Track habits in the habit tracker for you so you can start to cultivate habits that support you in your business. Finally, before we move into weekly planning you have space to record what wedding bookings you have this month – a flexible space for you to use these pages as best suits your business.

 

Get out of overwhelm with this tactic

Focus on the reason why 

6 DECEMBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

I have spoken to quite a few clients and business buddies over the past few weeks who are getting into the pre-end of year panic of “What should I be doing!”. Today I wanted to share a really quick tactic with you if you are feeling the same.

Focus on the reason WHY

Every action you take in your business should be for a purpose, I talk a lot about taking conscious actions in your business – things that will actually get you closer to where you are heading. But also, every action in your business should have a WHY. There should be a reason why you are doing it.

Let’s be honest, when you are elbow deep in the huge to do list of any project, you can lose sight of the reason why. And this is when we get stuck. This is when we procrastinate. I say we here because I am the same, but this trick always pulls me back to action.

Why am I doing this? What is the reason?

Honest moment coming up…

I have just launched The Wedding Biz Planner (which I am so super bloody thrilled about!) BUT, it took a lot of wading through mud to get there. This project has been on my vision board for a few years now, and this year was always the year that I was going to make it happen. But, full transparency here, did I wish I had launched it sooner? Yes. Do I wish it was less of a manic panic scramble to get it finalised? Yes. But you know what, it is done and that, is good enough for me. The reason I procrastinated over this for so long was because I fell into the trap that I advise clients not to, the trap that this planner is designed NOT to let happen! I got stuck in the mud of the to do list and lost sight of the reason WHY I was creating it. In all honesty, it is not going to be a big financial earner for me (these things cost a heck of a lot more to print that you would ever realise!) BUT it is part of the grand plan and THAT is the reason why. When I connect where the planner is going to sit inside my business then it is totally worth what I have put into it.

Focusing on the WHY helps you to draw yourself out of detail of the how. Yes, of course you need a logical list of things to do to get a project done, but when that list becomes overwhelming you need to focus on the reason why.

Here are some examples:

“I need to create my website”. That is a huge project and yes, one that could easily overwhelm. But when you focus on why, then that overwhelming project has purpose, it gives reason. WHY DO I NEED TO DO THIS? “I need to do this because I know that if I can make the changes I want to my website, my brides will be able to find me easier and I will be able to showcase what wonderful work I do which will get me more bookings.” That why right there should pull you forward through the tasks you need to do to get the project done.

 

“I need to start being more consistent with my social media!” WHY? “I know that if I am not out there then brides will not be able to find me and the more I can show up and been seen then the more likely brides are to find me and take action”

 

“I need to start sending newsletters” WHY? “Because I know that if I don’t brides will forget about me and I know that if I send them regular, useful newsletters that help them, they will think of me when they are ready to book my service.”

 

Now your why may go deeper than that and you can go as deep as you like but I want you to think of the practical reason WHY.

 

“Why will taking this action help me grow my business, what will it achieve?”

 

Find the answer to that question and you will be more focused and more intensely committed to getting the project DONE.

 

I hope this helps you. If you want more help with planning them I have two things at the moment that may be perfect for you

#1 Curate our 2018 – A 5 day online workshop mastermind where we will get your 2018 planned out in a way that works. The cost is £40 and we start 8 Jan for one week. Read more here >>> http://weddingbizcoach.com/curate2018

#2 The Wedding Biz Planner – The planner designed for the wedding industry. The cost is £32 + P&P. Read more here >>> http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/weddingbizplanner/

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Drive Sales in your Wedding Business with a Christmas Voucher

Drive Sales in your wedding business with a Christmas Voucher

29 NOVEMBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

CAN YOU CREATE A CHRISTMAS VOUCHER?DRIVE SOME SALES + GET SOME SECURED BOOKINGS

Let’s imagine your perfect bride is sitting there, on the verge of buying or booking from you and they really want to, but they just can’t find that last bit of money right now. Remember, Christmas can be an expensive time of the year (in case you missed that!!). Let’s imagine people keep saying “What do you want for Christmas?”. Imagine if they said “I really want that [insert your wedding awesome] from [insert your beautiful business]!!! That is all I want!!! You know, they do offer gift vouchers, special Christmas ones….I would love one of those!”.

It would take you no time at all to bash one together on Canva.com (check out the how to here) and print it out [on some nice card stock or photo paper]. You could email your list and tell them that you are doing vouchers for this month only! You can promote the pants off it on social media [giving you something to actually post about on your social media channels]. You could do an Instagram Story on it [If you want to know how to do Instagram Stories, I talk about that in the Instagram bundle inside of The Wedding Biz Club so you could learn today click here]. You could do a FB Live on it [See blog post about how here!].

Let’s imagine another situation…

A Groom is sitting there wondering what the heck he can buy his bride this year for Christmas that is going to mean something to here (rather than yet another random purchase that is made after walking round the shops for hours on end…). He has heard her yabbering on about this [insert your wedding awesome here] for days, weeks, month. He discovered that said supplier does Christmas Vouchers…awooooga! Present sorted!

~ Your Action ~

Brainstorm some ideas of how you can drive some sales through December with the introduction of a Christmas Voucher.

~ LINKS I MENTIONED ~

Hello Canva: http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/how-to-create-images-for-your-wedding-biz/

Hello Instagram Stories – Learn how to do them + lots of other wonderful things inside The Wedding Biz Club! }http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/weddingbizclub/

Hello FB Live: http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/facebooklive/

Emma x

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Your Branding

Your Branding is your Attraction Tool

10 NOVEMBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

Let’s talk Branding

Your brand is your attraction tool. It is what makes brides stop and look. It is what gives “the feeling” as to whether you are the right fit for them and for what they want to experience as part of their wedding.

I like to think of your brand as the cover of a book. There are lots of books you could buy when you go into a bookstore (or, let’s be honest, when we sit in our PJs on Amazon!). Too many in fact. So you have to cut the choice down and your natural instinct will be to go with the book that has a cover that appeals to you. It may be bright and POW in your face. It may be clean, crisp and minimal. It may be fun and quirky. But you will only pick that book off the shelf IF the cover has made it stand out amongst the others and has appealed to you. Martha standing next to you may go for a totally different book because that book appeals to her.

So your brand, to start with, is the wrapping of your business.

It gives that instant feel of what kind of service you offer, whether you are luxury or cheap. Whether you are modern or traditional. Whether you are for that bride or not for that bride.

I feel strongly that the success of a business can lie in the branding. Yes, the content and the products and the service has to be amazing to BUT if the cover isn’t attracting your soul-bride then the story inside doesn’t matter.

Action Time

Your mini brand review

What do you want your brand to say about you?

Describe your perfect brand in 3 words.

Does your current brand reflect that?

If not, what instant changes can you make to improve that?

If it “kinda” does then think about how you can further enhance your brand to attract your soul bride to you.

Now your brand needs to be the backbone throughout your business. It is more than just a pretty logo and pretty colours, it is your voice in a busy industry, it is what attracts brides to you.

I love branding and could talk about it for ages so if you have any questions, just email me and let’s chat! emma@weddingbizcoach.com

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Failure is Part of the Story

Failure is part of the Story

31 OCTOBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

Failure excites me – does that make me strange?

Why does it excite me? Because failure often means you have tried something new and that is exciting.

OK, so I am not talking big-ass-fall-on-your-face-pants-round-your-ankles type of failure, but I am talking about those things you do that you don’t go quite as well as you had hoped.

Failure is not the end of the road though, it is part of the development. Part of the evolvement of building a business because let’s be real, no one has it sussed. No one knows the perfect path to follow, the perfect next thing to do, we are all just winging it really (some may just have a little more of a game plan than others…!).

So when you embark on something new, be open and embrace the good, the bad and the nasty because these all make you more resilient as a business owner. They make you realise what you want to actually do. They help you to shape a stronger and more structured business.

Now, I am not saying you should go out looking for failure (just to clear that up!!). You need to be totally behind the thing you are doing, you need to start it with a good feeling, a positive outlook and a can-do attitude. But if you do get bumps in the road, learn from them and know that they are probably making your steer into the right direction and that they are shaping your business journey.

So next something doesn’t go to plan, ask yourself “What can I learn from this?” and then move on. Don’t dwell. Don’t stagnate in despair. Turn that negative into action and learn from it – there is a lesson in everything you know 😊

With love

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

How do I attract my soul bride?

Attracting your Soul Bride

24 OCTOBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

Your soul bride is your perfect bride. The bride that you would want to work with each and every day in your business. The bride that loves the kinds of weddings you want to be part of. The kind of bride that matches your personality, both your business personality and yours (they should be heavily interlinked anyway). To attract these brides into your business you need to

#1 Write words and post image that they will be attracted by

#2 Put those words and images in places they will look

Sounds simple right?

That’s because it is when you think about it. But let’s get practical. The words and images you use need to draw your bride into you, you need to talk about things that they care about, things that worry them, things that they want to have for their wedding. Let’s say you are trying to draw in a modern bride, you will want to post about current trends, you will want to fill your social media feed and your website with images and colours that are in line with the look and feel that they want for their wedding because they will be drawn in my this.

This is why it is so important to understand your soul-bride

The long and short of good content for your wedding business (and this is what attracts bride to you), post the kinds of things that your soul-bride would be attracted to.  If you want some training on identifying your soul-bride, grab y free 6-part training series that will help >> http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/moochtosmooch/ 

Let’s look at some examples

Let’s say you want to attract a bold, fun, quirky bride into your business, then you need to fill your social media and your website with bright bold images that will draw them in, that will make them stop and look. You will want to write about things like “How to infuse your personality into your wedding” and you want them to see that you have the same kind of style.

Let’s say you are a photographer and you want to fill your order book with couples who want natural story telling photography rather than more traditional wedding photography, then make sure your website and your social media is filled with storytelling style shots and not traditional shots.

Let’s say you are building your portfolio and you have done a couple of weddings. Some your perfect setting, your perfect look and feel, your perfect type of dream future work wedding. Some not so great. Let’s say you are aiming for a bride who likes the finer things in life and you have been involved in a wedding at a gorgeous venue. That is what you want to feature on your website, on your social media, in your content, in your portfolio. But let’s say you have also been involved at a wedding in a more budget hotel which has a different look and feel that doesn’t match your dream weddings. Don’t feature this because it will dilute your brand. Only share things that say the right thing about what you want to be known for.

It is better to have one less perfect wedding featured than lots of different types of wedding because this will dilute the impact of attracting your soul-bride and that is what we are doing here.

Filter time

Before you post anything on social media, on your website, on your blog, in your newsletter ask yourself these simple questions

Is this representing the quality of my business?

Is this giving the right look and feel to what I am all about?

Is this stopping people from buying from me?

Do I feel happy and confident with this content/image?

If you find yourself answering these on the negative all the time then think about what you need to do to change this in the future because until you do, you will struggle to build that dream portfolio of soul brides.

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Comparison

Competition & Comparison

18 OCTOBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

Let’s get real for a moment. The wedding industry is a busy one. There are lots of suppliers out there and there will be lots of suppliers offering the same kinds of services and products as you. On the flip side to this, there are also lots and lots and lots of lovely couples out there, and you only want a small piece of the pie!

But the danger of being in a busy industry is not about competition as such, it is about comparison.

The more you look, the more people you find to compare yourself to. The more comparing you do the worse you feel about your business. Because you are looking at the other business through rose tinted glasses. Through the shiny veneer of their website and their social media. You do not see the struggles they have (which are likely to be the same as all of us), the people they are comparing themselves to (which could very well be you you know).

You will always, always, always have things you want to change in your business. Your website will never be perfect, you will always want to change things. You will always look at what you are doing and think “OH, I wonder if I changed that bit…” and this is a good thing. As overwhelming as it can feel sometimes, wanting to improve and develop things in your business means you are still passionate about what you do and you still have the drive. This is why this is good.

 

But, it can be overwhelming so I have two simple tasks for you this week.

01.

Start a niggle list. Get a notebook, or use an online tool (however you work best) and every time you see something you want to change or improve, write it in the list. Then, each week choose one thing off that list and you will start to make those changes you want to see.

02.

When you feel you are getting into the “comparison” trap, I want you to say

“Wow, that looks ace – good for them! If they can do it, then so can I! And I will do it even better!!”.

Remember…

Throughout your business journey you will always look up to someone and there will always be someone looking up at you. This is the process of business evolution. The way you manage it is to say

“If they can do it then do so can I”

Because you totally can.

And you totally will if you remember this.

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Loneliness Stole my Creativity

Loneliness.

22 SEPTEMBER 2017 // REAL LIFE

I feel a little bit vulnerable about sharing this blog post and it has been sitting in my blog drafts for over a week. I stopped pressing send because I thought it would make me seem weak. I stopped pressing send because I thought it may look as if I was being ingenuine and measured, and I really, hand on heart am not (and I know the people who really know me will know this anyway). But, I decided to press send anyway, because, after a few conversations I have had this week, I know it will help the people it needs to.

The subject is loneliness.

I wrote this post the first day I got back from a really beautiful two week holiday. We got back late on the Wednesday and Thursday was a back to normal day. My husband, Tom, went to work and so did I. I sat at my desk, opened my emails and opened the to-do list notebook I have updated before I went away. I had planned in a day of grace before getting straight back into client work, but, as I sat there I have the heady mix of loneliness and overwhelm wash over me (with a pinch of WTF am I doing!).

I felt so lonely.

I had been with Tom every day for the last two weeks and we had had the best holiday ever. Really. I was so full of gratitude for the time we had spent together and I knew I was super lucky to have my business. To be able to walk from the bedroom to the office and I was there. To be able to do what I love every day and not have to deal with corporate politics that used to make me DREAD going back to work after my holidays, back in my corporate days. I WANTED to go back to work because I love what I do so much.

I didn’t deserve to feel down.

This was the first holiday since having my business that I had a full two weeks off, with no “Oh, I just need to do this quickly” and no guilt, as my clients knew I was away and I had gotten everything I needed to get done, done, before I went.

I didn’t deserve to feel low. But I did.

When you feel like this and you don’t have the company of other people around you, all those mind monkies start jumping around and the self-doubt thoughts come creeping in. It is easy to spiral. Having no one around to talk to can make it worse.

I tried to shake the feeling.

I did some meditation, and some journaling – two tools which always help me. I got up and had a boogie and (what felt like) my 10th cup of coffee but I couldn’t shake the loneliness. So, I went for a walk to the local park and felt even more lonely.

I was happy when Tom came back that night.

One of the reasons I halted from posting this was because I said it made me feel ingenuine and manufactured (which it really isn’t) and the reason is because the one thing that got me out of this spiral of self-doubt, of what the flip and I doing, was the community I have around me. The personal community I have with my business besties (you know who you are and you are flippin awesome!) and the community of wonderfully amazing clients I work with inside my programme and my Wedding Biz Club. These are real people but the connection is online. I was always dubious of “online friends” but oh my days, they have saved me on many occasions – you can be more vulnerable and more open and honest online because no one judges. Everyone is in the same place.

These people just GET it. We are all people growing our business, creating our dreams – some are a few more steps ahead and some are just starting out. As a teacher I need to be teaching from a place of genuine heart, that is core to me as The Wedding Biz Coach, and I paused from posting this blog post because I thought it would make me look weak, and out of control.

But I am not, I am just real and I am on the same journey as you are, just a few paces ahead.

You see, no one gets it, unless you are in it. I had no right to be down, I had just had an amazing holiday and I get to wake up every day and do what I love and what I am passionate about, working with women who I genuinely love. I have no right to feel down. But being your own boss Is hard when you are walking the walk on your own, fighting those self-doubt fairies on your own, when no-one in your family or friendship circle truly get it.

It’s not their fault, they just haven’t walked the path so cannot feel the bumps in the road.

I am afraid I don’t have a magic wand to fix this for you if you feel like this every now and then (or more often than not!), but my big piece of heartfelt advice from one dream maker to another is reach out and get that community. Get people around you who understand the roller-coaster of emotion that is being the self-employed person, the boss, the CEO, the entrepreneur – whatever you want to call yourself.

As I say, I halted posting this because I didn’t want it to look like I was saying “Hey, you need community because you are sad and alone – Join The Wedding Biz Club blah blah blah!” It made me feel like it was part of an ikky marketing strategy, but it really isn’t.

It is true life.  It is real life. It is a true story.

And I know that there are some of you out there at the moment who feel like this because the kids have either started school, or gone back to school and life has returned to you and your desk. You expected to be excited to get back into routine (anyone else crave that, or is it just me!) but instead you feel lonely. You feel like you should feel revved up and raring to go, but you feel alone.

I should have been revved up and raring to go the first day I got back! After a beautiful, relaxing and blessed holiday. And I was in a way, tons of new ideas, lots of plans for the end of the year made whilst soaking up the Sicilian Sun, but that feeling of loneliness stole my drive and replaced it with overwhelm and that little familiar voice “Can I really do this?!”

I just wanted you to know you are not alone, and if you feel you need support and community then The Wedding Biz Club may be right for you. This is not an ikky sales thing, this is a hand reaching out if you want to grab it. You can read more here >>>

And…just to say…

Before I get lots of worried messages from my clients (I can see you – opening up Facebook Messenger whilst reading this!) I am back now to full form, 100% Emma and it is because of YOU that I am. You remind me every day what it is all about, and seeing your amazing progress makes my heart smile wider than you can ever know.

 

Emma 

x

 

P.S. Reading this last paragraph back before hitting publish has made me cry and I have just done my makeup!! Off I go to find cotton buds and eye makeup remover for a wobbly bottom lip rescue mission!

 

 

The Wedding Biz Club: The online community for wedding biz owners who want to be part of something. A place of support, connection and EDUCATION.

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Can you be my Cheerleader?

Hello, I’m your new virtual cheerleader

21 SEPTEMBER 2017 // WEDDING BIZ CLUB 

What is the Wedding Biz Club and who is it for?

The heart & soul of The Wedding Biz Club is support and connection, because, to me, that is what we miss as entrepreneurs.

We can learn most things (and education is a huge part of the club) but we cannot find support & connection quite so easily. Especially, if like me, you are an introvert who would much prefer to snuggle up on the sofa with a good book and a glass of wine or a cup of tea than go out and get dolled up every Saturday night (even though we all love a good dance every now and then!).

We can Google things like

“How can I grow my Instagram following?”

“How can I get brides to find me?”

“How do I make a brochure?”

“How do I send a newsletter?”

“What do I do when a bride wants something I don’t offer”

+ all the other random thoughts that plop in your head when you are working (or, trying to fall asleep at night!)

We can find the resources to help. One question = 10million (perhaps an exaggeration!) YouTube tutorials appear. Then you spend the next 3 hours, the only 3 hours you have to work on your business that week, finding the one that is half decent and actually gives you what you need but then you have run out of time to actually do it because it has taken you so long to find. And that is only if you haven’t got distracted looking at funny cat videos or makeup tutorials (two of my guilty pleasures!). [The videos inside The Wedding Biz Club give you what you need super quickly so no more hours of YouTube frustration!].

Anyway, I have gone off track.

You can Google the “How do I…?” but you cannot google

“How to find people who understand where I am”

“How to stop spiralling into self-doubt every 2 seconds because I feel like I don’t know what I am doing”

And a person magically appears in front of you, giving you a big hug, telling you “Come on, you have got this. You are wonderful at what you do.”

A virtual support cheerleader doesn’t exist.

Or does it?!

IT DOES! Inside The Wedding Biz Club!

You have me cheerleading you and picking you up + you have all the other beautiful members who are with you aswell, holding your hand and giving you a hug or a bum kick (or both) depending on what you need. This support is invaluable, truly invaluable.

As part of the Wedding Biz Club membership, you don’t just get access to over 17 business courses (new ones added each month), weekly group calls with me, masterclasses on biz building skills, 1/4ly planning retreats and stack loads more (read here) you also get invited to be part of the online private community that is a place of support and connection with the amazing women inside The Club.

The Club is a really really safe place for you to come to ask “those” questions. You know the ones you used to ask work colleagues when you worked in a team, or those questions that you ask your cat when you are trying to do something (Or is that just me – I would freak out one day if she replied!)

A place to ask the

“What do you think about this?”

“How do you think I should approach this?”

“OMG this bride is driving me crazy…!” (these questions always lead to a different perspective and this helps hugely).

A place to celebrate the wins, the niggles, the “wooooooo hoooooo” moments or the “oh my god, everything is falling apart” moments (we ALL have them!).

It is so hard to find other like-minded business owners who genuinely understand the path you are on. Even harder to find like-minded business owners who are in the same industry as you – the wedding industry is truly unique and different to any other out there.

Hands up, if you have tried business networking events and just been shunned or felt not worthy because you have “a little wedding business”. So many networking events are for corporates who don’t get the true meaning of being a solo-preneur, or you get the snotty self-employed people – you know what I mean if you have been to anything like this to try and build your network. If you manage to find a wedding biz networking group they are often super clicky and if you are not in the “In” crowd then you are very much out of it. There are a few areas in the UK where this is really the case and it can make you feel totally crap.

But, if you are anything like me, you would much prefer to be in your comfies at home and have connections with other people who genuinely get it.

That is what I found when I was few months into my business (read about my entrepreneurial breakdown #1 and 2 over here – scroll down the page a bit and you will see it). If I hadn’t found support and connection back then, I think know that I would be doing something very different now.

 

The Club is for you if

You are fed up of feeling alone

You are craving connection (but don’t want to go out networking every week)

You don’t have hours and hours to waste on trying to figure out what you need to grow your business [when you sign up to the club you get instant access to 17+ business course and biz building masterclasses with a different focus each month – this month (Sept 2017) we are covering blogging, next month we are covering your freebie, last month we covered messaging – you can read more here]

You need somewhere to come to share your journey

You need support

You want to wake up every day knowing you have a safe place you can come, with no backstabbing, no stealing of ideas, no nastiness – the community is really beautiful

You feel stuck in what to do next but don’t have hours (or hundreds of pounds) to invest in business coaching [Membership is currently £25 a month (Sept 2017) and the value of the club is thousands of pounds – and you get instant access plus you can cancel at any time, no contract, no tie in]

You need a path to follow [When you sign up you will get a personalised business path from me which looks at where you are now and suggests which bundle to do first, next and then next]

You need to recenter and get clarity about what you offer and who for

You need to move on with your marketing and make a change to what you are doing

You are ready to uplevel and introduce new things to your business

You want accountability [Inside the Club starting October I will be running 4 90 day challenges throughout the year which covers the basics of the backbone to your biz – the one starting in October is Blogging]

You want to develop relationships, collaborative ones at that, with other wedding business owners

 

Whatever stage you are at, there is something inside The Club that will help you. Click here to read more about this.

 

If you crave support and connection then the club is for you. Why not give it a go, even just for a month, and see what a difference it makes to your outlook, your mindset, your confidence and your business. There is no contract or long-term commitment to join. £25 a month and you can cancel at any time. Plus if you sign up before Monday 25 September you get extra bonuses and you get an invite to the online planning retreat which happens on Monday 25 September as an added gift from me too. In this, we will be planning out your next three months.

Unsure what a membership club actually is and how it works? Read this blog post here >>>

Unsure if the Club is for you or, have a question about it, drop me a message below.

I would love to welcome you and get your welcome gift sent out to you.

 

SIGN ME UP! I AM READY TO DO THIS SHIZ!!!! >>> 

Emma

x

 

INSIDE THE CLUB 

Full Training Library of 16 courses

Monthly Wedding Biz Growth Project

Monthly Biz Masterclass

Weekly “Ask me Anything” Office Hours Calls

4 x 90 Day Challenges starting September

Stacks of Accountability

Oodles of REAL Support

Super Supportive Community

Quarterly Online Planning Retreats

Exclusive Client Only Training

20% Off Selected Wedding Biz Coach Services

24/7 Online Access to Everything

 

An exclusive Facebook Group

 

£25 A MONTH

Cancel anytime, no Contract

The Wedding Biz Club: The online community for wedding biz owners who want to be part of something. A place of support, connection and EDUCATION.

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

How to Change a Situation

How to change any situation 

19 SEPTEMBER 2017 // BIZ SH*T

I have learnt a new skill! The power of the pivot

Remember when you used to play netball at school? You had the ball and you couldn’t move – you had to stay on your landing foot and all you could do was pivot to play the ball in the direction you wanted to go. Normally towards the hoop (which seemed stupidly high for a short arse like me) unless there was some freakishly tall and intimidating fellow 14-year-old with her hands stretched up towards the sky…you would have to change direction because you knew you would never get through that barrier (unless you were sneaky and went through the legs which I probably could have walked underneath because I was so small…anyway enough of my size issues – back to the story!)

To get where you wanted to get to (by the goal) you sometimes had to change direction and look at the options in a different way.

Some days I feel like this 14-year-old version of me, holding a ball which I have to get rid of in under 3 seconds but I don’t want to miss the chance to make the right decision. I don’t want to panic and do something that I will think “Oh crap – I should have gone the other way”. But equally, I don’t want to be holding the ball for ages because then the excitement will have gone.

So I learnt the joys of pivoting.

And now I pivot so many things in my life – from the washing up to the vaccing to the business decisions I make.

Let me explain.

There is always, always, a different way of looking at things and when you embrace this in your life you will be much happier my friend – trust me – if it has worked for me, it will work for you.

So let’s look at what you do when you don’t like doing something.

Example 1:

My accounts. I am not a numbers person. When it comes to my accounts I am a head in the sand kinda business owner (which I am working on so don’t judge me or shout at me !!). I know I will get done what I need to get done but I will hate doing it. So I pivoted. Instead of thinking “Ewww – accounts, I HATE doing them!” I now think “Oh money! I am pleased that I have got to do my accounts because it means I am making money! Whoop!”

Example 2:

Washing up. We don’t have a dishwasher…so I feel like I constantly wash up! I am an adventurous cook which normally means I have used all the utensils known to man, about 5 different pots and pans (we only have a 4 ring cooker so I never understand how I use 5 pans) and make an “artistic” mess (which basically means I am a messy cook). So after I have cooked (which I love) I am faced with the mess. So instead of going “Grrr!” I pivot. I think of the lovely food we have eaten and how blessed I am that I have eaten such a good meal. I think about how lovely the kitchen will look again when it is nice and tidy. I use the time to listen to a podcast, or some music, or a meditation (just without the eyes closing bit…shhh don’t tell, I am meditation rebel) and I have actually started to enjoy the washing up (shhh..don’t tell hubby!!).

Example 3:

Showering. OK, this one makes me sound weird. I love having a shower, I really do, but It is all the palava afterwards. Battling with the tangled hair from over-aggressive shampooing, moisturising, cleaning the shower – ugh! I just want to start my day – if there was a “getting ready” machine that you stepped into it as “organic” Emma and coming out looking like “video ready” Emma I would crowdfund that bad boy!  But I know it is something that I need to do (if I want to look like a respectable human) so instead of being all Kevin and Perry about it (UK people of a certain age will get this…everyone else will just think I am weird) instead, I pivot. I look forward to having some “me” time, where I can really connect with myself and the day ahead. When I am in the shower I think of what I want to achieve that day. If I have any negative thoughts or niggle worries in my head, I let the water wash them out (A trick I learnt from a good friend of mine, Jennie Harrison, Sleep Deprived Mums Coach – check her out if you have little one who can’t sleep!) and I leave the shower feeling cleansed and refreshed, both inside and out. I then set my intentions for the day ahead whilst cleaning my teeth and combing through my hair tangles, I have a dance whilst doing my hair and then I often listen to a podcast or an uplifting audio whilst doing my makeup. So from doing something I do every morning, something that used to annoy me, I now use the time to start my day in the best possible way. I pivoted.

You can pivot with anything and everything in your business. And in your life.

How can you pivot when you need to make a decision that you are unsure of?

01.

The first step is to assess where you are right now – where is that foot planted.

02.

Now look at all the different options you have – what can you do to make the best of the situation? Who can you involve? Which direction is safe (or dangerous) to go in?

03.

Now which one feels like it is the right thing? Which option feels like it will be the most fun, the most fulfilling?

Go with that one. Follow your gut. You need to tap into that intuition and go with it – it is one of the most powerful tools we have as human beings.

So, next time you are faced with something that you dislike doing but you know you have to or when you need to make a decision, try out the pivot and see what good you can find from the situation and focus on that.

Practice the Pivot this week and see what a difference it has on your outlook (and your outcome).

It’s a powerful one.

Emma

X

P.S. Come join The Wedding Biz Club for real life, true, honest, business building advice. Read more here >>>  http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/weddingbizclub/ 

 

 

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Do you work with your business seasons?

What Season Are You In?

28 AUGUST 2017 // BIZ SH*T

What Season are you in?

Seasons have a major effect on our mood and our productivity – don’t you agree? I am writing this sitting in my garden with the sun shining down and I feel inspired to write. I feel connected. I feel at ease.  But I don’t feel like this all year.

We know what to do when each season comes – we know that the summer will be lighter nights, lazy summer evenings in the garden, holidays (often). We know that when winter comes we sit in front of the fire, all snuggled up under blankets watching films and drinking red wine (OK, so red wine is an all year round thing!).

But what about the seasons of our business and of our life – do we consider them in the same way?

We all have peaks and troughs of working, even more so in the wedding industry. You cannot keep the constant work work work all year round, you have to have some downtime otherwise you just burn out *hands up who has been there at least once!*.

If we started to look at our business year in sense of seasons, I think we would be far better off as businesses owners and as individuals to (because the person behind your business is important to you know – hint…that’s you!).

Everyone has a time of year they love – a time of year that really fills them with inspiration – you may love the summer and feel zhooped up (is that a thing – yeah let’s make it a thing!). It makes sense to do your most creative work at this time – perhaps you are a stationery designer, if the summer makes you feel happy and alive, then do your new design work in the summer.

It may be that personal events make you feel different at different times of the year. Perhaps you have a month a year that means something big to you personally, perhaps someone has passed away or you have had to deal with difficult time in your life. You need to allow yourself this time to heal and you need to understand this in your business seasons so that you do not over book or over commit yourself to things when you should be taking some time.

It may be more practical – if you know you are booked out every weekend for the next three months then you need to not take on any new projects or ideas, park them until you have the time and the energy to do them justice. How many half-done projects do you have sitting the the notebooks on your desk or the files on your computer? This is not because you are rubbish at seeing things through (which we can all feel guilty about right!), it is more than likely because you jumped into the project without considering a few other things first, like whether you have the energy and the time to see if through with everything else you have on your plate. Don’t feel bad about it – we all do it (trust me on this one!) but for your own sanity as a business owner and as someone who is on this crazy journey of being an entrepreneur, give yourself a break. Start to look at your business plans in line with how you feel at certain points of the year.

Your business seasons.

Think about them and line up projects that sit in the right time.

Do things that feel good at the right time and don’t try to force it all of the time (I say all of the time here because there will always be things that you need to do that you don’t really want to {but you can pivot – read this blog post here} like your accounts!).

Start to listen to your body and your mind and go with the flow of it, stop trying to go against it. Your gut always knows the answer (especially when that answer is chocolate!).

For me, now, I am going into my creative season. I am going to be writing lots, creating new things and letting it flow to me. What season are you coming into?

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Marketing is Simply Love

Marketing is Simply Love

24 AUGUST 2017 // BIZ SH*T

You have a skill. You have the passion. You have the determination to make it work. You are prepared to take action and do things that feel uncomfortable (sometimes). You are willing to show the love for what you do. You are willing to get excited about how much joy you have from what you do.

But you feel like there is something else that is stopping you. You think that you need to understand about the new fancy marketing technique – the new algorithm, the new “must do” thing and this lack of trust in your own wonderfulness is what is stopping you from moving forward.

At the end of the day brides will buy when they fall in love with your product, your service, you. So, yes, as much as you need to understand the things that will get you and your biz in front of those brides (so the social media channels, the newsletters, the blogs, the marketing bits and pieces blah blah blah), the underlying thing that has to be a constant through all of the “stuff” is the passion and drive and excitement that you share with your couples.

The thing that you think you are missing is right here.

If you mix off all the things mentioned above together, you have a winning foundation from which to grow your wonderful business. Because when you mix these things together, you become irresistible to brides because they see and feel the passion for what you do. And this makes them buy. Think about in your own world, are you more likely to buy from someone who is passionate about what they do or someone who is a bit boring and uninterested?

SCRIBBLE TIME

What do you LOVE about what you do?

How can you inject more of this into your business?

List the words that describe that passion and inject them into the words you use on throughout your business.

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

What is a Membership Club Anyway?

What is a Membership Club anyway?

15 AUGUST 2017 // WEDDING BIZ CLUB

You may have been hearing me talk about The Wedding Biz Club over the past few weeks which is my monthly membership club and I thought I would write a post about what a membership club actually is, in case you were wondering (because it is not a silly question!).

What is a Membership Club?

Put simply, a membership club is a really cost effective way of growing your business in small, bite sized chunks that are easy to digest and implement. There has been a real rise in online programmes over the past few years and I am sure you have noticed this. Many of these courses cost a decent chunk of money to do and even though I am a very strong believer in investing in your business, not everyone has the budget, or the time, to do an intensive course.  That is why membership clubs are so great! Because they are often low monthly expense which is more do-able when you are starting or growing a business.

Why are they so great?

Other than the low cost, there are lots of other benefits to a membership club, here are just some of the benefits that I offer inside mine.

  • You get support from other people who understand. Many membership clubs are filled with like-minded people who are all joining together with one purpose and that is powerful. Inside my club, everyone there is in the Wedding Industry and this makes the support even more focussed on your own business growth, because the Wedding industry is different to any others out there!
  • You get support from someone who knows. Inside my club I am there, daily, pushing you along your journey and getting you set on your intentions and actions. We meet virtually once a week in the office hours call so you never get stuck on anything for too long – I am genuinely there with you, not hiding in the background.
  • There is no long-term commitment. Inside my club you can stay for as long as you want and leave whenever you want to, no questions asked. This is a monthly rolling subscription, just like a magazine or gym subscription I suppose. You simply sign up, stay for as long as you like and then to cancel your subscription you log into your account and stop the payments. Simple as that! No guilt. No pressure.
  • You can learn when is good for you. Everyone has a different lifestyle with different responsibilities and to grow your business you need to be able to learn what you need when is good for you – whether that be at 7am in the morning (sorry, I am still in the land of nod then!), at 11am when you have warmed up, at 7pm when you carve out an hour to do some biz stuff or even at 2am in the morning when you just can’t sleep (I have been there and done that!). You get access to everything inside of a Membership Club online which means as long as you have internet connection you can learn whenever and wherever.
  • You can build relationships. Some membership clubs are HUGE and you can get lost in the noise really easily. For some, this is absolutely fine and there is nothing wrong with that, but for me, I like the feel connected to people and that is why my club is not overrun with people, this gives you the chance to build actual real-life connections with people.
  • Opportunities to work together. Because of these connections, you can get to work together to build your business. I know that in the past members of my Club have worked together on styled shoots and collaborations which wouldn’t have happened had the relationships not been there.
  • You can jump in and take action when you have that 30 minutes. How many times have you sat down and said “Right, I have 30 minutes to figure this out and get it done!” and then got lost in YouTube tutorials, Pinterest articles and make no progress. Having access to the course inside a Membership Club means you can log in, find the class, watch and take action! Whoop! This means you grow your business quicker because it is easier to take the action.

How does a membership club work?

I can’t talk for every membership club out there because they do all work differently but this is how mine works:

  1. You sign up on a monthly subscription which means you pay the first month the day you sign up and then you pay the same amount every month on that same date until you cancel (which you can do whenever you like within my club – there is no contract or notice period to leave) e.g. If you signed up today (15th August) you would pay £25 (or £20 if you sign up before Wednesday 16th August as the Club is on special offer) and then you would pay the same amount the following month on the same date, so the 15th
  2. When you sign up you get a welcome email from me telling you what to do.
  3. You get access to the online portal which is where all the trainings and resources are held (see below for more on this)
  4. You come and join the Private Closed Facebook Group to become part of the community which is where you connect with like-minded women in the wedding industry
  5. You fill out the Business Path questionnaire which helps me to help guide you as to which bride boosting bundle you should do first (because there are a ton of resources inside the Club and I want to help you get moving as quickly as possible)
  6. You get your learn on and start to grow your business!
  7. You get weekly emails from me with updates and invitations to any client only trainings.
  8. You come along to the weekly office hour calls so you can ask me any questions and I help you there and then (these are also recorded)
  9. Each month you get a brand new course which helps you build your wedding business
  10. You work through the business path set out inside of the Club and start to make changes one step at a time which help you grow your wedding business the right way

What is this online portal?

Oh, I am glad you asked! I have invested a lot of effort into upgrading the membership portal for you so that it is beautiful, user friendly and wonderful to use.

When you sign up you will get instant access to two core courses which will keep you busy until the new portal is ready to reveal which will be w/c 21 September.

You will have a personal log to the Wedding Biz Club portal which is unique to you and you can access the portal anytime, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year from anywhere in the world and from any device (as long as you have internet).

The portal has all of the trainings right inside, in a super simple and easy to look at format. Here is a sneak peek…

How does it work each month?

Ok, so each month you get a new Bride Boosting Bundle which is a course on something that will help you grow an aspect of your wedding business. For example, this month we are talking about getting your message right for your website and your sales conversations, next month we are talking blogging and the month after that we are going to write, create, design and set up your freebie (so that you can grow your mailing list and get more brides booking). Inside of the Club at the moment there are 16 + courses on all sorts of things from newsletters to design your portfolio to creating a welcome email series to bride experience – tons of stuff (super practical stuff!)

  • We have weekly office hour calls so 4 a month.
  • You get a weekly email from me with the action for that week in line with the bride boosting bundle focus for that month.
  • You get a monthly masterclass on something to help you in your business (productivity, time management etc)
  • You also get access to new resources throughout the month.
  • We also have a quarterly online planning retreat every 3 months to help you plan at critical points during the year.

Every membership site is slightly different but the main thing about all of them has to be the community – the power of this cannot be underestimated. I know of people who have been in my club, grown their business and not even taken any of the course BUT the community alone has been the value they have got from the course.

What are the bride boosting bundles?

They are essentially individual courses on topics that will help you grow your wedding business.

In the past we have covered:

  • How to book brides with newsletters
  • Connect with your brides on Facebook Live
  • How to be super productive in your wedding biz
  • Create gorgeous graphics to attract brides
  • Craft your bride book me page
  • Using powerful testimonials to book brides
  • How to create content that attracts your brides
  • How to write an about you page that connects you and your bride
  • Wow brides with your welcome email
  • How to set pricing in your wedding biz
  • How to use Instagram to book brides
  • The power of Facebook
  • How wedding fairs can grow your wedding biz
  • Design your portfolio magazine
  • How to craft a message that matters
  • + more!

The courses include short, sharp classes that walk through each step and have clear action points to follow. There is always a workbook or course material to help you implement the actions and grow your business and any other resources you need.

There is the #askemma feature too so you can reach out and ask me any questions as you work through the bundles.

I can honestly say that membership clubs are not only a powerful and cost-effective way of growing your wedding business, but also your own confidence as a business owner. Entering a community of others who genuinely get you and understand the journey and the industry is powerful.

If you have any questions at all about the way a membership club works then just drop me a message below and I will be pleased to help you figure out if this is right for you in your business.

Join us over in The Wedding Biz Club and give it a go (remember, there is no contract so you can cancel at anytime).

Emma x

 

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

From mooching to smooching – how to get your brides to book

From mooching to smooching – how to get your brides to book

8 AUGUST 2017 // BIZ SH*T

There are two real stages a bride goes through when she is looking for her wedding suppliers. Stage one is the mooching stage. This is where she is browsing from one website to another, from one wedding fair to another, from one wedding magazine to another. In this stage she is open to ideas and is just window shopping.

UNTIL. She moves to the smooching stage. This is when she falls in love. This is when she buys, she commits, she says “Yes! You are the one for me!”. She seals the deal with a smooch.

The difficult bit is moving your brides from mooching to smooching.

But it doesn’t need to be difficult, when you get some key things in place.

  1. You need to get specific with who your soul bride is.
  2. You need to have a clear message that resonates.
  3. You need to have offerings they want.
  4. You need to get out there so brides can see you.
  5. You need to have quality content that draws them in.
  6. You need to have fun because this passion shows and raises your magnetic vibe that brides just cannot resist.

Now I know it is easier for me to write these steps than it is to do them BUT it doesn’t have to be that hard, really truly it doesn’t. As business owners we just think it is.

You already have half of the formula in the bag, because you are here reading this article in this fabulous magazine. You are already committed to making your wedding business work. You are already taking action. You are willing to learn and make the changes you need to.

Let’s start with the #1 step

Today let me help you with one of the things I believe is the most important – getting specific on your soul bride. The bride you want to work with, the bride you want to build your beautiful business around. When you truly know her, you can talk to her in everything you do in your business. Every social media post you write, every blog you write, every newsletter you send, every new product or package you design.

When you know who you are selling to you can connect with them on a deeper level and this will move them from moochers to smoochers with far more ease. Because it really doesn’t need to be as hard as we think.

So, let’s get specific on your soul bride. Who she is.

So many people get stuck on this, especially when they are just starting out in their wedding business journey, so please do not feel bad if this is you. Being aware that it is a block for you is a good thing because once you have recognised it, you can take action to move past it.

One of the key reasons people get stuck on this is because they get too focussed on the wrong things. I don’t want you to say “My ideal bride is called Claire, she is 32 years old, is a solicitor and has a dog.” I want you to focus on what type of wedding she wants, what she wants to feel at her wedding, what is worrying her about her wedding, what style of wedding she wants. I want you to think about what is important to her and her partner for their wedding.

This is the stuff that really connects, and this is how you can build a wedding business around what you want to be doing. Knowing this kind of stuff about your soul bride really helps you to do the other steps listed above with ease because you are in total alignment.

The other stuff such as age, location, job etc is useful to know because it helps you with things such as Facebook targeting etc, but that can be done afterwards, first we want to get into the feelings of your soul bride because this will connect you with them on a much deeper level which means they will find you, love you and buy from you far easier than you think.

If you want to know more about this and the other steps of the mooch to smooch formula, sign up for the free training series here >>>

 

 

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

The Product Brainstorm

How to Start a Wedding Business – The Product Brainstorm

25 JULY 2017 // BIZ SH*T

Let’s be honest, when you even think about starting a wedding business you can easily be pulled into overwhelm. So many ideas can sit in your head and you can get overwhelmed by getting stuck in the logical “How will I make this happen?”.

But I want you to stop. For a second. And I want you to lock your logical mind away and let the creative side of your brain kick into action.

The product brainstorm

For you to start a business you need to have something to sell. You need to be able to say to brides “You can buy this from me and this is how much it is”. This is not only good for your brides, it is also good for your confidence because when you have a set product with a set price, you can practice being comfortable asking for that price and this helps your pricing mindset and your overall confidence – trust me.  Bespoke is good, but bespoke leads to lots of unknowns for you and your brides so when you are starting out, have a simple product/package that you can feel confident about selling.

But how do you get to this point? What should I offer?

This is where the brainstorm comes in. I want you to move away from your usual working space. Take up home in a coffee shop for an hour or go and sit on the kitchen table (not literally!) or work from the sofa – the idea is to go somewhere that inspires you.

Then just start to let the ideas flow. Ask yourself the following questions, with no judgement, no filter, no how or why – just the what.

What would I LOVE to offer/make/create?

What ideas have I got?

What has prompted me to start doing this business (often it is because you have seen a gap in the market – what is this and what can you create to fill it?)

What products do I want to make?

What additional ideas do I have about these products?

What are the angels to sell these ideas?

Just keep asking yourself WHAT.

 

Then, once you have done the product brainstorm, you can move onto the who and the why.

Who would buy them and why?

Keep asking yourself why, like an annoying 5-year-old. Getting through the levels of why will get you down to the real reason people will buy.

 

Need a little help? If you need help getting these ideas out of your head, reach out to someone who works in the same creative space as you. Or, if you would like a different view point, book a 1:1 session with me where we can get crystal clear on your offerings and get those ideas out of your head. You could book yours here >>>  These sessions include an hour strategy call, an action plan and a 15 minute follow up call to make sure you have taken action and to keep you accountable!

Go get your brainstorm on! I would love to hear how you get on.

Oh, by the way – sign up for my 6 part free training series which will help you get those booked brides. Grab yours here (it’s FREE!) 

Emma

X

 

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

What are the first steps when starting a wedding business?

What are the first steps when starting a wedding business?

18 JULY 2017 // BIZ SH*T

People often ask me what they should do to grow their wedding business, or even to start it and I often give a different answer than they are expecting.

In a way, people expect me to say “Start a facebook page, Get a website up, Get your packages sorted” and yes, these are actions that do need to happen, but there is a step before all of the action that needs some consideration. But, this step comes will some warning though – don’t get stuck here!!

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself today.

01. What kind of work you want to do and why.

What do you really really love. You have to have this absolute love at the start otherwise, when things get a little tough, you will lose the passion.

02. What type of weddings do you want to work with? 

Styles/themes/look and feel – this will help you to create a brand that appeals to the brides that also want that type of wedding.

03. Who do you want to work with?

This is what I call your soul bride and it can take a little while to get to understand them however when you answer #2 above, this can help inform your soul bride. She will change too as you grow in your business, but you have to have a starting place.

04. What do you have to sell? 

Get clear on what you want to offer the brides and how much you are going to charge (remember those profits! This is a business, not a hobby!) so that you can then have something to actually sell. 

05. What content can you write?

Once you know what you have to sell, what content can you write that will link back to that? This is where you look at your blogs, your social media and how you are going to draw brides into your business.

Wherever you are on your business journey, coming back to these questions every few months will help you inform the journey you are taking.

My biggest piece of advice?

Keep it simple and logical – just think about what steps you go through when you are buying something for the first time. What is important to you, what attracts you. Your brides re exactly the same.

When starting, growing, evolving your wedding business I would really make sure that any decision you make on your business feels right. Like deep down in the belly. Yes, you will have those nervous butterflies when you are making these decisions but intuitively you will know whether it feels right. 

 Why not join me in my free 6-part training series that will help walk you through 6 key steps to booking brides. Sign up here, it’s totally free and jam packed with value >>>  http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/moochtosmooch

The Free 6 Day Training Series
To give you a simple 2-page action plan to build your beautiful wedding business

Get the free training here

.Name:  Email:

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

5 Tips to get your motivation back

How to stay motivated when you just can’t be bothered

11 JULY 2017 // YOU & BIZ SH*T

We all have those days. You know the ones I mean. When you have a massive to do list, the house is messy, the washing needs to be done, the blog needs to be written, the cat needs feeding and you just can’t be bothered *OK, you feed the cat, but that is it!*

So, first off. You are Normal.

Second. How can you motivate yourself when you do feel like this? Because sometimes these days can drag on, and on and on and you need to nip it in the bud!

5 Ways to motivate yourself in your business

01. Put on some music. Really REALLY loud and have a dance. Now, before you roll your eyes are me – try it! I used to hate tips like this but, honestly, it works. This is my #1 mood lifter.

02. Make a list. OK, not the most exciting thing in the world UNLESS you make it so! Use your favourite pen, your prettiest notebook and make a list. It might me writing down your to do list (which may be the reason you are in this slump so getting it out of your head is a good thing) or you could write a list of books you want to read, places you want to visit, things you want to buy. Making lists like this can really motivate you.

03. Connect with others who get it! Being self-employed is lonely! There, I said it! It can be really really hard when you are on your own, doing your own thing, in charge of your own time. Because of this you have no one to pull you out of a slump, no one to go have a whinge with next to the water machine! No one to have a silly giggle with. You need business buddies around you. You need to have them for your own sanity! Because people who are not self-employed do not get it. I have a couple of groups of business buddies and oh my, they save me. The know what I am going through when I am trying to do something (because I am on the same journey as you you know – growing a business and trying to figure it all out!). A quick message on Facebook and I am back in the game! So, reach out to people who get it, even better if they are in the wedding industry (because it is a totes different industry to everything else!). Community and connection are two of the core values I have inside The Wedding Biz Club – a place where like-minded people in this same industry get together and grow. Enrolment to the Club is closed at the moment but re-opening really soon so make sure you are on the list if you feel you need some support and education in your wedding biz life! You can get on the list here.

04. Go for a walk. Round the park, to the local coffee shop (or pub!). Wherever – just get a change of scenery. This is an instant mood lifter and this is often what I do when I have a crazy busy day and need to refocus.

05. Do something fun for you! This will be different for everyone. Your fun may be reading a book, a magazine, listening to a podcast, searching for funny cat videos on YouTube (guilty!), or watching an episode of your latest Netflix obsession. Make some bread, a cake or do make something yummy. Have a medicine bag of tricks that you can pull out when you need a lift.  Mine? I tend to do a little yoga session, go and read my book or even sometimes be really luxurious and go and have a bath in the middle of the day! Anything to hit that reset button.

Bonus tip = Don’t wallow is busy and unproductivity! There is NO POINT having a pity party on your own. DON’T sit in front of your laptop getting wound up because you are not doing anything. If you find yourself being unfocussed then step away. You will get your mojo back much quicker this way – trust me. I have wasted hours doing this, and now, as soon as I notice that I am getting really easily distracted I do one of the things above and I change my mindset, often ending up being more productive than before.

So next time you are in a CBA (can’t be arsed!) mood, try one of these. IF you STILL feel the same, then just go with it. Have a break. Allow yourself the afternoon off and start a fresh the following day. If you do this though make sure you do it with no guilt and with no self-judgement. Allow yourself the time.

With love

Emma

 X

P.S Have you signed up for the free Mooch to Smooch training? A 6-part free training series where I am going to walk you through 6 steps you can take to get a bride booking you + you will get a 2-page action plan to grow your wedding business.  Sign up here >>>

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

3 Tips for Contact Forms on your Website

Using Contact Forms on your Website

4 JULY 2017 // BIZ SH*T

P.s Not a reader? There is a video about this at the bottom of the page!

Before we get into the blog post I want you to go over to your website and take a look at how brides can get in touch with you. Is it really easy for them to do, or do they have to search around a little or faff around copying your email blah blah blah.

We need to make the process as easy as possible.

As shoppers now we are impatient. As buyers, we get frustrated if a website doesn’t load up straight away, if a page takes ages to scroll, if we have to search around looking for a contact form.  As a society now we have the lowest attention span ever, and probably the most impatient ever!  Your bride is no different – in fact she is probably worse because she is on a mission to sort “that thing” she is looking to sort so is in tart mode more than normal (you ca read more about that here >>>)

I have three main tips for you today

Tip #1 – Use an actual contact form

Tip #2 – Don’t ask for too much information

Tip #3 – Help stop lost spam emails!

Tip #1 – Use an actual contact form not an email contact only

It is really easy to set up a contact form on your website so make sure you have one not just an “email us here” with a hyperlink through to your email. Why is this important? Well most brides will be looking at your site from their mobile and most people (me included) do not have their email address linked from their phone in a way that means that when they click on your email it opens up their inbox – it normally tried to open a new window in their internet and goes all a little pete tong (technical term).

So you want to make sure you are making this easy and having a simple contact form on your website, similar to this:

 

If you are using wordpress there are lots of plugins that you can do this with and many themes will have contact form capability. I use Divi for my website and for my clients and there is a really simple Divi Contact Form Module that you can use. Another plugin is Ninja Forms – this one is pretty good for using contact forms in your footer and sidebar (bonus tip!). There are a ton of options so take a look and see what works best for you.

Having a simple contact form works because your bride doesn’t have to try to copy and paste your email, it is just easy for them. Also, if they have been reading about a product or service that they love, if there is a contact form underneath they are likely to send you a message if they are interested. This is evoking some kind of action. It is helping you move your bride down the buying path.

 

Tip #2 Keep the contact form simple

Let’s stop for a second and think about the aim of the contact form. Yes, it is to get some information from the interested bride but it is also step 1 in the enquiry process. You do not want to put them off by asking too many things. You want to start the conversation, open the narrative and start to build that connection so make the contact form simple!

I cannot tell you how many contact forms I have landed on for wedding suppliers that ask for soooo much information it is just overwhelming.  Again, think your bride is probably in the moment of planning, she may be on her lunch break, on the train, on the bus so she may not have time to give you her life story. How many times have you shyed away from doing something because you are like, I will do that when I get some more time. Then your forget.

We want to get the basic details from your bride so you can then ask more questions.

So keep the contact form simple.

Essentially the core information you need is

Name

Email.

That is it.

You may want to ask for what service they are interested in and you may want to ask the wedding date. I say may because what if they don’t know yet. I know you need to know to see if you are available but you can do that will your email to them.

There is a fine balance to strike here between spending too much or too little time replying to enquiries through your website. The best way to deal with this is to have a templated email you send that you can just quickly bespoke for each enquiry you have. That is a topic for another blog post but my point here is that you want to open the conversation with the brides that have enquired with you. You have worked really really hard to get them over to your website and to get them to send you a message so make it easy!

There is another really good reason why you want to open the conversation with them in the email that you send back from the enquiry – because if they reply to you then you will be moved from their spam inbox into their trusted main inbox because the email provider will see you as someone they want to hear from. Now, just to say this may be not the case with ALL email providers, but it is with many.

 

Tip #3 – Tell your bride what happens next 

Doing a contact forms allows you to tell them what happens next and helps you deal with the spam issue

With most website contact forms there will be an option when you set it up to leave a personal message so you can change whatever it says.

So, instead of saying “Form sent” you could change it to something like “Hey you, I will be in touch *make sure you check your spam though because my reply may be in there!*”  This lets your bride know that she needs to check the spam folder if she hasn’t heard from you!

It is super annoying as a supplier when you have replied to an enquiry and then you don’t hear anything – it can often be because the email is sitting in the spam folder – by just letting your brides know this may happen, they will keep an eye out for it.

Another option for you:

Some contact forms allow you to send them to a page on your website – so once they have filled out the contact form you could send them to a thank you page on your website which has a hello from you, tells them to check their spam and also you could include some useful blog posts to get them knowing more about you.

Here is mine: http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/welcome/

Bonus Tip – Personality!

Add some personality to your contact form! (if it feels right for your brand)

A contact form is a great way to add a little personality into your brand so don’t feel like you have to stick to the normal fields – most contact forms will allow you to amend what the fields show up as on the contact so you could have something that sits in with your brand.

You will see in my thank you page, I have added a little extra giggle of personality which I know the right kinds of clients will find funny, and this all helps me to attract them into me.

Final Bonus Tip – Check the contact form actually works!

This sounds like a very very obvious one but make sure you have tested that the contact form actually comes through to your email. In the past I have seen people enter their email address quickly in the setup of the form and then wondered why they were not getting any enquiries through the website…! It is easily done.

YOUR ACTION

01.

Go and have a look at how easy it is for your brides to contact you

02.

Streamline your contact form down if it asks for too much information – save that for the conversation with the bride (ie where you build the connection)

03.

Make sure you advise brides to check their spam whether it is through the message after they have sent the form (which you can normally change in the settings of the contact form) or on the webpage you send them to which is a bespoke thank you page (again, something you can do often do in the settings on many contact forms)

04.

Add some personality into the contact form, if it feels right for your brand

05.

Check the form works!

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, pop them in the post below!

Emma

x

 

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Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

One Simple Way to get Brides to your Website

1 Simple Way to Get Brides to your Website

27 JUNE 2017 // YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 

All of this marketing stuff you are doing in your business is with one aim in mind. Getting brides onto your website so they can buy from you. Today I want to share a quick tip with you that will get brides moving easier to your website.

But before we get started you need to know what your website traffic actually is, in other words, how many visitors do you get to your website every day.

Plugins to monitor your website traffic

There are two plugins I would recommend for this, Google Analytics and Count Per Day. Get one of these set up on your website so that you can start to track your website stats. If you already have one of these, or a similar one, set up on your site then jump in today and have a look at your stats. How many visitors do you get to your website. Now we have a base number, we can see if this little trick is working for you.  Like with anything, you need to give a new thing enough room to see if it works. Don’t give up so easily!

Now, here is the super simple way you can get brides to your website

At the end of your newsletter, underneath your signoff, include a list of your recent blogs, or latest products/package updates or anything that entices the reader to click through.

Let me give you an example. At the end of my newsletter, I now include a list of the last 5 or so blog posts, just as really simple click through links. Doing this has had a massive impact on the amount of traffic to my website which in turn has helped my ideal client (you) get to know me more, get to trust me, get to like me (*blushes*) and it helps create a stronger, deeper relationship. Here is what I mean – here is my newsletter and you can see the links at the bottom here highlighted in pink >>> 

This super simple addition to your newsletter will really help to drive the traffic to your site.

Just to say, that if you are drawing brides into your website through your blog post, you want to make sure it is easy for them to click through to find out more and you can read more about that here >>>.

If you are not sending regular newsletters why not just do a round-up post at the end of each week or every couple of weeks saying “Read the latest blog posts here [insert the links]”.

We need to get traffic to your website. We need to close the gap between social media likers and actual moochers – ie brides who are looking around, window shopping, creating their “dream wedding supplier!” list. To do this we need to make it clear and obvious. 

So make the action clear – tell your brides what to do next. Close the gap and make the journey as simple as possible for them.

Do this consistently and then track back to your website stats and see the impact it has had. Just make sure you are realistic – if you only send one newsletter a month then you will need to give it a few months to see a change. If you send a newsletter once a week then you will see a bigger impact quicker.

 

Emma 

 x

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

There are many bride routes into your wedding business

A bride may enter your business many ways.

20 JUNE 2017 // YOUR BRAND 

Where are you doing “stuff” online? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Newsletters, Blogs, your website…think about all the places that you are putting you and your business out there.

There are quite possibly a lot of different places. So you never know which route your bride is coming into your business.

  • She may have come across you on Facebook and got lost in the pictures on your newsfeed.
  • She may have seen a pin on Pinterest and clicked through to your blog page.
  • She may have landed on your website from a google search.
  • Or perhaps she has visited your website after a wedding fair.

We kind of assume that everyone is coming through the front door  – your website home page. BUT they are not necessarily. The first page they may land on may be your blog, or a product page, or your gallery.

So we need to make sure that…

01. There is a consistent feel across all the places that you are online

02. It is easy for your couples to navigate around your site, regardless of where they have entered it

03. Oh and we also need to make sure that everything is helping to tell the story you want it to (more on that here)

So let’s look at 01 First.

The look and feel of your business, your brand, is really key in attracting the right brides to you. If you are looking for a modern, trendy bride then having a traditional brand is not going to draw their eye. So you need to make sure that firstly you have a brand that appeals to your ideal bride and secondly that that look and feel is consistent throughout your business. Let’s say they have landed on your home page which is all new and spangly but they go to your gallery and the images tell a different story. We want consistency because this build desire and it builds trust.

This consistency needs to be throughout all of the places that you are online. We don’t want a bride seeing your latest stuff over on Instagram or Facebook and then coming over to your website to a different look and feel – we need this to flow because this builds that trust.

If you feel like you need help with your brand then why not take a look at my one week to done brand package here > http://www.weddingbizcoach.com/oneweekbranding/

Let’s look at 02. navigation.

On your home page you may have some really clear buttons to help point your bride through to the various pages on your site.  For example , on mine I have

But what happens when a bride lands on a page that isn’t your home page – do you have somewhere else for them to go to help draw them closer into your business? Let’s say they have read a blog, they may want more but unless it is clear, they are likely to hit “x”.  So it is important to keep these signposts throughout your website so that they know where to go next. If a bride has got to the end of your blog then she is likely to want to know more about you and what you can help them with so make sure there is a link to something that links and that they can click on to find out more. Perhaps in a blog post you have talked about a specific style of wedding or a particular product – make sure you link to that product to encourage the click through.

I would recommend having three key “buttons” on your website that you can use at the bottom of each page so that you can keep encouraging the journey you want your brides to go on.

Join me on Friday at 11am over on my Facebook page where I will be talking about this more and will show you how to create the buttons I talk about above, whatever website platform you use.

Let’s look at 03. the story you are telling

As your business grows and as you add new products or services to your biz it is easy for your website to get a little confuzzled. Let’s say you have added some new pages to your website that are a different look and feel of the rest of your website (see point #1 above) it is not going to flow as easily for your couples. Let’s say they have landed on your home page which is all sparkly and lovely and then they go onto your portfolio page, or your product page and the look and feel is a bit different. Perhaps it was an old page on your site. Perhaps it was a page that you just haven’t given much attention to lately or even since your website was first put together. Perhaps your style has changed now.

This is so easily done because I often find that people work really hard on their website when they first set it up and then they don’t give it much attention after that. We are all guilty of it! There are pages on my website that I need to update (so don’t feel bad! I am not preaching here I am saying we are all the same!).

What is important though is that there is some flow between the pages on your website, that they are telling the story you want. It may be better not to have a page on your website at all rather than have one that is old and different to the rest of your site.

Remember, we are trying to build trust with your brides and we want them to get “the feeling” that you have your shit together! That you know what you are doing! Even if below the surface you are paddling frantically…from the outside you want to look sorted, proper, trusting.

ACTION TIME

01.

Write down all the places that you put stuff out online and spend just 10 minutes flicking between them to see if there is a consistent look and feel across them all. Don’t panic if there isn’t but recognising that there is some work to be done is the first step to making this work. For example, I know at the moment that my Pinterest is really not on brand for me but instead of letting it stress me out, I have opened the diary up and planned when I am going to work on my Pinterest strategy. You see we are all evolving and growing and developing and there are always things that we want to improve. The first step is knowing what needs to change and then the second step is making time to do it.

02.

Add some clear navigation buttons throughout your website so whichever page your bride lands on they know where to go next *come and join me for some live training on this on Friday at 11am over on https://www.facebook.com/weddingbizcoach

03.

Just click through to your website and see if it is telling the story you want it to. Is it showcasing products and services that support the style of bride you are trying to attract into your business? If there are some pages that are out of whack then list them down and take one each week to work on. Soon you will have all the pages sorted!

Just know that your website is never done. You will always want to change, to develop, to improve it and that is a good thing. We are all doing this all of the time.

Emma

X

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Set yourself up for the next few months with a North Star Session

North Star Session – A business ritual

6 JUNE 2017 // BIZ SH*T

Today I want to talk to you about a ritual I have introduced into my business over the past few years that has helped me grow, that has helped me move forward and that has helped me shape the way I want to grow my business. Now I know my business model is different to yours however, the principal I am going to share with you here works for every single business.

This ritual? My North Star Sessions.

If you follow me over on Instagram then you may have seen my Instagram Story from last week where I took myself away from the office (aka the spare room!) and went to a beautiful venue a few miles down the road. I cosied myself into the snug with a pot of tea and I started my North Star Session.

Let me explain.

I like to think of my big scary business goal as my North Star. The thing that sits high up the sky, that lights my way, that I can look up to to get direction. At the start of the year I set myself one BIG goal. For me, this goal was a 5 year goal. It is the first long term goal I have ever set myself because before I didn’t feel like I knew enough about me or about my business to set a long term goal. Previous years I have set 6 month goals, 12 month goals, goals that have just moved me forward and this may be the case for you now.   

From this goal I set myself projects that I needed to do to get me closer to that goal, with some key milestones along the way. This North Star Session is my review time. It is time that I take myself out of the everyday noise of life and actually make sure that I am still on the right path. Make sure that I am flexing where I need to. Make sure that I am spending time doing the right things – the things that will get me closer to that 5 year goal.

This point of the year is a fantastic time to review and reflect. To see progress. To see what is holding you back. To see what is working and what is not. And that is the ritual I am talking about here today.

So what are the steps of a North Star Session if you want your own?

 

Step 01. Step away

Take yourself out or at least away from distraction. I know this is not always possible if you have kiddies or commitments but try and sneak to a coffee shop for an hour or two, or at least work from the sofa instead of the desk – the important thing is to change the scenery and remove distractions.

 

Step 02. Brew up!

Get coffee! Or your favourite beverage. I quite like doing this over a glass of wine but I was driving so you know – tea was the choice!

Step 03. Look back

Look back at the notes, the goals, the plans you made at the start of the year.

Now, you will be in one of two places here

    1. You may have planned and planned and planned and then not looked at the again – that’s OK, that is why we are doing this, to get you back refocused
    2. You may not have planned and may not have anything to look at – don’t get your knickers in a twist – just think about what you had thought that you would have liked to achieved 6 months into the year if you were looking back to Jan.

Looking back at the plans helps you to see just what you have ticked off but the biggest lesson from doing this for me is that I can see what has changed. Have my dreams changed. Has my passion changed. Has my focus changed. Have I shifted. This is super powerful to do because it means you can engage with these feelings and really use them to move you into the next step of your business.

Personally I have one notebook that I have used for my goals and plans for each year and that is what I grabbed off the shelf before I came to do this North Star Session.

Step 04. Journal

 

Write about the last 6 months.  This may seem a little woo woo and a little odd to start with but I journal. I write about the past 6 months. I don’t overthink it, I just think about what my business has felt like, what I have felt like, what has worked for me, what has not. What has felt good, what has not. What I have done, what I have changed, what I have loved.

This can take a little of time to get into so you have to sometimes nudge it along a little. I take a look through my diary and see what tasks I have done as this tends to jog the memory! For you it could be good to look through the bookings you have had, the blogs you have written, the stuff you have done in your biz and the brides you have worked with. This can help get you thinking.

Just journal for as long as you want about whatever you want over the last 6 months. This helps you to release any frustrations but it also helps you to bring to the surface what you HAVE achieved which is probably more than you even think. This is so lovely to look back on aswell. In 6 months time, in 12 months time, in 5 years time.

If you are going to commit to doing this North Star Session then don’t miss this step – even if it feels a little strange for you. It is really powerful for the next step.

Step 05. Look forward

Look forward to the next 6 months. What do you want to achieve and what projects do you need to do to get you there?

When it comes to planning we can get a little over complicated. Thinking that there is a system we need to use, a structure, a format, an answer. But you know what, there really isn’t. Everyone works differently and I have honestly found that the best plans are the simple ones. Just brainstorming where you want to be in 6 months time – what do you want to get to the end of the year and say you have achieved? How do you want to feel in your business? What do you want your business to give you?

Step 06. Brainstorm

The next step is to brainstorm the actions that you need to take. Again, no need to overthink this. No need to get into overwhelm. Just take the actions above and then write down all the steps that you need to do to get you moving. This list will evolve and get clearer as you dive in.

Step 07. Open the diary and plot it out

The key thing to getting this working is to open the diary and actually book time out. I did this as part of my North Star Session and it makes me feel super clear on what action I need to take. Getting it in the diary sets the tone for action. Write it in PEN so you have to stick to it 🙂

 

TOP TIP – If you find it hard to find time to do this biz building stuff then I recommend blocking out an afternoon each week that you dedicate just to this work. You can flex this at busy times, such as now, you may be bang slap in the middle of crazy wedding season but just make time for this stuff because it will grow you. Even if that time is in a month or two – set it out now and get into the focus.

ACTION

So go off and book a North Star Session in with yourself. You can do this in a couple of hours if you set your mind to it. Remove distractions and get to it. Own it. Make this your time.

Get your North Star front and centre to your vision.

Emma x

WATCH THE FACEBOOK LIVE HERE

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Do your old Facebook Photos paint the picture you want them to?

Do your old Facebook Photos paint the picture you want them to?

23 MAY 2017 // YOUR PROFILE AND VISIBILITY

Let me ask you a question. If you went over to your Biz Facebook page now and looked through the photos tab, what would you think? Do they tell the story you want them to? Do they support the brand you are building and the brides you are trying to attract? Do they feel “right” for you in your biz now?

Let’s scroll down a little.

How bad do they get? Honestly.

First off, don’t these photos really show you how far you have come and how you have evolved as a business? I love it!

Let’s think of a bride for a moment. She has found you, through whichever channel and she is being nosey – trying to figure out whether you are the one for them. She heads straight over to Facebook and looks at your photos.

What does she think? Is she like “Oh yes, that is what I want!” or is she thinking “This is a random modge podge of everything!”.

I remember when I was getting married (back before Pinterest was a thing!). We had been to see our venue, had fallen in love and then went on a search when we got home for images on the internet, just so we could drool over the venue and imagine our big day happening there.

I bet you your brides do the same.

Whatever service you offer, I bet they go and look at your photos when they are in research mode.

So I have some actions for you.

01.

Go to your Facebook Page now and take a look at your photos tab, seeing all your photos together do they tell the story you want them to? Let’s say, for example, your ideal bride is someone who is looking for a minimalist, elegant wedding and your photos are all bright, colourful and don’t fall within that look and feel. Your bride is likely to be less drawn to you. Make a note of what you feel when you see the photos together and see what you can improve on going forward.

02.

Create albums! Did you know you can create albums in Facebook to help you organise your photos? Let’s say you have a ton which are wedding tips. Then let’s say you have some of venue styling, for example. Then let’s say you have ones which are promoting your blogs. You could put them into an album so that when your bride comes over to your page, she can have a good old mooch around and you can control the aesthetic a little better.

Watch the training here and let me know if you have any questions!

Be mindful

Let’s say you were involved in a wedding that doesn’t really fit in with the weddings you would like to build your portfolio around. Really consider whether you want any images of it in your profile and on your website. The reason I ask you to ask yourself this is that you are trying to build a brand that will appeal to your ideal bride, if there is a random “off brand” wedding in your portfolio (which is kinda what all your social media is) then it is likely to put your bride off.

So, do your photos tell the story you want them to on Facebook? We consider Instagam in this way, do why not Facebook. Your brides are hanging out there too.  If you want to read more about this thought process for Instagram, then you can here >>>

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

Here is mine at the time of writing this blog >>> 

I feel that these images tell my current story. They have the perfect blend of me and what I am about. I can look at these and see where I want to make improvements and what I can do to add more of me into them but I feel that they represent me at the moment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is mine way back when >>>

I feel like these show the start of my journey. They are not wrong or bad but they show me how far my brand has come and how much I have changed in my voice. 

Just one final word here. I do not want you to start getting stressed about “another” social media channel that you need to perfect “I didn’t think Facebook was about having perfectly curated images!”. It isn’t, but everything you put on social media is showcasing your work, the weddings you are involved in and this in itself means that it becomes your portfolio, your online magazine. It becomes a decision for your brides between book or not to book. So don’t get stressed but be mindful of what you are posting and make a conscious effort to know that what you post is building your brand, or damaging it. 

 

Emma 

x

 

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

#1 Way to Create Desire

Show you are Busy.

16 MAY 2017 // GROWING YOUR BIZ

 A quick way to create desire 

SHOW YOU ARE BUSY

One of the barriers that can stop a bride from buying is knowing what you are up to and whether you are legit. You may have a snazzy website and you may have beautiful products or services but if a bride cannot see that you are busy she may be less inclined to book, purely because being in demand makes you more desirable.

We are all very suspicious as buyers, but brides are especially suspicious – they are scared to death of being let down or being ripped off. They are fed horror stories in Facebook Groups, by well-meaning friends down the pub. They want to know you are real and that you are actually working (pst if you are not full to the brim with bookings at the moment, read on, I have you covered).

Have you ever wanted to do something, perhaps it is to do with a special offer or something, when the deadline is coming to an end you are more likely to hit BUY NOW because you don’t want to miss out?

Well, your brides are kind of the same. If they are on the fence as to whether to buy from you or not, knowing that you only have a few booking slots left will help them make up their mind. Showing them behind the scenes will also build the know, like and trust factor with your brides. They will see what you are working on and they will get to know you more. This helps them to decide that you are the one for them.  

“But I am too busy to tell people how busy I am”

I get it, I really do. When we are busy, things like blog posts, social media, newsletters drop off the to do list. But, this can be dangerous for your biz because you may be busy now, but if you don’t get those future bookings booked in then you will be quiet in 12/24/36 month’s time (not to scare you here but just so you can see the cycle and how it works). So to get those future bookings you need to keep the profile up and when you are busy you can use that as your content.

What do I mean?

Here are 7 ideas for you

01. Let’s say you are getting ready for a wedding. You could take a snap of the behind the scenes and share that on your chosen social media channels.

02. You could jump on Facebook and do a quick Facebook live, just showing them where you are and what you are up to.

03. You could jump on Instagram and so an Instagram Story again, sharing what you are doing and showing them behind the scenes.

Of course, it goes without saying here, make sure you do not give away lots of details or any personal details of the couples you are working with – they probably don’t want their invitation plastered around social media before their guests have even had them in the post!

Think about how you can use what you are doing to share your busy-ness!

04. Let’s say you are packing up an order, you could take a picture of the box and post that on social media.

05. Perhaps you are editing photographs – take a picture of your desk and share what you are doing.

06. Perhaps you are planning a brides order over a cuppa – take a picture of the cuppa and your notebook!

07. Perhaps you are just brainstorming some ideas or getting ready for a bride consultation – share it!

Literally, take the things that you are doing in your day to tell your story. This really helps to create desire because your brides will then think “Oh, she is busy – we must book her soon if we want to secure her!”.  Side note: Prompt this action!

 

Say things like: “Preparing for a busy week ahead, I only have one bride consultation spot left – book yours here …”

“But I have no live orders at the moment, how can I show my busy-ness?”

OK, so perhaps you don’t have actual bookings you can share but you will be doing things in your every day that are working on your business right? (If not, then you have a problem and you will never get those bookings by the way #justsaying). Take these things you are doing and share them.

01. Perhaps you are planning out your week – share a pic of your diary or make a text comment about what you are up to

02. Perhaps you are visiting a shop for suppliers – share a pic of your journey or do a quick live stream

03. You may be brainstorming new product/service ideas

04. You could work up a sample product and share that – taking them through the process, drawing on the individual parts

05. You could mention past brides you have worked with and their order

Share anything that will raise the profile and will get your brides thinking you are busy. This is not being deceptive by the way, it is just creating desire and this desire will help them book you.

YOUR ACTIONs

01.

Start to look at the actions you are doing in your every day and ask yourself

“Could I share this to create desire?”

“Does this action support the story I want to tell my brides?”

“Would posting this raise my profile?”

02.

Make it clear how they can book you, whether it is for a consultation or whether it is for an order – lead them into the decision.

Go off and create that desire, share your story and brides will be falling over themselves to book you.

LIVE TRAINING REPLAY

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

May Goals

May Goals.

1 MAY 2017 // INSPIRATION

In my mission to share more of the behind the scenes of me in my biz, I want you to see the importance of setting goals in your biz. When you have them on a piece of paper that you can look at everyday, you are reminded of what you are working towards. This is oh so powerful and I want you to see that in your biz. These goals go above and beyond your “usual” or the work that you already have booked in with clients. These are actions that are going to get you closer to your North Star – your big scary dream – your achievable big scary dream.

This is a game changer, seriously. Especially as we are drawing closer to the half year mark.

So, here are my goals for May

01. Run Brand Story event for clients – I am so blumin passionate about helping my clients understand how they can truly stand out in the market and how they can get their brides to choose THEM over mrs competitor down the road. Because there is a better way of doing business and it is about standing out and being true to your own message. The event is going to focus on this + we are going to be looking at how they can package their services so that they sell in the minds of their soul brides. The event is on the 4 May and I am super excited for the beautiful group of ladies who are coming.

02. Create Space in my life – This has been a constant theme for me for 2017. One of my words for 2017 was SIMPLICITY and I am looking at how I can make everything easier, simpler, more efficient and how I can create more space in my world. Not just in my work but in my life aswell. So this month we are having a big clear out at home to create more space. Space to be creative, to be focused, to feel freedom. This means tackling the wardrobe & the kitchen cupboards…if I don’t make it – it has been nice knowing you!

03. Resource library – I have wanted to set up a resource library for you lovely lot for a while. A place where you can sign up once and get access to tons of free stuff which will be added to each month. Sounds good right! I am excited about this so watch this space. You can take a look at the freebies I have at the moment here – some may be changing so nab them whilst you can >>>

04. Create the first Wedding Biz Coach book come strategy guide come planner – This has been a dream of mine – to make a planner that is specifically focussed to those in the wedding industry (you!) and this month I am going to make the first edition! So EXCITED about this I could scream. This is going to be a luxury notebook/planner/motivation/pep talk kinda guide that will be a joy to work with. Again…keep an eye on my social media and my newsletters for more on this!

05. Birthday celebrations! Oh yes, it is also my birthday month so I will make sure there is some time for me as part of my self-care and appreciation. I don’t really get too depressed with birthdays, I like to see them as another wonderful year on this amazing planet. We are truly lucky and I feel this gratitude more and more the older I get. HOWEVER I do have a lot of grey hair…which I am just classing as really really really really blonde. I am in denial with that.

So that’s it for May. I have lots of exciting client projects I am working on at the moment including two very exciting brand and website design projects. I am loving the brands we are creating and cannot wait to share more on that.

YOUR ACTION

Set yourself some goals. Regardless of whether you read this blog post at the end of a month, middle of the month or at 3am in the morning (yep – I do that A LOT!). Make Goals. Take Action. Achieve Dreams. 

Till next week…have a great one

Emma Etheridge The Wedding Biz Coach

 

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Are you losing business from not doing this?

Reply To Enquiries.

25 APRIL 2017 // BIZ SH*T & BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Are you losing business from this?

I have emailed 5 separate companies over the past few days about various things that I am sourcing for my business and I have not had ONE response.

Not ONE.

What does this mean?

01. It makes me think that they are too busy to do my work

02. It makes me think that if they are that slow coming back when I am enquiring about work what is the service going to be like?

03. It makes me wonder if I have offended them!

04. It makes me wonder if their contact form is not working on their website or emails are going into their spam folder.

Whichever of those 4 are right, they are losing my business.

WHAT IS THE LESSON?

01. Reply to enquiries quickly!

To help to do this set up some email templates that you can use again and again so you are not typing out every time. You can set these up as simple word docs that you can use or you can set up templates within your emails to make it super effective. This works because you can carefully craft your reply and just spend a few minutes each time personalising (because that is super important for this industry).

02. Consider setting up an out of office return email.

So people know that you have actually received their email and you will come back to them. You can also use this as an opportunity to point them to your portfolio or perhaps your fav social media account.

03. Check that the contact form on your website is actually working.

Send yourself a test email and see if you get the email. This is one of the most common mistakes I see businesses make and it is so easily dealt with (and also such a silly one!).

Remember that when a bride has emailed you, it is likely that she has emailed others at the same time so make sure you are the one that creates the best experience. If “sort wedding florist” is on the to-do list for that day, what is your bride going to do? She is going to email all the wedding florists that she has shortlisted.  

Also, when a bride emails you see is “In the wedding planning zone” and this is the best time to nab their attention because they are ready for a conversation. And once you get the conversation going, you are onto a winner.

Now I know you are not going to be sitting on your emails every second of every day but make sure you are checking in with it at regular intervals when your brides are likely to email. Like first thing in the morning on the way into work, over lunchtime, on the evening after work. Be aware of your bride’s engagement times and engage with them at those times.

Emma

x

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

When Does your Bride Buy?

When Does Your Bride Buy?

4 APRIL 2017 // YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

o you know where you sit in the decisions of your brides? I like the think that in an “average” engagement (if there is one!) that there are 4 steps of wedding planning

01. Book the things that need to be booked

02. Sort the next important things

03. Finalise the stuff that hasn’t been done yet

04. Got some budget left – what can we spend it on!

So that is a very simplistic way of looking at it but where do you sit?

Understanding this can really help you to position your messaging in the right way.  It may well be that you straddle* two of these categories. Let’s say, for example you are a venue stylist. You may be a key focus for the couple when they are sorting their reception detail but what if they had some budget left OR what if the thing they thought they were going to do DIY hasn’t worked or they have run out of time? Then you would fall into 2 and 4.

If you are a supplier that has to be booked early on, here we are thinking about venues, celebrant, photographer etc then you need to grab a bride early on in their planning process. This means that you need to put things out there that are going to answer their early questions, the things they are likely to be searching for when they are researching, this is how you will pop up in their mind.

If you are a supplier that offer something that can be booked pretty last minute (as in a couple of months/weeks before not days!) then think about what marketing you can do to appeal to the last minute bookings. For example, let’s say you create handcrafted pieces or accessories for the wedding that a bride may have “had a go at” doing. You could do a “DIY Bouquet not quite gone to plan…here are some we have which you can buy and have in your hands within the week!”.

ACTION

Have a think about the services you offer in your biz and see where they sit in the timeline of your brides and start to think about how you can use this information to help support the money you are bringing into your business.

Join me on Friday at 1pm for a FB Live over on my biz page where I am going to talk about this live, come on over and ask me any questions you have.

*If you giggled at this we need to talk – we would get on well.

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

April Goals.

April Goals. (+ A Love Story)

1 APRIL 2017 // INSPIRATION

I love April because it is the month you can really start see the world change. New shoots sprout, new flowers bloom and the weather gets better (if we ignore the April showers!).

It is also our anniversary month – this year Tom and I will be celebrating our 8th anniversary, however we are childhood sweethearts so have been together for a looooong time. Can you believe we knew each other when we were just 7 years old. I asked him out in the school production of Alice in Wonderland (I was dressed as a caterpillar segment and he was dressed as Card). He said no. I have no idea why – the green caterpillar outfit I was wearing was rather fetching (or so my mom told me).  Anyway, our flirting rekindled when we were slightly older at the age of 15 and it has been love ever since. 20 years. Crikey Mikey, where has that time gone!?

Anyway, talking of time, I will stop wasting yours by rambling.

April Goals

01. Set a Morning Routine. This has been something I have tried on and off in the past but never really found anything that works for me. So I am trying something new to see if it works. I have a list of things that I want to do in the mornings, so each morning I am going to choose two of the list and do them. One of the reasons that my morning routine has not worked in the past is because I have put too much pressure on myself to get it all done. I found that trying to do all the things felt like I was just doing them to tick a box so I could get on with the rest of my day. But I want to give myself 110% to anything I do, so I am going to try this and see how it works. If you have a morning routine, I would love to hear it!

02. Invest in myself. As a coach I have to keep learning, keep improving myself, keep growing my skills so that I can develop in myself, pass that on and so I can do the best job possible. I also feel that for others to invest in me, I need to be practicing what I preach and share the understanding that I do myself invest in myself too. Each month I set out to learn something new from either my business coach (yes, even coaches have coaches), from taking classes, from listening to podcasts, from investing in me. This month I am going along to a manifesting event which is run by my beautiful friend Emily Hill, Manifest Like a Goddess to talk all things mindset and I am looking forward to seeing what comes up for me.

03. Have a break. As well as our anniversary, it is also hubby birthday month so I am taking him away for a sneaky surprise holiday to Budapest (I hope he doesn’t read this blog!). 5 days of chill, birthday beverages and exploring. I love to travel and have a big long list of places that I want to go to. Have you ever done the travel A-Z when you go through all the places you have visited? We started a while ago because I wanted to keep a travel journal but then we forgot to update it last year so it has got lost in a draw somewhere – I must find it back out.

04. Read more. I know this was a goal for March too but it has taken me a while to fall into the habit so I am making a conscious effort again this month to get consistent with my reading. I have two books that I want to read, one of which is featured in my book club which you can join in with too here >>> http://bit.ly/jointhebookclub

So, what are your goals for April? Get laser focussed and achieve those dreams. Because you totally can you know.

Emma Etheridge The Wedding Biz Coach

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

The Power of Yet

The power of YET

1 APRIL 2017 // MINDSET

One of my favourite every instant mindshift tools is using the word YET. Watch the video below and download your free printable here to remind you everyday of the power of this simple word – print the poster out, stick it on your wall!

This is one of my favourite mindset shift tools. One simple word. YET. Start using it!

Everything is possible. Everything comes from learning, testing and tweaking. So next time you have a paddy (come on, we all have them!) saying “I can’t do this!!” I want you to stop yourself and add the word “Yet” to the end of the statement. This way you are accepting the fact that you can learn how to do it.

It is like driving. When you first sit in a car you think “Oh heck!” but after committing to weekly lessons, when you put your mind to it you pass your test and now you get into a car without even remembering how hard it was when you first started. It just becomes natural.  It becomes second nature.

It is like cooking. Whether you are the next Gordon Ramsay or a disaster chef on Come Dine With Me, you will keep trying to master that meal you struggle to make – whether it is some extravagant lobster bisque of a boiled egg. Trying and tweaking will get you there.

This is the same with business. Everytime you do “that thing” for the first time it feels so hard and so awkward. Next time you do it it feels easier. And then the third time it feels easier. By the forth time, you have the flow!

So, if you only take ONE action from this little peptalk, I want you to introduce the word YET into any negative thoughts you have and see how that changes your outlook. It is really powerful.

“I don’t get it”
“I can’t do this”
“This doesn’t work”

Take a deep breath. Walk away from your desk. Come back. Add “Yet” to the end of the sentence.

“I don’t get it … yet”
“I can’t do this … yet”
“This doesn’t work … yet”

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

The Instagram 9 (and how to have a curated feed)

The Instagram 9.

30 MARCH 2017 // SOCIAL MEDIA

I bloody love Instagram. It really appeals to the visual part of me, the creative part. I love seeing the images that people create, the story they are telling through their feed. I love seeing how people evolve their Instagram feed over time and also the subtle changes that happen throughout the seasons. I love the opportunity for connection with Instagrammers too, and the fact that the platform still feels quite genuine and not “too” staged. I say “too” here because yes, things are still styled (in most cases) but the commentary that goes along with Instagram is, I feel, more genuine. If you ignore the spammers of course!

Earlier this week I met with two of my business buddies and whilst enjoying teacakes and coffee we started talking about Instagram and how sometimes it can feel a little too perfect. A little too styled. A little too planned. I am going to cover that in a moment, but before I do I think it is important to say that I think it is easy to get caught into the same trap as we have with some other social media. Just doing it because we “have to”. Scheduling so far in advance that we have forgotten what is being posted and I feel that this really disconnects us from the message we are putting out into the world. I am all for being efficient and using tech to help make things easier, but being genuine and authentic is also super important to me.

I used to use Meet Edgar for my social media scheduling which I loved from one aspect – it was efficient, it was quick and my social media feeds were always full – but because I was scheduling soooo far in advance, I felt like I really disconnected with the message I was putting out there and this just didn’t sit well with me.

Now, I still do pre-schedule my posts in Facebook but I only do it a few days/a week in advance so that I can stay connected with what I am actually saying!

It is that connection that I love so much about Instagram. There are only a few apps where you can pre-schedule in Instagram so the feed has a far more organic feel to it, does that make sense?

A curated feed

I think it is really important to focus on having a curated feed and by that I mean a feed that works together. It is like when you go to an art gallery, you would expect to see similar styles of paintings together, they would just work together. This doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be of the same thing, but they need to have the same look and feel, there needs to be some consistency.

So how can you create a curated feed?  

First off we want to make sure that as soon as a bride sees your Instagram feed so knows what it is you do. As lovely as it is to see pictures of your cat, or of the blueberry pancakes you have made out of the latest cook book your bought, unless your business focuses on cats or food then consider whether it is telling the story you want it to. If you are a wedding stationer and your cat is sitting in your ribbons, even though it may be a cute photo, think about whether your brides would want cat haired ribbons on their invitations! Everything you put out there is telling a story so just ask yourself before you post it “Is this putting out the message I want it to.”  Remember your brides are looking at your Instagram feed to see wedding stuff, stuff they are going to love. If your soul bride is really on trend then fill your feed with the latest trends, with the latest pantone colours, with the things that will attract her eye in a busy landscape.

If you are a cake maker we want 80% of your feed to be cakes.

If you are a florist we want 80% of your feed to be flowers.

If you are a wedding stationer we want 80% of your feed to be invitations.

The other 20% We want that to be things that tell the story of you and your business. We want to see the tools you use, pictures of you, pictures of your workspace, pictures of things that build your story.

This is where the Instagram 9 comes into play. When a bride finds you on Instagram she will get a sense as to whether you are right for her from the first 9 images you have on your Instagram Feed.

 

Here is mine as of today.

The beauty of the Instagram 9 is that if you look at your feed now and think “Oh crikey this needs work” you can see a different in just 9 days if you post everyday. How great is that! If you go to my Instagram page HERE and scroll down you will see how random and uncurated my feed was when I first started.  By focusing and staying consistent you can see the change that has been made. I am still learning Instagram and still growing and focusing on how I can use it as a platform so I am not saying any of this from an expert status, but more from a this is my learning so far. We are all learning you know 🙂

This is how my feed has changed over the past few months:

How can you keep your Instagram feed consistent?

I get that it can be difficult to see how you can tie your Instagram feed together, this was also something we chatted about over our teacakes, and you know what we decided the best way was? To incorporate a consistent colour. You will likely have a colour that you use in your biz, perhaps it is one in your logo, one that you use through your website.

Keep an eye out in your home for things that are that colour, or when you are out and about. Perhaps it is some ribbon, some fabric, a vase, a pen, a notebook, a coaster, a pair of shoes – literally anything! Incorporate a colour into your feed that links to your brand – that is the easiest way of getting consistency when you are posting different types of images.

Planning your feed

So even though I feel it is important to be organic and genuine with your feed, I do strongly believe that it is important to have a little plan for 3 reasons.

#1 We like a plan – it makes us feel organised!

#2 If you plan you are more likely to stay consistent with what you are doing

#3 You get that curated feel to your feed and this will attract your brides

You can still move things around and play with it if you want to – if, for example, you see something that you have to post that day, do it and just reshuffle your feed ( I will give you some tools in a sec!)

 

ACTION:

So think about your Instagram 9. Draw a grid of 3 x 4 and roughly set out what you are going to do for each section and think about the way it all looks together. Like I say, you want a bride to land on your feed & know what you do instantly

 

Tools I use

As ever, there are a list of tools that make everything easier and here are the ones I use for Instagram.

  • I take my photos on my iPhone, just using the photo function, I never take the picture directly in Instagram because the quality never seems as good.
  • I then edit the photo in an app called Afterlight (read about this here)
  • I use an app called Mosaico to plan out my feed so that I can see how it all looks together before I actually post it on Instagram – this is the way you achieve your curated feed. There are other apps that do this but this has been my favourite so far
  • I then add the edited photo to the Dropbox app on my iPhone and sync with my Dropbox so I have it on my desktop (if you don’t use Dropbox you could just email the photo to yourself)
  • I use an application called Grum which is on desktop and this allows me to post directly to Instagram from my desktop so I can attach the image (or a meme if I have done that on my desktop) and then type in my comments, add emojis where appropriate and my hashtags and post OR schedule (Grum allows you to actually schedule on Instagram)
  • If you post directly on Instagram from your phone you can skip the two steps above and just carry on with the way you do it now! A top tip I have though is to make sure you save your hashtags in a note on your phone so you can just copy and paste them every time (there is also a snazzy text shortcut thing you can do but I will cover that in another post!). Another top tip, if you don’t like typing on your phone, type up your comment on your email and send it to yourself and just copy and paste it across. This is also great for batching.
  • I then interact with comments on my instagram feed either from my phone or from Instagram on my desktop

Batching

One final note to help you with keeping it up, because I know that life takes over and it is all well and good me saying “Post everyday on Instagram but don’t overschedule and become disconnected”. You still need to think ahead and this is where batching comes to life! I blumin love batching. Batching is simply grouping tasks together that make sense to do together. So, for example, if you are taking pictures for your Instagram feed, it makes sense to take a batch of them together, whilst you are “in the mood”, whilst you have the lighting right, the camera out (or your phone) and all your bits and pieces together. Batching your photos also helps to create that consistent feel.

If you are posting memes too, like I do, I batch create them all in one go to so that I have then there ready to use.

The best way to batch? Plan time in your diary and get it done! I batch most things in my business and it works wonderfully.

 

TO SUM UP:

Having a genuine Instagram feed that shares your story and your message to appeal to the brides you want to draw into your business will help you connect.

Comment below and let me know what you think of this, and share your Instagram handle so I can follow you. Follow me here >>>

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

Get organised with Google Drive and Dropbox

Get Organised with Google Drive and Dropbox.

22 MARCH 2017 // BIZ SH*T

One of the words I chose for 2017 was Simplicity (the other was “Be Brave” in case you were wondering and yes, I know that is two words!). Now, in Feb I was FORCED to simplify my business because I had an “unfortunate” incident with my laptop and a glass of water (note to self…I cannot be trusted with anything other than a beaker *think Elizabeth from Keeping up Appearances*). I had been a little, shall we say haphazard, with my filing. I had a fortnightly back up on the main folders on my laptop however I also had a very bad habit of saving everything on my desktop (which was not backed up).

Anyway, after my laptop doing the downward dog in a tray of rice (relevant for any yoga lovers out there – the downward dog bit not the rice bit) I had to head down to PC World and buy a new laptop. When I returned home I promised myself that I would get my shit together and set up proper folders and proper back up. So I did. I created my Dropbox structure and my Google Drive structure and I have to say, after a month of working in this way, I have become far more productive so today I wanted to share my set up with you to see if it gives you the kick you may need to get organised. I have a very very simple structure and it works. We can often overcomplicate things and think we “need” to have all these extra levels of complexity to be proper – but simple wins E*V*E*R*Y*T*I*M*E.

I use both Google Drive and Dropbox in my business and both are set up very simply based  on the core areas of my business (and my life!).

Google Drive is yet another amazing tool from Google and I love it! It is an online cloud storage solution which is free until you reach a certain upload limit (and then it is super value for money). Google Drive is great for working in collaboration with people because you can share live docs instantly and you can access docs from wherever you are across all devices. The restriction with google drive is the types of documents you can save so everything has to be a google doc (which is another amazing resource from Google!)

Dropbox is again an online storage resource but the key difference here is that you can add any type of document to Dropbox – literally any. This means you are not restricted to using Google Docs. Dropbox is also great for working with clients and for syncing everything between your devices. For example, I have Dropbox on my laptop and all my work gets saved their automatically into the folder I tell it to. I have Dropbox on my iPad and also on my phone so that any images I take automatically get synced over to Dropbox for use on my desktop. It makes life so much easier!

So, let me take you inside my Google Drive and my Dropbox and you will see how simple the structure is, but it works!

There are the main folders in My Biz Hub

Clients – all my clients have individual folders under here that I share with them so they can get instant access to any of the information they need such as their action plans, any videos I have done for them or any other stuff we are working on together. It keeps everything super simple and super organised. It also means that a client can access the stuff we are working on together really easily so this is better for them and for me. You could have individual folders for all of your couples and hold there all of the information you have for them.

Content – This is where I save all the content I create in my business so it is all together in one place. This makes it super easy to find and also organised (which is the whole point!). In here I have folders for Blogs, Memes, Newsletters, Social Media, You Tube.

Design Elements – This holds all of the images I use in my biz, my branded elements, my logo, my colour palette – all the things that make up my brand and my visual presence so that I have them all together, easy in one place. I also save here all the pretties I use for client design projects, things I have downloaded from Adobe Stock or Creative Market.

Programmes & Products – This folder is where I save all of the information for my products and programmes including all the videos, the workbooks, the checklists etc. For you, you could have a folder for each of your products and save all the information about that product all in one place making it easy to find.

Strategy – This folder is where I save all of my strategic stuff. So plans, notes, thoughts, ideas, any of the strategy that is going to stitch my business together.

 

ACTION: Set up your own system

For my biz I have three main areas – content, programmes, clients and the strategy that ties it all together which is why I have a very simple set up. For you, you want to think about what makes up your business and how you can organise yourself so that it all makes sense for you. This is such a personal choice and there really is no right or wrong way of doing this. You just need to find what works for you and stick to it.

Here is my Google Drive >>> 

Here is my Dropbox >>> 

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

11 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Your Goal.

11 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Your Goal.

14 MARCH 2017 // BIZ SH*T

I was speaking with one of my business buddies the other day (do you have one – if not you need one!) and we were sharing ideas of things we do to make our goals actually happen.  We both a have the plan, we both have the to do list(s!), we both have the intention, passion and determination. But what else can we do to make sure we achieve? This was the topic of our discussion.

And we came up with a big long list of things that just flowed out of discussion. Things we have done ourselves, things we have picked up along the way, things we have heard other people do and I wanted to share this list with you, in case it helps you.

So, here goes – you ready?

01. Change your passwords to your goal. We are entering passwords into things numerous times a day and we do it without even thinking about it. How great would it be if that password was actually something that we were working towards – perhaps it is a financial goal, perhaps it is a project we are working on, perhaps it is the big scary dream that gets us out of bed in the morning. If we could get this running subconsciously through our brains, what impact would it have? A lot I think!  So, the passcode on your phone could be a financial target perhaps. The password on your computer could link to a big project you are working on. The key – Just use one (because you will forget them if you have more and it will dilute the effect of what we are trying to do here).

02. Make a screensaver for your laptop and your mobile of your goal – you can do this on Canva. So you see it every time you are working, every time you pick up your phone. A constant reminder of your purpose, of your goal.

0.3 Write your goal down every single day. This is a simple trick but something I do when I am working to a target. At the top of my diary everyday I write down my goal so that I am reminding myself of it every single day. The act of physically writing has a power over your brain – it embeds the message and this is so key for your goals.

04. Create a mantra for yourself about your goal. Mantras are really powerful, especially if you do meditation or spend a few minutes doing some breathing exercises. Your mantra could be something to do with your goal or it could be something you need to be in order to get to your goal. For example, you can say, throughout they day “Today I will be focussed and productive and take steps closer to achieving my goal”. I try to do a yoga practice at the start of each day and at the end of the practice I set an intention for my day and this will change dependent upon what it is that I need to focus on. If I have client work to do I will say something like “I will dedicate my energy to [x] and connect to their goals and purpose to enable me to provide my best work”.

05. Make a goal video. This is a fun thing to do. Let’s say you have some positive messages that you want to embed in your brain about success, create yourself a little video of those messages. Make some memes in Canva and stitch them together in a system such as magisto and make them into a little video for yourself to watch when you need a kick up the bum!

06. Create a vision board.  I love vision boards but I haven’t always loved them. I kind of thought they were a bit of a woo woo thing to be honest, but now I love them! They are a great way of immersing yourself in your goal because they remind you what you are striving for in a really visual way. Now, one of the biggest barriers I hear about vision boards is having your goals, targets, financial details plastered all around your office (which well could be your dining room!) so, a way that I do my vision boards is on the back of a picture that I have in my office so I can turn it around when I don’t want people to see it. You could always use a big board and have it down the side of your workspace and get it out when you need to be inspired. It really does work wonders and I really recommend that you give it a go. 

07. Create a Pinterest vision board. If you are more of an online kinda girl and less of a cut things out and stick them down kinda girl then why not create a vision board in Pinterest. Just create a new board and, now this is important, make sure you set it as SECRET this way no one will be able to see it. You could pin places you want to visit, magazines you want to be featured in, things you want to do, brands you aspire to – anything that motivates you and gets you going.

08. Set a daily reminder. I love this one and I do it every time I am focussing on the outcome of a project. I create a new reminder on my phone to go off throughout the day, first thing in the morning, mid morning, mid afternoon and then on the evening before I go to bed and in that reminder I write my goal. So what happens is the reminder pops up and it realigns me back to my intention for the day, for that week, for that month – however long the project is running for. It is a great way of bringing your awareness back to what you are GOING to achieve.

09. Make a poster for your wall. Go into canva and create a new design, A4 or A5 and get creative – write your goal in the centre – print it out and stick it on your wall in front of where you work, or in a frame on your desk. Again, seeing this everyday will just remind you of what you are aiming for. If I have something big going on I will also stick them inside my wardrobe, inside my kitchen cupboards so that they keep popping up throughout the day to just get me back focussed.

10. Visualise what it would feel like to achieve your goal. Spend a few minutes everyday just closing your eyes and play out the scene of you achieving your goal. It could be different things, like going to the cashpoint and seeing a figure on the screen. It could be visualising opening your emails and there being unread emails in there with the subject line “enquiry”. It may be visualising lying on a beach on holiday or sightseeing around New York if that is part of your dream. Do this throughout the day, picking different situations that you can see playing out in front of you to do with your goal. When you are brushing your teeth, doing the washing up, putting your make up on (probably keep your eyes open for that one!).

11. Journal! Write down your goal and start to journal the process that you are taking to get there. Journalling is great for all sorts of reasons and I have to be honest here and say that I am relatively new to it all. I am not very consistent and I know that I want to be because when I do do it consistently, I always feel so much more aligned to my goals and this helps me achieve. Journalling is basically sitting down each day and writing. You can literally write about anything you want, but the ultimate is when you write about what you want to achieve because thoughts become things and when you write these thoughts down, you are cementing them in time and this helps to make them happen.

So there you have it, 11 ways you can truly Immerse yourself in your goals. Now, you probably won’t do all of them at the same time – I swap and change depending upon what I feel like I need – but now you have a little toolkit you can come back to when you need to get some focus.

I would love to hear what you do to get centred on your goals, and if you have any suggestions let me know and I will add them to the list! This is all so very personal and each of us will react differently to these tools but the great thing is that you are willing to give them a try and see what works best for you. And how do I know you are willing? Because you are still reading this and you didn’t give up at point 3.

Go get goal immersed!

Emma Etheridge

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.

March Goals

March Goals

6 MARCH 2017 // BIZ SH*T

As I have grown in my business there are two things that have pushed me forward. First has been having people around me who understand the crazy journey of starting, building, growing and stay sane (ish) when running a business. Second has been having a focused plan as to what I am going to do.

So, at the start of each month I sit down and I look at the big plan I have set for myself for 2017, I look at what I have pencilled in throughout the year and I look at the next month ahead of me. Does it still feel right? Am I on the right track? Will I have fun this month working on these projects? When I am satisfied and know deep down that I am on track, I set out my intention for that month, breaking down what I need to do and when. I did a post on this last month, you can read it here.

My aim this year is to share more of me in my business so I like to give you a behind the scenes peek of my business as the way I work, so here are my goals for March 2017. I am doing this to hopefully inspire you to get focussed and get on plan with your goals because otherwise, the drift happens and months pass with no action.

 

So here are my March Goals:

01. Re-launch The all new improved Wedding Biz Club. You may have seen that I have been promoting joining the Club at the end of February because the doors are now closed to any new members for March whilst I move it over into a new platform and add lots of even more wonderfulness to it. You can read my reasons for this in this blog post. So this month is all about getting the tech sorted, transferring everything over and also planning the launch for the new Club which will take place in April. There is a LOT to get done this month and part of me sharing these goals is helping me to stay on track and stay focused. I will be sharing more on this so watch this space!

02. Launch the You Tube Channel. For any regular follows you may have seen this on my February goals and think “Ah, so you failed that one then!” but I didn’t and I want to explain why. So when you start a new project there is a lot that goes into it and there are different stages to be considered, often 3 core stages 1) Planning 2) Preparing and 3) Doing so this month for my You Tube Channel I am focussing on 3) as I have planned out my content, I have prepared my channel so it is ready to go, now I just need to add some videos to it and share it with the world! So I have booked out a day next week to record the videos and I will be launching them out into the world then, once I have edited them down so keep an eye on your inbox for that one! This project is a real example for me of pushing yourself. I could have felt that this was a failure, me not launching when I said I would but you know what, I feel fine about it because I did enough action to get it to a point when I can launch it with more heart. So next time you feel like you haven’t ticked something off the to do list, think about what action you HAVE taken and focus on that!

03. Read more! Does anyone else have a book obsession? I “happen” to end up on Amazon and “happen” to order yet another book. Damn you Amazon Prime for making it so easy! I have book after book which I just don’t finish and if I do, I don’t end up taking action on it. So I want to change this, because there is so much knowledge in books and I do love reading but I need to push myself and make this a daily habit. So this month I am starting a Book Club! It will online, of course, and free to join. Every 6 Weeks I will suggest a new book and we will go off and read it and share lessons as we read through it and at the end of the 6 weeks we will all get together online and have a coffee date to review the book and see what we can do to implement the teachings in our world. The books will be business related to help us on this entrepreneurial journey and you can join us HERE. Yay!

04. Get out more. I found that most of February I was glued to my desk and because of this I can dampen my creativity so I am making a point of going out more. Even if it is just to sit in a coffee shop with my laptop and get to work. A change of scenery can do wonders for creativity and as the weather gets better, I will be more inclined to get out!

Phew. I feel better getting together a plan! Why don’t you give it a go. At the end of each week I will come back to these goals and see what I have done to get closer to them, and if I haven’t I can ask myself why and move forward. It’s powerful stuff.

Emma Etheridge The Wedding Biz Coach

 

BIZ SH*T

How to Choose the Right Business Planner for You >>

BRIDE EXPERIENCE

Do you really really understand the bride journey? >>

BIZ SH*T

Is advertising a big old waste of money? >>

Emma Etheridge

Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.

THE WEDDING BIZ CLUB

The place to be for any wedding business owner who craves community and support and business friendship and business bundles of loveliness (without leaving the house!). It's pretty great over here.