by: Lauren

Dear wedding pros:

I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about this and that “big” publication, advertising or not advertising with X and Y. And quite frankly, it’s time someone said something.

I don’t know how to say this without sounding mean, but here it goes…

you’re looking at things all wrong!

 

allwrong

You’re looking at the numbers, the masses, the majority, and getting blinded by them.

Are those things good? Sure. Do they matter? Sure. But guess what? The numbers, the masses, the majority… they might not be your target client. In fact, the masses would be this: 76% of engaged couples are planning weddings with a budget of less than $30,000 (Splendid Insights, 2015). If you want higher budget couples, the answer is as simple as this: stop “hanging out” where low budget couples are hanging out.

What you should be looking at is your specific couple that you want to reach, and whether a platform or publication is reaching them.

 

How do you figure this out? Content. The publication or platform’s social media posts, blog post titles, what they publish, and what they publicize. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to figure out the target audience of a publication, but it SO important to do your research so you’re not throwing your money away!

You see, most publications are all about drawing in as many visitors as they can. Since the majority of couples are planning lower budget weddings, the content they write is going to be directed at drawing those couples in. This is why you see articles on major publications that are telling couples to forego hiring a professional photographer and other abominable things of the kind. Quite frankly, they couldn’t care less whether it’s wrong or right information- they just care about drawing in as many people as they can. If a platform or publication is telling brides how to have a wedding for $5,000 or not to hire a professional, that is the couple they are targeting. Simple as that.

Since our audience at Every Last Detail is one that is hiring professionals and spending over $30,000 on their wedding, I’m going to use that as the “target client” in my examples. First off, that is our audience because that is what I know. When I was a wedding planner, I didn’t plan low budget weddings. For the most part, I was able to plan weddings with budgets of over $30,000. And in doing that, I realized that it’s really hard to have a wedding using professional wedding vendors for anything less than that price point, because things cost what things cost. Hence the development of my goal of educating couples about weddings and encouraging them to hire professionals. For us at Every Last Detail, we definitely do not attract the masses, nor do we want to. When we do attract the wrong couples, they know pretty quickly that they’re in the wrong place- all thanks to the content that we have on our site.

So with those things considered, here’s an example that applies to some of my friends:

You may not want the couples who just want to replicate everything they see on Pinterest and not put any thought or personality into their wedding. You may decide that you want couples who are going to put thought and intention into their wedding planning and design, because you know that those are the weddings that are the most meaningful and enjoyable.

(Note: the above example may or may not apply to you and is in no way meant to indicate any correlation with thought, intention, or using Pinterest with wedding budget.)

Take that same “ideal client” perspective, and apply it to publishing your work and spending your marketing dollars.

Put thought and intention into where you are marketing yourself, using your ideal couple as the driving force behind your decisions.

 

Now, if your ideal couple *is* the Pinterest wedding type, then go for the masses. But if that’s not your ideal couple, get specific and direct so you can be where your ideal couple is; work with the publications and platforms that are attracting your ideal couple.

Sincerely,
A wedding blogger who wants you to succeed!
(AKA Lauren Grove)



by: Lauren

I do a lot of thinking about marketing, audiences, and ideal clients. A LOT. Like every minute of every day. Rightfully so, of course, because it’s my job to make sure that I’m attracting the right audience for my partners.

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In doing this, I’ve come up with a few analogies that could be applied to marketing, audiences, and your ideal client..

If you want a high quality steak, do you go to McDonalds? No- because you know McDonalds doesn’t have steak- you go to the high end steakhouse that you know has high quality steak.

 

If you are fishing, and you want to catch, let’s say, Grouper… you need a special fishing pole for that, right? So you wouldn’t just cast a net and hope that you catch Grouper- you would do what is necessary to try and ensure you’re going to catch the fish you want.

 

If you’re looking for something by Kate Spade, do you go to Walmart? No- you go to the place where you know Kate Spade is carried- whether it’s the actual store, the outlet, or a website.

 

All of this to demonstrate the fact that you must pay attention to what you want (your ideal client), and know where to find (where they are). It’s a common fact of life, and you do it every single day! So I encourage you to take this fact, and apply it to your marketing…

How? It’s simple really:

1) Submit your weddings to publications that are targeting your ideal client. [Read this]

2) Advertise with publications that target your ideal client. [Hi!]

 

Questions? Shoot me an email at lauren@theeverylastdetail.com! I’d be happy to talk about all this with you more! 🙂



by: Lauren

Wedding pros. You’re busy. I get it. It’s wedding season, and I definitely know what that’s like! I also know what it’s like to come up for air AFTER wedding season, only to be hit with the realization that you’ve been seriously slacking on your marketing.

Well friends, I want to help you avoid this,

so read on to find out about a SPECIAL OFFER & how I can help!

weddingseason2

So here’s the thing- I want to help you. And I want to tell brides about you.

So how can I do these things for you? With a The V List‬ membership!

 
If you haven’t heard by now, let’s recap- The V List is NOT a vendor guide. It’s what I like to call a vendor marketing tool, where you get a profile, plus marketing, exposure, relationships, exclusivity, and community. You don’t just sign up, get a listing, and become an invoice number, only to hear from me one year later. You become a member.

As a member of The V List, you get special features that are only exclusively available to you. You get social media posts that normally you would have to pay thousands of dollars for (no really- I’ve added it up). Because we all know that the success to marketing your business online is exposure, right? It’s kind of like you’re hiring someone to market your business and get your name out there- but cheaper. Oh also, full disclosure: sometimes it miiiight seem like I’m stalking you. 😉

The truth of the matter is… this- The V List- is my job, and it’s what I love to do. Telling brides about amazing wedding professionals, connecting them, and sharing about them. Marketing wedding professionals and helping brides is what I live for.

So I’m doing something special for you.

 

Join The V List in the next 2 weeks (IE, by June 15),

and get your choice of a free add-on valued at $200!

 

[This add-on could be a banner ad, a special Featured Vendor spot, 2 free location add-ons, or even an Insight Session with me.]


So here’s what you need to do to get this special offer:

1) Go to theeld.com/whatisthevlist to make sure you know all about this awesome tool that is The V List.

2) If you love what you see, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the “application” button, and submit your application!

3) I will review your application, and then you’ll hear from me within a few days!


It’s as simple- and awesome- as that! Any questions? Feel free to ask away or email me! Want more info about The V List? Click here for a complete breakdown!



by: Lauren

Getting published is something that is high up on just about every wedding professional’s list- and if it’s not, it absolutely should be. Recent occurrences have brought to my attention the fact that what I know about getting published is actually pretty uncommon knowledge to many wedding professionals, so I thought it was about time that I shared…

gettingpublished

 

Why get published? 


Having your work published- whether online or in print- gets your work out there and in front of brides. Brides are constantly searching for inspiration, and publications are where they turn to find that inspiration.

Getting published is like word of mouth times ten. You get posts on social media from the publications. People who may have never seen your work or heard about you before, will now be able to thanks to a publication. Those who support you will comment on your feature and/or the social media posts. It’s pretty awesome. 🙂

Not only that, but when you are published on a reputable website, your business name gets an extra “bump” in Google. More and more brides are turning to the internet and publications to plan their weddings. As brides get younger, it becomes more of a second nature for them to turn to Google for answers.

For Example: Whenever I myself Google a wedding pro (which is quite often), if they have been featured several times, their features will come up in addition to their website and review pages. Guess what I do? I open up new tabs for all of those search results and look at all of the features, including the vendor’s website. (This example is also why you can no longer try to attribute inquiries and/or bookings directly to any one source online. But that’s another post for another day.)

 

How to decide where to submit


Know a publication’s audience

I mention this because it’s really easy to get caught up in numbers and popularity. Believe me- I get caught up in it too. If you’re submitting your work to the place that hast the most viewers and is the most popular, then your chances of getting seen are even greater, right? In theory, yes. However, the drawback to this can be the audience focus of the publication.

Let me ask you this…

Did you know that 76% of brides spend less than $30,000 on their weddings? [Splendid Insights]

This makes those who are spending over $30,000 (read: hiring professionals) less than 25% of brides out there.

So knowing this information, can you guess which audience of brides the publications with the highest numbers and most popularity are targeting?

I point this out because if you are publishing your work with a publication that focuses on a particular type of bride, then you should expect to get those types of brides (1 to 2 years after your publication- see the last topic). If you are features with a publication that has an audience focus on DIY/budget weddings, you may receive inquiries from brides who might not be able to pay your rates.

[Note: This is NOT saying that the brides turning to these sites are not hiring professionals, and this is NOT saying that publications with a DIY/budget focus are bad! Many of my close friends have publications with this audience focus. There are different brides out there, and it’s up to you to choose what bride you want to reach. :)]

[Another note: When I say DIY, I do NOT mean handmade! DIY to me is a wedding in which a bride is literally doing everything herself, whereas a handmade wedding is one which incorporates DIY/handmade details- and those weddings are awesome!]

I’m not saying these things to throw a tantrum because I target the bride spending over $30,000 on her wedding. I’m saying these things to point them out to you. Because like I said- it’s easy to get caught up in what is popular. Just because it’s popular does not mean that it’s right (for YOU).

How do you find out what a publication’s audience is? 

It’s really quite simple. Look at the information being shared on the publication. Look at the weddings and shoots that are featured. Look at their social media messages. Taking those things into consideration should give you ample information about a publication’s target audience. It may take a few extra minutes, but trust me- it will definitely be worth it!

Number of published features

The number of features that a publication showcases should absolutely be something that you consider when deciding on where to submit. This could mean how many times per year a magazine is published, or how many times per day a wedding is featuring on an online publication.

The less that is published, the better your chances of being seen. This also betters your chances of having your work actively publicized by the publication, as well as it provides a bit more “prestige” to your feature.

Exclusivity

Exclusivity is a big topic among wedding bloggers, and it should be among wedding professionals too. Having your work exclusively featured with a publication means that the feature will only be seen on or in that publication. Over the years, the term “exclusivity” has been bent, stretched, and questioned, but exclusivity still remains and is preferred when it comes to publications- especially with the popularity of image sharing platforms such as Pinterest.

Publications designate themselves as “exclusive” and “non-exclusive”. Exclusive publications require that you submit to only that publication, and they will not feature anything that has been previously published anywhere else. They also ask that after your feature, you not submit that wedding or shoot to any other publications- but this is being bent lately, and many commonly ask that you wait a few months after publication to submit to non-exclusive publications.

Non-exclusive publications will feature something that has already been seen in or on another publication, but they also have specific standards to what they will feature. Publications with a focus on a small location or small niche may be non-exclusive in what they feature, as long as what is submitted to them fits with their focus. Because of the focus on a specific audience, the readership of a non-exclusive publication is likely less than that of an exclusive publication.

Deciding whether or not to submit to exclusive or non-exclusive publications can depend on what your goals are when it comes to publicity and who you want to reach. My recommendation would be to submit to an exclusive publication (one at a time please), and then upon being published there and passing the exclusivity time frame, submit to select non-exclusive publications. The thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t necessarily want to blindly submit your work- because as I previously mentioned, each publication has a specific audience, and you want to make sure you are reaching your own target audience with your features.

Tip: Multiple publications of the same shoot or wedding is not always a good thing. Brides read and frequent many publications- if it is something that has already been seen countless times, a bride is less likely to pay attention to it.

 

Too busy? You should still submit for publication!


It’s important to remember that you will see the “fruits” of getting published up to two years after the feature. This is why you have to be thinking ahead when it comes to being published. Features with publications- especially those online- cycle through for years to come. Pinterest, Google, Loverly- brides are turning to all of these resources to find inspiration for their wedding… often times before they’re even engaged or before they’ve booked a single vendor. Some of my most popular features are ones from 2, even 3 years ago! This is why submitting your work and getting featured IS going to have an affect on your bookings in the future- both in number and in style.

All this to say that if you’re super busy one year and don’t have a chance to submit your work or do photo shoots, be prepared to see a lull in your bookings a year or two later. I’ve personally seen it many times over the years. Someone who is newer in business does lots of shoots and makes sure to submit their work to be published to get their name out there. As they start to get busier, shoots and submissions fall to the wayside. A year or two after hardly having any publications, there is a lull in bookings, and that professional wonders what happened and where they went wrong.

I know what you’re thinking- “All of my bookings come from word of mouth, so I don’t count”. But the thing is, a huge part of word of mouth is exposure in front of those who will refer you, and part of that exposure is having a reason (getting published) to be in front of your audience. Remember how I said that getting published was like word of mouth times ten? I rest my case. 🙂

So if this is you- too busy to do shoots or submit your work- I encourage you to look at your process and do what you can to add submitting into the mix. Make the time to focus on submitting and getting published. Hire someone to handle submissions for you. Stay in touch with the vendors involved in the wedding. Do whatever you can to make sure you don’t fall behind on submitting your work to be published!


So there you have it- a few of the things that are constantly running through my brain about getting published that are so very important for you as a wedding professional to know! I’ll be working on another post regarding my best tips for *how* to submit to an online publication, but for the time being, if you have any questions, please comment here or head over to my Facebook page to ask!



by: Lauren

Hi friends! So I want to talk about something today that has become a little “dividing” in the wedding industry… Inspiration (aka Styled) Shoots. I don’t want to talk about whether or not you should partake in inspiration shoots, but I definitely want to talk about what they are, why they exist, and how they are beneficial.

You see, recently I had a friend on Facebook post a question asking why blogs feature inspiration shoots. Essentially, questioning whether or not blogs had enough Real Wedding content to feature or not. As the editor of a national blog with a focus on encouraging brides to hire professionals, I obviously had an opinion, so I commented… and ended up basically writing a blog post… so I decided to do just that! 😉

inspiration-shoots

WHAT ARE INSPIRATION SHOOTS?

Let’s start with what inspiration (aka styled) shoots are. I myself use the term “inspiration” instead of styled because their aim is to provide inspiration. Now, there are some shoots that incorporate way more “styling” than inspiration (think fashion), but I don’t feature those, so that’s why I prefer to use the term “inspiration”.

WHY INSPIRATION SHOOTS?

You see, brides are turning to blogs and magazines for ideas and inspiration. If they see the same thing over and over, it will just result in them replicating the same thing over and over, and thus we have a vicious cycle of the same wedding over and over (mason jars anyone?).

With the advent of Pinterest, many weddings are starting to look the same. Brides are forgetting to infuse their personalities and story into their weddings, and just focusing on replicating what they saw on Pinterest. I actually reject a lot of weddings just because I’ve already featured weddings that look exactly the same. Publishing the same wedding over and over isn’t going to be inspiring or helping any brides who are turning to my site looking for inspiration and ideas.

Here’s where Inspiration shoots come in! Inspiration shoots provide INSPIRATION. They give brides visual examples of something new and different that they might not have seen before. They encourage them to think outside of the typical Pinterest box. They open their eyes to the possibilities that are out there.

[Sidenote: I know professionals who have done shoots have booked weddings because of a shoot- because the couple loved it, was inspired by it, and wanted to do something similar for their wedding.]

WHAT CAN THEY ACHIEVE?

Inspiration shoots provide inspiration to brides, but they are also a great way for a wedding professional to do something that enables them to spread their wings creatively and do things without having to stay within the confines of a bride’s budget and wishes. Doing a shoot is a great way to showcase a particular style that you aren’t booking yet but you want to book. It’s also a great way to network and work with vendors you haven’t yet worked with too.

Along the same lines of what I mentioned above, inspiration shoots can get you exposure when you’re not getting any with the weddings that you’re booking. Everyone has to start somewhere, and often times that means starting with weddings that might not be “publishable”. Doing an inspiration shoot can help you get additional exposure beyond what your existing portfolio can reach.

With all that said… if you’re a professional who IS booking the weddings that you want and getting the exposure you want with those weddings, then sure, inspiration shoots probably aren’t a high priority for you- and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 🙂

Quick tips for doing inspiration shoots

People always ask me what my advice is for doing inspiration shoots, so here are a few quick insights…

– Do something that will reflect your brand and the bride that you want.

– If you are an advertiser with a publication (or have a particular publication in mind) contact them to find out if they want something in particular and would like to team up on a shoot. Having guaranteed publication makes it a lot easier to get vendors on board.

– Don’t do something that you’ve already seen done multiple times.

– Keep in mind that the goal of a shoot is to provide inspiration to brides, so make sure you have fresh, new ideas and details that will inspire them!

Inspiration shoots are an awesome marketing tool, and something I believed in when I was a professional and still believe in as an editor. They take time and a lot of work, but the reward is usually worth it! They aren’t necessary for everyone professionally, but if someone chooses to utilize them as a tool, then that is great! 🙂

 

Have any questions about inspiration shoots? Let me know- I’m happy to answer! 



by: Lauren

In the wedding industry, we like pretty things- obviously. But along with that, we also tend to get caught up in the outward appearance of things and forget to look at the inner workings. For example- have you ever purchased a bottle of wine based solely on the label, only to open it and discover it’s not quite up to par? Sadly, I’ve seen this same concept applied to where marketing dollars are spent- in fact, I’ve even experienced it myself.

All this to say that over the years, I’ve found there are a few things you should consider when advertising your wedding business online. Now yes, full disclosure- my income is derived from advertising income. But this information is important to know before you spend money advertising your business, and it’s my hope it will help you make an educated decision when it comes to spending marketing dollars for this coming year.

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5 Things To Consider When Advertising Your Wedding Business Online


1) Audience

Knowing an audience involves some decision-making for your own business as well as defining the audience of a potential advertising avenue. On your side, you want to know who your ideal couple is- who you want to reach. This involves defining their wedding budget, style of wedding, what they like to do in their free time, what they wear… everything really. Do some digging and take the time to define your ideal couple if you haven’t already.

On the side of a potential advertising avenue, you need to determine who their audience is. It breaks my heart when I see wedding professionals investing their time and money into a place that doesn’t have the audience they’re trying to reach. The thing is, this isn’t always entirely clear- especially when dealing with a more general, non-specific avenue. The audience of an avenue would include similar aspects that you used to define your ideal couple. Just as you looked at the couple you want to attract, an advertising avenue defines who they want to attract. You can of course just ask about the target audience in your conversations with the publication, but you can also look at a few different things too:

– Types of weddings featured: Are the weddings DIY weddings, or weddings that use professionals? Budget weddings, or a little above-average weddings? Boho weddings, or elegant weddings, or a mix? The weddings that are being published are drawing in the brides that are looking for those types of weddings.

– Other non-wedding posts: What kinds of other features are being done on the publication? DIYs and how-to tutorials? Or posts on why they should hire vendors to help them with their wedding? The message that posts send is a huge part of the audience that a publication is attracting.

– Features of the site: What kinds of features of the website are highlighted? Is there a vendor guide or a place for printables? A highlight of the DIY weddings on the main page?

The audience is, in my mind, one of the most important things to look at when deciding where to spend your advertising dollars. Because as much as you want to it to work, if you’re advertising with a site focusing on DIY brides, but your price range is outside of the typical DIY bride’s budget, then you are most likely not going to see success.

2) Numbers

Yes, the number and reach of viewers should definitely be considered when spending your money advertising online. But definitely don’t put the greatest amount of importance on it. The numbers of a publication are definitely directly correlated to the audience that they are aiming to reach too. For example- a publication that has a specific audience focus, like weddings in a specific location or vintage style weddings, definitely is not going to have comparable numbers to a nationwide publication or publication that features weddings of all styles. I will be the first to tell you that for my site, I don’t have the same numbers that other national sites have because I have a more specific audience. And I’m okay with that, because it means I’m staying true to my mission (see #4 below).

3) Location(s)

This is similar to the audience, but location is an important factor on its own. Some publications will have a specific location as their focus- these are known as regional publications. I actually highly recommend advertising with your regional publication if you’re looking for local couples, as they have the best local audiences. However, some nationwide or worldwide publications will also have specific locations that they tend to get more traffic from. Many will include this in their information sent to you, but if they do not, don’t be afraid to ask what their reach is like for your location.

4) Mission

Just as you and publications have a specific audience to appeal to, a publication will likely have some kind of “mission” in what they’re trying to achieve. Sometimes it can be found in a tagline on the site, or on the About page. Other times, it’s more an “unspoken” mission. Either way, I encourage you to pinpoint this. For me and Every Last Detail, my mission is to educate brides about weddings and in turn, encourage the hiring of professionals. My mission started that way and it’s evolved a little bit over the past few years, but overall it has stayed the same. Other examples of publications’ missions: helping brides planning a wedding the mountains, brides planning a budget wedding, and brides planning a vintage or handmade wedding. These missions are a big part of the audience too- are you noticing a trend yet? 🙂

5) Appearance

And finally, because we like pretty things and great design, the appearance of a potential advertising avenue is a factor that should be considered. You of course want to be a part of something that presents a professional and clean look and is easy to use. This of course can be different for every website, so I encourage you to use appearance to encourage just a very small portion of your decision.

As you can see, all of these things tend to go hand-in-hand, and it’s incredibly important to look at them as a whole package. Sure, looking at the above factors separately is fine, but the key to getting the most success out of your advertising is to look at the full picture and make sure that it coincides with what you want for your business. Above all, the audience is the most important factor to consider, and I encourage you to be truthful with yourself about determining this. Make an educated decision based on the facts and based on what works for YOU and your business. Don’t feel pressured to advertise somewhere just because everyone else is there or because they have loads of traffic.

In the end, it’s about where YOUR ideal brides are,

and how your business will benefit from your advertising decision.



by: Lauren

It’s no secret that advertising and marketing is my life. It’s my income. It’s what I do. And I love it. But for some reason, advertising has a kind of “bad word” connotation to it in the wedding world. Well friends, it’s time for the word advertising to become your best friend!

I have some truths about advertising to brides that I have discovered over the past few years. One of these truths: it’s 2014! The internet is where brides are turning to find just about everything for their wedding! But before I go off on a tangent, the whole purpose for this post is to share a podcast that I did with Elle of Postfilm Design– my fabulous website designer- about advertising to brides.

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I want to start off with what Elle wrote because it’s awesome…

“Everyone is desperate to figure out what’s going to reel in new clients. On the flip side, there’s a massive misunderstanding of what good marketing practices are. In order to effectively advertise to brides in the wedding industry, you have to have a logical plan.

The most annoying part of marketing is trying to find reliable and real information. You guys are floating through a world of free PDF downloads and obnoxious webinars built around sales pitches. There’s an endless array of “PAY FOR MY WORKSHOP!” and “BUY MY BOOK!” It’s almost a miracle anyone gets anything done around this joint. Advertising to brides doesn’t have to be that incredibly obnoxious. Once you know what to do, it’s easy to avoid all the snake oil salesmen.”

Elle asked me to provide my insight about advertising & marketing… and so, I present to you all of my knowledge about banner ads, getting published, vendor listings, getting exposure, relationships, audiences, stagnant ads, and getting results.

Do yourself and your business a favor and listen to this! 🙂

The internet world, today’s bride, and marketing has changed…

have you changed your marketing strategy to match it?



by: Lauren

Hi friends! So I recently returned from attending and speaking at my favorite wedding industry conference/workshop/retreat, Cultivate Retreat, and it was absolutely what I needed- perfect timing in fact! The speakers and sessions at Cultivate are a combination of inspiration, creativity, and education- the perfect combination if you ask me! This was my third time attending (and speaking at) the workshop, and each time, I’ve taking something different away from it. This time around, my takeaways were more inspirational in nature… more specifically, success and how you define it, thanks to a talk by my friend Shay Cochrane.

definitionofsuccess

First, let’s preface this with a little bit of history. Some of you may know that in addition to running Every Last Detail, I recently embarked upon the journey of business ownership with my husband in opening a chiropractic practice. While the medical (and “brick and mortar”) world is way different from the wedding and web world that I’m used to, I’ve luckily been able to apply some of my existing business knowledge to the business… but I’ve also been learning a lot that can apply to any business in general too. My last post here on ELD For Pros was sharing a few of those thoughts, and today (goodness- 4 months after that post) I want to talk more specifically about the term “success” and how we view it.

I will be the first to tell you that I don’t like to sugarcoat things… and on top of that, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m the worst lier ever. (Sidenote: I recently put together a surprise birthday dinner for my mom, and I’m still quite proud of myself for pulling it off without her knowing!) I don’t know about any of you, but not being able to hide things has proven to be one of my greatest challenges as a business owner. And so part of the way that I deal with this is sharing what’s on my heart- because if I didn’t, I would feel like I’m lying by omission in some way. I’ve been criticized by my peers for being too open in the past, but I decided a long time ago to be transparent in my business, and I’m not going back on that decision. I wear my heart on my sleeve (and my face- hence the lack of the ability to “hide” things) and I’m not going to apologize for it. So with that said…

I feel like I am a failure.

A failure in business, because I’ve had to revert back to working until 2am- something that took me 3 years to STOP doing in the first place. A failure in having a home life, because my husband and I are living with my parents- because we are building our business and haven’t made a penny yet. A failure as an adult because I’m still driving the car I had in high school. A failure as a friend because I have no free time- and even so much as finding time for a phone call during the day is difficult. A failure as a woman because I don’t have children yet- because we’d like to be making money and have a home before bringing a child into the world. I feel like a failure as a 27 year old woman in general. Essentially, if someone asked me if I thought I was successful after thinking about all of these things, I would tell them no.

These things I mentioned above have been running through my mind a lot lately, but thanks to Shay’s presentation last week, I realized that they are all measures of “success” that are incorrect- because they are based on other people’s lives. And you know what else I realized? These “failures” are mostly all THINGS. Not experiences, not memories, not skills- THINGS. The quote that is below is quite fitting, and came at the most perfect time (literally- showed up in an app this morning!) because it’s a reminder that achieving goals and success isn’t about the THINGS- it’s about the experience, and who you become because of that experience.

successpros

I think it’s all too common for success to be determined in relation to what you view as others’ successes. It could be someone having a profitable business, traveling all the time, buying a house, or maybe even just getting a gazillion followers on Instagram. The list could of course go on and on… especially with all of the social media outlets we have at our fingertips today. But the thing is… you’re only seeing what people put out there (mostly good things), and then it’s all on YOU in how you see it.

So the question I have is: WHY are we using other people’s lives to determine our own success?

The problem is, I’m basing all of my apparent “failure” on what others have or where they are at in life. But if I look at things and base my success on my OWN merit and my OWN life, maybe I wouldn’t feel like a failure.

So I think it’s about time that I defined what MY success is…

MY success is having a business and career that I can do at any time of the day from anywhere in the world. MY success is being able to start a business with my husband, and be there to help him. MY success is being blessed with parents who welcome my husband and I to stay with them while we get our business up and running and pay off debt. MY success is having an old car that is still running. MY success is having friends who understand that I’m busy, and who don’t miss a beat when we are able to see each other or talk. MY success is comfort that we don’t have children to feel guilty about not seeing during this busy season of our life. MY success is that I AM a successful 27 year old woman.

I think being able to define your own success requires that you specifically do NOT compare to others- which in today’s connected world, is SO hard to avoid. However, it’s also a matter of being aware of YOU. Where you are in your life, what your goals are, and what is best for YOU. You are not the person next door… and thank goodness for that, right?

You are YOU for a reason- and it’s time to embrace that

so you can embrace your own success.


 So friends, I would love to hear from you… what is YOUR definition of success for YOURSELF? Please share below! 🙂



by: Lauren

Well, it’s official. My husband and I made it through our first two weeks of owning a chiropractic practice. And oh my goodness- the medical world is nothing like the wedding world that I’m used to! I have of course been trying to apply as much of my own business knowledge as I possibly can, but I’ve also had to go back to the basics too. And as I’m looking back on these wild and crazy (and confusing) weeks, the things that stand out to me are more or less lessons. Lessons that are applicable no matter what your business is, and lessons that can apply to life in general…

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1) Never stop learning.

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your field or craft, you can always learn more. Be open to new opportunities, new processes, and new insights. Knowledge is the best asset to have.

2) It’s okay to ask for help.

There are always going to be people out there who know more you than know, and who have more experience. You don’t have to figure out everything on your own. And you don’t have to DO everything on your own. I myself am facing the harsh reality that I REALLY need to hire someone to help with my own business. (I can’t keep staying up working until 2AM- I’m sure you all know this feeling too.)  There’s nothing wrong with having help!

3) People always want the easiest option.

Do whatever it takes to make things easy for them. Make it easy for them to say yes, easy for them to provide you with the information that you need, and easy to work with you. Heck, I know I myself always want the easiest option too! 🙂

4) A positive outlook helps.

In a world full of negativity, competition, and comparison, having a positive outlook on situations can give you a glimmer of hope. Seeing the silver lining to not-so-great situations can be your saving grace. Not only that, but it really and truly does have a substantial effect on your wellbeing.

5) Patience my dears, patience.

Rome wasn’t built overnight. You have to be patient when it comes to building a business- and even in everyday inner workings. We all get so wrapped up in wanting instant gratification that we can forget about the basics. If you find yourself starting to become impatient, stop, take a moment, and remind yourself where you are at in your business journey, and how far you’ve come.

6) Gratitude can go a long way. 

One of the things that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I love receiving gratitude from others. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. People tend to remember gratitude for a long time- I know I do!

7) You don’t have to do things the way “everyone else” does them.

In a sea of competitors, you have to stand out… and if that means that you have to do something that is the total opposite of the “norm”, then you shouldn’t be afraid to do that! For some reason, my husband and I always choose the nontraditional ways of doing things. It’s not because we consciously choose it, but because it’s what feels right. And somewhere along making the decision to do the opposite of the norm, I myself experience SO much fear. Sometimes I even procrastinate in making that decision, because it ISN’T what other people typically do. How crazy is that?! I don’t even want to think about the amount of time I’ve wasted because I felt like I had to stick to the normal way of doing things! So don’t be afraid to forego the “norm” and do what feels right!

Clearly, these tidbits are really just pep talks to myself- and now, to you! 😉 And yes, I have definitely been repeating these things to myself over and over these past few weeks. But this is exactly why I created this space- to share my journey as a business owner with hopes that it could help, encourage, or support other business owners too.

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If you saw the “first” post here on ELD For Pros, you may have noticed a little giveaway going on! Well, I was supposed to announce the winner last week, but clearly time flew by and that didn’t happen. But today- it is! Congrats to these 2 randomly chosen winners of a banner ad on Every Last Detail:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Ladies, I will email you for your ad! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway… and thank you for your excitement in this fun little journey of ELD For Pros! 🙂

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Okay friends, now it’s time for YOU to share… do you have any of your own business lessons to share in addition to these? 



by: Lauren

Hi friends! Welcome to Every Last Detail, Insight For Pros!

welcometo copy

Every Last Detail For Pros is our little corner of the internet to talk business, marketing, blogging, and all things weddings! I usually spend most of my time talking to and sharing with brides, but I felt it was high time that I started doing the same with wedding pros. Because if you’ve seen any of my personal Facebook posts, I have a few thoughts about weddings, marketing, and the like! 🙂

Posts here on ELD For Pros certainly won’t be as frequent as they are on ELD For Brides, but I will definitely post more often than not. For now, I’ve pulled over some of my more “business-y” posts from the main ELD site if you want to catch up with those, but I have more coming! 🙂 I would suggest signing up to receive updates when a new post goes live, and “liking” my new page on Facebook. I may have a few other things in the works too, so you can be the first to find out about those fun announcements too!

So with all that said, let’s get down to the celebration! Today actually marks the 3rd anniversary of when I went full time with ELD, and so I figured that launching ELD For Pros would be the perfect way to celebrate this little milestone! It feels like it was just yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like forever ago! Isn’t it crazy how time flies when you enjoy what you do?

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my 3 years of being “full time”, it’s that we’re all in this journey of owning a business together. This thought alone is a very large part of why I’ve decided to create this “space” just for Pros here on ELD. Because owning a business is hard, and not only that, but the wedding industry is even harder. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take whatever kind of help and support I can get! 🙂

Honestly, I wouldn’t even be here without all of you amazing wedding pros who have believe in me and supported me, and so I want to do something to thank you- something that will help you in your journey of owning a business.

So as part of this anniversary celebration and launch of ELD For Pros, I’m giving away a banner ad on Every Last Detail’s “main site”!

 

You can enter to win the banner ad in various ways via the box below, and I will be choosing a winner next Friday the 18th! Enter away friends! I’m only giving away 1 ad, but I may end up doing 2 if there are enough entries! 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would really love to hear about your own journey in owning a business. What have you found to be helpful? Where do you want to improve? Comment away below! 🙂