“If I was starting my business today, right? [I’ve been in business 15 years, almost 16 years, which sounds crazy] …but if I was starting my business today, starting all over, what would I do differently?”
Okay, so I get asked this question a lot, which is, if I was starting my business today, right? [I’ve been in business 15 years, almost 16 years, which sounds crazy] but if I was starting my business today, starting all over, what would I do differently or what just would I do?
So that’s an interesting question and I really thought about it and I came up with three things that I would do.
Now, I don’t know that all of them are necessarily “differently” from what I did in the beginning of Blush anyway, but some of them are because social media did not exist then, which always makes me sound like a dinosaur, right?
Any time I say social media didn’t exist when I started my business, I always feel like people stare at me, especially when I’m speaking at a college campus. They just stare at me. Okay. You’re like a billion years old, right? Because they didn’t even grow up without social media.
“I would be making Reels every single day. Every. Single. Solitary. Day.“
Anyway, Social media did not exist then.
So the very first thing that I would say that I would do differently than what I did when I started my business is I would be making Reels every single day.
Every. Single. Solitary. Day.
And I know you guys are like, Okay, Brandee enough with the Reels thing, but I’m not going to let go of it until it dies, which it’s not anytime soon, I will push you to be making Reels. Especially if you are brand new to the business.
“Take your followers on a journey of starting your business, of meeting new people, of booking new clients, of seeing new venues because there’s nothing better to watch then like the eyes of a brand new wedding professional.”
And some of you may be thinking, Well, if I’m brand new to the business, then how the heck am I supposed to be making Reels? Like I don’t even have any content. But yes you do!
Because the thing that actually gains the most virality with Reels are the things that are super real and behind the scenes.
Take your followers on a journey of starting your business, of meeting new people, of booking new clients, of seeing new venues because there’s nothing better to watch then like the eyes of a brand new wedding professional, right?
“You get to go to these venues and tour them, and you can take your followers on a journey with you and see all the things that this venue offers.”
Those of us that have been in the business forever, we’re not going to a venue and saying, “Ooh, look at this!” because we’ve seen it. We’ve seen it.
We’re like, “Yep, that’s. Something at a venue…” Right? “It’s a ballroom.”
But as a new wedding pro, it’s exciting!
You get to go to these venues and tour them, and you can take your followers on a journey with you and see all the things that this venue offers.
Not only is that great content for your followers because they’re looking for venues, but it’s also great networking with these venues to be able to say, I would love to come on a tour, and I would love to do a virtual tour for my followers, right?
So I would be making Reels about new venues or just venues that you love in town and why you love them. What’s unique about them?
“I’d also be making educational content. Even if you’re brand new into the wedding space.”
I’d also be making educational content. Even if you’re brand new into the wedding space.
Hopefully you’re getting into the industry because you’re really, really freaking good at something. Either you’re a great photographer, you’re a great DJ, you’re a great mixer, you’re an amazing wedding planner, right? There’s lots of things that you could be, and you’re likely really good at your craft!
So, teach people things about your craft that they may not know.
These are so simple and you have to know them as a wedding pro.
Three, unpopular opinions from a wedding planner.
People love the unpopular opinions, right?
Or, how to create your wedding budget.
Five photos not to miss with your bridesmaids.
What is the perfect time to get golden hour photos?
What outfits, should you wear for your engagement photos?
Five of the best first dance songs.
Songs to dance to with your mom at your wedding.
Like it’s endless!!
“So it’ll give you all of these questions and literally just look at the questions, pick 10 of them and make Reels about them.”
And I will tell you a tip is to use the website, answerthepublic.com.
Okay? It’s answer the public.com. It’s free. I think you can do like five searches a day for free. And you can go in and you can just put in what you do.
So I would, if you’re a wedding DJ, you could put in, Wedding dj and then it will tell you the most popular searches for the last 60 days that people have been searching on the web on the internet.
So it’ll give you all of these questions and literally just look at the questions, pick 10 of them and make Reels about them.
Literally, that’s how easy it is.
Take the question, What is the most popular first dance song for 2022, let’s say? That’s one of the questions. Answer it. Literally make a reel about that because people are searching for it.
So then you’re going to come up, your Reel is going to come up in a search.
It’s so, so simple.
“And I’m telling you, you can become an expert so quickly by just sharing the knowledge that you have as a wedding pro.”
So the number one thing that I would say, or one of the things that I would say that I would do differently than when I started my business is that I would be making Reels and I would be making them every single day, and I would be posting them every single day.
And for the people that are in my mastermind that are newer to the business that have been doing this, their businesses are skyrocketing because they’re becoming an expert so much more quickly than if you just sit back and kind of make feed posts.
Yes, people see feed posts, but they don’t see them nearly what they do, Reels.
And I’m telling you, you can become an expert so quickly by just sharing the knowledge that you have as a wedding pro.
“I would be going to every networking event. I would be going to venues to meet people. I would be inviting photographers out for a coffee. I would go to a florist office and learn more about what they do and how you can be a great partner.”
Okay? So that’s the first one.
The second one is that I would be meeting everyone that there is to meet in my market, okay?
I would be going to every networking event. I would be going to venues to meet people. I would be inviting photographers out for a coffee. I would go to a florist office and learn more about what they do and how you can be a great partner.
Always be asking, How can I help you? Don’t go in and say, How can I get on your preferred list? Or How can we work together? No. Ask them about their business. What made them start their business? What do they love about the industry? What do they look for in a great partner, a great vendor to work with?
What type of couples is a great couple for them. Take interest in how you can partner with them and send business to them. That’s really, really super valuable. I would be meeting everybody that I possibly can.
It’s so interesting to me when I talk to a brand new business owner, even somebody who’s been in business for maybe a year, I’m like, Tell me about what networking events do you go to? And they’re like, Oh, I hate networking. And I’m like, Yeah, no kidding, everyone hates networking events. There’s so few people that are like, I have networking events. No, none of us want to go to them. But they’re so valuable for your business. They’re absolutely so, so valuable to your business
Because people do business with people they know, people they know, like, and trust. They, you have to build those relationships to be able to do business with some of these other vendors in town.
So when you’re going to a networking event, I would tell you to be extremely strategic about it. Know who’s going to be there and who you want to meet.
Make it your mission to meet three different people that you can either take out to coffee or to do a follow up conversation with or tour their venue.
Really make a point of investing in these conversations and creating partnerships from the people that you meet in your market.
“I’m telling you, the number one reason that I am successful, that Blush has had so much success in my industry is because of the partnerships that I created when I very first came into the business. Hands down, there’s nothing else that I did better than to create relationships from day one and to be invested in the people that I worked with so that they would invest back in me.”
I’m telling you, the number one reason that I am successful, that Blush has had so much success in my industry is because of the partnerships that I created when I very first came into the business. Hands down, there’s nothing else that I did better than to create relationships from day one and to be invested in the people that I worked with so that they would invest back in me.
And honestly, the thing that I think is really important about this is that you cannot possibly be in every room every time, right? So these vendors that you create partnerships with, you want people that are going to say your name and say great things about you when you’re not in the room. So when opportunity arises and they know you’re a good fit, that they’re going to actually want to promote you because you’re a great person to work with and they know your character. Right?
So that’s number two is I would say, to meet as many people in your market as you possibly can.
And the last one is that I would be, legit, everywhere. I would be everywhere. And it kind of goes back to what I just said. I’m like, I want your name to be seen in as many places as possible.
While I think that there’s an extreme amount of value in organic marketing, I do think that there’s a place for paid marketing for newer wedding professionals.
Now, I’m not going to tell you where to put your paid marketing. There’s lots and lots of places that you can do that.
There’s local organizations there’s national organizations, publications, blogs, all these different things.
But I think that there’s a lot of value in getting your name in as many places as you possibly can.
It takes somebody, seven interactions, at least, to be able to make a sale like to connect with you, right?
So they might need to hear about you from their venue, and then they also hear about you from their photographer, and then they also see your name in a magazine and then see you when they’re searched online. You want to be in as many places as possible.
“We submitted, Every. Single. Wedding. And I actually mean every single wedding. For years, we submitted every wedding to publications and maybe one of 20 would get picked up.”
And this is one thing I did really, really well. Right from the beginning. I put an ad in every single magazine, every single blog everywhere that you could possibly search for an Orlando wedding planner. I had my logo there.
And the other thing that I did was I also reached out as often as possible to get published, which getting published is a lot of freaking work, right? It’s not that hard in terms of, you don’t have to have these lavish over the top weddings, but you do have to really spend a lot of time submitting your work.
We submitted, Every. Single. Wedding. And I actually mean every single wedding. For years, we submitted every wedding to publications and maybe one of 20 would get picked up.
But hey, then we were in every magazine. Every single time a new magazine got dropped. We were in it. We were in the national Knot, the local Knot. All of our local publications, blogs, all the time. We were getting published. Because we were really putting a lot of effort behind it. And I think that that’s really, really important.
Bridal shows, we were every bridal show, and some of you may be like, Brandee, WOW, what in the actual heck? Like, this sounds like a lot of work.
And I will tell you, it’s a lot of freaking work. It’s a lot of work.
And the mentality that I think we’ve gotten into of like, Oh, hustle is a bad thing and we should get away from “hustle-culture.”
Listen, I’m all about having boundaries, and I think that they’re incredibly important, and at this stage in my business, you can bet that I’m no longer hustling with Blush okay? I’m not.
And I’m not afraid to admit that and be honest about it. But there is no way that I would have the success that I do now with Blush, without the hardest of hustle for the first, well, I would say probably five years. I don’t think it needs to quite be that long, but I would say the first three years of your business, you should be hustling your booty off like you should be everywhere.
There should be no time to just be like, Oh, I need to just like relax and take a me day.
No, no. You need to be hustling. You need to be everywhere and be in front of everyone because the payoff is real.
“I think that starting a business is hard. If it wasn’t, every single person would be doing it because why wouldn’t you? It is hard to start a brand new business. It is, but guess what? The payoff is amazing.”
I don’t think that that’s something you should do forever.
If you’ve been in business for a long time and you’re still hustling and you’re still hitting the ground every single day and you’re not taking downtime and you don’t have boundaries, Let’s have a conversation, okay?
But if you’re new in your business, I want you to understand that this culture that we’ve gotten ourselves into of like I don’t hustle! Hustle mentality is bad!
No!! Hustle mentality, for a season, is real and it’s necessary to build a successful brand. And there maybe some of you that come at me from this episode and say like, Oh my gosh, Brandee I can’t believe you’re telling people to hustle, I can’t believe you’re telling people not to take “me days.”
I’m just being honest.
I think that starting a business is hard. If it wasn’t, every single person would be doing it because why wouldn’t you? It is hard to start a brand new business. It is, but guess what? The payoff is amazing. The payoff is amazing, and I think that you really need to set a season for it.
Set very specific goals for yourself so that you can say, Yeah, I’m going to hustle the hell out of this business for this long, and once I re reach this milestone, then I’m going to pull back a little bit, and then when I reach this milestone, I’m going to pull back a little bit.
And now I do get to reap those rewards because I have a team of amazing, incredible women who work with me. My husband works with me full time.
We can put out the organic social media and I can just keep up those relationships and not necessarily have to go out and hustle new ones because we have that reputation that we’ve built, that we know what we’re doing and we’re really freaking good at it. But that took a lot of heart.
It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build that.
So I just want to encourage you and say the third thing that I would do if I was just starting my business right now is I would stop listening to all the people that tell you to work four hours a week drinking Mai-Tais, in Tahiti and the people that are telling you that the hustle culture is a bad thing.
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And I would say, I’m going to hustle the heck out of this business because I believe in it and I know it can be successful. And I want you to believe in it to your core, and I want you to get out there and hustle it.
So that’s what I would do if I was starting a business today, if I was starting all over…
I would be making Reels every single day.
I would be meeting every single person that I possibly could in my local market, in the market that I’m going to work in.
And I would be everywhere. You would see my company, you would see my logo everywhere that you can possibly search for weddings, you would see me or my face or my logo every single place.
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So you guys, I had a lot of fun with this episode and sometimes I can get all like, Up in my feelings, and I just let it all go. So I hope you enjoyed it as well.
And hey, if you know a newer business owner that’s like, I’m, I’m really trying to build my, my brand, and I, you know, I really want to be successful in this industry. Hey, share this, share this podcast with them, because sharing is caring and we’re all one big happy family in this industry. There’s plenty of business to go around. So encourage them and share this podcast with them. And be a mentor, be a friend.
All right you guys, I will see you next time.
Thanks so much for being here!
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I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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