On a daily basis, the web provides small business owners with a “feast” of resources. To help you determine which sites are worth bookmarking, I have created a list of 10 websites I believe wedding industry business owners should know. Now, I am not talking about sites like Pinterest — Pinterest is definitely a great resource for inspiration, but I am talking about the sites that provide visitors with a platform or templates, articles and/or videos that entrepreneurs in the wedding industry can use to grow their business.
1. Youtube — When I need to research a song that one of our couples request for their wedding, I go to youtube. When I need to research a potential speaker for conference planning, I check them out on youtube. And, when I need to figure out how to make my software or hardware work at 2:00 a.m., I go to youtube.
Also, all small businesses should have a youtube channel! Videos should be a prominent component of your marketing plan because it’s a great way to showcase your work, your ideas, and your expertise. And, since youtube is a major search engine (second only to google), this is one of the key websites where your videos should be housed.
2. LinkedIn — Many people consider LinkedIn to be the most boring version of social media. Don’t “sleep” on LinkedIn! — Or, better yet, have you googled your name lately? Try it and you will find that your LinkedIn account is going to fall in one of the top five sites. So, think about this — If LinkedIn is one of the top ways potential customers will find you on-line, I encourage you to take some time to build your LinkedIn account, along with your business’ LinkedIn account. And while you are at it, consider writing and posting some articles on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to establish yourself as a subject matter experience and it helps to build your non-wedding industry network.
3. Google Analytics — Before you spend another dime on advertising, check your Google Analytics. Google Analytics gives you a clear picture of where your website visitors are coming from, how engaged these visitors are on your site, and what pages are making them convert into customers.
4. Planners Lounge – I have been planning events professionally for (ahem) 3,000 years, and I still manage to learn something new when I visit this web site. Debbie Orwat, the previous owner and current business advisor for StudioWed Denver, created this site to teach planners the “ins and outs” of managing a professional wedding planning business. And, while you are on this site, check out the Planners Toolbox — It’s equipped with timeline templates, consultation forms, and linen and rental management spreadsheets.
5. Sage Wedding Pros — In my opinion, this web site should be bookmarked by every business owner in the wedding industry. It features a detailed toolbox of resources; on-line learning opportunities; and a blog packed with informative posts covering everything from marketing and strategy to accounting and operations.
6. Think Splendid — I have been a fan of this site for years. It’s my “go to” resource for marketing strategies, buying habits, and trends within the wedding industry — And, don’t forget to check out the blog. The editor of the site, Liene Stevens is not only an expert of all things related to millennials, she writes these inspirational posts that gives you a little bit of a boost about the human spirit.
7. Your Business — I watch the show, “Your Business” every Sunday morning on MSNBC, and I swear by it. It’s a 30-minute show that focuses on the various issues affecting small business owners. If you don’t have time to watch the show, go to the web site — It features videos of the TV segments on the site. My favorites are the “5 things” segments.
8. Event Manager Blog — This blog is a part of my daily read. It is probably the first and most popular on-line resource for event professionals around the world. Their posts cover great topics such as experiential marketing, the latest trends in event technology, and the latest innovations in the Event Planning world.
9. Fast Company Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine — I am a big fan of both of these magazines’ web sites. The magazine articles found on these sites technology, the global revolution, leadership, and design.
10. Copyscape — There is nothing worse than putting your blood, sweat and tears into a web site, e-book and/or on-line resource only to find that someone plagiarized it for their own web site. Check out Copyscape — The software lets you detect duplicate content of yours
I know, I know, I didn’t list the SBA web site on this list. Let’s consider it #11 because it will prove to be very valuable when you need information regarding the latest Capitol Hill laws and developments affecting the small business owner.
Okay, while we are at it, check out Marie Forleo’s web site too.
Love & Soul Always, Kay