Superpower: The Social Butterfly
You may have heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, your wedding business is your child – it will take a village to help it grow!
Nobody understands this better than Lisa Paladin of Event Plan-It.
Lisa clearly realizes the value of making personal connections and building relationships.
We had to pick her brain!
What is your area of “genius?”
Blogging, writing, and social media come easiest for me; I enjoy communicating and connecting with others, so it’s a natural fit.
It also helps a lot that I’m online often and enjoy reading blogs and social media posts. Focusing my efforts on developing the areas that I already like and use has been a game-changer!
What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve overcome?
My biggest challenge has been quickly learning a lot of new technical terminology and skills to automate processes, maximize opportunities to reach my ideal clients and vendor partners, and maintain the company’s online presence in a way that I can be proud of.
Once I made the decision to wear my “business manager” hat every day, things started moving pretty quickly, including leads.
I had no idea I’d need an honorary, make-shift business degree to be a wedding planner, but I’m loving it.
What specific strategy has been most successful for you?
The specific strategies that have been most successful for my business have been improving SEO (and my website, in general), consistently posting to social media, starting a blog (and posting consistently), making time for continuing education, and advertising with Google Adwords.
I learned most of these things through my connections with other wedding professionals, creative entrepreneurs, and social media marketing gurus.
Brainstorming with and learning from others has been the single most important aspect involved in growing my business. Getting help is the second.
What was your biggest mistake?
My biggest mistake was believing that “if I build it (a website), they will come.”
That’s just not how it works – but I didn’t know it yet! I fell into a deal on a free website for a year and it was too good to pass up, but I found out later that it also hindered my ability to grow my business.
WordPress sounded scary, so I was thrilled at the option for a plug-and-play website builder. However, it didn’t have blog capabilities, and customization was extremely limited. I did the best I could with what I had, but after about a year I knew it was time to switch to WordPress and I immediately started a blog the week it launched.
The transition period gave me time to consider strategy and prepare a few posts, but there’s just so much more I can do now that I have a WordPress site.
On a related note, I’m also posting a few paid ads and they’re already working well; I’m now a true believer in the saying that “You have to spend money, to make money”.
My second biggest mistake was thinking I could do all (or most) of it myself.
My business has grown exponentially since I started making a habit of connecting with other entrepreneurs and pros – both inside and outside of the wedding industry. At first, I really didn’t know where to look to find a peer group, but once I found one, it led me to another and another.
My connections with other entrepreneurs allow me to learn something new just by scanning a Facebook group feed, and provide me help with just about any business-related concern or technical setback, but it took some searching to find the right communities. I’m still not entirely comfortable reaching out to my local peers, but having practiced a bit online gives me more confidence to do so.
If you could teach wedding pros one thing, what would it be?
Wedding pros need to be almost as good at marketing and running their businesses as they are in their area of expertise.
We can hire help for some things, but it’s really important to understand at least the basics of all the aspects of your business. Find quality training from business pros and use tools that help you to organize and automate as many of your processes as possible
I can’t stress enough how important it is to find and participate in a community with shared interests (i.e. weddings and/or business development).
Just being around other pros (even brand new pros) sparks ideas, helps to resolve problems, and provides encouragement. Engage in your existing circles, find new communities, or build one of your own that helps you to grow!
Which charity did you choose to receive the $100 donation and why?
The charity I chose to receive the $100 donation is the Parma Animal Shelter in Parma, Ohio. It’s my local community shelter and is 100% volunteer-run with no time limits on how long animals can stay.
I am a foster parent with the shelter for mama cats and kittens. I’m also the Humane Education Chairperson, and have been active in helping to fundraise and promote the organization for the past three years.
The shelter, the animals, the volunteer work, and the volunteers themselves have been a beacon of light for me. There is such generosity of spirit, compassion, and loving support in rescue work, and animals are really great teachers on the subjects of love, trust, empathy, and the most pure and basic connection.
I always say that volunteering and fostering is the best decision I have ever made!
Can you relate to Lisa’s experience?
Lisa Paladin’s approach to wedding and event planning at Event Plan-It draws on her 13+ years of experience in the arts, event planning and marketing, corporate project coordination and passion for creating one-of-a-kind events.