Weddingwire, talk me down

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Jeff Romard

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And outranking WeddingWire is going to be exceptionally difficult. Not impossible, but SEO is just not as easy as posting blogs with a few keywords.
As a general statement I agree with you but in Ricks case he's right behind WW in the search I did blogs and keywords might jump him up there
 

Albatross

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As a general statement I agree with you but in Ricks case he's right behind WW in the search I did blogs and keywords might jump him up there
As with most things, it's probably a "Yes, and..." rather than an either or. If he can tweak his page to rank better, he should do that. That alone may not be enough to drive the traffic he needs.
 
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Jeff Romard

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As with most things, it's probably a "Yes, and..." rather than an either or. If he can tweak his page to rank better, he should do that. That alone may not be enough to drive the traffic he needs.
You may be right but from my experience it's been a couple of years since I've heard anyone mention WW or TK anywhere but this board. People seem to be backing away from the listing sites which is probably the reason they are selling half off packages
 
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Albatross

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You may be right but from my experience it's been a couple of years since I've heard anyone mention WW or TK anywhere but this board. People seem to be backing away from the listing sites which is probably the reason they are selling half off packages
I'm with you 100% but I think the demographic of users here is also affecting that. Our frequent group of posters tends to be DJs that are established and have great referral networks. And if you can be busy without paying for the lead gen, I think we would all prefer that. But I used TK and WW each for a year to get off the ground, and wound them down when I was getting enough leads from other sources.

If you destroyed my brand and leads today and made me start over.. I'd probably use WW or TK again.

Rick is launching a new venture that doesn't have any name recognition yet. Until he's on the radar of planners and couples... I think it makes sense to add some spend to boost it.

Now... from what I've read he's going after a pretty bare bones price model. So there may not be enough meat on the bone to support a robust ad program while pricing so low. So adding the spend may expose other issues.
 

Proformance

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Part of what is killing TK and WW is the lack of diversity - meaning all the vendors are showcasing the same thing, chasing the same demographic, and promoting the same cliche's.
 

rickryan.com

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I'm with you 100% but I think the demographic of users here is also affecting that. Our frequent group of posters tends to be DJs that are established and have great referral networks. And if you can be busy without paying for the lead gen, I think we would all prefer that. But I used TK and WW each for a year to get off the ground, and wound them down when I was getting enough leads from other sources.

If you destroyed my brand and leads today and made me start over.. I'd probably use WW or TK again.

Rick is launching a new venture that doesn't have any name recognition yet. Until he's on the radar of planners and couples... I think it makes sense to add some spend to boost it.

Now... from what I've read he's going after a pretty bare bones price model. So there may not be enough meat on the bone to support a robust ad program while pricing so low. So adding the spend may expose other issues.
Right or wrong, I guess I'm going to have to stick with FB/IG with paid ads. If tier #2 yields 20 leads per month, then I'm guessing tier #3 will only yield 3-5 leads per month which likely results in maybe 3-5 sales per year. That is pretty much in line with the results I saw for DJ ads on WW/TK before, which is why I skipped out on them to begin with. I think my SEO tweaks are starting to show up. Not sure what (if anything) will result from adding alt tags to all the photos, which I expect won't show up for a few more weeks. Locally, I'm ranking at the top of private companies (not WW/TK/Eventective) in the area. I fielded 2 leads today, but suspect that's because of the bounce I got off the latest pictures I posted to FB (100+ clicks already). It's going to help when I can finally start having actual event photos to show.
 

DJ Ricky B

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It's a Pandemic, and we have riots/protests going on everywhere. Hell, 1 FREAKING MILE from my house there was a protest of a Business because the owner said ONE SINGLE THING that people did not like, so they shared it across FB, and got people to organize a protest of his business. His Crab House is now temporarily closed...ALL 4 locations because of a single comment he made on facebook. He issued a video apology, but it was too little, and people criticised his apology. Protsts on Saturday closed all his locations down...and he will probably remain closed until this thing blows over.

Anyway, Inquiries are dead in the water practically. ...Even Taso is MIA here on the board probably because of the financial impact this whole thing is causing him trying to deal with it, and make ends meet.

My Advice....Wait all of this out. 2020 is a CRAPPY AWFUL YEAR for our entire industry. ...Also, with the way things are going, we are likely to be invaded by Aliens in July or August...2020 ain't over dealing out blows to everyone!

Wait it out, 2021 couples are going to be LATE BOOKERS because of the 2020 BS, and we may see a resurgence of strong business in 2022 assuming the world doesn't end, or lawlessness ensues and causes the country to go into a downward spiral from all the police officers retiring or calling it quits after all of the "Defunding" and demoralization of them as a whole takes place.
 

Jeff Romard

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My Advice....Wait all of this out. 2020 is a CRAPPY AWFUL YEAR for our entire industry. ...Also, with the way things are going, we are likely to be invaded by Aliens in July or August...2020 ain't over dealing out blows to everyone!
Right now I have one Saturday in August and one in June available nothing in July or September. Some are cancellations from this year some are new bookings. Most are referral. If you depend on advertising for bookings you better be doing it now or next year will be as bad as this year
 

rickryan.com

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My Advice....Wait all of this out. 2020 is a CRAPPY AWFUL YEAR for our entire industry. ...Also, with the way things are going, we are likely to be invaded by Aliens in July or August...2020 ain't over dealing out blows to everyone!
I don't have that luxury, there's a mortgage to be paid each month. I had 2 venue leads yesterday and have booked 3 DJ jobs in the past week. I'm expanding my approach on the venue to pitch other event types besides weddings. One of the leads yesterday is for a baptism. Cheap date but if I can fill in an open slot then something is better than nothing.
 

Proformance

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I don't have that luxury, there's a mortgage to be paid each month. I had 2 venue leads yesterday and have booked 3 DJ jobs in the past week. I'm expanding my approach on the venue to pitch other event types besides weddings. One of the leads yesterday is for a baptism. Cheap date but if I can fill in an open slot then something is better than nothing.
To Ricky's point, wait it out with regard to spending money. You couldn't have seen this disaster coming when you built the venue, and you surely have no crystal ball to where it's leading. So, yes - keep booking whatever you can but, don't spend money on futures, or anything that is a gamble. If you listen to the radio you'll notice that nearly ALL the advertising is gone (depending on how "open" your state is.) The only thing that remains is "financial planning" and that's because financial planning gets a boost whenever there's a state of panic.

This turmoil is guaranteed to continue through November because ALL of it is so heavily leveraged in the splintering of political parties. We're having our own version of the Russian Revolution. It will fail because it's a war on 5 fronts but, it's not clear how long it will persist. In the meantime, use old school networking to promote your venue. Don't spend money advertising a business that may be subject to yet another government shutdown, or state of emergency.

Go to the party and event planners - these are the problem solvers that bride's will be turning to for help. Aim higher - you need to book the type of client who can afford a planner because your present goal of catering to DIY prospects is like panning for gold.
 

rickryan.com

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Okay, just made a few more SEO tweaks/corrections. I also rolled the dice on a paid eventective.com ad. Premium subscription and they claim 175 leads per year. Got 6 months for $300 (50% off because of covid). I'm not keen on eventective.com but one of my local vendor friends said she's been picking up weddings from them for her venue. Looking back at the leads that were received there is a lot of lowball junk but also looks like a significant portion that have realistic budgets. We'll see how it goes.
 

rickryan.com

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Wow, speaking as a web developer, I'm uber-impressed with Eventective's user interface on their lead dashboard. It's probably the best tool I've seen on any lead generating sites. There's an easy tool to setup response templates. Once those are done, you highlight a lead, click "respond" then pick the template, confirm, done. Their email system shows when they've read it and pings a copy to your email address. I know I'm just getting started but I've already pitched 10+ leads, which all came in within the past 7 days. Unfortunately, there are a lot of general parties, showers, birthdays, etc. that will be cheaper events, but many are within 90 days, which the wedding schedule is already booked out for. I'll take some pickup dates, even if a cheaper event. I just hope some of these pan out.
 

B-Sharp

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I also rolled the dice on a paid eventective.com ad. Premium subscription and they claim 175 leads per year.
If they do for venues what they do for every other vendor category, run, run, run RUN the hell away from Eventective.
 

rickryan.com

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Not sure if it's just coincidence or not but I've had 2 leads in the past 2 days and both are coming for a site tour this weekend. I give them both about 80% of booking. Sure hope this becomes a trend and keeps up. Daddy has a mortgage to pay.
 
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Proformance

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How secure is your property?
Instantaneous leads are nice, unless they're not. A site tour is a great way to case the joint. The more you promote this space the more you need to be concerned about security. You don't want to arrive one day and find all your tables, lights, and air conditioners are gone. An uninhabited building in the middle of nowhere is an easy target.
 

djtaso

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It's a Pandemic, and we have riots/protests going on everywhere. Hell, 1 FREAKING MILE from my house there was a protest of a Business because the owner said ONE SINGLE THING that people did not like, so they shared it across FB, and got people to organize a protest of his business. His Crab House is now temporarily closed...ALL 4 locations because of a single comment he made on facebook. He issued a video apology, but it was too little, and people criticised his apology. Protsts on Saturday closed all his locations down...and he will probably remain closed until this thing blows over.

Anyway, Inquiries are dead in the water practically. ...Even Taso is MIA here on the board probably because of the financial impact this whole thing is causing him trying to deal with it, and make ends meet.

My Advice....Wait all of this out. 2020 is a CRAPPY AWFUL YEAR for our entire industry. ...Also, with the way things are going, we are likely to be invaded by Aliens in July or August...2020 ain't over dealing out blows to everyone!

Wait it out, 2021 couples are going to be LATE BOOKERS because of the 2020 BS, and we may see a resurgence of strong business in 2022 assuming the world doesn't end, or lawlessness ensues and causes the country to go into a downward spiral from all the police officers retiring or calling it quits after all of the "Defunding" and demoralization of them as a whole takes place.
I didn't realize I was mentioned in this, but I'm not MIA because of any financial impact that I'm dealing with. I do have other sources of income from real estate/stocks, and that along with disaster relief and PUA I'm in the green. Not as much in the green... but in the green. I also took this time to take real estate classes to get my license during this downtime... not so much to change careers, but to have since I do buy properties, and might as well get some commission from it.

I'm more MIA because a bunch of the threads derailed lol, and in this particular case, I don't do weddingwire at all to offer any advice that wasn't mentioned... especially from a venues standpoint.

Inquiries are NOT dead though. I am averaging about 2-3 wedding inquiries a week. This week I've had 3 since Monday. Unfortunately, with many of the postponements, a number of dates are not available, which is discouraging. All other types of inquiries are dead though. Sweet 16 inquiries for me are maybe 1 or 2 a month. And another friend of mine who does 90% generic parties, did not get a single inquiry for 2.5 months. As Scott mentioned in his other post today, as things begin to open and signs of large gatherings come about, the more the inquiries pop up. In NJ outdoor gatherings are up to 100, and will be up to 500 by July 3rd. Some venues are setting up tents on their property. Indoor gatherings are at 50, however, most venues are not allowed to open at the moment so there's clarity trying to be given. DJ's are now getting inquiries for outdoor backyard parties, and one of my past clients contacted me today for a small backyard event at the end of this month that they're thinking of doing depending on if their friends are into it.

If events open up by August for me I'll be in great shape, as $120k of events are still on the books for 2020. 2021 is 50% booked, so we're actually on pace compared to other years, and don't see a huge impact financially for 2021. If we know of a definite vaccine by the fall (know... not have available), then I think inquiry rates will begin to normalize.

There's one big variable... jobs. Up until now, most of the jobs affected had been retail/dining/hospitality type jobs, not so much white collar jobs since they're working from home. If the economy doesn't continue to rebound fast, and starts impacting white collar jobs, then personally I may have some couples trying to downsize or postpone further to be able to pay for things. All of my couples are still working it seems like so the financial aspect hasn't impacted me, but others I'm sure are affected.
 

TJS

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Hey Rick,
May I make a suggestion on the design/decor end that doesn't cost much to tweak but could have a positive impact on your booking results?

I studied design back in the day and my wife has been an event designer so I'm suggesting some principles that are sound. To maximize your impact on your viewer, you have to understand what's happening in a viewer's brain. Our brains are designed for analysis, right? When the brain takes in info, it instantly decides what it needs to pay attention to and analyze further and what it can disregard. When you have much of the same color in a space (or photo), for example, the brain instantly takes in all of 'the same" that it sees and disregards it because it's telling itself, "I've analyzed everything I can here...I can move on". It then spends time looking for and analyzing anything that is unique, asymmetrical, different textures etc.

So applying this to your space/photos of your space. If you look at "sameness" that your potential client's brain is going to instantly take in and dismiss:
1. Walls are white
2. Table cloths are white
3. Chair covers are white
4. Door is white
5. Sheer curtains in the French Doors are white
6. Cloth napkins are white
7. Air conditioning unit is white

Some of this you can't change now (door...a/c...) but think about it. That's largely 90% of your room...that your client's brain is instantly seeing as "the same" and not seeing the need to look at any further. That can have adverse booking effects..Wedding Wire or not. Let's look at what is different and what I guarantee a viewer's eye is instantly going to when looking at the photos/space:

1. The flowers ... different colors
2. The colored lighting that shines on the chairs draws the eye because it's colored (but even then, the lighting is somewhat the same around the room)
3. The black truss (simply because it's different from the white)

So that's minimal interest to the brain telling your viewer subconsciously that there isn't much interest here. So what would I recommend to help?

1. I would decide on a tri-color scheme. Three is an odd number and creates asymmetry. You can represent this in the flowers. If you don't want to change out the flowers for budget sake, that's fine. There is still interest there due to variety but a tri-color scheme creates interest while tying things together.

2. Choose two different colors for the table cloths. It would be easy to choose black and white. The black will compliment the black truss. Alternate the table cloth colors among the tables. This forces the brain/eye to look closer because they're not all the same.

3. On the black tables (for example) put white napkins on the plates. On the white tables...put black napkins on the plates. Again, the brain notices the differences and pauses to examine it instead of glossing over a white napkin on a white table with white chairs.

4. If you are staying with a tri-color scheme in the room, you "could" make the lighting behind the head table one of the colors while the rest of the room is one of the other tri-colors. This makes the brain say "One of these is not like the others" and again pauses to examine.

Hope this helps
 
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rickryan.com

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Okay, another "What's your thoughts?" question. I'm planning to pour a back patio, 14'X45' (see photo below). The concrete guy who did the rest of my work quoted me $900 for labor only. It'll run about the same for the concrete. I've already bought the gravel and am in the process of grading it off now. I'm thinking to go ahead and install 5, 6X6 treated posts, which will support a canopy with metal roof. End result, a nice sitting area with a bunch of rocking chairs and maybe some string lighting. Should be able to get it done for $2.5k.

I'm still poor, but feeling a bit more confident. Eventective is turning up leads, although nothing booked yet. Just thinking out loud here. Your thoughts?61141860304__59BF9965-5B9D-45DB-A498-8114A8A48131 (1).JPG
 
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