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Weddings for Real

Real wedding vendors share their tips and tricks for surviving and thriving in this one of a kind industry. Hosted by Megan Gillikin of A Southern Soiree Wedding Planning, you'll hear guests share their secrets on marketing, the client experience, networking, community, sales, and more - and you might even hear some crazy wedding stories along the way!

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41: Lessons Learned from My 5 Biggest Business Mistakes

Megan Gillikin, host of the podcast, has been a wedding planner in the Raleigh NC market since 2010. Over the last 8+ years, she has made some mistakes in her business. And today she opens up and talks about those, with lessons learned from the experience. Wedding vendors, hopefully you can avoid some of these.   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

1hr 3mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #1

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35: Next Level Instagram for Wedding Professionals with Tyler J McCall

Tyler J McCall is a social media strategist and coach...actually that's selling him way short...Tyler is THE Instagram Guru, and he comes on to share some of his Instagram tips and tricks for wedding vendors!   Hear his advice on Instagram Stories versus your feed, sharing too much on Instagram, how to attract the right clients through client onboarding AND client offboarding, and the concept of relational capital. It's fabulous, he's fabulous, and you won't want to miss it!   You can find Tyler at TylerJMcCall.com, the Follower to Fan Society, and The IG Advantage Facebook Group.       Tyler McCall on Social Media: Instagram: @tylerjmccall   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal   Weddings for Real will be at Forest Hall at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro NC for their open house on Sunday November 4th from 4-7PM. Tickets are available at https://foresthall.eventbrite.com. We hope to see you there, and maybe we'll ask you some questions! If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

51mins

31 Oct 2018

Rank #2

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86: Does Working With a Wedding Planner Make Your Job More Difficult? Danielle Pasternak from the Put A Ring On It Podcast Has Opinions

If you’re a member of the Rising Tide Society Facebook Group, you might have seen a post (since deleted) a few months ago from a photographer who said that when a wedding planner is involved, it makes other wedding vendors’ jobs more difficult and it messes up the flow of a wedding day. From his perspective, it’s better to have a wedding WITHOUT a planner.  Well as you either saw or can imagine, this sparked a lot of debate, and shockingly, many people agreed with his perspective.  Danielle Pasternak, wedding planner at DPNAK and co-host of the Put A Ring On It Podcast, has some thoughts, and she shares them on the show today! DPNAK on Social Media: Instagram: @dpnak Facebook: @dpnak Podcast: Put A Ring On It     Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

49mins

13 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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53: How to Prevent (or Manage) Difficult Clients, with Wedding Planner Erin McLean

Nightmare Clients. If you've been in the wedding industry long enough, no matter what vendor category you're in, you've had them! So what do you do?  Erin McLean, owner of McLean Events in Raleigh North Carolina, comes on the show today to give her tips on avoiding the nightmare clients before booking, what she has done differently to avoid creating overbearing or nervous clients, the "Come to Jesus" talks with her clients who are not being realistic, and when it's time to fire a client.  Support this show by supporting our sponsors: If you're a wedding vendor, you should be using Honeybook! And you can use promo code "WeddingsForReal" for 50% off your first year! Visit TakeCareOf.com and enter promo code WEDDINGSFORREAL50 for 50% your first month of Care/Of Vitamins! Listeners, please nominate us in the IndyWeek's Best of the Triangle Awards!  You can go to the IndyWeek's nominations, and in the Out & About Section, we're under "Best Local Podcast". Thanks so much! Erin McLean, McLean Events (image by Perry Vale) Erin McLean, McLean Events (image by Cyn Kain)     McLean Events on Social Media: Instagram: @mcleanevents Facebook: @McLean-Events      Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

54mins

20 Mar 2019

Rank #4

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59: How to Promote Your Wedding Business, with PR Expert Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting

Meghan Ely, Wedding PR and Marketing Expert at OFD Consulting comes on to share the best ways to promote your business. Most of us creatives have very little time, so we need to figure out the most efficient strategies for maximizing exposure. And with the craziness of the past year or so – with WeddingWire and The Knot merging, with Southern Weddings shutting down, with Style Me Pretty shutting down and opening back up – it’s hard to know if we should be focusing on the bigger publications. So I asked Meghan what we should all be doing, and she shares some great tips! Meghan also talks about her two other websites, WeddingIndustrySpeakers.com and OFDCollective.com (see promo code below). We mentioned 3 promos on this show! 1) My friends at LVL Academy are bringing their wedding planner workshop here to North Carolina in June and Weddings for Real Host Megan Gillikin is a speaker! Join us June 7-8th at Muse at the Mill in Winston-Salem for 2 full days of learning best practices, ways to refine your planning process, resources and tools to grow your business, and more! Use the code WEDDINGSFORREAL by May 10th for $200 of your registration at lvlacademy.com. See you there! 2) For a really cool Mother's Day (or any time) gift, visit StoryWorth.com/WeddingsForReal for $20 off your subscription! With Storyworth, you or a loved one answers questions about your life weekly, and at the end of the year, those stories are bound into a keepsake book! 3) The OFD Collective. Go to OFDCollective.com, and at checkout, enter the promo code "weddingsforreal" for $20 per month off! Listeners, we are nominated (!!!) in the IndyWeek's Best of the Triangle Awards!  You can go to IndyWeek and vote for us in the "Out and About" Section!   Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting    OFD Consulting on Social Media: Facebook: @ofdconsulting Instagram: @ofdconsulting   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

48mins

1 May 2019

Rank #5

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95. Carving Out Your Own Niche, with Venue Consultant Lindsay Lucas

Lindsay Lucas is THE wedding venue consultant.  She's a former wedding planner who now helps venue owners (and those aspiring to be) to create profitable and sustainable wedding venue businesses.  Lindsay had the idea for a complete shift in her business, but it wasn’t easy convincing herself that this was the best way to go. Today, we talk about if YOUR idea is really something to go after, that feeling of imposter syndrome you are sure to have when you’re doing something new, and how vendors can know when it’s time to take the leap.   OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MEGAN.  At the end of February, we are launching The Planner’s Vault, a membership site for wedding planners who are hungry to grow, ready to hustle, and actively seeking community and education. In the vault, there will be guest experts on many topics relevant to growing and cultivating a successful event planning business with new content added consistently, plus all of my templates that I have built out over the years like How to Get on Preferred Vendor Lists, The Client Experience, and more. My mission with the vault is to elevate the industry (along with some amazing experts and fellow entrepreneurs) and I want it to be affordable so it's possible to stay invested in the community and yourself for the long haul. For more information, head on over to ThePlannersVault.com. I am so excited, and I can’t wait to open it up at the end of this month.   Lindsay Lucas on Social Media: Instagram: @TheLindsayLucas Facebook: @TheLindsayLucas Podcast: The Venue Podcast   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Earfluence. 

51mins

12 Feb 2020

Rank #6

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89: Shared Values and Different Personalities: Building an A-Team with Aneesa Glines

Aneesa Glines can best be described as a force of nature with a huge smile and even bigger laugh, whose kind nature is matched by her business drive and desire to grow professionally.  She's the owner and lead consultant of Harmony Weddings and Events, the owner of Forest Hall at Chatham Mills, AND the owner of the upcoming venue The Graham Mill. And she only got into weddings - while still in college - in 2015!  So with the growth, she has become a master at building her team - all very different, but all with shared values.     Harmony Weddings and Events on Social Media: Instagram: @HarmonyWeddingsNC Facebook: @HarmonyWeddingsEvents   The Graham Mill on Social Media: Instagram: @TheGrahamMill   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal   At about 22 minutes into the show, you heard the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from Jenna Parks, who you may know as the owner and editor of Southern Bride and Groom Magazine, which has now rebranded to Heart of NC Weddings!  Check out their website at HeartOfNCWeddings.com or visit them on social AT HeartOfNCWeddings.   Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

59mins

4 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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6: Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes with Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair

Amanda Scott with A Swanky Affair sat down with Megan to go over the Top Ten wedding planning mistakes couples make.  Both Megan and Amanda are wedding planners in the Triangle area and have seen just about every mistake possible.  In going over them, they get to share some of their stories usually reserved for parties, from both the planning process and the wedding day. The top ten wedding planning mistakes are: Planning outside your budget Booking the venue before hiring a planner Assuming a home wedding will be less expensive than a wedding in a venue Not having a rain plan Sending out save-the-dates too soon Using friends and family as vendors Planning for others Not hiring a videographer Not hiring a wedding planner Hiring vendors without due diligence Then Megan grills Amanda with some personal questions in the lightning round, the hard hitting questions like what her guilty TV and fast food pleasures are and what celebrity quote book she reads from every day.  Episode 6 is brought to you by JustMensRings.com, the leader in affordable fashion and wedding rings.  The rings on the website look amazing and are ridiculously inexpensive already - typically less than $50 for a ring you'd pay $500-$1000 for in a store.  And if you use the promo code “real” at checkout, you’ll get an additional 15% off your purchase. So there’s no need to spend $1000 on a wedding band, just go to JustMensRings.com with promo code “real”.  Excludes designer benchmark rings. Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

39mins

11 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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66: Top Ten Takeaways from Engage! Luxury Wedding Business Summit

The latest Engage! Summit was June 10-13th in the Bahamas, and Megan was there for the full luxury wedding and event education experience!  And today, she shares her top ten takeaways from the speakers she heard.   Tips are from:   1) Hayley Paige (14:10) 2) Amirah Kassem (18:40) 3) Cindy Novotny (22:30)  4) Duncan Wardle (26:50) 5) Julian Leaver (31:55)  6) Tracie Domino (35:10)  7) Tracie Domino again (36:55)  8) Andy Maurer (37:55) 9) Jove Meyer (40:55) 10) Mike Michalowicz (43:50)   Support this podcast by supporting our sponsor, BetterHelp.com! BetterHelp is affordable, private, online counseling. Anytime, Anywhere! By going to BetterHelp.com/WeddingsForReal, you get 10% off your first month.   Engage Summits on Social Media: Facebook: @EngageSummits Instagram: @EngageSummits twitter: @EngageSummits       Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

51mins

19 Jun 2019

Rank #9

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73: Relator, Analyzer, Boss, and Dreamer: How to Sell To and Work With the 4 Types of Wedding Clients, with Ideaction's Sam Jacobson

Sam Jacobson, founder of Ideaction Consulting, has found that there are 4 types of buyers in the wedding market - The Relator, the Analyzer, the Boss, and the Dreamer.  And today, Sam gives some ways to identify what each of your clients are, how to sell them, how to work best with them, and how you need to change your sales strategy if you want to maximize the opportunities for clients to work with.  About Sam Jacobson: Sam is a business consultant, coach, and mentor for wedding pros across the country, whether they’re solopreneurs who are trying to level up, or established veterans who are trying to figure out how to not work quite so much. Prior to starting Ideaction in 2016, Sam was the director of operations for Todd Events out of Texas, and before that the lodging director and sales manager at a resort venue in Washington State, where he discovered the concept of the 4 Buying Types.   Ideaction on Social Media: Instagram: @IdeactionConsulting Facebook: @SellWeddingsLikeAPro       Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

1hr 3mins

14 Aug 2019

Rank #10

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31A: Van Eure on the Angus Barn History, Commitment to Service, and Opening the Wedding Pavilion

The Angus Barn Way, their commitment to unparalleled service, is legendary in the local hospitality industry. The owner of the Angus Barn, Van Eure, sat down with Megan to talk about the history of the Barn (her father opened it in the middle of nowhere in 1960), empowering employees to make sure the customer experience is second to none, why she vowed never to do weddings again (never say never), and building the Pavilion for weddings back in 2008. Such an amazing institution and presence in Raleigh, and we're so excited to share this episode with you! The Angus Barn Van Eure with her father Thad Eure Megan and Van after recording in the Wine Cellar Angus Barn on Social Media: Instagram: @angusbarn Facebook: @angusbarn twitter: @angusbarn   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal And here's the information you need on our seminars! The first one is an online marketing seminar. It's at The Umstead Hotel in Cary NC on Monday, October 22nd, for a Brunch and Learn from 9:30AM-12PM. Here are some of the details, and you can sign up with Eventbrite. We can't wait to see you there! What you can expect from this intimate seminar:   An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Strategy & Etiquette, SEO Tips and Tricks, and Generating More Legit Inquiries!   The Social Media Strategy: • Breaking down Instagram components and how to maximize use of them for your business • How to build the right following and continue a steady growth of followers/future clients • Social Media Vendor Etiquette and how this translates into real life referrals • Best use of Instagram stories, polls, etc • What to post, what not to post, and best times to post • Tools and tips to streamline your Instagram posting   Millennials: How are millennials finding their wedding vendors? What factors determine whether you get the job? Learn some easy best practices for attracting and communicating with the generation that is your biggest client base.   The SEO Component: • Setting up/Refining your Google business page • Online directory tips to improve your rankings • Getting reviews (the formula Megan uses!) • Titles, tags and descriptions and how these help or hurt your business rankings • Writing SEO friendly and user friendly content for your site • Image optimization tips Sign up at Eventbrite. See you there! The second conference that day is for wedding planners. For tickets, click here! In this intimate and focused seminar geared towards planners and aspiring planners in years 0-3 of their business, we will focus on the below topics to elevate your wedding planning business to the next level! With a combined 20+ years of experience in the event industry, Megan and Gina of A Southern Soiree are teaming up to provide a behind the scenes look into how to elevate your wedding planning business to the next level by sharing tips and strategies on best practices for event contracts, tools to help with workflow, the client and vendor experience, and pricing to be profitable! Topics We'll Cover: The Importance of Managing the Client Experience From Initial Inquiry to Completion of Event Including Coverage of: Responding to Client Inquiries, Client Onboading Process, Setting Clear Expectations, and Managing Difficult Situations Best Practices for Strengthening Vendor Relations and Building Your Referral Base Contracts and How To Protect Your Business - The top 5 clauses your contract should include to protect your business! Systems to Streamline Your Business - What to use for proposals, contracts, invoices, timelines and more!  Pricing for Your Worth: We will cover basic pricing strategies and well as insight into package offerings that focus on your core strengths! Finally, at 5:30, we have a Podcast Marketing Seminar!  Click Here for the Eventbrite Link!  Podcasting is a great way to create evangelists for your brand and stand out from the competition. But how do you get started? Two successful Raleigh podcasters share their secrets on building an audience, buying gear, and turning listeners into customers. How to Start a Branded Podcast is for: - Marketers looking to stand out and become thought leaders. - Small businesses looking to grow their business. - Beginners wanting to learn how to launch a podcast.  For all seminars, use the coupon code Angus40 for $40 off your ticket! If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

52mins

2 Oct 2018

Rank #11

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29: Becca Atchison on Percentage Based Pricing and Bringing on a Business Partner

Full Service Wedding Planning Company Rebecca Rose Events founder, owner, and creative director Becca Atchison comes on the show to talk about how and why her pricing model is different than almost everyone else in the wedding planning industry, why she decided to bring a partner into her company, what she's most proud of (not being named top planner by Southern Living Magazine or a Planner to Follow by Martha Stewart Weddings, which she was), and that time her company was sued by a client. In addition to being a wedding planner and creative director, Becca is passionate about coaching and consulting, and you can find information about that on her education page on her website, https://www.rebeccaroseevents.com/education. Becca will also be speaking at The School of Styling in July. Clearly she has a lot going on (plus she's a mom with baby 2 on the way soon!), so we appreciate her coming to visit! Becca Atchison on the Job (Image by Jake and Heather Photography) Becca Atchison, Rebecca Rose Events and Rebecca Rose Creative (image by Jake and Heather Photography) Becca Atchison and Betsy Krug (image by Nancy Ray Photography) Becca Atchison (image by Nancy Ray Photography)   Rebecca Rose Events on Social Media: Instagram: @rroseevents Facebook: @rebeccaroseevents twitter: @rroseevents   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforrealAlso, at the top of the show, Megan mentioned an online marketing seminar. It's at The Umstead Hotel in Cary NC on Monday, October 22nd, for a Brunch and Learn from 9:30AM-12PM. Here are some of the details, and you can sign up with Eventbrite. We can't wait to see you there! What you can expect from this intimate seminar:   An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Strategy & Etiquette, SEO Tips and Tricks, and Generating More Legit Inquiries!   The Social Media Strategy: • Breaking down Instagram components and how to maximize use of them for your business • How to build the right following and continue a steady growth of followers/future clients • Social Media Vendor Etiquette and how this translates into real life referrals • Best use of Instagram stories, polls, etc • What to post, what not to post, and best times to post • Tools and tips to streamline your Instagram posting   Millennials: How are millennials finding their wedding vendors? What factors determine whether you get the job? Learn some easy best practices for attracting and communicating with the generation that is your biggest client base.   The SEO Component: • Setting up/Refining your Google business page • Online directory tips to improve your rankings • Getting reviews (the formula Megan uses!) • Titles, tags and descriptions and how these help or hurt your business rankings • Writing SEO friendly and user friendly content for your site • Image optimization tips Sign up at Eventbrite. See you there! If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

54mins

19 Sep 2018

Rank #12

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28: Inside the Bridal Suite with Makeup Artist Michelle Clark

Makeup Artist and all-around hilarious and amazing person Michelle Clark came on the show today, not so much to talk about makeup - although we get to that in the lightning round - but more so about what goes on in the bridal suite before the wedding. The makeup artist and the hair stylist are usually the first vendors in the room, so they see the dynamic between the bride and her tribe first-hand. Usually it's a fun festive atmosphere, but sometimes, it can get a little tense.   Michelle Clark in her new office! (image by LiveView Studios)   Michelle and Megan on Recording Day   Makeup Artist Michelle Clark in Action       Makeup Artist Michelle Clark on Social Media: Facebook: @karenmichelleclark Instagram: @kmichelleclark twitter: @kmichelleclark   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforrealIf you're a vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

48mins

12 Sep 2018

Rank #13

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30: Alan Berg, Wedding Education Guru, on His New Book, "Why Don't They Call Me?"

Alan Berg, Certified Public Speaker, Global Speaking Fellow (one of 31 people in the world to have that distinction), Wedding Industry Sales and Education Guru, Wedding Wire Consultant, and 4-time Book Writer, comes on the show today to talk about his new book, "Why Don't They Call Me? 8 Tips for Converting Wedding & Event Inquiries into Sales"!  Alan gives his 8 tips and tells YOU the wedding vendor why you're not booking as many weddings as you could. Alan's Websites and Social Media: Website: https://alanberg.com/ Books: http://GetAlansBooks.com/ Facebook: @AlanBergSpeaker twitter: @alanberg Instagram: @alanberg Alan Berg, Certified Public Speaker, Episode 30 of Weddings for Real Alan Berg and Joe Bunn, who was on Episode 2 of Weddings for Real Alan Berg Always Takes a Selfie When He Speaks   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforrealAlso, at the top of the show, Megan mentioned 3 seminars! The first one is an online marketing seminar. It's at The Umstead Hotel in Cary NC on Monday, October 22nd, for a Brunch and Learn from 9:30AM-12PM. Here are some of the details, and you can sign up with Eventbrite. We can't wait to see you there! What you can expect from this intimate seminar:   An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Strategy & Etiquette, SEO Tips and Tricks, and Generating More Legit Inquiries!   The Social Media Strategy: • Breaking down Instagram components and how to maximize use of them for your business • How to build the right following and continue a steady growth of followers/future clients • Social Media Vendor Etiquette and how this translates into real life referrals • Best use of Instagram stories, polls, etc • What to post, what not to post, and best times to post • Tools and tips to streamline your Instagram posting   Millennials: How are millennials finding their wedding vendors? What factors determine whether you get the job? Learn some easy best practices for attracting and communicating with the generation that is your biggest client base.   The SEO Component: • Setting up/Refining your Google business page • Online directory tips to improve your rankings • Getting reviews (the formula Megan uses!) • Titles, tags and descriptions and how these help or hurt your business rankings • Writing SEO friendly and user friendly content for your site • Image optimization tips Sign up at Eventbrite. See you there! The second conference that day is for wedding planners. For tickets, click here! In this intimate and focused seminar geared towards planners and aspiring planners in years 0-3 of their business, we will focus on the below topics to elevate your wedding planning business to the next level! With a combined 20+ years of experience in the event industry, Megan and Gina of A Southern Soiree are teaming up to provide a behind the scenes look into how to elevate your wedding planning business to the next level by sharing tips and strategies on best practices for event contracts, tools to help with workflow, the client and vendor experience, and pricing to be profitable! Topics We'll Cover: The Importance of Managing the Client Experience From Initial Inquiry to Completion of Event Including Coverage of: Responding to Client Inquiries, Client Onboading Process, Setting Clear Expectations, and Managing Difficult Situations Best Practices for Strengthening Vendor Relations and Building Your Referral Base Contracts and How To Protect Your Business - The top 5 clauses your contract should include to protect your business! Systems to Streamline Your Business - What to use for proposals, contracts, invoices, timelines and more!  Pricing for Your Worth: We will cover basic pricing strategies and well as insight into package offerings that focus on your core strengths! Finally, at 5:30, we have a Podcast Marketing Seminar!  Click Here for the Eventbrite Link!  Podcasting is a great way to create evangelists for your brand and stand out from the competition. But how do you get started? Two successful Raleigh podcasters share their secrets on building an audience, buying gear, and turning listeners into customers. How to Start a Branded Podcast is for: - Marketers looking to stand out and become thought leaders. - Small businesses looking to grow their business. - Beginners wanting to learn how to launch a podcast. If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

47mins

26 Sep 2018

Rank #14

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33: Kim and Penn Holderness on Tips for a Healthy Marriage and How to be a Great Guest at a Wedding

Kim and Penn Holderness are known for their viral videos on YouTube where they sing and dance, sometimes in their Christmas Jammies. But Kim and Penn are much more than what you see in the videos. They are a dynamic, hilarious, and down-to-earth couple who came on the show today to talk about how they met, their engagement, their wedding, tips for a healthy marriage, and how to be a great guest at a wedding.  We find out, what advice would Kim and Penn give themselves, about marriage, on their wedding day 13 years ago? Kim and Penn Holderness That's Jason as a seat while his brother was about to take off the garter Megan was on the Holdermess Podcast a couple months ago. You can listen to that here:     The Holderness Family on Social Media: Instagram: @theholdernessfamily Facebook: @theholdernessfamily YouTube: @VisitTheGreenroom twitter: @KimDHolderness Podcast: http://marriedwithpodcastwiththeholdernessfamily.libsyn.com/ Go see Penn as Riff-Raff in the Rocky Horror Show in Cary NC on October 26th and 27th. Tickets are available at https://www.etix.com/ticket/e/1007940/rocky-horrow-show-cary-carys-koka-booth-amphitheatre. Megan and Jason will be there in section 2, Row M, so come say hi!   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal If you're a wedding professional in the Raleigh area, come check out our online marketing seminar. It's at The Umstead Hotel in Cary NC on Monday, October 22nd, for a Brunch and Learn from 9:30AM-12PM. Here are some of the details, and you can sign up with Eventbrite. We can't wait to see you there! What you can expect from this intimate seminar:   An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Strategy & Etiquette, SEO Tips and Tricks, and Generating More Legit Inquiries!   The Social Media Strategy: • Breaking down Instagram components and how to maximize use of them for your business • How to build the right following and continue a steady growth of followers/future clients • Social Media Vendor Etiquette and how this translates into real life referrals • Best use of Instagram stories, polls, etc • What to post, what not to post, and best times to post • Tools and tips to streamline your Instagram posting   Millennials: How are millennials finding their wedding vendors? What factors determine whether you get the job? Learn some easy best practices for attracting and communicating with the generation that is your biggest client base.   The SEO Component: • Setting up/Refining your Google business page • Online directory tips to improve your rankings • Getting reviews (the formula Megan uses!) • Titles, tags and descriptions and how these help or hurt your business rankings • Writing SEO friendly and user friendly content for your site • Image optimization tips Sign up at Eventbrite. See you there!  If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

1hr 5mins

17 Oct 2018

Rank #15

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92: You Down with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)? With Morgan Montgomery!

If you’re a solopreneur or you run a small team, and you’re thinking about growing, but you haven’t quite figured out how to clone yourself yet, then I want you to listen to this episode closely, because it’s all about putting your experience and knowledge in writing and making it easy for others to get in your head. On episode 92, Morgan Montgomery with Paisley and Jade talks all about SOPs – Standard Operating Procedures!   As you heard on the show, we have a BIG announcement coming soon, and the best way to hear about it first is to join our mailing list at weddingsforreal.com or text "wfr" to 33777.     Paisley and Jade on Social Media: Instagram: @PaisleyAndJade Facebook: @PaisleyAndJade twitter: @PaisleyAndJade   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

39mins

1 Jan 2020

Rank #16

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3: Wedding Marketing in 2018 with Jenna Parks from Southern Bride and Groom Magazine

Jenna Parks is the co-owner of Southern Bride and Groom Magazine of the Triangle. Jenna’s mom Donna started the magazine back in 1986, and Jenna came on board in 2010 to advance it into the  digital age. To have any sort of impact in the wedding magazine space – which features some huge names like Martha Stewart, Brides Magazine, Grace Ormonde, Premier Bride, Wedding Style, The Knot, Bridal Guide, and Inside Weddings – a smaller magazine needs to know their local market extremely well. That’s exactly what Southern Bride and Groom has done over the past 30+ years. They don’t just write articles about what’s trending or what the color of the year is or what celebrity wore what dress to a wedding. They get to know their local vendors so they can recommend to Raleigh area couples what the best venues are, who the legitimate wedding planners are, what linen companies are reputable, etc.  They develop that trust with couples and vendors alike, and they become entrenched in the market so couples know when flipping through the magazine, that if they use these vendors, they can be comfortable with who they hired. Jenna came on the show to talk about how her mom started the company and how she came on to take it to the next level, instagram etiquette, and marketing strategy for wedding vendors – where should you as a vendor spend not only your money but your time as well. Southern Bride and Groom Magazine 2018 Southern Bride and Groom Magazine 1996 Jenna's Blog Post about the reliability of reviews. OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MEGAN.  We have launched The Planner’s Vault, a membership site for wedding planners who are hungry to grow, ready to hustle, and actively seeking community and education. In the vault, there will be guest experts on many topics relevant to growing and cultivating a successful event planning business with new content added consistently, plus all of my templates that I have built out over the years like How to Get on Preferred Vendor Lists, The Client Experience, and more. My mission with the vault is to elevate the industry (along with some amazing experts and fellow entrepreneurs) and I want it to be affordable so it's possible to stay invested in the community and yourself for the long haul. For more information, head on over to ThePlannersVault.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

37mins

4 Apr 2018

Rank #17

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39: Are You Ready for Engagement Season?

Did you know that 40% of engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day?!?!  Wedding Vendors, is your business ready for engagement season?  Megan Gillikin, qualified industry veteran, host of this show, wedding planner, and business coach (along with her completely unqualified but occasionally funny husband Jason Gillikin), gives her tips for making sure your business is ready! Rockefeller Center Proposal Image from Katherine Miles Jones Photography (Katherine was on episode 9)   Proposal Image by Mikkel Paige Photography (episode 11), featuring Mollyann Russel (episode 21)   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal If you're a wedding vendor, go get Honeybook! At A Southern Soiree, we’ve been using Honeybook since February 2015. I think we were one of their very first clients, and it has truly been a life changer. They make proposals and contracts super easy to use on both our side and the client side. I think before Honeybook I would send proposals and contracts by email, and the client would have to mail the contract to us or fax it by efax. Proposals were in no way streamlined either, so this has made our lives so much better. As a consultant, whenever I sign up a vendor client, one of the very first recommendations I make is Honeybook. No need to complicate things – it works, it’s great…just get it. And if you follow this link, you get 50% off your first year of Honeybook, which is nice, but not nearly as nice as all the time you’re going to save. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to send me an email to megan@weddingsforreal.com.  Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

41mins

28 Nov 2018

Rank #18

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61: Pricing for Profitability, with Lindsay Longacre from LVL Academy

Lindsay Longacre from LVL Events (Southern California) and LVL Academy comes on the show today to talk all about pricing for profitability, a vision for creating pricing standardization, whether or not she takes on partial planning (or is it day-of coordination? or month-of? or wedding management), and the best way new vendors can connect with vendors in their market (hint: it's not a mass bcc email). On the show, we also talk a lot about LVL Academy, and Lindsay is bringing their wedding planner workshop here to North Carolina in June and yours truly (Megan Gillikin) is on the planner panel! Join us June 7-8th at Muse at the Mill in Winston-Salem for 2 full days of learning best practices, ways to refine your planning process, resources and tools to grow your business, and more! Use the code WEDDINGSFORREAL by May 10th for $200 of your registration at lvlacademy.com. See you there! Lindsay Longacre and Heather Hoesch LVL Academy (photo by Lorely Meza)     LVL Events on Social Media: Instagram: @LVLWeddings Facebook: @LVLWeddings twitter: @LVLWeddings   LVL Academy on Social Media: Instagram: @LVL_Academy Facebook: @LVLWeddingAcademy twitter: @LVL_Academy   Weddings for Real on Social Media: Instagram: @weddingsforreal Facebook: @weddingsforreal twitter: @weddingsforreal Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

45mins

15 May 2019

Rank #19

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7: Instagram Stories and Wedding Photography Style with Ginny Corbett

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote, attributed to Maya Angelou, is how Ginny Corbett of Ginny Corbett Photography remembers what’s important on the wedding day. She wants to make sure that her clients are at ease and can take in the memorable moments, so when they look at a picture hanging on the wall from their wedding day, they remember exactly how they felt. Ginny sat down with Megan to talk about her style, why you need an engagement session, what’s missing from weddings today, and how Ramona has helped her unlock the power of Instagram stories. Her wedding photography brand is about being authentic, and that’s exactly what you’ll get from Ginny in this podcast. She also tells two of the craziest wedding stories you’ll ever hear, one of which ends with an 8-year-old yelling at Ginny that she’s a homewrecker! Here are some images of Ginny’s remarkable work.  For more, check out her Portfolio. Music for this episode by https://www.bensound.com. The host of the show is Megan Gillikin, owner and lead consultant at A Southern Soiree Wedding and Event Planning.  She's also available for wedding and hospitality business consulting and can be reached at megan@weddingsforreal.com. Weddings for Real is edited and produced by Jason Gillikin for Earfluence.

34mins

18 Apr 2018

Rank #20