Business Tips

How to Increase Productivity with These Simple Tricks

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By Kevin Dennis, WeddingIQ

 

When it comes to the office environment, productivity is perhaps one of the most coveted qualities of today’s business professionals. In fact, there are so many hacks and products out there that ‘guarantee’ increased productivity, that it’s become somewhat of a buzzword. With everyone looking for ways make the most of their time, here are some of my favorite ways to boost your productivity levels without giving into the hype.

Start with commitment

Regardless of how many programs, tools or resources you have in place, your productivity won’t increase until you commit to it. Rather than jump headfirst into productivity hacks that will eventually be left by the wayside, first take some time to ask yourself why this lifestyle change is so important and what you hope to gain from it. By setting goals, you’ll be ensuring the long-term success of your productivity efforts.

Create a to-do list

I could speak for hours on how beneficial to-do lists are, so if you don’t have the to-do habit already, it’s time to reconsider the way you work. Despite our belief that we are habitual multitaskers, our brains can really only focus on one thing at a time. When we have a lot of things on our mind, it can lead to overwhelm and burnout. To combat this, to-do lists are an easy (and free!) way to keep all of your thoughts in one place so you can put your mental energy to work for one task at a time. Whether you choose to keep your to-do list on your phone or jot it on a piece of paper, you’ll start to get a better idea of what needs to be done once you have it all out in front of you. Plus, there is no better feeling than crossing off a to-do!

Incorporate technology

These days, it seems as if there’s a technological fix for everything. Between apps and online programs, you can find a solution to help anything from organizing your inbox to tracking your travel expenses. With that said, keep in mind that every app offers different things to a person – while your coworker may love their to-do list app, you may be looking for other features or a different type of interface. For that reason, it’s important to experiment with all types of programs until you find one that best suits your needs.

Take a break

While this may seem counterintuitive, I’m sure most can relate with the feeling of being confined to your office with nothing to look at but your computer screen. While slogging through your work may seem like the only way it will get done, rest assured that you can afford a five- to ten-minute break. Take a step outside and go for a walk around the block or try out the new coffee shop down the street. If you can spare the time, squeeze in a workout or yoga session during lunch. A simple change of scenery can make all the difference when you’re starting to feel burnt out and you’ll be surprised how productive you are upon your return to your desk.

Even the best of us face challenges with productivity and we’ve all experienced ‘a case of the Mondays,’ but that doesn’t mean that you have to give into it. By incorporating these strategies into your day-to-day workflow, you’ll soon find that your time is better spent and your overall work is much more efficient.

 

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.

Wedding Wisdom

Preemptively Meeting Client Expectations

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By Fabrice Orlando, Cocoon Events Management Group

 

A client’s happiness is paramount to any event professional’s business. From good reviews on third party sites to word-of-mouth referrals, without the client, we’d be out of business. So it’s important to always remember to anticipate what their expectations are and how to meet them before they ever even ask. With that, here are some of my best tips and tricks for helping you not only meet expectations, but exceed them.

Make Yourself Available

It is a well-known fact that many couples book vendors based on how quickly they get back to them. So you’ll want to make sure that you have systems in place where you are responding to potential clients quickly. Setting a precedent right away that there will be an open channel between you could be the thing that gets you the job.

When you’ve booked the client, it’s also a good idea to ask what their communication style is. While you may prefer e-mail, they may be more likely to answer you via text message or phone call. Get on the same page as soon as they sign on the dotted line to avoid any confusion, and so that you can always be available to them.

Offer Your Insight

Any kind of large scale event requires a team of vendors, and by going out of your way to help your client create their dream team will go a long way. As an event pro, you likely know all of the best people in town, so share your own vendor list with them before they even ask, and you will have one happy client. Your referral will certainly weigh heavy when it comes to deciding who they want to hire.

Surprise and Delight

It’s time to stop investing in the same old swag for clients, and start thinking outside of the box. Recently, the method of surprise and delight has become a popular way to thank clients in a more personal way. One great way we’ve seen this used is by asking fun questions about their personality on the initial questionnaire they fill out when they first book you. Do you prefer tea or coffee? What’s your favorite Disney movie? Then buy them something that relates back to that- they will love that you remembered!

Knowing what the client wants before they have to ask is going to help elevate your reputation with stellar reviews and lots of referrals!

 

Fabrice Orlando is the CEO of Cocoon Events Management Group, a luxury event planning company based in Marrakech, Morocco that specializes in high-end weddings and special events worldwide.

Business Tips

The First 5 Steps to Creating a Killer PR Plan

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By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

Creating a public relations plan for your business can seem like a daunting task to some, and is often put on the back burner as something that can be done later down the road (aka never). But, guess what? PR is often what will get you the results you’ve been looking for all along- press features, an elevated reputation in the industry, and the clients you’ve always wanted.

So, why not go ahead and get started on your PR plan right now? We’ve got your first five steps below:

 

Research

As with any project, doing the research is one of the most important steps. Start by taking a look at your own business and really understanding what your PR goals are. This is different for everyone, so you will want to build a custom roadmap with clearly defined goals so that you can better gauge your success.

From there, research and identify who your target audience is. It’s essential to know who you’re targeting your message to ahead of time so that it’s received successfully. Once you know who you want to get your business in front of, it’s time to get on your computer and do some digging into which outlets they are looking at for inspiration. If you think those sites fit in well with your brand, add them to your media “wish list” of publications. Remember, the best PR strategies are ones that identify the message you want to get out there, who the target audience is, and the best channels to get the message out.

 

Get Organized

Living in the age of technology has definitely been helpful for getting organized. There is an abundance of tools available to help keep your PR plan in check. Some of my personal favorites include real wedding submissions programs, like Two Bright Lights and Matchology, which make the process quick and easy. You simply upload your photos, the couple’s information and vendor information and click submit. Dropbox has been a lifesaver for keeping the many thousands of photos, articles, and media plans that we have on file organized and easy to find. Check out your app store and review sites to see which programs may work best for you.

 

Put Yourself Out There

If you want to get your business out there and seen as the best in your industry, then you need to get your voice out there as well. You’ve got to take advantage of your expertise and start sharing your insight with everyone. Reach out to editors and offer yourself as a resource, get in touch with local industry friends and ask if you can write a guest feature on their blog- the ball is in your court!

 

Promote!

When you do get a feature, whether it’s a real wedding being published on a blog or your own expert commentary in an article, it’s time to celebrate. After you’ve done your happy dance, make sure you remember to promote the heck out of it. First, send a quick thank you to the editor that featured you – it will go a long way in helping to further build your relationship with them. Then, get on your social media accounts and share it with the rest of the world. If you have a blog, do a post about it that links back to both your feature and the website itself for an SEO bonus.

 

Just Keep Trying

When you’ve got your PR plan in motion it’s easy to get disheartened by the no’s you will receive from editors. But remember, everyone gets no’s- I do all the time (not to brag!). You just have to keep moving on to the next one until someone gives you a yes. It may be as easy as redirecting the same pitch to a better suited publication. A few no’s is not a reason to stop your PR plan, so just keep trying.

Once you’ve got your plan in place and get into a routine, your PR efforts are sure to pay off.

 

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Podcast

WII 018: Heidi Thompson Helps You Clone Your Best Clients

What if you could clone your best clients and work with them over and over again?

Heidi Thompson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Evolve Your Wedding Business where she specializes in business and marketing strategy for wedding professionals. Her business and marketing expertise has been featured by noteworthy outlets like The Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Wedding Business Magazine, WeddingWire World, and more. Heidi is also an advisory board member for the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning.

In this podcast episode, Heidi discusses powerful topics from her new book, Clone Your Best Clients: How to Take the Guesswork out of Your Marketing and Attract More Ideal Clients.

By listening to this interview, you will learn all of the following (and more):

  • A step-by-step guide for crafting an effective marketing strategy for your wedding business
  • The major mindset trap that can undermine your business and how to avoid it
  • How to gather precious marketing insights from your existing clientele
  • Specific cases where other wedding professionals have transformed their businesses by applying Heidi’s methodology
  • The one key issue underlying 90% of the problems wedding professionals face
  • Heidi’s #1 overall piece of advice for wedding professionals

To hear Heidi’s interview, you can press the play button below. And be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes.

I want to say a special Thank You to Heidi for sharing these insights with our Timeline Genius community.

Please take this information, act on it, and carry on the journey toward fulfilling your dreams!