Vitality, vision and renewed enthusiasm

The last few weeks have been manic. But totally in a good way! I have recently met some amazing people who have inadvertently (and with no small amount of pestering and badgering from me) helped me find my mojo again! Its been documented through personal circumstances that things had to take a bit of a back seat in 2016 and because of that, 2017 was a tricky one for us as a family and a business. But at the end of 2017, the amazing Kerry Curl of Cambridge Makeup Artist, with whom I had worked with a couple of times at weddings and got on with really well, asked me if I wanted to do a styled shoot for promotion on her new venture and for a small quirky venue just starting out in the wedding industry (Escheat Farm). My last blog documented this briefly and I won't go too much into the detail, but while I was there, I met Vanessa and Dom of Rocks and Frocks Wedding Planning. These guys have been a gold mine of information and have since taken me a little under their wing, even though they are probably sick of the sight and sound of me! I love these guys and with their help and advice, I did something I thought I would never do....I totally changed the direction and thought of my business and how its run. Let me explain....

Early February had me booked in at Anstey Hall in Cambridge for the Cambridge Wedding Fair, organised by Wedding Exhibitions UK. When speaking to Vanessa and Dom about this, it came about that for the last few fairs I had done, footfall seemed to be dropping and the results weren't coming my way. I saw this as a symptom of hard times for potential couples, or that my positioning in the room wasn't optimal......turns out part of that was right. Which part? The place in the room...and even that wasn't straight forward. Dom and Vanessa utterly opened my eyes with just a few little bits of very simple, but turns out to be amazingly effective advice. Change the design of my display and engage more with people. Obvious? Yeah, you would think so wouldn't you? Not to little old me and probably a lot of other people. Getting people in the know, from the outside, was an awesome bit of luck! I set to work! 

I did my research, I had a plan. I wanted something different. Something that would attract my "ideal client" (client profiling.....ha! Who knew that was so handy?!). I had ideas. I went for it. I drove around all the local timber yards with a rough idea and one of them came up good with a few pallets they let me have. I was off! I designed, drilled, fixed, adjusted and went from this:

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Through this: 

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to finally this:

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Did it work? You BET!!! People were not only complimenting me on my work, but also the stand I had made! Even people who weren't looking for a photographer would walk past and say something nice about what I had done. Such a heartwarming feeling. The strategy and hard work had paid on, no small thanks to Vanessa and Dom either! Have to thank them for the crates and the ladder on this. Lifesavers! 

But, I digress. What an ego boost! And whats more, it started to bring in clients who seemed genuinely interested in what I had to offer. Which was the plan all along. Vanessa and Dom were right! 

As well as all this going on, with much advice from the two people mentioned above, Kerry was also helping out with recommending me for various groups and sites and industry communities that she thought might be helpful. Whats more (and this includes Vanessa and Dom), a lot of this advice and help wasn't and hasn't been reciprocal or was crow barred out of them. It was all given generously, freely and with a smile and I am genuinely humbled they would take the time out to do this all for me. Anyway, I have digressed again.....

What came of these things Kerry added and invited me to was I became part of a wedding industry community called WEDx, run by Tracy Butterfield. She founded this a year or two ago and its grown from strength to strength and its easy to work out why. The work output from Tracy is mind-blowing! Content and workshops and groups and discussions and.....you name it. If it is there to help out people within the wedding industry, shes on it! And shes such a lovely lady to boot! Always helpful, always accommodating and always with a smile! I like her very much! But the thing I have got from her and her community is the workshops and the sense that we are all in this together, not competing. The workshops were a total eye opener for me. I knew nothing about Pinterest and Instagram and I do now! The workshop was lead by Hannah of InstaBritain and Postcards by Hannah fame. Shes a bit of an Instagram superstar really.  Go check out her Insta feeds.....amazing body of work and so many followers and such a successful social media business in such a short time. This lady knows what shes talking about! And I learned so much! I'm a bit addicted now to my own Instagram feed and can't get off Pinterest when I have the chance! 

Basically, what this boils down to is this. I hadn't even scratched the surface with my wedding business and I was doing alright (before the 2016 disasters). But now, I have a much bigger (and amazingly helpful) network of people, I have a much broader knowledge base and tools to use to help me move forward. The upshot being that I have been reignited and my enthusiasm is bubbling over again. I am again excited for the future and where this will all take me. Who knows? Success or not, I am having an absolute ball learning and finding out and meeting new people. Its exactly what I needed! Here's to the future! 

 

A big, big, big thanks to all those I mentioned above. Honestly cannot tell you all how grateful I am for your time and your effort in me. I owe you all one! 

 

John WoodwardComment