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Podcast Show Notes

How To Become The Vendor On Everyone’s Lips With Carin Hunt

April 9, 2024

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How do you become the vendor on everyone's lips? Some wedding pros in the industry seem to get all the amazing referrals and opportunities. They're on the tip of everyone's tongue, and because of that, their business seems to be EVERYWHERE. Carin Hunt from Celebration Pros is my guest on this episode of The Power in Purpose podcast and shares practical tips on networking, building an iconic brand, and connecting with other vendors.

I've said it to you so many times now that you're probably sick of hearing me say it to you – but the wedding industry is a relationship-driven industry! The power of referrals is what will help grow your wedding business – and there are some tricks to getting more (and better) referrals from vendors. I think it all boils down to networking.

How do you become someone who's on the tip of everyone's tongue, who's on everyone's lips, always being referred or recommended or mentioned in rooms that you might not physically be in? Carin Hunt also shares some very practical but brilliant tips on how you can stand out at your next networking event – which is going to make attending one so much easier (and more impactful!).

Podcast episode promotion featuring Alex Collier on "The Power of Purpose" podcast, discussing how to become a notable vendor.

In this episode with Carin Hunt of Celebration Pros:

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:24 The Importance of Networking in the Wedding Industry
  • 07:09 Understanding Your Market and Ideal Client
  • 11:01 Building Brand Awareness
  • 14:39 Strategies of Iconic Brands
  • 25:08 Tips for Networking Events
  • 36:49 How Often to Network
  • 39:01 Connecting with Carin Hunt
  • 41:17 Conclusion
How do you become the vendor on everyone's lips? Some wedding pros in the industry seem to get all the amazing referrals and opportunities. They're on the tip of everyone's tongue, and because of that, their business seems to be EVERYWHERE. Carin Hunt from Celebration Pros is my guest on this episode of The Power in Purpose podcast and shares practical tips on networking, building an iconic brand, and connecting with other vendors.

About Carin Hunt

Carin Hunt, CEO of Celebration Pros, leads a dynamic community of ambitious wedding professionals determined to break through their glass ceiling of doubts and achieve the success they so desire and deserve.

With her innovative Champagne Logic approach, Carin collaborates with clients in both group and one-on-one settings, uncorking the potential in their businesses, refining structures, and toasting valuable connections. Drawing on 15 years of experience in luxury hospitality and event management, she empowers creative entrepreneurs to build businesses worth celebrating through a hands-on learning style.

Her insights can be found in publications such as Destination I Do, Bridal Guide, Catersource, Today, and Rising Tide Society. Passionate about promoting success, Carin engages in community leadership, podcast hosting, and public speaking, all while relishing the sunny island life with her family in the Florida Keys.

Candice (00:00.174)

How do you become the vendor on everyone's lips? Well, my guest on today's episode of the podcast, Carin Hunt, is here to share practical tips on networking and connecting with other vendors. You're here to grow a business, but not just any kind of business. You want to grow a profitable business with purpose. A business where you wake up every single day driven to serve your customers and make a difference in your own life.

I'm Candice Coppola, published author, business coach, and your guide to building a profitable business with purpose. Join me here every single week as we explore how to build and grow your business with purpose. Get ready to dig in and have meaningful conversations about the strategies and techniques that will help you build your dream business. This is the power in purpose.

Candice (00:59.214)

Hey there friend, welcome back to the Power and Purpose podcast. It's me, your host Candice, and I have such a treat for you today. We're talking all about networking and creating relationships in your business. I've enlisted the help of my special guest, Carin Hunt from Celebration Pros to share with you some of her favorite tips for incorporating more networking and more relationship building in your marketing strategy this year.

I've said it to you so many times now, you're probably sick of hearing me say it to you, but the wedding industry is a relationship driven industry. It's a referral driven industry. And I think a lot of wedding pros could use a little bit of help and a little bit of tweaking when it comes to building relationships and networking. And that's what Karen's here to do. We talk all about marketing today and we talk about how you can build a brand that is on the tip of everyone's tongue. Because some people

they seem to be involved in everything and they're always recommended for stuff. They're always a part of things that you might desire to be a part of. They seem to get the opportunities and the clients and the alcholades. How do you become someone who's on the tip of everyone's tongue, who's on everyone's lips, always being referred or recommended or mentioned in rooms that you might not physically be in? And what actually like, what are they doing right?

to build brand awareness. Those are some things we talk about. Karen also shares some very practical but brilliant tips on how you can stand out at your next networking event because you know you have to go and you hate going alone and you don't want to bring a wing man, which you kind of need one. How do you stand out? Well, Karen's going to give you some really simple but very effective tips to stand out at your next marketing and networking event. Now, if you're not.

She's the CEO of Celebration Pros and she helps very ambitious wedding pros build and grow their businesses. She is based in the Florida Keys and she has over 15 years of experience in the luxury hospitality and event management space. She has been featured in everything from Destination I Do to Cater Source and The Rising Tide. Networking is one of her passions. Marketing for wedding pros is definitely one of her passions and something that she helps her students.

Candice (03:21.902)

figure out and she was the perfect guest to have on today to talk about networking. So I'm excited for you to hear it. I can't wait to hear what some of your big takeaways are from my interview with Karen. So let's get into it. Hey there, friend. Real quick. I want to share with you how you can sign up for a free trial with HoneyBook. HoneyBook is everything you need to get business done. And it's trusted by over a hundred thousand.

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you'll save 50 % off of your first year's subscription. HoneyBook is what I used in my business as a wedding planner, and it helped me land every single sale. It's what helped me build a six -figure wedding planning business. It's also what helps me today in my business. Go to CandaceCoppola .com slash HoneyBook to learn more and with the code PURPOSE, save 50 % on your first year's subscription.

Hey, Karen, welcome to the show. Hi, Candace. Thank you so much for having me today. Oh my gosh. I'm really excited to chat with you about how our listener can be the vendor on everyone's lips. This is something that people ask me about, networking. How can I be the it girl? How can everybody be saying my name in recommendations or bringing me up for opportunities or just thinking of me and my brand? And I am pumped to hear your philosophy around this.

Yes, this is going to be a really fun conversation. I think a lot of times we're all sitting in our businesses and we forget that there's a conversation happening or not happening about us outside of our world that we sit in all the time. And it's important to make sure that conversations are happening and they're happening in the way that you want them to. So we can definitely get into a lot of that today. Do you think that wedding pros take networking for granted, like the power of what networking can do for their business for granted?

Candice (05:46.574)

I don't know if they take it for granted. I think they forget more so than take for granted the power that referrals can have and that the message that's going out can really have that impact on somebody else to pull them into the brand. So we hear about brands all the time in and out of the industry. Every day there's a lot of noise right now. And whether we're scrolling or we're driving or we're listening to even a podcast, a lot of times...

there's marketing and advertising and things that are going on and we're introduced or we're reintroduced to different brands. And I think that we forget that we're one of those brands that we can be one of those people that are out there putting out a certain message to again, attract that right person to us. So I don't think it's really taking for granted. I think that it's either just everything is being told like the way that we're taught is.

Advertise online you have to pay to play and There's a whole nother world of word -of -mouth marketing that can really support your business I agree and you put it into great perspective that there's conversations happening that you're not a part of All around you and you want to make sure that your business is in in those conversations And that's what networking is how to get into those conversations. I would love to know

your philosophy around marketing and what marketing means to you. Since we're going to be networking as a form of marketing, we're going to be talking a lot about marketing, I would just love to know from your perspective as a coach, as a pro, as a marketer, what's your philosophy about marketing? Yeah, I think a lot of times we're looking at where our leads are coming from. Sometimes we're even looking at where our leads are promised to come from. So when we are paying to play,

There's, oh, we're gonna send you X amount of leads and you're gonna be booking through the year and all of this. And we forget to actually look at the data or we just were like, okay, I know all of my leads are coming from this avenue. And what we're not looking at is where are our bookings coming from? So you may be getting the majority of your leads from a directory or social media platform or through a magazine ad or a vendor listing that you're paying for, right? All these different things.

Candice (08:06.35)

But a lot of times the bookings are actually happening because somebody has referred you. And so what I have found is when I'm speaking with clients, they'll say, oh, I get a lot of my bookings from this avenue of effort, but they're actually booking because these people said this about me. And it made the decision, the buying power or the buying agent of the client to say yes. So.

It's important to remember that where your leads are coming from and where your bookings are coming from are not always the same and to really lean into your internal data and see if, you know, what is the truth for your business. I would love to know just to kind of riff off that for a second for someone listening who's like, okay, internal data, cool. How do I get this information? What's the easiest way for them to either look for the information somewhere in their business or create maybe even a system to obtain it.

Yeah, I would say the number one tip there is on your contact form, just having a line, where did you first hear about us? Not even where did you hear about us, but where did you first hear about us? And then asking that again when you're chatting with them on the phone once you get to that point of that discovery call. And the other way to go about that is when you're going into having like a CRM platform, because a lot of times those CRM platforms are going to give you that option in questionnaires.

And then you can actually pull it out into a spreadsheet and you can look over a long period of time instead of your individual clients and see, okay, this is where everybody's coming from. Now, again, the important thing is to have that follow -up question because what might happen is they might say, I found you on Instagram. But then when you say, what made you decide to book with us? It might be that they spoke with somebody or that they saw a specific review or they saw that there was a service that you're offering that you put into words on your website. And that's what drew them in.

So I think it is important to kind of have a two -step process there to really clarify with your clients where they're coming from. The other thing that you can do is when you are paying to have advertising, say we're looking at WeddingWire and you have a listing on WeddingWire, I've seen recently somewhere that they posted that you should be booking at least 10 % of the leads that are coming in. So if you have 10 leads coming in, you should be booking at least one of them. So see what the promise is and then see if it's actually

Candice (10:30.894)

you know, coming to fruition for your business. And that's a really great way to decide if that ROI is actually happening. Yeah. Good tip. All right. So we're talking about your philosophy towards marketing and sort of first philosophy is identifying your top sources for leads versus the top sources for bookings. And you gave us a little tip on, on where to look for that data. What's next? So the next part here is going to be, uh, understanding the market.

and understanding what your capacity is for who it is in front of you that you want to be speaking with. So understanding your ideal client, understanding your market. I'm a huge fan of Shane McMurray's wedding report. So just wedding .report and seeing where, you know, typing in where your clients typically are from. Now I know Candice and I are in destination, so a lot of our...

Clients aren't local, so we're looking at other destinations too, but for many people listening, and I'm sure that you have a local area that you advertise to, and you just wanna make sure that you're looking at the right place. And when you type in that zip code or that area, it's gonna give you how many weddings are happening in the area and how much they're spending. And when you start looking at it, you're like, if I could tap into 0 .5 % of that, right? Like that seems obtainable, right?

And then you see that, like I just did this for Miami and it was like, you would have 125 weddings and you would easily be making six figures with like a medium package. And once I said that, everybody in the room is like, oh, and then it's like, okay, well, how do we get that? So who is that ideal client that's buying that specific package? And now you know what to actually market. And then once you know what to market, it makes it so much easier in your brand messaging and the way that you're talking to people.

Being able to share what your goals are with people. Being able to put that out there in your advertising. So maybe if you are deciding to create a promotion that you're going to advertise, having the brand message backing it up, I think your brand message is very powerful and it needs to come through because that's in a way, I feel like that is word of mouth. Even if you are putting it on something that you're paying for.

Candice (12:51.15)

If you put your brand message there, it's going to attract the right people. If you just put, hey, I have this package for this much money or whatever the offer is, and there's no brand messaging behind it, you might be attracting the wrong people. We want to make sure that whatever it is that we're saying out into the world is coming back to us. Yeah. So what Karen's saying here is marketing should be based on facts within your business, like who your ideal client is, what are your top lead gen sources.

And by doing some of that background research as it relates to your market, your business, your ideal clients, you can then build a marketing strategy or maybe in today's case, a networking strategy that works towards the results you desire within the data points at your disposal to make decisions. Right. And I really think when you have that consistency across the board, it makes it easier for

your peers in the industry to refer you because they understand what it is that you're trying to offer, what you're trying to do, what you're trying to accomplish for your clients. And that way they can say, you know, oh, I actually have a client that would be perfect for you because they're looking for this. Or when they're speaking to a client or a potential couple saying, you know, oh, that's what you're looking for. I actually know somebody who's doing specifically that. And they do the work for you. And that's where the referral power comes in.

Such a good tip. And I think that tees up my next question, which is some vendors in the industry just seem to be on everyone's lips. They're the it girl or it guy or it person. They are always mentioned at every opportunity. They're referred to often by multiple different types of vendors. And they're just everywhere. And it's fascinating to watch these businesses rise up and then become very well -known brands.

But as a business owner, it can also feel difficult trying to figure out, well, what are they doing? What is it about them or what strategies are they implementing that's helping them to get so much brand awareness? So my question is, what do you think some of those vendors are doing right to build their brand awareness? Yeah. So I love this question because as soon as you asked it, there was a specific hotel that came to mind and that is the Colony Hotel in West Palm Beach.

Candice (15:07.19)

They are just influential across the board. They are the epitome of what West Palm Beach stands for. If you see a picture of an event happening in their space, they don't even have to have their name attached to it. You're like, that's at the colony. That's exactly where that is. I know where it's at. If you meet somebody that is of their aesthetic, you immediately say, oh my gosh, you would love this hotel. Let me tell you all about it because you know that they're just going to fall in love with the charm.

And I'll tell you a little bit about the colony. Candice, I'm sure you're familiar, but for those who maybe aren't, it's very charming. They're very rooted in their history. They have the most adorable mascot monkey and they are pink and they are green. Everything that they do is with detail. It is very high end. You feel very luxe, but let me tell you, this is a very small hotel. So a lot of times when we think of something iconic, we think of something that's huge. And

They aren't huge in the sense of capacity of the space they take up. They are huge in the way that they show up and the brands that they make sure they're partnering with. So they're collaborating with people who match their brand. They're not picking just anybody to pair up with. So when they're talking about fashion designers, photo shoots, the people that are having their events there, the planners that are throwing the weddings and the vendors that are coming there.

It's all very strict. It's a very strategic. Yes to all of that and a very strategic no to everything else. And because of that, it's almost, it's an exclusivity that they've created where people are like, Oh, I want to know what's behind those doors. I want to be a part of that. Look at all the great things they're doing. Look at the, look at where they're being featured and, and they're putting in the work to match with the people.

and the places that will attract the right client to them. So it's this like big circle effect, right? And I actually, I just had dinner at a restaurant in Miami. That's relatively new. They've been there for about two years. And through the conversation with them, they were saying how there are certain brands that they've said no to because they don't match the vibe of the restaurant that's there. And they want to have high -end events. They want to have high -end clientele.

Candice (17:32.782)

And it doesn't always have to be high end, but what you're doing has to, saying yes to everybody is going to confuse everybody. Saying yes to the right collaborations and the right clients and the right opportunities is going to make it crystal clear. And again, it's going to create this like, how do I get to work with them? What can I do to be a part of this?

I love that you're using this hotel as a case study because I can see it in my mind. Trust me, listening, you know this hotel because you probably pin stuff on Pinterest from this hotel. It's so iconic in its style and it is a style that other people try to replicate but never can quite seem to come as close to the original and that is by design and strategy. What Karen is saying here is this iconic brands or it girls or people who are on the tip of everyone's tongue.

It's not by accident. There is strategy built into how they've gotten there. And it sounds to me like you're suggesting the strategy is a deep understanding of like who your brand is, what it's about, what it aligns with and what it doesn't. And that can be people, other brands, and I'm sure like other examples of what you align with versus what you don't. Right. So like as a wedding pro, you want to think about are the vendors that I'm working with, are they in alignment with

the client I want to work with, and the product that you want to create. So we have a mutual friend who's a planner and she does an incredible job with her Instagram. And she has couples reaching out all the time saying, I want to copy and paste that wedding. And she does that on purpose. She's not posting just every picture of every wedding that she's ever done, but she wants to make sure that the clients that are coming want to do the style that she's familiar with.

And so it's strategies like that that will have the right people talking about you in the right way. I want to share with you a little secret about my time as a wedding planner. I used to dread when couples said they were having a friend or a family member officiate their ceremony. And that's because I knew that at some point all three of them would turn to me and ask me where they should even start with the ceremony script. But now I feel confident that these couples can have the personal...

Candice (19:50.542)

meaningful and impressive ceremony of their dreams. And it's all because of Providence. Providence is the first and only collaborative AI wedding speech writing tool. It's super easy to use and they have already helped tens of thousands of couples, their wedding planners, officiants and guests, write and manage everything from the ceremony to the toasts. Trust me, you're going to love Providence. And for a limited time, you can sign up for a free trial.

and save 20 % when you add future clients or sign up for Providence's subscription with the code KANDICE. That's 20 % off with the code KANDICE and you can sign up for your free trial by going to providence .co slash KANDICE right now. One of my favorite parts of their wedding planner portal is it gives you insight into all your clients' speeches throughout the weekend. You can finally see how long that father of the bride toast will actually be.

and make sure you print extra copies of the vows and ceremony script just in case. Go to providence .co slash Candace to learn more, sign up for your free trial and use the code Candace to save 20%. Thanks to Providence for sponsoring this episode of the Power and Purpose podcast. Now let's get back to the episode. So how do we then thinking about the colony hotel, this iconic brand, we want to create an iconic brand.

that gets a lot of referrals and is on everyone's lips, how can we begin then to create a marketing plan to be that vendor? What are some of maybe some of the first things to consider and even the first steps we should take? The first step is the internal step, is to say, okay, let's look at what my brand's saying to people right now. If I were to go to your website, to your social media platforms,

If I were to meet you in person, if I were to look at your business card, like look at all the different aspects that people can see of your business and make sure it's all very consistent. Make sure that there's a consistent message, a consistent color palette, a consistent aesthetic. Because if I go to your Instagram and it's pictures of your dog, every other photo, right? And then I go to your website and it's this like gorgeous website for photography. I'm going to be very confused as to what your priorities are.

Candice (22:14.798)

and I'm probably gonna go to the next person. But if I go to all of your platforms and the logo is the same, the fonts are the same, the messaging is the same, I meet you in person and I feel like I've already gotten to know you and it's not like a surprise person, right? You know that you're either soft voiced or if you're a little edgy or whatever that is because your brand is bringing that through, that's gonna make that process so much smoother when you're talking to a client.

Again, it's also going to help those other vendors that you want to work with understand your brand and what you're trying to do. So that being said, once you have all of that foundation laid, then you can actually bring that to the external, which is going to be conversations with those vendors. So I love the Jim Rohn quote. I say it all the time. You are the some of the five people that surround you. The first one is you, right? So that's that brand messaging, right? Make sure that you're speaking.

the brand correctly online, offline all the time. And then think about four vendors that just would enhance your brand that you don't work with even, or that you're not working with enough. And find where those four vendors are going to be, whether it's at a networking event, whether it's a coffee chat, whether it's a venue tour and start curating that relationship. Maybe you will do a styled shoot together to support what that cohesive collective

aesthetic is, and then you all have these beautiful photos to share and you're all on the same page. Maybe it's a partnership where something that we did when we were planners was instead of 10 % kickback, we did 10 % to the couple. And maybe you have a group of vendors that says, when we're referring each other, it's 10 % back to the couple. And you create a partnership with the people that are going to support what your brand goals are, what your business goals are going to be. Yeah.

I love the quote and I love the fact that you suggest like you think about the people who are you surrounded by and then giving us some great tips to increase our referral power with those vendors. When you think about networking events, so we're connecting with people who are in our circle, who are in front of the clients we desire to be in front of too, right? So we're connecting to the right people who are in front of our ideal client and we're looking for collaboration, we're looking to do things together.

Candice (24:39.214)

create some kind of synergy partnership, maybe even have a monetary exchange where clients can benefit and then therefore you benefit. How would we bring that into like an in -person setting at a networking event? So I find that with the folks that I coach, everyone has a layer of like social anxiety or feels weird going into a networking event, but networking events, I guess we should start off with,

Would you agree that there are great place to raise brand awareness and to build relationships? 100%. That's where I would start. I went even as far as hosting my own networking events. So that's something that you can do. You can have everybody come to a coffee shop and just.

take over a little corner, you know, of course talk to the owners and that kind of thing, make sure that the venue's okay with it and, and, you know, bring people together. And that's a great way to do it actually, if you're bold enough to, because then you get to choose who's in the room, right? But if you're just going to a networking event and I go to them often by myself and I will tell you, I walk through that door and I'm nervous every single time. I, I was just at NAWP this week and I was nervous walking through the door.

But I know that I have the tools I need to shine in that room. And I actually have a freebie that I can give to you, Candace. That's the five ways to shine at your next networking event to help everybody. Oh my gosh. Well, drop the link in right now. What's the URL? We'll drop it in the show notes too, but tell the people in case they're like, they've got their keyboard dialed up. Yeah, I'll have to, you know what? I'll drop it on my website so it's at the top. So if you just go to KarenHunt .com in the next...

Well, yeah, it'll be there by now, right? Because it's not live live. So yeah, and at the very top of the screen, it'll say, you can download the resource there. And basically what it does is walk you through five ways to prepare yourself before you go to a networking event. And you're going to feel so much better. And one of my favorite ways to do this is with a statement piece. So if you've seen any of my branding, you've seen my sparkly duster, I look like a disco ball. And there's a whole story behind that.

Candice (26:53.998)

we'll see for a different conversation. But the point of it is that when I walk into a room with this duster on, it's like a jacket, one, I have a story to tell, and two, I'm very obvious in the room. So two things will happen. Either somebody will say, that's so cute, what a cute jacket that you're wearing, right? And then I can say, oh, thank you so much. Let me tell you why I'm wearing it or why I purchased it. And then I can go into this whole conversation with them and it just opens up the door for that communication.

The other part of it is a lot of people know that I wear it. So if I walk into your room, I'll get like three people from all angles just running at me and they're like, Karen's here. They come over and give me big hugs and they recognize me. So it makes you, it keeps you top of mind. And if you look at my website, I'm wearing that in a lot of my photos and a lot of my headshots because I want it to be, I want you to see that and think, oh, Karen. And now I.

I actually get messages all the time of people sending me full on sequins jumpsuits, sequins shoes, and they're like, you should buy these, you should wear these. And they're actually thinking about me just as they're scrolling on social media or seeing something that they think I would like. And that's so powerful because it keeps you top of mind. Now you don't have to walk into a room looking like a disco ball. I'm not saying go out and buy the shiniest thing that you can find. But like.

On Monday, I met somebody who has these beautiful wide, clear, clear rimmed glasses. I was like, oh, that is your statement piece. That is like classy. You look so modern and polished in those shoes. You're right. It absolutely is. And I have another florist who has these beautiful embroidered floral sweaters that she wears to all of her networking events. And you see it and you can't help but comment because they're just gorgeous. And so if you just have like your one thing that you wear and wear it to every single event.

Not only that, but look around and see what other people are wearing. It's like the best way to start a conversation. I love this tip. It reminds me of Sylvia Weinstock and the Sylvia Weinstock glasses. That was her statement piece. She had those big, huge, round glasses and she was known for them, you know, and you associated her with her glasses. I love the idea of having some kind of statement piece that you wear that helps you to stand out, that's different. When you're looking at a sea of people, you're like,

Candice (29:15.278)

who maybe are all dressed the same, all holding the same drink and the same cocktail napkin, feeling the same level of awkwardness. This statement piece will really help you stand out. And as you mentioned, it's a great conversation piece. So when you don't know what to talk about, somebody compliments you on your outfit. If you're a girl like me, you're like, let me tell you where I bought this and let me tell you that I got it at TJ Maxx. I only paid $10 for it. And it just like, it opens up the window for conversation.

Yeah, absolutely. And one more tip that I think it's not on the list. So this will be like a little bonus tip is to find a line. So as soon as you walk in, if you're like, I don't know anybody, or I don't know if I'm going to know somebody here, find a line, go to registration, go to the bathroom, go to the bar, go to an interactive station, wherever it is. And I've had some of my best conversations and best connections just standing in line waiting for whatever it is where.

going to experience. Oh my God. Find a line. That's so true. I mean, think about how many friends you've made in the line at the bathroom, at the bar. You've made so many friends, right? Oh yes. Oh yes. Some of your best friends in life, I mean, you don't remember them or their names, but this is a totally different story, but you make conversation in a line. You do. Yeah, absolutely. And it's just a great way to connect with people. I love that. What other tips do you have for us when we're attending our next networking event so we can really stand out?

one that I think, you know, I, I can't remember where I heard it, but they, they said network strategically. And I think that's so important because we go to these events, you can strike up conversation. You can meet all of these different people, but if you don't have a goal behind it, you're going to start wondering like, Oh, you know, the word of mouth marketing, the networking, it's not working for me. And that's because you haven't, you haven't expressed what your goal is and you haven't been strategic in the way that you network. So how do we do that? Well, I actually learned that.

days of college when I was at Rosen Hospitality in Orlando and I was learning how to be interviewed. And the best way to do it was to show up with three to five stories that you're very familiar with so that if they're asking you questions like what's your best, you know, what's your biggest strength, what's your weakness and all these things, you had something to pull from. So in that same way, say your goal is to book, and we can get into this too in a minute because I, there was a point, another point I wanted to mention, but.

Candice (31:34.082)

Say we wanted to start booking a new package and knowing that our gestation period is typically about a year out, we want to book it for 2025, maybe mid year, something like that. So when you go, you want to think, okay, well, who else is booking with that gestation period, right? Maybe we're looking at venues, maybe we're looking at photographers. And so we're going to think about, okay, who is it that I want to connect with?

And what are three things that I can bring up that's similar to this topic? So maybe it's talking about the actual planning process or asking what their goals are and then relating in some way and just writing down three things that you can talk about that support whatever your goal is. That way you're A, meeting the right people and B, sharing the right message. And that's gonna open up opportunities because somebody is gonna have some type of.

collaboration or idea or client that's going to be perfect for you. Oh, yeah. It's important when you're at a networking event, a conference, whenever you're doing something where you're in person to have some kind of goal of what you want to get out of the experience. Hopefully that goal equates to you growing your business or making more money or acquiring a new skill.

And I love that you are encouraging people to have like some talking points that you're really familiar with, things that you could talk about, you know, all the time, but also maybe something that is connected to a larger goal of yours. Any other tips for attending our next networking event? Another tip I would say would be to ask open -ended questions.

And this kind of goes along too with the idea of somebody asks like, oh, what do you do? And say, say I meet you Candice for the first time in an orking event, which would have been fabulous if that was how we met. And you said, oh, I'm a wedding planner. Right. It's, it does kind of ends the sentence. I probably have already met five other wedding planners that day. I actually went to a, an event recently and someone said, oh, I'm just a photographer. And I was like, oh,

Candice (33:37.006)

Please don't say you're just a photographer. You are so much more than that. And so when you have these conversation topics that you've already prepared, right, it makes it so much easier to say, oh, I'm a wedding planner. I'm actually working on this project right now. And you're opening up for somebody else to kind of ask questions yourself, but then to ask open -ended questions that aren't yes or no. So instead of saying, you know, oh, are you in the wedding industry? Saying,

something along the lines of, can you tell me about your business? It's going to be a completely different answer and you're going to open up a door for them to open up to you. Yeah. That's such a good point too, that it's not networking. I personally think networking is about how you can serve other people and not what people can do for you. And if you approach it to like, maybe this person across from me is nervous as well. So why don't I...

in my own nervousness, try to make it about them a little bit and have them warm up to me and we can warm up to each other. And how can I support this person in opening up to me and sharing more about who they are, why they might be here tonight, and just kind of maybe even being that for someone else. And in turn, it helps you also connect with people. And I think people appreciate when they're given a space to talk.

And you're memorable when you make people feel seen and heard and appreciated. So just standing out by being a good listener or a good facilitator is great too. That brings to mind, there's a book called 92 Ways to Talk to Anyone by Leo Lowndes. And I love it because you can just kind of like flip through it and you can pick like one or two ideas before you go to a networking event. So I can definitely send you the link to that book.

And one of the things that she mentioned was that she was at like a gala dinner with a friend. And at the end of the event, she's like, Oh, did you meet anybody interesting? And she said, Oh yes, this, uh, this man that I met, uh, he, he just really stood out and she goes, Oh, tell me about him. She was actually, I don't really know any. And she realized that he was such a good listener and asked so many questions that she loved being in his presence, but she actually didn't know anything about him. So then.

Candice (35:57.838)

later she followed up and said, you know, I realized that I, you know, talked about myself. I'd love to get to know you more. And I think they ended up dating or something. Like it's a really cute story in the end, but not that that's the goal here, but it was, it was an interesting little tidbit that you had me have come to mind there. Yeah. I love that book 92 ways to talk to anyone. I'll link it in the show notes. I'm going to pick up a copy for myself. I think that's really fun. And it definitely, if networking isn't a skill or

interacting in larger groups or putting yourself out there like that. If that's not a skill you feel very comfortable with at this stage in your career, it's always something you can get better at. Relying on resources like this book to help you is a good idea. How often do you think a wedding pro who wants to be on the tip of everyone's tongue, how often should they be networking?

this year? How should they be prioritizing this? What's a number we should have on our calendar of networking events? Yeah. I was just about to jump into that too. So I don't know that there's an exact number because there's so many different opportunities. I think it's just picking the right ones and picking them often. This is going to be where, if you're listening in and you are the owner of your business or you're a decision maker in your business, this is that CEO move of looking at the calendar and saying,

I'm researching all the different associations that have people that you would want to collaborate with in the wedding industry and otherwise, and putting those networking events on the calendar. And doing that, I do it every two months. So like right now I would be looking at April and May, and then in May I'm looking at May, because they're coming, some of them.

plan far out. Some of them are planning last minute for events. So I want to make sure I'm capturing as much as I can. And instead of doing the administrative work, you know, I always say delegate that out so that you can focus on these events where you're actually going to make those connections and build that referral power that's going to, that's what's going to get you to the next level, right? Sitting and working in your business all the time and not getting the word out. I always say they only know what you do if you tell them.

Candice (38:07.854)

Yep. You're a hundred percent right. And the wedding industry is a relationship driven industry. All the big names you see in this industry, they didn't get there through just keeping it, you know, staying in their own lane and not developing relationships. They developed relationships and partnerships and they sort of picked up people along the way and they have all carried each other in their careers.

And if you want to grow your business, if you want to work with a certain type of clientele, if you want to adjust your ideal clients, if you want more business, if you want better business, the easiest way to get to where you want to go is to look at who's already there, where you want to be in front of the right people or doing the right things and to align yourself with that person or to try to find a way to connect with them meaningfully and to support each other. Oh, Karen, where can our listeners connect with you?

outside of today's interview and how can they connect with you even to hire you or to be a part of your community? Sure. Thank you for asking. So again, Karenhunt .com and my name is spelled C -A -R -I -N. So it's like caring without the G. Karenhunt .com and on social media would be at Celebration Pros. That's the umbrella of the business.

And right now I'm really focusing on the success seller. So I do have some one -on -one options and group coaching and that kind of thing, but right now we're really focusing on growing the success seller, which is an exclusive membership for Wedding Pros where you can come in and I'm here to guide you with your business, but I'm also able to bring in experts in our industry for things that I'm not the pro on like SEO and that whole deal. So, yeah, yeah. It's, you know, again, it's those powerful connections I try to.

get the right people in front of the right people. Yeah, I fully agree. Well, I will link to the success seller in the show notes in case you'd like to check it out and also Karen's website and Instagram. Karen, thank you so much for taking the time today to come and give us a pep talk around marketing and networking and to give us some practical tips on how we can make networking a priority this year. Absolutely. Thank you, Candace.

Candice (40:23.438)

I want to thank Karen for being such a great guest on today's episode of the show. I have linked to this amazing freebie of how you can prepare yourself for your next networking event, the success seller, and all of Karen's details inside the show notes. So please be sure to go and check them out over at blog .candiscopla .com. And I think that you should pick a number of networking events that you are committed to attending this year, maybe a goal for yourself.

Maybe you want to attend five, maybe you want to attend 10, maybe you even want to go crazy and create a networking event that you organize and plan and invite people to. But let's make networking a priority in your business this year and maybe even set a goal for how much you want to network and the results you want to get out of all of this relationship building. All right, friend. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode.

And as always, I'm here to remind you there's so much power in your purpose until next time. Thanks so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the power and purpose podcast. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode and consider leaving a review. Head over to power and purpose podcast .com to access all of the resources and links mentioned in today's episode. That's power and purpose podcast.

I'll see you next time.

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast. I want to know– what was your biggest takeaway? Head to my Instagram to join the conversation!

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When you created systems for your business - did you create them for your best days… or your worst?

My guest on this weeks episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast is none other than @simplysandrayvonne - a systems strategist and Honeybook expert for wedding pros - and Sandra wants you to think about your systems differently.

Our conversation talks about how you can set up your systems for your worst days, and also how to navigate your business with a chronic illness.

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Who you think you’re emailing vs who is actually responding 💀

I had to jump on this one because it was too funny 😂 Fun times at #trinidadcarnival on Jouvert morning! I definitely enjoyed myself, my wig, and the corn soup.

We all put on a polished front but I think who we are behind the scenes and away from our desks is way more interesting and relatable! Here’s some encouragement to make a reel like this too and show off your personality 😆 #relatable #behindthescenes
We were long overdue for a shank and cuddle. 🫶🏼 ilysm and tag your bestie who needs to hear this pep talk too and for the love of Pete STOP PROCRASTINATING 😘 #motivation #procrastination #candicecoppola #weddingindustry #weddingpros #weddingvendodors #smallbusiness #peptalk #shankandcuddle
Should you be on TikTok? That’s a question I get asked a lot - and it should come as no surprise that I have some STRONG feelings about this.

The quick answer is yes - but not on the way you think.

Comment EPISODE 128 and I’ll send you a link to this weeks episode of The Power in Purpose podcast where you’ll hear me make the case for why it think it’s a MUST.

Plus, I talk about Nancy Meyers, THAT submarine, and Vanderpump Rules.

Once you listen, I’d love to hear your take. Agree or disagree with my opinion?!
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