You Can’t Climb The Ladder Of Success On Someone’s Back…
Wouldn’t it be great if there were an “easy button” for everything in our lives? We wouldn’t have to worry about finding clients or new customers because we could just click a magical button and suddenly have more business than we could handle.
The reality is that life just doesn’t work that way. Back in my modeling days, selling high end clothing and furs wasn’t as easy as just walking the runway. Quite the contrary because buyers are buying a product and if you can’t successfully engage a buyer- you aren’t going to sell anything. I was never the “skinniest” model but I was always the highest seller even when wearing something that I didn’t particularly “feel beautiful” wearing. Why? Attitude and product knowledge coupled with a smile and engaging conversation. When you’ve been in sales your entire life- you are either good at it or you aren’t. Selling requires trust and if you “aren’t good at meeting new people” you (most likely) aren’t any good at selling either.
When I started Texas Twins Events, I was actually selling myself first by offering event services. Many of my clients were surprised to learn that I would go the extra mile to exceed their expectations by loaning floral designs (when needed) or low cost photography if they hadn’t hired or could afford a photographer. We do Events differently and earned our clients business the hard way- organically. I’m a little surprised by the number of venue owners contacting me daily to “send them new clients” but wondering why they aren’t generating their own or feel that this type of solicitation call is the “new normal.”
For years, I’ve had venue owners call or email me regarding (flat out) sending them my clients or promoting their business on my sites or wanting me to spend 1-3 hours advising them on how to get more clients. I’m a consultant with Gershman Leighman Group so I’m accustomed to giving advice regarding market trends and promotions for a fee. After all, spending hours on the phone with someone giving insights and suggestions to promote their business takes time away from my many other responsibilities for Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures & The Pawning Planners.
Marketing isn’t easy and I’ve worked as a brand ambassador for Proctor & Gamble, Cadillac, General Motors, Kodak and many others promoting numerous brands and quite familiar with “branding.” If you want me to tell you how to promote your business, I can but my advice isn’t free. Consultations or brand promotions and public appearances are booked through this site by using the Contact Us Link not by calling or emailing me to call you to enhance your business. I’m busy and juggle numerous commitments 7 days a week.
Promoting another business (not affiliated with my own) does nothing to benefit me so asking me to Tweet, Like or Share your business when you have no plans to “return the favor” isn’t on the table either. The truth is that social media takes a lot of time and effort. So much so that I wrote a blog regarding how I “earned” that’s right, earned a large social network. I’ve spent years on Twitter promoting my connections as has my twin sister. If you don’t want to put in the time to engage with your connections and promote them, hire a social media specialist to do it for you. I’m going to suggest Karen George of KG’s Creatives a friend and LinkedIn connection. To find the blog regarding “social media is tit for tat” visit this link Social Media Isn’t All About You- Promoting Your Connections Takes Effort.
When I decided to start Texas Twins Events years ago, being LBGT Friendly wasn’t “cool or hip” for many of my fellow vendors in Texas. The fact is that I don’t discriminate against anyone for any reason and I have had a few “Negative Nancy’s” reach out to give me their views or religious beliefs over the years. Ironically, many of the vendors who balked at my diversified group of clients are now LBGT Friendly- go figure!
My Texas Twins Events Team performed Unification Ceremonies for years prior to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex Marriage. We are also heavily involved in LBGT fundraising and have hundreds of LBGT friends within the community so asking me to send my LBGT clients hiring us for Officiants, planners or photographers to your business because you want a piece of the action is going to get a laugh from me but it isn’t going to get you a referral.
A few days ago, I had a message on FB from a venue operator who had “just realized 30-50% of my clients were LBGT” and wanted me to start referring them to her venue because “we had to double our prices to stay competitive and now want to appeal the The LBGT Couples.” As usual, whenever I think it’s impossible to shock me, someone manages to anyway. This venue owner knows me because I have officiated at her location 5 times in the last 7 years but I didn’t “get that gig” because she referred me. I was hired through my website and after viewing her site, learned that she promotes other Officiants and photographers or planners but has never liked or shared one of my business posts.
Frankly, I have referred a few clients seeking a venue to her that were looking for a venue near her business location. The fact that she has never referred me is baffling because I’ve even written blogs about her venue after she asked to years ago when she was starting out in the events business.
Seven years ago, I had “far more” time on my hands and believed she would refer me in return for my efforts. This “all for me and to Hell with you” way of doing business may seem okay to a few people but it isn’t okay for me. Stop asking everybody to do your work for you and get out there and do it for yourself folks.
One of my most popular photos on Pinterest is a little out of focus but finds me at the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade with someone who asked me to pose with him after learning who I was and thanked me for “always treating everyone with the same kindness and respect” because I had married a friend of his who was hung up on and turned down for months by other Officiants.
Over the years I’ve had so many clients that were turned away by other vendors that it would literally make your head swim. But my philosophy of treating everyone equally is a way of life for me. Weddings are Life Events meaning they are (most of the time) only expected to happen once. We call all of our events Dream Events because we want everything perfect and work hard to exceed our clients expectations.
Since many are shocked and intrigued regarding Prison Weddings, I will address your comments and concerns on this blog too. I was asked to officiate Misty Faradays Estes Unit, Venus, Texas wedding and went through the process of being approved by the State Of Texas (TDCJ) because like many of my clients, she couldn’t find anyone willing to help her. I’m posting the blog link for those who still “can’t understand why I would officiate a Prison Wedding” here TDCJ Wedding With Misty. Someone needed to help Misty and that someone was me because I cared enough to go through the process for her and many other Inmate Wedding Requests. Did I know that it would become a regular occurrence for me to visit Texas Prisons and officiate Inmate Weddings? Absolutely not but due to my schedule being booked most every weekend and the fact that Prison Weddings only take place Monday- Friday, I could easily slide in a Prison Wedding during my work week of refurbishing trades taken through The Pawning Planners or client meetings, pre Marital Counseling Appointments and deliveries for Texas Twins Treasures. I.E. Prison Weddings worked well with my schedule during the week because I would never have had time to “work them into my weekend schedule.”
Believe it or not, Prison Weddings along with LBGT Wedding clients are often turned away because “they are too different and/or controversial.” These two sets of clients share the same discrimination because many don’t believe they should have the right to marry however, Misty “was planning for her future not the present” and LBGT Couples are creating a family just like any other married couple.
These clients ARE families and simply because their family may not mirror your own doesn’t mean they should be treated differently. When I say we love our clients- we actually do because all of our clients are friends long after their ceremony. Why? Because we spent a lot of time with them and we treated them with the courtesy that other vendors had refused to. I listen (really listen) to clients and prospects needs and wishes because I care. Pleasing everyone all of the time takes a degree of dedication on it’s own especially when you have two sets of parents on location and one set of parents wants it one way while the other set of parents (who are paying for the event) want it another way. In my line of work, it can take a village now and then which is why I have a team on hand. If there is a way to find a compromise, I work hard to find a common ground on location that makes each side feel like they walked away winners. Creating long term relationships isn’t a “given” in any industry because you’ve got to put the effort into a relationship and I do.
We value our continued relationships with clients and often do numerous events for members of the same family like the Bowman’s. To date, we have officiated, coordinated and enjoyed three events with this family who treat my team like they are family.
My family aka Texas Twins Events Team and I earned our clients business and their referrals because we cared when other vendors did not. I am on staff at numerous venues and therefore would (obviously) refer a venue that I’m affiliated with first and foremost. This “send me your clients” request from venue owners continued to surprise me because it’s not the way I started my business and certainly shouldn’t be the way to expand yours either. After all, this venue owner had never called me and referred a client and my guess is that she never would have for whatever reasons that I cannot understand since when she asked me to help promote her business, I did while she promised to promote mine because she didn’t know how to write a blog and “I’m so good at it.” The truth is that I’m so good at it that I no longer do it for free simply because I’m asked or told I’m good at it. Blogging takes a lot of time and is also classified as “work” to me since writing a blog takes easily an hour or more out of my day. If someone tells you they can write a blog in 10-30 minutes, ask them to write a blog and promote your business because I’m far too busy writing my own to promote my businesses and juggling clients that need my attention.
I cannot imagine in a million years calling a venue and asking them to send me clients and may never understand why a venue owner would call an event planner to send them clients but maybe its because I’m a realist and have never been lazy- I am not afraid to get my hands dirty either refurbishing a trade for Texas Twins Treasures, burning my fingers hot gluing a floral design that was damaged on location or even cleaning up vomit because shit happens and because I can’t snap my fingers and fix it either.
I’ve never in my entire life “expected” someone to “go to work” sending me clients to “pay my bills” and laughed (a little) when this venue owner told me she had doubled her prices “because my staff like to be paid well.” Well, honey I like to be paid too and I’m happy to promote your business for a fee and not out of the kindness of my heart. The best advice I can give any venue owner is to go find your own clients by advertising, blogging or social media because that’s how Real Life works. You either do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
Hard work, dedication and referrals can and will build your business and (believe it or not) social media can be a huge platform to generate new business but, you have to put in the work! Don’t just go post something and expect everyone to share it or promote you without promoting your connections unless you’re a Hollywood Star.
Roll up your sleeves and put a little effort into it…success takes effort and believe me when I tell you that without putting the effort in-you won’t see the results you want.