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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM NOVEMBER 2009
I attended the Wedding MBA Conference last month in Las Vegas along with a little over 1000 other wedding professionals from across the country. Now, I’ve been going to DJ industry conferences for at least the last 15 years, mostly National but I’ve also supported a number of regional conferences, as well. There’s no doubt that I’ve always found inspiration in what I’ve learned from the various speakers at these functions and I’ve often come back to Kansas City with an eagerness to improve my talent, skill, and business practices. But other than the time when I heard Mark Ferrell speak in Vegas a few years back about “Getting What Your Worth,” I’ve rarely felt the same personal, immediate call to action that has overcome me since the Wedding MBA Conference ended.
No. It has nothing to do with raising my rates. Although at the time I heard Mark and wanted to make that leap, I remember feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the many steps I’d have to take to accomplish that goal. In short, for me at least, the question was always, “Where do I begin?”
At the Wedding MBA Conference, a great many of the presentations were devoted to the surge in online social networking and how important it is to any wedding-related business to not only increase their online presence but to be active participants on the multitude of sites from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to Blogger, Word Press, YouTube, and the list goes on and on. These are just a few of the new ways my clients, your clients, will be finding all of us today and in the future. But it is not enough just to be seen and heard in cyberspace, you’ve got to know how to “dress the part” and what to say that will make you stand out from all others. Having a website is no longer enough if you want to compete effectively. And, assuming you have a website, how easily can it be opened and read on a cell phone?
I’m no more technically savvy than I am a writer and I’ve got to tell you, I’m overwhelmed by how much work I’ve got in front of me to pull my company into the 21st century. But, what I heard and what I learned at the conference is also my immediate, personal call to action and I’ve set out to make certain that my company does not get left behind by creating a shortlist of my most pressing goals.
Facebook: I’ve had my personal page up for some time and am only a couple of friends away from having 150. Woo-hoo! But, my business page is still sitting in the que waiting to be published while I try to figure out exactly what I’m going to put on it that will make it different and unique. My friends say I overthink things. They may be right.
Twitter: Still considering it. Does anyone really care what I’m thinking at any given moment? Perhaps they should.
LinkedIn: I’ve got a profile and am a member of 3, wedding industry groups. Although, it appears that, no matter how much information I provide in my profile, it will never be more than 55% complete. Short of submitting a DNA sample, I’m not sure how I’m ever going to get it to 100%.
Blogger: I’ve got a blog. Haven’t posted to it since February of this year. Why? Blogging is hard! I even bought and read books about “how to blog” in an effort to get better and make it easier. I do, however, have some interesting things I could post but, again, blogging is hard. Do I need to go back and fill in posts that I’ve not made since February to make them more relevant? Should I delete the old posts and make it look like I’m just starting? Regardless, I plan to blow the dust off of it in the next couple of weeks.
Word Press: I’ve heard that Word Press is better than Blogger because you can integrate it into your website which gives it a greater presence. So, I downloaded the program and began reading the instructions. I think Blogger will work just fine.
YouTube: I’m really enjoying this one and am wondering why I’ve not posted here sooner. I’ve started editing videos of past performances that I hope to have up in the very near future. But, done right, the process is extremely time-consuming.
So, that’s my shortlist but it’s also only the beginning. With ever-evolving technology, I’m certain that, even when I think I’m finally caught up, which is going to be a while, new innovations and new online networking sites will have presented themselves.
The question for you, if you’ve not already taken the steps to make your presence known, is “Where are you going to start?” Better yet, “When are you going to get started?”
Ron Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.