After being home for almost a week, we are still playing catch-up! We are excited to share some tips we learned from the WeddingWire World conference at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor.
Before we made the eight hour drive, we performed for Bethel United Methodist Church in Midland. We had such a blast! We played two songs for prelude [Wonderful, Merciful Savior and It Is Well], I accompanied the choir on the cello [Nearer My God to Thee by Dan Forrest], and then we played for offertory [O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus]. We missed having Bethany with us, but are happy that she is still playing the cello with the Galkins. We are excited for her to join us in May for the busy wedding season!
After performing, we quickly hit the road to make the trek to National Harbor!
After arriving at our hotel, we went across the street to explore the Gaylord. It was beautiful! We needed to ask for directions to the room where we would perform on Tuesday morning since GPS didn't work inside. ;)
Click here to view the list of speakers - there were some very famous people in attendance.
Here are a few tips we'd like to share with you that we learned at the conference:
- Work hard - be strategic with your efforts
- Make your website engaging by using aspirational images
- Incorporate feedback on every page - rather than having a Review or Feedback page
- Use external and internal links to boost your SEO and to direct the reader [i.e. CLICK HERE to listen to our music samples!]
- How to set up an LLC and questions we need to ask
- Use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube - the trend is to be social. Use it correctly! Pick Facebook + two others to really hone in on.
- Make sure your website is responsive! Viewers are using their phones significantly more. If your website does not respond to differing electronics [phone, tablet], then don't use it. Find a website that works o n every platform.
- Clearly differentiate yourself from other like vendors. For example, if a potential client doesn't see the difference between our ensemble and another group, they'll choose the cheaper option - and they should! I know I would. When it comes to music, you tend to get what you pay for. As a wedding vendor especially, be clear on why they should hire you and what makes you different. This is what makes our group different:
- We are siblings - all in our early 20s.
- We are professional and organized - from the first form of contact to the actual musical performance and congratulatory email post-wedding.
- We are flexible - we adapt to the venue and to musicals requests; we also seamlessly cover over timing issues within a wedding.
- We are untraditional in ensemble make up - Piano/Keyboard+Violin+2 Cellos. How often to you see two cellists at a wedding? The sound is glorious. Which brings me to the last point:
- We are distinct in our sound - I've never heard another group like ours. I have full confidence in our performance and processes.
- We love our job - we love to smile and to have fun! We are fully aware that we are entertaining the guests during the prelude prior to a ceremony, in addition to providing beautiful music.
Tuesday morning, Lauren, Christopher, and I performed on the stage from 8-8:50am. It was a joy to share our music with other talented vendors! We realized that not many people see live musicians very often. Canon in D and A Thousand Years always brings out the smartphones and recording devices!
WeddingWire's EDU Instagram took a photo of us performing! You can view it here.
If you are likewise a small business owner, I hope some of the above tips are helpful! There's so much more that we learned. We'd love to hear your feedback and to hear what YOU learned!