Want to know a little secret about me? I am super old school and have a need to use pen and paper for everything. I have multiple physical planners, take actual notes at meetings, print out and mark up timelines, and have dozen of brainstorming notebooks floating around. And to be honest, it actually wasn't until this past year that I even started using an online calendar! (crazy, right?!)
And while I may love my pen and paper, I have come to absolutely love technology. Technology has allowed me to create systems and processes that make my life (and my clients lives!) easier. As hard as it can be for me to move away from my pen and paper, adopting technology and using modern apps has seriously transformed my business. They have allowed me to automate in ways I never thought possible, build a 6 figure planning business and have helped me create an elevated client experience. Below is a snapshot of the top apps I use on a daily basis.
HONEYBOOK: LEAD + PROJECT MANAGEMENT
I jumped on board with Honeybook waaay back in the day when they first started and it was the seriously the BEST decision I could have made. Honeybook is a CRM designed specifically for creatives and it has completely transformed my business. It has allowed me to build automation, elevate my client experience, create workflows and receive payments all in one place. If you haven't heard of it, or aren't using it, you seriously NEED to try it!
Just to give you a little insight, Honeybook has allowed me to send out fully templated brochures, proposals, questionnaires and contracts to clients and AUTOMATICALLY responds to leads for me and handles payment processing. Pretty awesome right?
CALENDLY: APPOINTMENT SETTING
Calendly is a newer addition to my business tools and I absolutely love it! It allows my couples (and potential couples) to set appointments with me without all the back and forth 'when are you available' emails.
Believe it or not, I actually include a Calendly link when I respond to all of my inquiries. Potential clients are then able to schedule a time to chat WITHOUT having to ever send me an email. Not only is this MUCH easier for me, but it's a better client experience for them as well.
Calendly then adds the event to my calendar and sends automatic email and text reminders to my couples. Again, this creates an amazing client experience and show your clients that you are on top of your game.
LATER: SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
We all know that social media (especially Instagram) is huge in the wedding industry and it can be DRAINING. Am I right? Enter Later. Later has been a game changer for me. Instead of stressing about Instagram daily, I take a few hours every week to schedule my posts.
Yep! You heard me right. I schedule ALLL of my Instagram content! Through Later I can schedule posts and stories, view my pretty 'grid' while scheduling posts, manage hashtags and tagging and soo much more! The best part? A basic plan is completely free!
FLODESK: EMAIL MARKETING
Flodesk is my FAVORITE email marketing platform out there. I have tried others, including Mailchimp, but find myself drawn towards Flodesk. Not only is creating emails SOO simple, but they have ready to go GORGEOUS templates ready for you to use! I found that this has made sending out 'marketing' email so much easier for me!
Why do use email marketing? It allows me to build relationships, provide value and stay top of mind with potential clients!
AISLE PLANNER: PROJECT MANAGEMENT
If you are a wedding planner, then you NEED Aisle Planner! Aisle Planner is the project management system I use to plan all of our events. Not only does it help me stay on track, but it has streamlined my planning process with my team and ensures we are all guiding couples through the EXACT same process.
As a bonus, our couples love it!! They always know exactly where we are in the planning process and can check things off the list as they accomplish them. It has definitely been a huge 'value adder' for our couples.
CANVA: GRAPHIC DESIGN
While I've always known the importance of visual branding, I it took my a long time to figure out the best way to create gorgeous content. In fact, when I first started creating my own content, I designed it all in Microsoft Word and Photoshop. Now, if you are familiar with either of those, you know I had my hands full.
It wasn't until last year, when I discovered Canva, that creating all of my marketing collateral got a million times easier. Now, Canva is where I create all my pretty!! Not only does Canva have gorgeous templates I can use, but they make it so incredibly easy to make all of my collateral match.
Now In case you are wondering what I create with Canva:
Blog Post Covers (which I then use for both Pinterest and Instastories)
Client Brochures (I create mine in Cava and then upload them into Honeybook to create a consistent look amongst all my collateral)
Opt-Ins Freebies such as Planning Guides, Venue Lists, Etc.
As my business grew, I have to admit that figuring out how to pay my team was one of the most challenging parts for me. I didn't know how to handle the 'legal' side of it and I hated spending every Monday morning either trying to write and send checks or submit payment through Venmo. Talk about not an easy process and not very professional. Sound familiar?
I knew that I needed a better system and I knew that I wanted to find a program that was user friendly for both me and my team and that didn't break the bank. Enter Gusto.
Gusto has seriously taken the guess work out of paying my team and has created a user friendly interface for all of us. It has been SO easy for me to use and I seriously don't know how I managed before! The best part? I can pay BOTH employees and independent contractors.
DAILY GREATNESS: PLANNER
I don't know if you remember me tell you this, but I am a HUGE fan of pen and paper. I don't know what it is, but I have a need to write everything down.
Being such a big pen and paper person (and a planner!), you would think I would be obsessed with physical planners, but nope! I never found them to be super helpful. None of them quite fit all of my needs and I would use them for a week and then set them aside.
Can you relate?
Well that all changed once I discovered the DailyGreatness Planner. This planner is freakin' awesome and offered EVERYTHING I needed in a daily planner plus sooooo much more. It was not only a daily planner, but it was a business planner And when I say it completely changed how I operate, I seriously mean it.