Category: Local Branding

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Local Branding

Essential Wedding Planning – Tips and Tricks

Most of us dream of our wedding day for years. We have this image in our mind of what the perfect wedding is. However, we have no idea what goes into making that perfect event. There are a million details that must be addressed to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

In our minds we see bridesmaids rushing around getting dressed, and the groomsmen in their tuxedos laughing on the steps of the chapel. What we do not give much thought to is the florist, caterers, DJ, minister or official, or the videographer. We do not think of the crews setting up chairs and setting tables, the cake being delivered, the limo driver or the bartender. There are so many ways to make wedding planning mistakes, but professionals are here to help. 

There are a lot of talented people that must work together in order to give you that perfect day. We have interviewed wedding professionals from around the country to get some great tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your wedding. So let us share with you advice from the experts.

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Wedding Planners, Vendors and other pros

We believe in the importance of a good wedding planner. The vast majority of problems and issues that dance on the nerves of the bride and groom are easily dealt with by an experienced wedding planner. If you can only afford one luxury for your wedding day, we suggest you hire a wedding planner.

Professionals Scott and Dana Halvorson of Weddings By Scott and Dana explain it best: “Dream weddings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and to plan a truly memorable wedding can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips to ensure your wedding will be an event to remember.

  • Know what you want: This is not just any ole wedding, it’s your wedding. Talk to you partner and decide what type of wedding you both would really enjoy. Personalize your wedding to match your personalities. Starting with a solid idea of what your dream is will make all the other decisions easier.
  • Get Help: Armed with your dream in mind, search out the professionals that can turn that dream into a reality.Everyone you hire, from your planner to your invitation designer, should know what your expectations are. Hire people who have experience with your type of wedding, then trust them to do what they do best.
  • Consider your guest: Think about your guest and how they will experience your wedding. Taking time to make sure your guest will be comfortable, occupied, entertained, and appreciated will create an event they will remember for years.
  • Have fun: Plan to enjoy this special day. Everyone will notice and it’s contagious. If you have fun so will everyone else. When everything is over, and you are reminiscing about your wedding, the fun you had is what you and your guest will remember the most.”

Cassandra Key-Lyons of Bridal Magic advises brides on ways to lighten their load and make things run much more smoothly:  

“My advice to couples planning their wedding: once you’ve made a decision, like picking your decor and color palette, stick with it. Don’t cause yourselves stress and confusion by continuing to look at alternatives. There are plenty of options out there but go with your instincts and what you want as a couple. Pouring over wedding websites and magazines long after you’ve already settled on something will only muddle the process. Also, don’t do something because you think you’re supposed to. If you don’t want a guestbook or to hand out favors with your initials on it, then don’t. It’s your wedding, so make it everything you want it to be.”

Courtney Branson from Lovely Little Blog also shares the idea to keep it simple. The internet is flooded by the ‘best wedding ideas’ but what if the brides just stick to what makes THEM happy?

“Pinterest can be your best friend or worst enemy. It’s great for sparking ideas and showing vendors your vision. It’s tempting to let it go past that but I encourage you to plan the wedding that fits your budget and vibe. There’s nothing less magical than realizing you’re in debt day one of marriage or planning a wedding that feels disingenuous to your relationship. You want folks to say, “This feels so y’all”. Don’t let the Pinterest board cloud your instincts.”

Betsy Tomasello, of Betsy Blue Photography, is in agreement on brides letting the professionals do what they do. That is the only way to get the best results. She says:

“One of my favorite ways to serve my brides is to include timeline assistance with every wedding booking. I’ve witnessed hundreds of weddings and am always happy to share my experience on when the best light might be for portraits, or possibly a more flattering position to angle the arbor in order to allow for the best light on the couple for their photographs.Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, so why not rely on the experience of professionals around you to help plan your day to be as fluid and beautiful as possible.”

When it comes to wedding vendors, photographers, planners, and other professionals, John Lennon of Lennon Photography had this to share:

“Look for vendors who have a passion for what they do. A typical sales pitch equals common quality. You deserve vendors who dream of the perfect wedding because those are the people who care enough to deliver it to you.”

Trust your event coordinator to have some pretty cool ideas. They are up to the minute on wedding trends and traditions. Be open to their suggestions.

Kristin Rockhill, Wedding Stylist & Floral and Event Designs, has an eye for design and color. She says:

“Grey is my favorite color! When it comes to setting a stunningly styled tablescape my go to linen choice is grey. It pairs perfectly with wood tones, neutrals, pastels and even bright and cheery hues like lemon and tangerine!”

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we are creating the wedding we really want. If you want a small, intimate, gathering, then go for it.

As wedding expert, Maria Fernanda Marion of Blog da’ Maria Fernanda points out: “keep it small. Small weddings are more intimate and cozy.”

Bride showing Engagement Ring on Left Hand on Wedding Celebratio

Beauty

On this single day, you want to be the most beautiful you have ever been.

Take these tips from Nina Moran, Cheekadee Makeup Artist:

“Summer can be hot and sticky but let’s keep the hot in our makeup and ditch the sticky! Whether you are doing your makeup yourself or having it professionally done, here are some tips to keep your makeup fresh on your big day!

Tone with witch hazel, we really like Thayer’s, Witch Hazel. This will remove any unwanted oil that may interfere with the longevity of your makeup

Prime your skin- We love Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12 Hour Perfecting primer. This product refines the skin, is waterproof and diffuses fine lines and imperfections.

If you are super oily you can use a mattifying product like Face to Face Super Matte Anti-shine. Just a bit it the t-zone will do.

Set your makeup with a setting spray! Our favorites are Model in a Bottle, or Makeup Forever Mist & Fix. This will really improve your makeup wear!”

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Photography

Photography is a major priority for any wedding. This is a day that must be captured for eternity. Some day our great-grandchildren will look back on this day and we want them to see the love and hope we had for the future in our photographs.

Bethanne of Bethanne Arthur Photography offers this advice:

“When searching for a photographer to capture your big day, keep a few things in mind.

  • Can you afford this photographer?
  • Are you willing to expand your wedding photography budget if you find your perfect match, in regards to photography style?
  • Do you feel comfortable with them?
  • Does your fiance feel comfortable with them? Do they seem personable?
  • Does this photographer seem to treat clients and events as just transactions, or do they try to get to know you or find a point of connection?
  • Do you love their work? It is so important to choose someone that actually has a photography style that you love.

 

These are your wedding photographs; these are priceless heirlooms you will have for the rest of your life and beyond, as they are passed down through the generations. Do not just hire someone because they are the least expensive, someone you know is friends with them, or they have 10,000 followers on Instagram. Choose a photographer that shoots images you love and swoon over; choose a photographer that you feel like you can connect with!”

Jillian McQuerrey, the owner of B.O.B. Photography, agrees with Bethanne about that special connection between the bride and photographer. She shared: “One tip I can wholeheartedly recommend is to do your research. I always tell couples I speak with to chat with more than one photographer. After that, choose the photographer you “click with”, love their work and feel comfortable around. If you think about it, you will spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than your significant other. So you want it to be an enjoyable experience. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more natural your photographs will look.”

Many brides try so hard to control everything, for forget that they have hired professionals to relieve them of that stress.

This point was driven home by Betty Simpson, of Betty Elaine Photography, “Trust your photographer and other vendors! Yes, it is your wedding day (hooray!), but you do not need to be burdened with having to control the day or schedule out your timeline by yourself. Once you know what your wedding day is going to look like (location, ceremony start time, etc), it is important to talk with your wedding photographer about how much time they need for pictures. Let them draw up a schedule for portraits and help you figure out when hair and makeup should be finished. Your photographer will know the best time of day for outdoor pictures, how long you need them for getting ready pictures, and if a first look would be more practical for your wedding day.”

There are always little budget busters that manage to show up with weddings. Take care of small things and the big things will take care of themselves. The main thing is to have your day, have your memories, and have fun!

Here is a great tip by Jenna Henderson, of Jenna Henderson Photography “While wedding planning, don’t forget to budget a little money for after the wedding to use for prints of your wedding photos! After all, when the whole day is over, the photos are the only thing that will remain. You want to make sure you have enough cash stashed away that you can give your beautiful memories the treatment they deserve, whether that be in the form of a fine art album or perhaps a gallery of large framed prints. Printed photos also make a great gift for your parents as a way to say thanks for all of their support.”

Brandon O’Neal, of Brandon Oneal Photography, says it like this:

“As a photographer, I see weddings as a dance between preparation and chance. We like to allow the celebrations unfold naturally, but we often manipulate the timing and locations ahead of time so they work out in our favor for great images.Prepping for the day is essential- create timelines, do the meetings, set up the vendors. But, when the day comes, my biggest advice is to enjoy it no matter what. Brides put lots of time and energy into planning the day and it would be such a waste to not enjoy it. I want to photograph my brides and grooms having the time of their life, not micromanaging every detail and worrying about the flowers being just right – that doesn’t make for great images. So plan, then let go!”

Wedding photography is an art. So much depends on the location, timing, lighting, and ambiance.

Leslee Mitchell of Leslee Mitchell Art is an artist and photographer. As such, she has a wealth of knowledge she was gracious enough to share. She says:

“Light is 100% of every photo. It’s not 99%, it’s 100%.

Don’t let family photo time eat up more time than necessary. After all, the most important photos of the day are the ones of the bride and groom. No wedding is complete without the family photos, but family photos do not have to monopolize a majority of photo taking time.

However long your hair and makeup artist tell you it will take to complete hair and makeup, add at least 30-45 minutes. It’s common for hair and makeup to run over on schedule. When hair and makeup run over, you will receive fewer photos due to lost time that cannot be recovered.

Just relax. The most beautiful photos are the candid shots. Make a point to not know where the photographer is every second of the day. Chances are they’re somewhere looking right at you through their lens. Don’t mess up what could have been a beautiful, candid moment of you because you’re scanning the room looking for your photographer or trying to figure out if you’re being photographed.

If you hate being photographed to the point you almost break out in hives have a cocktail and relax. If you can’t relax, you will appear tensed in your photos. Don’t be hard on yourself. The majority of people are uncomfortable when they’re being photographed. Have a plan in place to be able to relax when it’s time to be in front of the camera. You’ll be very glad you did.”

Communication is key when it comes to your wedding. Details must never be left to chance. This tidbit from Leigh Fabozzi of Leigh Elizabeth Photography is right on the money! Leigh says,

“Maximize your photographer’s coverage by creating a timeline in advance. Make sure to sit down or have a phone call with your photographer about a month out from your wedding to finalize the timeline. Ask questions, iron out the details, and get on the same page. This will ensure your wedding day runs smoothly and stress-free!”

Our Favorite Tip

Throughout the rest of your lives together, there will be issues and situations that monopolize your time. Take this advice from Candice Benjamin of Candice Benjamin Photography. Make this a habit throughout all of life’s challenges and you will always be content.
Candice simply states: ”Have a weekly date night where you aren’t allowed to talk about the wedding. Enjoy your time together!

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Local Branding

Modern Transit Solutions Can Help Establish Your Brand

The Costs Of Air Travel

You don’t have to own a server array to compete with “the big dogs”, as the saying goes. Using cloud computing solutions, you can do many of the same things they do internally for a fraction of the cost. This allows you to compete, increasing profitability, scaling outward, and eventually being able to source internally.

Today, borders are being eroded and distances consumed by the ability of technology to overcome. You’ve heard phrases like “the world is a global village”, and “it’s a small world after all!”. These sentiments are on the increase, and relatively native to modern times.

Before Columbus found the “east Indies”, as he called them, it’s doubtful you’d hear the sentiment “it’s a small world after all”. That is a consequence of developing social and technological development with time. Today, it’s gotten to the point where business executives in America may regularly go to places as far afield as Japan.

Your small business will be expected by many prospective clients to be continuously available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, it will be expected that you have transit capabilities. There are many situations where potential clients may be interested in working with you, but will want to meet with a representative personally.

If you only have to make such transits an 11% part of your annual calendar, that’s going to come to between forty and forty-one flights. Should an average flight cost $500 directly, and in total $1200 indirectly (because of the employee time involved), you’re looking at between $24,000 and $48,000 a year on flight expenses.

Solutions

Since many small businesses have to travel regularly in order to become established, playing coastal ping-pong between Los Angeles and New York (not to mention the occasional furlough in Denver), sometimes securing private flight options ends up saving them money.

In America today there are about 211,000 private pilots. That’s not a large number, considering America has 320+ million people currently. What it means, though, is that there is an existing industry in private aircraft, private aircraft parts, and the facilitation of solutions beyond the commercial sector.

You might even say that the industry is ideally sized right now. There’s a lot of room for expansion and innovation. While regulations exist, they haven’t hit that corporate juggernaut level known to be profitably hazardous in the long run.

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With these things in mind, for those who’ve crunched the numbers and found private flight is recommendable, there are a few pointers worth taking into consideration. One, you’ll have to do all your own upgrades and maintenance. Two, you’re going to want a solution that can be sourced anywhere; sometimes private airstrips are remote.

A third thing to consider is that you’ll want to source the best possible components for your aircraft, like those developed by aircraft engineers at Lycoming.

One of the reasons AeroInStock.com offers Lycoming carburetor solutions is because of their pedigree; according to Aero’s site: “…carburetors manufactured by Marvel-Schebler Aircraft Carburetors LLC continue with the implementation of modern manufacturing practices and engineered product improvements to ensure delivery of outstanding carbureted fuel controls.”

Protecting Your Investment

Finding known solutions in parts supply for your private aircraft represents an investment in the plane’s future, and potentially a cost-saving endeavor for your small business. When you can reach more diverse clients more quickly, you have a greater chance of establishing a strong brand whose influence isn’t limited to local clients.

The world is a global village continuing to expand, intermingle, and conduct business. If you can establish your brand with such a mindset, you have a good chance of maintaining it for years to come.

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Local Branding

15 Tips for Keeping Your Wedding on Budget

We already know that choosing bridesmaid dresses from Azazie is one great way to stick to even the tightest of wedding budgets. We asked wedding pros for their top suggestions for keeping costs in line, and they gave us 14 great tips!

Don’t Skimp on Photography

1. If you hire an amazing photographer he/she will be able to capture everything to look like you spent a lot of money even if you didn’t! Aaron Huniu, Aaron Huniu Photography

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2. It’s easy to go over budget on the photography. Try to barter. If you have a service the photographer might like ask them if they are willing to do a trade. Caroline Ross, Caroline Photography

Research Your Vendors

3. Wedding services can significantly increase the cost of your overall wedding budget. Do your research, you will find the perfect vendor that will compliment your special day and most importantly stay within your budget. Karissa Petrellese, NJ Wedding Pro

Discuss Your Priorities

4. When you’re really struggling to get your wedding spending on track, prioritize what truly makes the two of you happy. By saving, you’ll look back on your wedding day and remember how perfect it was. Justin Miners, Destination Wedding Directory

5. “Use your wedding as an opportunity to bring family & friends together. Sit around the table and do DIY projects together. Prioritize items on your checklist and stay on top of your budget. Ash Metry, Inspired Bride

 

Be Creative and Try DIY

6. Be creative when it comes to centerpieces: use an array of artfully mismatched cake stands to display dessert in lieu of expensive floral arrangements? Jutta Lammerts, Wedding Woof

7. DIY your Seating Chart! There are so many easy options that will add a personal touch, let you contribute something to the decor, and are simple enough for anyone to do, even if they have no craft skills. Amy June, Amy June Weddings and Events

8. Save money on your flowers by DIYing your centerpieces! Check out whether there are any flower markets near you, and willing wedding party members, and the morning of your wedding you can have a fun flower arranging party! Tracy Osborn, WeddingLovely

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Understand Your Budget

9. Set a range of amount instead of a solid amount. This will give clients room for flexibility as well as negotiation. Also, be realistic. If your number of guests goes up, know that your budget goes up as well.” Jo Ann, Apropos Creations

10. Couples need to know the big picture of how much money they have to spend so I can recommend vendors that will fit into their budget as well as their personality and style. Tracie Morris, You’re The Bride

11. Some of the smaller things that we forget to budget for could end up potentially costing a sizable amount – that is where you can stray from your initial expectations. Annie Cording, Wedding Ideas

Make Great Choices

12. Be sure to have your gown cleaned promptly after the wedding. The sooner it is cleaned, the better the chances for removing all stains and soil. Wait too long and you will pay extra for the special care required to remove set-in stains. Sally Lorensen Conant, Ph.D., Wedding Gown Specialists

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13. Hiring a day of wedding day coordinator is seriously one of the best investments you can make for your big day. Not only can they help keep you on track budget-wise and save some serious dough by providing ideas on how to cut cost on items like flowers and decor.. they also help you keep your sanity while planning your big day!
Hosting an open bar at your wedding is a huge expense. Cut cost by offering beer and wine plus one or two “signature wedding cocktails” in lieu of a full bar. Carla Friday, Details Made Simple

14. Open bar seems like a good idea until you rack an almost $1,000 bill. Have a cut off time for the bar. This will help lower your cost on alcohol. Autumn Mae M, City Girl Desert Doll

15. Couples who have a positive attitude and seek professional and relevant advice have a better wedding planning experience. Camille Abbott, Ceremonies by Camille

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Local Branding

The Wedding Of Your Dreams – On Budget!

The price of a wedding has reached an all-time high. The average wedding costs $31,213.00. While couples set a budget for their wedding a shocking 45% of them exceed their budget. We reached out to the experts and got some great tips on how to stay on budget and have the wedding of your dreams.

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Make it your own

Many couples feel the need to stay with tradition, even if the traditions do not represent their own likes. This is your wedding and it is your brand. You do not have to stay in tradition that uses up your budget on things that mean nothing to you.

 

Andrea Belle, of Andrea Bell Studio’s, LLC says, “Allow yourself to break free from the pressure to follow some traditions.If something doesn’t feel like an expression of who you or what you want to remember from your wedding, then give yourself some time before you commit to that item or service”.

Michelle Robinson, of Michelle Robinson Photography offers: “When it comes to planning a wedding, but staying on your wedding budget is to first plan out what is truly important to you and your fiancé. Taking your time to research and plan out as much as you can so that you can say at the end of your wedding, “that was worth every penny!”.

Shea McGrath explains another way to break tradition and save money without sacrificing beauty. “Have your ceremony/reception at a family home in the backyard or at a national park. Wedding venues can be extremely expensive. National Parks are another great option if you like the outdoors because wedding permits are extremely inexpensive and the parks provide stunning views! This option allows you to bring your own food, cutting on catering costs.”

Sarah Maren of Sarah Maren Photography, “Forget about the favors! No one wants weird candy or a bottle opener. Chances are, those things will get left on the table or worse, thrown out! Add something fun to your wedding that has a small takeaway – like a photo booth! The images printed that day are a great memento for your guests, a fun activity during the reception, and loads of silly memories for you as well!”

“My biggest tip for keeping your wedding on a budget is to enlist your friends and family to help with the event in lieu of gifts. My husband and I thought it would be more special for our guests to participate rather than say, buy us a blender. I had artistic friends help with the wedding invitations, a photographer friend manned the homemade photo booth, a couple of musician friends played guitar as we walked down the aisle, another friend made a headpiece for me to wear.” Liz Teich , The Brooklyn Stylist.

 

Photography tips

“Focus on coverage so you have wedding photographs you’re proud to show off. You can always add an album or prints after the big day but you can never go back and be sure you hired your dream photographer for the time you needed.” Jennifer Smith, Darling Photo

“Choose the top 3 vendors who are most important to you and investing the majority of your budget there. In choosing these, think about the way you will always remember your wedding. Weddings can go by so quickly, so having valuable and treasured memories to share and look back on is extremely important to most couples. Whether you’re getting married at little to no cost in a park or a backyard to spending half of your budget on the best venue around, the way your photographer and videographer capture your wedding will be very important, especially since these are usually the only visual memories you have of the most important day in your life! Happy planning!” Katie Guth, Katie Guth Photography  

“Photography is probably one of the most diverse services that you can book for your wedding.

  • Analyze the work of great photographers, so you get accustomed with what style to you like.
  • Never choose a photographer based on his price!
  • Take your time to analyze portfolios of at least five local photographers.

Remember that photography is one of the most important choices to make. A badly taken photo can ruin all the hard work you put in organizing your dream day and your precious memories.” Erdei Rudolf, Erdei Rudolf Photography

 

Priorities

“Make a list of all components that you want for your wedding (e.g. flowers, music, food) and then prioritize them according to your preference. So, if your flower arrangements and other floral decor are the most important aspect of your day, don’t spend most of your money on music. Spend it on what your top priorities are. If you do this consistently, all your priorities will turn out exactly how you dreamed!”: Alina Smith, The Sassy Gator

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“When planning for a wedding, I would recommend putting aside some money for incidentals and a splurge. There is going to be at least one item that the couple will want to splurge on. Choose wisely!” Misse Daniel, Honey Bee Weddings

“Not everything can be a priority! Choose your top priorities and be honest about where you’re willing to spend and where you really don’t much care. For some people, the priority is music and the party while the décor is quite far down the list. So hire a live band or a killer DJ and go to the market for field flowers with your family and friends. For others, décor and photography are everything, so the music is a well-appointed playlist”. Teressa Johnson, Teressa Johnson Studio

 

Attire

Taiwan Designer Yu Le of Chou&Y told us, “Hand-made dress, the real value is not material, is your own story.”

“Renting tuxedos or suits for your big day is definitely the way to go. Everyone in your wedding party will receive a complete ensemble that matches perfectly and is tailored to their specific build”. Mark Sarno, President of Tuxedo by Sarno

 

Other great tips

“The best way to stay on budget is to not plan or book anything until you have a budget. Especially when looking at venues – read the fine line and make sure you know ALL of the fees, gratuities, taxes, etc. that will add to that bottom line you are actually paying. Also, it is important to consider what your venue rental fee includes… while $3,000 might seem like a cheap rental compared to another venue that charges $5,000 but if that $5,000 rental includes chairs, tables, linens and more than maybe it’s a steal.” Nichole of Ivory and Beau Wedding Planning and Bridal Boutique

“A tip to stay on budget with your flowers when you are drawn to higher-end blooms like peonies and garden roses is to give your florist creative freedom and use those statement blooms as accents in your bouquets or centerpieces alongside more cost effective blooms. When placed correctly one or two peonies can elevate a centerpiece, while helping with the overall cost. Greenery also gives a lush feel with adding volume, but is far more cost effective than a centerpiece that is completely roses or peonies.”  Tamara Menges of Tamara Menges Designs

“Design your own invitations and have them printed at places like Office Depot or Staples. Sign up for their newsletter so you can watch for coupons on printing. Find your inspiration on Pinterest, and design away. To keep the invites looking professionally designed, you’ll want to use only two fonts and buy thick paper from places like Paper and More.”  Loren Jackson, from Loren Jackson Photography

Jamie Podworski,  the Owner of Jpod Films added: “Hiring a quality wedding planner will pay for itself three times over. The best wedding planners that we work with go above and beyond for their clients offering invaluable expertise, which in the end saves money and reduces the overall stress of the planning process.”

 

By following these expert tips and adding your own creativity and style, you can have a unique and memorable wedding that is truly your own. You can stay on budget without sacrificing the things that mean the most to you.

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Local Branding

Money Saving Ideas For Parents

Having children is the most rewarding, enriching, and exciting thing a person can do, It is also one of the most expensive.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is roughly $300,000, (and I doubt that even considers the costs of the latest iPhone they think they need by the time they are six). We all want to provide for our children but it is not always easy to make ends meet. However, there are ways we can save money and still enjoy the life we are creating for our families. Below you will find a few tips that will help.

Money Saving Ideas For Parents

Car seat

It has to to safe, not stylish   

Parents tend to think they have to have the best and latest of everything for their little ones. Manufactures know that and put every bell and whistle they can think of on their products. The fact is, your child is going to outgrow many of the things you purchase, long before you even try out all those options. Take car seats for example. Your child will go through at least three car seats (or more). Your car seat needs to be safe and installed correctly. Spend your time researching the car seat and not your money on options.For ideas on what you really need to travel with baby, visit sites like bottlesandbanter.com.

Stroller

Strollers

Did you know some strollers cost hundreds of dollars? They recline, lock, have reversible straps, umbrellas and come with HBO. (Okay, no HBO) Then they fold up and “fit” into the trunk of your car. When you get to the mall, doctor’s office, or the park with your screaming baby in their car seat, you struggle to get this stroller (which is much like a Volvo) out of the car and then fight to set it up. By now your child is having no more waiting and the minute you strap him in, he goes into a melt-down that makes every mother in the area wonder if he is being kidnapped. You push your child, his diaper bag, your purse and the Volvo into the mall, where the fit continues. You end up pushing all that back to the car with one hand and a worn out baby on your hip. The next time you venture out, you grab the $20.00 umbrella stroller that you keep in the backseat and just go.

Money saving ideas

Buy, Sell, Trade

Use consignment shops, shops that buy and sell baby clothes and save a bundle. It is shocking how fast a kid grows. They often outgrow something before they even wear it. Sell it at a shop like Once Upon A Child or on EBay. Take good care of the clothes your child wears. You can trade them if they are in good condition. Co-Op with other parents and have swap meets. Get the most out of your child’s clothes and the things they need.

Support Groups

Make arrangements with friends to trade off babysitting, mother’s day out and other things that cost you money. The group I was in even cooked double meals once a week and traded. That way we always had a meal in the freezer that we had not had the day before. Take turns taking the kids to dance class, practice, or the park. You save money and find a little time just for you.

For more ideas, visit www.femmefrugality.com. This site is a great go to site for just about anything parent/ money related! There are a lot of ways to save money listed on the internet. Use common sense and remember one rule.  Just because you did not have it as a child, does not mean your child needs it.

increase your sponsors with branding
Local Branding

Attain Athletic Sponsorship through Branding

Attain Athletic Sponsorship through Branding

Gaining sponsorship as an athlete is never the easiest thing to accomplish. But it’s more than worth it when you have the funding that you need in order to continue to compete regularly without worrying about finances.

With the right athletic sponsorship, you’ll have the ability to participate in every event for your sport if that’s what you desire. You will not have to worry about fees because all will be handled by the endorsements made by your sponsors. Do you intend to compete athletically on a professional level? Are you running for charity? Follow the simple steps that we share with you today to make attaining sponsorship a breeze.

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Five-Step Branding Process to Attract Athletic Sponsorship

1. Learn why companies pay to sponsor athletes – it’s always best to start at the beginning. If you learn and understand why companies sponsor athletes, it will make it much easier for you to attain sponsorship and funding. In many cases, businesses will sponsor professional athletes with the intention of associating their products and services with them. By associating their products and services with you – the successful athlete – businesses can use this connection to attract more customers from their target market. When looking for companies as potential sponsors, consider your image, your personal brand, and the types of athletes that certain companies usually sponsor. If you fit their typical target, then by all means contact them to find out if sponsorship is possible.

2. Build a fan base – if you are a runner – as an example – and you show up for a race after race and even finish with decent times, there’s no guarantee that anyone would consider themselves your fans. You have to cultivate a fan base and build an audience. Media coverage is a great way to create fans. Social media is an excellent way to connect with people that are interested in what you do. Tap into all of these areas and build a rabid fan base of happy followers!

3. Evaluate potential sponsorships – as an athlete, you may pick and choose potential sponsorships. Choose sponsors in accordance with your values and remember that there is more to sponsorships than money. Plus, picking the right partners will help you gain more attention in the limelight. Make sure to choose sponsors that deliver additional exposure as well as sponsorship money.

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4. Find the right points of contact – as you research potential companies to sponsor you, keep everyone in mind. Do not dismiss small businesses or local organizations. Your local audience is definitely your target market and finding local sponsors will be a lot easier than finding them on the national level. Locating the correct points of contact at these organizations doesn’t need to be difficult. Find somebody currently sponsored by the company and ask for their help.

5. Initiating contact – now that you’ve developed an audience and found the ideal sponsors, it’s time to initiate contact. When reaching out to your initial contact, send this person a proposal. Make it short and sweet and shoot for 50 to 100 words. This should be long enough to get your point across without being too long and wordy.

Use this information to attain athletic sponsorship through branding.

Wedding planner
Local Branding

Effective Wedding Planner Marketing Strategies

It’s a great time to become a professional wedding planner. Statistics recently gathered in 2012 show us that the average income for a wedding planner is more than $45,000, which is well above the national average. And 10 year projections demonstrate that industry will grow by 33%.

Why Become A Professional Wedding Planner

Wedding planner

On average, most wedding planners get into this industry by working for a larger firm. Some self-starters jump into this occupation and immediately go into business for themselves. No matter which situation you find yourself in, building your new unique brand is necessary so as to create an excellent reputation while building your own brand.

If you are just getting started in this industry, using effective marketing strategies will help develop your brand and create name recognition that will eventually lead to bigger and better clients.

Let’s look at some of our favorite wedding planner marketing strategies right now.

Wedding planner

Making a Connection with Your Target Audience

In an effort to have success in business, you must figure out your target audience. And once this information is discovered, you can then create a focused marketing plan that will help you reach these individuals.

Thankfully, as a wedding planner, discovering your target audience is very easy. It’s probably easier than any other business model. Connect with your audience and use proper strategies to build your brand

So who is your target audience? For the most part, your target market is women in their 20s and 30s. And as you can probably figure out, these women have yet to be married.

Since your target audience is relatively young, it’s easy to find them online. Social media is a great place to build a wedding planner platform.

Sure, you can have success using traditional marketing methods. But those methods are often very expensive. Most likely, when first starting out, you will not have a huge marketing budget at your disposal. So going the social media route makes the most sense for a number of different reasons.

Economical ways to get your message in front of your target audience includes building platforms on Twitter, Facebook, and especially Pinterest and Instagram. Utilizing these platforms is the cost-effective way to build your online brand and connect with your target market.

Content marketing

Use High Quality Content to Build Your Online Brand

Besides relationship building through social media, disseminating high quality content is another powerful way to build your online brand. And if you create the bulk of the content yourself, you’ll put in sweat equity without needing a large content budget.

Content market is the ideal way to expand your reach even further. And not only that, when you share high-quality content with your target audience, you will establish credibility and authority in the wedding planner niche. This goes a long way to converting potential prospects into paying customers.

Are you unsure of the type of content to create with the aim of building your online brand? We found an excellent example of the perfect wedding planner’s blog. You can check it out by visiting the blog  of San Diego wedding planner Amy June.

Conclusion

Getting into the wedding planning business is a great way to develop a healthy financial future. Use the strategies presented today to help effectively market your wedding planner business online.

Two attractive young people discussing business behind the counter of their deli
Local Branding

Small Business Owners Face Numerous Decisions Daily

Two attractive young people discussing business behind the counter of their deli

As a small business owner, you face numerous decisions daily. One of the big ones is how you plan to market your business online; will you develop an in-house team or hire a digital marketing agency? Although there are reasons for both approaches, most small businesses benefit from hiring a digital marketing agency. The following are a few of the advantages that approach offers that should be considered before you create a digital marketing plan for your business.

 

No Training Required

Building an in-house team to handle your digital marketing needs takes a lot of time and effort. You must hire and train the staff, then help them stay on top of a constantly changing digital environment. Digital marketers are in high demand, so good digital people are likely to get a better offer elsewhere. High turnover forces you to hire and train people repeatedly, frequently leaving you without a skilled digital marketer. By working with a marketing agency, you have access to qualified people without the need to train them. The marketing agency manages their staff and makes sure they are trained and up-to-date in the field.

 

You Save Money

People frequently think that hiring a digital marketing agency is more expensive than hiring someone in-house. However, if you have in-house employees handling digital marketing, you will have all the added expenses of additional employees, such as payroll taxes, salaries, and benefits. On top of that, your digital marketing team needs a budget for trying new tactics or buying ads. For most small businesses, it is more efficient and less expense to hire an outside agency for digital marketing.

 

Expertise

A digital marketing agency has the expertise needed to market your business effectively. Most small businesses can only afford to hire one or two employees for in-house digital marketing, which means you are likely to have less specialized people. By working with an outside agency, you have access to a whole team of experts and specialists who have experience working on digital marketing campaigns and are constantly learning and improving in their specific areas of expertise.

 

Availability

In-house digital marketing can create a bottleneck in your company because they handle large amounts of intellectual property and often become overloaded. This causes problems when you have tasks that need to get done, but your digital marketer is not available. Vacation, sick days, and employee turnover make the problem worse because your digital marketing employees are out of the office or still in training, resulting in an increasing buildup of tasks. A digital marketing agency is available when you need them and keeps your digital marketing on track.

 

Outrank Your Competitors

An experienced digital marketing agency like Premier Detroit SEO helps your company outperform your competitors online. An outside agency has the expertise to develop a comprehensive online marketing plan so you can rank higher on search engine results, improve online exposure, and drive more people to your website. They keep track of changes to search engine algorithms and constantly fine tune your site to make sure your online presence stays strong.

 

Choosing the digital marketing method for your business is a personal decision. Each business has its own set of needs and may benefit more from one approach or the other. For most small businesses, working with a digital marketing agency gives them significant advantages over hiring an in-house staff. Choosing a marketing agency with experience in your field provides you with a team of experts working on your behalf to optimize your online presence. That kind of advantage makes a vast difference for your business.