5 Brand Strategy Tips to Implement during COVID-19 | Britney Jeanine

Our Speaker’s care and want to extend their support to you during this time of uncertainty. As we were all affected by COVID-19, The Signature CEO Conference was postponed and with the support of our Speakers they still want to extend a reach to each of you and share advice on how you can pivot through this temporary disruption of our businesses.

We had the opportunity to do a LIVE Facebook Interview with Speaker, BRITNEY JEANINE CANIDATE ofBritney Jeanine & Co Britney works with creatives & designers to level up their businesses & brands through brand coaching and online education. With experience in photography, web and graphic design, she has been blessed to create for over 110+ brands since 2008—and have been the catalyst in visually propelling brands forward.

During our conversation she highlighted,  “5 Brand Strategy Tips to Implement during COVID-19”:

1. Refocus and restructure.
2. Plan through all of the panic.
3. Assess your Q1 numbers for a better Q2.
4. Build your Q2 content marketing strategy.
5. Continue showing up and serving your people.
Watch the video for our full interview.

5 Money Strategy Tips for Your Business to execute during COVID-19 | Jacquette Timmons

Our Speaker’s care and want to extend their support to you during this time of uncertainty. As we were all affected by COVID-19, The Signature CEO Conference was postponed and with the support of our Speakers they still want to extend a reach to each of you and share advice on how you can pivot through this temporary disruption of our businesses.

We had the opportunity to do a LIVE Facebook Interview with Speaker, JACQUETTE TIMMONS of Sterling Investments Jacquette is a financial behaviorist and is committed to getting you to see that you don’t manage money – you manage your choices around money.  During our conversation she highlighted, “5 Money Strategy Tips for Your Business to execute during COVID-19”:

  • Panic pricing – Avoid the temptation to do it
  • Create a condensed offer, instead
  • Do an expense audit
  • Create a decision tree
  • Practice (more) self-care

Watch the full video as we dive into the (5) strategy tips!


Top 5 COVID-19 Contractual Tips | Ticora Davis of The Creator’s Law Firm

Our Speaker’s care and want to extend their support to you during this time of uncertainty. As we were all affected by COVID-19, The Signature CEO Conference was postponed and with the support of our Speakers they still want to extend a reach to each of you and share advice on how you can pivot through this temporary disruption of our businesses.

We had the opportunity to do a LIVE Facebook Interview with Speaker, TICORA DAVIS of The Creator’s Law Firm.  Ticora helps entrepreneurs protect their smarts so they can grow their business with peace of mind. The Creator’s Law Firm has helped hundreds of business owners secure their brand and proudly boasts a 97% success rate for trademark registrations.  During our conversation she highlighted, “Top 5 COVID-19 Contractual Tips”:

  1. Get everything in writing! (I just spoke with a seasoned event planner who paid a friend $15K to record his conference. He paid in full – no contract. Now his event cannot happen due to COVID, no contract, and videographer is not trying to provide a refund…only a credit). Ensure contracts are drafted w/your best interest in mind.
  2. Force majeure clauses are needed
  3. Commercial impracticability/impossibility of performance clauses are rarely included (this could’ve saved tons of businesses from covid)
  4. Anticipate having to move venues/cancellations, etc. – have clauses where you reserve the right to transition an in-person event (i.e., conference) to virtual event to reschedule
  5. Payment plans with unique terms tied to every payment are a MUST. This will minimize the justification for refunds and a court will most likely be on your side more.

Click on the video below to hear the details of the (5) tips!


Top 5 Reasons to File Your Taxes Now | Speaker, Nadia Anderson

Our Speaker’s care and want to extend their support to you during this time of uncertainty. As we were all affected by COVID-19, The Signature CEO Conference was postponed and with the support of our Speakers they still want to extend a reach to each of you and share advice on how you can pivot through this temporary disruption of our businesses.

We had the opportunity to do a LIVE Facebook Interview with Speaker, NADIA ANDERSON, a certified public accountant based in Richmond, Virginia.  During our conversation she highlighted,  “Top 5 Reasons to File Your Taxes Now”:

  1. Easy to Gather Info
  2. Timely Processing
  3. Avoid Interest and Penalty
  4. Apply for Disaster Relief
  5. Move On

Please watch our video and below are some tax filing deadlines she has referenced to the state of Virginia.

Filing deadlines have shifted. Here’s what you need to know. 

April 20: Virginia State Sales Taxes for February Due. You have 30 days to apply for a one month extension. Interest will still accrue.

June 1: Virginia State Income Taxes Due. Interest will still accrue.

July 15: Federal Income Tax Returns Due. The IRS is encouraging taxpayers due a refund to file as soon as possible and I have been making a fuss all over the internet suggesting you all file NOW. Thank me later.

August 20: Meals and hotel tax payments due in Henrico county.

September 30: Principal and interest payments are suspended on federal student loans. No interest will accrue during the suspension period. Contact your loan servicer to learn more or the federal student aid website.

No wait for unemployment benefits: Virginia has waived the one-week waiting period and the weekly job-search requirements. Congress extended eligibility to gig workers and self employed persons, however the Virginia computer system is still being updated to incorporate these changes. Follow the system updates here and be patient on as you complete the application. Humans are doing the best they can to help you.

60 days of utility cut-off suspension: The State Corporation Commission directed electric, natural gas, and water utilities that it regulates to suspend service disconnections for any customer.

Visit the VirginiaRichmond, or Henrico COVID-19 websites for local updates.


Tara’s Business Insight: Part 2, End of Year Preparation

The Signature CEO Conference is all about engaging its audience in the fundamentals of business intelligence that essentially equips creative entrepreneurs with the tools to run their businesses effectively and efficiently.
This video is on “End of Year Preparation”.  Founder, Tara Melvin, walks you through some essential reminders of things you should be implementing to get ready for 2020!  From budgets to networking strategies, to marketing strategies and beyond.

 


Tara’s Business Insight – End of Year “TAX” Preparation

The Signature CEO Conference is all about engaging its audience in the fundamentals of business intelligence that essentially equips creative entrepreneurs with the tools to run their businesses effectively and efficiently.
This video is on “End of Year TAX Preparation”.  Founder, Tara Melvin, walks you through some key essential tools that she utilizes to aid in her preparation for the upcoming tax season.

Where Has the Time Gone?!

“WOW…where has the time gone? It seems like only months ago we were just jumping on the road headed to the Washington, DC to attend the Signature CEO conference…. And Why you ask? Let’s take a look…

From the time clients visit your website, search your social or even watch your videos on YouTube…it’s all about the overall client experience. There’s no better way to make this happen then investing in continued education.

Recapping our time, we’d have to say that we were able to take away things that we know we could implement into our business right away. As we always say, it isn’t just about spinning records and flashing lights!” DJ Toryn L for Exquisite Sounds Entertainment (2018 attendee and sponsor).

Register today for our 2020 Conference!  March 16-18! Click Here for More Details.

 


My Personal Highlights…The Signature CEO Conference 2018

AUTHOR:  Teaira Abston of Dreamcatcher Stationery

Several, if not all, of my fellow creative bosses would agree that one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your business is to consistently seek educational opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge base. Whether the focus is on the newest trends or techniques of your creative niche or discovering new tools and systems to implement in your business, finding a workshop or conference to attend quarterly or annually can prove to be worth the investment.

Every year creatives plan to attend various conferences and workshops in search of the ultimate educational and networking experience. With so many promising to offer just that, it can be overwhelming trying to find the right conference for you and your business. One conference I have attended that has proven to be well worth the investment, is the Signature CEO Conference, organized by Tara Melvin of Perfectly Planned Events. Tara thoughtfully curates the best of the best in the creative industry to present attendees with valuable information and tools to immediately implement and take their businesses to the next level.

The inaugural conference was held in 2015, but my first time attending was the 2017 conference. I had such a positive experience that I knew I could never miss another. What I appreciated so much was the intimacy of this conference. The speakers were so engage, and they even stayed after their own presentations to learn from other industry leaders and interact with attendees. I didn’t feel lost in a sea of professionals fighting for a handshake or “usie.” Instead it felt rather inclusive and personal, especially when we were able to mix and mingle during lunch and speed networking.

I loved that each speaker presented on his or her own area of expertise, covering a broad range of topics that applied to us all regardless of our creative niche. They spoke about practical things we could apply to our business the very next day versus fluff that is only “instagram” worthy. LoL The Signature CEO Conference 2018 was simply amazing!

This year’s speaker line-up included industry gurus like the amazing Kathy Romero, Kellie Daab, Jacqueline Nwobu, and Dan Simons to name a few. The jewels that were dropped were truly invaluable.  I ended each session with pages of notes and was fired up to get back to my home office to make the necessary adjustments in my business.

Monique Melton’s presentation about creating passive income definitely resonated with me. She specifically spoke about the importance of creating something that doesn’t compete with our core service/product. Instead, she implored us to study our target market to find the gaps and areas that can be improved by understanding the frustrations of our audience. It got my wheels turning, and I’m already considering adding a new service/product that will compliment what I currently do.

Patrick Teague dived deep into the basics of copyrighting and how to recognize copyright infringement. He also gave steps on how to obtain copyrights for things such as pictures, videos, and other digital products online. He also touched on social media since that’s how the majority of us share our work with the world.

The panel discussion focused on the grit and grace of being an entrepreneur also resonated with me. They discussed the sacrifices made in order to get ahead, the hardest lessons they’ve learned, and shared so many examples of ways to practice self care while being an entrepreneur. Each panelist was very transparent about their journey and their struggles, giving examples of challenges they had overcome to get where they are today. Their candid responses were heartfelt and relatable.

 Although each speaker focused on very specific topics, there were a few points that were consistent among them…

~Outsource and get help in areas where you know you are not the expert…Abby Grace touched a lot on this.

~Utilize tools that will help you stay organized and on top of things, such as processes and systems to help you streamline. Nicole Peck of Bizbash and Jacqueline Nwobu, CEO of  Munaluchi Bride gave us some amazing apps we can use.

~Be ready to pivot and change often because there’s no one size fit all model. Adjust with the industry and determine ways to stand out as a brand! Kellie Dabb talked about becoming known for one thing (niching down), and creating a smooth client experience unlike the rest by starting with a clear message and delivering the luxury to your client by providing the VALUE.

~Authenticity goes a LONG way, especially on social media and when building lasting relationships with people. Network = your net worth!

The Signature CEO Conference is perfect for established and newbie creative professionals. I would recommend this conference to anyone who is looking to learn from some of the best in the industry. At this conference, you get so many practical steps you can take and apply immediately. The speakers are experts in the areas they present, and they provide great information on ways to improve on what you’ve already established.

In addition to the amazing educational opportunity, you can expect to laugh and catch up with old business buddies. Expand your business network by meeting new people and laying a foundation for cultivating new relationships. You will learn so much from others who ask questions and share their thoughts on different topics.

You’ll find yourself opening up to fresh new perspectives that may allow you to see things in your business that you’ve never seen before. You are guaranteed to walk away with the motivation you need to finish the year off strong and plan for the next year. At the end of each conference, I’ve left with a feeling of  “I CAN DO THIS!”…Just knowing I have people there that will genuinely cheer me on means the world.

Oh, and I forgot to mention how fabulous the welcome party was! It’s a great time to let your hair down and be a guest at an event when we are usually on the other end.

So…are you sold??

Great news! Early registration is now open for Signature CEO Conference 2019.  I’ll see you there!


Guest Blogger • Markel Insurance • How to Cultivate Vendor Relationships

In the event planning business, you will be working with a variety of vendors. It is important to have good working relationships so you can be successful. Here are some tips to help you establish these essential relationships.

5 tips to better vendor relationships

  1. Expect to pay fair market value

Yes you want to give your clients a deal, but not at the expense of another vendor losing out. It is important to understand pricing in the event industry, so that you can negotiate fair pricing for both your client and the vendor you are partnering with. Do not expect special deals beyond what is reasonable. The vendor will be much easier to work with if you see their side of the business too.

  1. Refer other business to them

You already have your finger on the pulse of the event industry and most likely know other local event planners. If you like working with a particular vendor, reach out to your other industry contacts and recommend your preferred vendor to them. The vendor will appreciate the business and may give you better discounts in the future. They may also return the favor.

  1. Write glowing reviews

In addition to personally referring business to great vendors, take the time to write a favorable review for them on popular sites like Google and Yelp. This will make you appear more favorable in their eyes and they may in turn write a review for you too.

  1. Respect their opinion

You know a lot about event planning and have many opinions on vendors and their services. It’s important to let other vendors in the industry have a voice too. They are in their respective businesses because they have an expertise. When you are open to their views and vision for their part of the event, you will cultivate a great working relationship. This doesn’t mean giving in to ideas that won’t work for your client, but there might be some value in their thoughts that you hadn’t considered.

  1. Give thanks and praise

You both have jobs to do, but it’s always nice to be thanked for services even if the service is expected.  A “thank you” can go a long way, especially when it comes to establishing mutual respect and trust. In addition, it’s a nice gesture to praise a vendor for an excellent job in front of your client or potential clients. This could lead to more business for them.

We hope these tips help you foster great relationships with vendors.  When you cultivate relationships, you also start sharing best practices. Consider informing them about event insurance. They will thank you.

Markel offers event liability insurance to hosts and honorees, protecting from incidents such as property damage to the venue or injury to a guest. Up to $2 million in event liability insurance can be purchased by your client from Markel any time at least 1 day before the event. Policies start as low as $75.

By offering Markel Event Insurance, it will not only protect your clients, but it can also protect you by potentially decreasing your own business liability risk for accidents due to negligence of the event host or honoree. Markel Event Insurance is an easy and affordable solution for your clients – a free quote takes only a few minutes online or on the phone – turning you into a one-stop-shop for your clients.

Have a website? You can receive a $25 gift card simply by placing a Markel Event Insurance link on your website.  Email maicmarketing@markelcorp.com to learn more!

If you don’t have a website, Markel can also provide you with brochures to help raise your clients’ awareness of the benefits of event liability insurance.

To learn more, please visit http://www.markeleventinsurance.com/wedding-and-event-professionals or call 1-855-480-9757.

Writer, Lauren Hernandez, Markel Insurance


Guest Blogger, Markel Insurance…”Free Wedding Directories to List Your Venue”

(One of our 2017 Sponsors, Markel Insurance, is on the blog this week! )

Listing your venue on free online wedding directories will help you reach more brides and grooms.. To help get you started, we’ve listed some website directories where brides can easily find you.

Directories to list your wedding venue

ReceptionHalls.com
This online directory is a perfect place to list your venue. It’s free with no trials or upgrade packages. Customers can find you by searching on location, capacity, amenities and budget.

 WeddingVibe.com
Get your business in front of more brides by listing your venue for free on Wedding Vibe. There are additional packages you can purchase to gain more exposure.

 WeddingVenueLove.com
Another great website to list your business for free with a basic profile. You can also upgrade to a paid profile that supports more portfolio images and more promotion opportunities.

theWeddingDirectory.us
This directory lists more than 700,000 wedding vendors. Create a free listing with the option of upgrading.

BridalTweet.com
Join in discussions with real brides. Set up a profile and you can start interacting by updating your status, creating a headline and sharing a blog.

Eventective.com
This website is a comprehensive resource for event planning. It lists more than 300,000 venues and services for weddings. This is also a free directory with the option to pay additional fees to participate in certain Programs the website offers.

TheVeil.co
This website offers free listings for high-end wedding vendors who cater to upscale brides-to-be.

Additional websites that offer free listings:

We hope these free online directories help you attract more brides and grooms to your venue.  After you gain your clients, make sure your clients are protected with wedding insurance.

Markel offers wedding liability insurance, protecting the host and honoree from incidents such as property damage to the venue or injury to a guest. Up to $2 million in wedding liability insurance can be purchased from Markel any time at least 1 day before the event and covers the ceremony and reception, rehearsal and setup/takedown. Policies start as low as $75.

By offering Markel Event Insurance, it will not only protect your clients, but it can also protect you by potentially decreasing your own business liability risk for accidents due to negligence of the event host or honoree. Markel Event Insurance is an easy and affordable solution for your clients – a free quote takes only a few minutes online or on the phone – turning you into a one-stop-shop for your clients.

Markel can provide you with free client materials to help raise your clients’ awareness of the benefits of event liability insurance.

To learn more, please visit http://www.markeleventinsurance.com/wedding-and-event-professionals or call 1-855-422-5944.