Episode 374 REVISIT: MICHELLE RAGO – Weddings Around the Globe

Michelle Rago has always had wanderlust flowing through her veins. It’s what has inspired her to build her massively successful career as a wedding and event destination producer and expert. She’s now one of the most sought-after destination event planners in the world, in large part because of her vision, relationship building skills, and meticulous attention to every possible detail. Her love for travel and experiencing new cultures came from a study abroad trip in Greece when she was just 15. Ever since, she’s been exploring new ways to bring stunning events and weddings to the most inspiring and beautiful locations around the globe.

Today, Andy and Michelle chat about the steps she took to growing her passions and her business, and some of the major epiphanies and milestones she realized along the way. The pair also dive into how she untangles the vastly intricate puzzles of destination weddings, her process of making an event come to fruition, and some of her favorite and most satisfying events to date. This week’s episode taps into the idea that following what your heart desires can truly lead to a career full of personal and professional achievements. Check out the full episode now. 

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Episode 373 JULIE NOVACK: Optimizing Your Digital Footprint

Join Andy in this episode as he chats with Julie Novack, C.E.O. and co-founder of PartySlate, a photo-rich website (that, in fact, just recently hit a million photos) where leading event professionals share their work, build their brand, and drive leads. Before founding Party Slate, Julie held executive positions at top-tier digital agencies such as Razorfish, Vibes, and Agency.com. With over twenty years of digital marketing experience, Julie has helped some of the biggest brands in the world. Longtime listeners of The Wedding Biz may actually remember Julie having been on the show before as she has been on a number of occasions such as in episode 121.

Julie is here in this episode to talk about how to optimize your digital footprint. She discusses how to do that with your website, blog, social media, backlinks (which she describes as very similar to PR), third-party platforms, etc. She talks about what she calls a homepage handshake and why it is so crucial on your website since no one should have to do a whole lot of investigating to find out what you actually do, and she comments on blogs and how they can help you build authority. Julie also encourages listeners to spend at least one hour making their LinkedIn profiles represent them and their companies and to be sure to have at least 500 contacts on LinkedIn. In closing, Julie puts particular emphasis on the importance of networking and building strong online connections with other people and with other companies.

Only so much of Julie’s vast knowledge on this subject can be shared in twenty minutes, but this is such a fantastic summary and overview, and Andy strongly encourages listeners to not only go back and listen to this episode a second time to take notes but to also go back and listen to Julie’s earlier episodes of The Wedding Biz, especially episode 121. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode, and if you can think of at least three good friends who would benefit from listening, share it with them! Andy would also appreciate a positive review wherever you listen to the podcast and for you to go back and listen to some of the interviews in his back catalogue, especially if you’re a new listener having just recently come on board!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!

 

Time Stamps

[0:43] – Andy reveals that this episode’s guest is Julie Novack, C.E.O. and co-founder of PartySlate.

[2:12] – Julie starts by talking about how to improve your digital presence via websites.

[3:46] – Julie presents the possibility that about 80% of websites miss what she calls the homepage handshake.

[5:03] – Julie offers her general opinion on blogs.

[5:40] – We are provided with an example of how a blog entry could be helpful.

[7:10] – Julie touches upon the importance of marketing yourself on social media, especially Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

[8:53] – Julie addresses the difference in importance between having a personal profile and a business profile on LinkedIn.

[9:35] – We are strongly encouraged to occasionally post content on LinkedIn and are told why.

[10:36] – Julie encourages us to have at least 500 contacts on LinkedIn.

[13:00] – Julie explains the difference between content SEO and technical SEO.

[14:32] – We learn what backlinks are and why they are important.

[16:08] – With third-party platforms, Julie explains that they tend to be polarizing and why.

[19:08] – Julie sums up by encouraging us to think about our online connections and how they can help us.

[22:23] – Andy gives Party Slate’s contact information.

 

RESOURCES

The Wedding Biz – Episode 121 Julie Novack: PartySlate & Building A Venture-Capital Backed Business


Find Julie:

julie@partyslate.com

PartySlate – Website

PartySlate – Instagram Page

PartySlate – Facebook Page


On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social:

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz Network

The Music Makers

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here.

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment & PartySlate.

 

Episode 372 NSBWEP: The National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals

NSBWEP stands for the National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals and was created in the summer of 2020. Since the inception of the association, they now have over 135+ Black-owned businesses that represent the industry from the East Coast to the West Coast to include the Caribbean. Membership is based on each business owner passing mandatory credentials and having an exemplary business performance. By the end of 2022, the association is on track to include 300+ businesses! NSBWEP serves as a foundation for its members to build hope, opportunity, community, and more while creating change makers to thrive in this dynamic environment!

In this episode of the podcast, Andy chats with Tara Melvin (founder and Creative Director of Perfect Planning Events and founder and President of NSBWEP), Brian Green (Chief Event Architect and creative visionary of By Brian Green LLC and Chairman of the Board of NSBWEP), and Marc Wilson (founder and creative director of The Style Marc and Vice President and founding member of NSBWEP). Tara – who has been in the wedding and events planning industry for nearly two decades – reveals that the NSBWEP arose out of the racial turmoil that we saw last year in 2020 such as the renewed wave of the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd. She talks about the fact that the percentage of Black wedding event professionals being represented tends to be less than 1%, which made her want to create a space for more representation.

Marc, who has been in the business for twenty-five years, personally felt that lack of representation in the industry which has made community so important to him in this organization. Tara, Brian, and Marc also talk about the educational programs that they have put in place and share the organization’s goals in the future, such as how they want to expand their influence from twenty-three states to forty states and to Canada and even Europe. Andy is so excited about what NSBWEP is doing and respects and admires their mission so much. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode, and if you can think of at least three good friends who would benefit from listening to the podcast, share it with them! Andy would also appreciate a positive review wherever you listen to the podcast!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!

 

Time Stamps

[0:56] – Andy announces the guests of this episode – Tara Melvin, Brian Green, and Marc Wilson of NSBWEP.

[2:53] – Tara explains how the NSBWEP came about.

[5:21] – Tara reflects on how she had to give a lot of strategic thought to who she would bring on to help her bring about NSBWEP.

[6:32] – Brian reveals that NSBWEP is still the only wedding and events planning organization with the mission statement of representing Black wedding and event professionals.

[7:25] – Marc touches upon community and how important it is to him.

[9:15] – Tara shares some of NSBWEP’s biggest accomplishments.

[12:11] – We learn more about NSBWEP’s mission and initiatives in place for the future.

[13:02] – We hear about some of the industry icons that are allied with NSBWEP.

[14:09] – Tara asserts that NSBWEP is for all Black wedding and event professionals regardless of how big or small their businesses are or where their businesses are located.

[16:38] – We discover how we can learn more about and/or become members of NSBWEP.

[18:06] – Andy offers more specifics about how to find NSBWEP online.



RESOURCES

Perfect Planning Events – Website

By Brian Green LLC – Website
The Style Marc – Website


Find NSBWEP:

NSBWEP – Website
NSBWEP – Instagram Page
NSBWEP – LinkedIn Profile
NSBWEP – Facebook Page
NSBWEP – Twitter Page


On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.


Follow The Wedding Biz on Social:

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz Network

The Music Makers


Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here.


Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment & PartySlate.