Friday Five: 5 Ways to Market Your Business Without Professional Images

Friday Five: 5 Ways to Market Your Business Without Professional Images

(Editor's note: This post was a collaboration between WeddingIQ's founder, Jennifer Reitmeyer, and co-editor Kyle Bergner.)

One of the most common complaints we hear from wedding industry colleagues is that they find it difficult to market themselves without relying on images from professional photographers. It was one of the excuses thrown around in the #weddingphotogate conflict we wrote about on Wednesday, and it's the topic of many of the anonymous rants we receive.

We've written before about how to go about requesting (and properly using) professional photos,both here on our blog and on Jen's monthly article for WeddingWire's Education Center.We're also speaking on this topic at The Planners' Suite Conference in January.

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Why We're Just Now Addressing #WeddingPhotoGate

(Editor's note: This post was a collaboration between WeddingIQ's founder, Jennifer Reitmeyer, and co-editor, Kyle Bergner.)

By now, pretty much everyone in our local wedding market (DC/MD/VA), as well as lots of people elsewhere, are aware of the recent photographer/DJ conflict now known as #weddingphotogate. The complexity of the original incident, as well as all the ethical issues that were raised in the subsequent discussions, are nearly impossible to summarize – and frankly, probably don’t need to be recapped given the amount of information and opinions already circulating online.

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A 12-Step Program for Website Thieves (Or, How Anyone Can Write Original Text)

A 12-Step Program for Website Thieves (Or, How Anyone Can Write Original Text)

So, anyone who knows me knows I’m incredibly passionate about copyright enforcement. I’ve written about this topic for WeddingIQ here and here and here and here, coached numerous business owners on how to protect their copyright, and sent countless DMCA notifications and shutdown notices over the years. (Seriously, the number is way over 500 by now. I’m a freaking warrior when it comes to protecting my intellectual property.)

In the spirit of generosity, however, I thought I’d offer a 12-step program for recovering website thieves, one that might help them to write their own, at least semi-original website text. (Of course, I hope it will also be beneficial to honest businesspeople who wouldn’t dream of poaching someone else’s work, but have trouble coming up with their own copy.) Now, there’s no excuse for stealing someone else’s written work, because you’ll know how to do it yourself.

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Wedding Media: Please Stop Throwing Us Under the Bus!

Wedding Media: Please Stop Throwing Us Under the Bus!

In a service-based industry like that of weddings, where companies are constantly evolving to adapt to clients' needs and changing trends, it's to be expected that sometimes, businesses are going to step on one another's toes as they grow. We've written about similar topics before; perhaps you read Kyle's recent post on businesses expanding unethically. When you make a decision to branch out into entirely different service categories, it's wise to consider the potential effect on referrals for your primary business (for example, I doubt many photographers will be jumping to recommend a DJ who also sells photography in the same market!).

Is expansion always a bad idea? Of course not, but it should be carefully considered.

What I've been thinking about lately, though, is the wedding industry media's role in supporting businesses vs. undermining them. Magazines, blogs, and television segments have all been guilty of throwing various service categories to the wolves, so to speak, and it sucks.

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Problem Vendors Part 5: Illegal Businesses Practicing Business Illegally

Problem Vendors Part 5: Illegal Businesses Practicing Business Illegally

Of all the problem vendor behaviors we've written about this month - expanding unethically, wedding show shadiness, marketing while working, and poaching people - is there anything more shady than running a business in a straight-up illegal fashion? In spite of the fact that wedding vendors may be divided on just about everything when it comes to running a business, we'd think one thing everyone would agree on is that operating a legitimate company, and adhering to the law in one's business practices, is a pretty basic standard of functioning. Apparently that's not everyone's standard, though.

We've personally observed a number of business owners completely flouting the law when it comes to their marketing and operations, and have heard horror stories of others' experiences with these kinds of companies. And frankly, it sucks. It sucks for a lot of reasons, and here are just a few:

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