Happy New Year! I am so excited. Not only am I kicking the new year off, obviously launching this new podcast, but I am ALSO kicking things off with an absolute banger of an episode. I almost named my whole podcast off of this episode (and this idea of how to have an all-of-a-sudden moment and how I can help you have more all-of-a-sudden moments).
So if you’re wondering what to expect, I’ll be sharing a bit about my business journey in this episode, with a focus on those pivotal tipping point moments. But wait – let’s start by taking a step back for a moment.
What exactly is an “all-of-a-sudden” moment or tipping moment, especially in the early stages of business?
It’s when you’re putting in a lot of work without immediate results, which is normal and can happen at any stage of business (you may have heard the analogy of “pulling a slingshot back before lunging forward”), and THEN suddenly your hard work pays off. You start seeing results and reaping the rewards of your efforts. That’s what we’re discussing today, and how to create more of those moments in 2024. Sounds good, right?
Table of Contents
Kicking off my new podcast with my OWN business journey: Hey Look Ma! I Made it.
The year was 2020. I want to just paint a picture. In January of 2020, I was lying on the beach on a January “FAM trip”. If you’re not familiar with my story, I began my business as a destination wedding planner and travel agent. As I became more established, I started receiving invitations to incredible fam trips. These trips involved being flown out to resorts and being treated to tours, wining, and dining. It was an amazing experience.
This time specifically that stands out in my mind was when I was lying on the beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica, soaking up the New Year vibes. It was absolutely fantastic. I was reading Redefine Your Wedding Business by Andrea Eppolito, which you haven’t read it and you’re in the wedding industry – I recommend it. I had a team of two sub-agents/independent contractors at the time, and I am listening to Panic at the Disco “Hey, look, ma, I made it” basically on repeat.
Okay? That was literally the vibe and that was literally exactly how I felt. I started my business in 2017, so I had hustled extremely hard to get there. It felt like a sudden moment to me, as if everything fell into place. I had the next year booked with amazing weddings, working with happy couples and earning five-star reviews. Life couldn’t be any better.
Enter: Worldwide Pandemic
And I will say, looking back on it, it’s crazy to think I am not sure I knew at that time what contributed to the success of my wedding business. If you had asked me what got me there, I would’ve been like hard work. We did everything. That is not a good business strategy if you want success.
In March, many weddings were rescheduled or canceled, leading to a stressful and honestly traumatic time in the travel industry. Personally, it felt like my wedding business was taken away from me, leaving me devastated. I worked tirelessly for long hours, trying to secure refunds for people without getting paid. It was a terrible experience. After a few months, it became clear that the situation wasn’t improving. We posted on Instagram, informing our followers that we were working behind the scenes and wouldn’t be active there. During this time, I faced additional challenges, such as having an agent quit. It took about six months before we started booking weddings again, but the impact of the situation still lingered, and it was difficult to overcome. I personally did NOT want to book a wedding ever again.
The Point of This New Podcast: My All of A Sudden Moment
I was speaking to my other agent who was still casually booking people. Obviously, the demand was significantly lower because of the pandemic, but it was strange that we even had demand at all. I kind of said out loud, “Wait – how do we still have inquiries?”
THAT was my “all of a sudden” moment where I realized other marketing efforts paid off.
I’m a big data nerd, so that’s something you should know that about me if you’re considering whether this new podcast is right for you. Even though I had everything set up, during my hustle mode from 2017 to 2020, I never had the chance to look at or analyze the data. While I had access to the data through tools like Google Search Console, I was completely out of touch with which marketing efforts were actually effective.
Blogging + Pinterest was ALWAYS Bringing in More Business Than Instagram
If you had asked me where most of our leads were coming from, I would have confidently said Instagram. We had an active presence with 4,000 followers and lots of engagement. I spent a lot of time on it, so it seemed logical that Instagram was driving the majority of our clients.
However, when I finally slowed down and looked at the data, I was surprised to find out that SEO, driven by our blogs and Pinterest, was responsible for about 95% of our leads. This was true in 2019, and it became even more pronounced in 2020 and 2021 when we weren’t active on Instagram or any other platform. We weren’t blogging, posting on Pinterest, or doing any marketing activities. But inquiries were still coming in.
Our Current Instagram Marketing Strategy
Even now in, I’m recording this in 2023, but this is the plan moving forward for 2024 too, we’re still not really active on social media. We post when a new couple books us more to celebrate them than to try to get the business. Or if they send us photos from their wedding, we share those. Sometimes we’ll share flight updates or industry updates, but I would not consider what we do on Instagram, “a growth strategy.”
And just a quick note about Instagram – I know my regular followers have heard me complain about it. While I believe we could generate more business with an active Instagram strategy, the truth is, for my wedding business, the return on investment wouldn’t be significant enough right now. Why? Because we’re getting plenty of leads with minimal effort. How can you beat that? This doesn’t mean Instagram is a bad marketing strategy, but targeting newly engaged couples considering a destination wedding is challenging on Instagram, in my opinion.
Maybe someone will disagree, but our business is pretty successful, so I’m not going to worry about it.
If leads slow down or our marketing strategy needs a pivot, I’d consider running ads instead of hiring a social media manager for Instagram. It seems like a more worthwhile investment. Of course, every industry is unique, and I use Instagram differently in my marketing business based on the expectations of my clientele. So if you love Instagram, I will be sharing more about that on this new podcast too.
5 Ways YOU Can Have an All of a Sudden Moment Too
If you want to intentionally have an “all of a sudden moment”, you need to prioritize the long game. Okay, that feels a little anti-climactic, but hear me out. I have five ways that I think you can do that.
Before we dive in, I want to give a disclaimer. I understand that you may currently be in a situation where you can’t prioritize long-term goals. Perhaps you can only focus on what’s immediately in front of you. If that’s the case, it’s important to consider how you can work towards a point where long-term goals can be a priority. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and keep treading water, but it’s crucial to set a marker or a specific point in time where you intentionally shift your focus to the long game. If you don’t make a deliberate effort to prioritize long-term goals, you’ll never fully reap their rewards. This can make it incredibly difficult to break free from the constant hustle mentality.
Lastly, I want to emphasize that prioritizing the long game and building a business often involves stepping out of your comfort zone. Keep this in mind as I share the five ways I believe you can prioritize the long game and experience a breakthrough moment. As your business grows, your time will likely become more limited, at least for a while. It’s a cycle of increase and decrease in available time. There will be moments when you feel stuck, and that’s okay. It’s a season that many of us go through. However, it becomes increasingly challenging to prioritize the long game when you’re in that space compared to when you initially start your business.
1. Diversify Your Marketing Strategy
Number one won’t surprise you if you know me already, but diversify your marketing strategy. There will be a lot of marketing content on this new podcast, in case you’re new to my world. I specialize in Pinterest and blogging, but I’m also starting to prioritize podcasting and YouTube this year as a way of continuing to play the long game. I’m starting these new channels KNOWING they require a significant upfront investments of time and money, but I believe they will pay off.
I don’t believe there’s a single “all of a sudden” moment that signifies completion, but you can make significant progress by exclusively advertising your business on Instagram or TikTok. These platforms have a great potential for direct outcomes based on your efforts, but they are not be ideal for long-term strategies (ie. if you get busy and stop posting… they stop working).
Blogging, podcasting, YouTube, and other search-driven platforms, along with general SEO on your site, are all important for getting found. We also offer website copy for SEO, which is a great idea if you’re investing in a new website. But basically – prioritizing the long game is key.
How can people find you when you are not working? Instagram is not it.
2. Strengthen Your Business Foundation/Business Model/Sales Funnel
As business owners, we all need a sales funnel. It can be as simple as someone finding you on Instagram, DMing you, and making a sale. It doesn’t have to be complicated. However, since we’re talking about the long game, let’s discuss having a website and an evergreen funnel.
Your website can lead to a freebie or a welcome sequence, whether you’re selling something or not. Your website can act as a strong salesperson. Analyze how people find and buy from you. Fine-tune those aspects instead of just focusing on getting more people into your funnel. Avoid chasing followers, running ads, and throwing money at it. Instead, step back and identify any leaks in your funnel. I wish I had realized that blogging and Pinterest were our most profitable marketing channels. I wish I had focused more on those instead of trying everything. Look at the data.
3. Build Out a New Product or Service
This is the whole “pull the slingshot back” thing. And one thing I heard in a webinar once was that at a certain stage of your business, your main job is to resist the urge to burn it all down. You know, when things start to work, but it’s not that instant success you see on Instagram. You might be thinking, “Does any of this actually work?” Maybe only five people opted in or you made only $2,000 on your launch instead of $200,000. But part of your job is simply to resist the urge to burn it all down. Just had to get that off my chest. Anyway, the third way to have a sudden moment where you reap the rewards of your hard work is to intentionally pull back and create something new.
4. Take Time to Hone Your Craft and Improve Your Skillset
This one goes hand in hand with creating a new product or course or service, but maybe you need to get certified and hone your skills, like working on becoming better at your job. Being good at your job is marketing. I go all in with my clients, and I’m invested in their success beyond what they are paying me for.
Being good at your job may not be revolutionary, but it’s often overlooked. In 2024, it feels like there are 10 courses on how to market your business better and only one on how to actually do the thing you’re selling. It’s a miss in the industry, and hopefully, as it grows, that changes. If I could change the industry, that’s one thing that drives me crazy. So, just because I’m in marketing, I want to reaffirm the idea that success comes from doing good work, which leads to clients referring you or leaving five-star reviews. It’s not just about buying a course of Pinterest and blogging.
5. Hire Someone to Help You (Like I’m Doing With This New Podcast)
And I just kind of had a little “all of a sudden moment” where I got chills because I am almost done recording my very first podcast episode. So thank you for coming on this journey with me. It is only going to get better from here.
Number five is hiring someone to help you. There will be more content on this topic on the new podcast because I’ve learned a LOT through this process and have done it very differently between my two businesses. But in the long run, you can’t do everything on your own. Sometimes, you need to pause, find someone, or even multiple people to build a strong company culture, invest in systems, and do all those things that don’t pay off right away. And then, all of a sudden, you’ll experience a moment where you’re not doing most of the work anymore. Let me tell you, as someone who recently crossed that threshold, it feels amazing.
Thank You For Reading the First Episode of My New Podcast!
So, here’s the recap: if you’re looking for that “all of a sudden” moment, start by prioritizing the long game.
Here’s how you can do just that:
- Diversify your marketing strategy.
- Check your foundation, business model, and sales funnel.
- Build something new that aligns with your desired business goals.
- Work on improving your craft.
- Hire someone to assist you.
Remember, it’s best to focus on one at a time rather than tackling all five at once. Feeling inspired to chat about your business? There are two more episodes ready for you to dive into if you’re feeling that New Year energy!
Before I wrap up, I want you to know how much I appreciate your support for this new podcast. It’s truly a labor of love, and I have big plans for it. If you could take a moment to reach out to me on Instagram and share your feedback on the episodes or suggest topics you’d like to hear, that would mean the world to me. Your engagement is incredibly valuable and would make my day. Thank you so much for being part of this journey with me!
Learn more about working with our marketing agency here
Follow me on Instagram
Curious about my wedding business? Check out Love at First Travel