How to Build Your Digital Brand
  • March 9, 2023
  • GSD Creative

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As busy business owners and entrepreneurs we are running constantly. Am I right? We have our eye on the prize but sometimes our focus can be a little foggy. There are certain steps to the process when it comes to success, so are you focusing on the right things at the right time?

A common myth we hear from business owners is that “word of mouth is the only way to grow your business” or “all of my business comes from word of mouth, my website/digital presence doesn’t matter”. Well, we’re going to crush that myth RIGHT NOW. 

Your digital brand is so much more than throwing up a pretty website, and today’s guest Julie Novack is here to share with you all about her journey to growing a digital brand, and how you can too! Julie is CEO & Co-Founder of PartySlate, a platform that inspires people planning all types of events and connects them with the leading event professionals, vendors, and venues across the country and the world. She is going to share with us her top tips on how event professionals should prioritize their time to build a strong digital marketing program, while also saving time doing it. And y’all know what I say, time is precious and valuable, so make sure you are spending it the way YOU want to spend it!


  • How event professionals should prioritize their time to build a strong digital marketing program
  • How companies can save time on digital marketing
  • How small businesses can balance investing in social media vs. SEO


Breaking through the digital world requires great content

How to leverage marketing assets to improve your digital footprint

Breaking down the key areas of your digital footprint


Julie is the CEO and Co-Founder of PartySlate, a photo-rich website that connects people who are planning events of all kinds with leading event planners, venues and vendors. With over 20 years of digital marketing experience with some of the biggest brands in the world, Julie has brought all of her expertise to the events industry. Since founding PartySlate in 2016, over 20,000 of the country’s top event professionals and venues have uploaded over 1.5 million event photos and videos to best in class beautiful content-rich profiles. PartySlate has become a driving force in the industry allowing event professionals to share not only weddings, but also corporate events, mitzvahs, galas and milestone events. Julie is committed to helping event professionals become better digital marketers and has spoken on topics from SEO to website best practices, Instagram to email marketing at leading event conferences across the country.

Follow the PartySlate Journey below:



You know when you just meet people, you instantly click and it's like it doesn't matter what they do. You just click with people and that's what happened with today's guest. So I'm gonna read her bio because it's incredible the things that she has done but before any of this, I just want to say she's an amazing person. Her energy is amazing. She's so positive and upbeat. And my favorite well to my really favorite things is like she's orange.

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And so she I mean, I don't know if she's done True Colors yet, but she just is like the life of the party. And when we are you know, energy, it just you find each other. And so today's guest she's the CEO and founder of party slate and this is what really connects us is the technology piece. It's a marketplace for party host and event professionals. before founding the company she led the sales and service team at vibes media, a mobile marketing technology company. She brings over two decades of marketing experience working with leading brands such as State Farm craft three M and JC Penney. Prior to VABs, Julie held a number of leadership positions at Razorfish including the GM of the agency Chicago office, and the GM of the experience and platforms group for this central region. This girl knows tech y'all. Prior to razor fish, she served on the executive team of for over a decade where she ran its global sales, marketing and corporate strategy organization. She received her MBA in marketing and finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan. He's so incredibly smart. So incredibly smart. Julie Roth Novak, welcome to the show.
I'm so excited to be here. I loved meeting you in Las Vegas. I know we have a lot of industry friends in common and I love your energy and your focus on helping small businesses and I feel that same passion, my kind of expertise is really thinking about digital marketing and how to make digital marketing easier, how to create a stronger footprint around digital and keep your sanity at the same time. So it's a lot it's a lot.
It's so overwhelming. It's just there's a couple of things. So I was with my travel has been y'all know Brad and Bob Conte in Italy, I don't know, year and a half ago. them both love them. And they're like, Well, you must be friends with Julie. And they said this to me separately. Like once like Are you friends with Julie and other ones? Like do you know Julie and like he's just you? And people just assume that Tech Tech blonde but you know, and so I'm like no, but um, they're like, you know, you know party slate, right? And I'm like, Y'all, I live in a bubble. Like if I don't if I'm not working with somebody, like I'm not out there like googling or anything I'm like, and there's so many different tech platforms. So like, what is party slate do involves like, you just have to meet Julie like, you just have to meet you're like Brian kept saying the same thing. So I speak about an MBA. I'm not they're like talking about tick tock Atomy. And Barbie comes up to me who I just met at that conference, by the way, and people think that we were like best friends for life. But we know so neutral people, Pervez and Nikki, amazing photo video team. And we're like, FaceTiming them because I just let them know their country. It's such a small world in our street. The reason I'm telling you this, and so she's like, Are you friends with Do you know, Julie? But it's not like do you know, Julia was like, Are you friends? Like, it's very specific. And she's like, and I'm like, No, and I'm like the party site. And she literally takes me directly to your booth. She's like, you have to meet her and then it's your it's like, you would just think it's like, it's your birthday. It was your birthday.
It was my birthday. It was a birthday. You know, battler Miki Meeker, you know, the top line designer in New York said, I heard you're in Vegas, why don't you have a party at my penthouse in Las Vegas. I'm like, what? So all of a sudden, we had this impromptu penthouse party with like 50 people and a DJ and a photographer. And that was amazing. I'm so glad you were there for that.
It was so but we did. Still we ticked I still have tiktoks and giraffes that I need to like, actually, I'll use one of those to release this podcast. It was just it was so much fun. And so it's just I'm so thankful. Like, we finally got to click. And then here's my favorite story. Also, my travel husband and I were together on Valentine's Day. We're just in Columbia together. And we were talking about party slate. I'm like, I finally get to have Julia on the podcast because I wanted to, you know, share with our whole industry. Like, why she got into this and like, what's the journey? And y'all the backstory is Brian did the very first party. And so yeah, LA, the first la party. Yeah, yeah. And so he was from there. He's there, like, 20 years now. He's in Atlanta. He's never there. But he's like, he, you know, when you meet somebody for the first time, and it's cute, what they're doing, and you're, like, excited for them. And then they go and raise, like, a shit ton of money. Which y'all like a million dollars and tech gets you nothing? Okay, like, you just you don't even
close to 20 million in funding. So yeah. See?
And so what? So when I started to, like, meet you, and then you know, I went through the whole sales process, because I love to see like, what are people doing? And how are they doing it. And then I saw sales stack. And then I was like this, that my initial thought I was like, This is so and I never used this word cheap for what these people are getting. I'm like, all the, and again, I'm a marketer. So I know what goes into this, and everything you all are doing and the visibility that you are giving people. So it brought him like I finally get to talk to Julie. And he was like, I'm like, it's just incredible. It's an incredible resource for our industry. It's b2b. And he's like, I just don't really get it. I mean, I'm like, Are you kidding? He was he was just like, What do you mean?
And B, it's business to consumer and business to business? Yes. Yeah.
Well, I was speaking to him. He was like, what is it do for us? Like he was like, what does it do for planners? Like, well, let me just explain. The first thing that is really important. I say, Google your name, this is the best. I said, now, I'm in incognito. My computer does not know where I'm at. Right? Like, VPN, I'm psycho about that stuff. So you just need to know that he Google's just Brian Warli productions, and his website comes up first. There was something else and then party slate. Yeah. I mean, I did it to Bob Conte. So I'm like, that is SEO. And he's like, What is SEO? I'm like search engine optimization. I'm like, basically, it's like, if people come to your doorbell, and you're not there, you want to know who they are right? Like, or you want to know why they were there so that you can talk to them. That's what like this digital footprint thing is, yes. where Google is just, you know, they call them spiders. And, you know, again, like planners and designers, unless they're marketers, they don't know these things. They don't so, you know, so I showed him and he was like, Oh, my God. It's only that and he's like, what's this? And what's you know, so it really, I'm like, Brian, I don't think you realize, you know, when you meet people, and they're just fun, and they're just amazing people, but then from the business side, it's like, you don't really know how fucking impactful it's been. And what you've done is incredible.
So over 2 million people planning parties over the last year visit party slate. So 2 million people I remember when I was excited about 10,000 people. So that's a big milestone that we hit in January alone. We had 300,000 monthly active users and these are all people that are leaning in and planning a wedding, a corporate event at Bob mitzvah Gala. and 70% of our traffic is driven by search engine optimization or SEO. So it's writing about things that people that are planning parties are googling. And I always say, Listen, I love Instagram, we're obsessed with Instagram. But that's just one part of your digital footprint. And the reason why Google is the largest company in the world are one of the top three largest companies is that people start at Google, they don't start at Instagram, they're on Instagram, the trust me, they're spending a lot of time on Instagram. But when they're leaning in, and they're looking for a top rooftop venue, or top planner in New York, or whatever, that Google is where they start, and there's no question that anyone that would question that Google's not a part of your digital strategy, I don't think is connected to how people actually use the internet. So.
So the number one myth, we were talking about this, and I'm like, hold on, we got to record, because I agree with you what you're what we're about to talk about, this is a big deal, because I do operate like this, in terms of advertising dollars. But this is different. And this is a digital footprint. And when you create content, which if you're a if you're a planner, a florist, and even if you don't do video, even if you don't do reels, even you don't freakin have social media, you have pictures, we have had pictures. I don't know when picture wedding pictures that come out in the 1920s. I should probably Google that exactly. I'm not going to go to Instagram, to find out, you know, these facts, every one goes through and you have the numbers to back it up to that myth that
you hear the number one myth I hear over and over is I built my business on word of mouth and word of mouth alone. And I believe, trust me, I know this industry like I am in the middle of this industry. I believe word of mouth is number one, two, and three, there's no question. But as soon as you get a name like, Hey, Julie, who are your favorite planners in Los Angeles? Are your favorite planners? Who do you like? Soon as I share that list of those top three? What do they do? They go to the party Sleeppro because of course I'm sending that but they Google the name. And so Google and digital go hand in hand with word of mouth. So in addition to the people that don't know you on RT refer to that you want to be found? How do you show up when people search your own name. And I don't think very many people actually do that enough, or they're looking for news or press. We at party, slate, don't want to be above your website, Google would never put us above your website. But it takes seven to 10 touch points. Even if you're referred to someone before they reach out to they do their homework, I call it stalking. They do their stalking. And like, I'm not going to hire a wedding planner that I'm going to be with for 12 to 18 months. And so I'll even reach out to her until I get a feel for like, Could I see myself and what does her Instagram look? Look at her party site profile or website? Does she speak to me? Are he? What what does it feel like? What is that digital footprint? So I tell people, you gotta have a great website. It can be small and concise. It's got to be a great website that represents your brand. You got to show up in Google, you got to show up the right way. You got to think like it or not like it, you know, party's late other platforms. We do rank on that first page. So you need to look good there. And then of course, social media and your in person network. Of course, those are important. But just think about why is Google the biggest company in the world? It's because people start there when they do their research.
I love that. And it when you do create consistent content, like blog content before like Blogger, blog, it's dead. I'm like, Oh, no. Oh, no, it's not that dress me.
I challenge that myth right there. Yeah. Because because the only way you get on Google's first page are again, not to geek out here, but longtail keywords, what are those keywords, not just a word, but a set of five to seven words strung together in a keyword phrase that's going to get you on that first page. And so yes, some people will just google your brand, of course, you'll show up. But they're also going to Google, the top luxury planners in Cape Cod, who's showing up for those phrases and how do you get there? Logs are one of the best ways to capture those longtail phrases because you create the headline the h1 that content, the photos, try to get people to backlink to you let's say your two top venues in Cape Cod. And those five venues backlink backlink to you. How do you create compelling content because that's all Google cares about tricks are OVER keyword stuffing. Forget that. How do you create compelling content that people engage with such that Google's algorithm which is just the calculation of formulation decides you belong on that first page? I'm proud that party slate is first page results for 1000s of keywords like I go eat We're not even in Detroit I say Detroit BarMitzvah planners, party slate is there. So we are doing intensive investment three full time SEO people night and day with their hoodies not to stereotype, but they do their their hoodies, and they're, you know, optimizing our platform, and our editors are optimizing our articles to be found, so that we can put a spotlight on the best of the best in the industry.
And it is working, like I mean, I've seen it and, and again, many people aren't going to have like built with in some of these other tools where you can go in on the back end and like, see what things are. And it's like, I can go on the back end and tell when there's a tech company, if they have their shit together based on what they're using, or if they don't, yeah, that's just how it is in this industry. It's and we know
like we most of our industry is one to 10 person companies, even the four seasons, Chicago, there's 10 people in a room that's almost operating like a small business, they don't have a full time SEO staff helping them they might have a contractor come and go, whatever. But we're trying to make that easier to be found. Whether you're in an article and party site, or your party site profile is ranking, take all your professional content, and put it on your profile page. It's amazing compliment. We're not trying to replace your website, a compliment to your website into your Instagram. Again, we love Instagram, we just beg of you don't put all of your eggs, not all of them in the Instagram basket. Make sure you're thinking how do you show up at Google? How are you going to look on your website? And then of course, social media.
And it all matters like it. And I just you know, we've I've been in this industry for over 20 years. And so it's like one common theme that I see in small businesses, especially in the creative and the design space. It's like we're not thinking ahead of business. We're not working ahead. We're not doing projections we're not. We're just like, Yes, I'll do your wedding. Yes, I'll do your permits. And it's like, Do you have a minimum? Do you have these things? You can weed out so much bullshit? If you fill out these profiles, and you fill out Google? And then it's going to feed the information to people that could actually a fucking afford you? Exactly.
I mean, can you work constantly? Like why do we write articles on like the top galleries in the country? Why do we, that's the you know, the bigger budgets and the other is attracting the right people. The majority of the industry is employed by larger scale events. So I love the backyard barbecue. But that's not employing people in the industry. So we want to support this industry, this creative industry, we love local jobs, great people, by helping to identify people that have bigger budgets to spend more creative. And that's why we're not going after mass market at party slate, we want to go after the top 20% doesn't mean just million dollar events. But the top 20% Where there is a professional planner, where there is a professional photographer, a venue, those are in creative ideas. That's really the spotlight we want to put on the industry.
And I feel like there's so well I don't feel some of our clients, small businesses. I'll give a great example of a florist. They've got four people, even the baker that we had, we had a tasting yesterday. And I mean, I haven't been there since product COVID. And I mean, it's tiny, but there's literally four people in the bakery back there. And so it's like those people know, they need Facebook, they know they need Instagram. And by the way, if your Instagram is hacked, and you do have all your eggs in one basket,
it happened more than a lot more lately. It
sucks, it sucks. And so but the small businesses, they feel the pressure, they're being shocked daily getting spam of all these companies that are promising all these things. And then because it just sounds good. And then it's like, but But then I'm like, what's the strategy? You know that it's like a missing piece? And then I'm like, why would you go to someone outside of our industry, which my my true belief is they just don't know. They don't know about parties. It's like florist. I'm like, do you know about lovingly, I'm like, this would solve everything. Like it's not too good to be true. And I really do feel that way about party slate and about the digital marketing marketing from the b2b side. And so it so for anyone listening, who is like, Oh, my God, I'm spinning. I've spent $500 for 90 days and I see no return and know this and know that. Well, when you're just doing I do say do one thing and do it for 90 days and get the analytics and do it well. But going back to like the footprint and the components and like what are the priorities? So if you're frustrated, and you're nothing's working, listen up. If you're overwhelmed, and you haven't come in from every angle, and what should you do listen out because it's like the components of having a strategy and the priorities. You don't have to be everything to everybody.
You can't do it all you have to really focus and when people say, you know, what should I focus on? First? It's a really hard question to answer without a written what I call a written one page strategy. And I think what's not written down doesn't happen. So in your written strategy, and we have a great template for that, and that you probably could do it in your sleep, you really have to understand, you know, what your mission and vision all is not as corny business thing, like, what is your mission and vision, your core values? You know, what, what's important to you? And really, what do you want to be the best in the world? And like, what, what is that, like that thing, that secret sauce? And if I were to ask you, what's your elevator pitch, and you only have 30 seconds, you know, I could tell you about, you know, party sleep, that our mission is to really help people around the world, make the process of planning and incredible events easier by connecting them with a top event professionals, venues and vendors around the world. You know, if you can't say that in a really short sentence, on who you are, what you I don't care if you're a planner or a venue, you need to have that. And then it's like, who is your audience? Who are you trying to attract? What are the the essence of your brand? Again, it doesn't have to be like a McKinsey Consulting 100 page document, it can be a one page document. And once you have that, then you have to do an assessment of what do you have today? You know, your website, your social media, your third party platforms, you can't invest in 100/3 party platforms, what are your top two are one that you're going to be investing in? That's right. Are you going after luxury? Are you mass market? Are you wedding only, you have to go through that assessment. Once you have the assessment, then I could help you prioritize. And I'm sure you do the same thing. And I always say, as much as I'd love to say start a party slash Yes, party slate, I would love to say that. You've got to have a really clean, beautiful, simple website that has a strong handshake. So if I were to look at sometimes I look at photographer website, I'm like, Are you a dress designer? Are you? Like I am not? Literally there's just no words to tell me. So if you don't have that handshake, on your website, that in 30 seconds, I know who you are and what you can do, you have to start there that don't forget, like a full website redesign the handshake? Is it easy to contact you to see your portfolio, a lot of people are linking out to their party site portfolio under their portfolio section, because they can't manage all the photos. It's too mind blowing, it's too much work. So a simple website is first, and then assessment on your third party profile. You can we have a freemium model, start with a free profile. But I dare anyone to find a better profile page, I'm just going to be honest, as good party slate profile page for this industry. And so start with a free profile, get a great presence. Of course, we'd love you to do premium and our white glove service and everything else. But you know, make sure you have that. And then on social media, you might need an intern or a contractor or an advisor, because you can't do it. But just get an assessment of how much are you willing to spend? And what is your without that one page strategy, do not hire a social media person, never get help with the one page strategy, get that one page strategy written down? It can be two pages, I'm just using it as shorthand. And then then you can go through all the different touch points, but Google yourself as part of your assessment, have three people that don't know you that well look at your mobile website, you may think it's great. Ask them to contact you and how easy it was to find you on mobile and can't get who you are and contact you. People are like, oh, yeah, I've a mobile optimized site. Oh, great. Let's look at it together. Oh, you think it is?
Tell them what? So I want to make sure people understand what optimize means on the phone to. And if you're not looking at your Google Analytics to see where people are looking at something else with your simple website, like
5050, or a little 6040. So either way, if you're not again, you might use WordPress or SquareSpace and you're like, check the box. I did a mobile optimized site. But if you did not go through it and do like, it's called a use case, like how do I find out who your clients are? How do I find out what you do? And how do I contact you all the way through the test of sending the email, then you have not tested your mobile experience. So again, I've done websites for 25 years, which dates me a little bit before this, and I'm very passionate about it because some of these businesses are so amazing, and their digital presence sucks, I'm sorry. And it's not that they're not smart people it's they don't have the time they don't have the hell and so I just you know beg of you start with a one page strategy. And again, then think through your marketing strategy, prioritize. And again, get help to get get get Help, you don't have to spend $1,000 a month for party slate, you know, when we do our white glove service, we have an entry level package of 195 a month to take it off your plate. I know our product team to raise our prices. But again, we know that times 12, that might be money. But we also see people spending three, four or 5000 a month on social media. That's great. You should be doing that. But don't forget how you look in Google. Don't forget on the lean in when you're Googling something, how you turn up or When word of mouth You said that's first, second. And third. How do you look when they Google you? Again? That's digital, I'm sorry. Like, I'm, I'm calling that myth out that social media and Instagram is the only thing that matters. How do you look when people Google you period?
And you own your website? Yep, it's and party site ain't going anywhere? No, I mean, then I go anywhere. So it's like, again, when you rank the priorities, like I agree, 100% 100% Because
for the website, see a thin, beautiful website, when I say thin, five great pages that are really clean, elevated, you know, I always say just like, you know, Meet the Team Services, portfolio contact at RIT. You know, if blogs overwhelm you don't start with a blog, that's you can do it. Don't do that, like under construction logo, like I've seen that before, like, blogs coming like just you don't need blogs right away this and then you can link out to your party site profile that was custom built for the portfolio sharing until you can link out to your social media. But I'd much rather see that then. The clunky like, 1990 carousel and like, bloated website that just kind of makes you look, it's actually hurting your brand. I've actually told like a luxury DJ in New York, I won't say the name. i Your website is actually hurting you. Yeah, like he did listen to me. And now he's got a site. So I will be like, I like leaving the tough love. I really just thought we are this tough love. I'm sorry. Like, you got to take it down today. Like that's how I feel.
That's exactly what I do. And people are like, Oh my god, really? I was like, I'm like, Do you not realize it like your links are broken. They're not showing up in a new tab. I'm like, this says, is not what it should say. And like your pictures, you drag them on your desktop, and it's like, oh, 137912 and it should be your name and your cut. Like there's just all these little things that no one ever told them. Yeah, you should you should care about this. So I have I have two really big questions. I'm sure you get this all the time. What's the difference in party sleep from the night and like Wedding Wire and like that world of merging just I mean, I know but anybody listening watching you big
there's three big differences and I never like they are doing a lot of great things. They are all things wedding. So hairstyles dresses, wedding websites registry. So think about it, as you know, they there's no question they have the most traffic, right? mass market, you know, like they do a study on like budgets like $30,000 for wedding, blah, blah, that and that's amazing. It's based on data and they have really good stuff. We have decided at party slate that number one, we're going after the top part of the market, not just million dollar events, like we can't build a scale business on that. But professionally plan we will never write an article on how to save money on your band, how you can do a wedding without a planner, you know, blah, blah, blah, the average price of a photographer is $500 1000. You're going to see those type of articles from Party say, we are about professionally planned events with enough budget to really provide an exceptional experience and exceptional photos. So that's number one. Number two, this is an $800 billion industry that we're working on worldwide about 156 billion world. In North America, the US based wedding is less than half of that money half. So again, it's still it's still the it's still the biggest category, whatever. We love corporate events, we love Gallas and fundraisers, we love Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and 50th birthday parties. So we believe and then our research shows that that when engaged couples come in or other people, they like to look at the corporate events to they'd like to, you know, and then the venues that you know, our premium members, they want Tuesday night events. They don't want just Saturday night, they're booked for the next two, Saturday, two years of Saturday nights. They want the Thursday night they want the Tuesday night event. And then we've also talked to planners and decor companies that to be honest, like the less emotional client and I'm not saying that engaged couples or social are that's that's us. Yeah, it's like, like maybe you can do 70% weddings. But can you get a little break with a corporate client? That's just like, here's the budget. I'll see you at the party. Here's a check to check. Mindy Weiss, who's kind of been our advisor since the beginning said Yeah, I did my first corporate event and they told me the budget and then they said we'll see you at the party. I almost fell out of my chair. Yeah, man. During the creative freedom that you can have with here's the budget and to be honest, like blank slate Yeah, of course there's corporate clients that are high maintenance also. Yeah, it's much different than this is the most important day of my entire life. And I've been dreaming about it. My everything has to be perfect and reflect me and bobble. So we at party slate feel for two reasons. One, we want to help everyone get inspired and find great event professionals. And number two, we think this industry is much much more than just wedding professionals.
Amen. Yeah, that's, you've said it so perfectly.
Yeah. And then the last thing I'll add one little thing, if you compare profile pages, we don't want to be like a Yelp page, which is like a listing. Yeah. The not wedding. Why are many other marketplaces out there have a directory are closer to a listing with icons and little things. We want to be a rich portfolio sharing tool. much similar to how's he use easy my favorite home decor site will love it. I used house to redesign my kitchen party, so it wouldn't be here without house because I had 20 years of digital experience. I redesigned my kitchen. I'm like, this is chi square. Now. This is effing awesome. I mean, yeah.
Yeah, I mean, just be you. Uh, yeah, absolutely.
Combination of content, and inspiration and community and these profile page. Again, because I was digital aid, digital agency and tech person for 20 years. Like, I wasn't just looking for kitchen ideas. I almost fell out of my chair when I used house for the first time. And it's evolved into like, retail and like buying things too. But the core of it is Get inspired on house and find the best interior designers, the best kitchen designers while you're getting inspired. And that's what party slates strategy was based on.
I love that that's, and I agree, like, um, we're in the middle of like building a GSD house. And it's like, I mean, I don't even use Pinterest myself. We use it for our clients. But I did use it, you know, to like, get a Pinterest has a role
too. It's more free flowing of thought. And there's a lot of spam, Enos and ads and things like that. But Pinterest is one of the biggest sources of traffic for parties late. So like it's part of our ecosystem. We push all our content to Pinterest, and it comes back to us.
It's just again, it's amazing. We talked about briefly, you guys really focusing on the pictures and the content and helping every you know everyone in our industry organize the content. So when you said that to me, and I pulled up my SmugMug. And I'm like, okay, nobody else does this. Because I know because we teach it on how to have a strategy to organize your images, how to get them how to keep it up in a group, we have a template, a Google Doc, check it off, make sure you know we make a column it's like, did you get the pictures? Did you get the video? Is it posted here? Did you do a blog on it? Like we have a I mean, it's a massive checklist of every single event and then we go we make a folder. It's all organized by country. I mean, it's psycho. And but I can find an image on my phone and probably 10 seconds from anything. I know the country, the person, the name, we name all of our events. So you got you. You said that to me. And I was like oh my god, there's no one else that like really? And I do not use SmugMug the way like it's it's it is your you're the
exception to the exactly. I made it. That's what I get really excited about what kind of building are we talking about? Yeah, go okay. Because that's you. Yeah, we're excited about and we're going to do research. And I do not let me forget, I want you to meet with our product team. Yes, yes, I know. There are so many reasons. So I, I believe even as the profile stands today, if you have your best photos on your party site profile. And let's say you're doing a venue tour, or you have someone in your office, you're brainstorming, imagine how easy it is on party slate to find your images in a visual way. If you're I mean, not most people are like you where you have like perfectly organized no one, I just typed every caterer and they're like, we don't even save the drag and drop boxes like we don't even Yeah, and they call it like they call it photographer stalking like this wedding happened in July. And I didn't get the photos because of caterer no one thinks that the caterer What if you had all these photos on your party save profile and your your there at your fingertips, and even more exciting, you know, make it easy to post on social media and make it easy to download for that proposal. So again, we're thinking through like, how do we solve these pain points, and I talked about this all the time. So this isn't a secret. We've already solved a lot of pain points on good profile. How do we take that to the next level when the majority of the industry is not super organized and does not know how to use Dropbox and SmugMug forget about it. Like, and I'm not talking about photographers, they have their system. But the rest of the industry that gets the content from photographers doesn't get it. And I professional photos and videos, marketing gold. So 100% If you're not using your marketing gold someone else is. So what you know you're going to be and that's where actually hurts me so much. Literally, it hurts me, I meet these a lot of there's a lot of women and these women founders, a lot of these business owners, and if they don't get better at digital marketing, they will be left behind,
they will think 100% Yeah, it's so it's just, it's an I think the reason I'm so passionate about it, like I'm so visual, like I'm not a good reader, I don't it's like I need to see it or give me some adjectives and give me some things you like, or let me see your house or whatever. And then I can walk into the ugliest piece of shit venue. And I can close my eyes and like, you know, just not everybody can do that. You know, I mean, that's what designers are for. But our brains are very different like from, like the logistics, and there's not many people I've met that have both. But I know that I need to be this way, and have the organization in order to free me up to do these other things. Otherwise, a process can't be followed, and you can't scale it. Yeah. And you were forever married to that that thing, which some people may be okay with that. But the fact that it's just like when someone says, Can you do a $5,000 Mini wedding cake for a photo shoot? And you know, the Baker's like, Well, yeah, and usually these things all people aren't paying for it. And so now the question becomes, who's your audience? How many people? Is it going to? What is your reach? I don't care about your numbers on how many followers you have on Instagram. What's your engagement rate? What's the conversion rate? What's the click through rate? Like? These are the questions that you need to be asking. And if you're not doing anything with it with the photos, it's just like, I hear with the not all the time, people were like, Well, I had a listing, but I don't get anything from it. Yeah. And I go to their profile, and then the handoff the handshake, you go to the website, and I'm like, your website sucks. You have to click seven times to get to you. If I have to click more than twice, I don't do it. Yeah, we don't do it. Yeah, that the user experience matters,
it does matter. And I again, like when I looked at some of these clunky websites, and I'm just like, Oh, God, it hurts me to see it. Because like, you know, I see some of these pros like in action. Like, let's say we're partnering with them for an event. And they're like killing it. You know, they're just so unique, or you know, mixologist, or these luxury DJs, that floral. And then I look online, I'm like, there's a disconnect. And I think some people think it has to be expensive, like, oh, I have to have a huge budget. You don't have to have a huge budget, you have to have your strategy, and you do an assessment. And then you prioritize what budget you do have towards the things that are going to really help you build your brand. And so that's why I get excited about what we're doing at party slate, because yes, I love you know, the creativity, I love my team. But I do we want to help these small businesses be better digital marketers, it could be like you said b2b and b2c. And we want to like through our crediting system, when you get credited on party site, those photos show up on their profile page, it's got kind of a LinkedIn component to it. So you're helping each other market to this, you know, this higher end audience. So we know we're not perfect, we have a lot more to do. But we have made it our mission that this industry, we're going to make it easier, we're going to make it more fun to be a great digital marketers. And of course, our parties are amazing what you have to come to, and the parties that we host are fully sponsored. But we have full digital marketing pre during and post plan with those events. So we get about a million social media impressions for all of our sponsors from these events, and you get buyers in the room. So like you've got the best mixologist in New York, and I have 50 Rockstar, New York planners that are being blown away at our events. So our events are kind of the icing on the cake. We're ultimately a technology company, but it's one of the single best ways we can build our community connect and then also leverage social media like crazy to amplify how great these events are. And there's a lot of FOMO in this industry, you know, that fear of missing out? Listen, we leverage FOMO we Hey, do you want to be in the room with all these top planners join our family and we think the value is there.
Oh my god, it's so there. I mean, it's just you had like if you don't know a party site is you have to go to the website like that's the first thing I'm i It's like I can't type fast enough like notes to like mask you. Because I'm just like, there's so many things. So the one of the most impressive things I just want to say and there were people like looking over my shoulder. I'm like, look at how this looks. And then over here it has has all the vendors listed credits? Yeah, the credit. So again, if you think of even if all your pictures aren't organized, but every event or every wedding or you know, whatever, it's just so much easier to have everything in one place. And if you have an account rep or somebody helped, you know, help you do white glove
service, like Mindy told me early on, she's like jewels, the best thing is your white glove service, I kind of got to, like, Wait, really building this great technology, and it should be so easy. But what I learned from that is, no one has the time to do it. And she was right, you know, so like, I was like, tech is so easy. And my mom could do it. But the thing is, you guys are running like Broadway shows every night of the week, and you don't have the time to organize your photos and to do so our white glove service. Again, very cost effective. We're just an extension of your team, send us the dropbox send us the Google Drive. We'll put it up there for you. We'll credit it we'll put an SEO description on it. I'd like she was right. I like literally I'm like, What is she? I just don't want to do it. Julie don't want to do it. So let us do it for you.
Yeah, I built when apps first came out, I got my first iPad. And I'm like, I want to build an app. And I gave a guy like 10 grand and he built it and then no one used it. And it was like a very expensive mistake. I mean, at the time, where I'm like, oh, people are paying me to do it. Like they don't want to do any of this shit that you know, but it like takes those aha moments, two things that you said about the parties and the events and and there's the power of something that I really want you to know. And so the most important thing really is the follow up of what you do with the shit you get at the party and the actions you make. And to our point where we just said, We don't have time. And some people, they don't have a right hand, they don't have an assistant, they don't have an app or you snap a card and it goes automatically into CRM. Like they don't have that. Right. So when people go to parties, and they're like I invest all this data, the data? Well, the reason you have no return is because you have no follow up plan but with
a key and Yeah, one thing I always tell people is, you're not going to follow up with 10 or 20. People you're just not take your top three. Yes. And do not and don't just send one email. That's bullshit in my mind. Yeah, you do multiple touchpoints. You follow them on Instagram, you comment on their Instagram, because that's like a love letter comments. You know, when people share my stuff, I'm like, that's the best feeling in the world. Comment you post you DM you tech, obviously not in the same day, you're not a stalker, but pick your top three, and do not let go of those top three, do not.
And then from from the sponsors, right that are actually sponsoring at the event. So two things, it's like that, you're not going to go in and say you have to do that, like you're showcasing your stuff. And so be strategic with it. So if you're a mixologist or whatever, you have your logo or you have something in the background, or it has the glasses have on it. So as all the planners and designers are doing video and photo, like your logo is everywhere. And then you can say like, please tag us, you have to tell people what to do. And that's the biggest mistake I see. Even at the shows I walk around. And I'm making like behind the scenes videos, like for my marketing people. I'm like, this is horrible. This is horrible. This is amazing. In fact, I'm about to do a podcast on all the mail, the junk mail that I get of what's good, which is about 5% and what's bad, and like what and it takes a lot to get my attention. But but but it's like the ROI on going to your parties. Again, the follow up is a
follow up is key. And I I actually saw a photographer present at a Whipple event about he was so exceptional. Brian Lee Hey, you know, Brian, yeah, he talks about, you know, take an Uber to event you know, don't drive. So in the Uber home, you're doing the fall I like I might get I thought I was like, not even that organized. But you know, you have to do the follow up and your stack of cards. It's in your office, that's like in a fishbowl summer, you're never going back to those. I'm sorry. So you have to do it right in the moment. And don't try to do everyone like it's not a quantity game. It's a quality game. And so do your research ahead of a head who you want to meet there during. I'm really great at you know, Oh, I gotta run to the bathroom. I'm sorry. I have to prioritize. Like, you know, like, I there's one really great sales leader that talks about the networking game like, you know, if you meet someone that's like, you know, jars, pickles, you know, you maybe you can connect them with someone that loves to eat pickles, but get the kick out of that crash, Exit, Exit and like it doesn't have to be business like yes, we like to party. This is business. Yep, I'm people where there's a mute. control value exchange and limit your time. You know, not nothing against cigar rollers, but we don't have a category for luxury cigar rollers. So I'm sorry, if you're a cigar roller and you're at this event, I'm not going to be spending a lot of time with you. Yeah. And I just like, is there I just don't think that's bad. No,
it's It's the freaking truth. And anybody who thinks like, oh my god, they're so snotty bad people you don't know what you don't know, yet.
I have 60 employees that I pay that have families. And my job to my 70 investors and my 60 employees is to fulfill the mission of my company that we set out to build. And so if someone's gonna judge me that I'm not talking to the scar roll or who might be a very nice person, they can judge me because I care about my employees, my investors in my family, and my friends. And that's where my priority is not equal time to every vendor in that room.
You can't be everything to everybody. You can't just
use for your categories. If you want to meet planners, you know, again, I planners have so much power in this industry and venues to so much power. The great thing about party planners, planners Love Party, Slade, they're at our events, if you want to meet planners that makes it happen, you know, get into the parties like community, because that's what we're doing. Also on our platform. We write about planners, we love planners, like other categories, too. But if that's your priority, figure out where are the top planners going? Where do they spend time? What conferences do they go to? How can I add value? How can I follow these planners? How can I comment on these planners? You know, what can I do to build those relationships? So you just got it in your one page strategy, focus, do not try to be all things to all people focus, no reading this great book, which I told you, it's not for everyone. So you guys don't have to read a bit radical focus,
we're gonna put that in the show notes focused on like,
and I'm not saying it's always easy for me, trust me, I want to do parties like Paris. Tomorrow is two years out. Yes, I said it out loud. Two years out, I want to do tomorrow, I want to be all over the world, I don't do everything. We are focused on North America and destinations close to North America for the next two years. So I luckily have a co founder, John Harrow, who's very structured, very disciplined, and type a whatever. And we keep each other in check. When I want to do everything, we go back to our written goals, what do we have written? What are key objective, key results that we're looking to do? And we try to say no to everything else.
And that's the key, you have to learn how to say, No, you have to
learn to know, I one, my executive coaches used to say, I'm gonna decline that I'm gonna have to decline this time. So like, learn how to say it in a nice way. And the reason I have to decline is I, you know, X amount of time, and this is my, my priority is x. And thank you so much for asking, Let's reconnect next year,
which goes back to capacity, which goes back to time blocking, which is exactly what we teach. Exactly how to get control your
time. Yeah, time is time is money. And I know everyone says that, but it truly is. So you know, surround yourself people with people that you know, believe in that. And again, if not written, I don't think it happens. So it can be it doesn't have to be long, one or two pages, what are the three things you want to achieve SMART goals that are measurable in the next 12 months, break it into quarters, because you can't do everything in one day, and hold yourself and your company and your board your personal board of directors, which could just be your friends on what you're going to do to kick ass in your business this year. I love
that. The last like big point that I want you to know. And if you're listening or watching is that so I'm I work with other you know, we have a lot of clients, and some of them are tech clients. And so someone had asked me if I knew this planner in the industry, and the first thing they did was they went to Google and they Googled the person's name. And then they went to see who this person was connected to on Instagram. And then they wanted to see who were they connected to on Facebook. And so anyway, by the time it got to me, they had all this data, they're like it would this person be a good person, like for what we're looking for right now. We're only picking 50. And, and I'm like, Well, I've never heard of her. And they're like, well, she's done this and this and this and this and I'm like okay, well, I go I Googled her name, part hurt she comes up party site comes up her Instagram comes up, and I go to Instagram and the only connection was like a like you meet and party slate. But I instantly and I'm just sharing my own personal experience that gave her credibility with me. Instantly, right? Instantly. So I clicked her profile was beautiful. Yeah, her. And again, I'm not. I'm in the industry, but I'm so I've been so removed for so many years because I've been so focused on creating content and creating GSD and creating productivity. And how can I help people in our industry understand that if you get control of your time, and you actually put a process in place, and you hire the right people, you can do your passion and have money and have fun and live your full life. But guess where you go? Like it does exist, but if you slow down and be still and get the right people and the right things, it's not going to work. So instantly, I went back to that company. And I was like, I know I said, I didn't know who she was. I'm like, But and spending probably three minutes, you know, just Google. That's how long people
have like to make an impression, literally 30 seconds to three minutes of research. So you that first page is pretty important. What's on that first page.
And it's just it's so important that you can fake
it on Instagram and think about party slays. You can't fake your photo portfolio. So an Instagram some people post other people's photos. Some people buy followers, there's a lot you can do on Instagram Party say, you can see the list of venues that that planners worked with, which says a lot about the type of event not to be snobby. But I'm just saying like, what venues do they work with? What decor companies do they work with? How many albums do they have? What are these photos look like? Videos to? We're big supporters on sharing videos as well. But like, you can't lie, the photos don't lie. You can lie other places. But you can't fake it on party slate.
I love that there's a conference that it's an international conference that we put in to speak to, and they make you put in like when in fact, I'm like they need to be a client. Because it's like you have to put in like, Where were your events? Where were they? Who was the contact? What was the phone number? What was the bug? Like you can't even come into these conferences and much less speak. Just because you have a media kit, it don't matter. Yeah, like you have to prove it
is actually like what we say we call them real events for a reason. They're real events that happened. And there's nothing like the photos don't lie. And we don't share budgets, obviously in parties for obvious reasons. Like no one wants to do that. But you can tell, you know, you know, what it costs and again, we also believe there's beautiful smaller events and the budget, but it's just about the elegance and the professional nature of these experiences. And and we believe these, you know, these events are creating memories, whether it's corporate or, you know, milestones or, or weddings, and we just want them to be you know, seamless and beautiful. And without a professional team. You know, I don't know if you're going to enjoy the party without a Prakash.
Most people don't if people want to get in touch with you and party slay you, if you're listening or watching just just set up a discovery call, like the person, you know, one of your girls that I talked with, I mean, it literally was I think 20 minutes, and I would just listen. And I was like, Okay, tell me more. You know, like, this is really amazing for people who want that audience. And if you think word of mouth, like you gotta be thinking ahead. If you're not thinking ahead. Yeah. And if you have kids, and you have a legacy that you could potentially leave, you're screwing your kids, people like come on. Like that's the way you think about it. Yeah. But
for us, you know how you can definitely take a look at party And our Instagram is just at party slate SLA te someone said is it party slave? I'm like, No, it's not party slave. It's pretty slave. lagers actually come in with a blank slate and really slate in your ideas. professional team Yeah, that's how I thought of the idea and it was That's
good. Oh, no, guys come in with a. So if you think that your digital footprint is an effing mess Yeah, just clean it all out.
With a fresh slate start a new start. Yeah,
and if you don't want to be doing barn weddings and you want to get into luxury weddings, quit posting barn wedding. Yes, exactly. Start with a blank slate. Okay, that's fabulous.
So we would love to help anyone listening to become a better digital marketer, not just their party slate we believe we're consultants, to you know, on these quarterly calls that we do we go through analytics, we'll look at your website, we'll look at your Instagram we're happy. We love doing that. We feel like it's good for the industry. But it's also good for party slate it builds our brand that we're helping and we do want to you know really add value as soon as we can so you can go to a party That's our page to contact us but also you can DM us on on Instagram and I have my own little fun growing Julie parties late to get my reels better. And I know I need to do more. But you know, I don't dare touch the party site Instagram because I have professional, amazing younger people working on on that
is so I'm the same way like I mean we have a team that runs all the company stuff, but it's like I actually enjoy it well I like the video stuff part I mean you know because I like to dance. Yeah it's so much fun Okay, so we're gonna put your we're gonna put your I was gonna ask you should I put like the Julie stuff in there too but like yeah they go by Have you
Julie party slate is my b2b channel so it's dance got it air all that and then party slate is our consumer, you know at parties.
Okay, got it. I was wondering, but that's a great way to like separate the two Yeah,
we start like party slate Pro. It's just you know, too much Julie party slate is every event you can imagine who's who you know, something with Bob Conte, I'm going to post that I'm with you on that. So it's really about the people in the industry. And to be honest, a little FOMO to get that going. And then party slate is just about putting a spotlight on our premium members that post gorgeous photos on a party slate. And
yeah, it's awesome. I'm like, I want to come to a party. Okay, gotta go to a party.
I have, we actually just launched our community page and our MVP, so I'm gonna send that and have what the URL of that, but that shows all our upcoming events. That's amazing. You're
asking yes. And I'll be there like, I want to know ahead of time.
Nashville. We're having a big party in Nashville. Well, that's
where I live. Like, that's where I am today. But when it's Nashville, I hope I'm freaking down.
Yeah. So this is a media sponsorship. So some of our premium planners and our premium bands is having it and we're the media sponsor, but so are you at right after this
to me, I'm coming. I'm like I have to be in town it especially if you're going to be here.
I'm going to this one. Yeah.
Oh my gosh. Okay, amazing. If you're listening or watching, thank you so much for tuning in. And be sure to tune in next week to another episode of business unveiled bio. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show, and leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights and I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD


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