By Paul Pannone
An increase in the number of complaints involving negative experiences with so-called wedding experts offering advice and charging handsomely arrive, as the economy continues to lumber along. Members of the Wedding Water Cooler say they’re beseeched with email proposals from wedding marketing experts claiming to have the keys to success. Most told eWedNewz the advertisements target newcomers to the wedding business that are just starting out and have no clue of how to proceed.
WWC members agree most advice offered at seminars is basic, common-sense information. Most feel no marketing expert can possibly know a local business as well as an owner that spends their entire day servicing the market. Broad statements designed to touch upon generalities associated with a topic of discussion creates opportunity and a chance to earn a living for the expert that relies on a steady stream of “newbies” entering the market. But what happens when the information given is less than accurate?
Brian Lawrence is a long-time wedding industry spokesperson that bills himself as the “Wedding Wise Guy“.
eWedNewz is watching instances where vendors expanded into markets based on information and data they took as Gospel truth– data driven, rather than a guide towards a decision. Market studies given by data sources are deemed fraudulent by vendors that were forced to shut down stores after the business they felt was represented in market reports failed to materialize. But in most cases, general statements in blog postings are dismissed as useless by experts and in rare cases harmful.
One “Wedding Wise Guy” post was spotted by a WWC member and posted in the WWC forum included advice given by Brian Lawrence. “A great source is a trade publication Vows Magazine at www.vowsmag.com. Also to get some marketing ideas you can download my book from blog on http://www.localtrafficbuilder.com. One of the things you may want to focus on upfront is being full service with invitations, accessories and tuxedos (which you can work with a wholesaler and not have to alter or have inventory).
Our expertise and design talent of our company can be a great catalyst by having a website that will help you like you’ve been in business for years and strong visibility on Google. Fortunately Google does not rank businesses by their longevity. We can put you on the map fast,” promises Lawrence.
Lawrence’s statements were dissected by several of the expert panel including David Fuhrer. Fuhrer is known in the wedding industry for blowing the whistle on wedding websites that he claims are unsustainable as a standalone business. Fuhrer took exception with Lawrence’s statement involving Google.
“The suggestion that Google’s ranking criteria doesn’t include “longevity” is entirely false. A significant portion of Google’s organic ranking algorithm is predicated upon longevity. I believe what he is suggesting is that an intensive SEO campaign would get a vendor into first-position. It would also cost thousands upon thousands of dollars and take months, if not years to achieve leadership with specific, coveted keyword combinations. Even then you would need the expert of all experts to achieve this.
Perhaps what Lawrence is suggesting is that via SEM (Search Engine Marketing) number one placement could be achieved; and he is correct. It would, however, cost tons of money and it would also result in an artificial ranking “sponsored link”. The last independent study I saw indicated that over seventy-five percent of Google users ignore sponsored links and go direct to the “organic”, “according to Fuhrer.
Other members of the WWC group that build websites also took exception with some of Lawrence’s advice regarding back links and domain procurement, saying the methods are outdated. Some mentioned revisions made to Google systems antiquated the need for certain types of SEO, as the search engine giant ranks information relevancy based on search criteria.
Jacqueline Johnson told eWNz,” The cost of entry and to announce that one is an expert in anything these days is next to nothing. But on further examination, people that have little or no time experience in the business are quickly exposed for what they really are. It’s then that the true expert– with decades of knowledge under their belt– rise to the top. I too am very wary of the number of self-proclaimed wedding gurus coming into the business and spouting harmful information to unsuspecting newcomers.”
eWedNewz continues to watch so-called wedding experts that provide less than accurate information or claim to have the key to success.
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