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Automation, tech and entrepreneurship with Cherie Yang
Episode 11613th June 2024 • Wedding Pros who are ready to grow - with Becca Pountney • Becca Pountney
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In today's episode I am chatting with founder of Visualist Cherie Yang. We talk through how she founded Visualist, where she sees technology fitting in with our wedding planning couples and how automation can improve your customer service.

If you want to be forward thinking in your wedding business and keeping on top of trends in technology, this episode is well worth a listen.

Find Visualist on Instagram

Want to try Visualist for yourself? Use the code BECCA to get a one month free trial and $300 worth of credit to test out the features.

Time Stamps:

Understanding the Entrepreneurial Journey (00:00:00) Cherie discusses the importance of early-stage entrepreneurs being involved in their vision and its realization.

Introduction and Background (00:01:07) Becca introduces Cherie and they discuss their first meeting in Las Vegas and their growing relationship.

Cherie's Career Evolution (00:02:16) Cherie traces her career journey from being a corporate lawyer to a brand strategist and how it led her to found Visualist.

Challenges in Existing Systems (00:06:39) Cherie and Becca discuss the limitations of existing platforms for wedding professionals and the need for a more comprehensive solution.

Practical Implementation of the Idea (00:07:57) Cherie explains the practical steps she took to bring her idea to life, emphasizing the importance of understanding the customer's pain points.

Importance of Understanding Systems (00:12:13) Cherie discusses the importance of having a basic understanding of systems to make informed decisions and adapt to changes.

Visualist's Value Proposition (00:15:34) Cherie details how Visualist assists wedding professionals in managing client, design, and admin workflows, emphasizing the platform's collaborative and organizational features.

Integrating Technology for Today's Couples (00:21:42) Cherie explains the importance of integrating technology for today's couples, emphasizing convenience, accessibility, and productivity.

Technology for Creative Professionals (00:24:04) Discussion about the need for technology that caters to the creative mind and workflow, saving time and enhancing client satisfaction.

Standing Out at Wedding MBA (00:26:15) Strategies used to stand out at a crowded exhibition, including a manicure station, unique merchandise, and attending a pre-event mixer.

Networking and Learning at Wedding MBA (00:34:12) The value of attending Wedding MBA for learning, networking, and exposure to international perspectives in the wedding industry.

Building a Supportive Community (00:36:14) The importance of creating a community of fellow entrepreneurs for support, advice, and mental well-being.

Special Offer for Listeners (00:39:22) Details of a special offer for listeners to sign up for Visualist with a free trial and credits, and the approachability of the Visualist team.

Mentioned in this episode:

Summer Support!

Looking for support with your wedding business or venue this season? I have put together some options for you. Wedding Pro Agency: Hand over some of your admin tasks to my team to give you some time back this summer. From social media posting to website updates, email sequences and crm set up, there are lots of ways we can help you. One to One support: I have two spaces to offer one to one support from June - August to help keep you in track. If you are interested, drop me an email: becca@beccapountney.com

Wedding Pro Agency

Transcripts

Cherie:

I think as an entrepreneur particularly as an early stage

Cherie:

entrepreneur, you do need to be involved in, in these things.

Cherie:

You know, there's only so much that you can outsource at the early stages

Cherie:

because ultimately it's your vision and you need to see it come to life.

Cherie:

And no one is a better guardian of the vision than, than yourself.

Becca:

I'm Becca Pountney, wedding business, marketing

Becca:

expert, speaker, and blogger.

Becca:

And you're listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast.

Becca:

I'm here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life

Becca:

examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level.

Becca:

If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion

Becca:

and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you

Becca:

love, then you're in the right place.

Becca:

Let's get going with today's episode.

Becca:

Today, I'm chatting with Cherie Young, CEO and founder of Visualist,

Becca:

an online software designed to connect client design and admin work.

Becca:

I first met Sherry and her team at a drinks party in Vegas, when they

Becca:

were introduced to me as the only other people from London in the room.

Becca:

Since then, it's been great to get to know them and the platform

Becca:

as well, much, much better.

Becca:

And we even had the opportunity to co host a networking brunch earlier in the year.

Becca:

Now it's time for you all to get to know her too.

Becca:

Cherie, welcome to the podcast.

Cherie:

Thank you so much, Becca.

Cherie:

It's so lovely to be here and thank you for the introduction.

Cherie:

I remember fondly that first meeting in Las Vegas at the Museum of Southeast,

Cherie:

so that was a really nice memory.

Becca:

Yeah, it was a great night, and we'd been in Vegas a few days,

Becca:

and we'd been at Wedding MBA a few days, and we hadn't met anyone

Becca:

else who'd come over from England.

Becca:

So when they said, there's some other people from England in the room, we were

Becca:

very excited and it was great to connect.

Cherie:

Indeed, indeed.

Cherie:

Thank you for having me on this podcast.

Cherie:

And I'm really excited to share more about myself, about Visualized and maybe talk

Cherie:

a little bit about Vegas 2024 as well.

Becca:

Yeah, absolutely.

Becca:

Okay.

Becca:

So let's go right back then, because I like to find out people's foundation

Becca:

stories and how they got to where they are now, because we all know

Becca:

that things don't happen overnight.

Becca:

So take me back, take me through your career.

Becca:

What was the foundation that has kind of led you to this point now?

Cherie:

Wow.

Cherie:

So take you back.

Cherie:

Okay, let's see.

Cherie:

So let me start with the now and then I'll retrace my steps so you can kind of

Cherie:

see how I've come to where I am today.

Cherie:

So I am currently the founder and CEO of Visualist, which is an all in

Cherie:

one connected platforms for creative pros to work and then scale better.

Cherie:

We want to help connect your client design and admin workflows and I came to this.

Cherie:

Really out of my personal pain points.

Cherie:

So I was planning my own wedding.

Cherie:

I was also redesigning my own home.

Cherie:

And in that process, I encountered many challenges when it came

Cherie:

to optimizing my workflow.

Cherie:

And I thought that, okay, I was an amateur and maybe professionals were

Cherie:

doing it differently and they had.

Cherie:

Some secret systems that they were using or tools that they were using that really

Cherie:

made their work a lot more efficient, but I dug deeper and I realized there wasn't

Cherie:

one thing that really could be that all in one platform to not just help me do

Cherie:

things well, but do things in a connected way in the way that my brain would work

Cherie:

combining that left and right brains.

Cherie:

So I ended up.

Cherie:

Going down that rabbit hole and thinking about creating systems that

Cherie:

could work, creating tools that were really connected to the creative

Cherie:

professional's mind and strength.

Cherie:

And that's how I ended up founding Visualist now about four years ago.

Cherie:

And I think when I mentioned left brain and right brain, that really

Cherie:

Connects to what you would say.

Cherie:

I foundational career because I actually started my career as

Cherie:

a very left brain professional.

Cherie:

I was a corporate lawyer.

Cherie:

I worked in New York and London doing things that are completely

Cherie:

different to what I'm doing now.

Cherie:

So being a lawyer by training, I was all about organization.

Cherie:

I was all about administrative work and efficiency.

Cherie:

And I think Whilst I was doing that, I was also itching for a

Cherie:

little bit of creativity in my life.

Cherie:

So I was just doing design classes for fun when I was a

Cherie:

lawyer, this was a long time ago.

Cherie:

So I've always had that left brain side to me and that right

Cherie:

brain side of creativity, design.

Cherie:

So when I left law, I actually, Took a very short break and then went

Cherie:

into something completely different.

Cherie:

I started doing product and brand strategy primarily for fashion and consumer luxury

Cherie:

brands like Hermes and Chanel, LVMH.

Cherie:

And in that role, I was really thinking about brand strategy, brand

Cherie:

positioning, and did a lot of work on user research, consumer research,

Cherie:

understanding what makes people tick.

Cherie:

So all of these things.

Cherie:

My law career and that strategy create a strategy career combined to lead

Cherie:

me to entrepreneurship and business.

Cherie:

Because today what I'm doing is very much a blend of both worlds.

Cherie:

And I like to think that the people that we're serving

Cherie:

wedding pros, interior designers, customers, sellers, they are also.

Cherie:

Trying to find a system that can balance both that very right brain, creative

Cherie:

side of things, and also that left brain business management admin side of things.

Cherie:

And that's why for visualized, it's so important that we are catering

Cherie:

to the holistic workflow and not just one aspect, which might be.

Cherie:

Designs and color palettes and mood boards or another aspect, which might

Cherie:

be all about invoicing and proposals.

Cherie:

We truly believe that to be efficient in your processes, you have to have that

Cherie:

seamless connection between all sides of your brain and all sides of your business.

Becca:

I think it's really fascinating to talk about the whole right side

Becca:

of the brain, left side of the brain, because I think actually that a lot

Becca:

of wedding professionals would fall into that category because they've

Becca:

got the entrepreneurship side of them, but they're also very creative people.

Becca:

And I'm sure you found when you were doing your research as I

Becca:

found that a lot of these systems are designed for one or the other.

Becca:

So there's a lot of really ugly platforms out there that will help

Becca:

you with your invoicing and your workflow, but they're not pretty.

Becca:

And then there's All these pretty platforms out there that aren't

Becca:

actually particularly efficient.

Becca:

So was that what you found in your research?

Cherie:

Absolutely.

Cherie:

I think we found that things were either one end of the spectrum or the other.

Cherie:

There wasn't anything that connected all sides of the spectrum.

Cherie:

And we found that To your point earlier about saying wedding pros are really

Cherie:

that epitome of Lapin and right brain.

Cherie:

I fully agree with that.

Cherie:

Internally, we like to say that wedding pros are like the CXO, the

Cherie:

chief operations officer, the chief experience officer, the chief design

Cherie:

officer, the chief executive officer, and the chief financial officer.

Cherie:

So you know it, you're really as a wedding pro.

Cherie:

Covering so many aspects of the project, and you're also a chief people

Cherie:

officer, which is that very important bit that I think so many platforms

Cherie:

miss that client communication bit.

Cherie:

How do you elevate the level of service you are providing to your clients?

Cherie:

Because at the end of the day, it's a service based business,

Cherie:

and it's it's about people.

Becca:

Yeah, absolutely.

Becca:

Now, I always find it really interesting when I talk to tech founders, because

Becca:

you always say I had this idea one day.

Becca:

Yeah, absolutely.

Becca:

And now I've got this platform, but we all know that it's

Becca:

not quite as simple as that.

Becca:

And to me, starting a tech business is just a whole nother level of business.

Becca:

So how did you go practically from, I've got this idea to

Becca:

actually seeing it come to life?

Cherie:

Wow.

Cherie:

Yes.

Cherie:

So.

Cherie:

Firstly, I am not a developer, so, you know, the odds are stacked against me,

Cherie:

but I think if I were to think back on how that idea came to life, it really

Cherie:

stemmed from understanding the customer.

Cherie:

So the first thing I did when I had this idea was I put out a survey

Cherie:

and tried to get as many creative professions as possible to understand.

Cherie:

to respond to the survey so that I could better understand where

Cherie:

the pain points truly were.

Cherie:

I talked to as many people as I could, literally just cold messaging people on

Cherie:

LinkedIn, messaging people that I knew and asking, do you know anyone who is

Cherie:

Wedding pro who is an interior designer.

Cherie:

I would like to speak to them about this idea that I have.

Cherie:

And then from there, it's really about building what we call the

Cherie:

MVP, the minimum viable product.

Cherie:

Although I think in our case, what we were really aiming for

Cherie:

was Slightly more than an MVP.

Cherie:

It's a minimum lovable product.

Cherie:

And I think that is critical because we are operating in a space full of a stats.

Cherie:

These are not people who just want something that works at a minimally viable

Cherie:

level, but something that also looks good, given that we want to position this

Cherie:

list as a platform that allows you to.

Cherie:

Enhance your brand and Hans, your client satisfaction.

Cherie:

So it needs to look good.

Cherie:

It needs to feel good and it needs to be, it needs to really elevate

Cherie:

that client experience and that, that business experience as you are using a

Cherie:

platform, whether you're a wedding pro or whether you're wedding pros clients.

Cherie:

So it was a lot of learning.

Cherie:

It was a lot of learning, new tools, learning, new methodologies,

Cherie:

learning about development, getting into the weeds of.

Cherie:

How does something work?

Cherie:

How, you know, I had to learn about things like react and Python.

Cherie:

I'm not a coder.

Cherie:

I'm still not a coder today, but as a founder, you have to really

Cherie:

immerse yourself in all aspects of the business so that you can.

Cherie:

Make good decisions and you understand why you are having to make these

Cherie:

decisions about choosing a particular library or a particular method of

Cherie:

building the software, for instance, so I guess coming back to your point.

Cherie:

It was research.

Cherie:

It was.

Cherie:

Designing and building the minimum lovable product, it then went into

Cherie:

the hands of people to use it.

Cherie:

And it's an extremely iterative process of build, test,

Cherie:

iterate, build, test, iterate.

Cherie:

Sometimes you tear apart what you built because it's not working the

Cherie:

way it should, or because People have come back with feedback saying,

Cherie:

actually, you should do this.

Cherie:

This, this, or maybe think about extending the feature this way instead.

Cherie:

So we're still a work in progress.

Cherie:

There's never, I don't think there's ever going to be a point where I say

Cherie:

vicious is done, vicious is complete.

Cherie:

Because.

Cherie:

What we want to do is help our customers to scale their businesses.

Cherie:

So we're constantly thinking, what are ways that you can as a wedding

Cherie:

pro be more productive, and that's what we need to build for you.

Cherie:

Or what are the ways in which the industry is growing?

Cherie:

Because that is where wedding pros will be going to next.

Cherie:

So what are the tools they need to enter into this new business, given that's where

Cherie:

the industry hit winter driving them.

Cherie:

So I would tell them to driving that.

Cherie:

So it's, it's a, it's a constant work in progress and it would never

Cherie:

be done, but I think that's part of the delight and challenge of.

Becca:

An entrepreneur's work is never done.

Becca:

We're always changing.

Becca:

We're always evolving.

Becca:

I think there's something fascinating in what you said.

Becca:

And when you shared your story, there was a part in there that I talk quite

Becca:

a lot about, that I want to talk to you a little bit deeper about, which

Becca:

is that you explained that you're not a coder, but you did spend some

Becca:

time understanding the systems.

Becca:

And as Wedding Pros, we have to understand everything.

Becca:

We have to understand all these social media platforms, websites.

Becca:

And sometimes we outsource this stuff, but don't really understand it ourselves.

Becca:

And that can get us into problems.

Becca:

So why do you think it was important for you to have a base level of understanding?

Cherie:

Great question.

Cherie:

I think the importance comes from being able to make decisions

Cherie:

quickly and also optimally.

Cherie:

And you can't make decisions without understanding the considerations that

Cherie:

need to be factored into these decisions.

Cherie:

So to give you an example, when we're thinking about building a particular

Cherie:

feature, I need to understand what is the work involved in the back end and what

Cherie:

is the work involved in the front end.

Cherie:

And I also need to understand if we build it this way, how does it affect things

Cherie:

that we might want to build in the future?

Cherie:

If we wanted to add on another feature, does that mean that we can simply build

Cherie:

on top of how we're going to build it now?

Cherie:

Or do we have to tear it apart because we're not future approved?

Cherie:

So then I have to make a decision on, okay, so do we go with decision A or

Cherie:

decision B based on what I understand to be true at this point in time?

Cherie:

So I think for me to make that decision, it's Important for me to understand.

Cherie:

It's almost like running a cost benefit analysis in your head and

Cherie:

also a future proofing analysis.

Cherie:

but you know, I don't make these decisions in isolation as well.

Cherie:

I have a team now, I have really good engineers now.

Cherie:

And so it also means that I need to be able to have these discussions with the

Cherie:

experts and I need to be able to speak their language or at least understand

Cherie:

their language in order to have a productive discussion that said, I see

Cherie:

that Decisions decision making is a big part of my day to day, but I'm always

Cherie:

thinking about what do I know now that leads me to making such a decision and in

Cherie:

the future, if I see that what I thought to be true is no longer true, I'm also

Cherie:

very cognizant that I need to be able to adapt my decision or change my decision

Cherie:

because the underlying assumptions and factors no longer hold true.

Cherie:

So I think.

Cherie:

It's about awareness.

Cherie:

I think that's the ultimate thing.

Cherie:

You know, learning about different systems, learning about different domains.

Cherie:

It's about building confidence in myself to make decisions.

Cherie:

It's also a when is of what I think I know so that I can be just that bit more agile

Cherie:

and flexible as things change or as the company grows and it all boils down to.

Cherie:

I think being open minded and also I think as an entrepreneur particularly

Cherie:

as an early stage entrepreneur, you do need to be involved in, in these

Cherie:

things, you know, there's only so much that you can outsource at the early

Cherie:

stages because ultimately it's your vision and you need to see it onto

Cherie:

live and no one is a better guardian of the vision than, than, than yourself.

Becca:

Yeah, I love that.

Becca:

And it's, it's so true.

Becca:

Knowledge is power.

Becca:

And even if we're planning on sharing our workload with other people, that

Becca:

we need to upskill ourselves to have a basic understanding of what they're

Becca:

doing so we can make great decisions.

Becca:

That's really helpful.

Becca:

Now we've talked a lot about you founding Visualist.

Becca:

I'd love to just have a little bit more information about what

Becca:

the platform actually does.

Becca:

So if I'm a wedding planner, a wedding florist, a wedding designer, what,

Becca:

what does Visualist actually do?

Becca:

How's it going to assist me in my business day to day?

Cherie:

Absolutely.

Cherie:

The main value proposition of this list is that it is an all in one

Cherie:

platform for you to connect your client design and admin workflows.

Cherie:

And I like to rule of three, so I like to split things into three

Cherie:

and think about things in buckets.

Cherie:

And obviously, all of these.

Cherie:

Workflows, the client workflows, design workflows They're all interconnected.

Cherie:

So what we want to do is make it easier for you to manage your

Cherie:

clients whilst you're sharing design work with them whilst you are

Cherie:

sending in proposals and invoices.

Cherie:

So that is that connection between the client design admin workflows.

Cherie:

We want to also give you a better space to create.

Cherie:

A shared portal with your clients so that they can be involved in the project.

Cherie:

So in this list, you can create a hub, your client hub for

Cherie:

each project that you're doing.

Cherie:

So, for instance, if you're planning a wedding in Lake Como

Cherie:

in summer 2025, you can create a hub called Lake Como summer 2025.

Cherie:

You invite your clients and this is going to be the central space in which

Cherie:

you share all information relating to the wedding with your clients.

Cherie:

You can share your concept ideas, you can share your meeting notes,

Cherie:

you can share the stationary designs.

Cherie:

You can invite a stationery designer into the hub as well to collaborate

Cherie:

and how we do that is by making collaboration contextual and seamless.

Cherie:

So one of my favorite features that I've been talking about a lot is the feature

Cherie:

that we call the sticky notes feature.

Cherie:

Creative professionals workflow, wedding pros workflow is highly visual.

Cherie:

So this is really built from that perspective of how do we enable

Cherie:

collaboration to be visual fast?

Cherie:

You're using pictures to communicate.

Cherie:

You're using color palettes to communicate mood boards.

Cherie:

So all of these are things that you can create and you

Cherie:

can share easily in business.

Cherie:

So when I share a picture with my client, if I'm a wedding pro, I can not only

Cherie:

share the picture, but also drop sticky notes, which are literally look, you

Cherie:

know, they, they look like post it notes.

Cherie:

I can put a post it note, a sticky note on the picture and ask my

Cherie:

client, How do you feel about the shade of pink, or how do you feel

Cherie:

about the lighting installation here?

Cherie:

How do you feel about these types of flowers at the reception?

Cherie:

So, it reduces the back and forth in emails, DMs, WhatsApps, iMessages,

Cherie:

and it keeps everything in one place.

Cherie:

It's good for the client because they know where to look.

Cherie:

It's visual, so they know exactly what you're referring to, and it's good for

Cherie:

the professional because, again, it centralizes all of the information in

Cherie:

one space, it makes it easy to manage multiple projects at once, and it also

Cherie:

becomes a system of record, which then makes organization a lot easier, so

Cherie:

you've got not just your visuals in there.

Cherie:

You move boards and color palettes.

Cherie:

You can also put in your invoices, your proposals, everything all in one space.

Cherie:

It gives you peace of mind.

Cherie:

It gives your client peace of mind.

Cherie:

We're always looking to how can we help the creative

Cherie:

professional to save time as well.

Cherie:

And, you know, there's a phrase that we use, which is focused on

Cherie:

the business, not the business.

Cherie:

So we're also developing tools based on AI that can help you with generating

Cherie:

proposals quickly, generating summaries quickly, generating reminders, because

Cherie:

it's always helpful if there's a whisper in your ear that says, Oh, don't

Cherie:

use the orange flowers, the client.

Cherie:

Doesn't doesn't like orange.

Cherie:

For instance, that's just a very quick example off the top of my head, but we

Cherie:

feel that, you know, AI is a big, big thing that people are talking a lot about.

Cherie:

Now, AI has always been a consideration and visualize, but we are thinking

Cherie:

about it from the perspective of how can AI be an assistant to you so

Cherie:

it's not replacing you as a creative.

Cherie:

But it's about doing the things that you hate.

Cherie:

It's about doing the things that are mundane and repetitive.

Cherie:

Things like pulling together task lists, or pulling together summaries from a

Cherie:

client questionnaire that the client has filled in, or sending reminder emails, or

Cherie:

sending reminders to clients about tasks that they need to do, or simply combing

Cherie:

through all of the correspondence That has happened within divisionist client hub and

Cherie:

generating status reports about what is outstanding what you're awaiting client

Cherie:

feedback on and I think particularly for wedding pros, many of whom work as.

Cherie:

Solar printers or micro businesses.

Cherie:

This is where technology and AI in particular can be truly helpful

Cherie:

because you are not spending your time, your precious time on very low value

Cherie:

administrative work that you're The client might not necessarily see, but you're

Cherie:

now diverting that time that will spend on that memoir to higher value things

Cherie:

like generating truly one of a kind designs or interacting with clients to

Cherie:

maintain the client relationship and give that personalized and bespoke service.

Cherie:

So our mission with visualized is really to help you save time by automating

Cherie:

things that can be automated so that.

Cherie:

As a wedding pro, you can scale more efficiently.

Becca:

Amazing.

Becca:

Such a great synopsis.

Becca:

I mean, with all of these platforms, I always say you really need to go

Becca:

and log in and have a look at them to really get a feel for how they work.

Becca:

So at the end, you're going to share a promo code so that people can have

Becca:

a go and use the free trial as well.

Becca:

And I'll make sure I share that information in the show notes.

Becca:

Now you've talked about how helpful this platform is for us as wedding pros, but

Becca:

why do you think it's important that we integrate technology for today's couple?

Becca:

So the people actually getting married.

Cherie:

I think that the simple answer is that people today want convenience.

Cherie:

People are time poor.

Cherie:

People live on their phones.

Cherie:

And the, as a wedding pro, their service that you're

Cherie:

providing is highly personalized.

Cherie:

It is also highly personal.

Cherie:

The, you know, you're helping a couple plan their wedding.

Cherie:

So you want to make this personal.

Cherie:

Experience as delightful and a seamless for them as possible and

Cherie:

also as stress free as possible.

Cherie:

And I think truly the way to do that is by integrating technology

Cherie:

because technology works on the go.

Cherie:

It works, you know, business in particular.

Cherie:

It's all about being where the client is.

Cherie:

So how as a wedding pro, can you deliver an experience that

Cherie:

is tailored to the client?

Cherie:

And The big part of it is being accessible to the client as well.

Cherie:

So with a client hub in business, for instance, the clients

Cherie:

can access it at any time.

Cherie:

They can leave their questions and comments at any time.

Cherie:

And it's all.

Cherie:

Integrated in one space.

Cherie:

It's it's, you know, they know where to go to when they have questions.

Cherie:

They know where to go to when they want to check on something

Cherie:

that was discussed before.

Cherie:

And I think so.

Cherie:

That's the convenience factor.

Cherie:

And then the other thing as well is it's productivity as a wedding pro.

Cherie:

You are juggling multiple projects at once and the great thing about technology

Cherie:

is that it works wherever you work.

Cherie:

So it means that you are able to have one space that contains all of your

Cherie:

active projects, all of your past projects, and technology that is smart

Cherie:

will also start learning about you and how you work and give you that tailored

Cherie:

experience is that it's learned.

Cherie:

Based on your previous interactions with the tool.

Cherie:

That is where technology is going.

Cherie:

It's, it's about personalized technology.

Cherie:

And I think with technology, it's about me.

Cherie:

It's about having tools that work the way you work tools that

Cherie:

work the way your mind works.

Cherie:

And I think that's why many existing tools that don't cater to.

Cherie:

The creative's mind and the creator's workflow, they, they only get the job

Cherie:

half done because they still create a lot of, they still require the

Cherie:

creator of the user to do a lot of legwork, a lot of the heavy lifting.

Cherie:

And what we want to create is technology that is intuitive

Cherie:

to the creative professional.

Cherie:

And that means working from a very visual space, working from

Cherie:

a space that is client does.

Cherie:

And.

Cherie:

Ultimately, it's, it's about saving time and it's about being able to take back

Cherie:

time to, to do the things that you love and, you know, pen and paper is great.

Cherie:

I personally still do a lot of brainstorming on pen and paper,

Cherie:

for instance, but the way that we are building technology today and

Cherie:

the way that we are building tools today, it's all about automation.

Cherie:

It's all about, how do you save time on repeatable processes so that you can.

Cherie:

Get back to time that you socially need to then provide that highly bespoke

Cherie:

service to your clients, to the, to the wedding couple that you're working with,

Cherie:

and ultimately achieve that greater, greater level of client satisfaction.

Becca:

Yeah.

Becca:

And we're also time poor, both us as wedding pros and the couples themselves.

Becca:

So anything that saves time and, and leads to convenience.

Becca:

Is definitely a good thing.

Becca:

Now I want to just shift the conversation slightly back to Las Vegas because as I

Becca:

mentioned I met you and your team there for the first time and I think you did

Becca:

some amazing pieces of marketing and I want to get into this now because

Becca:

for those that haven't been to Wedding MBA there is a huge exhibition hall

Becca:

which you had a stand as part of.

Becca:

I think something like 200 exhibitors.

Becca:

So to stand out from the crowd is difficult when there's so many people.

Becca:

And I think this is a similar experience when wedding pros go to

Becca:

a wedding show and they're amongst all the other vendors and they're

Becca:

trying to stand out from the crowd.

Becca:

But I believe what you did as a team at Visualist really worked.

Becca:

It really stood out.

Becca:

And I think there's a lot of learnings people can take from what you did.

Becca:

And from my perspective as a marketer, I loved watching what you were doing.

Becca:

So if you could talk me through some of the things that you did

Becca:

to stand out as part of that, Exhibition and what your thought

Becca:

process were behind those decisions.

Cherie:

Absolutely.

Cherie:

Firstly, thank you so much for those kind words.

Cherie:

It was definitely a team effort.

Cherie:

Charlotte from our team in particular was a big, big part

Cherie:

of all of the things that we did.

Cherie:

So we're based in London, right?

Cherie:

And going to Las Vegas is a huge undertaking for us, not just in terms

Cherie:

of time, but also in terms of cost.

Cherie:

So planning for a wedding MBA was A big part of our regular marketing meetings

Cherie:

and we were really thinking how can we do things that will help us to stand

Cherie:

out that and you know, help us really appear everywhere appear bigger than

Cherie:

we are because we're still a tiny team and we're still a very young company

Cherie:

and there are many other software tools out there and we want to come across

Cherie:

as not just any other software tool.

Cherie:

So one of the things that we did.

Cherie:

Was at our booth we had a manicurist or a nail station So we we hired a nail

Cherie:

a nail technician to come to our booth and set up a manicure station where

Cherie:

we were giving away free manicures and What that meant was that people

Cherie:

would come to the booth They would sit and wait for the session to start.

Cherie:

And during that time, we have a bit of an opportunity to talk to

Cherie:

them about fish list, to show them the platform on iPads, et cetera.

Cherie:

The reason that we wanted to do that was because we had been to a couple

Cherie:

of trade shows before, And we knew from our personal experience that

Cherie:

it gets Very tiring walking around and it's, it's very overwhelming.

Cherie:

So what we wanted to create was a space amidst Las Vegas convention center that

Cherie:

people would walk by and feel relaxed and not like they're a part of this hectic

Cherie:

maze of booths and I think the design of the booth as well, we, we didn't want

Cherie:

it to feel too techie even though we're a tech company, we wanted it to feel

Cherie:

more like A mini spa, like a tiny, tiny corner of, of the exhibition hall that

Cherie:

got relaxed, you know, so we had, we had white rugs, we had bamboo chairs just to

Cherie:

create a very soft calming setting where people could come in and rest their feet

Cherie:

and we can talk to them in that process.

Cherie:

Another thing that we did also was we, we gave out, or we, we

Cherie:

displayed and exhibited a lot of, what do you call them, enamel pins.

Cherie:

We do like to have Fun things and make fun things at vicious every now and then.

Cherie:

So we had enamel pins.

Cherie:

We had some bags, lots of fun stickers as well.

Cherie:

Stickers are as something that are really common and popular in the

Cherie:

tech world, but not so much in, in the wedding, in a wedding pro world.

Cherie:

So I think we, we, we were a bit different in that sense.

Cherie:

Cause we're giving out stickers that just had really funny.

Cherie:

Catchphrases, one of them was a graphic illustration of a teacup because we're

Cherie:

from England and it says here for the tea.

Cherie:

And then another one said in mind, a drama, another one said that there were

Cherie:

a lot of Vegas themed ones as well.

Cherie:

So we're giving out stickers.

Cherie:

I think the thought was, how do we attract people to our booth?

Cherie:

If they were just walking by and what is, you know, what was a low five thing that

Cherie:

we could do to be able to grab someone who is walking by and say, would you like

Cherie:

a sticker or would you like a manicure?

Cherie:

So it was really thinking about things from the perspective of if I

Cherie:

am, if I am an attendee at wedding MBA, what would stop me in my tracks?

Cherie:

And then last but not least, the thing that probably was the biggest impact

Cherie:

was the event that we met you at, Becca.

Cherie:

So we attended the Monday night mixer, which was hosted by

Cherie:

Renee Dallow and Amber Anderson.

Cherie:

And that was probably the best decision that we did because this was

Cherie:

The mixer that was pre wedding MBA.

Cherie:

So it was the night before wedding MBA.

Cherie:

And it just allowed us to be in a room with so many wedding

Cherie:

pros who we wouldn't have had a chance to connect with otherwise.

Cherie:

And we got to meet them the day before wedding MBA.

Cherie:

So we could then tell them, Oh, come to our booth at Wedding MBA tomorrow.

Cherie:

And, you know, you can see more of the platform, more of Vigilist.

Cherie:

And what we did at the Monday night mixer, we, we gave this Vigilist tote bag, which

Cherie:

Becca, I know you have and you love.

Cherie:

And in this tote bag, were a few things.

Cherie:

We created what we call the Las Vegas survival kit, because It's Vegas.

Cherie:

It's Wedding MBA.

Cherie:

It's hectic.

Cherie:

It is insane.

Cherie:

It is a lot of fun, but you also need self care.

Cherie:

So we put in things like liquid IV.

Cherie:

We had, I think, a face mask.

Cherie:

We had some energy bars, I think.

Cherie:

So the whole idea was this is a kit that you could take with you and relax.

Cherie:

After you've had your film of Vegas and in that, we also, we also had some vicious

Cherie:

match or printed flyers that talked about what vicious is again, the whole idea

Cherie:

was, how do we bring people to our booth?

Cherie:

Because you're, as you said, over 200 exhibits is, and, you

Cherie:

know, we had to do something that would make people remember us by.

Cherie:

And so that Monday night mixer was, was our first attempt.

Cherie:

And yeah, I, I think it for, for our first, first go at wedding MBA, I

Cherie:

think we were very proud of the, the booth set up and, and our experience

Cherie:

in general, but this year we have also taken on board a lot of learning.

Cherie:

So I, and we're experimenting with a few different things, so I'm excited to.

Cherie:

See these things come to fruition and check back in six months.

Becca:

I can't wait to come and see what you guys have got planned this

Becca:

year, because I think there's a huge amount of learnings that my listeners

Becca:

could get from all of those amazing things that you did at Wembley NBA in

Becca:

terms of standing out from a crowd, in terms of getting your name out there, in

Becca:

terms of showing that you, or at least having the perception that you're a

Becca:

bigger company than you actually were.

Becca:

And I agree with you.

Becca:

I think the The Monday Night Mixer was a great call for you guys, because what

Becca:

you did is you put yourselves in a room of influence, so at that mixer there

Becca:

were attendees, but there were also a lot of educators in that room, there

Becca:

were a lot of influencers in that room.

Becca:

By giving out those bags, which then everyone was carrying around, by giving

Becca:

them all of the Visualist merch, You know, you kind of, you set yourselves apart

Becca:

before the exhibition had really even kicked off and I think that was really

Becca:

smart and I talk a lot with my pros about being in rooms of influence, working

Becca:

out the rooms that you're in, talking to the right people and I think that's

Becca:

what you did really well at Wedding MBA.

Cherie:

Thank you so much Becca, it means a lot coming from you.

Becca:

Yeah, you did.

Becca:

You did an amazing job.

Becca:

Everyone was talking about visualists all week.

Becca:

I loved my visualist merch.

Becca:

I've got my visualist bag.

Becca:

I've got my socks.

Becca:

I've got my pins and I use them all.

Becca:

And, you know, again, I talked to my pros about simple things

Becca:

like creating pens because pens are something that stays forever.

Becca:

This, this merchandise doesn't have to be a huge cost.

Becca:

You can buy things that are not.

Becca:

super expensive.

Becca:

Not everyone can afford all the tote bags, but actually just a pen that

Becca:

people then carry around with them.

Becca:

I've still got pens.

Becca:

I've got Allenberg's pen on my desk right in front of me right now.

Becca:

You know, and I've had it since I met him about three years ago.

Becca:

This stuff stays with us.

Becca:

So I think you guys did a great job and I cannot wait to see

Becca:

what you have planned this year.

Becca:

So we are all going back to Vegas this year.

Becca:

I'm going to speaking, which I'm thrilled about.

Becca:

You guys are going to be having your, your exhibition stand,

Becca:

which I'm also excited to see.

Becca:

I'm trying to get more of my UK friends to come out to Wedding MBA.

Becca:

I've got five UK people coming so far.

Becca:

If people are listening and thinking about it, what would you say to them?

Becca:

Why should they come?

Cherie:

I think it's the learning and networking opportunity.

Cherie:

There is nothing like it.

Cherie:

Wedding MBA in the UK or anywhere else in the world.

Cherie:

I, I personally wish I had more time to go around to different talks because

Cherie:

there were so many amazing speakers and I can't wait for your talk this year, Becca.

Cherie:

And I think it's almost like you, you could have a year's full of learning

Cherie:

packed into three days because there were just so many different

Cherie:

speakers on different topics ranging from social media to finances to.

Cherie:

PR to even, you know, the design aspect itself of wedding planning.

Cherie:

And I think it's about opening your eyes and it's about being, being curious

Cherie:

to what else other people are doing.

Cherie:

There is, I think as, as an entrepreneur in particular, and as wedding crows who

Cherie:

are often working in, you know, Very small teams, I think it's so important

Cherie:

to Expose yourself to what other people are doing, not just within the region,

Cherie:

but internationally, and it's not about following trends, but it's about

Cherie:

keeping an ear your eyes and years out there on the ground and seeing are

Cherie:

there better ways that I can do things.

Cherie:

I think ultimately as an entrepreneur is all self improvement and

Cherie:

self reflection is really key.

Cherie:

And I think having a change of scenery, being in Vegas, what's there not to love?

Becca:

Yeah, absolutely.

Becca:

And it's not always the easiest solution.

Becca:

I mean, for you guys, it's not easy to go to the other side of the

Becca:

world and exhibit your business and take all of that stuff with you.

Becca:

But actually, sometimes if you want to grow and evolve, you've got to

Becca:

put yourself in the bigger spaces.

Cherie:

Yeah, for sure.

Becca:

I can't wait.

Becca:

I'm very excited to go back to Vegas.

Becca:

I'm very excited to meet up with you guys in Vegas.

Becca:

And I'm sure between us, we'll plan some fun things while we're there as well.

Becca:

Sherry, it's been such a pleasure chatting to you, finding out more about visualists,

Becca:

finding out more about your story.

Becca:

I always end the podcast with the same question.

Becca:

So I'm going to pose that to you now, which is this, what's one

Becca:

thing you personally wish you'd known sooner in your business?

Cherie:

So the one thing that.

Cherie:

I wish I had known and I had done sooner is, I think, creating my immunity of

Cherie:

people that I could lean into for support.

Cherie:

And I'm very fortunate I have that now, but I think being an entrepreneur

Cherie:

is a very lonely job and the only other people who understand what

Cherie:

it's like to be an entrepreneur.

Cherie:

Would be other entrepreneurs themselves.

Cherie:

So particularly for wedding pros, many of whom are solopreneurs, you know, I think

Cherie:

it's so important to surround yourself with people who are going through what

Cherie:

you are going through and who can provide.

Cherie:

Support who can provide advice, who can provide empathy.

Cherie:

I think it is, I know it is tough because technically wedding pros are in

Cherie:

competition with one another, but truly I believe that collaboration can still

Cherie:

happen within friendly competition.

Cherie:

And for me, I, I think I'm a first time founder.

Cherie:

So, you know, I was making a lot of mistakes along the

Cherie:

way as well, and mistakes are fine, but I think I could have.

Cherie:

Mistakes are fine because you grow from them.

Cherie:

I have to covet that if you grow from them, but I think I would have Benefited

Cherie:

a lot from having this early Almost like support group of other founders

Cherie:

who you know, I could you know Easily message when I have this burning question

Cherie:

about, Oh, how do I do SEO or what?

Cherie:

What task management system should I use?

Cherie:

It's almost like it's the power of many, right?

Cherie:

It's leaning into the power of many.

Cherie:

And I'm very thankful.

Cherie:

I have that now, particularly other female founders, female first time founders.

Cherie:

For instance, I have a friend and we have a standing calendar.

Cherie:

Event which is which I call dinner therapy and in that we meet for dinner

Cherie:

like every three weeks and we just talk we just talk about our businesses about

Cherie:

our personal lives about what it's like to be a founder about the, you know,

Cherie:

the wins and also the challenges and we celebrate and we commiserate together.

Cherie:

But I think having a strong community around you of fellow.

Cherie:

Entrepreneurs and, you know, like minded people is, is really something

Cherie:

that nourishes your mental health.

Cherie:

I don't want to get too Google about that right now, but I, you know, honestly,

Cherie:

I think mental health is something that entrepreneurs need to be very mindful of.

Cherie:

And I think A great vitamin or yeah, a great vitamin or like solution to

Cherie:

that is, is having a community of people who you can call on any time.

Becca:

I totally agree with you.

Becca:

And actually, I think maybe I need to organize myself some more therapy dinners.

Becca:

I love that idea of just going and meeting up with someone and just talking

Becca:

it all out whilst also having nice food.

Becca:

So I think maybe that's something I need to implement into my own business as well.

Becca:

It's been such a pleasure chatting to you.

Becca:

As I mentioned earlier, really, Visualist needs to be seen to be understood.

Becca:

So I believe you've put together a super special offer for my listeners.

Becca:

So tell us more about that.

Cherie:

Yes, please go to our website, which is visualistapp.

Cherie:

com and sign up to Visualist with the code Becca, B E C C A, and you will

Cherie:

get a one month free trial and also 300 of credit, which To be used towards

Cherie:

creating your client hubs and also other special features within Vicious.

Cherie:

So we'll leave the details in the show notes and also

Cherie:

please follow us on Instagram.

Cherie:

We're at vicious underscore app.

Cherie:

That's the best way to learn about new features and see the new features.

Cherie:

If you like to have a look before signing up and we're also always very happy to

Cherie:

jump into calls with wedding pros and.

Cherie:

Other creative professionals to see through how to set up this list to

Cherie:

make it work for you And your clients.

Cherie:

Thank you so much Becca It's been such a pleasure being on this podcast and

Cherie:

testing for you I feel like we're just having a conversation over brunch.

Cherie:

So this has been lovely

Becca:

It's amazing.

Becca:

Thank you so much.

Becca:

Thank you for putting together that special offer as well.

Becca:

And if you're listening to this, just know that Sherry and

Becca:

the team are so approachable.

Becca:

They're so lovely.

Becca:

So if you want to try out the platform, if you've got questions, if you've got ideas

Becca:

for features, reach out and chat to them.

Becca:

I'm sure there'll be open to a conversation.

Becca:

Sherry, I hope to see you very soon.

Cherie:

Indeed.

Cherie:

I'm sure I'll see you soon.

Cherie:

And let's chat more about Vegas.

Becca:

Yeah, absolutely.

Becca:

I love that conversation with Sherry.

Becca:

Isn't it fantastic to hear about the future platforms where we're

Becca:

going with technology and all of these amazing tools that can help

Becca:

us in our wedding businesses.

Becca:

I recommend that you go and check Visualist out, use that code.

Becca:

I've put all of the details in the show notes and I'll see you next time.

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32. 7 things I couldn't run my wedding business without...
00:15:17
31. MAFS, finding success and comparisonitis - an interview with celebrant Kelly Hawes
00:38:25
30. WEDCON the story! Interview with Wedcon founders Katie and Roxy
00:35:33
29. Why selling doesn't need to be scary!
00:18:43
28. Pricing, Retreats and PJ parties - Interview with Kelly Mortimer
00:30:43
27. How to respond to a national tragedy
00:14:23
26. Help! How do I move my wedding business forward?
00:18:43
25. How to sell more at a wedding show!
00:46:40
24. The CHEAPEST way to advertise your wedding business!
00:22:18
23. Create an overwhelm squashing marketing plan - with Heidi Thompson
00:30:24
22. 6 mistakes you are probably making in your wedding business!
00:28:00
21. Are you successful? Interview with Anna Lundberg
00:44:31
20. Why I'm no longer the cheapest - interview with Jesse from J Lawrence photography
00:38:28
19. Help! Surviving the school holidays as a wedding business owner!
00:21:53
18. Growing your wedding business with Instagram - with Sue B Zimmerman
00:33:24
17. Relaxation and Sleep meditation with Kath Routledge
00:23:53
16. How to make your wedding business more fun - Interview with Kimba Cooper
00:31:13
15. It's now a wedding business not a hobby - Interview with Maria Vainella
00:29:18
14. Do you have a leaky sales funnel? This episode WILL help you make more sales in your wedding business!
00:28:44
13. Could Guides for Brides work for you? Interview with Nikita Thorne
00:37:23
12. Demystifying Pinterest - how to get your wedding business in front of thousands more couples!
00:22:18
11. Eeek did I do the right thing?? Lessons learnt in Turkey!
00:23:59
10. Lessons learnt as a bride - interview with Rachel from Veiled Productions
00:37:10
9. How to use Facebook groups to grow your wedding business!
00:32:29
8. Blogging - what's the point and how do I get started?
00:28:18
7. Is there a perfect time to quit your job? Interview with wedding planner Hannah Rose.
00:47:15
6. Help! What can I do when it all feels too much?
00:29:41
5. Why do Disney never discount?
00:17:24
4. There's no perfect age to own a business - Interview with wedding florist Sophie Ayres
00:29:33
bonus A sneaky peek into what's coming up soon....
00:01:25
bonus I know I'm not supposed to be here yet.... but....
00:04:00
3. What the heck should I post on social media?!
00:22:19
2. Shhh... the 5 mistakes I made when starting a wedding business!
00:14:46
1. The 6 wedding pro's you definitely DON'T want to be like and how to avoid becoming one....
00:22:52
trailer Here's why you should listen to the Wed Pro Podcast!
00:00:53