Stop hiding, get visible – Interview with Renée Dalo

Show notes:

It’s easy to hide in our wedding businesses! We sit behind our screens, and hide behind our work! What difference would it make to your wedding business if you got more visible?

Today I’m talking to Renée Dalo, wedding planner and business coach. Renée is on a mission to help wedding pros get more visible and become bold, empowered entrepreneurs!

Click to download her free visibility guide.

Find out more about Renée:


Renee: You can’t be successful in business if you’re hiding behind anything. I think because it’s not authentically you. It’s not authentically who people want to do business with. You know? Especially now, especially Gen Z, like they want to know you.

Becca: I am Becca Pountney wedding business marketing expert, speaker and blogger, and you are listening to The Wedding Pros who are Ready to Grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get going with today’s episode. Today I’m talking to Renee dalo. Renee is a wedding planner, industry educator, and a certified life coach. She’s passionate about helping event professionals boost their self-confidence and increase visibility and become bold, empowered entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to talk with her. Renee, welcome to the podcast.

Renee: Hi. Hi. Thanks for having me.

Becca: You are so welcome. It’s great to have you, and I just love that tagline that you wanna help people become bold, empowered entrepreneurs. I’m all about that.

Renee: Mm-hmm. . Oh yeah. .

Becca: So good. So before we get going, why don’t you just tell people where your base

Renee: Well, I live in Los Angeles, but I’m pretty much always on a plane. Last night I came back from Denver. I’m home for like three days, then I go to San Francisco. So I’m, I’m like a, I’m a citizen of the world, but my home is in Los Angeles. People get very confused when they meet me. They’re like, you live in New York? I’m like, no, people just,

Becca: you just travel.

Renee: Yeah. People just pick a random city and they’re like, I thought you were in Chicago. I’m like, no, la. So yeah, I just say I live on a plane at this point.

Becca: Nice. Well, right above my piano downstairs in my house, I have a map of the United States where I’ve scratched off the states. I’ve been to. I feel like you just smashed it.

Renee: a little bit, although, yeah, no, I, I’ve been to every single state except for Hawaii.

Becca: Well, there we go. That’s on the bucket list for next year. I’ve got a lot of states left to scratch off , but I’m planning to do it before I’m 50, so I’ve got about 15 more years yet.

Renee: Love it. Love it.

Becca: Okay, so let’s get you introduced to people then. So I mentioned that you’re a wedding planner. Take me back. How did you end up in the wedding events industry in the first place?

Renee: I was basically the friend in, in my friend group that hosted all the. You know, I was the one if it was like the Oscars or like someone’s birthday or like we had a divorce party once, like anytime anyone had anything, they’re like, let’s go to Renee’s, Renee will do it. And so then when my friends started getting married, it just be, became like sort of the natural extension of my, my role within my friend group to be like, well, Renee can help you . And at, at the time it was like when I was in my early twenties, it was like, can I help them? I don’t know. But like everything else, you sort of figure it out.

And what ended up happening is that, you know, I used to be an actor. So when you’re an aspiring slash unemployed actor and you’re getting married, you don’t have a lot of money. Right? So I was helping a lot of my friends. Throw these like super budget weddings. And then what would happen is our friends would come and be guests, then they would get engaged. They’d say, wait, who helped you plan that? Oh, Renee did email Renee. So I ended up sort of developing a hobby, like a very, I was gonna say busy hobby, but it, it was, I, I was doing it as a hobby and not taking any money for it for a long time. And then I finally made the leap into owning a real business after I got married, actually, because my husband and I met in Los Angeles, even though we’re both from the east, of the US and then we got married on the east coast. My wedding planner said to me, I have no idea why you’re not a wedding planner. Like, what are you doing? And I said, well, there’s a million wedding planners in in Los Angeles. She goes, who cares? And I don’t know what it was about that moment of having her just give me the permission, you know, to like, it doesn’t matter if there’s a hundred other people doing this, like you’re you and people are gonna wanna come to you because you’re you and you’re very capable of this. And like she actually said, you needed me less than anyone who’s ever hired me. I actually feel bad taking your. I love that. Meanwhile, I felt very comfortable giving it because I was like, oh, she knows so much about Philadelphia. That I don’t know. Anyway, it just, it allowed me, you know, she really opened a door in my mind of like what was possible for me. And then pretty shortly after that, a couple of months after that is, , when I launched my, my first website. And I hate telling this story cuz I think it gives people such false hope. But like, I launched my website on April 1st, and I coordinated my first wedding, April 7th.

Becca: Wow. How did that happen?

Renee: I know. Well, cuz I had made some friends with established wedding planners in la. One in particular, Liz Cooper-smith, who was a friend of mine, we met at a, at a conference, at a blogging conference. She sort of knew that I was just getting started and actually named my business. She told me when I was getting started.

She’s like, I will take you, you know, take me out to dinner. You get two hours, ask me everything. And I was like, okay. So I sat with her and I said, I don’t know what to call it. And she’s like, and I had this blog called that Bride’s Got Moxie. And she goes, well, it has to be something with Moxie. What should it be?

We kind of brainstormed and she said, bright Moxie, and I was like, no, that feels weird. Then I was like, well, what about Moxie Bright? And she’s like, . That’s good. And I mean, it’s sort of a nonsense mashup of two words really. But then it just sort of stuck and I was like, okay, it’ll be Moxie Bright and like all these years later, no, it’s still Moxie Bright.

So yeah, she, she knew that I was ready to get started and someone reached out to her to say, Hey, I know this is last minute, but are you available on Sunday? And she’s like, no, I’m definitely not, but my friend is.

Becca: There is so much I love about this story. I love that it came through a connection. Yes. One of the things I love talking about in my community is the power of connections, the power of collaboration, the power of putting yourself out there, the power of taking opportunities. And I feel like all of those things came together in that moment. Yeah. And helped you land that first wedding. So it was no coincidence.

Renee: Yeah, no, it wasn’t a coincidence, but it was a weird like alchemy of events, you know, that like I just, I happened to have had a website launch, so these people had something to go look at that was like, okay, she’s legitimate. Like had I not had that one piece, it might, they might not have wanted to meet with me.

Then I met with them at Starbucks, talk to them for about an hour. At the end, like literally at the end of the conversation they were like, okay, you’re hired, and they handed me, Like cash, like 600, they handed me $600 and that, that’s what I got for that first wedding. And and I was like, oh, I don’t, and I thought like, oh God, I don’t even have a contract.

I didn’t have a contract. I was just like, okay, let’s do it. And I learned a lot, right? Because I actually, I almost, I also did their flowers cuz they didn’t have a florist. And they were like, can you do flowers? I was like, I mean, well not professionally, but like, I can put flowers in a vase and like that’s, I had my assistant. Christie, who’s been my assistant since day one, literally come, you know, come to the mart with me and we bought a bunch of flowers, like we did every wrong thing you could have done at a wedding like we did for this wedding. But also like that is how you learn. So it’s funny, as an educator now, I spend so much of my time trying to like, think about what my students need so that they don’t have to make those mistakes. But then also like, there is such a, there is power in making, in having that experience, right? And going like, okay, what did I learn from this and what do I not wanna do again?

Becca: Yeah. That is so true. We do learn from our mistakes. Now I know there’s gonna be people listening who are gonna resonate with what you said right at the beginning, that they still do stuff for friends, therefore they do it cheap.

Yeah. And they know that they need to start taking it seriously, but they find it hard to know how to have the confidence to take that leap. Was it just the influence from the other person that made you do that? Or was there some inner work you had to do?

Renee: Oh God, there’s always inner work, right? I think the inner work is like never done

It’s just, it’s just a different level of things. Yeah. I mean there, you know, there was a lot of. There was a lot of work I had to do on charging for my services because I was of the opinion back then that if it came naturally to me that it wasn’t valuable, which is complete bs. I know that now, all these years later, but back then I was like, well, this is easy for me. Like i, and I said to my husband and I remember saying like, well, I don’t charge people when they come over for dinner at our house, and I’m an excellent cook. And he’s like, yeah, it’s different though , right? Like, but you but people, but you pay you know, you pay to go to a restaurant. And I was like, Yeah, that’s true.

And I really had to come to terms with the fact that just because it’s easy for me and therefore I don’t value it as much for me, it doesn’t mean that other people don’t value. Like wedding professionals, we have a certain skillset that not everyone has. And above and beyond that we have a. Certain temperament that not everyone has, like this work isn’t for everyone.

And that’s the piece that I had to really sort of work on valuing enough that I could monetize it. Right. And this was like, it took me like two years really to come to terms with like, okay, I, I need to be charging like actual real livable money here. Yeah. That, that was. . It was a lot, and I, I don’t wanna, it wasn’t just one thing, right? I had to look at how I thought about what I spend money on myself and like what I value and what I will pay for. Then I also had to do the work. on recognizing that I am not my client. I am not my client, and I feel like a lot of teaching out there sort of leans into that. Like, well, you are your ideal client just amped up a bit and it’s like, Maybe not, and maybe that’s okay because there are things that I won’t pay for that I know my clients will, and there are totally things that I’ll pay for that my clients won’t.

So it’s kind of figuring out where that intersects and where that diverges and, and being okay with it, and then also knowing what you’re worth, what your experience is worth, and all those years of experience where I wasn’t getting paid. That’s still experience and, and people pay me for it now, thankfully,

Becca: Yes, there is so much in there, and I know that there’s gonna be listeners that will need to hear that because they struggle with knowing their worth and knowing that they can just step out there and charge. But ultimately that’s what they need to do. Now the thing that I wanna dig into deeper with you, Renee, and I know it’s something you love to talk about, is visibility.

Now again, I know immediately some of my listeners I can imagine them now are gonna be recoiling and thinking, I don’t like talking about visibility. I like hiding. I like hiding behind my brand.

Yeah. So why does it matter? Why is visibility something worth talking about?

Renee: The biggest, the most high level answer I can give you is this.

I’m a middle-aged white woman. Right? And that’s a time societally where women start becoming invisible. Right. And I don’t know if this is like this in the uk, but certainly in America, we, we value youth here, we value the new, and I think that’s bullshit. I really, I really hate it because I feel so much more wise and valuable now at 46 than I ever did when I was 26.

And so this visibility mission that I have is about owning our own value and worth, but also not being afraid to be seen. Because that’s another thing, right? It’s like you have to own yourself, but then you have to be okay with other people really seeing you. And that’s the piece that I think is almost harder for people, right?

It’s like, you know, we talked about knowing your worth. It’s like that’s inner work that you have to do and that, you know, it’s like a rollercoaster, right? Like some, some weeks you’re feeling great, then the next week you’re like, Hmm, not so much. Visibility is the same way. It’s not like you’re always gonna be ready on, ready to be seen, ready to be heard.

But if you never get on the rollercoaster of it, then you’re just hiding and people don’t get to really know you and they don’t get to really see you. And therefore, it does affect not just your life, but your business.

Becca: Yeah. And one thing I’ve been talking about quite a lot recently is people being unapologetically themselves and not trying to be this perfect wedding pro.

Yes. Whatever that is in their head. And just realizing

Renee: there is no such thing as a perfect anything.

Becca: Absolutely. And how they can just be themselves and being themselves is their superpower. And I know that that’s definitely what you’re about as well, so, okay. So they’ve got on board with that. They’re thinking, yep. I wanna be more visible. I’m understanding. These guys are saying, how are they gonna do that in their wedding business? What does visibility look like?

Renee: So I like to say that there are three levels of visibility and this, we have a guide for you that it’s, this is gonna be in the guide too. So if, if you lose me somewhere along this explanation, you can be like, just look at the guide. But level one visibility is like baseline visibility. And that’s someone who is, you know, kind of maybe sort of posting on Instagram, but maybe not regularly. Or they’re posting on Instagram, but not really photos of. Right. They’re, they’re posting their work, but not them. They’re, they’re really unlikely to turn the camera on themselves and do like a story talking to camera.

It’s really like sporadic and kind of like, if they’re forced to, maybe they’ll do it. These are people who’ve never been on a podcast may, who might have the desire, but but are too afraid to, and it’s literally just kind of like the bare minimum. And for some people when I talk about this, they’re like, that’s all I got. That’s all I could do, or I’m not even doing. And I’m like, okay, then let’s just get you to baseline, right? Let’s just get you to a place where you’re consistently posting and showing your face. That’s the key part here, because you can show your work. Any of us, listen, we all wanna show our work. , you should be proud to show your work.

I’m talking about showing you, are you showing you level two visibility? Midline visibility. Right? That is someone who is posting consistently, who is comfortable with turning the camera on themselves, talking directly to, you know, Instagram stories, saying, Hey guys, here I am at my wedding. Let me show you behind the scenes.

They’re a little, they’re okay with that, right? They’ve done it enough that it’s, um, it doesn’t seem like a panicked, make sweaty, sort of like, ooh, force thing. They’re just like, it’s. They are probably, maybe they’ve guessed it on a podcast or two, right? Maybe they’ve written blog posts for other publications, or they’ve been quoted in other publications as themselves, but they know that there is more out there, right?

They’re like, well, but maybe I, maybe I could. Who knows? Now, level three is like game changing visibility. Level three is like, they have their own podcast. They’re You know, very well known in their market or nationwide or internationally. They are totally comfortable on camera. Maybe they have a YouTube channel.

Maybe they’re great at reels or TikTok. Like they’re very much putting themselves out there and feeling creative and feeling like empowered by that sort of work. Not like it’s a struggle, but like, oh, this is another avenue I have to communicate lets do it. Maybe those folks who are in that level three, maybe they aspire to something even bigger, right?

Maybe they’re like, get me on a morning show. I wanna write a New York Times bestseller. Get me a TV show, right? Like they’re thinking of what’s next. There’s always another level. But oftentimes when I talk about visibility, especially when I present this in person, I have people who are barely doing baseline.

Saying things to me like, oh, I wanna write a book and go on Good Morning America. And I’m like, where are you on your socials? Even like there are, it’s a ladder, I believe. So you don’t have to go from nothing to hosting your own podcast. There are steps.

Becca: I love thinking about it like a ladder. And that is so true.

There’s definitely those people that are barely showing up and want the world. So would you say then that the best thing, if people can identify themselves on the ladder, you’ve just explained and they’re a little bit hungry for more, would you just encourage them to try and just take one little step up

Renee: Yeah, I mean, it’s baby steps, right? It is absolute baby steps. And I think everyone wants that like magic bullet, right? That’s gonna be like, okay, I’m scared to post, but you know, now I’m gonna be posting every day. And it’s like, there. Actually like incremental steps there. Make, make a goal for yourself. You know, here’s something I did, right?

It’s funny now, like in 2020, we’re recording this at the end of 2022, back in the start of 2020, before the world came crashing down. I’d made a commitment to myself that I was going to pay for or somehow barter for a mini photo shoot every month in 2020 because I knew that I wanted to be more visible in my education brand.

I wanted to speak on more stages and I wanted to grow my podcast, and I knew the way to do that was to show up. , but I was someone who hated having my photo taken. Like hated it, Becca. I would procrastinate about it. I would like half-ass my makeup and hair. I’d be like, Hmm, I don’t care. I just, I wanna be natural.

I don’t wanna care so much about it. And then I would get photos taken and I would hate them. I was too fat, too tall, too short. I was too round, I was, you know, all the things, I was too purple. Like it doesn’t, I just had a lot of feelings about photos and me. So because I’m, because I’m me and I love to push myself, I was like, Every month, I’m just gonna make myself do it because if I do it every month, then at least I’ll have some kind of content.

I mean, you can’t hate every photo ever taken of you, right? Like there’s gotta be one or two winners in there. So that was my goal, and I did it in January and I did it in February, and then of course the world stopped. But in this year, in 2022, I haven’t done it every month, but I think I’ve maybe done four.

I’ve done four photo shoots this year for myself. For no reason. It’s like, what are you doing it for? I’m like, I don’t know. When we get the photos, I’ll figure out what to do with them. And people are like, that’s crazy. I’m like, well, but I need to, to strengthen that muscle of allowing myself to be seen in that way.

And also, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, she’s a crazy narcissist, I want you to consider this one. No, I’m not two, it’s for my business. And three, I’ve just decided that photo shoots are a collaboration between me and the photographer to create a piece of art that I just happen to be.

Becca: Oh, I love that way of thinking about things.

So interesting. And I think the thing that’s interesting is actually the more we do something, the better we get at it for a start. Yes. So if we’re scared about being in front of the camera and then we challenge ourselves to be in the front of the camera more and more and more, we get better at it. Like I remember back to my first brand shoot and the photographer might even be, listen.

Listening to this, and I felt so awkward and uncomfortable, and I was so wooden. And if I look back at those pictures now they’re awful. But since then, I’ve had photo shoot after photo shoot, after photo shoot, and now I can relax and be myself, and I’ve got used to the photographer. . And just like everything else, being visible is the same. Right. We need to practice it. And the more we do it, the better we get at it.

Renee: And even if it’s like, I’ve never done an Instagram story where I talk to camera, okay, well do one today, do one today. Because they, first of all, they disappear. And you don’t have to be perfect. You can rerecord them if you don’t like what you said.

But then also, don’t take it all so seriously, right? I mean, like, unless you say something catastrophically awful, which you probably won’t, no one’s gonna be like, oh my God, did you hear what Becca said on her Insta story? Like no one is paying that close attention to us. They really aren’t, right? So, so why not put your ideas out there?

Why not talk directly to camera, right? Why not just say, Hey, I got this sweater that I like. I want some photos. And barter with someone you know who’s a photographer. I mean, first of all, I think you should pay your photographers, but if, if the hesitation is, is financial, there’s always a way to work it out.

Becca: Yeah, there’s always a way. Okay. So the first thing that people are gonna be saying to me is, well that’s great Becca, for you and Renee, cuz you’re confident people, and I know you’ve just shared your story. So if they’re there and they’re thinking, I’m not confident, I don’t like the way I look, I don’t wanna be seen in front of the camera.

Have you got any encouragement? For them of how to get out of their own way.

Renee: Yeah. I mean, I didn’t come out of the womb confident . And I don’t wake up every day feeling confident. I don’t. But I think that what allows me to appear confident is that I am willing to risk, I’m willing to take the risk. And I think as entrepreneurs, I’m assuming most people listening are probably entrepreneurs.

You know, I think we have to give ourselves a little more credit for how. Open we are, and available we are to risk. I think it’s something we don’t talk about a lot. We’re just like, well, we’re just going about our business, but like every single day in our business is a risk, so, so what? Put yourself in front of the camera.

That’s a little bit of a risk. I will say for me, what helps me show up? is, I am someone who feels more comfortable with a little hair and makeup done. I feel more comfortable when my hair is blown out and I have a little lipstick on, and maybe that makes me shallow, but it makes me feel more ready to be visible, to be seen, to be heard.

It just makes me feel more prepared. But then also, there’s no harm in actually preparing, right? Like if it’s something that you’re, if it’s a podcast episode that you’re doing, make notes before you start. Journal out your ideas on paper. If you wanna do an Insta story where you’re talking to. Write out a little script for yourself.

You don’t have to follow it exactly, but I think there’s an idea out there that those of us who do these things just sort of walk into them like fully knowing and aware and perfect. And that’s never the case. It’s just you guys are only seeing the parts we wanna show you. You’re only seeing the 10th take when we finally get it right. you know, and i, and also for like, for photo shoots and stuff, I hire hair and makeup now. Like, I’m not even messing around. Like, I’m tired of like being like, oh, these photos would’ve been so good if my eyeliner wasn’t so stupid. Right? Like, just pay people. I, I mean, at this point, I, I just pay people to help me do it.

And I’ll say, I’ll tell you this. We did a, a photo shoot in New York for my new website that just launched a couple days ago. It’s just, it’s my Renee Dallas site, it’s my education site. But I had been using this horrible old template. Point where you’re like, this website is horrible. I don’t want anyone to see it.

That’s where I was. So we redid it. So we’re in New York in this hotel room doing photos and I had hired a makeup artist who I didn’t know. I found her on Instagram and when she was doing my makeup, I was telling her how bad I am at taking photos. She was like, why? What are we doing? And I was like, well it’s for my new website. And I was like, but Justin’s my friend, the photographer. I’m like, I feel really comfortable with him cause I’m not really good at photos and I don’t really like, you know, I get really, like you said, I get really wooden and like Justin arrived, we started shooting and like 10 minutes in, she yells from the corner.

You’re much better at this than you said.

Becca: I love that. That’s so good. We’re our biggest critic. Right?

Renee: Right. And so that I saw, I tell you that anecdote to say. You are likely judging yourself so much more harshly than is the reality of the situation. Like we all think that, I mean, listen you, any photo of me that you show me, I can pick out like 15 things that I would change.

That’s just our brains. That’s just human nature. We can’t let that get in the way of our work and our mission and our core values. We just can’t let it get in the way. You just have to go. Yeah. Okay. That’s what my nose looks like. Moving on . You know, it is what it is.

Becca: Yeah, and I could look at the same 15 pictures of you and think they were all beautiful and perfect because we don’t judge each other in the same way we judge ourselves, right?

Renee: And yes, 100%, and also no one is thinking about us the way that we’re thinking about us. Everyone’s just thinking about themselves. really, I mean, it’s bizarre to think of, but really it’s like we spend so much time picking ourselves apart and nobody else is doing.

Becca: Yeah, it’s very, very true. Okay, so people are thinking, right, yeah, I’m on this. I’m gonna be visible. I’m gonna put my face out there. What difference does that make to them in their wedding business? Is that gonna result in more clients? Is it gonna result in a better client relationship? What’s the positive spin on this?

Renee: Honestly, there I, to me, there is no deterrent. There’s no, there’s no. Nothing in the con, you know, column here. One, it’s going to help you attract the right kind of clients. And that’s different for everyone like that. That what makes up that right client is gonna be different for everyone. But when you show up, when you show people who you are, you’re going to naturally attract.

But then also you’re gonna naturally repel some people too. And honestly, Good repel people because what you don’t want, and what’s so funny, every time I talk, I talk to my students about this, they’re like, well, but then I won’t get as many inquiries. And I’m like, I’m sorry. Are you getting a thousand inquiries a week that there’s, it’s too much.

You can’t, you can’t handle like you’re going to, you’re gonna get the people that are meant to find you and you’re, and the amount of

inquiries won’t matter because the quality of them will increase. Right. Also, you’re going to be attracting better vendor partners. Because people are going to feel like they can refer you if they feel like they know you, whether or not they actually know you, because they’re going to be like, oh, I know what Becca’s about.

Okay. No. I have a client who I think

would be perfect for Becca, even if they’ve never spent time with you on social media. It’s a weird thing, but our brains index that time we spend watching each other on video as real time. Now, welcome to our 2023 Brains, right, and then also we are going to get more confident in.

Rising to the level of expert we need to be to then charge more money.

Becca: So there is no, con is all a positive.

Renee: There’s no con. Listen, is someone sometimes gonna be not in agreement with what you say? Yeah, of course. But also who cares about them? They’re not paying your bills.

Becca: Yeah, that’s very true. Now. Now that brings me onto my next question actually, because one of the things that came up in my community very recently when we were talking about visibility and reels is their fear of being trolled, their fear of someone writing something underneath them or telling them that they were wrong or just being downright mean.

Have you experienced any of that yourself in your business since being more visible?

Renee: Yeah. I mean, listen,

I speak on stages nationwide, internationally. So every so often when I speak on stage, I’ll get some emails after the fact. Right? Or I’ll, or, or especially in the podcast. I got an email once that was like, I disagree with what you said and you need to be more blah, blah, blah. And you know, I guess I just always think that those comments have way more to do with the person who’s giving it, giving that comment than they do about me. Right? Like a few years ago at Wedding mba, when my first year on stage, I. A couple of emails after the fact. And it was funny too, when I explained what the emails were like, you can kind of go like, oh, okay.

So I got a lot of emails after the fact that were very positive, blah, blah, blah. And then I got three emails from three different people who, now that I think about it, probably were all connected, offering me weight loss drugs.

Becca: Wow.

Renee: Yeah. Telling me that I, I would be so pretty if I had, if I lost a couple pounds,

Becca: that is awful.

Renee: It’s awful. Right. And, but what they were doing was trying to sell me on weight loss drugs. And of course I ignore the emails because they don’t, they don’t get even a moment of my attention. But I tell the story to tell, to say like, you know, I think if I were maybe a different person and hadn’t worked on myself so much, perhaps those comments would be like, oh my God, maybe I should never get on stage again.

But instead I was like, F those guys, what are they talking about? Like, We all deserve to be seen no matter what, no matter what age we are, shape, size, race, it does not matter. Every single human person deserves to be seen. So that email was more about them wanting to sell me something than it was about anything wrong with me.

And that’s sort of the same way I feel about everything. We did our Black Friday promotion a couple of weeks ago and I sent an email. We had scheduled an email to go out like at midnight. The night of Thanksgiving, so right as the clock switched over to Friday and I woke, I, I was asleep. When the email was sent, my team scheduled it.

I woke up to an email from someone on my email list who I don’t know. Who was like, how dare you email me on Thanksgiving, this, you know, and it was like a, it was an email that was like, here’s a bunch of sales from wedding pros. Something here might be helpful for you. And she was like, how dare you. I mean, I could have had the, I could have had the thing about like, oh, I know I shouldn’t have sent that email.

Oh my God, this one person out of 12,000 people was really mad about it. What did I do? But instead I was like, well, she must have been having a bad night.

Becca: Yeah, it’s always more about them. That’s how I deal with it too. It’s resilience. We have to become more resilient and also realize it’s probably them having a bad day and not us.

And actually it’s not our problem if they wanna bring that kind of negativity. I had a great one recently, so I put on some drinks at a really lovely hotel in a lovely city, and it was free of charge for people to come. There was free Prosecco cake. It was a gorgeous evening, and posted in a. Of vendors to say, if anyone wants to come along to this, like you’re invited, I’d love to see you there. And someone commented underneath saying, you’re so unprofessional because you’ve made a typo. And I was like, if that’s what you’ve got from my generosity, , I don’t want you to come to my drinks. Like

Renee: I love the typo. I love the Typo Police because it’s also. Do you know how many emails I write a day? Do you know how much copy we write a day?

Like, yeah, of course we try to put it through Grammarly and do our best, but wouldn’t it be kinder just to say, oh, hey, I don’t know if you realized you meant to say this. Like why would someone not pick the kind option there? That clearly tells me that that person has some issues they need to work on.

Becca: Yeah, and you have to just laugh about it. So if you are out there and you’re thinking, I’m scared of being visible in case I have this, you might have it a little bit. I haven’t had it a lot, but I have had it a little bit. And actually you just gotta let it go and be resilient.

Renee: Becca that’s a great point too.

Like when you really think about, when I think about how many times I’ve gotten anything negative in all these years and all the things I’ve done, it’s a handful. It is not a large, it’s. It’s not really a concern of mine at all. So for people who are thinking that, that’s the thing, holding them back, I say, no, release it.

Because that’s not, it’s not real. It’s not a real.

Becca: Yeah. And going back to what you said right at the beginning, just give yourself permission to go ahead and do it. Stop holding yourself back. So when you look at your own business, your wedding planning business, and you think back, what do you think is the visibility strategy that’s worked best for you in your planning strategy that’s worked best for me?

Renee: I mean, relationships, it’s not, it’s not a strategy , but relationships, I mean, I don’t think you can, I don’t think you can be successful in. in any business without real quality relationships. And sometimes those relationships change and grow and morph and, or sometimes you outgrow someone and you know what I mean?

Like, it, it’s not, I’m not saying to hold tight and fast to relationships that are not working out. That’s key. But I do think, being someone who is interested in other people interested in how you can serve other people, help other people lift other people. That is going to get you farther. I have a, it’s not a joke, but it’s this funny thing that my husband and I always say, do you know Hamilton?

Did you watch Hamilton on when it was on tv? And

Becca: Oh, I love Hamilton.

Renee: Love Hamilton. So we love Hamilton. We’re obsessed. And there was this moment in the, there was like this behind the scenes thing about Hamilton, where lin Manuel Miranda says to Chris Jackson, I have a job. You have a. I have a job. You have a job.

And we say that all the time. It’s just like a funny thing cuz people used to be actors, right? My husband and I are like, that’s so true cuz like, you, you get a job and you want other people to get that job with you. And so I think of all the time with my favorite vendors, I, I book a job and I think I have a job. You have a job. So it’s like, who do you feel that way about? Who do you feel so strongly about that you’re like, I want to bring you up with me. Those are the kind of relationships, that’s the strategy that we.

Becca: That’s brilliant. I love that because I’m all about collaboration and I love it. So how did you get yourself in front of people?

Did you do it online? Did you go to in-person networking? Where did you do it?

Renee: Everything. I think at, at, at first, my whole thing was to be networking. Like I, I used to be networking, like literally for. Four or five nights a week. Like not, not that’s not even an exaggeration. There were like, my first two years in business, I was basically like out of the house all the time and my husband even said like, what is all this?

I was like, I just need everyone to know me because I, I have this theory and I, and I think I’ve proved it with my own business, that even if someone doesn’t know your work, But they see you a lot at social engagements. They see you at these industry networking things, and they know that you’re someone who shows up.

It instills some confidence in them about your work, even if they’ve never really worked with you, because they’re like, oh, well, Renee’s at everything. She’s so, she’s such a, you know, she’s part of the community. She’s such a supporter of these organizations. That is how I built my business. I just made sure that I was sort of everywhere.

In fact, by the time, like I was five, six years in, I had to like literally sit down with myself and be like, you don’t need to go to everything anymore. People know you, you can relax. So at first I just wanted to be. Everywhere because I also wanted to know people, right? As a wedding planner, like we have to know everyone, or at least I think we do.

And so that’s how that started. But then once I started my education brand and teaching on stage, it was really important for me to know who I was. Educating Right to, to, I only get ideas from the, from the, from the students.

Like it’s not like I’m over here going like, you know what I think they need?

It’s like you have to talk to people. And so that very much in the last couple years has all been online. So again, I think it’s just about all of this that we’ve been talking about from the beginnings of my career. To visibility to now this conversation. It’s like it’s all just about showing up. You can’t be successful in business if you’re hiding behind anything.

I think because it’s not authentically you. It’s not authentically who people want to do business with. You know? Especially now, especially Gen Z, like they want to know you and that might be scary. But there’s gotta be a way for you to reconcile the real you with the public. There has to be a little bit of real you in the public.

It has to be authentic in that way because I think the people that aren’t on board with this will, will not be serving Gen Z. They won’t be in business that much longer. It’s changing. It’s always changing as our clients change.

Becca: Yeah, that’s very, very true. Okay, Renee, before we wrap up of this great conversation, which I could carry on having forever, I always end my podcast with the same question, which is this.

What is the one thing you wish you’d known sooner in your own business?

Renee: Oh, That my business is about me, and I say that in this in this way. I spent a lot of time at the beginning of my business figuring out who I was going to serve, and I thought, well, because I have an open mind and I’m L G B T Q Pro. and I’m, you know, I, I, I’m open-minded more than the wedding industry was 12 years ago. When I started, I thought, well, of course my clients are going to be really offbeat and really irreverent and really non-traditional, and we’re gonna do these like wacky off the beaten path weddings at these crazy venues. I really had this thought in my head that I was going to be this like offbeat bride. Remember that blog Offbeat bride, that offbeat bride wedding planner? And so that’s how I started. I, I wanted to appeal to these really offbeat couples. So I did my first wedding show, which was, the Lovesick Expo, which was hosted by Offbeat bride. And I remember the weeks before I was getting really panicked because I was like, oh, I don’t really look like an offbeat. Bride person, right? Like I am just me and I, I’m not, I don’t have tattoos or piercings or purple hair or I don’t look like these people. So then I literally was like, went to my acting background and I was like, well, what would I wear if I were, and I like, bought this outfit and like, did my hair all kind of funky and had like a really overly designed booth.

And I stood there at this expo and I thought, what am I doing? This is like not, this is not it. This is not authentic. Like, where am I in this equation? Like, yes, I am here to serve, but I was really trying to put myself in this niche that I’m, it’s not authentic to me. And not, not surprisingly, I was not successful at that show because people could tell that I was wearing a costume that I was putting on this idea of who I thought they wanted me to be. all these years later, right? I’m, I’m, me, like, I like bougie, expensive things and I , I,

I, like, I, I shop at anne Taylor for God’s sakes. Like I’m just a, I’m just that woman. And now my clients come to me because I’m me and they see. part of themselves in this authentic me. And I’m not trying to wear striped, you know, striped tights and like a motorcycle jacket with my hair. You know, like that’s not the look and I, and that all, that probably sounds to some people like quite shallow. But I really had to get to the sense of my business is it’s me and I have to put myself out there authentically to attract the right people. And ultimately I wasn’t successful until I got to that. And it’s, it’s hard because I, it was easier to hide behind that, well, I’m this person in this job. But that isn’t real. Does that make sense? I feel like I explained myself into a, into a circle.

Becca: No, that makes total sense. And you know what? I would love to see a photo of you at that first wedding show.

Renee: No, I’ve burned them all. Ridiculous.

Becca: But it’s true, because we just can’t pretend to be something that we’re not. It won’t last, and people will see straight through it. And you’re much better becoming happy with yourself and just being. Unapologetically you, Renee, it’s been such a pleasure to have you. I know you’re gonna share a guide about visibility with my audience, so we’ll pop a link to that in the show notes. Can you just tell us a little bit more about that?

Renee: Yeah, so it’s a, it’s actually a really, it’s a long guide. Here’s the thing. I love making these guides, and then once I get started, I’m like, it’s a book . So it actually has 30 days of visibility prompts in there that you can use for any month. You can start whenever, but it also has the definition of the three levels of visibility and then some helpful. Helpful tips and tricks and people to look for, like, you know, reference, links for people who can help you take excellent selfies. Cuz I know a lot of times we talk about this, I talked a lot about photo shoots and you’re like seeing dollar signs and I get it. I’ve also taken very many interesting photos of myself on my phone. Like, you don’t need to invest a lot of money here and there are. There’s one specific gal. Her name is serell and I linked to a lot of her stuff cuz she’s sort of like a pro at taking a selfie. Like really artistic, beautiful photos with your camera. It’s genius. There’s no barrier. Here is the point and it’s all in the guide.

Becca: Love it. So I will make sure I’ve linked to that guide in the show notes. I’ll also make sure to link to your Instagram and your website, so if you guys wanna hear more from Renee, I’m sure she’s happy for you to reach out to her. So all of her links will be below.

Renee: Thanks so much, Becca. Thanks for having me.

Becca: I just love that conversation with Renee. I could have listened to her tell her stories all day long, and I just love how. Honest. She was about how being authentic is so important, but being visible didn’t come easy to her. But over time, she’s perfected it, and now she’s just unapologetically herself. Why don’t you try and be a little bit more visible in your wedding business this week? I’d love you to be accountable to me to do it. So why not go ahead post something, do something different in your business, and then drop into my inbox on Instagram or Facebook and let me know what you did. I’d love to celebrate that with.

I’ll see you next time.

Becca xo


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