Today’s interview is with my friend and colleague Kathy Dalpra from Bride Appeal. She’s awesome, if I do say so myself…. and soon you’ll agree if you don’t already “heart” Kathy and Bride Appeal big-time!
Natalie Bradley: What made you passionate about what you do? What events do you feel brought you to this point in time?
Kathy Dalpra: The whole reason I help wedding professionals with web design/sales and SEO is because I myself was a bridal business that struggled with this very same thing when I was first starting out. Years of struggling with it, not to mention the money I poured down the drain, inspired me to share what I know with others when I finally figured it all out. My mission is to help other wedding professionals get fabulous results from their websites without feeling stressed, overwhelmed or inadequate.
NB: What do you love the most about your business?
KD: The “a-ha” moment that comes from nearly every private client consulting session I have. A talent I never knew I had when I first began my business is seeing in my clients what they can’t see for themselves. My ability to ask the right questions and view things in a totally fresh light results in big transformations for my clients. When they get so giddy from the new insight and finally take that big sigh of relief because they don’t have to push so hard to figure it out anymore…THAT is the moment I live for!
NB: What is your background? Do you have a college or higher education degree? If so, is your degree related to what you do now?
KD: This is the funniest question for me to answer because most people never expect to hear my response. I did go to college…and I studied brains!!! Seriously, my focus in college was Neuroscience and I actually had to get approval from the staff to study this as an undergrad. I got in and I loved it! Studying it, that is. But working on rats all day long for the rest of my life was not appealing…nor was spending another 8 years in med school to get into brain surgery. So I finished up my degree and then started fresh with a career in Marketing, starting with my first job out of college. I was so good at it and loved it so much, I just stuck with it.
NB: What are your favorite hobbies and interests?
KD: I love learning about health, being eco-friendly and expressing my creativity through jewelry, fashion and home decor. I’m a big music lover, adore animals and love to travel. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m such a family girl, I probably wouldn’t think twice about picking up and moving to Bali. My favorite vacations always involve connecting with nature…hiking, waterfalls, nature tours.
NB: What’s your favorite time of year and why?
KD: Spring because it’s the start of new beginnings.
NB: What’s your favorite social media place to hang out virtually?
KD: Twitter – it’s more alive.
NB: What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
KD: Unlike the other girls in my class growing up, I found boy bands like Backstreet Boys totally repelling. I wanted Beatles, Zeppelin, Floyd…whatever challenged me. (By the way, I think I’m the only other person who could say this with Kathy! I couldn’t stand New Kids on The Block and all my friends had posters on the walls. Love that Kathy!! And I didn’t know that!)
NB: If you were a superhero, who would you be and why? (I know – random, but fun!)
KD: Catwoman – she’s a badass.
NB: When did you start your business? What made you get started?
KD: The idea for my business came to me in 2009 when industry friends/colleagues starting asking for help with their websites and traffic-building because they starting seeing me pop up everywhere online and wanted the same for their own business. But I didn’t start taking on clients until 2010. Since then it’s sort of been a whirlwind.
NB: How do you establish a personal connection with your clients?
KD: Surprisingly, the connection usually begins even before we meet. Most of my clients already feel like they know me by the time they decide to work with us through my blog, ezine and social media presence. Beyond that, making that personal connection is easy because the nature of my work requires that I understand their business and passion almost as much as they do. Diving into the soul of their business reveals a lot about who they are and the gift they have to share with the world. It’s a bonding experience.
NB: What’s a typical work week look like for you? Day?
KD: It’s a good mix of client coaching sessions, writing, marketing, training development and meeting with my team members. What I do during a day depends on the day. Each day of the week is assigned to a specific segment of my business (marketing, sales, clients, business development) so that I can focus without interruption and give the best of me to my clients and my business.
NB: How do you “get it all done”? What’s your biggest tip for other entrepreneurs?
KD: An awesome team. If I were doing it all alone, it wouldn’t get done. My top priority is having talented, reliable, well-trainined team members who can take ownership of their piece of the pie. When we all do what we’re best at, everyone wins. My biggest tip for other entrepreneurs is to stop wearing all the hats. It stresses you out, wears you down and results in poor quality work.
NB: What’s your niche and specialty?
KD: Helping wedding professionals create a website they love that is a magnet for their ideal bride and moves her to take action. My team and I excel at giving our clients an online presence that truly reflects their unique brand, while also serving the functional purpose of turning visitors into inquiries. But one of the other hidden specialties I have, that our followers never see, is helping our clients systematize and automate the sales process by leveraging their website and the right CMS tools.
NB: Who do you like working with the most (type of person)?
KD: I am the best match for wedding professionals that take fast action and implement what they learn. I find that the clients I most enjoy, who also get the best results from our time together, are the ones that dig in, get going and trust my recommendations. They don’t make excuses, procrastinate or shy away from trying something new in their business. In the end, they are the ones that wind up with the best transformations.
NB: How can people work with you? What methods can they chose from?
Anyone interested in learning my methods can attend one of my many group workshops on topics like SEO, traffic-building, website success and online marketing…which are sometimes co-taught with you Natalie! To find out about them when they open up, the best thing to do is make sure you’re subscribed to the Bride Appeal Ezine because that’s where our announcements are made first. http://brideappeal.com/ezine
For those that want more personal attention and private consulting, we offer high level programs that include our top-tier mentoring program, a custom designed website and related services (copywriting, SEO help).
Also, I am currently working on a top-secret program that will give newer bridal businesses who are on a tight budget access to more of our custom design and website resources at an affordable rate…more to come soon
NB: If someone wants to work with you, where do you suggest they begin?
There is no doubt that our best no-cost resources are our ezine and blog. Before you consider working with us, it’s a good idea to get to know me and my team through our educational musings. This will help you determine whether you like our style and want more
If you decide you want to take your online presence and business as a whole to the next level, then I’d suggest getting on our Wait List for our private mentoring program and custom website design services. We have dozens of wedding professionals waiting in line to work with us on this list, so if you’re serious about working with us one-on-one, you’ll probably want to get on it sooner than later. When an opening pops up, we let everyone on the list know so that everyone gets a fair shot at it.
NB: What do you wish people knew most about your business and why?
KD: When we work privately with a client, custom website design is only half of the equation. The reason most wedding professionals are still struggling with a website that produces no leads, no inquiries and no sales or bookings is because it’s just a website. When they built it or hired someone else to built it, they did so without a brand, sales and traffic strategy…and that’s why it’s not producing. Great design is just “eye candy.” It might be attractive, and that’s essential, but it’s just a small piece of the website puzzle.
A successful website goes far beyond that…it is built to get a response…to get brides to take action…to generate traffic, leads and inquiries. THOSE are the kinds of websites we build at Bride Appeal. And we can’t do that if the only thing we give our clients are standard, boring, everyday website development services. So we don’t! Our custom design programs come standard with a high level mentoring program, including trainings, private coaching and more. Our clients don’t just walk away with an incredibly designed and super easy-to-manage website…they have a sales plan on paper, the know-how to get traffic and a newfound confidence to convert visitors and prospects into paying brides.
Kathy and I share a LOT of brilliant clients! What we do works together so well, that our shared clients are ALWAYS success stories! Make SURE you go check out Bride Appeal today!