Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you misleading your potential clients?

A few months ago, I received a call from a vendor who wanted to know if I receive some type of commission for posting a 'vendor spotlight,' because they wanted me to feature their work on the blog. I have said this thousands of times before, and also emphasize this on my contracts, but I will say it again. I NEVER receive any type of commission by referring vendors NOR do I receive a commission for doing a vendor spotlight. In keeping up with this ethic, I have also turned down several vendors who approached me to ask if I'd be willing to advertise their services on the blog for a monthly fee. The reason why I am against the whole idea is because my intention of starting up this blog was not to make more money off of advertising. I feel that personal blogs, like wedding planners' blogs, should not be collecting fees when clients are paying for services anyway. Also, I feel that ads are a bit distracting on a blog.

If you've been a faithful follower of my blog, you'll notice that I stopped doing 'vendor spotlights' and postings on wedding related images (unless they're our clients' weddings) because of several reasons.
1) I realized I could be potentially misleading my clients that these types of features were 'my' work. How often people just scan through blogs and DON'T read the posts carefully!
2) I'd rather have loyal readers, stay relevant and practical than posting inspirational images everyday. (plus, I have no time to browse the web these days! ;)
3) If you wholeheartedly respect fellow designers out there, it's really unfair to them who have spent a lot of time & money purchasing products, collaborating with other vendors, only to have someone copy and paste it as their own. I, too, have made the same mistake by posting other people's work when I first started this blog and after doing a few shoots myself this year, I realized these styled shoots & personalized weddings take up so much energy, resources, originality and sometimes pulling all nighters. There's no way I can now dare to copy & paste the designer and the photographer's hard work.

To the bloggers who call themselves event designers/stylists/coordinators/vendors:
1) Before you just copy & paste someone's beautiful work, please do a bit of research to find out who the designer is, and also who all the vendors involved with the photos were, instead of just linking to the photographer's website. This isn't just talking about using images to create inspiration boards, but blogging a entire post on other weddings/shoots and writing about it as if you were somehow involved?! SO not ethical!
2) Please ask yourself deep inside your heart if you may be potentially misleading clients by posting someone's work.
3) If you're thinking of using other florists/planners/designers/photographers' work, please state it CLEARLY. This will help readers make a better evaluation of the information they are taking in from your blog.

To the brides who are surfing the web to find inspirations:
1) Please note where the blogger got the photos from.
2) If you want to see the vendors' portfolio, make sure you visit their website, read their list of services, bio, etc. before you send an e-mail. You have NO idea how many times people thought I was a photographer, baker, venue concierge, florist, etc... Really

With all this said, let's create an environment of honest work ethics in the blogsphere, and not mislead our potential clients.
Any piece of honest advice or real experience you'd like to share? Please leave a comment or two!


Rhiannon Bosse said...

Such an awesome post!! Opened my eyes to many many things :) E-mail coming your way! I, like you, have not been on my computer much these days!! So busy!!! xo

skippee said...

Wow~ I'm so impressed by your work ethic and how noble you are! You really do seem to genuinely care about your clients and about being true to yourself. =) Btw~ I've been following your blog ever since I saw your baby's birthday part (which was amazing!) on Hostess with the Mostess! I usually don't have time to comment because I'm running after my own little one! It's been ages since I was planning a wedding but I still really enjoy reading your blog! =)

Esther said...

@ Rhi, I'm sure you must be busy! excited for all your upcoming news and can't wait to see what you'll come up with for your shoot. ;) fyi, I do read your lovely blog!
@skippee, OMG! I had no idea you were following my blog! I, too, saw your little one's birthday party photos and you did such a fabulous job putting together all the details! I think we have some mutual friends ;)