Let's Meet Lindsay Longacre of LVL Academy
I am really loving my blog series 'Let's Meet' ... there are SO many badass business owners out there and I feel so lucky to know a few of them ... to learn from them ... be inspired by them ... today my guest is someone who amazes me all the time ... Lindsay Longacre of LVL ...As long as I have known Lindsay of LVL Weddings & Events and LVL Academy she has been raising her own bar every year - if not twice a year - she values relationships and is always kind, supportive, and wants success for everyone who is willing to put in the work to be successful. When I started Style Unveiled in 2008 I was lucky enough to meet her through submissions and features on my blog and when I closed Style Unveiled and started The Editor's Touch she was one of the first people to be supportive and reach out - this girl never gets 'comfy' and acknowledges the importance of being a good, quality person above making money in business. Her relationships reach across the country and everyone who meets her just falls in love with her spirit, professionalism, and positive outlook on not only business, but life. Below is my interview with her!
If you had to choose to give one of these up: social media or business relationships - which one would you keep and why?
Relationships. This question is a no brainer for me because I believe in the power of connection and relationship building. This is the pillar of entrepreneurship and growing a successful company.
Without the connection of two inspired souls joining forces you will be a lifeless business.
What do you feel was the most important choice you made during your first year of launching this business?
I had learned some hard lessons with starting LVL Weddings & Events back in 2007 so I knew when we launched LVL Academy we needed to test our program first so we spent the first few years doing a local training to see what the results of the students were before investing head first into the bigger game plan of making LVL Academy the home for planners to take their business to the next level.
Have you been affected by the most recent Instagram algorithm updates? In what way?
I have seen a dip in gaining new followers but we are still getting lots of prospects finding out about our program first through Instagram.
What tools do you believe a business owner has to constantly stay on top of to be successful?
I wouldn't say this is a tool but always looking ahead to what the future may hold so you aren't blind sighted by a turn in the economy in some way. I think for me I have my eye on technology and how this will change the wedding industry so I am really trying to stay alert and have my eyes wide open for signals or patterns that will help our company be on the cutting edge and prepared to give our clientele what they want.
What is your biggest worry or frustration as a business owner right now and what motivates you to push through anyway?
I think it has to be funding. We have always boot strapped our business and I struggle with the idea of getting an investor so we can grow more quickly. I just wish I had all the money in the world (don't we all) to hire the best of the best so we can go national but I just have to be patient and take one step at a time.
Why did you choose your focus in your industry? What made you fall in love with your field?
I love to serve people and what better way to do that in supporting them on the most important day of their lives and now with LVL Academy I get to serve both the couple and the planner so it is even double rewarding!
What's your trick to staying important to potential clients?
I think you have to be a real person and be someone they can relate to and never have an ego about where you are or the position you might hold.
People see right through those who are not authentic.
Have you or do you work with a PR company to help promote you? Do you feel that is an important thing for small business owners to do?
YES but not a PR company. We work with a marketing consulting firm because we are still learning all the ins and outs of a good internet marketing strategy and having this person to support us has been imperative to our growth.
I think it is important to hire those who are better at areas where you are weak.
The biggest takeaway would be to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner and outsource those weaknesses to someone who is an expert.
Tell me about your 2 biggest achievements as a business owner over the life of your company - and what makes those 2 stand out?
- Growing LVL Weddings & Events into a company where some of the most amazing people I have ever met choose to come to work. I am grateful and humbled everyday for my team and impressed by how loyal and amazing they are.
- This might be more broad but to see the planners that come through our wedding planner workshop leave and literally grow their business X3 and making more money then they ever thought possible and are booking weddings they have been dreaming about. Sometimes Heather and I look at each other and say
"Holy sh*t" this is actually working!!
How did you narrow down your target market and do such a good job of attracting that specific type of client?
This was easy. I was marketing to me! A wedding planner who was not formally trained and didn't even know what she didn't know! My husband always tells me, Lindsay every time you work with a coach or mentor your business grows and this is the same concept of LVL Academy. I think planners think they don't need to be trained because sometimes we live in our own bubble and get in our own way for one reason or another but when you challenge yourself and put yourself in a learning environment it is pretty amazing what can happen!