I use AI to help me run my wedding business. The tools I use save me 15 hours a week and do the dirty work for me.
- Jen Glantz is the founder of the wedding business Bridesmaid for Hire and a new mom.
- When she got pregnant, she started testing how AI could help her cut down her working hours.
I started my business Bridesmaid for Hire when I was 26. I was a bridesmaid so many times for my own friends that I decided do it for strangers, too.
I posted an ad on Craigslist letting people know that I was a bridesmaid available for hire. The ad went viral, and days later, I started the business.
At the time, I was single and had recently been laid off from my full-time job. I spent weekdays meeting with brides, going to vendor appointments, or planning bachelorette parties. I spent weekends at the parties, bridal showers, and actual weddings. I was also doing freelance work on the side as a professional speaker and writer and working a total of 60 to 70 hours a week.
I'm now a new mom without childcare and trying to run my business at full speed. When I found out I was pregnant, I decided I needed a plan to slowly remove myself from much of the day-to-day work and interactions with clients. I turned to AI to help me scale my business, earn passive income, and do less of the work myself.
A year later, I've been able to do that in three ways, while saving over 15 hours of work a week. Here's how.
I built an AI tool that replaces one of my most popular services
The second-most popular service I offer clients is maid-of-honor speechwriting. I spend an hour chatting with a maid of honor to learn about the relationship she has with the couple getting married and write down stories, details, and key memories. Then I spend three to four hours writing the maid of honor speech for a fee of $375.
I get anywhere from 15 to 20 inquiries a month about this service, but because of how much time it takes, I can only work with three to five people.
I decided to build an AI tool that replicates this service so I can offer it to more clients — at a lower price point of $35 — and remove myself from the process.
I teamed up with a developer who worked on a project with my husband in the past. He agreed to work with me on an equity basis, which meant his team would build the tool for free and then take a commission from every sale.
I provided the developer's team with a list of all the questions I usually ask maids of honor before writing their speeches, anonymized audio transcripts from the calls I've had with clients, and finalized speeches that I wrote.
The team trained the AI to ask the same core questions that I do in a conversational tone and take the information the user provides to write a personalized speech based on the speeches I've written for past clients.
The tool is able to write speeches for clients within minutes instead of the one- to two-week turnaround that I used to offer when I did this manually. It launched in late August and it's already written 45 speeches for paying customers.
While the speech output isn't always perfect, it provides clients with a satisfactory result that they can then edit further. If a customer wants me to review the speech that the tool generated and make quick edits, I do that for free.
In the past month, we've only had to issue one refund and that was because the tool was temporarily out of service when a customer went to use it.
I use ChatGPT to help with marketing
I used to spend 10 to 15 hours a week on different marketing efforts to help get new clients and provide new content to my 92,000 social-media followers and 70,000 newsletter subscribers.
Occasionally, I hire contractors or virtual assistants to help me create content, schedule posts, and write posts for my website. But these services can cost a couple thousand dollars and require a lot of hands-on instruction.
Now I use ChatGPT to streamline a lot of my marketing efforts and save time.
ChatGPT helps me come up with a batch of social-media posts I can use each month. I ask the tool to write five social-media posts for a business that posts tips for bridesmaids on how to save money and be better at the role. I put the answers into a free Canva template and schedule the post. The entire process takes 15 minutes, whereas it would've taken about 90 minutes to do it myself.
I also asked ChatGPT to write me a marketing strategy that I can use to help me promote my AI maid-of-honor speechwriting tool. I asked for a partnership plan and email templates to send to potential partners. I copied and pasted the templates into an email and sent them out to a handful of partners I had previously identified. This also saved me an hour's worth of work.
I let other AI tools do client dirty work for me
I'm often tasked with helping brides do a lot of the bridal-party duties, from planning bachelorette-party itineraries to coming up with suggested bridesmaid dresses for their friends to wear. This involves doing research that can take me five to 10 hours a week. Now I use AI to help me.
If a client asks me to help her put together a registry, I'll use AI gift-searching tools and export results into a spreadsheet for them to review. I'll use Roam Around to help plan an itinerary for the bachelorette party. If they're asking for help coming up with bridesmaid-dress styles to pick from, I'll use an AI styling tool that generates these looks, based on a few questions.
My goal isn't to ever use AI to fully replace the services I provide clients as a hired bridesmaid, but it is to use AI tools to cut down up to 20 working hours a week.
In the future, I hope to build out a suite of AI tools to replicate more of the services I offer clients. Until then, I'll use existing AI tools to supplement my work.
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