How to Find a Legitimate, Talented and Kickass Wedding Speechwriter in the Internet Wild West

Snake oil (1).jpg
 

Unfortunately, the internet remains a little like the Wild West where anything goes. I was reminded of this when talking recent with Thomas, a father of the bride client in Connecticut.

He said, “You must know you’re in a mirky sea of people out there calling themselves wedding speechwriters. It must be tough to break through it all.”

I said, “So what made you choose me over all the rest?”

He, like thousand of other clients I’ve worked with over the years, pointed to a combination of six things to confirm I was legitimate, talented and would help them nail their speech as promised.

Here’s how you can evaluate any wedding speechwriter on the internet based on that same criteria.

1)  Understanding Your Needs. Does the speechwriter demonstrate a solid intellectual and emotional understanding of your present predicament and the big benefits you demand?  (Yes, you need a “speech” but it goes much deeper emotionally than that, right?)

2)  High-Quality Writing. Does the website have clean, tight and punchy copy?  If the writing is wordy, confusing, dull or rambling that means your speech is going to be wordy, confusing, dull and rambling.

Is the website overwritten in flowery, sappy language? If so, that’s what you’re speech is going to sound like.

3)  REAL Customer Reviews. Legitimate business owners on the Internet pay (and it ain’t cheap) to contract with a third-party, Google-authorized review service such as Shopper Approved, TrustPilot and Yotpo to collect reviews for them.

These services collect reviews from verified purchasers only and take the review process completely out of the hands of the website owner to ensure the absolute integrity of every review.

I contract with Shopper Approved and have absolutely no access to any customer review. Shopper Approved won’t even change misspellings of my name in reviews. I know this because I called and asked them to. They refused and said a stipulation of being a Google-authorized service is that all reviews must remain exactly as the customer wrote them—misspellings and all.

Here’s how to tell if the reviews on a website are most likely fake and written by the speechwriter themselves (or their friends and family).

Any review you see on a website that is not clearly marked as having been collected by one of these Google-authorized services that verify purchasers is likely fake (at the link, scroll to the heading “Where ratings come from” for the full list of Google-authorized review services).

Fly-by-night speechwriters will type fake reviews on their site then try to make your believe they’re real by signing them with things like, “Julie, Australia,” or “S. Brown, Denver,” or “G.T., Los Angeles.” Don’t buy it. There’s no way for you to verify these are actual customers other than taking the word of the website owner who you don’t know from a hole in the ground.

Also be aware that most reviews on wedding websites like Wedding Wire, The Knot and others are fake. That’s because these sites don’t have any customer verification process in place—all you need is an email address to post a review. And you can post more than one review. So rest assured that many, if not all, of reviews on these sites are posted by family, friends and the speechwriter him/herself.

The bottom line: any competent, legitimate speechwriter is going to pay a Google-authorized review service to give you piece of mind.

4)  A Prominently Displayed Digital Security Symbol. Every reputable internet-based service provider pays a third-party digital security company like Verisign, McAfee or TrustedSite to verify the integrity of their checkout process and ensure their entire site is secure.

I contract with McAfee and you can see the security symbol in the lower right of this screen. Click on it and you will see the security verification. Again, every reputable business owner will offer you this added protection.

5)  An Actual Name of the Speechwriter, Street Address, Live Chat and 800 Number. Everyone has an email contact form on their website but a legitimate speechwriter will also pay to give you a live chat function and an 800-number to speak directly.

I want to give you as many ways as possible to get answers to your questions and learn more about what I offer. Beware of those who go nameless, don’t offer transparency on their location and only want to communicate via email or contact forms on their site. There’s a reason they’re keeping you at arm’s length. They’re up to something. Steer clear.

6) Real Media Coverage. Successful wedding speechwriters get media coverage. The coverage I’ve received from National Public Radio, Daily Mail, Vox and others have come from reporters contacting me based on my internet presence and the combination of the credibility builders I’ve outlined above.

Caution: Many speechwriters will have media logos on their websites to imply coverage. Click on those logos. First, does it take you anywhere? If not, they were not featured as they claim.

If the media logo is clickable does it take you directly to an article featuring them or is it just an article about speechwriting that doesn’t even mention them or their service? This is very common, unfortunately, and a very dishonest way to begin a relationship with you, of course.

The internet is a great way to put all of us in touch with people around the world who can best serve our needs. But caution is always the best policy when selecting a wedding speechwriter or any service provider online.

Click CHAT! in the lower right or call me at 1-800-950-6893 if you have questions.