Stephanie is an early riser, Jeff is not. Right around the time Stephanie indulges in her post-yoga morning soup, Jeff rolls out of bed and takes to the guitar—his morning ignition. After strumming his way to an inspired state, it’s coffee time, just as Stephanie returns from her run with Pique, the pair’s dog. Though both move through autonomous morning rituals, they come together as yin and yang in their business, Book More Brides.
Stephanie and Jeff Padovani are the epitome of a dynamic duo. Their roles as business partners are clearly defined, divvying up their responsibilities according to their strengths.
“He’s the fire starter, he comes up with the ideas and then I make them happen,” proclaims Stephanie.
Only brief guests in their domain, we fire at them long-winded questions, they reply in swells of giddy banter, often interjecting with wisecracks, clarification on key points, or to support the other’s claim. This is them just being themselves; this is who they are in full view.
Their Poughkeepsie, New York home is their sanctuary, their living quarters, and their business HQ. All the magic happens right here with the occasional pitter patter of cat and dog paws echoing through the halls—a welcome interlude to a busy day.
The fruit of the couple’s partnership, Book More Brides, equips and empowers wedding professionals to get all the business they could ever want. In their own words, they help professionals and vendors in the wedding industry, who are awesome at what they do, market themselves and communicate their value to attract the clients they want. It’s through the wonders of automation, learning by doing, and playing to their individual strengths that we can trace the lineage of their success.
Jovially playing off each other’s words, the power couple regales us with the story of how they first met. It’s the classic workplace romance. Steph and Jeff first caught eyes while working as resident marshmallows in the clean room at IBM. Marshmallow being slang for the full body anti-static suits they wore that revealed only their eyes.
“Well, she was the only female marshmallow so I got friendly with her, and she ended up being my trainer!”
It didn’t take long for their professional relationship to blossom into a full-blown romance. Thus, they were soon bound in life and in business.
Rather than endure the banality of the corporate world for a moment longer, Steph and Jeff bailed out to pursue their version of freedom—entrepreneurship. Their initial a-ha moment happened at a wedding they attended where they learned that the wedding DJ, who had besmirched the good name of music just moments before, was making a substantial income. A light bulb went off. Not to be surpassed by mediocrity, Jeff being a professional musician and the outspoken schemer of the pair, suggested they foray into the wedding DJ industry—and off they went.
“We did probably over a thousand weddings and we realized, when we reached that point, that we really enjoyed the business side more than being DJs, and we were always helping our wedding vendor friends with problems with their business, so we’re like, hmm..”
Soon after, Book More Brides was born—the third of their business ventures at the time. However it was nothing more than a mere concept; barely in its infancy with no revenue let alone a product to speak of.
Big-time proponents of the Jeff Walker launch formula, the two sought the last whopper of a puzzle piece to get their business off the ground: a business automation platform.
But what led them to ONTRAPORT for their first launch?
“We planned on releasing seven days of free content, inviting our email list, and offering an affiliate program, so we needed the tools to put all this together,” Stephanie said. “ONTRAPORT seemed most accessible, it had all the features we needed, and so we went for it.”
And it payed off! Their first product launch, a recording of a free live webinar they had hosted, made them $26,000 in sales and more than tripled the size of their email list. A second launch in which they debuted their first real product, a training program titled “The Automatic Expert System,” followed a couple of months later making $50,000.
Though engrossed in an industry with deep pockets, Stephanie and Jeff retained their modesty when it came time to plan and budget their own tying of the knot.
“We got married in our backyard. Our entire wedding cost, maybe, $4,500 including dress, rings, booze, everything.”
A modest wedding was all the pair ever wanted. It’s this palpable brand of authenticity—and staying true to themselves—that draws in and engages their target market. It explains why they’ve never been shy about their stumbles, all of which have become valuable learning experiences along the way.
Stephanie and Jeff are the sort of people who have a knack for spinning blunders in their favor and then sharing that experience with their audience. While DJing weddings, they launched their first product in conjunction with an affiliate/joint venture launch—a big marketing faux pas—yet came out with a profit and a fortified list. They didn’t know any better yet prevailed nonetheless. All because they had mimicked the marketing superstars and streamlined their launch process with automation.
Another incident arose just as they began to make a name for themselves. The husband and wife duo were invited to speak at Wedding MBA, the largest annual bridal convention in America, where they’d been granted a sizable booth yet prepared no collateral to furnish it with: no posters, handouts, signage, nothing. When it came time to man their *cough* minimalistic booth, they were approached by loads of puzzled attendees and had to laugh off their plight. They spun what began as an embarrassing mishap into a conversation starter… and then proceeded to videotape the ordeal. Their video documentary of that event became a lesson to their followers in ‘craptastic’ marketing.
“People responded well to it, that kind of vulnerability and authenticity. Like, wow, most people just want to make themselves look good all the time,” said Stephanie.
That’s the flavor of actionable education the Padovanis offer their clients, redefining success in line with their winning formula: quality, targeted content that delivers value. In doing so they’ve not only attracted the clients they want, they’ve helped countless clients do the same.
With thirty product launches now in the bag, Steph and Jeff are hungry for more. So what’s next? The couple plan on stepping away from solely event-based launches to implementing a fully-automated evergreen sales funnel, one in which a product line is available year-round at a fixed price.
“What we’re doing now is focusing on how can we create an evergreen sales funnel. How can we really take what we’ve got and those leads coming in, and take them through a sequence automatically. And ONTRAPORT lets us do that. It gives all the tools to create the email sequences and send them to the right pages, and track who’s doing what, are they actually watching the videos? Are they actually visiting the pages? And follow up with them in accordance with their biggest interests, and really make it more valuable for them, and easier for us,” added Stephanie.
Now in the early stages of scaling, the pair who has gone from three businesses to one is refining the systemization portion of their business.
It’s been a hell of a ride for the twosome going from employment to fully automated business owners, but Stephanie only has encouragement for budding entrepreneurs in any niche:
“They don’t think they can create a business without sacrificing their family. I’m here to tell them that they can, but you have to really be strategic about it. You have to know, first, why you’re doing it, what’s important to you, and what you really want this to look like when you’re done.”