My husband Tait and I have been in Texas this week, visiting family and working our little tails off. On Tuesday, we headed up to Austin, where I spoke at the NEAWP convention…a group of Austin Wedding Pros who get together to talk shop, share inspirations and learn a few things about this forever changing industry. They were a great group and I had a complete blast.
The topic of my speech was How To Use the Internet to Grow Your Business. So today, I thought I would share a few of those tips! These are really basic starting points, great for people who are looking for that jump start into really using the web.
Designing your own business blog.
This is perhaps the most effective and simplest way to start using the internet to build your brand. Here are a few tips to get you started…
1. Design a blog that is simple, stylish and consistently updated. You want your blog to be a reflection of who you are as a designer/business owner/wedding professional. It is the perfect way to share your most innovative and recent work with your clients and you want to make sure that it really represents your style.
2. Ideally, you want to blog every day. But always remember that your business, your work, comes first. Blog when you have a few moments trying NOT to put pressure on yourself to write a novel or upload a hundred images. A single image and a brief description is enough to keep your clients interested and coming back for more.
3. Build relationships with other blogging vendors in your area to help grow your audience. Blogging has a strong community environment thus it’s good business to reach out to your competitors and your peers. Starting a local blog roll is the best way to reach out to your peers
Using Blogs and Online Resources to Advertise
In this day and age, putting your ad dollars online is a smart and effective way to make money. Here are some key points to remember…
1. At the click of a button, brides are carried right over to your site. They don’t have to earmark pages, remember to carry the copy over to the computer and type in the information. Advertising online is all about instant gratification.
2. Turn around time is fast. By finding the RIGHT blog or online site to advertise with, you’ll be able to see how effective your advertising campaign is almost immediately. Through traffic, inquiries and actual bookings, there isn’t that huge lag time that often exists with print advertising.
3. Just like advertising in a magazine, it’s important to choose the right publication when considering online advertising.
Using Blogs in Marketing Your Business
It’s now easier than ever to get your brand out there and establish a strong reputation by marketing your products online. Plus, it’s free! Here are some basic guidelines that will help you market more effectively online.
1. Know your publication. Understanding the types of content that a particular blog or website produces is key to getting your work featured. If the blog only writes about rustic, chic affairs, submit something rustic chic. If the blog, like ours, relies heavily on picture perfect details, make sure your details are spot on. Knowing the publication is key to getting out of the slush pile.
2. Package up your product neatly. By making it really easy on the blogger, you are automatically going to be pushed to the front of the list. Include up to 50 images, a comprehensive vendor list and a detailed description of the day. This will take the work out of the blogger’s hands so he/she can focus on your content. Plus, if your submission is declined, you’ve already packaged it up for another blog to review.
3. Do not submit to more than one publication at a time. It’s a BIG no-no and vendors will make a mental note of it for all submissions going forward. Just like magazines, bloggers LOVE to get an exclusive.
Using Social Media to Build Your Brand
We rely heavily on Facebook and Twitter to market Style Me Pretty. Both tools offer really effective ways of getting the word out there and establishing yourself as an authority. If you haven’t already jumped on board, now’s the time. Here are a couple of resources that will help you…SMP’s Twitter Etiquette Guide and our BACKSTAGE comparison of social media tools.
We could go on and on and on about using the web to help build your brand. These are just a few little gems that will help you get started!