Wedding Planner Magazine: Winter 2020

Having {mostly} retired from wedding planning, I still remain active in the wedding industry,  retaining my membership in the Association of Bridal Consultants.

As a member of ABC, I am active as one of the co-directors of the Central Florida West Local Networking Group, speak to local ABC groups across the country and am on of 57 people in the world to have the designation of Master Wedding Planner.

While I’m asked to speak on any number of topics ranging from Diversity and Inclusion to Best Practices for Wedding Planners, I like to stay in my lane and speak about blogging and how it can grow your wedding planning company.

Be sure to check out the Winter 2020 issue of Wedding Planner Magazine and my article: Why Bother Blogging? Using Blogs As A Marketing Tool”

Wedding Planner Magazine - Mark Kingsdorf, MWP - Wedding Ghost - Wedding Blogger- Freelance Blogger - Master Wedding Planner - Blogging as a marketing tool - Association of Bridal Consultants

The Decline of Social Media

Recently, while on vacation, we were discussing sharing photos from the trip, and nearly all of the people on our tour were on Facebook and interested in becoming friends.

That would be everyone except the 19-year-old who said he and his friends stay off of social media.

This is becoming more and more common with Gen Y, it’s just not their thing. They would rather text their friends and anything they want to know they can Google or watch on YouTube.

online searches are replacing crowd sourcing on social media

 

The Swing

The pendulum seems to be swinging back the other direction. So, how will this affect the way wedding professionals do business?

My blogging clients in the wedding industry are also seeing more and more couples come in for meetings carrying wedding magazines.

So, for anyone who completely abandoned print for online listings thinking print is dead, you might want to reconsider.

Irony

The irony is not lost on me that many of you will find this article on a social media outlet.

Social media, specifically Facebook, is the drug of choice for most of us of a ‘certain age,’ and that typically includes wedding pros. So, I continue to share my blogging tips through that channel, as wedding pros are my target audience.

Become Self Sufficient

Blogging is still the answer, it helps to make you self-sufficient. Blogging with great keyword infused content, ALT TAGS on your images, Tags, and hyperlinks will help search engines find and catalog your content.

In plain English, if Google finds your blog, Gen Y finds your blog.

Media follows media, and if news and wedding industry outlets are searching on a given topic, I’d rather they find it on my client’s blog and not a mega wedding portal.

Your Story

Blogging allows you to control your story. Couples are looking, more now than ever, to connect with real people, people who they know, like, and trust.

Blogging about you and your team, the charities, and causes that you hold dear and give back to help to make a great connection. Not to mention great search terms and backlinks to organizations. So, you might have to blow your own horn a little.

Get Real

Real Weddings, that tell a story, and show the process of how a client found you, and the planning and details you assisted them with, supported by images help to tell your story.

Be sure whenever possible to include quotes from the couple from online reviews or thank you notes.

And, absolutely include video whenever you can. This is the YouTube generation, so inserting video is key to your success.

Wedding planner working with bride to find wedding gown -

Blogging is affordable, it lives forever on your website and in search engines and allows you to sell you in your own voice.

So, invest some time in blogging, learn how to blog well or if blogging isn’t your thing reach out to Wedding Ghost to find out more about ghost blogging services for your wedding business.

 

What Story Are You Telling?

As a blogger and content creator for several national wedding websites, I see submissions from wedding pros daily.

Unfortunately, too many times, I see images that don’t support the story the wedding pro is submitting.

Bride and groom in the garden, bride, and groom exchanging wedding vows, the bride and groom’s wedding portraits and bride and groom at sweetheart table does not create engaging content.

selecting images to support your blog post - bride and groom - tell the story of the wedding day

It also does nothing to connect you to other wedding pros, build SEO and rarely showcases your work, unless you seel gowns and formalwear.

When submitting for publication images that support the details, you are talking about is a must. For your own website, you need to be mindful of a few other points.

Pick images that support your story and show interesting details that make that couple unique.

Show wedding details and create a narrative that includes things that your company provided. If you are a wedding venue, show your property and unique spaces. If you are a caterer show food items, food stations, clean well-dressed staff, and upgrades like linen or rentals.

select blog images that support the service your team provides - catering blog - reception display

Support the story of the service you provide with other wedding details, follow the timeline of the day so the reader can see what their wedding day with you will look like.

And lastly, create good SEO by linking to wedding venues and wedding pros, not only will it help your search visibility but it also builds good equity with those wedding pros.

You are telling a story, so give your blog a beginning, a middle and an end, weave the narrative around the images you are showing and be sure to focus on the product and services your business has provided.

Going Sideways

As a professional blogger, I spend a great deal of my time staring at wedding photographs and curating them to tell a story.

To be honest, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

If there is an exit sign or fire extinguisher in the background, I see it. If there are dirty plates on a table, they jump right out at me.

One of the biggest challenges in curating images for blogging is vertical images.

Have they been resized appropriately?

I see people posting HUGE vertical images which makes the reader have to scroll down the page to see the entire image. This is exceptionally important when you are looking at pictures on a mobile device, and most newly engaged couples are! {be sure to keep reading after the HUGE vertical image.}

Wedding Cake

Featured Image

In most cases, a featured image in a blog post loads best and uniformly as a horizontal image. If the images load at the top of the blog it keeps the reader from scrolling down too far to start the text and keeps the images consistent.

Thumbnail

When you load a vertical image into a gallery with smaller thumbnail images or if they post as a thumbnail image in a sidebar you might want to look at how much detail shows.

For instance, a wedding cake might cut out the top and bottom, showing only the middle layers leaving out a lot of detail. A tight shot of a tall centerpiece may cut off the flowers at the top and the tablescape at the base only showcasing the riser.

Wedding Cake

So, Keep in mind, for blogging and also for the body of your website horizontal images tend to work best.

When Sharing Becomes TMI

Recently, I was invited by Aisle Planner to write a feature for their Aisle Planner Community Blog.

They were doing a series on couples who were in business together or who both operate businesses in the wedding and events industry.

Social media allows potential clients to see some of your personality and form a connection, however, when you live and work together there need to be some boundaries to keep sharing from becoming TMI

Be sure to check out the Aisle Planner feature TMI: Finding the Right Blend of Personal in your Professional Voice. 

Blogging - social media - wedding blogger - freelance writer