How do you Google?

I love reading people’s blog posts and some of the keywords (or lack of keywords) they infuse when creating blogging content.

When you are writing think about some of the things you type into Google when you are searching for a product or service.

Check out this recent article I wrote for Perfect Wedding Guide’s Wedding Professional’s blog.

What Do You Search For?

Wedding Ghost - ghost blogger - freelance writer- content curator - wedding blogger - food blogger- travel blogger

Diversify Your Portfolio

What you put out you attract!

When was the last time you looked at the gallery of work you share on your website and social media? I mean really, really looked at it?

When I had my wedding planning company, I had a bride who liked the style of a vendor’s work but had some concerns as none of this vendors work showed curvy women.

If I break it down to the most basic level, it looks like this. If all of the work you feature on your wedding business website is of basic, DIY looking weddings; you are very likely to continue to attract reasonably basic, DIY weddings. The price point you can charge will typically remain reasonably low as well.

The reason being is that higher-end clients, clients who may have booked venues with higher package prices will not see the wedding they envision reflected in your portfolio.

As your business begins to grow focus on showcasing work that is more décor and detail intensive, more opulent linens, more ornate wedding cakes and be sure to mix them up. 2018 might be the year of the purple wedding; however showcasing different color palettes create broader interest as well.

 

Now that I have been PC for as long as I can stand.

The vendor I had mentioned was someone I had worked with many times but never really looked at the body of work on their site. I was astonished to see that all of their galleries showed size 00, blond, petite, white women… so I called him on it.

Does your portfolio show African American couples, South Asian couples, Latino couples, Jewish couples?

multi cultural weddings - wedding blogs - ghost bloggerIs your language inclusive to make same-sex couples feel comfortable? I’ve found that unless I am talking about a specific wedding with a bride and groom, I refrain from using terms like the bridal party or bridal suite. Instead, I opt for gender inclusive terms such as the wedding party and a ready room.

mission Inn Resort - Rhodes Studio - same sex weddings - lgbtq friendly wedding vendors
Yes, that is my husband and me

If my husband and I were looking for vendors for our wedding and saw no same-sex couples and the entire site referred to bride and groom; we would have probably moved on. Much the same way my African American, curvy bride saw no one that looked like her on the vendor’s website.

The bottom line is that diversifying the weddings you showcase will help you attract additional clients from varying orientations, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Jewish weddings- luxury weddings- Cliff Mautner Photography
Image by Cliff Mautner Photography

So at the end of the day attracting more business is the primary business goal for most people I know.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Authentic Self

My friend in my head*, Kellie Daab of the I Do Collective,  recently made a huge point in a recent conversation about blogging.

If you are going to whine about it, blog about it. I LOVE IT!

Wedding Ghost - Authentically Mark - ghost blogger - content marketing- wedding blogger

So, this has set me off and running.

In looking at potential clients, I always check out their websites. I looking to see if they already have a blog built into their platform, if they do I look at things like how often are they blogging, are they incorporating keywords and phrases to help their SEO, as well as what the content looks like.

However, I also look at the About Us page. This has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves, somewhere right behind not holding the door for the person behind you, not saying please and thank you and saying sure, uh or yup when someone says thank you!

I’m AMAZED at how many professional websites talk about “Us” in some vague terms. I get it some smaller companies are trying to look like bigger companies and some bigger companies are genuinely an ‘us’ and might offer bios of key players someplace else.

I’m talking wedding companies, many of the companies I’m speaking about are sole proprietor wedding planners, cake artists, photographers, and decorators.

These are companies where there is one primary person who you plan with, design with, do engagement photos before your wedding with, and they are the face of the business.

It’s straightforward, look at your reviews! If there are one or two names that appear consistently in your online reviews you are About Us page needs to reflect that. It’s that simple.

People do business with people they know, like and trust! This is a fundamental law of human attraction. Our online reviews prove this time and time again.

Millennials are reading online reviews of our businesses, from people they don’t necessarily know; but they feel a connection to them because they are sharing intimate details of the biggest day of their life with us.

{side note: this is another fantastic reason to share quotes from client reviews in your blog post; including at least a first name (or couple’s first names) and possibly a venue}

Why are so many people shutting out potential clients by posting an About Us page that says we are the best blah, blah, blah in our city?

We have the best most up to date DJ equipment on the market and keep the dance floor packed! Good thing, that’s what they pay you for!

I cannot tell you how many people I connected with when I shared that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was eight and fought like hell until losing her battle when I was 27! The connections, especially with brides and moms who were intimately connected to this experience amazed me. And this escalated when I founded a charity wedding cake competition, for a cancer hospital in her honor.

To this day, the most significant response I have ever had to a Facebook post was of our late West Highland Terrier sitting at the steering wheel of our Mini Cooper.

Most of the world knows that I am a pizza junky, that I love cooking and that my husband Chuck and I live to travel the world.

Mark Kingsdorf - Wedding Ghost - ghost blogger- travel blogger - Thailand - visiting a school in central Thailand

I actually started a blog for fun called Authentically Mark, and we also have one where we chronicle our travels called In Search Of Neverland.

Letting people into your world and being your authentic self helps to build professional relationships with clients who can relate to you and you would be amazed how much you will enjoy spending time with them.

 

*Kellie and I are actually Facebook friends and PM on a pretty regular basis. We’ll FINALLY get to meet in person at this year’s Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference, held here in Tampa later this year. And I can’t wait!

 

 

Styled Shoots Make Me Crazy!

OK, I said it!

1f92f

In blogging for some national sites and looking at images from styled wedding shoots that clients have been involved with, I see some crazy stuff.

Here are some things that make me crazy when I read blogs or submissions.

Do Something Unique!

I’ve seen your ‘original concept’ on Pinterest a hundred times. If it’s there, it is no longer original. Look at a new venue and build something around the interesting architectural details, the Brussels sprouts on caterers fall menu or something outside of the box.

Buy A Steamer!

More importantly, look at the details. I hate linen that is wrinkled and silverware that is set improperly. People come to you to be an expert in your field, regardless of what it is that you do. LOOK AT YOUR DETAILS!

If you are not the photographer or planner overseeing the event and your product is being represented, you should still be there protecting your best interest!

Show Something You Can Sell

I see centerpieces that are HUNDREDS of dollars, even thousands of dollars with the rest of the tabletop. If this concept is more than a slight reach for your current higher end client, you might not be helping yourself. Can your clients afford to do ten, fifteen or twenty of these tables?

Is it showcasing something you really can and want to reproduce over and over again?

Does it showcase something that is your brand? Don’t get talked into being part of a photo shoot that isn’t a product that represents you.

If you are planning a photo shoot and looking to submit it somewhere, don’t be afraid to talk to the publication to see what they are looking for.

When you submit please, please, please make sure that the images you share on your blog or send to a publication match the story you tell. The photos need to support the story you tell.

Once again, images are not read by search engines, the SEO rich text is.

You’re welcome!