On Wednesday, 10th May 2017 I went to the first WhiteWed Directory wedding workshop.
I love learning so I am always scouring Eventbrite for interesting and practical seminars and events to attend.
As soon as I saw the WhiteWed Directory workshop back in April it piped my interest as it was going to cover SEO and PR. Though I can’t remember if I saw it advertise on Eventbrite or got an email invitation!.
Anyway, it sounded brilliant so I signed up for it straight away, and at £35 I thought it was a bargain.
Wednesday, 10th May came along and I drove down to Wiltshire and the venue Wellington Barn. A beautiful converted barn space set in acres of English countryside and only about an hour from Cheltenham. The beautiful surroundings were enhanced even more by the gorgeous weather, it was just so sunny.
I am not going to explain the whole day in detail as it was a normal event but I thought I would share some of the top tips I took away from the three fantastic speakers as it might be useful for you as well.
The first speaker was Das Candler from Metadas Media. I know SEO can be mind boggling and I just from my own experience I know people often ask me: What is it? What does it mean? Why do I need it?
Basically SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and if you have a website you should really be doing this. (I am not going into great depth about what it is here, I’ll save that for another blog, but I’ll detail top tips I took away from the workshop).
10 Top SEO Tips from Das Candler
• Good SEO takes time to implement
Like with cake making you have to put in the ground work first and over time you will see your skills improve. So over time you will see your SEO organically grow and start pushing your website up the search rankings.
• The more links to your website the better
So get linking with other websites you like and get them to link to you and don’t forget to spread the word on social media too, use the posts to promote your website.
• Submit your website’s sitemap files to all the top search engines
Google, Bing, Yahoo.
• Consider the title of your website
The title of your website should be between 60-70 characters long
• Descriptions are important
Use a different description on each page of your website
Don’t put keyword tags in your website’s SEO as it will harm your rankings
• When uploading images to your website add a name in the ALT section
For example call it Victoria Sandwich Buttercream Cake and not 56428.pjg. Google will search and rank this name.
• Image size
Resize your images before uploading to your website so that they are the perfect size – use tinyjepg.com to help.
• Keep active
To keep your website fresh add new content or tweak on a regular basis – for example add a new image once a month, upload blog, tweak a sales page, etc.
• Make sure you have a mobile responsive website
Nowadays most people use mobile phones to search and if your website is not mobile responsive Google will not show it in the search results! (Now that’s scary!)
The next speaker was the lovely Natalie Lovett. Natalie runs a wedding planning business Love to Plan and is also the founder of WhiteWed Directory. She gave a great talk on “How to present your business effectively” and shared plenty of advice. It was aimed more at the new comers to business, but I still walked away with some great top tips. Natalie also reaffirmed me that I as on the right track and a few of ideas I had parked years ago, I thought you know what I going to dig those out and action them now.
So what did I take away from Natalie
5 Top Business Tips from Natalie Lovett
• Social Media
It is still a fantastic way to promote your business. Keep it relevant, inspirational, professional and engage. Ask your followers questions, lean more on the neutral side and get them to do most of the talking.
When you receive an enquiry make them feel special. What can you do that will reassure your customer that you are an excellent cake designer on top of you came? One of Natalies suggestions was create an informative document (a PDF) and send that out to all enquiries.
• Wedding Shows
These are great at picking up business but cherry pick where you go, not all shows will be attracting your ideal target market and before you go plan, plan, plan!
Think about where you hold them, what questions you ask and if you hold them in a coffee shop always foot the bill.
• Random acts of kindness
I love this one and do this for my wedding clients. I always send Christmas cards and provide little boxes cakes just for the bride & groom with every wedding cake order, just as a little surprise and as a thank you from us. Natalie also recommended sending 1 year anniversary presents or something to say thank you once they have booked. (I think I might implement the last one too ).
Last speaker of the day was Sara Tye from Redhead PR. Sara is amazing and I think she has to be one of the most focused and inspirational women I have met. Sara runs two businesses, has a property portfolio, is a single mum and an Ironman (or should that be lady!). Incredible!
So how did Sara inspire me
10 Top PR Tips from Sara Tye
All about managing and forging relationships, think about how you present yourself both on and offline. Especially when it comes to photos always make sure they look great!
• Stay Engaged
Be relevant, look at the wider world and what is happening in your industry.
• Social Media
Use it, social media is everywhere. It is said that soon, in the not too distant future, that websites could be obsolete!
Build your business, your brand and your confidence network with key people in your area.
Think about how you present yourself online, are you all business, business, business or do you mix it up a little and show your personality?
Blogs are fantastic. Sara recommends blogging every single day. There is always something relevant to blog about.
Look at your area where should you be targeting and where are you currently targeting?
Reviews are a gold mine, they build trust and credibility. Ask for them, add them to your Facebook page, Google page and website.
How do you showcase your business? Do your brand your photos when you pop them online? Add a logo a website address? (This is something I need to do! I started doing it, then got lazy! Right from now on no excuse!)
This is the next big thing. Think about how you can use it for your business. You don’t need to record yourself, you could simply make a slideshow showcasing your cakes.
Wow, what a day!
Just from writing this blog it has got me fired up again! I want to do it all now! Clearly that isn’t possible but I am going to sit down and rework my business plan. Add in the ideas I want achieve in a systematic manor, set timeframes and take action.
Before you go, I would love to know if any of the tips inspire and if you feel the urge to update your business plan too?
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