This is the Transcript of the #WeddingMarket Chat on May 31, 2017 with Shannon Depalma. The answers were made on Twitter so responses will appear different.
Shannon DePalma is a business and money mindset coach for wedding professionals and creative entrepreneurs. Shannon built and sold her floral design business in 2 years, now she shows other wedding professionals how to feel good about raising their prices, owning their value, and how to get the clients they want. www.shannondepalma.com
Q1: What were the first steps you took to move your business to success?
Shannon DePalma: In the second year of my floral design business, I wasn’t hitting the goals I wanted to and I couldn’t see how I was going to quit my 9-5. I decided to get really clear on my goals and create a marketing strategy.
Q2: How important is it to create a marketing strategy?
Shannon DePalma: A marketing strategy is what differentiates a business from a hobby. Committing to that strategy means you are taking the first step to treating this like a real business.
Q3: What is goal mapping?
Shannon DePalma: Goal Mapping is breaking your down big revenue goal into monthly goals. Here’s an example of a goal map for a photographer who wants to make $100K.
Q4: How do you get a clear picture of how much money you need to earn?
Shannon DePalma: My favorite way to set revenue goals is to create something that’s realistic but a bit of a stretch. Write down a number that seems realistic and then write down a number that would make you vomit if you hit it, and find a number in between those 2.
Q5: What should be the marketing plan for your wedding business?
Shannon DePalma: Your marketing plan should consist of quick client activities and long term traffic activities. Quick client activities: reaching out to a friend that got engaged or following up with inquiries that went silent. Long term traffic activities: Blogging, Omaha SEO, and establishing long term connections or referrals. You can also use useful tools such as link building and citation sites in order to bring more traffic to your site, a list of citation sites is essential to make this marketing tool easier to do and will save you a lot of time and will make your business thrive exponentially! The finer details of SEO can be a tough concept to fully get your head around, which is why many businesses tend to leave this kind of work to the professionals. Companies such as Bigfoot Digital SEO London are highly knowledgeable in this area, so you may want to get in touch with them if you are looking for improvements in your SEO.
Q6: What are the best ways to maximize blog traffic?
Shannon DePalma: Write educational, valuable content, create local traffic blog posts featuring local vendors + their links. Guest posting on other blogs and larger platforms, and optimizing blog posts with the right keywords.
Q7: What title headlines do really well blogging?
Shannon DePalma: Lists (top 5, top 10, my favorite 8), How to’s, Step by step guides.
For example: The step by step guide to planning your rustic wedding in Brooklyn.
The top 10 best venues for a bohemian wedding in Northern NJ.
Q8: What is back linking?
Shannon DePalma: Back linking is when you include another site’s URL on your blog post and it increases your SEO. It also pulls you up in google search near those links. For example: On your blog posts you want to include the URL of venues you want to work with or vendors you want to work with.
Q9: Why you should guest blog?
Shannon DePalma: Just like putting other websites URL on your site increases your SEO, getting your URL on sites that get more traffic than you increases your SEO too. Plus it sets you apart from everyone else. If you do a guest blog post on Huffington Post you’ll be looking like a leader in the wedding world for the topic you’re sharing.
@Tearsofjoy But how do you do guest blog post for Huffington Post?
@Wedbyjean Great question. How do we find blogs that are wanting guest posts?
Shannon DePalma: . Help a reporter out is a great resource for guest blogging: Brides.com uses HARO www.helpareporter.com. If HARO didn’t work, make a list of 5 big wedding blogs + 5 local blogs, ask if they do guest posting, and then follow up with ALL of them.
Julie Albaugh: Checkout @IDoWeddingPR she sells a Media Database of 100+ top bridal editors & bloggers with their full contact info. idopr.com
Q10: What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization AKA how people find you in google. Now Google is always changing their algorithms, in recent years they switched from the amount of traffic that hits a site to how much content the site has that’s relevant to a person’s search terms. Content is king! Also, people are having to consider how they’re expired or removed URLs appear, known as 404 error pages. You need to have informative pages otherwise you won’t win!
Q11: How do you find the right keywords that brides are looking for on search engines?
Shannon DePalma: EASY! Google Keyword Planner, you put in the words you think brides are searching for, and it will tell you exactly how many searches are done a month, and if you have a lot of competition. You want to find keywords that are low in competition and high in search, high in search = above 1,000 a month in searches. The finer details of SEO can be a tough concept to fully get your head around, which is why many businesses tend to leave this kind of work to the professionals. Companies such as Bigfoot Digital SEO London are highly knowledgeable in this area, so you may want to get in touch with them if you are looking for improvements in your SEO.
Q12: What content upgrades help to increase sales?
Shannon DePalma: A content upgrade is a bonus to people reading your blog, for example: workbook, guidebook, mini course, podcast episode, audio, mini course, 5 minute video, PDf, etc. You can also use content upgrades to get people on your email list, on a Facebook ad, or even as a “P.S.” at the end of an email. That “P.S.” could differentiate you from all the other vendors that person is emailing with.
Q13: How do you make a content upgrade?
Shannon DePalma: You can create it using Microsoft Word, save it as a PDF or Canva is one of my favorite free DIY graphic design tools. Here’s an example of one my content upgrades: content upgrade jpg.
Q14: What must the content upgrade include?
Shannon DePalma: Your content upgrade has to include an introduction to you with links to your site and a call to action. A call to action = the next step you want them to do, (like your Instagram, schedule a consult, like your Facebook page).
@WedByJean Where does the content upgrade go – in an email, sidebar on blog, somewhere else?
Shannon DePalma: I would put it everywhere, your side bar, a blog post, your Facebook business page image, etc.
Q15: What would you like everyone to take away from this #WeddingMarket Chat?
Shannon DePalma: I would love for everyone to create a piece of good content today, you have knowledge BRIDES/CLIENTS WANT.
Questions from the #WeddingMarket Chat on Twitter
@AprilTwentyFive What type of services would be best for blogging? Tumblr? WordPress?
Shannon DePalma: WordPress and Squarespace are best for SEO and blogging.