Module #3: Picking a Topic
Today I’m talking about creating content for wedding planners. Even with all this stuff going on, I still manage to work on my business every day. Little by little. Inch by inch. Brides are home right now and you need to be getting your message out there. But it’s easier said than done, right? If you’re going to make the effort to create content, I want it to count! So, here are four secrets about creating content that nobody will tell you. Take these four steps before writing one word!
#1 Know Your Target Audience
There is no point in writing a blog post if you don’t know what type of clientele you’re targeting. This is key for wedding planners when coming up with content. For example, if you’re a destination wedding planner, your audience doesn’t want to read about traditional weddings with a guest count of 300. Destination brides want a low-key, romantic venue with lots of personal details. It’s all about adventure and intimacy. Know your audience and write about things they would want to read about.
#2 Know Your Best Type of Communication Style
Take a moment and learn how you communicate best. Is it through story telling? Writing? Video? Podcast? Make sure you also know how your audience likes to get their information. Do they prefer social media or email? I know that writing is my superpower tool, so that’s the method I prefer to use. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t make a YouTube video every now and then. I also prefer emailing versus using social media to create a personal connection, but I still schedule it in.
#3 Get Local with Your Content
Sure, you want to rank on the first page of Google, but what good is that if you’re reaching a bride in Australia who is getting married in Sydney and you’re in Mobile, Alabama? Not the greatest. So you need to think about creating content that’s going to tap into your local market. This means doing interviews with local vendors, talking about local wedding “hot” spots, and giving the “insider’s scoop” to the local traditions and customs—all while keeping your ideal client in mind.
#4 Pick Your Top Keywords
This is so important but is frequently overlooked. You need to know what keywords to use to reach your target audience. This process takes time and consideration, but it’s so worth the effort, I promise. I recommend using an SEO generator tool (just Google it) to help you pick 20 keywords to use in the content you create. Now, you won’t use them all at once, but 2-3 keywords is a good amount per piece of content. Also, understanding the structure of a good blog post is imperative. You need to know what a focus word is as well as a meta description and alt tags.
I love blogging, but writing content isn’t necessarily going to get you found on the first page of Google. Take what I’ve learned along the way through creating a multi-location wedding planner business and spend this week creating your company avatar and researching your keywords. I still get leads from the Pensacola area to this day even though I haven’t advertised in that area for almost 2 years now. That is all because of the blogging I did ages ago. You can get free leads through your content too. It just takes a little focus and practice to make it happen. Use this time wisely and create content, but make it count!
Writer’s block is such a real thing. Even I, who write about a billion things a week, get it. But I’ve learned that if I open my mind and just start writing, the content will come. I tell myself that this is not a chore but an opportunity to share my knowledge and help others who desperately need it. This mindset can make all the difference in my productivity.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got when it comes to writing is to set a timer for 10 minutes and just write. Don’t stop to edit, don’t stop to look up a word, just let the words flow and see what you get at the end. Then go back and do all the editing. I find this technique to be really helpful.
Make a personal commitment to write on a certain day at a certain time. Make sure you’ll have no distractions during this time block. This could be when a baby is napping or before anyone else in the household wakes up. Personally, I’m a 5 am kinda gal. I like to drink my coffee and let a blank Word doc inspire me. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me.
Over the years, I’ve heard all the excuses for not writing a blog post. Everyone wants the easy pass. Pay WeddingWire or The Knot to market for them. Believe refining your writing skills will have a massive payoff later. Below are my rebuttals to the common excuses I hear.
I Am Not a Great Writer
I get it. It’s easier to create things with your hands. But this can no longer be your excuse. As wedding planners, we communicate a lot through the written word, and it’s time to start working on that skill. Remember, the only way you’ll ever get better is by practicing.
The Format Is Confusing
How true is this?! A blog post format is not straightforward. There’s tons you need to do on the backend. But I got you. This course goes over the format so you can win at writing!
No Knowledge to Share
You think you haven’t been in the business long enough to write a blog post sharing your knowledge and expertise. I get it. But I bet if you really tried, you could come up with plenty to say. I mean, take your own wedding experience and put it to good use. Share with the world the things you learned.
It Seems Overwhelming to Get Started
True that! It seems overwhelming because IT IS! That’s why so many planners opt out of doing it. But how do we start a massive project? By breaking it up into bite-sized pieces. If you can plan and design a wedding, writing a blog post is easy peasy.
There’s Not Enough Time
The number one reason why wedding planners don’t blog is because making it a priority is hard to do. When you’re not excited about doing something, it’s hard to find time to do it. Promise yourself you’ll sit down once a week and write one post.
I Can’t Type Like I Talk
This is an easy fix. Just start writing. Don’t think, just write. And no stopping. When you have a a fluid stream-of-consciousness, you will start to type like you talk. Of course, you should edit it a bit to make sure nothing gets lost in translation.
If you haven’t practiced any sort of writing since high school or college, blog churning can be a bit difficult at first. If you’re out of practice, you might not be in tune with your writing voice, which could slow down your process. Don’t let this little notion destroy your confidence, though, because it can be an easy fix.
Writing, or any creative endeavor, is not reserved for a select few but it does require time. -Giulia of Giulia Writes
I believe Giulia hit the nail on the head with this quote. Anyone can write. Anyone. It just requires a little time and energy. When it comes to finding your voice, though, you should know that it is already “built in.” Your writing voice already lives inside of you. It has a rhythm and tone unique to your personality. But just because it is innate doesn’t mean you can’t refine it. Don’t force your writing voice to be something it’s not. Instead, embrace your voice, whatever that may be, and draw your readers in by expressing your personal creativity through words. If you do this, you’ll be able to connect with your audience immediately. For better or worse, your writing voice will affect your reader’s experience.
Use your workbook to help you discover your writing voice.
Choose a writing format:
Tell a personal story. It is particularly good if it is dramatic and you feel the freedom to be transparent. It is helpful if you can conclude with a lesson or two that you have learned.
Interview a venue or vendors. This is a great way to share some of the resources you have found and why you liked them. It can also help your readers avoid products or experiences that were not so helpful.
Comment on a powerful quote. Look at a past client’s review, service survey, or “for the blog” section of the client worksheet and look for a quote that stands out. Write about why this particular quote was meaningful.
Let a great photograph inspire you. Behind every great photo is a story. Look through past weddings and find a picture that inspires you. You know the story, tell your readers what the picture means to you and why. Examples would be first look with dad, first kiss as husband and wife, love of a detail, mom and daughter embrace, a super sweet moment captured, first dance… tell how it inspired you and how it should inspire other brides.
Comment on something in the news. This should be something that is specific to our industry. If you are a thought-leader—or trying to establish yourself as a thought-leader—this is a great way to do that.
Provide a step-by-step explanation for how to do something. When you provide five steps to this, or four strategies for that, people gobble it up. I think all of us have a need for down-to-earth, practical help with the items that interest us.
Provide a list of resources. This is a huge way to give back to your industry or community. It is easy to take for granted what you know. You are probably sitting on priceless information that others would die to have access to. Resource lists are a great way to build traffic. Examples would be a complete list of downtown wedding venues, top 4 venues for destination brides, or best beach ceremony sites.
Make a seemingly overwhelming task simple. There is a huge audience for anyone who can make complex things simple. Provide a conceptual model, an outline, or an introduction to something you take for granted.
Explain the rationale behind a decision. Intelligent people want to know why you do what you do. That is what makes everyone so interesting. You can explain the rationale behind almost any decision you have made, and it will be instructive for others.