We live in a digital age, and these days, the word of mouse is more powerful than ever. Consumers, most specifically millennials–men and women born between 1979-2000– are twice as likely to search online than to pick up the phone. Why does this matter? Millennials currently make over 80% of wedding consumers worldwide. This means a powerful online presence is more essential than ever in today’s competitive market.
Today, I am going to share five tips for building a solid online foundation. Read through and feel free to ask specific questions in the comment section below. I’ll be sure to answer them before the next blog post.
Create a clean, clear and up-to-date website: Your website should be crystal clear in terms of navigation and be mobile phone and tablet-friendly. Avoid flash headers which can slow download time and severely impact your ROI. Think of your website as your online portfolio and treat it as your most essential visual sales tool. Keep it clean, streamlined, updated and use impactful, high-resolution photos that showcase your creativity and range.
Become a blogger: A personal blog that is updated frequently is a great way to engage readers in an online conversation and get real time feedback from potential clients and colleagues. You can use your blogs to showcase your expertise through tips and advice, give insight into your process, share stories with emotional hooks and showcase your professional personality. It is important that you plan out your blogs in advance and keep it consistent so readers know when to expect new content. Keep a journal close to write down potential topics and schedule your posts at least two weeks in advance so that you can have content available for readers even during those super-busy weeks. Blogs will also help you profile other vendors and serve as writing samples for potential editorial pitches. The keywords will also help you with Google rankings.
Think it through: Create a synergy with your brand. Your images should be synergistic as should be your “voice”. Create platforms that are solely brand-based and hide your personal profiles by changing your last name to your middle name so that clients cannot see your personal posts. It’s essential that you know where you end and your brand begins. Authenticity doesn’t mean you need to showcase and share everything about you. Think of a tagline for your brand, a purpose, what message you want to convey (overall) and what you want to be known for. Then, think about how everything you post adheres to your message and branded value system. If you’re a wedding planner, think twice about posting something about healthy meals or articles on your favorite politician as off-brand posts can confuse or offend clients.
It’s all about a beautiful layout. Your Facebook page, Instagram gallery and Pinterest folders should look like beautiful editorial layouts. Consider thinking in 3’s meaning that you choose three images that go well together so that when next to one another on the page, they showcase your unique eye. Use clear, beautiful photos that offer a unique perspective and are inviting and interesting to the consumer. Take a look at high level magazines related to your brand. Think glossy, beautiful and transformative and then add your other elements: edgy, peaceful, whatever. If your image looks like a stock image or doesn’t really showcase your eye, don’t post it. That said, pay attention to your brand. Just because an image is great doesn’t mean you should post it.
Think in themes. Every week, think of what you want to focus on and create an editorial calendar. Schedule your posts to fit that. Make sure the theme is lightly followed and your images will all look beautiful side-by side. There’s a way to show everything you want, but what looks “edgy” to you may look chaotic to those without an emotional attachment to your work.
Brenda Della Casa is the editor-in-chief and social media strategist for Preston Bailey Designs.