About a month ago, Philadelphia wedding planner Karen Pecora asked me to do a presentation on blogging at the Society of Wedding Planners (SWP) meeting on November 2, 2010, at the Triumph Brewing Company in Old City Philadelphia.
I spoke before an audience of wedding planners, photographers, and other wedding professionals and colleagues in regard to all things blog, and although I would hardly consider myself an ‘expert’, my little DJ company has been able to achieve some of the best web traffic in the Philadelphia event industry, which I suppose makes me a semi-authority on the subject.
Having been a presenter before – particularly on a subject pertaining to websites, blogs, social media and search engine optimization – I was already familiar with the challenge of creating a program that would be of value to the more seasoned blogger. At the same time, I needed to be mindful of those who were either new to blogging, or who had not yet begun but were attending the seminar with a sincere interest in creating a blog for their website.
I figured a who, what, where, why and how approach would be best, trying to add valuable tidbits along the way. Looking back I think I successfully scratched the surface, and judging from the feedback of the attendees (I received over a dozen emails in the days following my presentation), I’m confident that I was able to convey the basics of blogging.
One point that I left out was focusing on my own blog. At the time I felt that would seem too self-serving, but looking back I feel that I should have added at least one fact that I think speaks volumes about the power of blogging and the internet in general, which is how it has benefited our company. Increasing the traffic to our website through our blog has also increased our sales. We are more visible and findable, and all at a fraction of the cost of advertising. This has allowed us to remain competitive in this uncertain economy by keeping costs down, while getting our name and our product/service out there in ways we had never imagined.
Enough about me though…
Like in anything, we find those professionals who inspire us and who we are able to learn from. Companies, businesses and individuals whose achievements marketing and networking online have set the bar for doing things right. Several of those are right here in Philadelphia, but the two I’d like to make mention of are my internet inspirations, and who by watching what they do, how they do it and reading what they write have helped me to evolve my internet presence.
The first is Saundra Hadley of Planning Forever Events, a friend/colleague I met on twitter a while back, and whose blogging style, and social networking skills have awed me from the get-go. Saundra is a wedding planner from Evansville Indiana, and has a strong social media presence while still keeping it real. I mentioned Saundra in my seminar, and how genius she is for incorporating her real self into her online and professional personae. Two words; Converse Chucks. Everyone who knows Saundra knows she loves the classic Converse Chuck Taylor sneaker, which uniquely humanizes her, helping a potential bride to feel familiar and at ease with not just her outstanding service as a coordinator, but with her as a person.
The second is Christine Dyer, founder of BridalTweet.com. Bridal Tweet is an international online network of wedding and event professionals (and brides), and serves as a really great place to network and share ideas and trends. In addition, Christine is an outstanding blogger, and I find her posts to be informative while at the same time entertaining. She writes ‘to’ her audience and not ‘at’ them as I see so many bloggers do. Quite a bit of my presentation was taken from Christine’s blog titled “Your Wedding Blog: Getting People To See It, Read It, and Follow It”, which came to me only days before I had completed my outline for the seminar.
If you are in the event/wedding industry, or a bride planning her upcoming wedding, I suggest you check out both Saundra and Christine’s blogs, regardless of your locale. They are top-notch, well written, informative, and will hopefully serve as as much of an inspiration to you as they have for me.
Thanks again to The Society of Wedding Planners for having me as your guest speaker. It was quite an honor.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Reeder – www.jeffreeder.com