Wedding blogs are amazing. Getting featured on them is a fantastic way to elevate your business and put yourself and your work in front of hundreds of thousands of potential client’s eyes. But what if it’s not working for you? Are wedding blog features reeeally the be all and end all?
You might think this is a strange thing for a wedding blogger to say… but erm… no. No they’re not. At last week’s School of Rock workshop I had a few students saying “I love blogs but I know my photography/product wouldn’t get featured. It’s just not the style they promote”. While initally I was taken aback “but I like to promote as much diversity as possible!”. I thought, in retrospect they were actually totally right. Wedding blogs do have their own very specific criteria for featuring real weddings, wedding suppliers and products. And more of often than not, that criteria doesn’t hugely deviate from blog to blog. No matter what style of wedding they favour (alternative, vintage, traditional, regional etc) they all still want to basically share the same things - pretty, affordable, aspirational (yet attainable) wedding ideas. They also want lots and lots of ‘details’ for brides to copy.
So what do you do if your work doesn’t fit into this very specific criteria? Maybe you shoot predominately in black and white (blogs will always prefer colour images – they show the details more) or what if you product is extremely high end (blog readers tend to favour budget or DIY ideas)?
Well, dear reader, I am going over to the dark side and offering you some ideas for getting your name and your business out there offline. Dum dum duuuuum… don’t tell the other wedding bloggers. I’ll be shunned.
Getting featured on wedding blogs is amazing but there is still something to be said for print exposure. Although the reach may be lower, there is still definitely a certain amount of credibility to be gained by being featured in print. Also, lots of newly engaged couples won’t yet have discovered wedding blogs, however I’d bet 99% of girls buy a wedding magazine as soon as that ring is on their finger!
As well as real wedding features, magazines often ask wedding suppliers to be on their ‘experts panel.’ They may not run huge features on you specifically, but will ask for input for other article they’re running. For example Perfect Wedding Magazine recently asked me to give my opinion on trash the dress shoots. This is a great way to get your name in front of potential clients without being perceived as being overly ‘salesy’. You might not get direct bookings straight away from these features but it all adds to your brand awareness. It’s important with these features to have a strong opinion and strive to make yourself memorable. When you write a solid piece for the press, you are instantly perceived as an expert. If your article is any good, people will remember it and you.
Local radio, newspapers and tv stations are always on the look out for interesting local news stories. These kinds of outlets love a ‘local resident does good’ piece. Don’t neglect these sources because of a perception that their reach isn’t very far or wide. Publicity is publicity!
When I was in Omaha I was interviewed with Megan on a local breakfast show. I’m not sure what their viewership is or if I got any new readers from it, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to add credibility to myself as an international jet-setting blogger. I think I did that OK (even though I effed up the autocute at the end. CRINGE-FEST).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the single most successful thing I did in order to get my blog known was nothing to do with fancy online marketing. It was the fact that I got off my computer, out of the house and I put myself out there in real life. Networking with people in the industry I wanted to become a part of was huge for me. I met people I’ve since worked with, I got offered magazine columns, I made best friends for life. None of these things just landed in my inbox. No one is ever going to come to you – why would they? You have to make the effort and go to them. People are also more likely to remember you if you’ve met face to face.