There are two major realisations that I’d consider to be the key factors that took my blog and my business from ‘just another anonymous wedding blog’ to what it is today. And they might surprise you. They’re nothing to do with content, or SEO, or social media…
1. Working with others should be encouraged
While going it alone, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, is something I’d actively encourage each of you to do, there is something to be said for working with others to bring the best out of yourself. The results can be staggering.
Pretty much every amazing opportunity that I’ve had through my blog is because of someone I’ve known online but then met offline (and then decided to work together on something). The Blogcademy is a prime example of this.
It would never have happened if Gala, Shauna and I hadn’t met up in person in Vegas in 2012. Although they both knew each other ‘in real life’, and I’d met Gala before, it wasn’t until we came together as a trio that the idea was formed. None of us could have done it by ourselves. We all have very different skills and strengths and we needed to put them together to be able to pull it off.
Working with others is so much more powerful than trying to do everything yourself. The wedding industry can be fiercely competitive if you let it, but with the right attitude, it is an infinite pool of amazing talent, just waiting to be tapped into and shared.
2. Spend time on your passion projects
After getting out and meeting other people, my next biggest piece of advice for you if you want to take your business to the next level, would be to invest the time in passion projects. Do things “just for fun” that showcase your talents, stretch you as an artist and keep things fresh and interesting. You never know what path these things might lead you down.
These are the things that will make you stand out in a highly competitive market, and will ultimately attract the right clients for you and your business. But they’re also the things that could end up forking your career in a way you could never have imagined.
Let’s take the Rock n Roll Bride print magazine as an example. As many of you will already know, it has now been picked up by a publishers and it’s going to be taken national (aka being sold in real life shops!) next year. This amazing opportunity would have never have come about if I hadn’t done it as a passion project myself first.
It’s not very likely that my publishers would have suddenly had a brainwave and thought “You know who we should give a magazine deal to, that Rock n Roll Bride blog!” Not to discredit what they do of course, but an opportunity like that is much more likely to come about if you’ve put the legwork in yourself first. You have to show people that you have an idea that works. Magazine publishers, book agents and TV producers (for example) all want to work with people who can prove they already have the skills needed for a project AND an audience willing to buy.
This has never been clearer. YouTube stars and bloggers are getting beauty ranges, TV spots and book deals more than ever these days. But the people that get ‘picked’ are (usually) the ones that have worked their arses off themselves to build their audiences and put their own offerings and skills out there.
It’s the same with booking the clients you really want though. If your goal is to work on alternative weddings you have to show through the work you put out there that you are able and willing to do them. An alternative bride is unlikely to book someone who only shows frilly, super traditional weddings in their portfolio.
You can’t sit around hoping and praying that someone might pick you out of obscurity. This is not the X-Factor. You have to go out and make your dream a reality YOURSELF.