A solid foundation of my business success as a celebrant has lay in the realm of good publicity. Good publicity can’t make a filling business profitable, or an unskilled celebrant, talented, but if you’re already rocking a good business operating system, and your ceremonies are resonating with people and getting good reviews, publicity is the cream on top that helps more couples find you, and book you.
In this article I wanted to lay out a few tools that I have used in the past, and continue to use today, to “get my name out there” but in a very deliberate and meaningful way.
To save you the time scrolling, not one of these tips is to do a giveaway. There are a limited number of circumstances where I would advocate for a free giveaway, and not one of those involves you or I turning up to a wedding for free.
1. Source Bottle and HARO
When you see someone on the TV, or mentioned in an article, there’s an ever increasing chance that the producer of the content put a call out on a website like these and someone responded accordingly.
Position yourself to be a person who can respond accordingly.
On Source Bottle you can even pay for a membership to be automatically put in front of people like this.
The two advantages to this kind of coverage are simple and effective. One is that other websites mentioning you is a plain and simple strong SEO advantage. The other is that other people, including the news, media, magazines, blogs, podcasts etc mentioning you, increases your brand awareness and creates extra touch points for people to find out that you exist.
2. Be ahead of the curve/eight ball/trend
A little bit of weekly research, and reading in the right places, puts you ahead of the game everyone else is playing.
When you’re creating your content (blog/social media/podcast/video/Instagram lives/stories) you want to maintain relevance to your community, and be the person who knows the trends and the hot topics in their community.
Part of that process requires you to just be simply active in the community, on social media, in the groups, and the blogs. Part requires you to do a little bit of research.
Two places I go regularly to do that are:
Buzz Sumo, Google Alerts, and Google Trends.
Go to Buzz Sumo today and type in ‘weddings’ in the front page search box to see content that is performing really well right now online around that topic. Put a weekly reminder on your to-do list to have a quick look at Buzz Sumo regularly to see what content is working well for others and then reflect on your own content creation strategy.
On Google Alerts I have a few select keywords and brand namers that Google alerts me of (emails me) when people and news organisations write about them. This way I can be the first to know when someone is blogging a wedding of mine, or writing about topics I’m interested in.
In Google Trends I can understand how real people are searching on the internet for things my business is interested in, weddings for example.
Inside the Google Trends dashboard you can compare topics against each other to see what real world interest is like, and in different regions.
Or you can look at related search queries to understand what else people are searching for.
On top of all of your other market research this data should enable you to write, record, and publish content that is truly interesting to real people that will be more likely to book you as their celebrant because of your evident relevance to their lives.
This isn’t about being “hip and cool” it’s about being real and human, and seeking input from outside of your head.
3. Be your own publisher
Getting published in newspapers or broadcast on TV is lovely, and honestly, it’s good for business, but there needs to be a groundswell of “you” when people come looking. If your only exposure is on other people’s platforms, you’re building a house on sand, not solid rock.
Make sure that all of your best ideas are on your own blog, and if you’re needing help formatting that better for SEO, look at a tool like Inlinks (take the free introduction over Zoom, it’s really helpful) so that your content isn’t just helpful to couples but also to Google.
Once you’ve recorded your best content, stories, campaigns, and pitches on your own blog, put them out to the world, on social media, Medium, LinkedIn, etc.
And don’t be afraid to re-share, or even update and re-share, old content. Just because you’ve heard of it doesn’t mean your couples have.