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Learn About Blogging On “This Week In Weddings” Podcast

Do you into listen to podcasts? Me too! I’ve turned to podcasts over the past few months to learn all kind of new things for my creative small business. And, now it is my turn! I was a guest on This Week In Weddings podcast, which is a podcast designed specifically entrepreneurs in the wedding industry. On my podcast episode, I’m talking all things blogging for your business, of course! You know I love talking about small business blogging and I could have talked for hours no the subject!

Hosted by Dallas wedding planner, Kimberly from Hitched Events and wedding invitation designer, Annie from 5 by 7 Designs, in this podcast I chat all about how to blog for your business, including why blogging is important, the basics of blogging, and a little bit about SEO (search engine optimization) especially for those that don’t consider themselves tech-savvy.

In the blogging podcast that you can listen to right on the website or in iTunes, I also give my thoughts on the ideal length for your blog posts and how to fit blogging into your already busy schedule. Because, let’s face it, when you are running a business in the wedding and creative industry while trying to keep your clients happy and have some sort of social life, it can be really hard to fit everything in, especially blogging! I go into it all and give my personal tips for how I manage my blog for my stylish wedding garters and how I’m able to consistently get blog posts up on my website.

Be sure to check out my small business blogging podcast episode on This Week In Weddings. If you listened, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let me know!

Remember, I just launched my new online course on how to blog for your business, so if you are like most small business owners and frustrated with your blog and don’t know where to started, then this online course is for you! I

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject. You can sign up for my email newsletter to get more blogging tips and be the first person to know about any blogging workshops that I have coming up.

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Featured: Rising Tide Society

Are you wondering if you should still keep up with your blog for your small business? Do you think that social media is so easy and why do you have to blog anymore? Does anyone even read blogs? I recently wrote a blog post on The Rising Tide Society’s blog about the importance of blogging in this day and age of social media. The Rising Tide Society is an educational community for creative small businesses.

Blogging takes so much time, especially when you have a million other things competing for your time as a small business owner. It can be really hard to fit blogging into your schedule. But, I’ll give you a hint: blogging matters. It is really important to keep up with your blog for your business because, even though social media is so easy, the only online real estate that you own is on your blog and your website.

Head on over to the Rising Tide Society’s blog to read my full post about why blogging still matters. Check it out and let me know what you think. Are you convinced? Will you start blogging for your business?

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

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If you want to take your blogging for your business to the next level and find out how to blog the right way, be sure to check out my small business blogging workshop coming in Washington DC and Maryland in February. I’ll show you how to blog harder, smarter and more effectively.

For more press and praise of The Blogger Girl, check out my blog posts on the topic or find more small business blogging tips too!

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Featured: Rising Tide Society

OK, so not really stylish wedding garters, but more small business ownership, which as you know is something that I’m passionate about in addition to the garters! In addition to sharing tips for small business blogging, I recently wrote an advice article for other creative small business owners about positive promotion. The article was featured over on the Rising Tide Society blog and I wanted to share it here too! This is advice for other small business owners on positive promotion and the importance of talking about our businesses in a way that doesn’t bring others down. How we talk about your business and promote our business can impact others and we don’t even know it!

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Photo Credit: Red October Photography

If you are small business owner or want to learn more about how to start your own business, go checkout the Rising Tide Society. They really serve to support other small business owners. And, even though I’ve been around sewing my wedding garters for a long time, there is always room to grow and learn more. The job of a small business owner is never done!

Check out my blog posts on the topic or find more small business blogging tips too!

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How To Get More Press Attention For Your Small Business

As some of you know, or not, in my former life I worked in politics and PR in Washington, DC. It was a wild ride to say the least. But, after I had my baby girl I gave it up to stay home. I couldn’t be happier!

Over the past year or so, I’ve been taking what I know from my old days of politics and trying to apply it to help grow my small business. I don’t know the wedding world (yet!) and I’m new to social media (although, aren’t we all?!), but I do know the basic rules of PR. From what I can tell, these rules of PR are still the same, it is just that the mediums have changed.

What does this have to do with anything?? It is kind of stretch from wedding garters to PR, I agree. Recently, I wrote a guest post on the awesome the Sage Wedding Pros blog on how to get more attention for your company. (Check out the full guest post here.)

I typed up 10 quick tips, based on things that I’ve done over the past year, and viola…

Ten Tips Earn More Attention For Your Company
By: Julianne Smith

PR. To some, it is an ugly acronym. Public relations gets a bad rap, as people think of images of slicksters, working for the highest bidder. In reality, PR comes down to telling your story your way. In this day and age, PR is literally every outward expression of your company. It is more than just getting the latest wedding magazine to feature your work. It is your website, your logo, what you Tweet about, your partnerships, what you wear to an industry cocktail party. Everything.

With the power of social media, getting attention for your company is easier than ever. You have more control over the outcome than ever before. But, you have to know what you are doing. You must be purposeful with your actions.

Many, if not all, of the old rules of PR still apply today. After nearly ten years in politics and PR, I turned my energy towards my stylish wedding garter company. Iʼve learned a few things along the way, so here are a few tips from me to you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather ten quick things to be mindful of as you work to earn more attention for your company. And yes, I said “earn” because you have to work for it!

1. Be You: Are you boring and stuffy? Well, then donʼt send a boring and stuffy pitch. Be you. If it is an email, then it should read exactly as if you were speaking. If you are talking on the phone or in person, then relax and just be you. This is important because it ensures that you are being authentic.

2. Keep it Short: People have the attention span of flies and they have even less time to read emails, so keep your pitches, voicemails and/or whatever else short and to the point. If you are a designer, say a little bit about your product to give it context, but then let the designs speak for themselves. If editors like what they see, donʼt worry, they will seek you out to find out more.

3. Do Your Homework: The phrase “cold calling” means reaching out to someone that you havenʼt met before. It doesnʼt mean reaching out to someone who youʼve never heard of before. Do your homework before you pitch your company to anyone. If it is a magazine, look through the past few issues and get a sense of their style. As you are reading, think about where your product would fit in, so that you can suggest it as a potential way to work together.

4. Target: Only pitch to the those that would be a good fit for your news. For example, it would be a huge waste of time (yours and theirs) to submit a futuristic themed wedding to a vintage inspired blog. Just by the theme of it, you know they arenʼt going to write about it, so donʼt even bother. Make an effort to seek out those that would have an actual interest in what you have to say. You will be more likely to see results.

5. Make a Plan: If you have something coming up that is worthy of publication, then make a plan BEFORE the actual event. Once the event happens, you should be well into working your plan, not just starting it. Think about the publications that would a be good fit, line up the vendors who contributed and make a “pitch list.” Start gathering contact information and reaching out to your list. There is nothing wrong with teasing
your news or sharing a few preview pictures with a reporter to get a sense of their
interest. 6. Pick Up the Phone: No one uses the phone anymore. Everyone relies on texts and
email. You will be more effective if you actually make a pitch over the phone. (You get bonus points if you can do it in person!) If an outlet has publicized directions for how to contact them, then, of course, you should follow it. But, there is no reason that you canʼt follow that up with a phone call.

7. You Are Your Best Advocate: Publicists, ghost writers and others that you can hire to help you promote your company have their purpose and place. Whether you hire someone or not, know that you, and only you, are the best advocate for your company. Work with the person that you hire to get the results you want, donʼt just expect them to do it for you. If you have employees, be very clear with them about who can and cannot talk to press and use social media to discuss your company. You are the one who knows the inʼs and outʼs of your company, and you will be able to give it the best public face.

8. Social Media is PR: Like it or not, when you use social media (Twitter, Facebook and blogs) you are actively engaging in your own PR. Just by its nature, when you are on social media you are, in a very public way, promoting your company. What you say online impacts (positively or negatively) your company, so use it wisely.

9. Acknowledgement: If you use social media (and I think you should!), then it is important that you are actively engaging in the conversation. If you set up a Facebook page, then update it regularly. When a potential client visits your Facebook page and you havenʼt updated in three months, what does this say about your company? This also means acknowledging Tweets, emails, comments and other messages that come your way. It is bad PR and bad customer service to ignore anyone. And, yes, an RT on Twitter counts…especially to the younger generation. If you blog, consider anyone who reads your blog as a client. They might not be buying your products directly, but they are reading your words. Customers look to social media as a conversation. They want to talk directly to vendors and designers. Not acknowledging someone who contacts you is the social equivalent of giving someone a blank stare when they come up to you in the coffee shop and say, “I like your shirt.”

10. Consistency is King: As the business owner, you should be saying the same few sentences over and over and over again. And, when you are sick of saying them, say ʻem again. Come up with a few buzz sentences and phrases about your company and use them ALL the time. Use them when you explain your product to a client and use them in a pitch to a magazine. Your website, your blog, your Facebook page, your Twitter should all have the same look and feel, and more importantly, the same consistent message. Yes, that means writing the same few things repeatedly.

I know I said ten, but here is a bonus tip, ʻcause this one is important….

11. Be Humble…Yes, bloggers and magazines need content to fill their pages, but arrogance will get you nowhere. Be thankful for every piece (big or small) of PR your company is given. Make sure that whoever wrote about you knows how thankful you are. And, by the way, with the search-ability of the Internet, there is no such thing as a small media hit.