Gin & Magic: Top Tips on running an award winning wedding florist business with Emma Soulsby

Well hello! On today’s show we have an award winning wedding florist, the simply incredible Emma Soulsby. Emma is determination personified as well as being an incredibly down to earth and funny person.

In just two years she has completely rebranded herself into a luxury florist brand as well as launching an online flower school - AMAZING!

I knew she would have a lot to say about the faith, resilience and determination it takes to make a business work successfully, how to use Instagram as a powerful shopfront, as well as fascinating insights on prioritising self care AND SO MUCH MORE!

In her own words, "I love making my clients' dreams come true through creating unique installations."

If you like what you see, don’t forget to give me a thumbs up, leave a comment and hit subscribe if you don’t want to miss out on any future videos.

Thanks again Emma, it was so much fun to chat with you and find out more about how you run your business.

If you agree, please don't forget to hit subscribe, like the video and leave a comment.

Find out more about Emma here:
www.instagram.com/emmasoulsby
www.emmasoulsbyflowers.com

For Emma Soulsby Flower School:
www.instagram.com/emmasoulsbyflowerschool
www.emmasoulsbyflowerschool.com

We'll be back again next week with the next female entrepreneur interview for Gin & Magic! But in the meantime, check out some of the other videos on Gin & Magic here.

See you next time!

Maddy Shine

Gin & Magic: Top Tips on running a successful Wedding Photography Business with Kari Bellamy

Well hello! On today’s show we have a brilliant guest - the fantastically funny Kari Bellamy, a successful London wedding photographer for some years now so I knew she would have a lot to share about how to make it work, recognising your expertise, how Kari attracts 50% of her bookings through SEO, how she manages her busy schedule and some fantastic top tips on self care (and mac and cheese!) AND SO MUCH MORE!

In her own words, "I work with brides and grooms that are passionate about their wedding photography, helping them in any way I can to ensure they are going to throw an amazing party for their family and friends."

If you like what you see, don’t forget to give me a thumbs up, leave a comment and hit subscribe if you don’t want to miss out on any future videos.

Thanks again Kari, it was super fun to chat with you and find out more about how you run your business. If you agree, please don't forget to hit subscribe, like the video and leave a comment.

Find out more about Kari here:
Website
Instagram
Chua & the Bell YouTube channel

We'll be back again next week with the next female entrepreneur interview for Gin & Magic! But in the meantime, check out some of the other videos on Gin & Magic here.

See you next time!

Maddy Shine

How To Use Social Media For SEO

I hear this all the time - isn't social media separate from SEO? They're so different, aren't they? How can I make them work together? Shrug emoji, shrug emoji. If this is the first time you've thought about putting social media and SEO together, don't worry! You're definitely not alone and today, I'm going to show you how it works in my latest blog "How to use social media for SEO".

But I know as a creative business owner, you've got a jam-packed schedule and to-do lists coming out your ears, so first I'll talk you through why it's worth it to use social media for SEO (and how it could even save you time!).

Why is social media important for SEO anyway?

If you think only your website will show up in a Google search, think again! Your social media profiles will rank too. Try it now by Googling yourself and see what you find.

Search engines are constantly on the hunt for the best websites and content to display. They work that out in many different ways, from site speeds to backlinks, including looking at your social media content.

Google will give you a huge great tick if your posts are regularly shared, commented on and liked. Search engines want you to create content that people engage with and enjoy. That includes content shared on your social media channels.

And remember that when your post is shared, if it contains a link to your site, they're reposting that too. Result!

Used correctly, social media can bring in a lot of traffic (read: couples!) to your website, improving your SEO score as a result.

What should you post on social media for SEO?

If there's only one thing you take away from this blog post covering how to use social media for SEO, let it be this. People crave visuals and it's your job to supply them.

Add branded graphics to your photos and videos, embed links to blog posts alongside a picture and link to your website when you share quotes, infographics or images. You're providing quality content that people want to engage with, while ensuring a solid boost for your marketing and SEO.

Next up, it’s time to make sure your posts reach as many people as possible. That’s the aim of the game after all.

Tag any suppliers you've collaborated with, post at the optimum time for each platform and mix up your approach and content depending on where you're sharing it. What people expect on Twitter versus Instagram are different – respond to that.

How can you reach more people with posts?

If you’re serious about levelling up your SEO, you should be blogging as often as possible.

Each time you create a blog, share it twice on social media on the first day. Do this within a few hours of the post going live and use different platforms. You could share the article first to Facebook, then to Instagram and later to Pinterest, for example.

Create a social media calendar so that you know what you're sharing and when, then schedule in three more shares of that blog post in the coming week.

But don't just cut and paste the original post. How many times do you really want to see the same photo, after all?

Mix and match the images and copy each time. The perk of this approach is afterwards, you can assess what combination worked best to replicate for future success. The Facebook Insights tool is handy for this.

Collaboration is the key to using social media for SEO

Tagging suppliers who are connected to your updates should become your go-to style. Not only will this increase awareness of your brand, it'll also help you reach more people. This, in turn, can drive more traffic to your post and ultimately, your business.

Sharing your blog posts is another way to tap into the power of other people and promote engagement. Why not email all the suppliers you mention in a blog post to let them know it's live and ask them to share it?

Everyone has an ego (whether they admit it or not!) They'll love to be featured, you'll love the publicity from being shared and Google will love the backlinks that suggest your site is useful. It's a win-win-win!

Using social media for SEO is simpler than you think. With a little bit of planning, you can give your social channels a boost, attract more website visitors and see your Google ranking climb. Even better, because social media is something you're already doing, using social media for SEO won't add to your workload.

So is that it? Can I just implement these and then that's all there is to know?

These are the tips to get you started sure, and I'm excited to hear how you implement them. But I go into much more detail on my SEO course Let's Get You Found. Sign up to the waiting list here.

Chat soon!
Maddy Shine x

Why did I create a YouTube channel?

OMG! This week I created a YouTube channel! You can subscribe here. Creating this YouTube channel has been a long time coming. You know those ideas that creep around the back of your mind and the voices say 'Who, me?'. It's really taken some time to get used to seeing and hearing myself on camera! Two whole years ago, in May 2017 I actually cried when my business coach suggested I start video marketing. I couldn't believe how much I was getting in the way of myself!

SAY WHAT NOW?

Me, someone who was known for being so confident, a seasoned public speaker, would be found out to be an imposter because I had such low self esteem about how I looked and how I spoke. I was *so* worried about what others thought of me. Looking back, I can't believe how much time I spent, waiting for permission. From who?! I don't know.

FIVE REASONS I STARTED A YOUTUBE CHANNEL

  1. When I was a child, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had zero clue. My job now didn’t exist after all! But that feeling of not knowing didn’t go away for quite some time, well into my 20s. I didn’t know what was possible. If I had seen videos like the ones I'm going to share on Gin & Magic, perhaps I would have found the inspiration and the confidence to start a little sooner and to stop getting in the way of myself quite so much 😉
  2. In May 2017, just after it was suggested I start using video marketing, I was asked to do something that required me to be online in front of 120,000+ people. I did it and the confidence to go for what I wanted took a major step up. A year later I started my Facebook group "So Exciting Obviously SEO for Creative Women" and started sharing much more of my personality on Instagram Stories (yes, including dance breaks!) I basically stopped letting fear stand in my way, because not only did I feel happier about my business but I could reap the rewards of doing so.
  3. I love watching interviews on YouTube - chat shows like Ellen, and interviews like Marie Forleo and Oprah. I find them fascinating and inspiring but not immediately relatable to me and my business. I enjoy watching interviews of famous businesswomen interview other famous businesswomen and I find them hugely inspiring. But I want to know more about the women who have started businesses and designed their lives that are somewhere between having started and earning millions. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life there was no SEO expert on the career aptitude tests. I am fascinated with all these women doing the same, creating careers for themselves and telling fascinating stories.
  4. I've considered for a while that I wanted to champion the women I enjoy watching online who are running successful business women who aren't running multimillion empires, but have nonetheless designed their own lives. They love what they do and they help a lot of people doing what they love. And what's more exciting than that?
  5. I know I'm not alone. I realised that I'm not the only one I know with a lot to share and I wanted to show support to those I admire who are doing great things. I am known for being confident and happy and I wanted to share that with a wider community.

A NEW WAY OF CELEBRATING WOMEN

I want to celebrate all the ways that we can make our life our own, free of anyone else's expectations of us but also with a key focus on self care, and supporting ourselves to be the very best we can be. We are all wonderfully unique human beings and those who are open and willing to learn from others are those who will go far. You see, I realised that once I stopped letting fear get in the way, every time I found myself comparing myself to someone on screen, I could use that energy to see what I could learn from them, to give me insights into my own lifestyle, the way I run my business.

Here, I wanted a place where I could shout about the fabulous businesswomen I admire. I wanted to go one step further than the Instagram shoutouts and to have a good old natter where I find out more about them and you all get to watch. I want to support women to see that we can design our lives any way we wish to and enjoy it. If you don’t know what success means to you yet, watch and listen as these women share. This is the YouTube channel that I wanted to watch and the more I talked about it with others the more I saw that I wasn't the only one.

AM I QUITTING OFFERING WEDDING SEO OR CREATIVE SEO?

So does this mean I'm quitting Making Your Business Shine or that I'll stop offering SEO services? Not at all! I LOVE helping creative ambitious business owners get found online.

So sit back and enjoy the videos I share. Hit subscribe so you don't miss out on any juicy goodness as I want you to be encouraged, be inspired and enjoy.

Maddy Shine x

How to make time to do wedding SEO

I know, I know. You’ve got consultations to plan, quotes to send and a whole host of wedding bookings to work on, before you even consider your wedding SEO.

Finding time to look after your SEO too can feel like an impossible task, but there is a way to make time for it in your schedule. And with the possibility of bringing new bookings your way every day, it’s time that’s very well spent.

In this blog post, I want to help you to step up your search engine rankings in just four easy-to-implement steps.

Make a date with yourself

As with all things business-related, the key to getting your wedding SEO done and done well is to dedicate time to it. That may be an hour a month to research trends and check your ranking for keyword terms. Or it may be checking in once a week.

Little and often is the key

If you tackle SEO each time you publish a blog post or webpage, you’ll never have to face a mountain of content to optimise. Blasting through a short to-do list is achievable. Tackling wedding SEO for 30 posts? Not so much.
Avoid overwhelm by taking a proactive approach to SEO and you’ll soon see that the results it brings really are ‘So Exciting Obviously’.

Batch your tasks together

Whether you’re researching sites to guest blog on or planning your next keyword phrases, doing 10 at a time is almost always more efficient than doing it individually on 10 different occasions.

Make an overall wedding SEO plan covering all the elements you want to tackle. This includes the technical side of SEO like improving your site loading times, as well as assessing keyword phrases. Then take one section at a time, pace yourself and tick it off your list.

Don't be tempted to cut corners

When you’ve only got 30 minutes to spare and you just want to get a blog post published, it’s all too tempting to gloss over some (or even all) parts of wedding SEO. Don’t!

You’ve taken time to create this epic content, so make sure it reaches the audience you want it to. That means optimising for a carefully chosen keyword, setting an SEO title and writing a meta description. It even includes reducing your image file sizes.

You want to boost your wedding SEO score at every opportunity. Leaving small things undone could drag it down and let competitors take your space.

With four simple steps, you can make significant headway in improving your search engine ranking. Do so and you’ll draw in more visitors and stand out as the fabulous business that you are.

Sounds pretty simple when I break it down like this, doesn't it? Go on, try it out and keep me posted.

Maddy Shine x

Photography by Luisa Starling

All gifs from Giphy

Do I really need to blog?

I get asked a LOT "Do I really need to blog?" For people who work visually whether it's creating photographs, styling events, painting portraits, I know it's a challenge. If you want to have more content to promote yourself online then blogging really is the easiest way to do it. But whyyyy I then hear people reply. So I wrote a list of reasons....

I mean, the obvious ones are there - it's free, it's not complicated, it's a great way for your audience to get to know you, but I know what it's like. There are literally a million reasons why you'd prefer to do something else sometimes. But those excuses are always there, will always be there and you haven't let those excuses get in the way of growing your business before, so why do it now? That isn't what you signed up for when you became self employed. If you want to know more about why blogging is good for SEO you can check out my post about that here too.

So grab a pen and post it notes, have a read of my 65 reasons, write down your favourites and pin them above your desk, What's more - when you get to the end of the list there's an exciting news I'm dropping in to celebrate International Women's Day next week. Yasss.

    1. It's a free way to promote your business
    2. It’s great for building your brand
    3. It gets you noticed
    4. It builds trust in your readers' minds
    5. It makes you stand out from the crowd
    6. It helps you grow in confidence
    7. It gives you content to use on social media and newsletters
    8. It ensures your latest work is always published
    9. It’s a chance to offer value to your clients
    10. It shows potential clients more in-depth information about the products you sell
    11. If the posts are engaging, gives people a reason to return to your website
    12. It’s a way of sharing helpful advice, tips
    13. It’s a source of pride in your website - you’re happier for people to look at it
    14. It’s great for getting found online by a new audience
    15. By publishing more, you improve and attract more
    16. It’s a great way to practice writing
    17. It increases your audience’s confidence in you
    18. It’s a way for you to express your creativity
    19. It brings traffic to your website
    20. It shows off your best work
    21. It establishes authority in your readers' minds
    22. It lets you help others
    23. It’s a way of sharing examples of your work
    24. It shows experience in specific areas
    25. It updates your website with new work
    26. It lets people know that you’re still here
    27. It’s a way to communicate your values
    28. It helps you guide them
    29. It’s a way of getting to know you, so they can proceed to the next stage of decision making
    30. It’s a great way to build relationships with others you mention
    31. It gives others content to share
    32. It gives your target audience content to share
    33. You can send specific posts to people who enquire to help them with their questions
    34. It provides a good reason for sorting the cream of the crop images to update my gallery
    35. It gives you content for sharing on social media.
    36. It challenges you, and being challenged is good, it stretches you
    37. You learn how to do a new thing
    38. When you monitor traffic coming to your site, it’s motivating
    39. It allows you to share your thoughts and develop them
    40. It has a higher reach than your website alone
    41. It creates new opportunities
    42. It documents your work and life
    43. It shows you care
    44. It sets the tone for what you’re like to work with
    45. It’s a way to share your expertise and experience
    46. It helps you stay in touch with your audience
    47. It keeps your shopfront updated
    48. It can be fun to share something you’re passionate about
    49. Readers can relate to you
    50. It shows off your ideal clients so you attract more of the same
    51. It gives you a voice
    52. It reminds your clients you exist
    53. It's a fantastic way to express your values and message to the world.
    54. It enables you to showcase your latest work.
    55. By adding content with different keyword phrases you improve your SEO
    56. By giving your opinion you pitch yourself as an expert in your field
    57. It builds the "knowing who I can trust" factor.
    58. It gives your audience an excellent opportunity to show images of behind-the-scenes.
    59. It gets you writing and writing is a fantastic way to show your creative talents
    60. It gives people a glimpse of what it's like to work with you
    61. It gives people an insight into who you are
    62. It calls out to your ideal client
    63. It drives traffic to your website
    64. It helps build your network
    65. It enables you to share your knowledge

Wowsers, what a list, right? So hopefully this will satisfy your question 'Do I really need to blog?'

I promised you some exciting news so here it is - next week to celebrate International Women's Day I'm running a competition in my Facebook group So Exciting Obviously SEO for Creative Women and it's strongly related to this post. Come and join me as I go live on Friday 1st March at 2pm in the group where I will help you to stop overthinking everything and get cracking with improving your SEO.

See you there!