20 Things to Do When you don't know what to do now

An alternative title for this could be - How to stop overthinking everything and be more visible or "I’m feeling overwhelmed too. Here’s what I've been doing about it and you can too"

I wrote this post because this has been my experience and, when I speak to people, this is yours too. You want to get more done but you spend so much time dwelling, overthinking or worse panicking that you just don’t get what you want to done.

Ok so let me preface sharing these tips by saying - getting more done isn’t the key to success. Getting more of what YOU want to get done IS. A happy life is a successful life, no matter how you define that happiness.

I've been holding off sharing this blog post which, would you believe it, I started writing BA (that's Before Apocalypse - humour is one of my coping mechanisms, forgive me). I realised that now is an even more important time to share my tips because whilst there’s always going to be challenges, I believe we are much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. We can use the worry + fear to stop us in our tracks or we can keep it practical, get a daily routine in place however new, and understand this one important fact:

There is no race.

Glad we got that out of the way. I’m working on a bigger thing so I can help you more with building your visibility in these challenging times but in the meantime please read on to learn my tips on what to say when you have no idea what to say.

In these dramatic times, people are spending more time online than ever and it’s up to you be involved as much as you want.

I repeat, as much as you want.

We all know by now that if we want to be found by our potential clients we need to be visible. But how? Whilst we may feel despondent, these negative thoughts and feelings can be usefully added to the list of reasons why we weren’t posting on social media or writings blogs (if at all) on our sites but this time we feel better about it because we know others feel the same.

But if you feel like this might actually be a good opportunity to get started with an actual Plan of Action (caps needed) then you’re in the right place.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know I have two keen focuses - SEO and self care. Because the way I see it, being more visible takes a lot of energy at the best of times but right now it may feel a lot so in this post I’ve got self care tips AND practical solutions for your business no matter where you're at right now.

10 Self Care Tips for Self Employed People

I'm not a professional at this. I wanted to share a few things that have been helping me cope and when I share them, others have told me they have helped them too.

  1. Try not to allow the panic + overwhelm to halt your entire life. Do what you need to do to take each day one by one (I am fully aware I am not a parent. You lot deserve medals)
  2. I made a list of things that I've survived + thrived both personal and business-wise. This was eye opening and reassuring. Like when 10 years ago during the recession, I lost my job on which I was way too emotionally dependent, I was up to my eyeballs in debt, I lost a family member and my flat all in the space of 3 months. It was a crazy year.
  3. I had a good tidy up of my workspace - creating a designated workspace can apparently help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively.
  4. Creating an action list that helps keep my bigger goals in mind
  5. Having a daily cry (I don't mind admitting this, I think it's perfectly normal in these circumstances tbh)
  6. Creating a To Daa list (celebrating the things you’ve accomplished)
  7. I've been bingeing on Prime and Netflix (yes, I have a spreadsheet which I'm sharing here because so many people ask me ‘Got any recommendations?’)
  8. I've been reading actual books (The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge is amazing and now I'm onto Elton John's autobiography)
  9. I’ve been meditating a lot more than ever and I'm finding this book very useful (email me if you want a PDF version, they offer an electronic version out for free)
  10. My pal Rowan has been amazing at sharing latest advice and what we can do to help ourselves as self-employed people.

Practical solutions for our businesses

Now more than ever we see how much we crave connection. Guess where we can still be connected? THAT'S RIGHT, THE INTERNET. People are spending more time online than ever, and they want something to look forward to so step into the light people, now is your time. Being a memorable brand which, let's face it, you want to be, requires the following points:

  • Creating a great customer experience

Are you in touch with your clients? A lot of people I know have been, and a lot of people I know are scared to be. I think the best solution is to take charge of the situation and contact them first. They'll want to hear reassurance from you to check that you have solutions in place to cover the bookings you've got together.

What questions do they have? This is where you can actually share your experience and expertise. What I always say to my clients is...you know more than the people who have hired you so share that experience, tell them your plans.

Refresh your portfolio page(s) on your website and divide it up into categories like London Wedding Cakes and Surrey Wedding Cakes, so they're more easily findable online

Update your text on your website - are you telling a story with the text on every page as well as the images?

Write those blog posts you’ve been meaning to put out for a while that you know will be useful for your audience when the time is right! Find ways to re-purpose your images and create 10 favourite X, 5 favourite X. It's a great way to then link to other content you've previously published!

  • Tell your stories

If you're wondering how to share about any of this and indeed whether it's flippant to continue sharing stuff that isn't pandemic related, then rest assured people WANT the escapism. They WANT something to look forward to. They WANT to feel inspired. You're sitting on the gold. Don't hide away. Publish that post. Share that content.

  • Speak your customer’s language

Your potential clients WANT to know the answers to question you know the answers to.

Create Instagram Stories around people's commonly asked questions

Write one blog post per question so that when people google those questions you have a better chance of coming up in the results

Re-share older blog content that was popular before so you don't have to constantly create new content (cheer people up! They want escapism!)

  • Create easy content

Put a call out on your Stories for requests to create a playlist related to what you do (first dance playlist, working from home playlist, etc) and create it on Spotify and then share on Stories / social media

Read my blog post about how to create your best of and do some round up posts of your own. Doesn't have to be at the end of the year! It could be your 5 favourite first dances, 5 favourite bouquets, etc etc.

Create a funny post because humour works, that gets people talking like my business story told entirely in GIFs which people still come and talk to me about years later (I update it once a year)

  • Be a human bean

Needing inspiration? Indulge in some Youtube videos or podcasts like....

Watch YouTube channels and feel inspired (like my Gin & Magic series where I chat to strong creative women about how they make their lives work) Figuring it all out with Julie Michaelsen is a good one and so is What do our clients really want with Faye Cornhill!

Listen to some podcasts and write down action points. Here are a few I’ve been on that people have found very useful:

    1. Business Proposal 
    2. How to with Zoe Dew
    3. Females on Fire podcast

You could take this time to review your big picture. Look at your goals and remember it isn't a race. I am often met with surprise that a whole module of my Let’s Get You Found group course is dedicated to making goals. Those who have already set goals go ‘pfft I have those already’ and those who haven’t set goals go ‘yeah yeah I know I should have them but well, I don’t’. The goals I’m talking about can be either personal or business but honestly this is one of the biggest things I’ve learned in my business. People, I never set specific goals until a couple of years ago and it CHANGED MY LIFE.

Take this opportunity for a digital de-clutter like cleaning up files on your computer, sorting your photos out, deleting things you don’t need any more. It's quite satisfying and makes you feel like you're doing something useful. Which you are.

If you're worried you can't do the styled shoots as planned....get in touch with suppliers you planned the shoot with and write a guest post for one other supplier in that group

Reach out to suppliers you've been wanting to forge a connection with and offer to write guest posts for them wanting nothing in return except for a link back to your website.

So there we have it, a round up of self care tips and some simple visibility tips for you to put into action. What was your favourite tip? Come and tell me on Instagram 🙂

Virtual hugs,

Maddy x

📸Verity Westcott Photography when I was speaking at South West Wedmeetup recently.

The Story of Maddy Shine told in GIFs

It may or may not surprise you to know (if you watch my Instagram Stories here) that I enjoy the occasional gin of an evening. Whilst having my gin, I have a few chats with lovely people in my DMs about personal business stories recently and this got me thinking that whilst my About page is all spruced up and sparkling and ta-dahhh, I haven’t actually shared my business story here on my blog. I do LOVE reading other people’s stories because y'know #nosey, and so I thought it might be fun to share my own almost entirely in GIFs. It's important for me to inject humour as much as possible into what I do because it's a crazy world and I think kindness and humour are key.

So, enjoy!

I have always loved weddings. When I was a little girl I had an alter ego. Her name? Mrs Wedding.

I went to a convent school which I kinda loved actually.

I grew up by the seaside in Devon....


....where I watched Splash a lot indoors on VHS....

I actually won certificates at school for smiling so much. Whilst others got them for doing well in geography or achievement in maths, I got awarded for being a happy bunny.

I learned to code in HTML in 1999 when I was 16 - my dad gave me a subdomain on his business website! The masterpiece was all about Ace Ventura.....

I went to university in Bristol and studied business, and left for London and expected this.

But it was more like this...

But as a side job, I worked in rowing PR...as you do. There were quite a few perks...

Oh, and I used to organise a LOT of fancy dress parties in London.

I got very, very tired and needed a break. It was the recession and I lost my job.

My partner at the time loved India and encouraged me to go...so off I went. I very much expected this....

and instead got this...

Having all that space to think about life made me realise....

After six months, I came back to England to live on a houseboat, engaged.

I read about 100+ wedding blogs regularly. I entered all the competitions. I won my wedding photographer in a competition on a blog!

I started interning for the blog, and then, dear reader, I got married.

Meanwhile, because I like to keep busy (LOLZ) I led an international media campaign in 2010-2012 to save my houseboat community from extinction (side note: they're still there)

In that time, I also qualified as an English teacher so I could work abroad. After travelling for 18 months, I was ready to come back to England

I started to network (read: fangirl the shiz out of) the wedding world. And things started to happen....

Also me...

The wedding blog where I won my wedding photographer offered me a job where I wrote and shared my adventures.

I helped organise a networking event and met Nu Bride who hired me as an assistant researcher. She sent me to John Nassari’s masterclass at the Savoy later that year where I met Laura Babb (who I totally fangirled over and she forgave me) as well as Nicola at Propose PR.

I was then involved as a model in a photoshoot where Fiona Kelly was the photographer Fiona became my first real SEO client. Apparently it was this photo that led her to hire me....

That was 2014. In December that year I finished my last ever temping job and had my first logo and was officially madeleinenoblejones.com (my married name).

Having gathered a lovely group of clients (turns out nice people talk about useful people in their lives!), I went off to Goa again for a few months but this time came back single.

Pouring all my energy into the business, I started getting speaking gigs.

(this is actually how much I talk with my arms...)

I had to change my name and therefore updated my brand, fully embracing my love of pink and became Madeleinejones.co and hired two assistants - Bex & Emily, so now we were 3.

I was asked to run 1:1 SEO reviews with attendees at Snap Photography Festival which went down a treat, it was here I was crowned the Queen of SEO by the fantastic Snap community, so much so that I was asked back again for a second year in 2017. (I gush publicly fairly often about the wonder that is Laura Babb but I'm not going to stop now!)

In the winter that year I made the brave decision not to go to Goa and stayed in England.

The gamble paid off and 2017 was the biggest year yet!

I rebranded the business with the amazing talents of Becky Lord.

We completed over 70 client projects and countless internal projects! I travelled all over the country sharing more SEO goodness, Pinterest fun and drank gin with wonderful people.

In 2018, I launched my free Facebook community for women in business

And I started dancing on my Instagram Stories

(Yes, that's right I'm now on GIPHY for the world to use!)

I launched my first group course - Let's Get You Found

With this newfound confidence, I moved back to London this time NORTH OF THE RIVER. After a six year break I had decided that a change was needed (Londoners, you know what I'm talking about)

I also launched my SEO done for you monthly option (which to be honest had always been in existence

I also completed a massive load of mindset work, and continued to head to Sweden for regular meditation retreats

2019 was also the year I launched my YouTube channel Gin and Magic chatting to strong creative women about how they make their lives work!

By the end of 2019 I had come to the conclusion that whilst I love talking about SEO, what people really wanted to talk to me about was the bigger picture of online visibility.

This is one of the most common questions I get asked along with...

"What are keywords anyway? Is blogging dead? Where do I even start?"

My goal is and has always been to make you more visible to more of the right people so you get more bookings.

So if you're keen to check out how we can work together then have a good stalk around my site. There are options from 1:1 sessions to group courses to free resources on the blog.

Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to know your business story, so send me a link to yours!

Maddy xo

All GIFs are from GIPHY

10 lessons I learned from my last launch


I'm writing this because quite a few people have asked me about it and even though I am not a launch expert, I do feel I have some lessons to share. In short, I made some money, I spent some money, I helped a lot of people, I gained some fans and some haters (oh yes!) and I learned a LOT. (trying not to swear as my Ma reads this, hi Ma!)

I have been reading up and learning about big launches for years. My goodness, it is quite something else actually doing them! I realised half way through this launch just how I've avoided trying to make 'too big a deal' out of my own launches and therefore have not reached my targets in order to make them as financially successful as possible. 

When it comes to the actual delivery of whatever I'm selling, I'm fine, I blimmin' love teaching and when the people who buy from me action what I teach, they get great results. But first, you have to get people to trust you enough to buy from you, right?

I have done many different types of launches but this particular model I learned as a combination from learning from Faye Cornhill and Lisa Johnson, both marvellous business coaches and if you haven't heard about them, go Google them. They're completely different styles, but hey, I enjoy both flavours of ice cream.

So, how did I get this launch to happen? I've listed 10 but of course there are countless others. Some of them are predictable, some of them surprised me, all of them I found valuable, so you might too 🤪

1. You have to believe you can do it

This one sounds the cheesiest of all but it's 100% true. Here's what helps me believe in myself:

  • Reading happy testimonials + feedback
  • Affirmations
  • Reflecting & meditating (this is the one I've subscribed to for 9 years)
  • Repeating my sales goal over and over (writing it out, saying it out loud)
  • Sharing with my friends & family over WhatsApp (validation / emotional support)
  • Asking for support from business coach friends
  • Resting as much as possible so you reserve your energy
  • Snacks


2. You have to set boundaries

Something I learn more and more about every day of running my business. If you don't set boundaries you run the risk of burnout. I've been there, it ain't fun. Every evening during this launch I would delete my social media apps from my phone and every morning I would re-download them. In fact, I've been doing this some weekends to give myself a break and oh boy does it feel good. See also: not checking the phone as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. Also, I made sure I rested as much as possible.

3. You have to be prepared to spend time and money planning it all

In launches prior to this I've used 99% organic posts only. In this launch, I used a mix of paid AND organic posts. I not only had paid campaigns running to get people to sign up for my challenge, I also posted a lot organically (which I do anyway):

  • posts on FB page
  • posts in my main FB group
  • posts on Instagram profile & Stories
  • Q+As on Stories and email
  • emails to my list (hi!)


I don't want to mention figures openly here actually, because if I read the figures I'd spent on this campaign and I wasn't in this position then I would actually be put off from launching. You have to figure out what your own targets are, what kind of effort you're willing to put in to make it happen, and what your own price points are. 

My target was to get 1000 people engaged with my challenge (I got 742 in the end), and then my target was 1% conversion rate of 10 sales which I got! You might think the conversion rate is low but it was a high price point. Your conversion rate may be higher if your price point is lower and your audience is warmer (I learned a lot about warm audiences on this one).

4. You cannot do it alone

I continue to work with a number of coaches, and a mentoring group, and this time I hired Jackie Muscat & her team who helped make this launch happen. Next time I want to hire a VA to help me with the day to day running of everything. But also, I took great solace in my support network, see also: group WhatsApps cheering me along.

5. Don't let pride stand in your way

This was a big mistake where I've gone wrong before and I see that originally I didn't make the sales funnel specific enough. I have a free training on my site - Let's Make You Shine, and I was sending cold traffic there with a video ad, to watch the free training video and expecting them to book a call with me to book onto the course (which is self guided) and then wondering why I wasn't converting very well. Indeed those people weren't even hanging around on my emailing list. It just felt unnatural and not like me. My audience is very used to being sold to and therefore much more savvy but I didn't know what else to do.

(Fact: I did really, I just didn't want to admit I was wrong. See also my blog post about asking for sex on the first date - it doesn't create a long lasting relationship! And yet I still hadn't practiced what I preached).

I also realised I was scared of bothering people and again had to swallow my own advice and realise that those who were interested wanted to hear from me. So I put on my big girl pants and did the work.

.....which brings me to next lesson....

6. I followed a process

I have read advice about launching before and didn’t want to follow it step by step because it felt like a) copying b) unoriginal and c) predictable. 

But hey guess what? Following a process makes life so much easier plus it works! There’s a reason it’s a process! I made my content original and my audience loved it. I’ll tell you a few basics of the process:

  • I created a detailed target audience profile complete with pain points
  • I thought about the hell + heaven of my audience (what challenges do they face, where would they like to be)
  • I collected testimonials + case studies of successes
  • I wasn’t afraid to use video ads

7. I wasn’t afraid to give away a lot of information for free

I designed a 5 day challenge (I'd only ever done 3-4 days before) and with no webinar at the end this time, and instead open the doors to my live course. This time the challenge would be in its own popup FB group too.

Before the challenge, I wanted to increase email subscribers and gain more engagement traction on socials, so I updated a freebie "How to tell Google I exist" and it worked really well (see a problem, offer a solution, people want the solution). But... I didn't have a welcome sequence set up for that which would automatically go out to them before adding them to my master list, so I found it hard to hold onto those subscribers. Not impossible, just unnecessarily harder.

8. Recognise ‘what’s the cost of not doing this?’

The challenge campaign was going well, but I was stressing OUT because my website kept breaking. The back end of it was literally held together with brown sticky tape. I knew I would have to move the teaching materials away from my site but at the same time it felt expensive.

Then I realised my own advice: what's the cost of not doing this?
- To my own sanity
- To my bank balance
- To my clients who kept (patiently) letting me know they were having problems accessing the course content

The challenge campaign increased my mail subscribers to the point where ActiveCampaign stopped accepting new subscribers (but didn't email me to let me know!) and I had to pay to upgrade with a bill of £350 (that means I'll be paying £900 or so in October when it comes to renew).

My developer was incredibly patient and worked with me through my favourite system, Asana, to sort out all the tech problems, and find good solutions.

9. ​​Don’t be afraid to look bad

Tech gremlins crept in to the last 2 days of my 5 day challenge and so I offered to redo the last video again. This got a lot of traction which was great. I was afraid to look bad (I was afraid to sell something people didn’t want, but I knew they did, fearful that I made the challenge too thorough). I had to really get confident with what I was selling and follow up with leads - some ghosted me which happens, but others appreciated that I was persistent because they were busy but knew they wanted a solution to their problem.

10. ​​There are no shortcuts

It comes down to this - there are no shortcuts. You have to be prepared to put in the work. Create the content to show your value and to actually go ahead and show up.

This was the biggest one for me and the running theme throughout the whole launch - you have to show up. 

What do you think? Was this helpful to learn more insights? Hit me back with a reply and let me know.

Maddy x​​​​​​​​


Whilst you're here....come and say hi! 

I wanted to let you know about 3 things I'm speaking at next month, I'd love to see some friendly faces there 🙂 

  1. Cake Makers - this one's for you! Organised by Christine and Phil of Peboryon cakes, the Cake Professionals Conference is a day to invest in yourself and your cake business. Leave refreshed and inspired! Taking place in Reading UK on 2nd March, you can get your ticket here
  2. South West Wedding Suppliers - here's one for you! I'm speaking alongside some brilliant people at South West Wedmeetup on 3rd March at Rockbeare Manor in Devon. You can get your ticket for the one day event plus a gala dinner in the evening 🍾you can book your ticket here
  3. Female Photographers, listen up - there’s a 3 day conference happening in Manchester UK next March with your name all over it. I’ll be there giving a talk along with an incredible line up of speakers. There are different ticket options which you can check out here and when you book, mention my name in the booking form and I’ll buy you a drink at the bar.

How to create your best of 2019 blog post

Hello! So last year I wrote a blog post on how to make the best of your 2018 highlights. It was quite popular. So I decided to write an updated version so you can create your own highlights of 2019. 

For this was the year of even more ways of being visible to your audience. Videos and in particular, Instagram Stories became even more of a thing. Sharing more personal bits of our lives became more important as we all suddenly/slowly realised that we were selling to human beans and therefore should probably act like them on social media.

So OK you're probably thinking. Where on earth do you start? 🤔

Perhaps you’re thinking any one of the following....hmm not sure what I did this year that's different from last year that anyone would care about apart from my mum, or....not sure what I would say, ....not sure whether I want that to be my first blog post in god knows how long.... hmm it’s sitting half complete in my drafts actually,....nah they're only for certain types of businesses, and certainly not for me!

Perhaps you’ve seen the super fancy lovely slideshows set to music and thought “Not only do I not know how to do that, I also don’t know if I have that many images that I love, and the very task seems daunting”?

You aren’t alone, and I’m here to help.

In this blog post I will not only present different types of Best of 2019 blog posts but also, I’ll share with you how to make the most of this kind of blog post, and the added visibility (SEO and marketing - YAY!) benefits of creating this blog post.

Your best of 2019 isn't limited to those with lots of images (looking at you, fabulous photographers!), and it certainly doesn't always have to be a slideshow set to music. Of course this is a lush idea and works well if you're that way inclined, but there are many other ways you could present your Best of 2019.

Obviously, as your SEO Queen, I’m going to focus on the SEO benefits of having such a blog post. Creating a Best of 2019 is not only a FAB-ulous opportunity to reflect on how awesome you are, but also to repurpose the content that worked really well for you in the past year.

1. Blog your Top Ten Blogs using Google Analytics

One way to present your Best of 2019 is to create a blog post from your 10 most popular blog posts of the past year.

This idea makes the assumption that you have Google Analytics (or similar stats) installed

To do this, just log in to your Google Analytics.

  • Then, go to Behaviour on the left hand side menu
  • Click on Site Content
  • Click All Pages
  • Change your dates in the top right corner by manually typing in Jan 1 2019 and leaving today's date in the second box
  • Scroll down and you'll see your 10 most popular pages of your site in the past year. Chances are your blog posts may not be there, as your pages will be listed, so there's a small box saying Rows underneath - click this and change from 10 to 100
  • There you'll spot your blog posts as your most popular content over the past year.

You can then link to each blog post and add one image from each blog post. The text you use to link to the blog needs to be something very relevant to the blog post itself such as “Dorchester Hotel wedding - Tom & Rachel” because you want to attract more traffic for Dorchester Hotel weddings, right?

Of course, you don't have to add images, but if you're a visual business then it makes sense to. Otherwise, you could just list them like this... 😉

My top ten blog posts were:

1, 16 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You Work at A Computer (published in 2017, I go back and update this every so often as it's so well read)

2. How to make the most of your best of 2018 blog post was v popular but you've got this now! 🙂 

3. Six Ways to Put Yourself Out There (and not run out of time)

4. How to Install a Cookie Notice (Published back in 2017, I update this annually because it continues to deliver traffic!)

5. How to find more time to work on your business

6. How do I rank for this keyword

7. 10 Ways you can make time to relax (especially when you're crazy busy) and still get through your To Do list

8. What is SEO? Your Questions Answered

9. How to use social media for SEO a.k.a. how to squeeze the juice from every blog post you are actually creating

10. How to set up Google Analytics (and why the hell you'd want to) (originally published in 2018, updated annually)

I was a little nervous about traffic this year as I have started to email out whole blog posts in my emails to my list with an option to click through to read the same post here on the blog, but it's been fine 🙂

2. Blog your Best Nine from Instagram

You could create a Best of 2019 blog post by linking to the 9 posts that were your most popular on Instagram, or simply using it as inspiration of course. This idea makes the assumption that:

a) you have Instagram
b) you have discovered your best 9 (this tool is useful to find out)

If you haven’t blogged about each of the projects that were on your best 9 then you don’t even need to refer to the best nine and instead just link to the ones you did blog about and/or add the best nine images to your slideshow if you're doing one, along with links to the photographers who took the photos, the venues where the images were taken and any other fun details. People are nosier than you think, so give them an opportunity to engage with you.

Here's my best nine of 2019 - it was a fun year, one that made me see even more how I want to spend my time....

Photography credits from top left to right: Feeling on top of the world in a branding photo shoot with @LuisaStarling in London celebrating my move back to the city I love 💖Drinking cocktails at @mostcuriouswedfair at the gorgeous @wildandwonderevents stand - thanks @devinebride 💖 Having a wonderful time teaching a Pinterest workshop hosted by @hannahhallphotography thanks @shootitmommaphoto 💖I've been sharing a lot more about my meditation this year and I love @marryandchew for capturing this at BMA House 💖My announcement video launching my YouTube channel Gin and Magic 💖 Creating the best of 2018 blog post with photography by @cooper.photography 💖(3rd row) One of my favourite memes on the internet spelling out my ideal people 💖A thank you video celebrating the launch of Gin and Magic 💖 Getting dressed up for a night, hair in curlers wrapped in a @fara.boutique scarf ;o)

3. Blog your Numbers of the Year

Create a blog post where you list your numbers of the year. And no, I don’t mean publish your turnover, but by reviewing the year in this way, you celebrate your wins! And you could create quite a quirky list depending on your brand 😉 Some people have done this as Facebook or Instagram updates and that’s cool but that’s not driving the traffic to your website, and your website is your best employee. Why not let it work for you?

Here are some examples of numbers you could share...

X awards won
X nominations
X workshops hosted / attended
X press features
X podcasts listened to / been featured on

If you're a wedding supplier...

X amount of weddings planned
X wedding fairs attended
X styled shoots done
X cakes made
X berries picked
X cake tastings given
X amount of first kisses you cried at
X amount of Mums you hugged
X amount of times you had to help a bride to the loo

If you're a destination wedding supplier or simply a travel lover:

X holidays booked
X continents travelled to
X amount of clients served
X miles travelled
X planes caught
X amount of miles walked / run

If you're a movie/TV show/soundtrack binger like me then another way of attracting more of your ideal client is to share your favourite TV shows, movies, music and more. Honestly, I cannot tell you how much sharing about this stuff has made me more visible.

X amount of Brooklyn 99 episodes you re-watched this year (I bloomin' love Captain Holt, even though I am clearly an Amy)
You could link to most played songs of the year (I personally love looking at other people's so I can mix up my own taste a bit so here's mine

4. Round up of goals

Of course if you're prone to sharing more personal fun stuff as well as work stuff then you could make the focus of your best of 2019 a round up of your personal goals. You could break it down into highs, challenges met and surprises along the way. 

Highs:

Engaging on Instagram Stories remains a lot of fun and I love speaking with people in my DMs (I have heard rumours this positively affects your algorithm but I don't know the truth of this). I love offering challenges and competitions in my free Facebook community So Exciting Obviously SEO for Creative Women. I love supporting those on my Let's Get You Found DIY SEO program. I launched my first ever video sales funnel with a free video called Let's Make You Shine.

Launching my YouTube channel Gin and Magic where I chat to strong creative women about how they make their lives work was brilliant with such great feedback, and I have huge gratitude for everyone who came along to have a chat with me. I have many more videos recorded and cannot wait to share in the new year!

I moved back to London at last after a six year break and wanted to jump back in with movie + theatre + arts stuff. I joined the V&A and went to the Dior exhibition twice (gorgeous!). I went to see Hannah Gadsby (watch Nanette on Netflix and Please Like Me on Amazon Prime if you haven't already), Julie Andrews, mega fun Spice Girls at Wembley, an emotional Elton John with my parents, Emma Thompson, Jonathan Van Ness (from Queer Eye) and Ian McKellen (who I chatted to!) I dyed my hair pink, rose gold and blue after envying my unicorn hair friends for years. After eyeing them up on Instagram for 3 years, I joined the Wing, an all-female co-working space in central London. 

Lessons Learned:

  • Balancing the books regularly really helps
  • Getting a good accountant helps even more
  • Accountability for your goals really matters. I ask the participants on my Let's Get You Found program to share each Monday and Friday for good reason - it really helps!
  • Taking a holiday will not damage the business. It’s about having a structure in place and being organised about it - I went on two retreats to Sweden and a solo trip to Mexico and it was a bit nerve wracking but it was great for a mental health break
  • No one cares if you don't post on social media but they do care when you do (be prepared to play the long game)
  • No one single course, coach or program will solve all your problems but with expert support you can. But you do actually have to do the work.
  • I've been studying on a course all year that teaches how to use discovery calls to help more people and how to present your value. It hasn’t been nearly as terrifying as I originally thought, and actually the key is figuring out what the person is really looking for and not actively selling to them.
  • At the end of 2018 I took a big gamble and stopped offering quite a few services like copywriting + web design to new clients, Pinterest as a separate course (it's offered only as a bonus with other services now), and instead focused on my Done for You SEO service and my Let's Get You Found program. I love it!
  • I got even more specific with my goals - personal and work and therefore stripped back. Did this mean I earned more money? No. BUT this DID mean I stopped taking on sticky projects, difficult clients and panicky bookings. It DID mean that I had better boundaries. It DID mean I knew what failure meant = learning. I knew what I wanted from each launch / process / new project.

5. Best YouTube videos

Of course if you've been busy on IGTV or YouTube this year creating content, then you could link to your top five YouTube videos and whaddya know, here are my most played Gin and Magic videos (I didn't take into account how much they were played on Facebook where I've also been uploading them directly!)

  1. Fearlessness and courage with Brighton Lace

2. The power of living our passion with Ania Witwitzka, artist and teacher

3. Top tips on running a successful wedding photography business with Kari Bellamy

4. What it takes to succeed in the wedding industry with Beth, Head of Community at Bridebook

5. Figuring it all out with Julie Michaelsen Photographer & Coach

So you’ve created your blog post, what now? What’s the best way to share this on social media?

Here are some ideas for you:

  • Choose an image from 5 of the best things you shared and post for 5 days about it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
  • Pin each image to Pinterest with a detailed caption
  • You can paste the link to your Instagram bio, you can say something poetic or a line from a song you love to accompany the image.
  • You don’t have to always say it’s from your best of. Do not be afraid of repeating that it is, but at the same time you need to mix it up.
  • Link to Best of 2019 blog post in your Autoresponder/Out of office
  • Link to the Best of 2019 in your email signature
  • Email out to the couples who are in it with a link to your Facebook and blog post for them to share it.
  • Email the suppliers and collaborators you have featured in your round up.
  • Email your list to tell them (if you have one!)

But wait, you haven’t even talked about creating a slideshow to music - how do you promote that?

Sharing the slideshow directly to social media will be most effective for engagement rather than just posting a link to your blog post with the slideshow in it. Make sure you still post a link to the blog post so your audience can continue to engage with you if they wish to.

Notes to Behold (this is my new meaning for N.B. 🤣)

  • Don’t include images of clients that didn’t fit your target client. You will attract what you promote. If they were, let’s say, a little tricky, don’t include them in your Best of post, no matter how awesome the image is. You can use an app like Layout to create your own grid if that suits you more.
  • No one cares when you post it OR if you don't post it but they do care when you DO publish it. You can publish this whenever you like! Your audience wants to hear from you! Your potential audience is eager to see your work!
  • You don't need to do all of these ideas I've listed here. Just choose one! 🙂
  • Your website is your best employee, and your best employee represents your brand, promotes your values and works damn hard for you.
  • Don't have too many images - this will slow down your website a lot! No one wants to wait that long - be brutal with your culling (hence why I suggest top 10 for example)

But wait there’s more....

Now that I’ve planted these seeds, and you’re on board, you can use this information to spark future blog post ideas. What was popular this year? Blog more of that kind of content, particularly if it's a good excuse for you to share your expertise. It reminds people they're in the right place to find the solution they're looking for.

Like I said at the start, you want to create great excuses to repurpose content you already have. You also want to have great reasons to link to other content ideally published on your website but if not then external links that are highly relevant to your brand (submitted weddings or shoots, collaborations, etc)

And finally, remember that your blog is not always there for you to sell directly but to make people more AWARE, demonstrate how you can be useful to them. Check your traffic on your best of 2019 blog post after you publish and you might be surprised by the results.

By taking the steps laid out in this blog post, you can achieve fantastic results.

Let me know how you get on,

Maddy

#ThingsILoveFridays 29 November


What's that I hear you say? No Black Friday offer? Nope, not from me, not sure how I feel about it tbh so instead, I'm focusing on my usual #ThingsILoveFridays💖 where I celebrate all that went well each week, giving me the opportunity to stop, and be grateful! I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for doing all this hard work, right? 

I've upgraded this into not only what I love but what I think you'll love too - useful, loveable, funny, no not just adjectives to describe me but also what I love to share....LOL.
  • Feeling completely stuck on where to start with your SEO for 2020? I am running a challenge next week in my Facebook group and would love you get involved
  • I prioritised self care landing back in the UK this past week, and I didn't hate it, so I updated my healthy habits at a computer blog post - still one of my most popular pieces ever - How to take care of yourself when at a computer
  • I went to see a Guardian Live event with Emma Thompson and friends at the Barbican talking about their book Last Christmas - it is very emotional as people share their stories of Christmas.
  • I got last minute tickets to see Ian McKellen's one man show - he's in London until 5th January and highly recommend (and I spoke with him!)

And now I'm off to finish writing the challenge for next week, getting some pampering done before heading to Devon tomorrow for a James Bond party (and yes I will be putting my own spin on Bond - check out my Stories to follow the adventures!) 

What did you love this week? Come and tell me on Instagram 🙂 

Maddy

Photography by John Nassari

#ThingsILoveFridays 8 November

It's all go pre-holiday this week which is why it's so good to look back on the week and go ahhh, I achieved a lot, had a lot of fun, but I'm quite ready for some time off 😀By focusing on what went well each week, it gives me the opportunity to stop, and be grateful! I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for doing all this hard work, right? I've upgraded this into not only what I love but wha I think you'll love too....so here’s what I loved this week:
And now I'm off to get blued up, spruced up and pack up as I'm off on my trip to Mexico on Sunday.
Come and follow me on Insta as I'll be popping on there to spread some sunshine with any luck 🙂 Dance break requests on the beach anyone?
What did you love this week? I love to hear from you 🙂
Maddy
P.S. When I get back, I'll be sharing some juicy announcements, so watch this space!