Creating Engaging Copy for your Wedding & Lifestyle Brand

With the pressure to maintain visual relevance in an age when Instagram has taken precedence, the importance we place on the written word can come secondary to a stunning photo.

But trust us - gaining the skills to write persuasive, thoughtful and inspiring copy is a worthy pursuit.

Oftentimes, small business owners are challenged by how to properly translate their brand’s vision and market differentiator through the words on their website, social media and press.

Working alongside clients to help them refine their own unique message, we’re here to share some of our advice to achieving captivating copy, so your brand is represented in the best light and you’re able to create meaningful business connections.

Identify your ideal client. Speak to one, attract many

Creating copy that engages and encourages growth for your end business starts with speaking to the client who you want to work with. Mentally creating a picture and list of characteristics of your ideal client is critical. For instance, the owner of a bridal boutique should understand the overall brand aesthetic of the shop, the designers and styles, and the ‘ideal’ bride who buys a gown. List out words and qualifying characteristics of who she is, where she shops for clothes, what she likes to do in her free time and what her wedding day vision may look like. How does she interact with others and carry herself day-to-day? Speak directly to her every time you write a caption for Instagram, or update your website language, or provide expert tips for an editorial story. Taking a personalized tone and approach to content will lead to more authentic connections with that bride, and others just like her.

Understand your competition + your key differentiator

Using the insights gained from an exploration of your ideal client, ask yourself this; If that client had to give a one-sentence description of your company, what would you want him/her to say? What makes your brand relevant and undeniably unique from the sea of other wedding photographers, planning firms or specialty vendors?

Take time to draft written content around these core concepts that reflect your business, from your approach to client service to how you translate your craft into something unique for clients. Then, go back and refine the words you’re using to describe those elements. Try to stay approachable but also true to your brand and the ‘ideal’ client you want to attract.

After your first draft of an Instagram caption, blog post or media Q&A, read through it again and ask yourself;

  • Am I actively connecting to my ‘ideal’ client?

  • Are the virtues of my brand being communicated the way I want?

  • Are there areas to eliminate wordiness and refine messages to be more clear?

Once you’re confident with the flow and message, consider integrating SEO key terms that will help boost the visibility of that content, as appropriate. This is especially useful when adding new messaging to your website or through your blog.

Make it personal

Be sure to put yourself into your work. This sounds simple, but after all of the editing and proofreading it’s easy to get caught up in making your text sound ‘perfect’ rather than authentically your own. If you’re a wedding photographer with a beautiful shot of the couple’s first dance, use the caption to describe what the moment was like, being in their presence. Organic, meaningful copy will always trump anything too formal or canned. After all, you are your brand’s voice, so be deliberate with how you communicate and connect with your audience.

*This post was conceptualized by Samantha Spica, a valuable member of the In Good Company team

We’re writers by trade, so if you need a bit of help in this area, reach out and say hello. We would love to get to know you.

Finding the Right Wedding PR Firm For Your Business

Perhaps you’ve been curious about how your competitors are landing such great media coverage in the magazines and blogs you read everyday. Or, maybe, you’re working on some great projects this wedding season, but are ready to attract a more distinguished clientele.

A strong public relations strategy can help you achieve your greater marketing goals and lead to new and exciting opportunities for growth.

Considering when the right time is to hire a publicist is equally as important as who you bring on board - both have a heavy impact on your success. We’re here to help you navigate that process by sharing some of our insights working with creative wedding professionals and lifestyle brands, to give you the tools needed to feel confident during your search for the perfect PR partner.

Partner up once your brand is at its best. PR should enhance your overall business strategy, rather than be used a mechanism for reinvention. Meaning, if you’re considering a rebrand or an expansion of your services, make sure it’s done before bringing on a PR partner. Understanding your story, what makes you distinctly unique from your competitors and how you contribute to the industry in a creative way is essential; it will provide the framework for a well-designed and informed PR strategy.

Understand the media landscape (even just a little). Familiarize yourself with the publications you envision your name and your work being published in. What types of Real Weddings are they sharing? How are industry experts highlighted in their content? What type of stories do you connect with? Especially in the wedding and lifestyle industry, mainstream blogs and magazines lead with a strong identity, supported by a community of readers who crave their content. Those readers may very well represent the clientele you’d like to work with. Thus, it’s important to have a sense of what publications you feel most inspired by - we call it a client’s ‘wish list.’ It’s what keeps us focused and guides our approach for each unique public relations program.

Know your goals and build your assets. Understand what your ultimate goals are and what a successful PR partnership looks like for you. Perhaps it’s to build awareness locally ahead of a launch or special event, or to increase your position as a national leader within the wedding industry, recognized for your creative vision and design capabilities. Appreciating the difference between the two approaches, and what type of coverage will benefit your bottom-line most.

Likewise, the most prosperous press campaigns are those that can sustain themselves, with a steady cadence of media and blog coverage. That’s only possible if you’re bringing a strong set of ‘newsworthy’ assets to the table (for instance, a strong and varied collection of wedding work, unique expertise and commentary on design trends, notable work / company projects that relate to the larger industry, etc…) Your PR partner will work with you to develop some of these elements as your engagement continues, but it’s always a great way to kick off a press push by having some content buttoned up and ready to offer the media.

Trust your PR partner and contribute to the pursuit of your goals. No one knows your business as intimately as you do. You’re the founder, the visionary, the backbone of your brand.

A great PR partner will enhance those virtues you’ve established and communicate them to the right people, bringing new opportunities for growth. Be open to fortifying a trustworthy relationship, built on constant communication and collaboration between your teams to discuss new developments, campaign ideas and initiatives.

Regardless of whether you’re working with a large agency with multiple team members or a small boutique firm with just a few consultants, your PR partner should be committed to adopting your mission and voice, acting as a natural extension of your brand. But managing inbound requests with ease, and providing useful marketing strategy is just the start. Your PR team should be proactively pitching your unique story and expertise on a regular basis, with customized angles for each editor at the outlets you’ve identified together as your key targets.

Eventually, you may come to think of your PR partner more like an internal team member, rather than an outsourced firm - the kind of relationship we strive for in our practice.

Interested in learning more about working with In Good Company Public Relations? Email us today

Wedding Industry Marketing: SEO Strategy

You want to secure qualified client inquiries from clients who appreciate your vision, style and industry experience.

The answer? Market to YOUR IDEAL CLIENTELE with a layered approach; combining social media, press coverage and digital marketing.

This strategy ensures that your brand’s name will extend far beyond your immediate network of connections. One way to naturally strengthen your reach is to optimize your website. Implementing a few key SEO tactics will help your wedding brand rank competitively on Google, increase traffic to your website and generate qualified leads from the types of clients you want to attract.

Leverage Language: More words on your website certainly do not mean better. The key is to focus on quality. Be as detailed as possible in the headlines of your blog posts, image file names and website page content - including location, venue, industry keywords. Manipulate the search process a bit by using the key terms that are being searched for, and match that appropriately with the messaging you typically use to represent your brand. It’s also important to speak the language of your audience. For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, avoid leading with too technical of a summary. While it may make perfect sense to an industry vendor, it may cause a potential client to lose attention.

Especially for wedding photographers who use their website as a digital portfolio, using Alternative text for your images is critical. The purpose of alternative text is to describe each photo in detail to search engines. This feature can be found in the HTML code of each image, and can be edited to a description that is more SEO friendly.

Rinse, wash + repeat. Over time, that steady cadence of rich keywords, highlighted throughout your website will push your rank number up higher, moving your website closer to the first page on a Google web search. Likewise, integrating more description into your social media posts and Instagram captions can attract new followers, encourage engagement and help further establish you as an expert.

Favorite tool: Google’s Keyword Planner - the beginning step to Google Adword campaigns, this will help you identify keywords related to those you already know you’d like to rank highly for, and other related key terms that may offer you the opportunity to rise above your competitors. Take a peek at a few of our other favorite small business marketing tools.

Give Love to Links: First, improve your anchor text (the words you highlight for a link).  by making that selected text more descriptive. Many of us would say “To learn more about our wedding planning services, click here to get in touch.” Try linking the first part of that call-to-action, instead. It’s not only a great way to improve SEO but also to keep visitors engaged and on your website, navigating from page to page with ease. Likewise, you can use descriptive links to link to your services page from within a blog post, when it’s appropriate and natural to do so. Helping your visitors along the acquisition channel may mean a few tiny adjustments to your website, but will be well worth the effort.

As with every marketing effort, it’s always great to pause and make time to analyze changes through Google Analytics. You’ll be able to see how receptive your website visitors are to these content changes and understand larger areas of opportunity to build and improve your SEO.

Interested in strengthening your small business marketing strategy? We can't wait to hear from you.

International Women's Month: The Founders Behind the Brands We Admire In Weddings + Lifestyle

wedding pr 

We don’t believe in luck. We believe in good fortune and really hard work. We are constantly inspired by the pursuits of many women entrepreneurs we have the opportunity to collaborate with. In honor of International Women’s Month, we are thrilled to celebrate our clients and the women behind some of the brands we admire most in weddings and lifestyle.

Alexia Brue & Melisse Gelula: Well + Good

In 2010, Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula, founders Well + Good introduced the Nation to a new holistic approach to health and wellness. No more scouring the web on our own for the newest sustainably made and stylish athletic wear or the best mood-boosting herbal supplements. What originated as a niche publication in New York City, Well + Good quickly became the ultimate healthy lifestyle authority, trendspotting the best and most useful advice from beauty influencers, medical experts, fitness leaders, celeb nutritionists and more. As the blog gained quick attention for its thoughtfully curated content, expert guidance and refreshing perspectives, Alexia and Melisse maintained the integrity of their brand’s vision (turning down countless investor offers in the process). Today, Well+ Good has not only become a coveted resource for Millennial readers, but has contributed to the wider cultural shift towards more mindful living - cheers to that!

Yael Aflalo: Reformation

When Yael was a young model in Los Angeles, she found herself being asked questions about fast fashion’s harmful impact on the environment - an issue that had gone unaddressed for far too long. In 2009, Reformation was born from the glaring need for a fashion brand that prioritized ethical manufacturing and sustainability, without sacrificing an ounce of style. And as if we weren’t already head-over-heels for the effortless ready-to-wear line, Reformation’s bridal collection features gorgeous two-piece ensembles and floor length gowns for brides and their squad. Yael has mastered the balance between the ‘slow-fashion’ movement and ethical manufacturing with designs that are loved by cool-girls worldwide. As a leader for her the business, Yael stays close to the design process with her L.A team daily, and keeps the mission of soulful sustainability as the driving force behind each new collection. We are inspired by women who lead a purpose-driven career, and Yael is certainly at the top of that list.

Sarah Dubbeldam: Darling Magazine

Created to celebrate the art of every woman, Darling Magazine was created by Sarah Dubbeldam to feed the souls of women who share a purposeful pursuit in some aspect of their lives, and encourage readers to discover her fullest potential. At a critical junction after graduating from college, Sarah and her closest friends found themselves with so many questions of ‘what’s next?’ with few sources for authentic, honest guidance. When magazine stands were overflowing with commercial lifestyle and high-fashion publications, there weren’t many that spoke to the real woman. Darling explores the many different expressions of the modern woman: the entrepreneur, the friend, the traveler, the thinker. Starting out as an online platform, the magazine quickly picked up steam. By carving a niche in an untapped market, Sarah has created an empire built with inspiring, creative and motivated women with the support of leading influencers, #girlboss celebrities and business leaders who bring depth to each narrative. Darling wants to enable women to be the best versions they can be, and with Sarah at the helm, we can’t wait to see what they do next.

We’re fueled by the qualities these women leaders share: passion, determination, grit and enthusiasm for not only what she has created, but also how she can continue to reinvent her own self and inspire other women to do the same.

*This post was conceptualized by In Good Company's smart & talented intern, Erin Cooper.

We want to hear more about your journey as a business owner - let's get acquainted

The Ideal Email Marketing Newsletter for Your Wedding & Lifestyle Business

Email marketing is one of the most personal ways to nurture relationships directly with your wedding and lifestyle clients and new connections. Maintain a personal connection and show them you’ve created this content, just for them. Use email to cultivate a community that is eager to hear from you. Avoid the advertising sales pitch and, instead, embrace the value you can provide.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking at a local Rising Tide Society monthly gathering, focused on email marketing essentials for creative professionals. We so enjoyed the lively conversation and knowledge exchange - inspiring and energizing. Today, we are sharing a short guide, for wedding and lifestyle brands to leverage email marketing in a way that complements their marketing efforts online and through social media.

- The Ideal Email Newsletter -

Keep things concise: 20 lines of text — or about 200 words — results in the highest email click-through rate for most industries.

Stay on-brand: Use a clear, consistent email design every time, with your brand palette, logo, typeface and imagery. Save time by reusing past templates and then personalize the content for each campaign.

Create great content with a clear call to action: Operate according to the 'quality over quantity' mantra - your email newsletter shouldn't be long or overworked. It should feel like a snapshot of interesting findings, updates and personal commentary that engages your reader. 

You’ll likely use email marketing to send two types of emails; non-promotional updates, and time-sensitive promotions.

  • Non-promotional emails: Used to nurture customer/client relationships through more 'neutral' content, as opposed to a coupon, sales offer or business push. When creating this type of email, think about your target market; What do they want to learn? What are their pain points? Consider sharing:

    • A snippet from a new blog post, with a link to the post on your website / a short guide (example: Tips to designing your first gallery wall, Winter floral guide for home arrangements, Invitation + place card inspiration for your next dinner party, etc...)

    • Press/Media coverage link

    • New work / portfolio additions *rather than sharing photos from a couple's wedding, try some behind-the-scenes photos of a new venue or the design process behind a stunning tablescape

    • Curated resources + interesting findings from influencers, media and blogs relevant to your community

  • Time-sensitive emails: Used to drive sales and gain new business. Far more incentive-based than the non-promotional email, this approach should be used thoughtfully to create interest for:

    • Special offers / holiday sales

    • New Product Promotion

    • Event Promotion & ticketing

Regardless of how you grow your base, always commit to highlighting the benefits of joining your email list. Make it as easy as possible for someone to sign up - put a link in your email signature and on your website. Design an opt-in form that is beautifully branded and works seamlessly with your website integration. Promote your newsletter through social media, sparingly but intentionally, to complete the full marketing cycle.

A few final cardinal rules; be consistent / be accessible / provide value / get permission *always

Considering a marketing partner for your wedding or lifestyle business? We'd love to hear more