Episode 065: How to Build an Authentic Personal Brand with Maddie PeschongJuly 12, 2022
Trenton & Rainen: Summer Engagement Photos at NewfieldsJuly 21, 2022
It’s no secret that blogging comes with a lot of benefits. I mean, blogging is great for SEO. Blog posts can be used to attract new customers and lead them through your sales funnel. Blogs give you content to share on social media on the regular. And, as you work with your clients, you can easily refer them to already-created blog posts to give them the information they need without having to draft a long email.
While data supports and most creative entrepreneurs agree blogging is beneficial, writer’s block is real, especially when it comes to writing about your work (e.g. writing about a wedding or shoot if you’re a photographer).
While writing and storytelling comes more naturally to some than others, I know firsthand that when you have a template to work from, blogging your work becomes drastically easier.
Because blogging my work has done wonders for my business (I’ve even had wedding clients book specifically because of blog posts!), in this episode of Priority Pursuit, we’re breaking down what to write about when blogging your work as a creative entrepreneur and how you can create a blog template that allows you to blog about your work quickly and effectively.
Why should you blog your work as a creative entrepreneur?
If your business has a personal brand, marketing experts agree that there are three kinds of blog posts you want to create on a regular basis:
- Educational Blogs – Blogs that educate and inform your ideal customer on topics related to your service (e.g. a family photo shot list for your wedding day)
- Personal Blogs – Blogs that allow you to create connection with your ideal customer by helping them get to better know you (e.g. my dog’s 21st birthday party)
- Blogs that Showcase Your Work – Blogs that allow prospective customers and website visitors to see a recent project and get a better understanding of what you’ll deliver if they decide to work with you (e.g. photos from a recent wedding if you’re a wedding photographer)
Photographers, need help coming up with blog topics? Download “75 Blog Topic Ideas for Photographers”!
All of these types of blog posts are beneficial and have their place, but taking the time to blog your work comes with a few particular benefits:
1. Potential customers can both see & read about what it’s like to work with you.
While potential customers can certainly peruse your website and should be able to see your best work in your portfolio, blog posts allow prospective customers to see your most recent work or your work that’s most relevant to them. This allows potential customers to both see and read about what it’s like to work with you.
For example, I know that when VRP couples are on my website (whether they go directly to my website or find my site or a blog post via Google), many of them go through blog posts, because blog posts give them an idea of what their wedding photos will look like if they decide to work with me.
While couples will organically check out blog posts of my work that are relevant to them, when couples inquire, I’ll also send them blog posts of my work that could be helpful to them. For example, if I’ve photographed a wedding at their wedding venue in the past, I’ll share a link to an old blog post.
Basically, through both the words in your blog post and any images you share, potential customers can see and read about what it’s like to work with you and get a better idea if you’re the right photographer, hair stylist, or [INSERT JOB TITLE HERE] for them.
2. You can use blogging to serve your customers well.
Another benefit of blogging your work is that you can serve your customers well. For example, as a wedding photographer, my couples love when I blog their engagement and wedding photos.
Not only do these blog posts give couples previews from their shoots quickly, but couples have told me time and time again that they so appreciate that I take the time to tell a bit of their story.
Now, if you aren’t a wedding photographer, blogging is still a great way to serve your customers. I mean, think about it. If you’re a web designer, your clients will be so flattered that you took the time to share about the site you developed for them and give them a backlink by linking to their new website. Or, if you’re a hairstylist, your clients will be thrilled to see that you blogged about their hair, because it will give them affirmation that you think their hair looks amazing.
Basically, blogging your work is a service to your clients and a great way to uplevel your customer experience.
3. You can capitalize on your clients’ excitement about your work & generate traffic to your website.
Last but not least, blogging your work is a great way to generate traffic to your website, which is great for SEO. Essentially, the more traffic Google sees your website receiving, the more valuable Google will consider your website. After all, why would so many people go to your website if you don’t have something incredible to share?
For example, as a wedding photographer, I strive to blog weddings as quickly as possible. If you listen to “Episode 012: How to Create Systems within Your Creative Business (AKA My Workflow as a Wedding Photographer),” you can hear my whole workflow, but I always blog weddings within a week of a wedding and before final galleries are delivered to capitalize on VRP couples’ and their loved ones’ excitement.
You see, as a wedding photographer, when you blog weddings quickly, the couple and their guests are still really excited about the celebration, and they can’t wait to see photos. As a result, the couple and their loved ones will certainly check out the blog post and likely share the post themselves.
However, if you were to wait to blog the wedding until after you’d shared the full gallery, the excitement would be gone. At that point, the wedding would be old news, and the couple, their family, and their friends will have already seen all the images. As a result, they likely won’t be nearly as excited about your blog post.
Weddings do come with a particular level of excitement. However, regardless of what industry you work in, I do want to encourage you to blog your work quickly. No matter what you do, your customers will be much more flattered and much more likely to share your blog posts if you blog while they’re still marveling about your work.
Basically, blogging your work quickly is a great way to generate traffic to your website, which is great for SEO.
Create a template for blogging your work.
Okay, so you might be thinking, “That’s great. I know I should blog my work, but what the heck do I say?”
This, my friend, is where a template comes in handy.
Now, when I say template, I don’t mean an Ad Libs fill-in-the-blank-style template. Instead, I mean a template that simply gives you an outline of what you’re going to discuss when you blog your work. This template should be specific enough so that you know exactly what information you need before you begin to write and flexible enough that you’re able to implement and repeat the template for every project.
I’ll share examples of the templates I use when I blog engagement sessions and weddings below, but please know that regardless of what you do, a template can be created.
My Copy Template for Blogging Weddings
When I write copy for weddings blog posts, I use the following template and use headings to divide the sections:
- Introduction – In the intro, I simply introduce the couple, their venue, and share that I’m excited to share their photos on the blog.
- A Break Down of the Day – In the next section, I tell how the day unfolded. I share where the couple got ready, the order we took photos, where we took photos, and simply give a report of what happened and where.
- One Special Thing – Every wedding is special, but in an attempt to make couples’ blog posts more personal to them, I always include a section that explains a highlight and theme from the day. For example, a couple years ago, I shot a wedding where the couple used their big day to support small businesses. Last year, I photographed a wedding where in speech after speech, the couples’ loved ones explained how they were just waiting for the couple to get together. And, I recently shot a wedding where the couple had to wait two years to celebrate after having to postpone their wedding three times due to COVID. Basically, there’s always a highlight to pull and a story to tell, and I’ve found this is a great thing to include in wedding blog posts.
- A Thankful Conclusion – In the conclusion, I always thank the couple for trusting me to be their wedding photographer. I simply include a couple sentences telling them how honored I was to photograph their wedding day.
All weddings are different, and you don’t want to simply fill in the blanks of a rigid template, because (1) that’s impersonal and (2) your SEO will actually be harmed if Google notices duplicate text across your website. But, when you have a template like this, writing a blog post becomes pretty simple.
In case this helps, here are a few examples of blog posts where I followed this template exactly:
- “Mr. & Mrs. Combs: Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation & Finley Creek Vineyards Wedding”
- “Mr. & Mrs. Barrier: A Rooftop Wedding in Downtown Indianapolis at JPS Events”
- “Mr. & Mrs. Gilliam: Purdue Memorial Union Wedding”
Side note: As I write these blog posts, I am also keeping SEO and keyword inclusion in mind. In case this is helpful to you, I aim to include my long-tail keyword once in the introduction, 2-3 times in the body, and once in the conclusion. For more information about keywords, be sure to check out “Episode 009: How to Identify & Use Strategic Keywords to Improve Your SEO,”
or if you’re a photographer, download “A Guide for Photographers: How to Identify Keywords for SEO that Will Help You Book More Clients.”
My Copy Template for Blogging Engagement Sessions
When I blog engagement sessions, my template includes:
- Introduction – I introduce the couple and where we took their engagement photos.
- How They Met – In this section, I explain how the couple met and how they began dating.
- Their Proposal Story – Who doesn’t love a good proposal story? In this section, I write a few paragraphs about how the question was popped.
- A Break Down of Their Engagement Session – In this section, I give a short synopsis of the couple’s engagement session. I might talk about why they chose the location, something that happened during the shoot, how perfect their outfits were, or just where or the order we took photos. These few paragraphs don’t have to be groundbreaking. They just need to give readers an idea of what it’s like to work with me and the couple affirmation that they killed their shoot.
- Conclusion – At the end of the blog post, I leave a note to couples that thanks them for trusting me to be their wedding photographer, shares how much I enjoyed their shoot, and says that I hope the couple loved their engagement photos.
If you’d like to see examples of blog posts using this template, check out:
- “Adam & Maria: Downtown Indianapolis Canal Walk Engagement Photos”
- “Dan & Ashley: Engagement Photos at The Palladium & Urban Vines Winery in Carmel, Indiana”
Side note: For these blogs, I aim to include my long-tail keyword once in the introduction, twice in the section where I break down what happened during the shoot, and once in the conclusion.
Create a copy template that makes sense for your business & ideal customer.
If you’re a wedding photographer, please feel free to use my templates! Heck, I’d be flattered if you did. But, if you aren’t a wedding photographer, know that you can still create and utilize a template.
For example, if you’re a family photographer, your template could look like:
- Introduction – Introduce the family and session location.
- An Explanation of the Goals or Purpose of the Shoot – Explain why the family decided to have photos taken. Maybe photos were taken for a kiddos’ birthday. Perhaps the location is sentimental to the parents. Maybe Grandma and Grandpa are celebrating an anniversary.
- A Highlight or Theme from the Shoot – When you take the time to pay attention, something from every shoot is special. For example, maybe the kids are really into Spiderman. Perhaps the parents are really patient and kind. Or, maybe the kids were really respectful. Or, maybe the kids were active and wild, so the family decided on some candid shots. Whatever the case, explain. Your clients will be so flattered you took the time to write specifically about their family.
- Conclusion – Thank the family for trusting you to take their family photos.
For the sake of including a non-photography example, perhaps you’re a web designer. If so, your blog template might look like:
- Introduction – Introduce your client.
- An Explanation of the Goals for the New Website – Why did your client need a new site? What needs is their new site fulfilling?
- An Explanation of the Strategy & Inspiration for the Website – This is a chance to show you know your stuff. Simply explain why you built the site the way you did.
- Conclusion – Thank your client and encourage others to check out your client’s work and new website. Again, the fact that you’re able to create backlinks to your client’s website from your website will also be a nice customer service touch!
Now, even if you aren’t a photographer, I would recommend sharing images of some kind. Whether you take photos yourself, hire a photographer to take photos for you, or share screenshots like I would recommend web designers do, when you share your work, make sure you have visuals.
But, long story short, once you have a template nailed down, blogging about your work won’t be nearly as difficult, because you’ll have an outline that you know is effective.
Develop a questionnaire to get the answers you need to write a blog post.
In addition to often being asked what to write about when blogging your work as a creative entrepreneur, another question I’m often asked is, “How do you know so much about your clients? How do you get enough information to tell their story and write as much as you do?”
And, friend, the answer is simple. When potential clients inquire, I send them a questionnaire, and they give me these answers.
In my current questionnaire, in addition to contact and pertinent wedding information (venue, address, date, etc.), I ask:
- Please tell me a little about you and your fiancé. What do you enjoy doing together and separately? What are your hobbies, interests, typical activities, etc.?
- How did you and your fiancé meet?
- What did you do on your very first date?
- When or how did you know your fiancé was “the one”?
- How did your fiancé (or you!) propose?
- Describe your ideal date night? Do you have any favorite spots you both enjoy?
- What are your three biggest priorities for your wedding day?
With these questions, couples pretty much give me everything I need to know to write their blog posts. And, with their responses in mind, I can get more information from them during their coffee date (AKA their consultation) and then in every interaction I have with them moving forward. By the time I need to write their blog posts, I have more than enough information to create content.
And, friend, you can do the same. Chances are, a questionnaire is already or would be beneficial to add to your client experience. Simply add questions that will help you fill in sections of your blog template, and you’ll likely end up with great information. In fact, there will likely be many instances that you can simply copy and past your clients’ responses into your blog posts!
If you’re going to take the time to blog, be sure to optimize your blog posts for search engines!
Friend, if you’re going to take the time to blog, be sure to also optimize your blog posts for search engines. Because, when you do, you give your blog posts long-term value for your business.
For example, when I blog a wedding, the couple and their loved ones are excited to see the photos. As a result, blogging is a great way to serve my customers. However, from a booking perspective, that blog post is much more valuable to me when it ranks well on Google and another client is looking to book their wedding photographer. For example, I often book clients because they come across one of my blogs while they are looking at photos of their wedding venue or the location where they’d like to have their engagement photos taken.
Essentially, blogging is an investment of your time, and if you’re going to blog, you want to make sure every blog post gives you a long-term value for your time.
We’ll discuss best blogging SEO practices in an episode coming very soon, but for now, if you aren’t sure how to optimize your blog posts for strategic long-tail keywords, I want to encourage you to listen to “Episode 009: How to Identify & Use Strategic Keywords to Improve Your SEO”. And, if you’re a photographer, I want to encourage you to listen to “Episode 055: How to Identify Keywords for SEO that Will Help You Book More Clients as a Photographer” and download “A Guide for Photographers: How to Identify Keywords for SEO that Will Help You Book More Clients.” Because, understanding how to identify and use strategic keywords is going to do wonders for the power of your blog posts.
Now, if you haven’t already, I want to encourage you to figure out how you can make blogging your work part of your workflow. Like I mentioned before, I regularly book weddings as a result of my blog posts, and I have no doubt blogging your work will do big things for your business too.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
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