• about this blog

    The postings on this blog are a compilation of over 30 years of industry insights from wedding and stationery industry writer, seminar speaker and consultant Brian Lawrence from his broad experience in the retail and wholesale arena.

    Here you will find industry trends, marketing advice, new service offerings and musings. We invite you to add comments and learn from others who have businesses similar to yours. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email address to the tab on the right side below.

Invitation Retailers Get Your Head Out of The Sand

There is an alternate state of reality going on, online. As Linda Richmond, the Saturday night caricature character used to say, “I’m feeling faklempt and talk amongst yourselves”. That’s exactly what the brides are doing and they are coming to their own conclusions on what is their best options for purchasing invitations. For example on this Wedding Wire Forum brides are totally touting DIY.

When I first looked at that post, I just wanted to create an account and weigh in on this conversation. I shouldn’t and neither should you. It is your clients that should. Ask a couple of satisfied clients to talk about their experience buying from you. Start searching out these forums of ignorance and let your voice be heard through your customers. They also can post a link to your website when talking about their experience with you. You might actually a get new customers.head-in-the-sand

This is not very profound, but collective actions like these are important to the stationery industry and its survival. It’s hard enough when a bride searches on Google and can’t find a local retailer because most retailers done nothing to optimize their website. And while I have your attention, please tell me what you think about my new website that serves the wedding industry www.sellthebride.com. I can really use your feedback. Email me at brianlawrence@localtrafficbuilder.com. And do what brides are doing with these forums, share this article with other retailers.

Posted in humor, invitation industry, search engine optimization, Stationery Industry, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

SEO Realism

You are not going to rank on the first page of Google for Wedding Invitations, Photography, Bridal Consultant or any other term that describes your business. Nor do you need to if you are a local business.

Your concern is to be visible when clients in your local area are searching. They are more likely to add a geographic term to tell Google the area they are interesting in finding a resource. However most businesses concentrate on ranking for the state, county or town they are located in. Many people (especially men according to studies) will search using a zip code. If you are in a larger city like New York City, one may use a neighborhood term like Chelsea or Upper West Side. Another little known strategy that can help your ranking on Google Maps is embedding your latitude and longitude. Here is a site where you can find out what that is.

While the broader the search term, the more potential clients there are searching, the more localized or specific the search term is in relating to where and what your business does, the stronger the average inquiry will be. And it’s much easier to rank for those more complex terms. Any Search Engine Marketing Professional will know how to do it. We certainly do. One thing you should not do is start adding zip codes to the text on your site but it can be a good idea to act text about neighborhoods.

Posted in invitation industry, local business, marketing, search engine optimization | Tagged | Leave a comment

Proof of Print

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Magazine publishers have this challenge. Twenty years ago when a wedding business or stationery business advertised in a wedding magazine, proof of print would be the phone call. When I was a retailer with multiple stores, I took a full page ad in Brides and Modern Bride magazines and also had a coupon for the bride to fill out and mail to me. Magazine advertising was indeed a mainstay for my business.Unfortunately proof is now more difficult now because the bride and grooms go to websites first and then they pick up the phone. If you do not list your website you risk hurting your credibility.

That does not mean magazine advertising does not work. An attractive ad can drive customers to your website but because the customer cannot click on your website, it cannot be quantified. The only way to quantify a magazine ad is to have a unique landing page specifically for that ad or a domain name that points to your main website. This is similar to what limousine companies did when they advertised in the yellow page in multiple areas.  At least this way you are playing chess with your print advertising dollars rather than rolling dice.

For example if you own AmourPhotographyStudios.com and you are in Portland, Oregon, using a domain name like PortlandWeddingPhotography.com will allow you quantify the number of times that domain was typed in and also can actually increase the response to your ad by clearing tell the couple what you do and where you do it. There are some geographic domains still listed on my  Wedding Industry Domains website.

Posted in domain names, Event Planning Industry, invitation industry, marketing, Stationery Industry, wedding industry | Leave a comment

You Don’t Have To Go Loco About Logos

Many wedding and stationery businesses do not have a professional logo and underestimate it’s importance. We are in a creative profession and a logo is a launching to establish that perception of creativity. It can help increase response and interest in any type of marketing you do.

Logo Design is about creating a memorable and creative visual mark for your business. A well designed logo should be capable of standing alone to represent the personality of your business and your brand. It should convey a polished, professional image that will appeal to your ideal client.

There are several ways to get a new logo. Pre-made logos are an inexpensive and quick way to get a professionally designed logo and can often be designed in a short space of time so you can have new artwork quickly. Pre-made logos are a perfect solution for start up businesses, those on a smaller budget or anyone wanting a quick turnaround but are limiting the uniqueness.

Investing in custom design will deliver a logo that is totally unique to your business. A more in depth consultation and design process will result in something designed just for you. You can be sure your custom logo will represent your business perfectly.

A good designer will ask the right questions to determine how to bring together the elements of typography, color and graphics to design your logo. Nowadays, logos need to work in various applications; on websites, social media platforms, and watermarks on photographs. A good logo designer will ensure that you have a full package of logo resources that will work for any application required and will supply all the common file formats to ensure all your print and web needs are met.

The logo and web design that has always been behind Local Traffic Builder’s success is the Mosaic Design Group. A heavily marketed brand or prominent local or online retailer should not hesitate to invest in hiring a top design firm like Mosaic. However for many of the local-focused wedding and stationery businesses who are on a much more limited budget, I wanted to share with you a good industry resource.. Christine Findlater was a former invitation designer who is now designing industry focused logos. You can access her pre-made logos on www.thelovelylogostore.etsy.com and custom design at www.christinefindlater.com.

Posted in invitation industry, Stationery Industry, Uncategorized, website design, wedding industry | Leave a comment
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