I got an interview request recently from a woman named Claire Hawkes. She's the Social Media Manager / Keeper of the Shire at WeddingMix, but she's also majoring in Advertising/Public Relations at Loyola University in Chicago. She asked if she could interview me for her senior thesis, and I said sure. With her permission, I thought I'd share the interview here.
This is Offbeat Empire's archive of Marketing & PR posts.
This morning we posted a wedding on Offbeat Bride about a woman who built her wedding outfit using clothing she wore on her first date with her husband. The post immediately went viral on Facebook, garnering a thousand likes and 80k views in a couple hours. Inevitably, there were a ton of comments too, including this one…
Here's a mind-blower for you: Offbeat Bride's weekly reach on Facebook is now about 370k people. Our weekly reach on our own website is about 250k people. This means that Offbeat Bride is now reaching more people via Facebook than we are via our own website.
Do you want to listen to me talk for an hour about the Offbeat Empire? Glenn Fleishman interviewed me last week for his podcast The New Disruptors, and you can listen above! I talk about everything from humbling failures to recent commentroversies to my revelations this last year about how I was doing Facebook all wrong. Oh and Metafilter. And putting all your eggs in the Google basket. And how the web keeps me young with its shiny new toys. It's a pretty dense interview, but for those of you who really want to get into the nuances of how I run the Offbeat Empire, feel free to listen in.
So you're a wedding photographer. Or a wedding planner. Or a florist. And you have something that you think your favorite wedding blog might love — a photo from a recent wedding! A new product you just released! A promotion you're getting the word out about! You turn to your favorite form of social media (Facebook! Twitter! Instagram!) and you get ready to make your pitch to your favorite publisher.
Now stop for a second.
Every morning I wake up to several "can I write a guest post for your site?" emails from writers working for SEO companies. See, there's this whole weird corner of SEO that's all about barfing out (usually questionable) guest post content for blogs, in exchange for links in the body of the post. It's not something I ever EVER do (you want links from the Empire, you buy advertising, the end), but the inquiries just keep coming… sometimes as many as 5 or 6 overnight. (It's always overnight, because the writers are non-US based.)
This morning I had two SEO guest post inquiries, and they illustrate the best and the worst I've seen in a long time…
Every once and while, a wedding vendor will perhaps forget that Offbeat Bride isn't an industry publication. Every once and a while, we'll get ranting, vitriolic comments from vendors about how stupid brides are, how little couples understand about what vendors do, how this one time this one couple did this totally awful thing, how they want to strangled a certain mother of the bride, etc etc etc.
But wedding industry friends, for the good of your business: don't be that guy.
UG, YOU GUYS. You know how last month I wrote all about my social media diet and giving up Instagram? Well, totally unrelated to that, I've been having many conversations with many small business people about how Instagram's value as a business tool. Even my husband (a yoga/acrobatics teacher who gets hives at the mere mention of self-promotion) is like "I think I need to start yoga-gramming. It's how all my teacher friends are getting booked for workshops."
So yes, while I'm still avoiding Instagram in my personal life, it's now just like Facebook… something I won't use personally, but am resigning myself to using almost daily professionally. Yep, Offbeat Bride's Instagram account is now out of dormancy and going strong. And of course it's already mostly about my shoes.