As an event planner, you know how to work a crowd. You plan every performance down to the minute, ensure the food served is at peak freshness, and that each of your guests leave the venue wanting more.
You know how to work a crowd, but you might not know how to work the backend of websites. We get it; it can be intimidating.
Your small event planning freelance business is beginning to grow, and your 10 client email chains just aren’t organized enough for you anymore. It’s time to take this project up a notch; it’s time to make an official website.
The great thing about having a website for your small business is that it institutes a sense of credibility around your brand. You’ll no longer hear, “my mom’s neighbor’s daughter is really good at events, call her!” Instead, your official business name will be spread far and wide through word of mouth and on the internet.
Additionally, building a website can be a great way to gain new clients through site traffic. Learning basic Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, tactics can drastically improve your website’s ranking. Although SEO sounds like an intimidating task designed for digital wizards, the foundational components are doable for anyone.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to start your own website: step by step.
1) Choose a Web Hosting Provider
Webhosting is an affordable service that almost any business owner or freelancer should invest in. Websites seem expensive, both in time and money, but creating and managing one can actually be easy.
There are many website builders designed for all technology beginners and experts. For only a few dollars per month, you can receive beautiful templates that are easily customizable to your brand. It appears that you hired a full-time graphic designer, but in reality, you just got a little creative with formatting. These templates could save you hundreds of dollars you would have otherwise had to invest in a graphic designer. This way, you can focus your time and financial efforts on what you do best: events.
2) Decide on Brand Standards.
If you have already developed brand standards, like colors, fonts, and an official logo, you can skip this step for your freelance event planning business. Building a website is a perfect way to test these features out if you’ve neglected this portion of the process.
Establishing three to five colors, one to two fonts, and an overall feel for your brand’s image will iterate credibility to your consumers. While using the web design services that come with most web hosting packages, you can play around with various aesthetics and see what you like best. Remember that you are the core of your business, so let your personal tastes shine through. Additionally, consider the tone your business should give off. If you mostly plan corporate conventions, maybe stick to neutrals with a pop of color. If you are a wedding planner, focus on classy hues. If you facilitate high-end birthday and bachelorette parties, keep the colors fun and energetic.
Even if graphic design wasn’t part of your original plan, to appear the most professional, high-quality web design is crucial. Your audience will view your information as reliable and hip, and Google will also recognize your site as credible. This relates to SEO, search engine optimization, which uses various tools to ensure Google ranks your website on the search engine results page.
3) Research the Basics of SEO
Although SEO may not be at the forefront of your mind when writing your first article, consider some of the simple tips given in Google’s SEO Starter Guide. If your site doesn’t rank on Google, fewer viewers can reach it. Hence, it is worth the time and effort to invest in some SEO practices.
A few to note:
- Link Building: A simple way to help potential clients reach your event planning services is to acquire links back to your website. These links cannot stem from social media; instead, they must live on legitimate blogs and websites. Consider reaching out to bloggers to write honest reviews or guest posting about your event planning expertise on other websites.
- Keyword Optimization: Keywords are the basis of on-site website optimization that every blog post or copy should consider. Keywords are words or phrases that people search for on Google, such as “women’s skirts,” “trendy restaurant Chicago,” or “event planning near me.” Utilize free tools like Google Keyword Planner to do a little digging on the search volume and degree of competition for each term. Once you gather a list of relevant keywords, start plugging them in your website copy in a natural manner.
- Optimize Images: As an event planner, your website will likely be full of beautiful, high-resolution images to showcase your successful events. Unfortunately, having many images can cause slower page load speed, leading to a decrease in page rank in Google’s algorithm. However, there are many ways to optimize these images despite their size, like using descriptive file names and alt text and keeping your photo layouts mobile-friendly.
Plus, avoid these mistakes while incorporating SEO.
4) Promote on Social Media
Now it’s time for the fun part! Sharing your event planning strategies, services, and successes with the event planning world is imperative to growing your brand. Creating social media accounts specifically designed for your business is the perfect tactic to get this growth started.
To ensure you come across as personal, really interact with your audience. Follow them on their socials and learn about your readers’ lives. Social blogging can serve as a symbiotic relationship if you appreciate your readers, thanking them for caring about your content. The more personable you portray yourself, the more genuine readers you’ll gain, the larger your scope will expand. Plus, once you build a relationship, you can ask readers for feedback on your blog and what they look for in social media posts.
Finally, consider collabing with others in the event planning world. If you have a particular influencer who inspired your last event, message them! If you’ve been dying to work with that new tapas joint uptown, see if you can swap mentions on your Instagrams and cater them at your next event.
And remember. SEO isn’t just for Google. You’ll find that a lot of the tips above can advance your social platforms, local listings, and more.
These four tips will help you effortlessly establish your digital presence as a freelancer or small business owner of an event planning agency. That way, you can spend less time working the internet, and more time working the crowd.
Caroline Hughes is an honors student at Texas Christian University obtaining a Strategic Communication degree with a minor in Business. Caroline is a Content Creator with Magnus Opus, as well as publishing thought pieces on her personal lifestyle blog.