In celebration of the all-new charlotteargyrou.com, I’ve invited seven brilliant founders to share their expertise in seven areas of creative business. These are subjects I have found especially fun or challenging in my first 18 months since launching Charlotte Argyrou Illustration. “On the Sofa” invites creative, wedding and wellness entrepreneurs to join the conversation, each focused on personal branding, community, tech and SEO in creative business, mindset, design, self-belief and uniqueness.
My third guest is the founder of Making Your Business Shine, a consultancy dedicated to helping creative and wedding businesses get found online. Maddy’s colourful and entertaining approach to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation, or “So Exciting Obviously”, as she prefers) makes online visibility accessible to people like me, who can find tech intimidating, confusing or boring. Maddy and I talked about how making friends with tech can help support and scale your business.
Tech and SEO in Creative Business
Charlotte: Do we need to understand and use tech to succeed in creative business? Won’t people just find us fabulous creatives and makers anyway through our gorgeous products and services?
Maddy: Telepathy doesn’t work. If you are not using tech, you are leaving money on the table. If you’re not using online platforms like social media, you are limiting yourself unnecessarily. If your audience is hanging out on Instagram or Etsy, you need to be there too. Online visibility helps you to showcase your beautiful products and services precisely to the people who want to buy it. My whole vibe is to make tech stuff more interesting to creative businesses, because what’s more exciting that being paid to do exactly what you want to do by people who want to pay you to do it? That’s what we all want.
Improving Online Presence
Charlotte: What are the essential tools to increasing our online visibility? What would you advise investing in?
Maddy: There are two essential elements required in the first couple of years of any successful online business.
- Good copywriting. You need copy that engages your ideal client and includes all the phrases that they are typing into online search engines like Google.
- Good SEO training. You need to understand how SEO informs all aspects of your businesses. From what you blog next, what to put on Instagram, which styled photo shoots to take part in, understanding keywords helps you reach the people who are searching for your product or service.
Great SEO enables you to reach a bigger, targeted audience. Sure, you’d like to be known by word of mouth referrals, as they are often the best quality of referral in terms of converting to sales but they have their limits. If you have a minor PR disaster or Instagram closes down tomorrow, a strong comprehensive online presence will uphold your business.
You need to repeatedly find new and skilful ways to communicate your key message and showcase your products and services by being visibly in places people are searching for you.
Charlotte: What’s not necessary when starting out?
Maddy: When you’re starting out, you don’t need a fancy logo or to spend weeks and months and tears over what colour your logo is going to be. Similarly, you don’t need to stress about your brand name in the beginning. Creative people can often let those elements stop them from launching. Many businesses could change these things two, three or four times in their first few years as their clientele and focus changes. What’s more important is creating quality work and letting people know about it.
I’m Overwhelmed. What Do I Need to Do?
Charlotte: If I only have one hour per week to dedicate to SEO, what should I be doing?
Maddy: Write a blog post using a relevant keyword. Promote it across every online platform you occupy, repeatedly. Use quotes and images from the post and share them in varied ways. Don’t stress that people will feel bombarded by you. It is rare that someone sees all your content, plus if they are going to buy from you, they want to hear from you.
Charlotte: Blogging, guest blogging, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In – all in addition to doing my actual work….I’m overwhelmed. What’s the best order to tackle this stuff in?
Maddy: Focus on the 2-3 channels that work for you. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket, because if that channel suddenly disappears or starts charging more to it your business will suffer. Diversify, without spreading yourself too thinly. Consistent, quality content on 2-3 channels will serve you best.
Work with Maddy
Charlotte: What services do you offer and how can we find you?
Maddy: There are two ways to work with me:
- Online Courses
Let’s Get You Found – a video-based course with access to a supportive Facebook group – all led by Maddy. You can book a call to find out more.
Making Money with Pinterest – everything you need to know to drive target customers to your website via Pinterest
- SEO for private clients
Dedicated bespoke service to maximise your SEO, on a monthly retainer basis. More info here
You Tube Maddy’s new You Tube channel Gin & Magic interviews brilliant creative women about their lives, business journeys and how they integrate SEO and tech into their lives. Find the interview with Charlotte Argyrou here