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Business Masterclass - Part 1: Listing Information

Welcome to the first in a series of tutorials designed to assit those who currently own a business listing on My Wedding Concierge. These tutorials will explain simple yet effective measures to help you get the most value out of your listing, and maximise the number of enquiries that you can achieve during your subscription period.

As the name indicated, this first tutorial is all about your listing information. While this may seem like basic stuff, and you may think you've got it all sorted, I would strongly encourage you to read on through this article, as there will likely be some handy pieces of information that you haven't considered yet. So without further delay, let's reveal how to get the absolute most out of the information that you supply in your business listing.

If you don't want to read the entire article, you can watch these videos instead...


Here is an example of how our example listing will appear in search results...

sample-listing-result

Here is an example of how our example the listing appears when someone clicks through to view the entire profile.

sample-listing 

Business Name
Now you may be thinking to yourself "ok I know how to write my own business name", but let me tell you that this is a very important item, which can have a big impact on a customers' first impression of your business. In this example the business name I've used it "Perfect Designer Shoes". While it may seem like an unimportant detail, the best way that you can write your business name is using inter-capitalisation, which basically means capitalising the first letter of each word. 

Go ahead and take a look at the example listing and see how it looks when the listing is published. It's a known fact that people have difficulty READING WORDS THAT ARE ALL CAPITALS, and all lower case letters looks sloppy. So using inter-capitalisation for your business name ensures that it has the right amount of impact, while still looking attractive and presentable. 

Service Areas
We're going to skip over the next section in the form (selecting sub-categories) because it's fairly self explanatory, and move onto the field called Service Areas. This information appears in the profile view of your listing, and enables people at a glance to see the areas which you service. You're only allowed a certain number of characters in this field, so don't try and enter every suburb in Australia because it won't work. Pick the most relevant areas that are appropriate for your business. If you service very large areas you can type in Melbourne, or Victoria, or even Australia wide. That way customers can see at a glance if you're going to be able to help them with their enquiry. 

As shows in the example above, if you're wanting to include multiple areas, the just seperate them with a comma (,) and remember to user inter-capitalisation to make the presentation even nicer.

Phone Numbers
Now if before you weren't rolling your eyes a bit, I know some of you will definitely be thinking "I don't need help writing down my own phone number". However I can assure you that nailing all of these simple tips for the presentation of your information, will make your business listing stand out from the crowd, and help to create an impression of professionalism.

Take a look at the two example above... You can see that the phone number is shown in search results, and also in the profile view of your listing. Now if you've got a regular phone number the best way to display it is (03) 1234 5678. So what have we done here that's so great exactly? Firstly we've seperated the information into 3 different groups... The area code, and then the rest of the number is neatly segmented.
It's always important to include your area code! Remember that somebody could by trying to make contact with an interstate business for their wedding, and if they make the mistake of just dialling 1234 5678 because you didn't include the area code for them, they're probably just going to think that your business closed down and you won't get the job. Make sure that you wrap the area code in braces (03), rather than just 03 1234 5678, and always divide it into groups for presentation, and ease of communication. Never have 0312345678 as it's just too difficult to read quickly.

If you've got a number like 1800 SHOES for example, make sure that you include the numeric equivelant in case the person trying to call you isn't great at converting letters to numbers on their keypad... In this example it would be best to write in the phone number field: 1800 SHOES or 1800 74 367. Mobile numbers are exactly the same, remember to divide them into groups i.e. 0400 000 000.

Email Addresses
Guess what the most common error that people make with their email address... Not sure? TYPOS! It's unbelievable but true. 

It is of the highest importance that you carefully type in your email address when you create your listing, for several reasons. Not only will the email link in your listing be incorrect (refer to example above), but if somebody uses the button labelled "Send Enquiry" then anything they attempt to send to you simply won't arrive. The system uses the email address that you supply in this area to send all information to you, so if it's wrong it'll seem as though you're receiving no enquiries, all the while customers could still be trying to make contact with you.

Services Your Business Provides
This is a big stumbling point for many people. Go back up to the examples above and notice that this information is displayed in search results, as well as your actual business profile. The reason why this information is included in search results is so that customers can see at a glance if you offer something which is important to them. If they see it, then they'll most likely click through to your profile and send you an enquiry.

The error that many people make is typing too much information, or typing irrelevant information into this area. In search results, this section only displays about 3 lines of text, before being cut off with a (...). The rest of the information (overflow) will display in full within the profile view of the website. Many people make the mistake of writing a long winded story about their business, which inevitably gets cut off by the display limit and adds almost no value to their listing. So what to do?

sample-listing-result

It is strongly recommended that you only put information that people will immediately find useful from within search results. So make a simple dot-point list of services you offer. You'll notice in the example we've included "Designer shoes, couture, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabana, Versace" (ok keep in mind that I'm a guy and I don't know anything about shoes). This means that people who are specifically interested in these particular services, or the specific brands offered, will immediately be attracted by the information supplied here.

Don't try to use overly complicated language, don't use special characters or any other clever tricks. Just write each service or brand, seperate it with a comma, and continue in this manner.
When your listing appears within search results, this tiny little piece of information is one of the most important things that will attract a customer, so make sure you do it right.

Social Media
Got social media? If you do then don't forget to include it! My Wedding Concierge is one of the only wedding directories which allows you to include all of the most popular social networks within your profile! This means that you have a huge opportunity to connect with your customers, build relationships with them, and increase the awareness of your own brand. 

sample-listing-result

In the example above you can see that your social networks are displayed in the bottom right corner of your profile... Currently My Wedding Concierge allows you to include a link to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ page, as well as an RSS feed if you have your own blog.
In addition to this you can see on the bottom left of your profile that we have included some handy instant social sharing buttons which allow you (or anyone else) to share your profile on their favourite social networks. 

Do yourself a favour and make sure that family, friends, or anyone else visits your profile on My Wedding Concierge, and shares it on their network to increase your exposure!

Description
This is the easy part... The description is where you can write down everything you want about your business. Get creative with your words and make it sound great! This section is displayed in the profile view of your listing, and is the longer description that appears underneath the Business Name. 

Images
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SECTION! The images you select are the most important thing on your entire profile, so if you want your profile to be great, follow these instructions.

In your profile you get to select up to 7 photos to display. Take a look at the examples above and notice how the main image in your profile, is also the image which is displayed on your listing within search results. This means that your first/main image needs to be your absolute best, to ensure that it catches they eye, and makes people want to send you an enquiry. The other images you select will be viewed within your listing, and when clicked on will display at their full size.

You can upload landscape or protrait photos, however because the thumbnails are all landscape, it is strongly recommended that you ONLY use landscape images. That way they'll look their best all the time, even if they don't get clicked on. Portrait images sometimes will display in an unusual way because of the landscape thumbnail frame they are displayed in.

DO NOT upload your logo, or other graphics which have absolutely nothing to do with the services you offer... REMEMBER that people are visual creatures, and when they look at your photos they're hoping to see the exact thing that they're looking for so they can say "awesome they have what I want, I'm contacting them now". Nobody cares about what your logo looks like at this point, they want to see photos of what you offer, so they can pay you for it... They're not interested in paying you for your logo, so don't waste an entire image slot showing them.

Conclusion
Well that concludes the first in a series of tutorials designed to help you get the absolute best results out of your business listing. If you follow these steps closely, your profile will look amazing, and will certainly stand out from the crowd, and capture customer attention easily.

The next article in this series is called Business Tutorial Part 2: Photos and gives a more in depth look at how to select incredible photos that will make your profile look even better.