Like in any marriage, it is important to mark anniversaries. At How to I Do HQ we have just celebrated our first anniversary. Around a year ago, we created our first social media accounts, getting the brand off the ground and actively finding the right businesses who would also take a punt on joining a new website. Here is our story. From How to I Do, to how to do you do!
Getting Started: from Buddies to Business Partners
Getting started was probably hardest part. It was easier to think of all the reasons not to start a business, such as Clare moving house and all the hassle that brings, and Rachael having a very young family, on top of existing busy careers. However, we are determined women and we “get on”. Others believed in us too, and soon we had around 100 eager suppliers on our glossy website that went live in May 2018. We are proof that hard work, and grit, pays off.
A Little Help from our Friends
We are the first to admit that we are not IT whizz kids. We also do not have degrees in business or marketing. Perhaps fortune found us the Google Digital Garage in Manchester, since it was there that we took full advantage of their free courses. Indeed, we were soon on first name terms with the lovely and very supportive staff, especially Andy. Sometimes Rachael took her baby (now toddler) with her. Nothing changes then… We also remain thankful for our friend and technical genius whizz, Uel Maree, who continues to help us with the website (and by entertaining us with amusing GIFs).
Growing the Brand
Since launching our website, week on week wedding suppliers contact us and ask to be part of our directory. In this short amount of time, we have more than doubled the number of businesses who feature on our site. We look for independent businesses throughout the North West that we ourselves would want to use if it was our wedding. We also look for those who are quirky or unusual (in a good way!), and those who represent the diversity and multiculturalism of the North West. Our aim is to be gender neutral too. A wedding is about the couple, and we are certainly not about putting added pressure on brides (indeed, just over half of our users are men, on the last count). Ultimately, we want planning a wedding to be seen as a fun experience and a way to support local businesses. How to I Do: handpicked and boutique wedding suppliers for everyone.
Growing the brand also coincided with happy news that a new team member would join How to I Do later that year.28 weeks and counting…
Incredibly, we soon became number 1 for a Google search of How to I Do. We are rightly proud of this since they are very common words (over 11 billion search results in fact!).
To get our message out there we have also taken part in a number of media efforts. Last July we spoke at the launch of Edinburgh’s new Google Digital Garage, sharing the stage with politicians and other entrepreneurs. After that the Head of Google talked about us in About Manchester. With 9 days to go before her due date, Rachael and Clare spoke on Ribble FM. In fact, Rachael gave birth to her third child in October 2018 and just 3 weeks later we were on television. More recently we joined the lovely John and Albia on the afternoon show for BBC Radio Lancashire. And, just this week we spoke at the panel for the Liverpool Wedding Blog’s event.
With that potted summary of our last year, we aim to make the next one even busier and even more incredible. If you like what we stand for (our values are here!) then spread the word, be that over a brew or via whatever form of digital wizardry floats your boat.
We already have blogs on real weddings, industry tips and styled shoots to inspire couples planning their own big day. For anyone keen to take part in a guest blog, feature their business or collaborate, you know want to do: drop us a line!
Clare and Rachael x
More from How to I Do
To see even more of our fabulous wedding related blogs click here.
To find top independent wedding businesses in the North West, click here.
How to I Do
Visit us at www.howto-ido.com
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org