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How to Market Yourself and Network Within the Wedding Industry

As a wedding professional, the people you surround yourself with can have a considerable impact on your brand and business. Sometimes who you know and who you work with can be the make or break when you are trying to book a client or build a dream team for them. Or, the strength of your professional network can be the difference between being 75% booked and fully booked. So today, we are going to talk all about marketing and networking yourself within the wedding industry. Read on and get ready to add names to your network!

Survey Your Area

As with everything else about your business, you should prep for your networking blitz with research and planning. Why? Because when it comes to professional networking and B2B marketing, you are working to communicate with your target market (which in the context of this conversation are other wedding pros). So, before you start buying tickets to every industry event you can find, take some time to survey the professional landscape in your local industry. Find the wedding professionals in your area who:

  • Are the most established
  • Are emerging or just starting their businesses
  • Have a similar aesthetic or style to you
  • Offer services at similar price points
  • Offer services complimentary to yours (i.e. the photographer to your wedding planning business or the florist to your catering company)

Pro-tip: In a referral based industry, it is important to build strong relationships for professional referrals in addition to having an outstanding client experience for client testimonials.

Frame It Up

Just like when you are marketing to couples, it’s not about you; rather, it’s about what you can do for them. So, when it comes to marketing yourself to other pros in the industry, be sure to frame the conversation around learning more about them and their business. (Trust us, people love talking about themselves and using this approach is a great way to start building a relationship.)

When you are preparing to do any outreach or are practicing ways to break the ice at in-person events:

  • Position your outreach in a way that makes it clear that you want to learn more about them, their ideal client, and services. That way, when a potential client reaches out to you and they are either not your ideal client or you are not available, you know where to send them
  • Let them know if you are wanting to build your core group of go-to vendors for those opportunities when you get to build your dream team

Make Contact

When it comes time to actually do the outreach and/or networking, there are definitely some tried and true tactics. And, typically, people will:

  • Attend wedding industry events
  • Make cold outreach to established pros in their area via email
  • Send brochures, look books, and gifts
  • Reach out about collaborating on styled shoots
  • Schedule lunch, coffee dates and/or studio visits

Pro-tip: Want to score major points with your professional contacts? Create a referrals page on your website and include/link back to their websites (everybody appreciates it when you throw them a little SEO love.)

But, in addition to taking advantage of those opportunities, we wanted to give you a few unique ways to to connect with other wedding industry professionals. Consider:

  • Searching local hashtags and engaging with people’s profiles on social media to help build your name recognition
  • Host a lunch and learn (Can we say AP meet up?!? Or you can partner with a venue to schedule a tour, bring in outside experts to talk about professional growth or even schedule a private viewing at a local bridal salon)
  • Ask people you know to make introductions (seems like common sense but a lot of people don’t leverage their own networks like this)
  • Find events and learning opportunities outside of the wedding industry and invite people to attend with you
  • Collaborate on content (You can guest post on each other’s blogs, swap social media takeovers, etc.)

 

Consider yourself a networking master and have tips to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Photo courtesy Birds of a Feather Photography

About the Author

Tayler Cusick Hollman
Tayler Cusick Hollman

Tayler is the Editor in Chief at Aisle Planner. She is obsessed with color and pattern, notoriously cooks everything from scratch, and can sometimes be seen cruising around on a skateboard. Follow Tayler on Instagram @taylrd_designs

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