Whether you’re new to the wedding industry or a seasoned pro, networking with other vendors is a great way to level up your business.
Yes, networking can help lead to referrals and new clientele – but that shouldn’t be the only reason why you pursue it! Networking with other wedding professionals can help you share advice, lead to opportunities like styled photo shoots (we’ve had a handful of members collaborate on styled shoots over the years!) and build a genuine community of like-minded people.
We’ve compiled five tips to help you navigate the networking scene:
1) Do your research.
Research the wedding vendors in your area. If they have a similar philosophy, style and vibe, chances are you’ll work well together and will be looking to serve a similar clientele. Make a list of the vendors you’d like to connect with.
Going beyond vendors, look into different professional associations you can join or upcoming conferences to attend. Show off the face behind your brand! One of the best ways to build awareness of your business is by talking about it yourself (and don’t forget your business cards – yes, they’re still a thing in 2022)!
Shameless plug: You can also join communities like Hustle + Charm, which often connects members of the wedding industry in Manitoba.
2) Connect with others on social media.
Start by following vendors on social media. Look for a variety of vendors including planners, venues, photographers, videographers, makeup artists, florists–the sky’s the limit! Think outside the typical wedding vendors and include others that may not be solely wedding-related (like balloon arrangements).
Engage with the vendors by leaving comments and interacting with their content in a genuine way. Facebook groups are a great way to connect with other professionals, too!
3) Contact those you’d like to meet.
Once you feel comfortable, reach out to some businesses to connect by phone, Zoom or in person! Use the opportunity to share information about your business and hear more about what they have to offer. You can also swap tips and advice. Most importantly, be yourself and show off your fab personality!
If you’re too busy during the busy wedding season, make networking a priority during the slower months. After any meeting, make sure to follow up to personally thank them for their time.
4) Foster the relationships you build.
Focus on building real relationships. Just like personal relationships, you’ll need to foster any networking connections. Let your relationship grow organically!
Stay in touch, cheer each other on and….
5) Share the love!
In the wedding industry, referrals can be a huge part of business, whether it’s from a fellow vendor, former bride or wedding guest. By cross-promoting vendors with which you’re aligned, you can help build brand awareness.
It can be as easy as sharing an update from them in your Instagram stories, tagging them in a post or mentioning them in a caption if relevant. You can also discuss the possibility of business partnerships, like referring each other to your happy couples.
The wedding industry is constantly evolving. Networking with other vendors is an investment that will help you stay on top of trends and best practices, while building friendships and potential partnerships.
‘Community over competition’ is not just another hashtag we use on Instagram; it’s one of the mottos we live by in Hustle + Charm. Our Hustlers Roundtable event series is designed to bring women of similar industries together. Our next roundtable on July 19 is for wedding professionals!
Whether you’re a wedding planner, photographer, decor expert or anything in between, come out and meet other industry folk and let’s chat! Space is limited so be sure to grab your ticket early!