Starting a business in the wedding industry can be challenging. The demand for wedding vendors is endless. Talented wedding professionals saturate the market in all vendor categories. Business owners may find it difficult to launch their business, unless their concept is niche. The good news is that it’s not a cutthroat market. There is plenty of business to go around. Wedding professionals are willing to help each other out! But, they want to feel that connection and believe in the business as if it was their own.
New To The Wedding Industry?
Make friends with wedding planners.
Investing your time and energy into developing bonds with planners in your area is worth the effort. Planners often have quite the collection of wedding vendors. This is because they need a wide range of options to best meet their bride’s vision and budget. Take him/her out to coffee and get to know them, as well as the types clientele he or she works with. If you send clients their way, they will likely do the same for you.
Attend bridal shows and industry events.
Bridal shows aren’t just for attracting brides. Have enough help at your booth so that you can mingle with the other attending vendors. While full-fledged networking isn’t necessarily appropriate during this time, introduce yourself, swap cards and make sure to follow up and find them on social media. Other opportunities, like bridal magazine release parties, are also great opportunities to socialize with local wedding professionals.
Connected with wedding venues to help spread the word about your business.
Being associated with venues automatically puts you in front of brides, as the first step in the wedding planning process is usually finding a venue. This gives you the opportunity to grab clients in the beginning phase when they’re soliciting vendors. Wedding vendors who design professional marketing materials and have them printed can leave them at the venues for brides to pick up.
Keep in mind, however, that sometimes venues will require businesses to pay to be on their preferred vendor list. If this is the case, see if it’s worth your while by inquiring about their availability to gauge their bridal traffic, as you want the relationship to be mutually beneficial.
Plan a styled shoot with your new connections.
Organize a collaborative marketing and PR opportunity by getting some vendors together to design a styled shoot. The resulting pictures will showcase each vendor’s expertise, product or service – a true win/win for all who are involved. Submit the shoot to a wedding magazine or blog to be featured, increasing awareness of your company and building your credibility. From there, you can create new marketing materials, revamp your website, or use the photos on your social media platforms.
While many wedding professionals are very receptive to building networking relationships (due to the fact that a bride’s contact with one vendor could lead to a booking for another), be selective of who you choose to associate with. A business with a bad wrap or poor rapport with its clients can pull you down along with them. For example, if you’re a wedding venue and you bring in a caterer that runs out of food, has rude servers or forgets to make the bride and groom a plate, this is a reflection upon you as well. Clout is everything – ensure yours is always on the rise.