This one is for all of my wedding photographers.
Building relationships with wedding vendors could be the missing piece to your business growth puzzle (you know, that one last puzzle piece that somehow gets swept under the couch).
Think of the wedding industry as one big support group. We all have the same goal and the same client base, but we all provide a different service. We might as well help each other out, right? Vendors not only provide referrals for your business, but they can help build trust with your potential clients and within the wedding industry. So, without further ado, here are 3 ways you can build relationships with wedding vendors:
Share your images
Vendors deserve love too! Their products and services are what makes a wedding… well, a wedding! Without food, flowers, a DJ, or an officiant, a wedding would just be a bunch of well-dressed people standing in an empty room. They’re almost as important as the new married couple (almost). So, make sure you’re sharing your relevant photos with other vendors at the wedding. It’s not only a considerate gesture, but the more they see your work and your business, the more they’ll trust you, and the more they trust you, the more likely it is they’ll refer you to other couples.
BONUS: Sharing your images with vendors gives them the opportunity to share your images on their social media accounts and tag your business! Yay free marketing!
Send a thank you
Never underestimate the power of a hand-written thank you note. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or even that long. All it takes is a sentence or two written on a card telling a vendor how amazing it was to work with them, so like, three minutes of your time. This does two things: 1. It shows that vendor that you are a thoughtful, authentic, and genuinely kind person, AND 2. It puts your name in front of them again. The next time one of their clients is looking for a wedding photographer, they’ll definitely remember the name of that photographer who sent them that adorable hand-written appreciation card. That is the goal. Getting your name out there, and building valuable relationships with fellow vendors.
Build your own preferred vendor list
Make a list of your favorite vendors that you’ve worked with. Which vendors would you prefer to work with again? Give this list to clients when they book with you (but communicate that there is no pressure, they’re just suggestions). Reach out to those vendors and let them know they’re on your list. By letting those vendors know that they’re on your list, you’re building that relationship even further, and hopefully, they’ll add you to their list too.
WARNING: With this one, stay away from a “pay-to-play” system where you're paying or kicking back to vendors for referrals. It tastes bad to clients and that isn't the type of business you want to be a part of. You want to be on a vendor’s preferred list because of your quality of work, not your pocketbook.
Building vendor relationships is the marketing tactic that no one really thinks about. Word of mouth and positive working relationships can go a long way when it comes to the growth of your photography business.
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Looking for cute stationary to write all of your thank you notes on, check out the shop.