1. Vendor connections
2. Client experience
3. Referral gifts
Hey you, how is it going?? Have you found any inspiration or motivation on how you can stand out in the city in which you live? I sure hope so. I really do.
Because you can. Have you an idea as to what makes you different? What might draw you into clients? Or what kind of client experience you can offer them?
That’s so good. I really hope the wheels are turning!
So in this last post, I’m going to share about how I continued to keep connections going after living in Dallas for a little under a year and going fulltime with my wedding photography business. I want to also share that the purpose for this post is to encourage and continue turning the wheels in your head—not serve as a post to share about what we’ve done well. It’s our story, and it’s what has seemingly worked for us thus far. It’s not to say that we have been 100% perfect, because I’m human and am positive I have not been perfect. But thankfully, our business is still continuing to allow me to photograph weddings and do what I love.
So with that being said, one of the ways our business has kept booking is because of: vendor connections.
When I say “vendor connections”, I mean everybody on the team that you work with on wedding days: DJs, planners, florists, hair and makeup artists, rental places, the list can go on and on.
These are people who are seeing you interact with their clients on the wedding day, seeing the way you carry yourself, handle stress, interact and even treat them. I’ve found that this is so huge. It’s worth trying hard to connect with every vendor on a wedding day, even if the time or stress of the day is hard to allow, because they are potentially vendors a) you’ll either work with often or b) who will share your name with other couples.
One example that comes to mind is a florist we worked with the December we moved to Dallas. Jordan and I photographed that wedding together. While we were photographing reception details, the florist, Kim May, was decorating the cake with additional flowers. We had a simple interaction, as she was worried she was in our way while we photographed. We responded by simply saying it was no problem and we’d come back in a few minutes. Literally. So small.
We found out later after she inquired for her daughter’s wedding that the way Jordan and I interacted with her was unusual for a photographer to do with her. She mentioned how she had been a florist for over 20 years in DFW, and the way we made her feel when we interacted with her about photographing the cake stood out to her. And guys, remember, this was a super quick, simple communication exchange! It stood out to her enough to consider booking us for her only daughter’s wedding—I’ve never forgotten this! It’s such a simple and good reminder on wedding days. Because to me, I had no idea the exchange I made with her would add a wedding to our future 2017 calendar.
We have since been so thankful to have inquires from other vendors for their own personal weddings or been so thankful to receive referrals from them for clients of their own. This is a big compliment.
And one way I continue these vendor connections is by providing them with an online gallery of the blog images the week after the wedding we collaborated together on. I let them know that the full gallery will be uploaded to the same link in the following 1-2 weeks. They have all the access to use these images for marketing purposes and on their social media.
So while these vendor connections are huge, I even mean vendor connections with other local photographers. Since living in Dallas for 2.5 years now, I have met a handful of other very kind photographers who are amazingly talented and have similar workflows and styles as mine. We keep each other in mind when we are unavailable to take weddings that inquire, and in turn, this helps support the concept of: “there are enough weddings (or X, Y, Z) to go ‘round”. It has been a huge blessing.
And hey, referral gifts definitely don’t hurt! I’ve been as simple as an online Starbucks gift card or ordering an Anthropologie candle online. Can’t go wrong, right? ;-)
So now that you’ve followed my journey of beginning my business in Las Cruces, transferring it to Dallas almost seamlessly while working fulltime, I hope you can pick out some tactical ways that you can stand out in your city too. You’re next friend!
What are you going to tackle first?! Rooting you on!
I’d loving nothing more than for you to tell me what your plan is or what has worked so far.