In every industry, making connections is important. In the lead up to one of the busiest times of the year to work with other suppliers, we wanted to give you all some tips on networking like a boss and how to learn from your peers and even your competitors.
Approach people who are different from you
Consider taking a look at who you associate with already and take into account how similar you are. If you’re all very similar, chances are it’s harder to learn from them. Branch out into different industries, supplier categories, and welcome connections with people from different age groups, cultures and at different stages of their business. You never know what you can learn from someone newer to the industry.
Make a list of similar suppliers to refer to
On the other hand, it’s so helpful to have a list of suppliers that you can refer to when you are booked out. For example, if you’re a 30-year-old female celebrant with a relaxed style, having a list of celebrants that are similar in style to you to give to couples who come to you when you are booked out is a great idea, as they can do the same for you!
Look for a mentor
Is there someone in the industry that you really look up to? Or someone even in another industry that inspires you to succeed with your endeavors? Maybe it’s a marketing guru, maybe an industry leader, or perhaps someone that’s simply where you want to be in 2, 5, or 10 years. Find that person and connect with them, and keep in touch.
Make high-quality connections
As a vendor in the wedding industry, one of the most valuable things you can do is make connections with other vendors who are later in the buying cycle, as couples typically have a reasonably predictable order in which they look for vendors. First, the venue, then the celebrant, the photographer, then the planner and wedding dress (if applicable). If you’re early on in the cycle, it’s good to have a list of the other suppliers to refer, and for them, that’s invaluable. If you’re a venue, for example, and you can refer on to photographers, celebrants and wedding planners that you highly recommend, then this is not only helpful for your couples, but it’s invaluable to those suppliers.