Every single wedding you photograph is a new opportunity to network and build relationships with wedding professionals. But how do you network at a wedding?
Think of it this way-every wedding is an event created by a team of people, usually wedding professionals. Each one of these people is someone you have an opportunity to get to know professionally. Weddings are team events, so getting to know your teammates is good business practice. You are spending the entire day with them, so why not take advantage of that?
A wedding goes much smoother when the professionals work together as a team to provide a seamless experience for the guests. When you step in with a collaborative attitude, vendors take notice. They will recognize that you aren't one of those types to just show up and do your job without concern for the event as a whole. If you show other vendors that you truly care about the clients having a great experience and not only great photography, you will win friends and build relationships. Those relationships can blossom into a wonderful source of referrals if you work at it.
17 Tips to Be A Team Player
- Be respectful to everyone, vendors and guests alike
- Be courteous to other vendors
- Be a calming influence on the bride and groom
- Be on time (be early!)
- Park in the vendor parking area
- Use the vendor entrances
- Dress professionally or in all black if the planner prefers
- Stay off your cell phone: turn the ringer off and don't text
- Never use offensive language or swear
- Never gossip about other vendors or clients
- If you take the bride and groom away during cocktail hour, let the planner, caterer, and facilities coordinator know where you are going and how long you'll be gone
- Lend a hand when you can
- Smile even though your feet are killing you
- Smile through the frustrations of the day
- Ease tension; don't create it
- Don't act impatient when the bride is running behind
- Always do the best you can and assume the same about others
Follow these tips each time you work a wedding, and you will be making friends in the wedding industry in no time at all. Follow up with an offer of complimentary prints and digital files, and you will be well on your way to earning a coveted spot on referral lists all over town. This is how you do it folks. Be fun to work with, and follow that up with great work. It's a killer combo when it comes to marketing your photography.
If you are interested in learning more about how to build relationships that will turn into referrals for your business, look for my brand new book Get Connected: Build Relationships to Drive Your Business launching on February 7th.