As busy professionals, it can be hard to forge professional connections in addition to all the duties and responsibilities associated with your business! Especially for those individuals who may solely represent their wedding business, it’s hard to find the time to devote to networking.
Even though you’re a busy Pro, personal branding and networking can be big drivers of referral business. Networking for Wedding Pros doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking – try our tips!
Get to know people before you pitch them
One of the most off-putting parts of networking events is when another Pro homes in on you and starts pitching you about their business! Yes, one of the biggest benefits of networking is building connections with other wedding professionals to further your knowledge or identify opportunities for collaboration, but you shouldn’t walk in and start talking about yourself immediately. Spend time talking to other attendees and getting to know a little bit more about them first before you start wheeling and dealing!
Make a list of questions
If you’ve followed some of our previous tips and started the event with a goal in mind, you should make a list of potential questions you’d like to have answered. If you’re looking to further your knowledge or you’re seeking advice from other Pros, it’s important to come prepared with a few questions you’d like answered. At the very least, they’ll serve as talking points so you can get the conversations flowing easily. At most, you’ll leave the event wiser than when you walked in.
This sounds negative, but we promise it’s not! Don’t walk into a networking event expecting to befriend the most well-connected professional there – they probably have their own list of preferred Pros that they have a good relationship with. Instead, aim a bit lower to find some other Pros at your own level of connectedness. If you aim to build relationships with wedding professionals who are just starting out or looking to expand, you’ll have a better chance of becoming their go-to Pro for a variety of needs. Then you’ll be able to stick together easily and reach the top of your network faster!
Business cards are a great tool for wedding professionals for many events, but if you’re really looking to stick out in someone’s mind and build connections fast, bring goodies! Some kind of small, branded take-away item will do the trick to help you stand out, just as you would at a bridal show. Since most Pros will bring business cards, your business will stand out a bit more because your take-away is different. Just remember your audience, though – your item should be something other Pros will use or would like to have on their desks at work.
Networking events not your thing? Be sure to check out our suggestions for networking online through LinkedIn!