Many wedding and event professionals are members of a small business, and certain service categories may require only one employee to constitute their wedding business. Officiants, DJs and Photographers, and others fall into this category. For those individuals who may solely represent their wedding business, personal branding and networking can be big drivers of referral business.
As busy professionals, it can be hard to forge these connections in addition to all the duties and responsibilities associated with your business. Networking events and association meetings are great ways to establish relationships with other Pros, but what can you do on a daily basis to network? LinkedIn is a great way for wedding and event professionals to network and build relationships with other Pros!
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks differ from LinkedIn in that those channels are great places to represent your business and attract potential couples, but are not designed to build your personal brand on a professional level. You can create a business page on each to represent your company, and improve your brand awareness. LinkedIn is not likely to put your business in front of couples looking to book a wedding vendor. Rather, look at LinkedIn as a tool to grow your individual brand as a wedding professional.
If you don’t have a personal LinkedIn profile, signing up is easy and free. Once you get started on LinkedIn, follow these steps to help you network on the world’s largest professional network!
Fill out your profile completely. LinkedIn has a great feature that will help you fill out your profile and provide easy step-by-steps on what you should do next. You’ll add your full name, a professional photograph (no selfies, please!), a summary of your professional experiences and a description of your business and your associated duties. You can also go so far as to include any relevant school information or awards and honors that may set you apart as an expert! Even if you have an account set up, check in to make sure you have completed your profile as much as possible to maximize your exposure and keep your virtual resume up-to-date!
Connect with other Pros. Here comes the fun part – connect with Pros you know as well and connect with new industry contacts! Try finding your Pros I Know, Preferred Pros or other Pros you interact with in the Pro Forums through LinkedIn search. LinkedIn will also suggest other connections based on your connections, so you can easily expand your network to reach those you may not have met in person yet! Since LinkedIn is a dedicated social network for professionals, connecting with others in your industry (even if you don’t know them) is encouraged. Just remember to include a short note in your request explaining why you think the two of you should connect.
Join industry groups. There are a variety of formal and informal professional groups on LinkedIn which you can join. Groups on LinkedIn allow professionals to post questions or discuss news and events with other Wedding Pros. If you’re part of an industry association, check to see if they have an official LinkedIn group. You can also use the LinkedIn search function to find groups of professionals in the wedding industry in general, or even more specific to your service category. Some groups are public, meaning anyone can join, while some are private and require approval for you to join. Groups are a great way to expand your network.
Update your page often. As you gain more experience or acquire new skills, remember to add them to your LinkedIn profile! You can also post updates, similar to Facebook, which can be links, photos, etc. These updates will show up in your connections’ news feed when they log into LinkedIn, so everyone will know what you’ve been up to! Stay at the top of everyone’s minds by updating your profile often.
Follow WeddingWireEDU! While you’re on LinkedIn, why not follow WeddingWireEDU’s new LinkedIn page? We’ll post educational content, industry news, events, and other business tips. Following our page means you’ll see our updates in your news feed when you log on, so you’ll never have to miss a post! Stay in-the-know without even having to leave your LinkedIn account.