3 Ways to Expand Your Network You Haven’t Considered Yet

3 Ways to Expand Your Network You Haven’t Considered Yet

They say your network is your net worth, so if your relationships have been lacking since the start of COVID, it’s time to step your game up. Over the past year-plus, we’ve all learned the ropes of virtual networking via Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts. While it helped us to stay connected through a difficult year, it’s certainly not ideal.

With industry conferences and onsite events coming back, many wedding professionals are ready and raring to get back to building in-person connections with other event pros. However, others feel wary about an overly competitive market as the industry aims to rebuild itself.

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, I encourage you to look beyond your immediate industry circles as you reestablish your support network. There are likely people well within your reach that are in a position to send business your way — if only you knew where to look.

Here are three ways to expand your network intentionally for better business prospects and a community of support.

Connect with businesses that share your target audience.

Many wedding pros try to avoid getting too close to competition, but that’s not to say you can’t find other industry businesses that are a good match. A styled shoot is a great example of this type of networking. If you’re a photographer, you get to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism in front of a designer, a florist, a planner, and so on — paving the way for future partnerships and industry referrals. Just be sure to look out for brands that fit your aesthetic, as that’s a good sign that they also target your ideal clients.

Reach out to brands that offer complementary products and services.

If you’re inclined to step outside of the industry, go for it! There’s no need to limit yourself to what you know, as the opportunities outside of the wedding industry are less saturated and often more lucrative. For example, a luxury wedding planner may consider partnering with a website designer to produce a custom wedding website for each client. Or, a photographer might connect with a rental company to offer personalized engagement shoot packages. Get creative as you meet business owners outside of the industry, and don’t be afraid to present collaborative ideas!

Cultivate relationships with your favorite local shops.

Everyone has a running list of businesses they frequent in their own community — the coffee shop that knows your order by heart, your hairstylist who knows just what to do, or your favorite bar to grab a nightcap after dinner. News flash: Engaged couples are walking around everywhere, so you never know who may be in a position to refer you! Perhaps your hairstylist works with a newly engaged bride on her wedding look, or a happy couple asks your coffee shop’s pastry chef about wedding cakes. To diversify your prospecting and networking approach, you need to put feelers in all directions.

Relationships are an essential part of any business, even those considered to be low-touch. At the end of the day, you need to know people to attract new clients, so don’t be shy! Get out there, introduce yourself and your brand, and serve as a valuable asset for those around you. Over time, you will earn a great reputation as a skilled and reliable professional, benefiting your business growth and helping you reach your big-picture goals.

Jennifer Taylor is the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development.


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