Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Networking With the Stars

One way to market your business is to network. Networking is an integral part of introducing and maintaining your company brand to your local market. It is essential for building credibility and trust because let's face it...most vendors won't recommend your services unless you've worked with them (successfully) or they've seen your work in some other capacity. The integrity of their business depends on maintaining good associations with other industry vendors.

I posted a tweet on twitter recently that read, "Follow people that are smarter than you...if you are the smartest one in the room, then you are in the wrong room!" I love this advice and use it in my own life all the time. If I want to learn how to dance, then I'm going to dance with a pro...if I want to learn how to take killer photos, then I'm going to hang out with a top photographer in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.

If you want to become a expert at wedding planning then you'll have to find someone in your local area that is willing to show you the ropes without compromising their company brand. For this to work, you must be someone willing to learn the basics of planning but you MUST find your own niche instead of copying the work of someone else. Many planners I know will not help aspiring planners because they've been burned in the past...don't burn your bridges by failing to find your own specialty to offer the wedding market. You won't last in this business unless you do.

The most important aspect in networking? Getting to know someone in a way that has nothing to do with the wedding industry. Be interesting. Share details about your personal life...your family, hobbies...places you like to travel. Really get to know the people you want to work with. And be genuine about it. People can tell when you're really not interested in them.

Share your strengths with others in ways that will help them. Are you really good at using Excel spreadsheets? If you meet someone that is struggling with them, offer to teach them what you know. Chatting with someone who has had trouble finding a reliable landscaper for their yard? Recommend yours. Networking is really no different than getting to know someone you meet in a social setting, so get out there in meet some stars!

Until then...

Aspire to Plan!


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