Community over competition. I'm sure you've heard that a million times, if you're in the wedding industry. How exactly can you build you're wedding pro "community?" And why does it even matter?
When I was a budding florist, my portfolio consisted of Iphone pics taken by my hubby. I was the model, but the pictures only showed me holding the bouquet from the neck down, standing in front of a brown wall. I would add a filter and call it good.
If you scroll to the bottom of my instagram feed, those pics are still there. Why? They aren't pretty, they aren't cohesive, and they certainly aren't my best work.
But they are a part of MY STORY!
Those pictures remind me of the terrifying experience of starting something new, by myself. Then, my feed takes a huge turn! Suddenly I had brides, posing with my work. Instead of cheesy filters, the photos are clean and crisp. The best part, I was tagging my new photographer friends and their work.
That first photoshoot was terrifying for everyone involved, but the results led to growth!
I had never heard of Collaboration before that shoot, but now it's my favorite word besides peony!
If you are looking to build your portfolio, network, and build your business...YOU. NEED. TO. COLLAB!
What is a collaboration?
Anytime 2 or more people are offering their talents and skills to create a project, it counts as a collaboration! It can a project like a laid-back photoshoot, to a magazine editorial. Or just portfolio building!
What is the point of collaborating?
-It will help your analytics on Social Media! Anytime you tag other accounts, you are letting Instagram know that your post is AMAZING! Always be sure to tag ON the picture! Don't just tag in the comments. (Note: You should NOT let the number of followers determine who you decide to work with. Did you know the percentage of follower engagement influences the algorithm on Instagram? If someone has 100 followers and 60 of them always engage, this is more valuable than 10,000 where only 100 engage. Don't be fooled into thinking you'll get more exposure with the bigger following.)
-Networking! Not only is it fun to make new friends with other talented people, but you can add value to your client experience! If you know your client will have an amazing experience with another vendor, refer them! You should NEVER refer clients based on another vendor's Instagram feed alone! You should get a feel for their personality, communication style, and organizational skills. When working with others, you get the chance to step into a client's shoes. When they have a great experience with a vendor you refer, it reflects back on you!
-Direct Referrals. When you get to work with other talented artists, you get to be in the client's shoes. If you enjoy working with the vendor, send your friends and family to them! My other vendor friends have returned the favor! Direct Referrals are the best way to get clients! When you have a client who still hasn't booked a specific vendor, you can offer them a list of people you have loved working with. I don't want to get too much into client experience, but basically, you'll look more professional with a "preferred list of vendors".
-Gain More Experience. As you collaborate you will be able to gain more experience and practice in your trade. When you can show potential clients a current portfolio, they will trust you more as a professional. Even if you already have a hefty portfolio, you can try new trends and styles to stay current with the ever-changing wedding industry. Or you could be the one to start new trends!
Collaboration is the key to building a thriving wedding community in your area. It is important to be open to work with newbies as well as seasoned pros. Here's my soapbox, You should never count anyone out of a collaboration based on their number of their followers. Up and coming vendors need good experiences with with their wedding vendor community. If you are enthusiastic to share their work and help their portfolio, they are happy to do the same! In my experience, I've gotten more referrals from newbies than seasoned pros.
In the end, we all want to help our bottom line and do what we love. Let's work together to make that happen.
Based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Experienced with weddings in Utah, East Idaho, and Wyoming.
M-F: 9am - 6pm
For questions about pricing, collaborations, or availability, please fill out the contact form or send us an email!