Whether you are an experienced Celebrant or a novice Officiant, networking is one of the best ways to get clients to inquire about your services. So what types of networking will give you the best returns? I have found these 7 networking tips to be the most successful for Celebrants and Officiants!
Search Facebook for wedding pro groups in your area, such as ‘Philadelphia Wedding Vendors’ or ‘Houston Wedding Professionals’. Join these groups and log on often to see what is going on in your region. There may be training events happening, stylized shoots being planned, or an actual request for a celebrant/officiant. This is a wonderful way to get to know the other wedding pros in your area. Volunteer to help with a plea, share your advice when appropriate, be positive and professional always. This can also be extended to Celebrant and Officiant groups around the country and internationally. Get to know your colleagues around the globe! It is a great experience to learn from each other!
Find out what types of meet up opportunities there are in your area. The Rising Tide has groups all over the country. These are usually a fabulous cross-section of professionals in the creative arts with a majority in the wedding industry. Each month there is a specific topic which is discussed. These are free and are a great way to improve your skills on all sorts of professional topics. Many areas have their own group of wedding pros who meet on a regular basis. While you are chatting in the wedding Facebook groups, ask around to see if there are any of these groups in your area. These are wonderful opportunities to meet new as well as established wedding business owners.
When you arrive at a wedding, have your cards handy to hand to the wedding pros you come into contact with, and ask for theirs’ as well. You should be meeting with the photographer, videographer, venue coordinator, wedding planner, and DJ/musicians, and perhaps others. These are all opportunities to have a brief conversation and exchange your information. After the wedding touch base with each one to thank them. Compliment them if appropriate and let them know you will be happy to share their info with your couples (if you feel you will). Also let them know you post photos on social media and you will look them up and tag them. (Celebrant/Officiants still struggle to get our colleagues to tag us on social media. Plant the seed, and hopefully they will remember to tag you, too!)
BONUS TIP! Write an email or card to the venue coordinator thanking them for the opportunity to have worked at their location. Writing an actual letter is great cause you can slip a few of your cards in there for them to have on hand!
Post professional photos from your weddings on Instagram and have them populate onto your Facebook Business page. Tag the professionals who were involved in the wedding, the couple, and the venue. Tag them on the photo as well. Use social media to feature a venue, photographer, florist, etc., and highlight their product or service.
Create a list of the wedding pros you’ve worked with and would recommend to your couples. Don’t wait for couples to ask for your recommendations. Send this list to them for your initial meeting. If they end up meeting with anyone on your list, ask them to mention your name. Word will get out that you are helping the other wedding pros and they will help you, in turn.
Seek smaller shows that are featuring the venue. Arrive early. Walk around with your cards and meet the other vendors. Do your homework before you get there. Find out who will be attending and be prepared to have an elevator pitch for them, as well as the couples.
Create a photo based New Year’s postcard that features some of your favorite photos of you officiating from the past year. Leave a space on the back to write a personal message to the venue coordinator. Keep notes throughout the year so you can personalize these. “How is your granddaughter?” “I’ll never forget your amazing bouquet fixing skills!” etc.
Social media and digital marketing is a HUGE way to get the word out to very targeted audiences. When combined with good old fashioned hand shaking and note writing, your professional role in the wedding industry is sure to stand out!