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Maximizing Social Media to Find Your People

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer everything from entertainment to education, all conveniently accessible through pocket-sized devices that seemingly go everywhere with us. But between the memes and public discourse, it provides creative entrepreneurs with an opportunity to connect with like-minded business owners. 

Building a community of industry professionals will draw in more referral business, but beyond that, it connects you with the clients (and events) you love doing. When you surround yourself with creatives who share your core values, you’ll land more opportunities to collaborate on projects that fill you (and your portfolio) with meaning.

So if you’re not maximizing social media as a networking tool, keep reading—these tips will help you turn your average screen time into powerful relationships that benefit every part of your life.

Define your core values.

Online or offline, finding your people necessitates an understanding of how your business is perceived in the market and the values that drive you forward. Without clarity, you may end up building connections with others who don’t align with your brand principles. So before pulling up social media, look inward and define what matters to you.

Then, make sure your content and imagery match up. Your social media presence should feel like an extension of your brand values, which will naturally attract like-minded creatives who share your views, styles, and preferences. Just like an in-person networking event, you have to put your best foot forward on social media!

Don’t limit yourself to your region.

While it’s wise to develop a strong local network first, it’s also worth expanding your network beyond the market! Social media opens up the door to online connections with fellow creatives who share your values. If you intend to enter new markets in the future, a head start on (virtual) networking can make the transition smooth and seamless.

Plus, there’s no reason you can’t lean on your extended network to fill in the gaps when your local “friendors” aren’t available. When you’ve already done the work in building a relationship, it’s as simple as picking up the phone to see if you can fly out an online connection to step in for an event. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re engaging with feeds/profiles that you admire to build up that camaraderie. Don’t be afraid to like posts, comment your support, and return the favor for those that show love on your content as well.

Leverage an effective hashtag strategy.

We all use hashtags on social media, but most business owners aren’t using them to their full potential. Copy and pasting a bank of hashtags to every post might get some traction, but it does nothing for a proactive approach to networking. 

Instead, find the niche you love serving most. It could be #blackweddingplanners, #inclusivevendors, #elopementphotographers—think about the clients and events that excite you! Hashtags with fewer posts will increase your reach so you don’t have to fight through the noise of large hashtags like #weddings or #weddingplanner.

From there, start building in hashtags with your city or state to narrow it down to people in your market. Your fellow vendors look for specific hashtags just like your ideal clients!

Once you’ve landed on the right hashtags for your community, use them to find others who share your values. Don’t wait for them to come to you! Search your hashtags and start engaging with the accounts that show up. Remember: Consistency is key, so make it a habit that sticks!

Do your due diligence before reaching out.

Before diving into someone’s DMs, make sure you’ve researched their brand and confirmed that they share your values. What do they share on their social media feeds? What do their online reviews say? Do they use inclusive language on their website?

Doing your homework will prevent you from wasting time and energy reaching out to others that aren’t a good match. Be sure to dig deeper before making the call so you always know what you’re getting into!

Take your time.

Growing your social media engagement and building meaningful relationships are two processes that take time—so don’t rush into it! It can feel emotional and frustrating to ask yourself the hard questions about what your values mean to you and your clients. 

But by doing that work, you’ll have a better idea of how to talk to your audience. In that, you will also speak to other creatives who share your values and style. It takes time to learn how to articulate your brand messaging, so be patient and allow yourself the chance to make mistakes and adjust your strategy as you evolve.

Social media is always changing, and so are your business goals. So don’t be afraid to experiment with platforms, messaging, imagery, and hashtags to discover the best channel for reaching your people! 


Lead photo courtesy Chanda Daniels (cd_chandadaniels)

Chanda Daniels

Owner & Creative Director, Chanda Daniels Planning + Design

Recognized as one of the nation’s leading LGBTQ+ Wedding Experts, Chanda Daniels is the Owner & Creative Director of Chanda Daniels Planning + Design and founder of A Monique Affair, one of the leading event planning companies in the San Francisco Bay area.