In an industry that feels oversaturated to its core, it’s vital for savvy event professionals to stay top of mind in order to expand one’s network, earn more business, and grow a business to new heights. However, this can be a challenging endeavor when your weekly schedule is packed with client meetings, business operations, and busy 16-hour event days.
Still, your reputation is everything and who you know is exceedingly important for the future success of your business. If you’re wondering how you can be heard above the noise, read on to see what the experts have to say about staying top of mind with your industry peers.
Know your targets
You’d be fighting a losing battle if you spend your efforts trying to be present for everybody everywhere, so you need to consider the strategy behind your approach. There are only so many hours in a week and you need to use them smartly, focusing on those that offer a mutually beneficial relationship.
“With relationship-building and staying top of mind, it’s important to think of the kind of client you want to attract more consistently,” says Michelle Loretta of Sage Wedding Pros. “What budget do they have, and what venues and vendors do they work with? I like the idea of making a list of these 10-20 ‘power partners’ and working to nurture those key relationships. Staying top of mind with these partners is about making time to visit with them, sending a little online shout-out highlighting your recent achievement, taking them to lunch. Top of mind is about making a plan for visibility with your strongest relationships.”
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Find ways to collaborate
Working together is a large part of networking and staying top of mind, but it goes far beyond the event day itself. There are countless opportunities for collaboration if you know where to look, so get creative and pull in your partners to work and grow together.
Shannon Tarrant of WeddingVenueMap.com shares: “Everyone is busy in the engagement season. Busy usually equals limited time for extra social media and blogging. Offer to create some content for your referral partners with tips and trends for them to share on their social networks. This is great exposure for your company as well as positioning your business as a trusted brand.”
“Real wedding features can be considered a form of networking,” adds Tarrant. “When your company submits and they get published, you’ve helped every vendor on the team be showcased and, oftentimes, a link back to their website. Getting published is a wonderful way to align yourself with other vendors and build a stronger referral relationship!”
Spread the love
Giving your time, attention, and even physical gifts can go a long way in staying top of mind, but don’t think that it needs to be expensive or take a lot of time. A handwritten thank you card, a complimentary coffee, or a gift of your specialty can be a quick and easy way to make an impression with minimal resources.
“We like to remain always present with our preferred vendors,” explains Oleta Collins of Flourishing Art Design Studio. “We try to make sure that our name is always out there and we deliver fresh flowers to event creatives on a weekly basis. It gives our designers a place to showcase their work and it is a constant reminder to the event creatives that we are ready to work together. We always enjoy taking vendors out to lunch and even just connecting with them through a phone call to say hi.”
Take it online
Social media is the language of today and, if you’re not engaging with creative partners on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, you’re greatly missing out. Not only does it show that you’re thinking of them, but it also serves as a tool for passive referrals for your followers (and theirs).
“Make sure to tag or link vendors in all social media photos and give public shoutouts when someone goes above and beyond, or even just because,” encourages Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin. “Couples love hiring wedding professionals who have experience together and have proven that they work well together! Make it easy on them and create relationships with pros that you enjoy and who attract the types of couples you want to work with.”
When it comes down to it, the key to staying top of mind is to engage, engage, engage. You need to make sure people know who you are and what you have to offer — and you need to do so consistently. Get involved in local groups, offer your help to others, and stay connected to the people that can provide support. Sometimes, all it takes is a quick text or a social media update to create a new opportunity.