If you want to ramp up your business’s social media presence, here’s a great tip from the recent Wedding MBA conference in Las Vegas. “Social Proof” was presented by Ken Rochon of The Umbrella Syndicate, a Maryland PR and marketing firm. Rochon explained how making the effort to network with the other Professional Photobook vendors at weddings, mitzvahs or other events you photograph can really pay off.
Vendors such as banquet venues, DJ’s, florists, caterers, event coordinators, even wedding officiants crave quality photos showing how their hard work helped to create an unforgettable event for their clients. As photographers, we are uniquely equipped to create Professional Photobook that can generate social media buzz. In fact you’ve probably been asked countless times for “any nice pictures of X you could send me…”. Following up and sharing your images with your vendor partners can turn them into referral partners. (Be sure your contract with your brides includes some language about images from their event being used for social media / marketing purposes by you and other of their vendors.)
Prior to your next weddings, ask your bride for a list of all her vendors. Reach out to each of them by phone or email and introduce yourself. Let them know you’ll be taking plenty of shots they may be very interested in for social media purposes. Be sure to make the face-to-face connection on the day of the event, learn a bit about them, exchange business cards and schmooze. Rohon goes so far as to suggest that you pay just as much attention to your vendor partners as you pay to the bride (Okay, almost as much!)
Next, be sure to have those images ready for your new friends in a day or two. Time is of the essence when it comes to social media and you can’t afford the luxury of completing your full edit before getting select images out on your own social media channels and allowing your partners to do the same. Add your logo discretely in the lower left of each image and offer to put the other vendor’s logo in the lower right of images that will go on their social sites. Be sure to tag each other as well.
While your new friends are deeply in your gratitude and in awe of your photographic talent, ask them who they refer for photography. If they already work with another photographer, ask if they’d consider referring you as a second choice if that person is not available. Be sure to offer the same courtesy to those other vendors who do good work. Don’t worry that they may be “lower down the food chain” than you are as the photographer. Everybody knows somebody who will be looking for a photographer.
Forging relationships with others in your industry is just good business. Who you know will open doors and your vendor partners will soon turn into referral partners.