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Building Vendor Relationships to Drive Your Business - PPA Today

Building Vendor Relationships to Drive Your Business

white_lara_blog.jpgYou know what networking is, right? Of course you do. But the majority of people don't quite understand how it works, says Lara White, founder of PhotoMint, an online resource for photography business owners. "Networking is merely the way to meet potential partners," she explains. "In order to get results, you need to follow up."

Lara's going to share how to get those results in her upcoming PPA webinar, "Book More Weddings: Building Vendor Relationships to Drive Your Business" (July 17, 2:00pm Eastern). Luckily for us, she's sharing a few tips right now!

  • Make the call. "Once I actually began taking action--following up with people I met--things started building slowly," says Lara about her experience in running a successful photography business (Geoff White Photography) with her husband. "Over time, I began to develop relationships with vendors that led to marketing partnerships and many referrals for my business."
  • Build referral relationships all over town (with wedding vendors, for example). Say the bride asks her florist for photographer referrals and is provided a list that includes your name. Next, she asks her venue for recommendations and is shown your sample album as the facility coordinator says you work there frequently and clients love you. Finally, she asks her makeup artist if she has heard of your studio, and she gushes about how awesome you are.  The referrals build on each other, making you look better than ever to the prospect.
  • Work on several relationships at once. Some of your relationships will flourish right away while others may take months or years to build.
  • Be patient & maintain contact. Lara was afraid that her very first networking event for the wedding industry was a total waste: "I'd only met one person, spent three hours out of the office and paid for the luncheon. But that single meeting led to one of the big breaks in my career." She built a business relationship with that contact, and when he booked a celebrity wedding, he referred Lara and her husband. "That particular wedding got so much press and industry recognition, it was a turning point in our career," she adds.  Plus, the couple purchased two multiple-volume album sets and four parent albums!
  • Don't dismiss new vendors. It's often easier to connect with those who are new to the events industry (especially if you're just getting started in photography yourself!) because they will likely have more time available to meet new people, will need images for marketing, and will be eager to get their businesses off the ground as well.

Done right, networking can give you a flood of referrals and bookings. Want to get those kinds of results? Start with Lara's webinar on July 17!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on July 11, 2012 3:18 PM.

Destination Wedding Photographers Share Tips was the previous entry in this blog.

Equipment Insurance Just For You is the next entry in this blog.

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