I have had other photographers ask me how I have networked and gotten my name out “there.”
When I started my hair business, I just kind of thought one day, “Where would I go if I was a bride finding a stylist for my wedding day? WHO would I ask?” I made lists of people I thought would be great contacts, and went to meet them. Relationships with other vendors are so important. This has to be done the right way… I don’t believe in meeting people just to meet them for your own benefit…..find people you get along with, like and admire them, would have them over for coffee. This is an honest way of making “friends.” I have never believed in shmoozing just to try to be popular. If there is one thing I can’t stand is a fake person! Caring about other people and being authentic is key. I can personally spot someone, miles away, who’s not being themselves. It’s a waste of energy. Don’t go there…it’s not attractive and defeats the purpose of life.
Okay, off the soapbox. My point is to be the best you can be, connect with other people in the business who love what they do, care about people and do a great job!
When I started my photography business, I was still doing hair, so I had made many connections along the way….vendors, people I had worked with before, friends of friends. I had tried doing a few “ads” online for wedding photography, but that didn’t work as well as just making friends! Word of mouth. It works better than anything.
The other thing I do alot is help out of town (and even in-town) brides find other vendors. Because I’ve connected with people I love working with, I have a great list of referrals. I offer this help alot, because I know it’s tough to plan from out of town, AND there are tons of people in Charleston and some people don’t know where to start! It’s a kind thing to do just because, even though you are super busy and could be doing other things. Remember everything doesn’t have to be for profit or to benefit YOU at the moment. This is a super personal business and being caring goes a long way. It will help someone and make you feel good that you helped!
When you are shooting a wedding, get there early. Chat with the people setting up, meet the band, get cards and give yours. If you like them and they like you, it just works. 😀
So remember this isn’t just about making great photos…..it’s about getting to know people, helping, caring, going above and beyond. That is your best advertisement. Ever.