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Marketing Ideas for Wedding Professionals...From a Wedding Professional!!!

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3 Partners Every Wedding Business Needs

I am a big fan of John Jantsch with Duct Tape Marketing.  I have read (and re-read) several of his books now because I really like the way he works to turn marketing from a lot of fun tactical ideas into a system that works to boost business and consistently bring prospects.

I was reading his blog and came across a post entitled “The 3 Kinds of Partners Every Business Needs” and thought…”this is a perfect way to think about and categorize the partnerships that naturally form in the wedding industry”

In our industry, although there may seemingly be several businesses that are “one stop shops” no one truly does it all.  When you think of it, look at all the potential vendors that go into one wedding:

Venues (ceremony and reception)
Flowers
Decor
Catering
Photography
Dresses (Wedding, Bridesmaids, Flower Girls, Moms, etc.)
Hotel Accommodations
Video
Tuxedos
Stationery
Entertainment (DJ’s, Bands, Classical Musicians, etc.)
Rentals
Planners and Coordinators
Marriage Counseling

Tailors

Now I’ve heard of DJ’s who cater and also take pictures but for the most part, there are a lot of people who work together to create a successful wedding.  Here’s my take on John’s partner categories as to how they relate in the wedding world.
Strategic Partners
John says that these partners provide something a service that is crucial to your ability to provide your service or that enhances what you do.  These partners are your suppliers.  Some of mine include my food vendors, the rental companies I use for my linens, plates, glassware, etc., the florists I use when I include flowers in my packages, etc.  For a photographer, this could be the company that creates the prints, albums, canvases, etc.
How selective are you of these strategic partners who provide critical components to your success?
Content Partners
In many instances, we have a lot of opportunities to create partnerships with people that will help us create and spread our content.  These partners could be the photographers who send you photos of your work from last week’s wedding or the magazines and blogs who share your real weddings.  It could be a group of vendors who work together to create a photo shoot full of content to be shared with each other’s audiences.  It could be the interview with a wedding planner placed on a caterer’s blog or the guest post from a DJ featured on a planner’s blog.  The purpose of these partnerships is to create ideas, photos, stories, tips, checklists, etc. (CONTENT) that mutually benefits the creators and creates value for prospects as they consume it.
Marketing Partners
This type of partnership can be very effective for wedding vendors.  I always ask my bride’s who their vendors are and I always offer suggestions for the categories they haven’t yet filled.  I belong to several associations where the expectation is that you refer each other.  One group in particular meets every month and puts together a bag of marketing materials to share with our brides.  This can also be the venue who hands out catering or floral packages tailored to their space or the photographer who has a favorite videographer.  This also includes links from websites and mentions in social media.  The idea here is to create partnerships with people who are equally willing to participate – it has to go both ways for it to work.
I write a lot about being deliberate in the marketing choices you make…choosing great partners is one of those areas where you can’t just leave it up to chance.  What successes have you had with choosing and working with these types of partners?
-Featured image by Flazingo photos