I just came back from the most amazing trip to Santa Barbara to visit my friend and client Lindsey of Magnolia Event Design. I met so many awesome business owners while I was there and it made me realize how glad I am that over the course of the last 12+ years of working in the wedding industry that:
I Never Joined a Clique
I have never been that girl ... the kind who is popular, the type who joins a clique ... when I was in high school I was almost an outcast ... the popular kids wanted nothing to do with me ... and while it was utterly horrible back then I am thankful for those short years of being a loner ... because it makes me even more grateful now for relationships ... all types ... here is how I decide if I want to collaborate and work with you: are you nice? honest? fun person? hard worker? Basically my criteria is:
do we jive??
My clients and industry friends are all ages, at all levels in their business, of all walks of life ... are male, are female, are uber successful and still trying to 'get there' ... they have all types of business plans and all different 'wedding styles' they specialize in ...
isn't that what makes life interesting??
I see these groups of wedding pros out there who ALWAYS work together ... who never stray outside of their group ... who make it very clear that: this is our group and we don't want outsiders coming in ... I don't get it. Isn't going outside of your comfort zone how you grow? Isn't it how we all uncover those hidden gems we may not have known about before?
If you want to grow your business here is my advice: GO OUTSIDE OF YOUR CLIQUE ... go outside of your comfort zone of peeps ... make it a goal to reach out to one new wedding pro in your area each week ... this is what I do for my clients: I introduce them and "force" them to work with someone they've never worked with before. And guess what: every single one of them thanks me for doing that ... and in most cases a new form of referrals opens up and their business DOES GROW.
I get it: you like people ... you have your 'let's have coffee' people ... and I'm not saying don't do that! But in business when you are constantly only focusing on a specific group of people or just 1 or 2 wedding blogs across your social media it boxes you in:
it gives everyone else out there the feeling that approaching you wouldn't be acceptable
Consider this: what happens if your 'go to' people change their life plans and close their business down ... what happens if a few of them move away to a different location? If you haven't grown your network because you're comfy with your clique then you may find yourself in a very lonely place one day ... just sayin'