Connecting with Wedding Vendors as a New Florist
Starting a new venture can be both a welcome excitement and a daunting experience—especially when you’re moving from one career to an entirely new one! As a new floral designer, there are many things to consider as you start your business, and as with most other things in life, it’s best to take each of these one at a time.
One of the biggest things to consider is marketing your business and how to get your name out there! (For more details on this subject, check out this blog.) When you’re a new floral pro, it can be challenging to jump into marketing via social media and publishing, but something simple you can do to introduce yourself to the wedding industry is to network with other vendors in your community. Vendors can include event venues, photographers, planners, caterers, DJs, and even other florists (visit this blog to read more about how to connect with other florists).
Again, this may seem like a daunting task, but hopefully these few tips will help make this step a bit easier to accomplish.
There are a few essential items you’ll need before you begin reaching out to other vendors in your community:
A name for your business
A short description of your business
A website (at the very least, a Facebook page and/or Instagram profile)
Your contact information (email address and phone number)
Once you have each of these items, you’re ready to proceed!
Research and Make a List
People get married in all sorts of locations—from backyards and churches to event venues and everything in between. Regardless of where you live, you’re bound to be located in or near a few locations that host weddings. Therefore, you should be able to find other wedding venues in your area easily. Before you begin networking with others, conduct some research to discover what types of weddings take place near you. A simple Google search can usually accomplish this. As you peruse, take note of vendors that stand out to you. Maybe their website is breathtaking, perhaps the description of their business resonates in your heart, or maybe you just really like their name! Whatever the reason, be sure you write down who they are, what their business is, and how you can get in touch with them.
As a floral wedding designer, these are the key businesses to search for:
Event venues (this can include barns, public parks, churches, etc.)
Set a Goal
As with any business venture, having a plan is vital in successful execution! Create a goal for yourself to contact X number of vendors by X date. (This can even be a recurring goal.) Also, it’s important to keep in mind that reaching out to other vendors—even if it is via email—is essentially a cold call. That said, there will probably be a percentage of people who never reply to your inquiry. It can be easy to take a “no response” as a rejection, but generally, it’s nothing personal! Don’t allow this to affect your confidence in this venture.
Once you’ve compiled your list and set a goal, you’re ready to make contact! Using the contact information you’ve gathered, begin reaching out to the wedding community. Usually, an email works best, but if you’d rather make a phone call, go for it! (Just make sure you have your script lined up, so you aren’t stumbling over your words.) In your initial inquiry, you’ll want to include the following information:
Your name, your business, and your contact information.
A short blurb about your business: Be sure to add something that sets you apart from the other florists in the area. What is your niche? What is your passion? How do you fit the aesthetic of this particular venue/photographer?
A compliment about their business: Be as specific as possible here! You don’t want them to feel like they are a part of a mass email. Make it personal.
An invitation to connect: This could be a coffee rendezvous, a venue visit, a lunch, etc. It also doesn’t hurt to include a few dates/times that you’re available.
Request to be one of their preferred vendors: You may not feel comfortable asking this right away, but offering to do the same in return is a great way to bridge the gap.
Photos of your work: Sometimes it can be appropriate to attach a few to your email, but typically a website/Instagram link is a better route.
Many people greatly underestimate the power of a follow-up. Give your initial inquiry about a week in waiting for a response, but if you haven’t heard back by then, don’t be shy! Send another email (or make another phone call). Keep this one a bit shorter, and be sure to state that you’re following up from a previous email and would love to connect. If after another week you still haven’t received a response, mark that vendor off your list and move on. Chances are, you’ll end up working together at some point in the future either way!
In most places, the wedding industry can come across as being incredibly competitive. The truth is, we all need one another! We need the venues for lovely backdrops, we need the photographers to capture the beauty of the wedding day, we need the wedding planners to tell everyone what to do and when, and we even need the other florists to inspire and spur us on. If you choose to put yourself out there, you’ll be surprised by the friends you’ll make and the community you’ll build!