Photo by: gré-Kelly Segré
One of the biggest assets to your boudoir photography business is networking with other local businesses. But there are some questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you are networking properly. One thing you must consider is if you are working with more than one of the same type of business. It could be two different Yoga studios, two or three different lingerie stores or a woman’s gym and a coed gym. How do you keep from stepping on anyone’s toes?
First you must look at it from the perspective of the business you are networking with, are you potentially taking clients away from their store and sending them to the competition? This is why some networking groups will only allow one of each type of business, but honestly, in today’s economy everyone needs to network with everybody they can just to stay afloat! The best bet is to always keep an open line of communication going and be sure not to hurt anyone’s feelings and consider your promotions with the other businesses in mind. Small business owners do get emotional about their company, photographer’s of all people should know this! Make sure you never leave anyone out, nobody wants to feel left out or like a tag-along. Treat everyone equally and this alone can help keep any problems away.
If you want someone to send business you way you must also be sending business their way. Networking is a two-way street! This is where things can get sticky for you too, if one business owner feels that you are sending too much business to their competition then you may have to consider cutting ties with one of them. The best people to network with are the ones who are the easiest to deal with and the ones who want to refer you. If someone feels they have to refer you out of obligation this can reflect poorly on your business. You want someone who is excited about your photography sending people to you because when they get to you they are already pumped up and super excited about you being their photographer!
Treat the people you network with like clients, keep them happy, pay attention to them and make sure their needs are met. On the other hand if you are doing all of this for them, you should be sure that they are doing this for you too. This makes for a happy, positive working relationship.
Positive business relationships lead to positive client relationships. Hopefully everyone can end up winning!