8 Steps to Landing A Spot On Your Favorite Venue Or Planner's Recommended Vendor List
Reaching out to a venue manager or planner to ask them for a spot on a recommended vendor list can be super uncomfy. But if you follow these eight steps, you can do it like a pro!
(Psst…hey clients, don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for info just for you!)
Last week we talked about what recommended vendor lists are and why they matter. This week, let’s get to the goods—let’s talk about the HOW.
In case you missed it, recommended vendor lists are critical marketing tools for photographers because:
Busy couples use them as booking shortcuts.
They help you stand out in your local (likely oversaturated) market.
They bring you tons of free marketing.
They enable you to collect pre-qualified leads…instead of whatever it is The Knot is sending you these days.
They give you an in to become super familiar with a venue or planner, making you the go-to photographer for them!
So, now that you’ve learned about all the amazingness of these lists, how can you make sure you snag a spot on them?
Every venue manager and planner is different with a unique set of preferences; what works like a dream for one might do the opposite for another. But here are eight steps that will give you the best shot at getting your name on all your favorite recommended vendor lists…and avoiding the ones that could just bring you misery. Combine these eight tips with the tried-and-true email template coming your way next week, and you’ll be off to a ‘23 season full of recommended vendor list bookings!
Let’s dig in!
1. Get clear on who YOU want to serve.
When you’re working to fill your booking calendar and stressing over a nonexistent marketing budget, this might be hard to believe…but not every recommended vendor list is a match for you! Not every planner or venue is partnering with clients you’ll love. And the time to figure that out isn’t after you’ve landed a spot on the list and had to turn people away. Or worse, filled your calendar with clients you, um, aren’t a fan of.
But before you can even start searching for lists that serve your ideal clients, have you even gotten clear on who your ideal clients are?
A critical first step we take with the clients we write for is to define their ideal clients. And not just lame, unhelpful qualities like “they are pretty and think dogs are cute.” Nah. We get more particular. What are their hopes and stressors? What is their style and vision for the day? What do they value most? Things like this will help you connect more deeply with a client and ensure you spend more time serving clients you love!
So, before you even begin trying to get on vendor lists, write down: