Let me tell ya 'bout our best...competitors
So, let me tell ya ‘bout our best competitors. Yep, you heard that right, our competitors. These women are other wedding stationers that are out there creating amazing products and services for their clients, and the thing is, we actually love them for it.
We spent the last week in Raleigh, North Carolina with 15 of the most talented stationers that we know. We gathered together under the umbrella of the Wedding Stationery Collective to learn from and grow with one another in the spirit of lifting each other up in an industry that can often times be closely guarded. These women brought insight and inspiration and have set our hearts on fire even more for this amazing business that we are growing. In a three day business intensive, we learned new marketing approaches, ways to pinpoint our ideal client (we’ll tell you more about this in a future blog), tactics to increase our profits, helpful additions for our contracts and other great legal advice, and best practices for our workflow, social media and more. In addition to all of these great topics that we covered in our conference sessions, we also learned amazing things from our new friends in “off-the-record” conversations.
So we peaked your interest with the “off-the-record” part, huh? Well we’ll let you in on a few of those. Like a friend that told us about her mail-merge saga of 2017 that ended badly for envelope addressing – yes, that taught us about a great new idea for proofing for our clients. Or the over-the-top gorgeous luxury invitations that a friendor created and some great new resources (that are actually in our backyard!) that will be great for future clients. These candid, heartfelt conversations over our favorite Pike Place roast or a glass of red wine were invaluable. These friendships are invaluable, so we wanted to give you our top three tips for working with other friendors that might serve in your same area of business:
- Share: It’s okay to share your resources, tips, ideas and best practices. This doesn’t mean that you have to give away every trade secret that you own. We understand that you’ve worked hard to learn the things that you have in your area of business, and maybe some of those tips and tricks you learned the hard way, but it’s okay to provide insight and even share stories of strength and failure to help others learn for the future. Some of the biggest information that we learned from our stationery friends came through casual conversations about major goofs or stumbles along the way that helped them tweak the way they operate their business – and that type of information is invaluable!
- Make Friends: Ya’ll, it is beyond easy to stay in your corner and do your thing. We totally get that! Our phrase for 2017 is “Stay in your lane,” but that doesn’t mean “stay behind your computer.” Finding these friends in the wedding stationery industry is the single best thing we’ve done for our business. In addition to that, leading our Rising Tide Society chapter in our town has brought us closer to some of the best talent right in our own backyard. Having others in the creative industry, and specifically the wedding industry, that understand the ebbs and flows is such a blessing for growing and nurturing our business.
- Do Unto Others: It’s the golden rule. Treat others the way that you would want to be treated. There are times when small business gets hard and things get personal. We truly know how that feels. But treat others within the industry the way that you would want to be treated. It’s important, and we’ve seen some of the top professionals in our industry treat us as if we are on an equal playing field, and that means so much, and we intend to always pass that on.
So regardless that on paper these women do exactly what we do, we consider them some of the most amazing friends. They lift us up, they point us in the right direction, they share similar stories and tales of triumph and dismay and they serve their people to the best of their ability in the same ways we always plan to do. So take that leap and make those friends – no matter what industry you’re in – because those are “your people” that will be your greatest business asset yet!