How to reach & effectively collaBoRate with like minded local vendors
We have received some questions recently about reaching new potential clients and how to get exposure in your area. We employ a simple strategy that consistently works and is straightforward.
We will answer four main questions:
- What is the marketing strategy?
- Why try this strategy?
- Who to reach out to employ the technique?
- How to contact the target audience?
We have found this strategy very effective to be willing to give a fraction of your time for the benefits that WILL come your way using this marketing technique! This will allow you to receive exposure to clients in your area and develop relationships with vendors and businesses.
WHat is the Marketing Strategy?
We frequently reach out to other individuals, businesses, and organizations in our community to donate our time at their next event. We get in contact, find out the next event date, and do a photo booth set up like we would any other paid event.
The donated event does not usually cost more than our time or the cost of having our team work it. This is one of the cheapest ways we market, outside of leveraging social media.
Why Market this Way
There are numerous reasons why donating services to specific individuals and businesses if effective. Some reasons are:
- As we said before, it’s cheap!
- It is efficient.
- It is sustainable and scalable.
- You build genuine connections.
- You meet other business owners in your area, who will vouch for you.
- You will meet potential clients at each event
- You control where and how your brand gains exposure.
- People are very grateful!
Those are some of the most obvious reasons we have encountered, but there are more! Many business owners dislike donating services, but there is a critical issue with that outlook. Building a business is about developing connections and a reputable brand, and this marketing strategy does exactly that!
Who to contact?
This is the easy part! Start brainstorming all venues, other wedding vendors, potential organizations, nonprofits and ideal clients you have in your area. I have found the easiest way for me to brainstorm my ideas is within a Google Doc that is shared with Kait and Matt so they easily can go in, add ideas, information, or people & places I might not have thought of myself!
Typically we try to think of one main topic or idea and then research based off that! For example, Kait & Matt gave me the idea to reach out to all the local nonprofit, animal shelters in our area. From there I do a simple google search, “animal shelters near me” (fill in the blank for your idea) which will give you local results. It is important to reach out to local businesses so that when it comes to donating your time, you aren’t traveling far, and you are building connections within your community.
When it comes to what to look for in potential reach outs, don’t just write down an email or phone number because they are 10 min down the road.
- Do they have a social media?
- Is the content on their social media up to date?
- Do they have a website?
- Is the website easily navigated?
- Do they hold events for the community?
Things like this are SUPER important to know before you ever reach out so you are not wasting your time. For example in our reach out to animal shelters, I had many options to choose from. BUT within those options I had the plain animal shelter everyone knows and avoids because it’s a bit of a sad place, but I ALSO had the option of a more “high end” shelter who really takes time to do community events and invests in the community around them. BOOM, that’s who we want to work with!
We have done this for many ideas around us including local non-profits, children’s organizations, animal shelters, corporate events & many more! The options are really endless, so start brainstorming & researching!
How To reach out?
Email or Phone Call?
First off, email, email, EMAIL! Phone calls can be effective, but I would really recommend skipping the phone call and heading straight to emailing whoever it is you want to work with. Phone calls are beneficial but really don’t work well for this process.
More than likely you need to be in contact with the head of event planning or the owner of said business. If you call, this isn’t the person who answers the phone, and in turn becomes a road block.
Sending a well thought out email including all your info will reach the right person far more quickly! You typically can always find staff and emails within their website!
When to Send Emails
There really is no “perfect” time to reach out, but you can be strategic when it comes to finally sending the email.
Personally, I have found the best outcomes happen when I send an email in the beginning of the week. (Mondays especially, also Tuesdays!) The earlier in the week you get in contact the longer you have to chat and plan over the course of the week, vs. sending an inquire on a Thursday or Friday.
The later you send the email the lower in their inbox it will be. If you send an email on Friday at 4pm, I can almost promise you they may never see this email or just look right past it and if they do get back to you it more than likely won’t be till days later.
Being on top of your emails and reaching out quickly has been very beneficial for us and for those clients we have reached out to!
what your email should look like
Below is an example email of what your reach out should look like! Short, simple & concise, but includes vital information.
The more information you cover in the original email the less questions they have to ask which I find to be better for everyone! Make sure to include who the sender is, it is far easier to know who to address when it comes to communication.
Feel free to literally copy and paste this email into your drafts and take away or add what you need to make this email best fit you! A few important topics I find to always include are listed below:
- Who is writing the email? Address yourself!
- Why are you reaching out?
- What do you have to offer?
- How does this benefit them?
- Are you donating your time or are you offering a highly discounted service? (We personally donate our time and service when it comes to reaching out, it just seems a bit more kind in this realm!)
- Do you have a specific time frame you can work with them?
- What are your requirements for doing the event (electricity, protection from elements, enough set up time, etc.)?
Hi there *insert their name if you know it*!
My name is (insert your name here) with (insert business name) reaching out for an opportunity to possibly work together!
We are a photo booth rental company located in (your city or area, include if you travel). We typically are found working within the wedding or party event scene, but we love doing any and all events. We currently have 3 photo booths we run that take amazing quality photos that also have the ability to digitally download images via airdrop and print photo strips as well. (In this area write a short snippet about your business. What events do you typically work? They might recognize you but it’s always nice to see some info on who is trying to contact you!)
I am reaching out on behalf of (insert business name) to see if you have any events occurring soon. We would love to work with you on getting the photo booth at your event, such as (write an example of what the booth could be used for, for the animal shelter I wrote “such as families being able to take photos in the booth with a sweet pup or kitten”).
We try to work with (write who do you want to work with, we personally try to work with local nonprofits) as much as possible and would love to offer a (insert time offer) rental package including (what are you including and how much are you offering it for?). These typically run around (insert your typical cost of a rental like this) but we would like to give you the opportunity to utilize the booth for (free or price) in the case of an upcoming event.
If you would like to see any of the events we have worked in the past or see exactly what the booth set up looks like, our website is (include a link to your website) and our Instagram can be found (it doesn’t have to be Instagram but include social media so they can see your work).
Thank you so much and we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
(insert your name)
(your position, owner, coordinator, etc.)
As you can see, this is one of our preferred marketing strategies, and very effective too! Please ask any questions surrounding this topic and we will update this post as we go along!