Episode 129 - Building a Positive Reputation Through Networking with Rebecca Grant
Rebecca Grant shares how she built an incredibly successful and well-respected wedding planning business, in large part due to networking.
Many of us rely on word of mouth to advertise our paper flower businesses. Clients are going to trust a friend’s or event planner’s advice over a random ad any day.
But where do you start? How do you connect with people who can recommend your work?
In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we talked with Rebecca Grant of New Creations Weddings. She is a very recognized and respected wedding planner in the Seattle area, but that wasn’t always the case. Like all of us, Rebecca had to start her business from scratch.
She shared fantastic advice for anyone building a creative business. Listen now to learn how to cultivate a positive reputation as you navigate difficult decisions, adverse situations, and that often feared yet crucial piece, networking.
Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
► Rebecca’s journey to becoming a well-respected wedding planner.
► How to evaluate if you should take that next big leap with your business.
► What to think about when investing money in your business.
► How to network successfully, even if you’re an introvert!
► Why and how Rebecca is partially pivoting to wedding venue ownership.
If you can’t listen right away, here is a peek at our conversation. Rebecca shared four specific reasons to evaluate when thinking about quitting your day job and jumping fully into your creative business. The last one was, as Rebecca said, “Network, network, network, network, network, network.”
A great way to build up your paper flower business is to network with other people in the wedding industry. Here are three things you can do to better connect with other professionals at networking events:
Network with Friends
Start with who you know! On the podcast, Quynh recommended bringing a friend along to networking events. If you’re new to these types of events, or you’re on the introverted side, a friend can help you feel less awkward and alone.
It’s also much easier to gush about your friend’s accomplishments, and vice versa. Chat to your friends in the industry to see who would be willing to go with you. Make sure that you know all about their work and they know about yours.
“It’s great to have friends that push you and are constantly driven themselves. It’s just really fun to be a part of their energy and push you to the next level, too.” -Rebecca Grant
Take Networking Notes
As Rebecca shared on the episode, the wedding networking events that she attends frequently draw in well over fifty people. Even if you only meet half of them, that’s still a lot of new faces and details to remember.
The solution? Take notes! Add their contact info to your phone, and attach a photo of their business card and a quick note of who introduced you and what you talked about. Also include a photo of them so you don’t forget what they look like. You can look for a headshot on their social media or website, or you can ask to take a selfie—and don’t feel bad about that request! Rebecca told us that she loves promoting these networking events on social media, because it encourages other people to join in later. She would gladly take a photo with a small group and that gets tagged at the event on Instagram.
When individual businesses are built up, the entire industry benefits. Those with more experience in the wedding industry or other creative fields know this, and they will more than likely be very happy to chat and take a photo with you.
If you meet somebody and they make an impression on you, message them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You want to strengthen the connection you made so that later on you can reconnect more easily.
Your message can be as simple as this: “Hello! It was great meeting you at [the event]. I enjoyed connecting with you about [subject]. I’d love to chat more sometime and work together in the future. Hope you’re doing well!”
Rebecca receives many emails from various businesses wanting to work with her. As she said in the episode, she’s not going to recommend a business she doesn’t know to her clients. But by following these simple suggestions, you can network with people you want to work with.
“If you want to work with me, meet me! Get to know me.” -Rebecca Grant
Learn even more about networking and taking that next leap with your business by listening to the episode now.
Also, here's the PDF format for THE WHY WORKSHEET that you can download for free.
Rebecca Grant is a tenured wedding planner in the Seattle market, planning weddings now for almost two decades. She is currently serving as President on the WIPA Seattle board, has been previous Chapter Director for Wedding Network USA, a featured contributor on King 5’s New Day NW, along with countless other features through Seattle Times, Lynnwood Times, Event Pros, and so many more. She was also one of four wedding industry pros that worked with the Governor’s office through the 2020 pandemic to fight for the safe reopening of weddings and events with WSWEA.
She and her husband are the owners of Twin Willow Gardens, a wedding and event venue based out of Snohomish, WA. When she’s not working, she enjoys time with family and friends, plus spending time with her two golden retrievers, Barley and Ginger.
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