I’ve been sitting on writing this post for a while – and I am not exactly sure why. I think mostly it’s because I have only had bits and pieces of it formulated in my head, and I didn’t really have one big thought to tie it together and I was waiting for that to happen.
Alas, it still really hasn’t, but I am tired of waiting and hope that maybe it will come together as my fingers dance across the keyboard. So here goes, a personal post (it’s been too long since I’ve done one of these) on competitors vs colleagues in the DC wedding industry.
I’ve heard a few vendors make the claim that the DC area is one of the most saturated for wedding vendors. Though I am not sure if it’s true (and really I have nothing to compare it against), there does seem to be a new vendor popping up every day – and that’s only within my limited view/circle that is nowhere near “all-encompassing”. For vendors that have been here for 5+ years, this can probably be frustrating – watching new vendors pop up continually, eating away at their business, cutting costs and “stealing” potential clients from their prospective client pool.
For newer vendors like me – I find it exciting. I love love love meeting new people, and personally, I am excited when a new vendors shoots me an email, or I find someone new on Twitter – to me, we are all bringing different perspective from our lives and experiences, and bringing that into the DC wedding scene.
Now, you might quickly dismiss my excitement with the fact that I am not an established wedding vendor – so of course I wouldn’t feel threatened by other, newer vendors – but I am not quite certain that it’s fair to discount me that way and here is why:
I believe that seeing your “competitors” as colleagues instead, can only help your business grow and I even have some proof!
Let’s first start with my new DC wedding coordination business – it’s brand new, and therefore just starting to grow, but instead of shunning myself from other wedding coordinators in the city, seeing them as my new competition, I’ve befriended them! I’ve asked for advice, shared stories, conversed about experiences with other vendors (and asked for more than a few recommendations) AND sent inquiries I’ve gotten their way, if the fit wasn’t right for me and I’ve been booked.
Yes, that is right – I’ve sent my “competitors” business. Why? Because I feel that the action is really only beneficial to me and it’s proven true because more than half of them have returned the favor, and sent business back my way too!
Even though we are all wedding blogs, in similar geographic areas, we find camaraderie is more beneficial to our sites than shutting each other out as competitors. Charm City Wed honorably displays badges of both of our sites on their side bar, deeming us “sponsors” instead of traffic stealers and I cannot tell you how many comments and link shares I have gotten from the ladies at Bayside Bride. In return, I read their site, and share their content with my readers too (and when I finally get my new blog up and running – I’ll be proudly showcasing their blog badges as well!).
Because let’s face it, no wedding planning couple out there only reads one blog any way – so why not help send traffic to each others’ sites, instead of casting each other out? And in all honesty, my blog is for my readers, so if Charm City Wed or Bayside Bride has something that will benefit my readers – I am going to share it with them, regardless of who’s blog it’s on.
So now it’s time for you all to sound off: am I crazy? Am I a terrible business owner for sending ‘business’ to my ‘competitors’? Or is there really a place in this industry for us ALL (vendors and bloggers alike) to be colleagues?