Today’s guest post comes from Katie Easley. I’ve invited her to share her thoughts on competing in a quickly changing environment. Katie is a top sales consultant in the wedding industry, specializing in prospecting and client experience. She is also the owner of Kate Ryan Design, a luxury floral and event design studio based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It should come as no surprise that today’s wedding industry has become vastly oversaturated and the level of competition can challenge even the most talented professionals. Social media and search engine algorithms are always changing (and not in our favor), so we are constantly looking for modern ways to stay ahead of the game.

What if I told you that your company’s longevity in the market wasn’t solely based on your online presence? What if I told you that it goes far beyond the hashtags you use or how frequently you share a new blog post? What would you do with that knowledge?

Securing your spot in the industry isn’t effortless, but it requires more than just online marketing strategies. You need to be a force within your market. You need clients, vendor partners, and your greater network to recognize and appreciate the value of your work. The harsh truth is that your Instagram follower count means nothing if you aren’t getting referrals.

Let’s shed some light on what will set your business apart for years to come and how you can present yourself as an asset within your community.

Embrace your brand

Consistency is key for business success, and a lot of that relies on your brand. This includes the tangible aspects, like your logo, color scheme, and typography, but it also includes the harder-to-grasp intangibles. Think about your core values and philosophies that form the foundation of your business. What brought you to where you are today? What drives you each day? These are the values you need to adhere to in order to stick to your brand.

Forget fear

In some cases, your brand also plays out in your pricing structure and sales techniques. If you want to corner the luxury market, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you questioned your pricing and consistently undersold your services to make a sale. Recognize the type of client that you want to work with and appeal to them; someone who books elsewhere for any reason simply wasn’t a fit. Don’t be afraid to present your business as authentically ‘you’ — the right people will stick around.

Nurture your network

When it comes to growing and finding your longevity in the industry, your network connections are invaluable for continued business. Look beyond one-time networking events to focus on further developing the relationships you already have. One great way to do this is simply to be present and available at your events. The idea of being an “asset” is just that — you must extend yourself to help others and become a positive addition to the event team.

Finished up early? Go find the caterer or the planner and see how you can lend a hand. See someone struggling to move something? Hustle over and give them a boost. The more people look at you and think “I love working with this person,” the greater chances you’ll earn referrals from them down the line. People don’t refer those who they’ve had a bad experience with, but they also won’t refer those who swoop in and out of an event without a second thought. You can’t get credit if you’re not there, reaching for your full capabilities.

Now more than ever, it’s essential to secure your place in the industry as market demands grow, technological innovations improve, and more businesses are vying for attention. You may not need to make any pivotal changes to your company, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always be looking for ways to enhance and elevate your brand for years to come.