How to Pitch Collaborative Projects
Collaboration. It’s my big buzzword, and a huge part of the wedding industry the world over. When teams of talented vendors come together, sharing their time, expertise, and services or products for free then a collaborative project is born. Usually these take the shape of styled shoots (but can also be events or workshops) where the goal is to create beautiful, inspirational imagery which can then be featured in the top blogs and magazines. These features are aimed at inspiring brides, showcasing talent, and ultimately generating enquiries and bookings.
Sounds great, right? Whether you’re planning your own collaboration and aren’t quite sure how to get your dream vendors involved, here are four important questions every vendor will be asking:
Photography Credit: Melissa Beattie
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Be clear in your pitch exactly what you are expecting from each vendor.
A few examples:
If it’s a venue, do you need access to an interior or exterior space, one room, or the entire venue? Will you need exclusive use, or are you able to work around other events or guests at the venue? Do you need access for a full day, or a few hours? What a venue is able to offer can vary.
Will dresses and bridal accessories be required? How many looks are you shooting and do you need a member of the designer or boutique’s team on hand to pin and adjust dresses to suit? Will you be using gowns and shoes outside, and if so how are you going to protect them –or are you willing to pay dry cleaning costs?
How many details are you expecting? A simple naked cake can probably be created by an expert cake designer in a few hours, whereas a series of intricately decorated cakes with sugar work may take days or more! The same goes for stationery and florals–are you happy with one suite or do you need options? Is one bouquet that can double up as a centerpiece sufficient, or are you expecting multiple bouquets, lavish displays and ornate centerpieces? By being honest from the outset not can you prevent issues on shoot day, but it also makes for a better working relationship in the future!
WHO ELSE IS ON THE TEAM?
Whether you’ve managed to secure the hottest venue in town, a ‘celebrity’ photographer, or a dress designer who everyone is clamoring to work with, using your confirmed supplier list in your pitch is a great angle to use! Not only can this give your pitch serious credentials, but having a great list of vendors involved in any project is key to getting features and promotion which, after all, is what collaborative project are all about!
WHAT WILL THEY GET IN RETURN?
The aim of any collaborative project is to promote the team’s work to their target audience, so you’ll need to explain how you intend to do this. Do you have a publication who you are aiming for that you think suits each vendor’s style, or do you have a submissions process that covers a range of publications and geographic locations? It’s not just about features! When collaborating, vendors will expect to receive a set of (un-watermarked) images for their own blogs and websites, as well as social media coverage of features from the team. Why is this important? Imagine there are 10 vendors on your shoot; each one of them shares a feature on their blog and on social media channels. Let’s say each of them has a conservative 100 followers, that’s already 1000 new potential clients you’ve just reached!
PROVE YOUR TRACK RECORD
The final part of your pitch is to prove your own worth; anyone can answer the questions above but in the end the proof is in the pudding!
“Use examples of previous features, links, and images to give your pitch kudos.”
The more respected the publication, the higher up the list you should put them! If you’re new to all this-maybe it’s your first collaborative project, or your work hasn’t yet been featured-you’ll need to think outside of the box. Share images of your work, mention any connections or relationships you or other team members may have with bloggers or editors, and above all sell your idea!