A Little Old Letter of Introduction
As a huge Anne Shirley fan growing up in rural Georgia, I was well aware of the age old custom of letters of introduction. They were vital to society back then and in some ways are still just as important today, though they often take the form of e-mails instead of a letter. As a military spouse and a business owner, it is important for me not to remain the new girl in town for very long and letters like these still serve a purpose even today.
As we prepare for a move, I will often ask friends, family, and clients if they know anyone in the area we are moving to. About fifty percent of the time they do, or they are from there. I always politely ask for introductions and have always been amazingly blessed at the people I have been able to meet because of it. This holds true in business as well as personal life.
I think that letters of introduction can come in two forms, both the letter from a friend introducing you to someone they know or a letter (e-mail) introducing yourself to some of the wedding vendors you admire in the new town. Neither of these letters should ever be salesy in any way and should only ever focus on getting to know the area you are moving to and offering to become part of the new community. Being a part of a community implies a give and take . . not just gimme, gimme.
This is where you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Contact a few local vendors in the area you are moving to, introduce yourself, your business and tell them you want to get to know the community and help where you can. That is it . . . don’t ask for anything other than a coffee or lunch date. When you make yourself more about community than yourself . . the world just sets itself right.
So what if you aren’t facing a move . . what do you do?
You know that venue, boutique owner, cake artist . . that you have been admiring from afar? Contact them, take them out to coffee . . and then SHUT UP! That is right . . just listen and ask how you can help them. That’s it! Try it and see what happens . . when you do, let me know how it went. I promise it gets easier after the first go round. You can do this!