First of all, please accept my apologies. I feel that I have been quiet lately and have not kept up with you about what is going on. This week will be busy with announcements, I am brimming with ideas and will make a number of announcements.
As you all know my mission is to educate and show photographers how running your photography business like a real business makes all the difference in the world. I’ve heard every excuse on the planet from why a creative can’t be expected to have business skills, that there is no time or no money and and and.
Funny how it goes, but yesterday we had a huge number of photography professionals on my free call with networking strategist Liz Lynch.It was the largest number of sign-ups I have ever seen. That means there are many of you who understand the importance of learning new skills or sharpening your existing ones. As a side note, my calls are always recorded and I send a link the next day to anyone who signed up. I want you to have the information on your laptops, home PC’s and your MP3 players. It’s so easy and you can listen to the call anywhere, even when you are working out, driving or mowing the lawn!
Liz Lynch and I spend over an hour talking about networking. Funny how I told her these calls are 30 minutes but for sure not longer than 45 minutes! But it was such great information and we were on a roll that time just flew.
Liz is the founder and owner of the Center for Networking Excellence. A self described “geek” and terrible networker she decided that she was going to put a system behind networking and approach it in a strategic matter. That is how her mind operates and she felt that a strategic approach would take the anxiety out as she simply would execute what she had planned to do ahead of time. Not just did that make her very successful but she decided that the system she developed will help others who could use a little help.
Liz wrote a book called Smart Networking (click on the link to learn more) and speaks and educates all over the world about what you can do to maximize your contacts. That really is what networking is all about. She had me laughing when she first mentioned that having a cheezy grin and handing out business cards was a thing of the past. In today’s world it’s all about combining the classy and classic approach with the new rules of social networking.
Liz explained what an elevator pitch is and what the cornerstone of a good one are. As a reminder, an elevator pitch is the answer to the question “and what do you do?” It’s called an elevator pitch as you should be able to tell someone the answer to that question in a short elevator ride. Presented in such a way that they want to step out of the elevator to ask you more questions. Imagine you are the publishing house in New York with that one person you always wanted to meet, there he is – are you ready to network?
Next we covered online networking and etiquette. Liz says if you befriend someone make sure you don’t just use the generic formula. Take those 10 seconds to make it more personal. Tell people why you want to be friends with them and what you do. Liz emphasized that you should not worry about the instant “what’s in it for me” but rather look at networking as a collaborative and mutually benefical exchange. You got to give some to get some. It might not even come from the person you connected with but from the person he or she knows.
The term consistency came up as well. It’s not done but just giving someone your business card or befriending them. The networking starts after that. Be consistent, and if you can’t serve all your 500 friends on Facebook perhaps you should pick some you can collaborate with. Liz gave her tips on Twitter as well. She says that retweeting others tweets and participating in conversations is as good if not better than tweeting original content.
As we are going through question after question the listeners became quite involved. Unfortunately my live feed wasn’t working but through the online webcast we had lot’s of questions.
If networking is not your strongest point and you think you could use some help I strongly recommend that you invest the $12 in her book, again, here is the link.
If you are ready to tackle this part and create a winning strategy, a serious one that will map out how to get from where you are to where you should be – here is a link to the amazing intensive program Liz is just launching. Trust me, this lady knows what she is doing and she is a firehouse. For those of you who want to take advantage of this offer please click here for more information.
For those who missed the call, please sign up for the next call here http://Photosecrets.biz. Another very exciting guest, ASPP Picture Professional of The Year – Jerry Tavin. I’ll post more information soon.
To your success. Remember there is a ton of things that you can activily do in this environment to push your business to the next level. My coach James Malinchak says: “What recession? That’s something I choose not to participate in.”If others are so frustrated that they are at home complaining – you need to be out there sharpening your skills and doing everything they are not.