Local Business Networking
As an example of business networking, I’ll tell you about an event I went to yesterday. I had spotted a new local business networking group on Meetup.com and joined it to see what it was like. This was a group called ‘Brighton Business Club‘ started by Accounts And Legal, small business accountants in Brighton.
I entered the room and within 10 minutes had talked to two really lovely people who both said they have been looking for a photographer to work with on some projects they have coming up. How lucky was that, right?
Now, as I wrote in my article Business Networking Tips for Photographers, I’m not going expect these two nice people to hire me immediately for a shoot. I’m not going to pester them and get upset if no work comes out of us meeting yesterday. I liked them both and would love to work with them at some point, but for now, I simply connect online and keep in contact in whatever way seems most natural for each person. That way I will learn a bit more of what they do and they will learn more about me, and if some time in future they do ask me to do a photo shoot with them, that will be just awesome.
Brighton business networking and marketing talk
Jennifer of Accounts And Legal gave a great talk on ‘Marketing for Small Businesses’. She touched on all areas of website, SEO, social media and various off-line marketing. Of course there is so much to talk about in each of those categories and even their subcategories so it’s only possible to do a fairly general 60 minute talk on the subject, but Jen did an amazing job of giving lots of information as well as answering some questions. I’m well versed in this subject but even I learned a couple of new tips and had a great new idea for my own marketing for portrait photography.
One of the things I was especially impressed by was that Jennifer encouraged us all to swap business cards while we were there, and also to connect on LinkedIn after the meeting. Sometimes it doesn’t seem so natural to give your business card to others in the room, so it was great that Jen mentioned it a couple of times, which made it easier for us.
So what did I do after the meeting? Today I connected with everyone I chatted with last night on LinkedIn, wrote on their business cards where and when we have met (because I do a lot of networking and it helps me remember) and filed the cards in my special business card folder. I also joined the Brighton Business Club Facebook and LinkedIn groups so that I can keep networking with everyone online between meetups.
Again, as I mentioned in my Business Networking Tips article, it’s important to find the kind of networking group that you like and gel with. I thought this one was really good format as there was an informative talk, and the organiser and participants were great. I will definitely be going to future meetups.
Oh, the photo at the beginning? That’s Neville, Jennifer’s lovely little jackahuahua who stole everyone’s heart and entertained us during the evening! Here he is again. Cute, eh? (Any networking event that has a dog gets my vote!)
So all in all, great evening spent networking and learning about marketing our businesses. I really look forward to going to more of these events and meeting these people as well as others, and growing my network. And if I can help any of them get some great photography for marketing their products and services, everyone wins!