7 Secrets to Rocking Your Next Networking Event

7 SECRETS FOR ROCKING YOUR NEXT NETWORKING EVENT

presented by Kat Squibb Portraits

 

Now if you are anything like me, I used to DREAD going to network events! I’m naturally an introvert and would rather be at home in my PJs with a glass of wine binge-watching Shameless. Or maybe even doing laundry! ANYTHING except getting dressed up, packing up business cards, and attempting to make conversation and socialize with 200-something people that only want to sell me on their businesses.

 

Like it or not, networking events are a necessary part of growing your business and attracting potential clients and business partnerships. And once you know how to prepare and how to network properly, these events become much more fun and fruitful! So all you introverts, let’s put our mascara and big girl panties on and get to some networking events! Here’s some tips to make the most of them:

1. First step to finding networking events in your area and that coincide with your business goals is to get involved in your community. Join your local chamber of commerce, your local BNI, search online for women’s networking groups in the area, on Facebook, and on Meetup. Read their mission statements and goals and see if you feel like they would be a good fit for you and your brand.

2. Once you find some networking groups and events to attend, make sure to have a goal going in. Ask yourself two things:

·         “What do I hope to gain by attending this event?” Whether it be getting out and meeting new people, acquiring new leads to add to your sales funnel, meeting other businesses with similar clientele to cross-market with, etc. Knowing ahead of time what you are hoping to get out of the event will help you stay focused and feel more productive at the end.

·         “How can I help?” Remember, you aren’t there simply to sling your own brand (per se). What is it that you can offer? Say you’re a photographer. OK, you can sell portraits or weddings, or whatever but WHAT ELSE do YOU bring to the table? Is it marketing strategies? Website design? Personal branding? Remember, you are not only shaking hands here. You are providing solutions.

3. Dress your brand! I cannot stress this enough! If you are selling a luxury brand or cater to affluent clients, don’t show up in jeans and a tank top. Dress to impress! Like attracts like. If you want to attract high end clients, you must dress the part. They say that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone and this is so true at networking events. Most people at these events don’t know each other from Adam, so how you are dressed and put together will make the difference of someone coming up to learn more about you or not. So pick an outfit that not only looks great, but makes you feel great too!

4. Bring your business cards! So many times have I been to a networking event and talking with someone who I have an amazing connection with and may want to work with in the future and when I ask them for a business card, they didn’t bring them or ran out! *gasp* I personally never have less than 100 business cards in my purse at any given time. And I even carry backups in the glove compartment of my car. Why? Because you never know when you’ll need them! And at a networking event, you will definitely need them! I get all my business cards from MOO for their phenomenal quality and versatility in paper stock, edges, and thickness, but there are so many places that offer inexpensive and fast business cards that there is just no good excuse, not to have any.

5. Don’t be a wallflower! I know it’s tempting to just grab a drink and stand in the corner until someone approaches you but this is your chance to get out there and make not only lots of connections, but meaningful ones! Consider it speed-dating for your business! There are tons of people here that you can connect with; some may be your ideal client and others may be totally so far off from who you are looking to meet. You’ll never know who is who unless you meet them! As an introvert, I have to remind myself that everyone is here for the exact same reason: to meet other business owners. Keeping this in mind, I find myself much more comfortable just walking up to random groups of people (with a big smile on my face) and introducing myself. Phew! Now that the hard part is done (getting dressed up, getting my butt in gear to actually go to the event, and introducing myself to people) you can sit back and enjoy getting to know about everyone’s business and share a bit about your own.

6. Listen twice as much as you speak! Now you may be tempted to jump in and talk about yourself and your business but keep it short. A few sentences at most and then turn the conversation back on the other person. You want to learn about them, their business, why they are passionate about it. A mentor of mine once said “you have two ears for listening and only one mouth so listen twice as much as you talk”. Learn as much about them as you can. People LOVE to be listened to and asking things about their business, where they’re from, if they have kids, etc will help you brainstorm about how you and your business can serve them.

Eventually the ball will be in your court and they will ask about you and your business. This is where all that listening will come in handy. Whether you are a financial advisor, a photographer, a wellness coach, or a business consultant learning as much as you can about the person in front of you will aid you in turning this “person” into a potential “client” or “partner” or whatever it was that you set as your goal for that evening. I’ve met dozens of people at networking events that will literally just walk up to me, hand me a business card, give me their “elevator pitch” and walk away and I think to myself “why would I hire this person?” I wouldn’t. Because they don’t know or even care about my needs and didn’t take the time to get to know me at all. After your conversation is done and you both have moved on your separate ways, jot down as much as you can remember about that person. Whether it be on the back of their business card, a notebook, or a note in your phone. You are going to meet a lot of people tonight and these notes are key for #7.

7. Follow up!! Don’t just let those business cards collect dust and wait for them to call you. You need to send an email within the next 24 hours (or my personal favorite: a personal hand-written note) to those contacts with whom you chatted. Be sure to mention some of the things you talked about (and made notes of) so they know that you were listening and to help forge that bond. In my experience, people generally hire other people based on their personality, NOT on their price or the quality of their work. So showing that you were listening to them, retaining that information, and caring enough about your meeting to follow up with them speaks volumes about the kind of connection you made.

 

Networking is one of the greatest tools we have in the business world, made even easier by technology. Being able to research networking events, follow up with contacts via Linkedin, their professional Facebook page, and email makes growing our network and sales funnels easier than ever! Just remember to be professional, dress the part, be proactive, listen more than you speak, and have some fun!

 

Xoxo

Kat

Kat Squibb Portraits

www.katsquibbportraits.com

Lancaster Headshot and Personal Branding Photographer Blog Highlights

Fashion Forward Headshots in the Lancaster PA Studio

I love when I have time in the Lancaster studio to get a little creative and have models and stylists with me that are willing to push the envelope a little bit with their headshots and personal branding! The gorgeous Avery of Carolina Talent Modeling Agency decided to join us for this conceptual shoot with the amazingly talented hair and makeup artist Elisha Seaton !

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Lancaster Headshots of a Master Connector and Influencer

Sarah is an amazing, passionate, and gorgeous woman who is usually taking care of others- whether in her role as a mom, or as a master networker at Rockstar Connect; and it was finally her turn to be pampered, cared for, and seen for the powerhouse of a woman she is! Sarah came to me for some amazing personal branding portraits and more modern headshots in order to let he vibrant personality shine and to create an authentic connection to her vast audience. 

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Headshot Photography Mini Marathon in Lancaster PA

Just a quick peek at some of the gorgeous women who I have been blessed enough to photograph this past year for their beauty, boudoir, and headshot photography needs. Each with their own past and stories to tell. Will start to blog about some of the remarkable women this week. They are mothers, wives, grandmothers, professionals. and friends. But most of all, they are beautiful women, inside and out. I love working with every one of my headshot clients as they all bring their own light to the studio and although they often step in front of my camera a bit hesitant and awkard, they transform before my very eyes!

Personal Branding Sessions are Not your Every Day Headshot

Lori came to my studio for personal branding headshots and we had so much fun! Lori was (like most of my clients) hesitant about being in front of the camera! But, I promised to make updating your professional headshots not only easy, but fun. Lori trusted me and my team to guide her into poses that were flattering and comfortable while lighting her in the most perfect light! She was thrilled with her new modern headshots and is using them to represent her company in a professional and approachable manner. Personal branding sessions in Lancaster are an amazingly easy way to create an instant and authentic connection with your clients and target audience!

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Soulful Yoga Instructor Modern Lancaster Headshots

The ever soulful Candita wanted me to create some strong & gorgeous Personal Branding portraits that really resonate with her clients. Candita is a stylish Stella and Dot consultant, a brilliant Yoga Instructor, and an absolute beautiful soul. We had so much fun playing around with her branding portraits for her thriving businesses and capturing the magic that just draws her clients to her and makes her an influencer in her community.

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Holistic Life Coach: Premiere Lancaster Headshot Photography

I love when great friends of mine, trust enough in both my vision and my talent, to hire me to photograph their new headshots and personal branding portraits. So I was over the moon, when my beautiful and soulful friend, Dr. Tatiana Irvin asked me over. She is as warm and generous as she is gorgeous and talented. We spent the day on location to capture some warm and inviting headshots for this mother, holistic life coach, motivational speak, and published author of "The Reluctant Intuitive". Tatiana is one of those women who everyone instantly has a connection with because she is true and authentic and just makes you feel warm and fuzzy! She is caring, soulful, and is always asking others how she can help them. Check out her newest book here! 

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Lancaster Headshot Photography Session with Health and Wellness Coach

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

Don’t you just love when you meet someone who just radiates happiness? That was exactly how I felt about meeting Jeanine. Jeanine came to me for some personal branding portraits and headshot photography to update her website and to use as the cover of her new book!>

Jeanine is a health and wellness coach and author of “Love Yourself to Health… with Gusto!” and practices what she preaches. Between leading a healthy lifestyle and diet and inspiring others to do the same, this gorgeous woman is also a mother of TWO! I know, right?!?! Jeanine was so much fun to work with at our headshot photography session and had us all cracking up in the studio. If you’re interested in learning how find happiness by removing toxic foods and toxic situations from your life, you should check out her book at http://jeaninefinelli.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/loveyourself2health?fref=ts

Raleigh Modern Headshots

Headshots Lancaster for Fellow Photographer: Jen Fennell

Jenifer Fennell is not only an amazingly talented (and patient) photographer, but a supermom as well!  We met through the photography world several years ago and hit it off right away! We've stayed in touch daily since my moving to Lancaster, PA and she has become my dearest friend. She is a rockstar of a maternity and newborn photographer and photographed both of my kids when they were born.  I've got to tell you, photographing newborns is HARD!! Like one of the hardest things I've ever attempted to do! The amount of vision and imagination to think up creative and whimsical sets for these tiny babies plus the hours and hours of endless patience waiting for newborns to fall asleep and then posing each individual finger and toe just right! Eek! It's not for everyone but Jen makes it look easy!!

She lives and works in NC and although the is a rockstar photographer, like most of us, she shies away from being in front of the camera.  I  managed to convince Jen to come in for a personal branding photo shoot for both headshots and glamour style portraits and we had so much fun! We started in hair and makeup while I looked through Jen's awesome wardrobe to find the perfect outfits for our session. Jen rocked her personal branding session and was a natural in front of the camera despite her reservations and was blown away at her beautiful portraits! Check out her magical newborn and maternity portraits at Jenifer Fennell Photography !

 

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Modern Lancaster Headshots for the Upscale Salon

I love love love when salons contact me to update their headshots and photograph their amazing team! There is nothing better than checking out a salon's website or facebook and being able to put a face to the stylists that work there and feel an instant connection with them!
I see so many salons and businesses that post cell phone shots of their staff and that just gived me the icky feels! Looks terribly half-ass and unprofessional and definitely NOT where I want to be trusting my image with, when they can't be bothered to update their own. So when Josh, the owner of J.Co Salon and Blo'Dry Bar asked me to come in for some personal branding shots, I was so excited! The salon is beautiful and the staff was so friendly and fun to photograph! We had a great time and can't wait to see them grow both personally and professionally! Now that I'm in Lancaster, PA I'm thrilled to work with some local salons and spas up here to elevate their brands!!

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Lancaster Corporate Headshot Photographer for the Modern Realtor

I love meeting new clients! Especially when they give me an excuse to get out of my studio and shoot corporate headshots at some gorgeous locations! Sandy came to me looking for some updated and modern headshots for her growing realty business, Sandy English Realty Group, LLC. We decided we wanted to do something a little different than the traditional "corporate" realtor headshots and focus more on personal branding. We wanted warm and friendly and inviting images; just like Sandy. After weeks of searching for the perfect location for our headshots, we finally landed on two amazing houses that fit our style. Sandy is such an amazing and vibrant woman! We has so much fun trying out new corporate headshot ideas and swapping stories of homesteading and beekeeping! Sandy was a blast to work with and after spending the afternoon with her, it's no surprise why she is so successful in her industry. Check out her website at www.sandyenglish.com
 

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Harrisburg Headshots with Graphic Designer Betsy McElwee

Every great business needs a great graphic designer, and I'm fortunate enough to have Betsy as my dear friend and amazing designer. Betsy is the talent behind Betsy Mac Design Co. based outside Fayetteville, NC. Betsy is one of the funniest, craziest, and caring people I know and our headshot session was no different! Betsy is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out and she had me and my team cracking up the entire session! Betsy, like most women that come into my studio, wanted modern headshots that really let her personality shine and I think we did just that!

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Lancaster Personal Branding Photographer | Holiday Gift Ideas Under $50

Happy Tuesday, ladies. If you’re anything like me, you’ve procrastinated long enough and are STILL shopping for Christmas today on uh…. ahem…. December 16th! Bad, I know! I not only love shopping for my friends and family, but I also love gifting my Lancaster headshot and personal branding clients a little surprise!  I am determined to get all my shopping done before the holidays. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite Gift Ideas for under $50! At prices this good, I'm tempted to just finish up my holiday shopping today. My favorites from this list include these Colorful Wristlets from Humble Chic, and those Sugar Eye Masks from Plum Pretty! I can't believe they're only $12!

 
  Small wristlet –Vegan Leather $28

Small wristlet –Vegan Leather $28

 Uncommon Goods Foodie Dice $24

Uncommon Goods Foodie Dice $24

 Blee Inara ‘Initial Write Your Own Story Handmade Necklace $39

Blee Inara ‘Initial Write Your Own Story Handmade Necklace $39

 Kate Spade New York Boxed Glitter Stud Earrings $38

Kate Spade New York Boxed Glitter Stud Earrings $38

 Plum Pretty Sugar Eye Mask $12

Plum Pretty Sugar Eye Mask $12

 Old Navy Women’s Plaid Flannel Funnel-Neck Scarves $12

Old Navy Women’s Plaid Flannel Funnel-Neck Scarves $12

 Victoria's Secret  Sexy Little Things Tease Sequin Bag $36

Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things Tease Sequin Bag $36

  10 Strawberry Street ‘Moscow Mule’ Copper Mug $24

10 Strawberry Street ‘Moscow Mule’ Copper Mug $24

 Uncommon Goods  Homemade Gin Making Kit $50

Uncommon Goods  Homemade Gin Making Kit $50

 West Elm Geo Bottle Stoppers $49

West Elm Geo Bottle Stoppers $49

 Rose Gold Ring $38

Rose Gold Ring $38

 Letter Book Infinity Scarf $22

Letter Book Infinity Scarf $22

 Women's HOLIDAY Deck the Halls Apron $30

Women's HOLIDAY Deck the Halls Apron $30

Harrisburg Personal Branding and Headshot Photography for an Aspiring Model

OMG Have you ever seen such gorgeous red hair in your life?!?!? When Kacey walked into my studio from Carolina Talent, stylist Elisha and I just KNEW we had to get crazy with that hair and makeup for her headshots! Kacey was a blast to work with and I'm obsessed with every branding image we took of her! We decided to shoot some edgy headshots and fashion portraits of her for her modeling and acting portfolio, as well as have some fun with gold flakes and dramatic lighting! Model or not, I think every woman should step out of the box once in a while and try some personal branding portraits that are fun and edgy!!

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Why you Need to Invest in Professional Headshots and Personal Branding Portraits

Why a Selfie Just Isn't Good Enough for Your Business

In today’s digital day and age, anybody with a camera phone has the ability to take their own professional headshots, right? What’s wrong with simply standing in front of a white wall and snapping a quick selfie to post to your professional page? Why on earth would you pay good money for professional headshots? Glad you asked! I’ll tell you why:

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Your corporate headshot is the first thing your customers see when researching you online. It is your logo. Your personal brand. It reflects not just what you look like, but how you value yourself. Do you care enough about yourself and your company to invest in top-quality headshots?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and if the first picture your customers and clients see of you is a low-quality headshot, they will associate that poor quality with you and your product or company.

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If you aren’t willing to invest money in yourself or your company, then why would your clients? Personal and corporate branding is critical to your success. If you cut corners on your headshots in order to save a little money, your customers will notice and your brand and your company will suffer.

Hiring a professional photographer will guarantee that the first picture your potential clients see of you will be your best. Headshots determine your brand. They tell a story. Here at Kat Squibb Photography, our professionals work one and one with you to pinpoint exactly what story you want your headshot to tell. We know what kind of wardrobe will best suit your goals, which accessories to add, and what poses work best to both flatter you and to tell your personal and professional story. Every individual has a unique essence and a unique story to tell. Our professionals are trained to capture this and allow your clients to see it as well. Let us help you to let your personality shine and to elevate your brand.

Invest in business. Invest in yourself. You’re worth it!

 

Lancaster Personal Branding for Hypnotist and Stress Relief Coach: Jess Bartram

Meet Jessica. Wife, mother, military spouse, and the gorgeous woman behind Fayetteville Hypnosis and Kids Who Meditate.  Jess is a board-certified hypnotist, stress relief coach, and an amazing mom of two! Jess wanted to break the stigma of what people think of when they hear the word "hypnotist" and show her fun, approachable, and professional side through personal branding portraits. I love working with headshot clients who KNOW that they need so much more than a headshot. They want their clients to feel like they know them and communicate with them in an authentic way.  When Jess talks about being a hypnotist and coach, you just can see her light up... she is so passionate about her work and clients and I am so excited to help create portraits that match her personality!

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Lancaster Boudoir Photographer - Glam the Dress Session

These stunning beauties came into my studio armed with evening gowns! Had such a great time photographing these women for our Lancaster Glamour and Boudoir Glam the Dress Sessions! Seeing as I am predominately a headshot and personal branding photographer, it's rate that I get to fill the photography with evening gowns and jewels and really "girl-it-up". So much fun!