Since our arrival in the fair city of Fayetteville, I have made a slew of new acquaintances. Relationships initiated on trips here in the past have expanded and grown to become friendships. Familial relationships with members of both my parent’s families have grown–rediscovering cousins, growing closer to aunts and uncles. The benefits of moving from our home of 21 years in Maui to Fayetteville are endless.
When I left Fayetteville in 1984 it was with a glad stamping of the dust of this town off my feet. I hear this so often, the desire to escape from the place you come from and then the love of home that pulls you back once you have experienced life in the world that you felt you had to see. And I did enjoy all that I experienced, don’t get me wrong. The experiences of that life are what made moving back with such joy to my hometown possible.
Networking with friends, family and business acquaintances has become an integral part of my daily routine. Business development relies heavily on networking with those you meet and work and play with. Personal networking is the most powerful tool in the marketing arsenal as a photographer. Becoming an active member of the community, giving back with volunteer work such as photographing an event for a non-profit that can’t afford to pay a photographer, is not only rewarding to you as a person but adds volumes to your contact list to develop your growing business.
These are my grandchildren, two of them living here and two were visiting in October. The joy of being a 9-hour drive from my family as opposed to 18-hour flight at multi-hundred dollars a pop, is such a blessing. This photo was taken by my daughter, Erica, who now has my old Canon 5D and has become a very good photographer herself. She photographs her daughter’s soccer events and has really learned how to capture those sports shots on the field. This is a great example of how to get work in your community. Shooting your kid’s athletic events can expand to doing other photography work once your abilities become known as you become the one that is relied upon to capture the team’s shots. This is a good example of how one seed, a camera outgrown by you as a photographer, can be such a blessing to another starting out. Never forget to plant the seed of inspiration in those you love and know around you.
New friends are another blessing and though new friends are not made for networking purposes, in fact new friends are good sources of networking. To the left is a great new friend who actually sent the link to volunteer at an event that has now produced four new friends.
Who knows you better than a friend who gets to know you on a very personal basis? Couldn’t be a better recommendation that that.
Final word on networking this morning: don’t miss out on the opportunities afforded you each day in your effort to promote your new business, whether it be photography or dog grooming or flower arranging. Networking with friends, family and business people is the most important element in promoting your work. In the final analysis of how to market your business, networking is priceless and FREE.