I needed to get back to business so I posted up at my local chamber of commerce and did some admin work. Guess the vacation is officially over! Now I’ve gotta re-train my brain to focus after having so many days off in Saint Louis. I’m falling back into my morning routine pretty well though. Not so much can be said of my evening routine yet.
Today I got up at 5:30am feeling fully awake. It’s probably because of the daylight savings time shift. Anyways, I took advantage of the my time and started my morning routine early. I got a great cardio workout in and headed to the library to get some work done. I was done with everything by 12:30! It was nice finishing my work so soon but I admit, I was bored after a little while, LOL. In the evening I went to a Young Professionals of Plano Pizza Party to celebrate the fact that we all voted. Every new person I met was a financial advisor, strange. Well everyone except this lady who works in the libraries. She showed me how to get my work exhibited in the library for free! This made the trip worth it! Tomorrow is technically my off day but I can’t just lay around!
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. — African Proverb
I’ve been challenging myself to take myself more seriously when it comes to telling others about my lifestyle photography brands and finding new clients. So far, I’ve gone to a few networking events, reached out to lots of people online and conducted a styled shoot at my studio in preparation for a new marketing initiative. I’m on fire! It feels invigorating to be taking action towards the kind of life I want for myself. If you haven’t seen them yet, check out my photography brands: Sweet Girl Photos and Gernelle Nelson.
It’s also been a little draining. I managed to catch a bug from one of my social escapades and have been fighting it off for about four days now. Sunday I was stuck in bed, the worst of the virus had caught up to me but now I’m at that ‘coughing but not contagious’ stage. You know, the part where you sip large amounts of hot fluids and feel antsy because your energy has started to come back.
Anyways, back to these connections. One of my friends is working on building her makeup artistry business. She moved here from Puerto Rico after the hurricane with her husband and only two suit cases of her belongings. Leaving everything behind, she’s hoping to start fresh by finding opportunities to work with new clients. I recently collaborated with her on my styled shoot. She did an amazing job on our model and has agreed to be my preferred MUA whenever I have a studio session. Check out her work below and follow Damarys on Instagram.
Another friend has opened her own venue space and has agreed to partner with me on a monthly event to get lots of ladies and little girls in front of my camera. I’m hoping it brings lots of eyes to our brands and adds on retainer clients in the process. When you get a chance, check out all the Lemonade Lounge has to offer, especially if you want to host a part or workshop soon.
I’m going to join my local chamber of commerce soon and find ways to create more partnerships with local business owners in my neighborhood. The other day I attended a chamber meeting and was pleasantly surprised to find a room packed with excited people ready to talk about their businesses and support others. People were giving their 30 second commercials, thanking those who had sent them referrals and sharing events they had coming up. As I listened, I started coming up with ways I could parter with these brands to reach more of my target audience and it was pretty much a done deal from there. I’ll be getting social with the chamber very soon.
This weekend, I went the to Grove for the Dallasites101 anniversary party. I didn’t get to meet Lily and Kara, the co-founders, but I did manage to run into Becca from Beckley Co. Once I arrived, I called up Gernae (twin sis) and found my way to her table. My brother in love was also there, decked out in KC Royals t-shirts. Both of them looked like they were in good spirits. Maybe it was because of the music DJ Blake was playing. He did an awesome job of mixing 90’s rap with today’s pop music. After a short while, I walked over to the Vita Coco stand with Nae and asked them about the benefits of coconut water.
The ladies told us that it was 3x as hydrating as water and naturally enriched with vitamins and electrolytes. We’re always looking for reasons to try something new so we grabbed one of each flavor: lemonade, pineapple and cafe latte. I didn’t get to try the pineapple but between the latte and lemonade flavors, I like the latte best. The flavor was a little strange at first but after shaking it up and giving it another try, I started to like it more. It was almost chocolatey. I wonder what coconut water tastes like by itself.
A volleyball game was underway as I walked around getting footage for my vlog. I wanted to lounge in a hammock but they were all occupied so I started searching the crowd for great outfits. It didn’t take long. 🙂 The first person I talked to was Jazmine, SEO manager for Poopourri. She was really kind and even invited me to a Bible study on Tuesday nights. We exchanged information and business cards and she let me take a picture of her for my blog. Poopourri traps odor under the surface of toilet water. In other words, you won’t stink up the place when you take a restroom break. I’ve got to give some of that a try.
We wrapped things up by taking some pics on the Photo Bus and then headed our separate ways. I’m looking forward to seeing what other events I can get into this spring. Speaking of that, I’m throwing an event! It’s called the Spring Fling Meet and Eat. I’ll be meeting up with ladies to network, snack on picnic brunch and give out some photo/pose tips. Hope to see ya there!
I was looking on Instagram at other wedding industry professionals’ accounts and was immediately reminded that I hadn’t posted to my own account in over a week. That’s like years in social media time. How do I expect to get my company noticed with lackluster performance like that? Furthermore, if I want to meet women, brides and wedding pros, I can’t do it by going to work and then going home. I have to put in the work required, as much as I can when I’m not at my desk job. I think this is my wake up call!
Now that the holidays over and the normal routine has come back to haunt me, I’ve got to shake things up. There’s no way I’m going to reach my goals by doing the same thing that I’ve always done. If I want to be a business owner who is actually taking on clients, I need to work at it everyday.
I’ve already started working on reversing this horrible way of doing business. First, I’ve scored a speaking opportunity at a workshop for new business owners next month. I’ll be talking about Networking and building relationships (ironic eh?) and gifting someone with a photo session. Secondly, I’ve signed up to go to a grand opening party for a new bridal shop this Wednesday. The party planners, bridal shop owners and lots of brides will be in attendance! It’s going to be my first official networking event of the year. My goal is to connect with the planners and shop owners, give them my info and follow up with a phone call or email for a one on one meetup. And finally, I’m going to join a group of photographers for an after work meet and greet in Dallas on the 27th as well as one with other bloggers this Saturday!
For the next 12 months, I’m going to be more social and active online than I’ve ever been! As things progress, I’ll give you an update!
Have courage (and get moving!),