A note from Wanda: It has ALWAYS AND FOREVER been a dream of mine to have a Sunday Business Section on my website. A place where I can feature other business owner and their writings. So today with this, VERY FIRST installment of The MadCris Images Sunday Buzz I am honored to bring you 3 business owners who, in my opinion, are phenomenal. Please enjoy their contributions and the time they took to write each of these pieces, then leave a comment and below because it does the soul good.
By Seth Goldstein
Blogging is a great way to make yourself an influencer on Social Media.
As a digital marketer, I’ve seen the power of the blog post. Blogging is how you showcase your knowledge on a subject and position yourself as an authority on that topic.
By sharing your knowledge you’re making it known that you have something to say about the subject and creating a scenario where readers come to you for information and advice. This can impress people in your network as well as their connections if they choose to share your post. If someone Googles your name to find out more about you after meeting you at a networking event, for example, it is fantastic for your credibility if they find a well-written and thorough blog post on your subject of expertise.
This can lead to opportunities you likely wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
Frequency Is Key
Even though there is contention on this subject, I’m not going to lie to you–in order to show your expertise, one post isn’t going to cut it. It’s important to come up with a blogging and content strategy to keep yourself top of mind on Social Media with those who are consuming your content. This will help those people remember to contact you when they need the services or products you offer.
Watch The Rambling
It is important to tell a story that takes the reader’s time into account. People are busy. They want to get the information fast and move on to the next thing, not slog through paragraphs of fluff and anecdotes that don’t provide any new information.
The trick is to make the post informative, hard-hitting and, most of all, quick. This way, you’re showing respect for your reader’s time, and you’ll be showing your level of expertise.
In his book, Write Without Bullshit, Josh Bernoff talks about the Iron Imperative: “Treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own.”
But What To Write About?
You might need to sit down in a quiet area and spend some time brainstorming what message you want to convey. Come up with a bunch of different topics ahead of time, so you’ll be ready when it’s time to write another post. Keep in mind, blog posts don’t all have to be the same format.
Some formats to consider for a worthwhile quick blog post:
- Top 10 List Posts
- Opinion posts that give your insights on another article. *Always link to the article from which you’re giving your opinion, and cite the author and publication appropriately*
- Image-rich articles with charts and pictures that help explain what you’re writing about.
These are a few ideas to get you started. The end goal is to share your knowledge with people to become a thought leader in your space.
You’re Not Selling
Remember you are not selling your product, you are getting in front of people and sharing. The more you give, the more in return you will receive. Blogging isn’t about asking your readers for something, it’s about offering them something of value.
As Gary Vaynerchuk wrote in his book: “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” it’s about providing lots of value and only then can you ask for the business.
Now what are you waiting for? Get blogging!
Seth Goldstein is the founder and Principal Creative Director of Goldstein Media LLC, a digital marketing agency based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania (just north of Philadelphia). Goldstein Media specializes in helping companies of all sizes get a presence online and get found. Find out more at https://goldsteinmedia.com.
By Erica Colvin
What to Wear- Summer Family Portraits
As a family photographer, one of my favorite things is watching my clients step out of their car for our session and looking like a million bucks. Dressing for a portrait session can be stressful, however, I work with my clients before their session to help them find the perfect combination of outfits that will make appear cohesive, polished, and feeling on top of the world. If you’ve done a family session recently you know dressing your family can be a bit stressful! However, there are a few tips that will make dressing for success a breeze.
On my own website I’ve previously shared a few tips on how to dress for the fall, as well as how I planned my own family’s clothing for our summer beach pictures. These tips have served both myself and my clients well preparing for a portrait session!
All of my own family session outfits are built with three things in mind:
- STICKING TO 2-3 COMPLEMENTARY COLORS
- ADDING IN PATTERNS, STRIPES, LAYERS, AND TEXTURE
- FINDING OUTFITS IN A PARTICULAR ORDER….
I discuss these at length in this blog post here I created when I dressed my own family for our session two years ago at the beach. And since sharing this blog post with my clients I’ve gotten a ton of texts with outfits laid out on the bed and I love it!
These good bones and a solid location will be the first steps in having a successful family session. It is RARE that I will say that head to toe matching outfits will work for a photo session.
Along with those 3 tips my biggest tips on dressing for success in the summer are:
- MATCH YOUR LOCATION
- DRESS COMFORTABLY
MATCH YOUR LOCATION– First off, this does NOT mean if you’re shooting at a botanical garden such as Longwood that everyone must wear floral prints, or if you’re shooting at the beach wear tan pants and blue shirts (you know to match the sand and ocean blue). If you already have an image of what/where your family session should take place make sure to communicate that with your photographer. If you’re looking for an open field, a beach, brick/stonework background, a boardwalk, a carnival, or waterfront images don’t be afraid to tell your photographer this is the type of session you are wanting to have photographed. Knowing exactly what my clients have in mind for their sessions is the best way for me to find you a location that helps me achieve your vision. However, on the same note, trust your photographer when they tell you a session at x time at y location might not get you quite the vision you’re expecting. (Quick side note as an example: if you’re wanting a carnival session with bright colors and some big bulb lights glowing in the background suggesting a high noon start time is just not going to get you there)
Once you’ve selected the type of location now is when you begin to decide the type of wardrobe works best for matching the location.
For example, this family had a young son with lots of energy. Mom communicated with me that they wanted to capture exactly that. So we chose a location that had a variety of settings to work with, but that would eventually end up with playing in a creek. So, for this session, formal wear wouldn’t have worked. We kept the outfits a bit more casual, with a few pieces layered to make it a bit dressier, but flexible in that we could roll up some sleeves and pant legs, take off a few layers and splash around. It’s very likely this little guy dressed in a suit wouldn’t have felt comfortable ending our session splashing around the creek in his tie.
If you’re wanting a more formal look vs more casual look then make sure to select a location where the outfits you are wearing will stand out against the background. A garden center, field of tall grass, or orchard are all perfect locations for this type of session.
Sounds like a no brainer right? Summer is hot. It’s humid, sticky and gross. Temps can rise well into the 90s and the humidity on the East Coast can sometimes make even ten-minute sessions create a dripping with sweat look that you’re only wanting to find in an athletic wear commercial, not your family session. (Typically I end up photographing my summer sessions at the earliest or latest time of day, for two reasons: heat and beautiful light.) So with that in mind dress comfortably for the heat. My husband tends to wear pants all summer long, without the heat affecting him. (Lucky guy right?!) So for our family sessions, I might grab him a pair of pants and a lighter fabric shirt. My five-year-old, however, is like a little heater himself, so I make certain that he is definitely in a thinner shirt and shorts. You know your kids better than anyone, so when it comes to dressing them keep their comfort in mind. My little guy HATES buttoned up pants. Where there are days I battle with him and get him into a pair of jeans, I am NOT going to select the day of our family pictures to torture myself with such a task. In fact, he tends to be my “picky” dresser, so with that in mind, for our family pictures, I typically have 2-3 options for him to wear. All three, of course, fit well into with what everyone else is wearing, but the final choice and control go to him. This helps in setting his mood for the session, and he’s more likely to be comfortable. Which means my mood is better for starting our session! When picking your wardrobe to keep your own sanity in mind! Dressing yourself and your family comfortably will help take your own stress and nervousness down a notch for your session.
In my initial 3 tips for dressing for success, I mention layering. In the summer this obviously means something completely different than in the fall. In the summer months leave the layering to your jewelry and other accessories. Adding in sweaters and vests in the hot summer heat will only make for a cranky family. Instead, work with the textures and patterns in a piece. The last few spring and summer seasons many pieces have had great lace textures added to them, as well as bold patterns. Here are a few looks I created using Polyvore to show a few family examples, from more formal to casual. Take a look!
Good luck in dressing your family this summer! Don’t forget to match your location and dress comfortable!
By Sara Rosenberg
Is There An Expert in the House?
Part of networking is doing what you can to increase your Know/Like/Trust Factor (i.e., If people know, like and trust you, they will want to build a business relationship with you), and part of doing that is establishing you as the expert in your field. It sort of goes without saying that people want to work, and build business relationships, with *the* expert.
If you aren’t the expert in what you do, then what the heck are you doing?!
Putting aside all of your insecurities about being *the* expert (and I know you have them), you don’t necessarily have to hire an expensive PR firm to get your expertise out there. In fact, it’s not difficult at all to educate your audience and make YOU the unquestionable go-to person in your field. Here’s how:
1. Make sure you are, indeed, the expert! – This may seem obvious, but it’s not, for some people. For example, there’s a plethora of GROW A MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS “consultants” lately, about whom, with a little bit of research, you can discover really never grew their own MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS. Along the same lines, just because you are living, doesn’t mean you are qualified to be someone’s “life coach”. Get the training, experience, and credentials you should have before you hang out a shingle. Please.
2. Write, write, and write some more! – These days, blogs, LinkedIn Publications, and other social media make it easy to educate your audience, clients, and potential clients and show off your knowledge. Not a writer? Hire one! Janet Garraty of the Garraty Group or Julius Holmes of CRW TechCom are great. Or try video. Both Joe Monzo of Monzo Media Productions and Parchelle Hotten of Fresh Level Productions can show you how to grow your Know/Like/Trust Factor using video.
3. Speak – Public speaking isn’t easy for most people. Most people (like me!) will do whatever they can to avoid it. Well, suck it up, buttercup! You’re a business owner and you have stuff that people need to hear! Get yourself in front of networking groups, business associations, trade groups, etc., whenever you can! Does the idea through you into a panic? Call Bearj Jehanian of the Jehanian Group. He can train you to be a stellar public speaker, with limited anxiety!
4. Get interviewed – This is the podcast generation! Reach out to your favorite one and get a business relationship going. If you are in the Philadelphia area, there are lots of TV and radio interview opportunities. Ask around! Better yet – get your own show!
5. Teach – Workshops and seminars are great ways to show off your knowledge and provide your audience information they can use, even before they hire you.
6. Collaborate – Do all of the above, with other people! It lessens the work, broadens the audience, and shows that, at least, your collaborators think you’re an expert! Three birds, one stone!
7. Testimonials – Nothing like a great testimonial from a client (or many of them!) doing the work for you! People want to see that people are actually paying you money to do what you do, and that you bring results. Have a system for your clients to give you testimonials. ASK FOR THEM, and them us e them on LinkedIn, on your social media, and on your website.
Bottom line – you ARE the expert in what you do. Everyone needs to know it. And all it takes is a plan and some consistency to make sure everyone knows it!
Need some help? Call me for a free half hour networking consultation and we can talk about it!
PowerMatch isn’t a “networking group”. We help business owners get focused and targeted with their networking activities by matching them up with professionals they want to build business relationships with (NOT sell to!) and scheduling them to meet face-to-face to figure out how they can help each other! That’s what we think networking is all about! Do you? If so, visit us atwww.PowerMatchOnline.com!
Photographer by day, mom, wife daughter by night. I specialize in making the world look good by providing professional headshots and editorial photography. I enjoy sharing with the world tidbits on the how to’s of running a business and life which is what you will find here. Lattes and Lenses is delicious combination of all things photography and business written while i drink my coffee.