I don’t claim to be any kind of an expert but I have learned a few things since starting my own business and the fab Mom’s Night Out event last week is a perfect way to illustrate my point. I run a homebased business and when I first opened up shop I had no idea how to get the word out or how to sell my "product". What became obvious very quickly is that my social network could also be an incredibly powerful professional network.
After Mom’s Night Out I got tons of emails from people thanking me for a great night. Many of them also mentioned how they met some great business contacts and exchanged business cards with many other guests. What a great opportunity to network!
So, lesson #1 – Use your social network to grow your business. Talk it up with your pals. Call in a few favours. Exchange business cards. Your friends want to help…let them!
Featured Mom Business
After having two kids of my own I was inspired by the women out there that chose to start new careers. So many stay-at-home moms wish that they could do something different with their lives. Children really change your view on the world and it is hard to go back to working for someone after being your own boss during your mat leave. It is also hard to go back to something you don’t really love and leave something you really do.
That is why I decided to go after my life long passion—photography. I thought to myself “what do I really love to do?” “What can I do for a living that will allow me to spend time with my kids?”. Photography was the answer for me and so I started taking night courses at Ryerson University.
I didn’t think that I would have any business until I was done all my courses. To my surprise, I was asked to photograph a couple of pregnant women last summer. I didn’t have proper equipment—in fact I had two Ikea lights and a black sheet that I tacked into the wall! But that is where it all began! They loved their photos and came back to do another shoot with their newborns. They told all their friends, and they told all their friends, and so on, and so on!
Today I am booked months in advance and I love every minute of it. I shoot only on the weekends right now because I am home with my kids. I plan to go full time once they are in school. My husband has been great; he takes the kids out so that I can do my photo shoots. I still set up my studio in my living room but at least I have real equipment now!
I chose to make my studio experience different from all the “fast food” studios that have you on the clock. Families can come in and make themselves at home. Having children of my own I understand that you can’t rush kids, and so I invite them to play with the toys and to feel comfortable. Moms can relax and breastfeed if they want and dads can read the paper, or have a coffee. It is then that I capture families just being themselves and that is where the most natural images come from.
I have also recently joined Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a non-profit organization that offers bereavement photography to families experiencing the loss of a child. This is a voluntary service where families receive a complimentary session, digital negatives, and DVD. Just my way of helping these families cope with their loss by giving them something they can cherish for a lifetime.
Don’t forget to check out my website www.beverleydanielsphotography.com.