BNI – a business networking like no other.
We are solitary animals us photographers, a flash of energy whilst taking photos is tempered with hours in a darkened room working on thousands of images.
A minute in the limelight, a lifetime in the shadows. With this comes the addition of lots of meaningful communications with clients followed with long bouts of talking to the walls.
No wonder we are also kinda weird too!
This is the first reason that small business owners like us photographers need to get out and network, for sanity sure, but also to keep up with being Human and communicating with the outside world.
Then, of course, there is the necessity to grow your business, you want to eat right? So you have to earn to live.
In the days of photographers springing up everywhere, growing your photography business is not as easy as you think, in fact, it’s a very real, constant challenge.
Now here’s a list of things that we can all try:
1. Walk the streets handing out leaflets
2. Spend a fortune on Google ads
3. Put a poster up in the Post Office
4. Sell a kidney to attend a trade show
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done all of those and more, but the effort versus the return is simply not worthy of the time or the expense.
There is a website that I rely on, Bidvine, I recommend you use it, it’s not cheap, but it is very effective. In the first year of use it helped triple my turnover, but there is something much more important on so many levels.
This is BNI, the world’s largest networking organisation.
I’ve always been a fan of business networking, I used to visit one held at Whitchurch Silk Mill, and found it very, very useful indeed.
I joined BNI in March 2019 after being invited by a friend who runs a real neat signage company Clear Signs and Graphics in Verwood, and now, well it has become a must have. Our Chapter, Bournemouth Bay has a mix of skill sets from all industries, and here’s the kicker, only one of each sector is allowed.
Yup, one plumber, one solicitor and of course, one Bournemouth photographer.
We meet each week at 06.45 for a breakfast meeting and we ask the room for a specific point of contact. This could be an introduction to a specific company you’d like to work with, or a person you’d like to deal with, and it works.
The idea is that everyone gets to know, and hopefully, trusts your colleagues in the room, and once trust has been formed, you are recommended. Sure, it takes time, but isn’t that always the tough part?
BNI Chapters are all over the world, indeed I recently had a meeting with a colleague from a chapter in Paris, so the reach is really global and I am looking to help place his product in the UK, that, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the killer aspect of networking and BNI in particular.
I now have 35 other companies looking out for me, and of course, the deal is I look out for them too.
Beats sitting in the dark worrying where the next job is coming from I suppose.
If you’d like to visit our Chapter at Bournemouth Bay for a no obligation view of how it all works, email me here: [email protected]
BNI Bournemouth Bay contacts
BNI Bournemouth Bay – http://bnidorset.co.uk/dorset-bay,-bournemouth/en-GB/index
Reeve Heating and Plumbing – [email protected]
Dorset Designer – www.dorsetdesigner.co.uk
By the Fire – http://bythefireonline.co.uk
Library Road Garage – [email protected]
BBS Accountancy – [email protected]
Prestige Window Cleaning – [email protected]
Stonetree Carpentry – [email protected]
Seventy Two Blue Estate Agents – http://www.seventytwo.blue
Bipcom Networks – http://www.bipcom.co.uk
ChemDry Kallista Cleaning – [email protected]
All Build Construction – http://Www.abcconstructionservices.co.uk
S29 Marketing – http://s29marketing.co.uk
Purple HR – http://www.purplehr.co.uk
Newnham and Jordon Solicitors – http://newnham-jordan.co.uk
Daisy Office Supplies – http://www.daisyofficesupplies.co.uk
Premier Choice Healthcare – [email protected]
Coversure Insurance – [email protected]
Libertas Financial Planning – http://www.libertasfinancialplanning.co.uk
Twenty Residential Design – http://twentyrdl.co.uk
Pixelhaus – http://www.pixelhaus.co.uk
Sam Sharma Business Coaching – http://samsharma.coach
PXL Associates Mortgages – [email protected]
Wills Removals – http://www.willsremovals.com
Utility Warehouse – http://www.utilitywarehouse.org.uk/sjkelly
WHB Plan and Protect – [email protected]
Solid Imagery – www.solidimagery.co.uk
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