Applause erupts all around moments after the evening’s host announces the Diamond-of-Dedication TCWEP Member of the Year award winner: Jeannine Pohl of Jeannine Marie Photography! Wide smiles flash across faces in the audience; hands continue clapping and heads nod agreement. Everyone knows Jeannine. Loves her. And with her name being called out — voted for her.
In a moment of spirited improvisation, Susan Lee Wright and Lori Snyder, bound on stage and clasp the microphone to express heartfelt admiration for Jeannine who is traveling internationally and unable to accept the award in person tonight.
A few weeks after the awards ceremony, Jeannine kindly shares some success-recipes for business networking.
What is networking to you?
Has someone impacted how you approach networking?
In the words of Seth Godin “People buy from you because they know you and they trust you.”
Also, my first business coach required me to attend at least 8 networking events a month. This was a good kick-starter; especially since I had expendable time but not marketing dollars.
How would you describe your personality?
I’m an extrovert all the way and it definitely has helped me in my networking.
How do you approach networking?
I used to hate it because I thought it was only to tell everyone about what I do, and I hated talking about myself. Thanks to watching and learning from fellow TCWEP member Lori Snyder, I learned to approach networking as an opportunity to help and connect people. Now, I go into conversations hoping in some small way to contribute to another business owner’s success.
I learned to approach networking as an opportunity to help and connect people. Now, I go into conversations hoping in some small way to contribute to another business owner’s success.Jeannine Marie Photography
Does what you wear clothing-wise matter at all while networking?
I’m no fashionista. While I am on-the-job photographing events I wear black, so when I am networking I like to wear bright colors.
Was there a moment you realized you’re good at networking?
I’m a “woo” per my Strength Finders assessment, so networking eventually became really rewarding.
Any stories involving networking, good or bad?
I have so many but my favorite is the true friendships that I have made through networking. Being a creative business owner can leave me pretty isolated at times. It is so wonderful to have people to surround myself that understand what it is like.
What was your first experience with a TCWEP networking event?
I had been lurking among TCWEP’s event reviews online for a long time and wondering how I could get into the “secret club.” It wasn’t until I actually knew someone that was going to an event that I finally attended one. I forget where the event was held, but oh-boy! I remember sweating bullets going into the meeting. Shaking people’s hands limply, and oh-my-goodness when that microphone slowly made its way to me I could hardly breath enough breath to speak my name into it. Oh, and of course everyone is supposed to say a business tag line, so I somehow stumbled my way through saying my name and maybe five other words that probably didn’t make any sense to anyone listening, then handed the microphone off to someone else.
Has the way you network changed over the course of the past 10 years?
I have a lot less expendable time with a busier business and a small child at home. I am more intentional with what I commit to do.
Any advice for someone going to their first networking event?
Wear good deodorant because your nerves will have you sweating.
Do a superman stance in the bathroom for 2 minutes before hand, and go into the event hoping you can meet someone you can help.
Sign up to volunteer as a greeter! You get to know names and faces way more quickly!
Anything else you’d like to share?
You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising. Networking is next to free in comparison. (plus you usually get food and drinks!)
Thank you so much Jeannine for sharing. You’re inspiring. We look forward to more of your work and continued success.
Jeannine Marie Photography
676 Smith Ave S,
Saint Paul, MN 55107
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