Monday, May 28, 2012

You Are The Only Expert About What You Do

Last week Lisa and I ventured over to Berkeley for Teahouse Studio's happy hour. I looked forward to it because it was a chance to get to spend some time face to face with an incredible group of women. I also had to put on my networking hat and work the room. Ahhhh, networking - why is it so anxiety producing?

We met someone that said "You are the only expert about what you do"and so, duh, why is talking yourself up to a stranger so freaking hard? I'm at a place in my career where I've successfully branded myself, my portfolio is strong, I have a presence on Facebook that's linked to Twitter, so it looks like I'm on Twitter way more than I actually am, and I am on Instagram quite a lot, so people can get know who I am rather easily virtually.

But when meeting people face to face...I've always struggled with getting my business card in their hands. When do you do it? What if you have to walk away to get your cards and then the moment has passed? Do I keep them in my back pants pocket for easy access? What if I am wearing a dress? All of these ridiculous thoughts and more fly through my head when I'm talking to someone at an event that is specifically for networking!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Now, I've been to events where people network aggressively and that's a total turn off, so what's the balance between telling someone what you do and being obnoxious about it? The first thought I have about this is that if I was a dude - I wouldn't worry about this shit! I would feel confident and assured that the people I meet are completely interested in my expertise. Fucking gendered socialization bullshit!

Phew, I feel better. Other gems of wisdom I got from this event are that you should also try to create 3 dimensionality with your business. We'll probably post about that later this week, interesting, right!?

So, if you think about being the only expert in what you do - then what do you say? Do you practice your elevator pitch? If so, how'd you get to it and what do you specifically say?

Here's a few things I say when I give my elevator pitch:
  • I'm a self-taught natural light photographer based in San Francisco.
  • I specialize in not-so-corporate headshots and love working with people who hate having their photo taken.
  • I also photograph families and I have a side business called, Knot Shots, where I shoot weddings, engagements and love shoots.
  • I offer a discount Monday-Friday to my headshot clients.
  • I work well with procrastinators and people who need quick turn around times with their photos.
Now, the Awfully Grand elevator pitch is a bit harder, but someone at the happy hour nailed it for us - stay tuned for that blog post too!

Thanks to the women at Teahouse Studios for hosting the happy hour. We had a great time!

Happy Monday!


  1. so sorry i missed the party. was feeling a little under the weather, but now i'm kicking myself that i didn't get the chance to practice a bit of my networking with the two of you!!