This is a guest blog post from Megan Gioeli of M.Gioeli Photography.
I was standing in a long line at a fabric store, “Jo-Ann Fabrics” about 8 months ago when I met a lady I’ll call “M”. She was standing behind me in line when I turned and started up a casual conversation with her. I asked her what project she was working on. I learned that she owns a company where she makes pocketbooks out of recycled materials (i.e. old ties, left over fabrics, etc.). I told her I was a photographer, we chatted for a while longer waiting in the long line and then exchanged business cards. Later I noticed she “liked” my photography business page “M.Gioeli Photography” on facebook and we went on to add each other as FaceBook friends. A few weeks later she contacted me to take pictures at her daughter’s first birthday party in May 2011. At the birthday party I met her friends and family. Of course I gave them my card. Once I completed her images I posted a few on my photography facebook page and tagged “M”. Her friend and family commented on them. I got several new “likes” on my page. One friend “L” contacted me to do a session for her son & daughter months ago. I am now booked to do several more sessions with “L”. She told me that I am her new family photographer. “L”‘s friend “A” contactd me a month ago because she is pregnant and wants some photography done. After we talked for a while, she is now signed up for one of my newborn packages. I will get to photograph her family for atleast the next year. “A” told another one of her friends, “A” who is also pregnant, and she also wants to set up a maternity session with me. A few weeks later “M” introduced me to yet another one of her friends “P”, who crochets and knits. “P” and I are now working together. She makes hats, blankets and other knit or crochet items for me to use in my photography and I am providing her images so she can promote her products online.
All of these new connections occurred because I turned around to say “Hi” to someone wating in a shopping line. Lots of people call it networking, I think it’s just doing what luckily comes natural to me, start up a conversation with someone new as often as possible.