Networking is Scary At Times

So I wanted to talk about networking. It’s essential to what I do with blogging especially if you want to get out about. Your talent will take you in front of amazing people.  In order to stay you have to be able to talk to a few folks and learn the finesse of making relationships work.

three woman talking near laptop on desk inside room

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I met some of the most amazing people while on an assignment at various locations in Philadelphia. I can’t even imagine not taking the first steps which started out of paying attention to social media. Its more than getting caught up in the darkness of liking posts. It comes from searching hash-tags of areas you are strong in. I started looking at other lifestyle bloggers. From there I made sure to follow AND engage. You have to be proactive in what you are doing online. Once I made solid connections I always make a few promises to myself:

  • Blog an event within 24 hours of attendance-keep things fresh
  • Always know who the movers and shakers are and introduce yourself
  • Be sure to get the information in the blog right the first time i.e. names, etc.
  • Keep a notebook and a pen on you at all times or you your phone for notes

Here are a few things to understand Networking in 2019

  • Have a business card but expect to follow someone on the spot on your social media platform-people tend to follow immediately. I got 10 potential blogging events from immediate follows
  • Always send a thank you note. People love acknowledgement
  • It’s okay to be scared it’s not okay to wait for someone to approach you. Fear is debilitating but if you at an event, speak up
  • If you showed up to an event, show up for yourself in that you do the best job possible. I blogged an event I attended with my family, caught a PR’s attention and I have been rocking ever since.
  • If you RSVP, show up. I have only not gone to one event and had to bow out. Life happens but don’t make it frequent.
  • Treat your blog like a job in that not that you get into a mundane flow with it but make it priority. If and when others see that you do, they will take you seriously. I am a creator. I blog. I am consistent. People notice consistency and that alone will take you before amazing people
  • Make friends that are doing the same type of things as you network

One of the things I struggle with is not always wanting to get the shot with me in it. This is one of the things I changed this year. Do not be afraid since I tend to travel to events by myself to talk and ask someone to get the picture of you in it. Having a few pictures with you in the shot for a personal blog is personable and necessary. Treat it as if you were at an event with friends. The same excitement you would have you must take in order to get what you came for. I have had many high level executives thank me for how I approach their event and get the information. My job in my mind is how would a reader of my blog need to approach a restaurant, event, or social gathering. I take the initial hit so that a reader can easily flow into it when they attend.

photography of people using smartphones

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Also if you are being asked to attend an event of lets say a PR firm, act accordingly. Learn the art of socializing at an event.  Meaning if there are drinks and 9 times out of 10 there are, have a few without looking like you had a few. Learn to pace yourself. Learn to speak well of yourself. Always stay clear of conversations that will trigger bad behavior.  The last thing you want to do is to be found being the one that is labeled an issue. Smile. You weren’t invited to be grumpy. Always know the camera is on you. Most events I have attended there is always at least one if not more photographers on site so dress for the event!  If it’s a play that’s an immediate dress up. If it’s a dinner, if its black tie, dress to impress. It’s always business casual unless otherwise stated. If you are at an outdoor event, than always keep your gear clean and tidy and dress down for that event but keep it nice. All of this should come without saying but you will be surprised of the things you see when you are out and about.

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So networking is hard. But its necessary. I have had a great time getting to know my city and as I hope to expand, the only way to do so is speaking up, smiling, and letting my normal personality shine. I feel as if people are getting what they need from me by me being who I am to begin with. Remember do what you love it will take you places not just because you have ability but because you have heart!  So clear heart and mind, smile, and fun should be on your agenda. Also organize yourself so you present the best picture. I always pack my media bag the night before.  I get my lighting, extra battery pack, charge my phone, grab a camera, get your business cards, grab a notebook, etc. Being prepared will assist you.

 

 

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Rim Cafe: Make it Happen

I love when you leave a place or in someone’s presence and you have the biggest smile because of how someone has treated you. I experienced an experience that is Rim Cafe.

From the time I walked into Rim Cafe I was taken away. It’s an eclectic atmosphere filled with nostalgia. So from first glance you should already know you’re in for a treat.

We were greeted with smiles and I knew it was going to be a in a welcome atmosphere. Rene the owner has so much light and love that it’s hard to not smile. I’m talking about that show all of your teeth smile. He knows how to “make it happen!” That’s his signature phrase. He sat down with us and talked about making coffee and drinks and about life. I wasn’t sure expecting to get life jewels but I did!

He talked about not limiting our power. He discussed about being the best in what you do and how creativity can’t be copied. I have often spoken about when you’re open to the right things wisdom will fine it’s way to deliver what you need when you need it.

If you follow Rim Cafe you already know that Rene is going to spin you into a heavenly rich concoction of love. Literally he made us 3 dishes. The first was a St. Patrick White hot chocolate that was amazing.

The next was a baked cannoli with melted chocolate in the middle. My goodness I was just floored by the flavor.

Next came the blow torch and I knew I was in trouble. He made banana flambé with caramel sauce and topped with peanut butter. Somebody call and check on me. I had to pretty much drink water for the rest of the day!

Oh by the way the peanut butter is homemade with his own signature way of making it. I’m not a peanut butter fan but this makes any of your name brand peanut butter blush!

I almost forgot about the salted caramel espresso shot! Heaven in a glass!!

Don’t wait, run to Rim Cafe. It’s located 1172 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia PA! You will never see a cafe like this in your life. Thank you Rene for making me smile. The memories will last! Make it Happen!!

Also they have all kinds of treats to take home too!!

TCP presents Spread Love

TCP or The Cultured Professional is a network that has everything from blogs to podcasts and even a cooking show. It’s a one stop shop for all things information that continues to expand and grow. With information comes responsibility. The responsibility to be aware of not just ourselves but those around us. That’s where the concept of Spread Love comes in.

Three years ago the concept was born in providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and care packages to the less fortunate. With that in mind, members of TCP came together along with community leaders and volunteers to “Spread Love.” Just in making these sandwiches the thought process of what it means to make someone a sandwich is bigger than simply making sure each corner is filled with peanut butter. The concept of making sure to feed someone as you would yourself and to keep in mind the basic needs we take for granted was on the minds of all who came out to support. Volunteers of all ages came together to make today’s 402 care packages and sandwiches a huge success.

One of the biggest initiatives was to find out as a community the needs that exist and how to resolve them. Being present with intent is what drove the discussion towards ideas that could be put into an action plan. Ideas such as a community garden, cleaning up the neighborhood, teaching financial literacy, programs to increase mentorship and life skills support just to name a few are all great ways to think towards sustaining the very lives of those around us. Speaking of intent, 3 of those ideas will be backed as those winners’ ideas will be backed by a check for $500 a piece.

One of the biggest issues with speaking on how to bring the community together is usually the lack of having community leaders who will support the very initiatives. However today wasn’t that day. Today Spread Love had the elite privilege of having the backing as well as help from Lancaster Mayor, Danene Sorace as well as the Lancaster Community Foundation. Today with the help of Mayor Sorace and her family, TCP was able to be intentional on future plans. Sorace not only listened to the ideas, she also gave a lot of great input on resources already in place. She made sure she too assisted in making care packages.

Lancaster City Mayor Danene Sorace And husband, Christian And family

Often times we tend to complain about ways to make things better but we rarely do the things necessary to assist. When community initiatives are being set often those who ideas don’t step up to let their voices heard! Here’s how you can help in future initiatives:

  • Show up and be present even when you don’t agree with an idea
    Come with a plan and don’t be afraid to speak up
    If you feel you weren’t heard the first time, keep talking

The next time there is a community event, attend. You would be surprised of the wealth of knowledge you may learn just from being at the right place at the right time. Today we were able to see free flow of love and support. It crossed all barriers! We have the power to unite on issues that are bigger than us if we take the time to speak with intentions.

Marquis and Whitney Lupton

There was fun, food, activities for the kids and raffles and prizes all while jamming out to the awesome sounds of DJ Biz!

On behalf of TCP we would like to thank the following:

Lancaster Mayor, Danene Sorace

Lancaster Community Foundation

Brightside Community Center

Chef Oliver Saye, For providing the best food to nurture our volunteers

Derrick “DJ Biz” Wright

All news outlets for the coverage

Every volunteer who without your help we wouldn’t have been able to be a blessing without your diligence of accepting the call and making it happen!

To all who donated toiletries, bread, peanut butter and jelly and all necessary supplies

Shout out to the whole TCP crew! “We working over here!”

 

Meet the Johnsons: Jamar and Kizzy

Chef Oliver and Zuma

The Queens of Raw Royalty: Hollywood Bonnie, Honey, Jassy, And Siren

William Way, Brandon Way, Lancaster City Mayor, Danene Sorace, Marquis Lupton