Monday Motivation | NJ Brand Photographer

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. On Mondays, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day. 

The secret to much of my success is my community. My tribe, my peeps, my squad. Surround yourself with people who get you, who inspire you, who challenge you and who keep you accountable. It's tough being on your own as an entrepreneur. You need connection with others to grow. It's not only about finding clients but sharing ideas and creating a support system for each other. 

To find your tribe, I encourage you to network online and offline. There are hundreds of Facebook groups that you can join. Some are broad based and some are super specific for a certain niche. Find a few and test out the waters. See if you like the conversations and the engagement. Offer help and your expertise more then you ask for things. Here are two of my favorite groups : Heart Centered Biz  Bosses and Savvy Business Owners. 

Also, get out there and network in person, face to face. Leave your office and your computer to meet real people and have real talks. This is the key to building solid, meaningful relationships. Nothing compares to that in person experience. You can set up coffee dates, join meet ups, sign up for workshops or conferences. The list is really endless and it just takes some planning and a bit of courage to go out there and introduce yourself. I am heading to this Mompreneur meeting today in Florham Park, NJ and hosting my Dream Bigger workshop on Friday, Jan 27th in Short Hills, NJ. 

Schedule time to network for your business. And when I say network, I don't mean passing cards out, posting your latest sales promo or asking for referrals. I mean meeting new people, listening, being of service and offering support. This is how your build your business and make strong connections. 

What will you do this week to build your community? 

5 Ways to Engage Your Audience on Social Media | NJ Brand Photographer

Engagement....what is it and why does it matter?

Engagement is simply connecting with our audience. The interaction between people and brands/businesses on social networks. It can be done through likes, follows, comments and shares on Instagram, Facebook, your blog, etc. 

Engagement is so much more important then the number of followers because its this daily dialogue that builds interest and trust. You want to build a community of people who really get you and your brand, not just apathetic followers. As business owners, we must provide consistent valuable content to our audience in a helpful, personal and real way. Think of it as an ongoing conversation. The more you chat and connect, the deeper the relationship. Soon your audience converts into customers and becomes loyal fans of your brand. 

Here are FIVE ways to engage and connect with your audience:

1) Inspire them with motivating quotes. Share what you believe in and what lights you up. Find words and quotes that align with your purpose and values. This will help your readers get to know you better and understand why you do this work in the first place.

2) Ask questions. Include an easy way for your audience to contribute and be part of the conversation. Invite them to share their advice, their opinion, their favorite this or that. Everyone likes to be part of the party!

3) Reveal yourself. Connect to your audience by sharing more of YOU. Tell them stories about what you love. How you started? What are you dreams? What are your challenges? Get transparent and be authentic. Share yourself on a deeper level and you will start building relationships with your audience. 

4) Reveal the process. Take your audience on the journey and the #bts of your work life. Give them a sneak peek or a VIP back-stage pass. Show them how you do things, how you set up, what your desk looks like. When you share the process openly, your audience becomes more invested in YOU!

5) Recognize your peeps. Social media is meant to be social so interact, respond and post comments. Do a shoutout by tagging people in your post (this could be your clients or your collaborators), share people's photos with credit, show support with comments. There are so many ways to connect online so engage in some on-line networking and show some love!

These are just a few ways to interact with your audience to create connections and hopefully convert them into clients. Just remember that strong engagement requires consistency and action. Keep providing valuable content! Nothing happens overnight. It takes time and patience to build trust and position yourself as an expert in your industry. 

Do you have any tips for engagement? If so, share with us!

2017 Word | NJ Brand Photographer

Graphic made by Legacy Loft

2017 is finally here. We are already in the swing of a new year and many of you have set some resolutions. I chose to select a WORD as my compass and guide. For me, this word becomes my intention for the year and helps me stay on track much better then a list of resolutions.

After reviewing last year and all that I was involved in, including the good, the bad and the in between, I came up with the word SPACE. Last year was full of hustling and spinning in all sorts of directions. I said yes to many opportunities, tried new things and launched new offerings. Although many of the experiences were successful, I ended the year feeling burnout and exhausted.

SPACE felt like the best word for me for the new year. This year I want to feel more control and calm in my business and personal life. I want to stop feeling spread so thin and have space to see the big picture. I intend to create space to :

think

breathe

connect with others

lead

listen

speak

create content

Space could possibly even mean tapping into a new market or finding a new location for my business. There are so many ways to interpret this word which is exciting.

Do you pick a word for the year? How did you find it? Inspire us with your word and your process. Let's all make 2017 a great one!

 

 

How to Create Your Vision Board? | NJ Business Mentor

Join me for my upcoming Dream Bigger Workshop

Join me for my upcoming Dream Bigger Workshop

It's that time of year when everyone is talking about Vision Boards. Oprah is doing it. Ellen is doing it. Even the Kardashians. So what is all the fuss? And how do it anyways? Do you just sit down and start looking for images?

Yes and no. From my experience there is an effective way to create vision boards that is both creative but action oriented. Because we can't only be dreamers, we need to also be DOERS.

Here are 7 steps on how I guide my workshop attendees to create their own personal vision board:

1) Find a clean space (pref with lots of natural light) where you can work. Turn off all distractions and allow yourself time. Give your thoughts and dreams the attention they deserve. 

2) Grab your poster board (I like 20x24 - you can find them at Staples or Walgreens) and do some brain dumping on one side. Ask yourself these questions. What do you want MORE of? What do you want LESS of? How do you want to FEEL in 2017? What are the roles/titles/projects that you dream of? Don't think too much or question yourself. Freely write for 15 minutes.

3) Turn over the poster board. Grab those mags and start tear sheeting images that resonate with you, that grab your attention, that make you feel something. They could be colors, words, expressions, scenes - it doesn't matter! Just start making a pile. Give yourself a good hour to do this. And don't think too much.

4) Grab a scissor and glue stick and start designing. Trim the images or words. Glue them on the poster board. Many get stuck here bec they want it too look perfect. I encourage you to find your "preschool" self and just have fun with the creative process. Cut, glue and paste wherever you FEEL it should go. There is no right or wrong way. Somehow, someway - the images and graphics all come together in a way that is truly meant for you. Give yourself an hour to put it together.

5) Take a step back and review. See what dreams have unfolded on to paper. Reflect and rejoice! This is your "treasure map" for 2017.

6) Before you hang it up, go back to the side of the board with all your words/thoughts...write out 3 action steps for the one important goal that you see on the front. Do you need to contact someone? Do you need to create content? Do you need to schedule time on your calendar to plan this goal? Big or small - you need to take action to get the ball rolling.

7) Hang that masterpiece up in a place where you can see it everyday. Let it inspire you!

Bonus : Declare this goal out loud to a friend or community you trust to keep you accountable. When we share our goals, we are more likely to achieve them!

This is a brief overview of the process that I lead in my live workshops. The one thing that makes the biggest impact is the LIVE component and the connecting, sharing and encouragement that happens face to face. That magic can't be replicated when you are creating your board alone.

If you are interested in joining my upcoming Dream Bigger workshop on January 27th in Short Hills, we have a fabulous group of women who are ready to get inspired together. I bring all the materials plus breakfast and swag :) You just have to bring your dreams! Join us HERE. 

I'd love to have you and hear your BIG DREAMS! 
 

5 Reasons You May Need To Vision Board | NJ Business Mentor

Most of you know, I have a passion for Vision Boards. It wasn't always this way. I actually used to think vision boards were cheesy and a bit woo-woo. But a few years ago, I was feeling a bit stuck. I knew deep inside that there was more for me to do with my business. My brand needed to evolve and grow. The dreams that were buried deep in my head and heart needed to come out.

That's when I invited five friends to my home and together we all dived deep into the vision boarding process. We added some good eats and wine and the entire experience was amazing. It was eye opening, empowering, fun and creative. We were able to focus on ourselves and our own personal hopes and dreams. We put ourselves FIRST! The process of designing the board, putting voice in our dreams and taking action...well that was a game-changer.

So now, I lead and create this experience for others. I help women gather together for an inspiring workshop where we can dream bigger, get creative, connect with others and take big or small steps towards our goals.

I realize our lives are super busy and it's tough to carve out the time. But our dreams are important! Growth  - both personal and professional - is vital. So.....

What is a Vision Board anyway?

It's a collection of images, words and pictures that reflect your dreams, aspirations and goals. I call it a visual road map or treasure map guiding you to those big dreams that you have in your head and heart. 

Why should you make one?

  1. It’s finally time for you to focus on Y-O-U. Dare I say put yourself first before the kids, the clients, the home, the hubby...just this once. We are always taking care of everyone else. Don't neglect your dreams and nurturing yourself. And yes, you deserve it!
  2. Maybe you're in a rut? You've been feeling stuck and un-motivated. Frustrated and down. Get your creative juices flowing and feel a new wave of inspiration be surrounding yourself with other goal-getters and pouring time into your dreams.
  3. Maybe you are in a transition? You are at a fork in the road. Maybe you are finally ready to start a business, switch careers or get back into the workforce. Or maybe your newly divorced or an empty nester.  Whatever the case may be - this process can help you died the road of change and gain the confidence to take that next big step. 
  4. Maybe you have an itch that you should be doing something more or something different? Explore that gut feeling through this fun creative process. Give yourself permission to dream bigger! Put voice to those aspirations in a safe supportive space.
  5. It's the start of a new year! A new year means a new slate and a new opportunity to grow. Take advantage of this special time to invest in yourself and your goals. Make the first step and design your board. Then declare those dreams and come up with action steps. We must be dreamers AND doers! 

hese are just a few reasons on why you should take the time out and create your own personal vision board. I highly encourage you to try and do this with friends. There is magic in the room when people are being creative and connecting with each other. Plus, you can help each other be accountable to the big dreams you declare.

This intimate, inspiring experience is exactly what I try to create at my DREAM BIGGER workshop. A gathering of motivated women ready to explore their dreams and share them out loud. We also have a private Facebook group which helps you build relationships and get support if you need it. Plus, I have some great sponsors offering gifts and swags for my guests (art prints, motivational cards, candles and more!). All in all, it will be an amazing fun creative workshop held in Short Hills, NJ on January 27th. If you are interested in joining us, tickets can be purchased HERE.  I would love to have you and hear about your dreams!

 

Monday Motivation | NJ Brand Photographer

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. Every Monday, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day. 

True story. My friend/client called me the night before our headshot event to cancel. She was feeling too anxious and not good about the shoot. I encouraged her to come and try. I asked her to trust me and my creative team. Thankfully she listened and bam! Look at this lady boss. Today's #mondaymotivation is to allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. Maybe even scared. PUSH on through it. Dig deep and find your bold. It's these experiences that allow for true growth. You may surprise yourself with the results.

Do you have a scary experience that you are happy you took? How did it make you feel afterwards? I am a firm believer of getting out of your comfort zone and sharing that journey with others. Let's inspire each other!

#2017lifelist | NJ Brand Mentor

Resolutions, goals, plans...the promise of a new year can be overwhelming! Are you feeling the pressure to have your vision set for 2017?

Sometimes you just need a starting point to get your creative juices flowing.

If you are struggling with the planning, I created a simple yet sweet exercise to help you get started in thinking about what you want for the new year. 

You can receive the above fun #2017lifelist template HERE. This fun worksheet will guide you into the new year. Make sure to print it out, fill it out, share it, post it, frame it...do what you need to do to get your year started.  Don't forget to use the #2017lifelist.

But if you want more and to dig deeper into your vision, join me for my upcoming Dream Bigger vision boarding workshop on January 27th in Short Hills, NJ. Jump in on this creative workshop with an amazing group of women as we create vision boards together. You bring your big dreams. I’ll bring the materials. We’ll have a blast.

This inspiring workshop is a LIVE event which includes networking + day dreaming + goal setting + community building. Get ready for a creative experience in a beautiful space where we dream bigger and set our business intentions for the new year.

Let's get inspired together for 2 0 1 7 !

2016 MikiFoto + Co Roundup | NJ Brand Photographer

So here we are at the end of the year. Its hard to believe a full year has already passed. To be honest, sometimes I feel a bit of sadness in December because time seems to slip through my fingers. Even though there is so much happiness with the holidays, I am also reminded that the days are going fast. Everyone is getting older, my children, my parents, ourselves. The moments are here and then gone. The goals set at the beginning of 2016 are met, crossed off the list. Some not and forgotten. 

To ground myself and reflect on the years events, I have paused to review all that I have accomplished over 2016. This practice has helped me feel more centered and at peace with the passing of time. It also has allowed me to celebrate the highs and lows of a productive year. And wow! What a year it has been for MikiFoto + Co. I took a lot of chances and tried new things to grow my business from workshops to collaborations to new team hires. It has been a great learning year for me personally and professionally.

I encourage you to take inventory of your year. What were you involved with? What did you launch? Who did you work with? Where were you featured? What changes did you make to your business? What did you invest in? Where did you learn? What were the successes and the failures? Look at the year as a whole, brain dump all your activities and see how your business has evolved. 

As a round up for 2016, here is a list of #allthethings that MikiFoto + Co was involved in for the year. 

Awards + Features

Business Strategist (Nevica Vasquez)

Web Designer (Laine Napoli)

Copywriter (Carly Totten, Ashley Beaudin)

Brand Photographer (Laura Lee Photography)

Virtual Assistant (Karen Wong)

Organizer + Designed new office space (Toy Tamer)

 

Conferences + Courses

Joined Savor Circle Mastermind

Joined Mastermind - Q4 Refresh

Attended Savvy Conference

Attended Simply Stylist

Renewed BIG Membership - Women’s Empowerment Organization

Joined Lady Savant

Joined #ownit Academy
 

Workshops + Events Launched

Spring Shop

Sip, Shop & Socialize Networking Event at Bungalow - May

Vision Boarding with Stella & Dot team - Feb

Started Get Inspired Video Series

#Learn Social Workshop - Collaboration with Betty Galvan/Rupa Kale - April/June

Insta Boss Workshops - Jan/Feb/May

Style & Focus Photography Event - April

Get Gorgeous Headshot Event - Jan/Feb/March/May/Sept/Oct/Dec

Started Lady Boss Book Club - Jan

Style, Snap & Share Workshop - November

The House Spring Advertising Campaign - April

 

I am so grateful for all the opportunities, the client work, the collaborations and the learning that transpired this year. It's amazing to see all that I have done in one long list. There was lots of hustling and growth. I know that I want to include more calm, control and space for 2017. What about you? How do you want to feel for 2017?

I am excited and curious to see what unfolds for myself and my brand in the new year. Cheers to new adventures!