Business Networking International
by Amanda Taylor
My mother is an entrepreneur and she invited me to go share myself with Business Networking International or BNI. We as authors are marketing ourselves as entrepreneurs and we are our brand and our book(s) are our product. We operate just like any other business.
BNI is a great place to meet other business owners in your local area. It is a global network, but it can help you in your local community. Went I went to BNI I was able to meet people with all sorts of businesses: computer tech, lawyers, exterminators just to name a few. There were many people I didn't know and there is a couple people who go to my church with my mother. I was able to meet back up with a lady I used to see every morning when I worked at Chick-fil-a.
When I went there and shared my story about being a published author, I was greeted by loud applause. I remembered how special being a published author is; sometimes we loose sight of that once you get out and get with all the other published authors out there. People looked at my book and told me how talented I was to be able to draw my characters and basically design the illustrations and covers even though I had to have professional help putting them together. This was an unforeseen highlight.
The second highlight of the event was offering the people a chance to purchase a signed copy. The business card exchange was good too. Four people bought books that day. I had brought five. Another lady contacted me later and so I sent a signed copy through my mother.
I was also able to get good marketing advice that can apply to any business and leads of a local bookstore and coffee shop that I may be able to other personal appearance events later this summer.
I did leave a good impression. People are always asking my mother about me. I may make another appearance in August on a visitors day so I can pitch to more people. I can only visit the group twice a year unless I join, but I can't invest the money right now, but that could be something I could do in the future.
BNI has chapters across the country so writers and authors can go and tap into this valuable resource.