How My BNI Network Supports Me


When I was first introduced to Business Networking International (BNI), I was not at all sold. I didn’t want to be a sucker, pay the big bucks, and drink the cool-aid like everyone else only to discover that the referral-based networking group had nothing to offer me or my business. The rules and the attendance policy sounded daunting and triggered my inner rebel, but because I was new to entrepreneurship and needed to start generating more leads, I hushed my fears and signed on the dotted line.


Unfortunately, for my first 6 months to 1 year, BNI was what I had feared. A disappointment. I did not receive many referrals in the first year and even when I did receive them they often did not turn into clients. I was told by multiple members at the time to lower my prices, offer deep discounts and even received negative comments about my logo, the name of my brand and so on. I was constantly referred out for gigs that did not match my ideal client and the people I was asking for in my 45-seconds spiel each Wednesday. I felt like I had been duped.

It wasn’t until I attended BNI’s Membership Success Program and met my Golden Goose that everything began to change. A Golden Goose in BNI is a business owner, ideally another member in your chapter, who can refer you loads of leads. And that day I met mine. The wonderful and wise Lindsay Mitchell of Vital-Side. 

Lindsay and I began work together and she became one of the highest paying clients in my entire business at the time, and she continued to revisit me for repeat business. As our work relationship grew our friendship did as well, and I mentioned just how disappointed I was in my current BNI chapter and that I was thinking about leaving BNI altogether. It was at that moment that she invited me to visit her chapter, Profit Powerhouse to potentially source some new leads.


Walking into Profit Powerhouse that day changed everything. I fell in love with that chapter. The culture, the vibe, and the energy seemed to match what I was looking for. I noticed a few key differences in the demographic as well, the median age was lower and there was more women-owned business in the chapter. They seemed to understand what I offered much better, and the chapter was smaller, about 15 members at the time. The intimacy made me feel heard and seen during my 45-second spiel.

I applied to change chapters and after a series of hoops I jumped through - I drank the cool-aid a second time and I couldn’t be happier. As I close in on my 1-year mark in this chapter — 32% of my leads are generated through BNI. And this has happened despite my dreadful attendance this last quarter and I still haven’t completed all my 121s! If I can commit to a 121 a week or at least 2 a month and score perfect attendance I believe I can have this % up to 50% in 6 months. That’s my goal.

doesBNI work

Aside from the amazing referrals and business that BNI has brought me, most importantly it’s brought me an incredible community of like-minded entrepreneurs that I ENJOY spending time with every Friday morning. It’s a BLAST. It’s hope-giving and life-affirming when things get hard. It’s inspiring when I need motivation and it’s the fire under my ass when I’m not performing as well as I could be.

Currently, I have quarterly Brand Photoshoots for my social media with a photographer I met through BNI - Amy Weiss she’s the wife of my CPA Luke Weissgarber who I met in BNI. For those photoshoots I always get with my personal stylist Miramar Dichoso beforehand - who I met in BNI - and we shop together and curate outfits. When I have Copy that needs to be written for a client’s video I can turn to my content writer April Smith at EContent Success and I know she’ll put something together that generates sales and clarity. Lindsay continues to constantly send me more leads which I am eternally grateful for. There’s a fabulous bookkeeper in our chapter who I plan to start working with. Our Vegan food delivery service Prep To Your Door CEO Heather always inspires me to be more eco-friendly and eat healthier. Our psychologist Pam Monday has seen my boyfriend and me for a couple’s session and mapped out our family tree which helped us better understand where our behaviors stem from. I’ve found a skincare specialist, chiropractor, functional medicine doctor, massage therapist and many many more qualified professionals by way of BNI. These wonderful, considerate people have helped me thrive not just in business, but more importantly in my personal life. My BNI chapter is truly a family.

Interested in visiting my chapter? Register here as a guest!

How to Use Instagram Stories (for business)


Recently I came across a fabulous episode of the Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner that covered Instagram Stories for business. Their guest was Alex Beadon a Instagram Stories EXPERT who gave a TON of great insider tips on how to utilize Instagram Stories to drive business. I want to dive in and cover a couple of things that I learned that are novel and useful. Let’s get started!

how to use instagram

Master the art of storytelling — There is a reason why they’re called Instagram Stories and the most successful use of the platform utilizes the key elements of any great story. A set-up, inciting event or introduction, great characters, a middle and most importantly and ending! So many Instagram story users forget to post an ending making viewers feel dissatisfied for following on your journey. Don’t leave your viewers hanging, make sure you sign off at the end of your series of stories so that viewers know the journey is complete.

Weekly series’ are an easy way to get started — If you’re wondering where to start with stories, try creating a weekly series. For example “Work with me Wednesdays” and you bring people along and show them a behind-the-scenes of what you work day looks like. Try to think about what you brand, service and product is and think about something that you get a lot of questions about and start there with your weekly series. Audiences will be FASCINATED!

how to use instagram stories

Sometimes what seems the most mundane is the most engaging — For example, just posting a picture of coffee vs tea and asking what you should have this morning? This or that questions.. yes or no questions.. all perform REALLY well on Instagram Stories. You don’t have to be the most creative or live the most fab life for people to want to watch — it’s actually the opposite. People are curious about your every day life.

Start conversations - One of the best ways to drive engagement on Instagram is to use the Stickers button to start conversations, chat rooms, or receive FAQs from your audience. If people DM you based on your story and ask you a question — send back your answer to them, screenshot it, block off their name or handle and then post THAT as a story - because likely other people have the same question! Use FAQs to fuel your content. Let your audience become part of the conversation. They feel included and this builds community.

Be authentic - On Instagram stories the name of the game is authenticity. Instagram posts are for you most polished photos, but Stories is a peak behind the curtain. Use this as an opportunity to try out new content, test new public speaking topics, test new jokes — whatever! As long as you’re being yourself you will be engaging and you will shine.

That’s it for how to utilize Instagram Stories! If you want to learn more, I highly recommend Alex Beaden’s program GRAM SLAM! It looks amazing and is definitely something I’ll be enrolling in, in the near future.

Time, Talent, Treasure (On the importance of Tithing)

photography class at the Refuge

It can be so easy to become disconnected from our "why" when day in and day out we are giving our all to the slow burn that is building a business and feeling like we're getting nothing in return. My advice is going to sound counter intuitive but just trust me on this.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

At Primrose Productions we give our time, talent and treasure to the Refuge to support victims of sex trafficking.

At Primrose Productions we give our time, talent and treasure to the Refuge to support victims of sex trafficking.

Start looking for ways you can tithe your time & talent. Imagine you had millions of dollars RIGHT NOW -- Who or what is the organization or person that you want to give your treasure to? Where you could give it all away and just feel good. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

What if you could give right now? Today? Or next week? You can. With your time and your talent.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

When we start tithing, the universe responds to us in beautiful ways. We feel reignited. Invigorated. Inspired. And suddenly time begins to open up again and flow back to us. Because when we give 10% the universe gives us the other 90%. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Find a way to tithe your time or talent this week and watch the beauty unfold.

Tithe your Treasure to our Photography Class at The Refuge:

Here’s how to do it:

1.Visit This Link:

2.Fill out the Form and in the “How did you hear about The Refuge” section put “Photography Class - Sponsorship Level -"

3.Donate $250

4.All done!

What You’ll Receive:

1.A tax write-off cert

2.A note/letter of gratitude from one of the girls

3.A (pre-approved by the Refuge) photo from one of the girls’s photography projects

4.A glowing heart because you’re awesome <3 

Thank You!

5 Things I Wish I'd Known (When Starting My Business)

5 Things to Do when Starting a  Business

There are so many things as a business owner I wish I had known and implemented from Day 1. But instead, I’ve been learning as I go and making a TON of mistakes along the way. Mistakes that have cost me $20k in credit card debt and left me struggling regularly to pay my day to day bills and expenses. I often feel more like a #strugglepreneur more than an #entrepreneur. Most days there is absolutely nothing I can do about it either - except keep my head up and keep going. Knowing that I now have systems in place moving forward that will pay out dividends later. But just in case you’re reading this and about to start a business, here are a few things I wish I’d done from day one to make this business venture more profitable and systematized (code for FUN) from the get-go.

1. Systematize Your Money

If you’re an entrepreneur and you haven’t read Profit First yet PLEASE stop what you’re doing now and order it on amazon. If you’re about to start a business and you haven’t read Profit First yet PLEASE stop what you’re doing now and order it on amazon. Have I made myself clear? Good. Moving on.

Profit First Money.jpg

Profit First was developed by Mike Michaelowicz as a way to systemize your business funds. Essentially it works like this - certain percentages of your income get divided into categories, namely Profit, Taxes, Operating Expenses and Owner’s Comp. You should be setting aside Profit from day one to ensure that your expenses aren’t eating all your profit. Too often our “profit” is mixed in with our expense account and while on an accounting balance sheet it may exist, the cash isn’t there to prove it. By opening MULTIPLE BANK ACCOUNTS and separating the cash you will ensure that your business is profitable from day one.

This system will ensure you save the right amount of money for taxes, your business is frugal, and that you always have money stashed away somewhere for a rainy day.

On this topic also start working with a bookkeeper and CPA from Day one. DAY ONE!! Ok, I think I’ve made my point. Finances are the BIGGEST cash-eating-monster that is out to get entrepreneurs. Don’t let it get YOU.

2. Content Creation is Part of Your Business Plan

How to work as a women entrepreneur.jpg

Content is king in this day and age - so instead of getting two years into your business and THEN trying to figure out how to make content on top of client work - build your content into your business plan from Day one. Whether it’s a podcast, or a youtube channel or a blog - pick your thing and work on it CONSISTENTLY (consistency is key to everything in business) for 1-2 years before re-evaluating. I highly recommend Youtube because as Forbes tells us “With 3 billion searches per month, YouTube’s search volume is larger than that of Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and combined. If YouTube’s user base were a country, it would be the third-largest in the world.”

Yeah. Wow is right.

Set aside 1 day a week to work on your Youtube Content and then structure your client work and admin work around that. Content should be a top priority as it works as a marketing strategy, sales funnel, SEO magnet and elevates your status as an expert.

3. Have an Entry Level Offering That Makes you Money By Itself

Women entrepreneur.jpg

Here I am pretty much referring to an online course or webinar. Create an offering that can meet people wherever they’re at by keeping it at a relatively affordable price point. Depending on who you talk to, this might be $30 and it might be $700 so I’m not here to tell you exactly how much but create an online course with value by using your Culture Add (Thanks Danielle Leslie) to determine exactly what you can teach the world. Price your services at a price point that feels right and matches what else is on the market. Use this offering as a sales funnel on your website (collect e-mails when they sign up) and recommend it when someone can’t afford your signature package. This will help ensure that you always have some passive revenue, even if it’s just a leetle.

This course will also help give potential customers experience working with you and build your reputation so that when they’re ready to buy, they come knocking on your door.

4. Branding from Day 1

how to brand your business

One of my biggest regrets is not working with a branding professional from Day 1. While it might be an expensive investment (around $3,000) to get a full package, it is ENTIRELY worth it. How your brand appears in the world MATTERS. How people perceive you and your services MATTERS. It will give you more confidence when selling yourself if you’re clear on who you are and what you’re about and your materials match that mission through color and design. This is also important for your social media - which needs to match the other branded aspects of your business (website, business card) and needs to represent you in the best way. People are SO WILDLY influenced by branding it’s INSANE. They buy something because it sells them a deep desire they have within - even if it’s something subconscious that they can’t pinpoint. Have you ever bought the more expensive candle because of its texture, color, scent, and label? YAH. IT’S STILL JUST A CANDLE. That’s branding for ya. First impressions are everything - make it count.

5. Know Your Worth and the Cost of Your Services

It’s much easier for me to stand behind my pricing when I’m confident in the math behind it. Having never been a “math person” this has been somewhat painful to do but so worth it. Being in a service industry like video production it can be extremely hard to figure out what to charge - especially when your competitors are all over the place with pricing and most people determine their pricing based on their experience. Well, how do you put a value on experience? What kind of experience counts?

how to price your services

I’ve found that doing some exploration around what price points you’re willing and unwilling to work for can be extremely helpful in these situations. Additionally, you’ll need to take into account how much you desire to earn each month, how much your expenses will cost you (personal AND business), and how many clients you’ll be able to handle at once. Play around with the numbers until you figure what is going to work and then STICK TO THOSE NUMBERS relentlessly for at least 6 months before re-evaluating. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is jumping all around in my pricing constantly. It’s confusing for me, confusing for my clients and unfair to clients who’ve paid more or less for a similar package as someone else. So pick numbers and stick to them. If you find they’re not working, re-adjust and then test again. A bit like a science experiment.

As your confidence and expertise grow your prices naturally will too. Be patient, don’t try to earn too much too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race.

That’s a wrap!

I hope this was helpful for you guys. Feel free to leave comments below with questions or to reach out to me directly for any other business insights! Happy to be of service if it means #nomorestrugglepreneurs.

5 Invaluable Lessons I Learned at the EWomen Network Conference

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This month I attended a 4-day women’s entrepreneurship conference in Dallas, TX and it was the single-most life changing and business-altering experiences I’ve ever had - and not for the reasons I expected. I didn’t meet hundreds of ideal clients (necessarily), I didn’t sell any business (yet), but I met the most inCREDIBLE mentors and women I can look up to and learned some invaluable lessons. For you, I’ve curated my top 5 - and I included a 6th bonus! Check it out.

1. Websites are Dead

websites are dead

Social Media is the name of the game now. The majority of consumers DON’T go to your website first - they go to your social media platforms. From there they make quick assumptions about your brand, your business, and what you can do for them. Do NOT underestimate the power of social media anymore, it’s 2019. I’m not suggesting you ditch your Squarespace subscription (yet) but social media is KING. Did you know Instagram is a billion dollar industry? Yeah. The average Instagram user earns over $100k in annual revenue. They sound like great customers to me!

e women network conference

2. Stop Re-Inventing The Wheel

So often as entrepreneurs we are trying to do things a new and innovative way and ignoring the people that have come before us. Well, it’s time to stop being an idiot and start using the legwork of your competition to succeed faster. If your competition is doing something that works (like getting website traffic, or they have a great sales funnel, or they have a kick-ass social media) then HACK IT and COPY IT like your business depends on it! Because...well.. It DOES! No, I’m not saying plagiarize and I’m not saying copy each word, image and aesthetic. I’m saying hack the TEMPLATE and make it YOUR OWN.

3. Your Mind is Your Most Powerful Business Tool

how to use your mind to fuel your business

I hear it over and over again - the most successful people utilize the power of their MIND to reach success. There is NOTHING more powerful than the thoughts you think, the words that come out of your mouth, and your VISION for SUCCESS. Spend time with that vision DAILY. Speak the truth that you desire into form. If you don’t know how to do this pick up the Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes or Mindful Success by Maggie Cook. Recognize that you are a spiritual being having a human experience and you can use the divine to fuel your business. If it sounds and feels ridiculous, you’re doing it right! Believe in it anyway and the “kingdom” will literally be yours.

4. Micro-influence is the Sweet Spot

how to become an influencer

There are 4 kinds of influence; Mega, Macro, Micro and Nano. Mega-Influencers are you celebrities, actors, musicians they have 1M+ followers on Instagram. While this may seem appealing and you may think that all those people would be great for your web traffic and sales - the reality is Mega influence is actually extremely unfocused because of the diversity of followers. The real sweet spot is actually in Micro-Influence for several reasons A) It’s attainable (1K-100K followers) B) It’s a manageable size and you can develop intimate relationships with your followers and C) you have very high engagement from your followers. So, when you’re aiming for the stars with your IG just remember that there is in fact a sweet spot when it comes to influence.

5.  It’s Not a Vision Board - It’s an Action Board

how to create a vision board

Whoa!! Mind-blowing isn’t it? A-C-T. Action-Changes-Things. Vision-boards mean NOTHING if they sit there and cause you no inspired action. So next time you’re considering making a vision board say “NO”. Instead make an action-board and watch your next steps unfold. Thanks to Maggie Cook for that GREAT quote.

That’s it for my 5 invaluable lessons I learned at the EWomen Network conference! I cannot wait to see what the Icon2020 Conference holds next year! Will I be seeing you there?

For bonus tip #6 join my email list and receive the FULL PDF of these invaluable lessons for future reference!

10 Ideas for Video Content that Any Business Can Utilize

Whether you’re a videographer searching for new ideas or a DIY business owner looking to promote your business through video - these 10 ideas will get you inspired and excited to hit record!

Case Study: School Principal Challenging School Norms


Did you know that 5% of my clientele are school principals? I know right?! When I start my videography business school principals were not a niche market I was expecting to tap into. However, I’ve had a wonderful time working with principals across the US to create Brand Videos that help elevate their speaking careers, and establish them as influencers in their industry.

Adam communicates to a Kindergartner how to make eye contact and stand up straight.

Adam communicates to a Kindergartner how to make eye contact and stand up straight.

Take Adam Dovico for example. Adam is on a mission to change school “norms” forever. As he says in the video, we’ve been doing education the same way for decades and it hasn’t gotten us very far (PREACH ADAM!). Adam is determined to inspire and motivate schools everywhere, public and private, to reach new levels of rigor, engagement and inclusivity by challenging the status quo and trying something new.

He does this by appearing at speaking engagements in the education industry (I.e. Get Your Teach On Conference) and doing one-on-one work with clients across the county who are teachers, principals and super intendants to help them break the mold within their school.

Adam works with a student on their project.

Adam works with a student on their project.

When Adam came to me - he wanted to create 2 videos: 1) A Brand Video for his website and for social media that he can use to promote his message and develop brand awareness, and 2) a speaking introduction video that can play before he hops on stage to talk to hundreds of educators - something that will pump them up, move them emotionally and get them excited to hear Adam speak.

We started off like I do with all my clients - a deep dive phone call where we talk about everything from the brand mission, goal and vision to my client’s struggles, fears and soul wounds. Here’s what Adam has to say about it.

“The deep dive phone call helped me critically think about my audience and mission. Savannah pushed me to think about why I was doing what I was doing and how to best relay my message to an audience. I especially enjoyed the collaborative aspects of the phone call and how she was right there along with me brainstorming my brand.” - Client / Adam Dovico

Adam emphasizes starting with school culture before tackling academics, and this is because if you start with school culture you create a space where students and teachers WANT to be. Then, once you’ve developed trust with your staff you can tackle the more difficult issues in education. When you walk through Adam’s school in North Carolina if FEELS different. Kids come up and shake your hand and talk about what they’re leaning in class. Students are polite and engaging, teachers are excited and having fun - and I wanted to make sure we captured this and make it tangible to viewers during both videos.

School culture at Moore Elementary.

School culture at Moore Elementary.

While I really wanted to go more in depth about what school culture is — being on the outside of their industry it took me a little bit to understand what that buzzword actually means — but I also knew we needed to keep both videos short, ideally under 1 minute. Ultimately I decided to cut down on the definitions of school culture based on what I know about his target audience which is that they are educators too - they’ll have already heard this buzzword and be interested in this topic, they don’t need it explained to them. While I made sure to include visuals that cover this, I didn’t linger on this subject in the final edit.

Additionally, having two distinct call to actions was important to us. The Brand Video should encourage people to reach out to Adam and schedule a call, bring him to their school to see what he’s all about - whereas the Speaking Video should get everyone pumped and excited and end in a way that segues us into his talk. So as you watch the two videos take note of the different call to actions at the end of each video.

All in all for the HOURS of footage that we shot - I feel we boiled it down to the very best testimonials, sound bites and visuals. Adam feels confident that these are videos he can use to promote his work and I am looking forward to adding them to my portfolio.

“Now that I have my videos, I am able to provide a way for clients to see me doing what I love to do. These videos capture who I am and what I can bring to help educators and schools.” — Client / Adam Dovico

Are you a teacher or educator who wants to reach a larger market? Consider how a video might work in your favor and win people over before you even set foot in the room.

Watch the Finished Videos Here:

How to Budget for Videography


Also known as, why does video cost so much?

Video production is EXPENSIVE. I feel you on that. However, there are a few insights I can give you to help you budget more realistically so that you’re not shell-shocked by the price tag on your next quote from a videographer.

You can also use the calculator at the bottom of this post to plug in your own numbers and see what your project might cost.

Let’s dive in.

  1. Recognize that prices may vary.


Because videography is a freelance industry, every videographer is different. They’re going to have differently hourly rates, different equipment and different values on their time. Someone fresh out of college might be DYING to work for $25/hour, but others who have been in the industry a while may not take anything less than $200/hour. It’s important to realize that you are paying for experience in the field when it comes to your videographer’s hourly rate. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a great videographer at a steal of a deal, but it does mean that comparing and contrasting numbers might get exhausting, and you’d be best to go with the videographer that suits your style and needs rather than choosing based on a number.

2. Budget for the hours of filming - but don’t forget to include setup and breakdown

Did I mention that video production requires a ton of gear? If I haven’t then let me just say - VIDEO REQUIRES A TON OF GEAR. Even though videography is at the low-end of the production spectrum, it can still take a decent amount of time to load in, set-up, get exposures, run some test shots and take a deep breath — especially when most videographers are a one-woman crew. So don’t be surprised if you'r videographer needs 45m - 1 hour to setup and YES you have to pay them for that time too. Budget for at LEAST 30m of setup and breakdown EACH when calculating out how many hours of filming will be needed. It’s best to let the videographer tell you from experience how much filming time will be needed - a good rule of thumb is no less than 2-4 hours including setup and breakdown, and depending on the shoot. Multiply the hours by your videographers hourly rate to get the cost of filming.

3. Equipment rentals & gear


Not all videographers own their own gear, but if they do - they’ll likely be adding a fee to cover their costs. Owning gear is not only expensive in of itself but it is expensive to maintain insurance coverage and pay off any loans/credit cards that were used to acquire said gear. If your videographer is renting gear then that needs to be billed at actual cost. Hopefully your videographer won’t be renting EVERYTHING or that can get pricey - but sometimes renting a lens or light kit can be relatively affordable for both parties. I usually try to budget around $75-125 worth of equipment rentals per shoot, but of course it all depends.

4. Editing

This is where things get very VERY time consuming and expensive for most videographers. For someone who doesn’t do any video editing you might be wondering WHY your videographer charges SO MUCH MONEY for editing. I can tell you from experience that sometimes I don’t even want to OPEN a project file without at least $200 waiting for me on the other side, that’s how much video editing can suck at times. A good rule of thumb to help you budget for video editing is estimating 4-6 hours of work per finished MINUTE of video. If your video doesn’t include interviews, audio or any synching this number might get closer to 2-4 hours per finished minute - but it also all depends on your videographer’s editing speed - which is where experience totally pays off.

5. Location fee


Location… location…location! Locations are EVERYTHING for a video shoot. You can make a brand look extremely high-end (or not so high end…) all depending on where you shoot. LOCATIONS MAKE OR BREAK VIDEOS! There are some affordable locations out there as well as some very high end ones - it might be best for you to take a look through and see what’s out there and at what rates so you can accurately budget for a location. For the average videography project, I would say $75-100/hour is a reasonable expectation.

6. Graphics & Voice Over

If you’re planning on having some original graphics made (think animations, titles, etc) for your video this can substantially raise the cost of post-production. However, with the introduction of Fiverr freelancers everywhere have been able to cut costs in this area. Ask your videographer if they source from Fiverr for Graphics and Voice Over and then budget based on what you see available on their website. You can get great Voice Over for $12 so there is no need to over-spend here - however budgeting on the high-end never hurts.

7. Markup & Profit


At the end of the day your videographer is running a business, a business that needs to profit and come out on top. They can’t be loosing money gig after gig and expect to stay a float. Don’t be surprised if you see a contingency markup (20% is typical) to cover unexpected production costs as well as a profit markup (usually 8%) so that some funds go back into the business itself. Seeing these additional costs on a quote should be a reassurance that your videographer is focused on running a quality business, maintaining great relationships with their clientele, and delivering high quality videos in a timely fashion. Freelancers who are only in it to make a quick buck and aren’t concerned with maintaining a brand identity and reputation are going to be much more likely to flake out or try and tack on additional costs down the road. Look for videographers who have a brand, a business model, packages and great reviews.

I hope this helps you navigate the waters of budgeting for your next video. Feel free to use the calculator below to run some numbers (defaulted to my rates and expectations) so that you can budget confidently before booking time with a videographer.