#Mightybell: The Best Home for Your Niche Community

Mightybell is the latest product for “identity networks” from the community-minded brain of entrepreneur Gina Bianchini. Mightybell provides a blank canvas for “community entrepreneurs” to quickly and simply create a space for a network of people who share a common interest or identity to meet each other, break the ice and build relationships. There, they can nourish the intimacy of a small community, on a large — even global — scale, so they and their peers “can learn faster and make better decisions” in any specialty, profession, interest, cause, discipline, identity, life stage, diagnosis or passion.

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“We’re passionate about unlocking a new breed of community entrepreneurs bringing together people who wouldn’t otherwise meet around the things that are most important to them.” — Gina Bianchini

 …

What do 26,000 craft hairdressers have in common?  They come together in their own “identity” network called Hairbrained, powered by Mightybell, on their own native mobile and web apps. Other examples of a Mightybell identity network are Beyond Type 1 and GENDR. These identity networks are literally changing lives for the better by providing crucially needed community connection and support.

The platform comes in four monthly commitment levels from free to enterprise.  Long gone are the days of the uni-dimensional forum! Imagine having what feels like a custom app without a huge investment or programming skills. Mightybell is making this easy, people!!

A Mightybell network helps you connect with other individuals with similar interests, ask questions to real people with real answers, and encourages you to meet community members near you. I have a few ideas for communities I’d love to build on Mightybell. Build yours too — and invite me!

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I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Gina and the Mightybell team over the last several years.  With a focus on community creation, it is no wonder they’re such great group of people.  It’s always a pleasure to meet new members of the team at their offices in Palo Alto.

Thank you, Gina, for being such an inspiration. Congratulations on the success and growth of Mightybell; I’m excited to watch the platform continue to bring people together effortlessly.  This is the best of tech; empowering human connections and literally transforming lives.  Well done.

– Nancy

877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

2016 Best of Oakland & the East Bay!

2016BestofOaklandBannerI’m thrilled to have been voted Best Commercial Photographer in Oakland Magazine‘s 2016 Best of Oakland and the East Bay contest — for the second year in a row! Thank you all so much for taking the time to vote! The flood of kindness (and emails!) from so many of my dear clients and friends warmed my heart.

I feel honored to be a part of a community that celebrate its members; so much that over 175 winners are recognized throughout the East Bay every year! How amazing to be a part of a community that has the diversity to award over 175 different categories, and community-minded patrons who see the significance of shopping local!

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the July issue of Oakland Magazine to check out the full list of this year’s local favorites!

Happy summer, everyone!

-Nancy

 

877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Mini-Interview with Katie Macks, Your Guide to Glow

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Meet Katie Macks: founder of Get Your Glow On, providing transformational coaching and training to growth-oriented individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Get your Glow On is centered on the philosophy that individual positivity has the power to ripple kindness and meaning well into the universe. And who doesn’t want that!

I was lucky to have met Katie (and all her positive energy) through our shared networking group. Naturally, I wanted to share her effervescent spirit, so I asked her to do a mini-interview for the blog!

Here we go!

-Nancy

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What is the philosophy behind GLOW? Get your Glow On is centered on the philosophy that Glow is the thread that connects all living things on this planet. Our Glow thrives in both our strength and our vulnerability vs defensiveness and arrogance and it thrives in our compassion vs comparison. Glow liberates us from the limitations that we place upon ourselves and others, and is the pathway to freedom and joy through curiosity, creativity and connection!

What does it mean to get your GLOW on? GLOW is an acronym for Growing – Loving – Opening – Willing; it’s a deep dive into personal development focusing on the most important relationship any of us will ever have, the relationship with ourselves. So often in life we are run by our deep-seated beliefs that often unconsciously drive the choices that we make. Many of us don’t even question the choices we make and we wonder why our circumstances are what they are. Do you ever feel like your life’s circumstances run you rather than feeling like you are in the drivers seat of your life? Getting Your Glow On is about liberating your soul’s full expression: moving from feeling like a victim of your circumstances, to recognizing that you always have choices in your life even if your choices are difficult.

What is a simple step that people just don’t take that can really help them get their GLOW on? Pausing and breathing. Most of us have knee jerk reactions to people’s behaviors, events and circumstances. If we pause and take deep breaths we may get a new perspective. Two keys to learning about yourself and others are to be curious and to be neutral. If you can get curious and find out where others are coming from you may learn that virtually nothing others do is personal to you. Most conflict comes from our own interpretation of what is happening around us. If you are to get curious you may very well learn that other peoples actions and behaviors are a reflection of how they see the world not how you see the world. One of my favorite sayings is “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are” -The Talmud. There is so much to learn when we can seek understanding rather than focusing on being “right” about our interpretation.

What’s the most empowering habit people can incorporate into their daily lives? Do your best to not make assumptions and make it a practice to be curious rather than taking things personally. If you are curious you will learn that people’s beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and assumptions are their own and have nothing to do with you. These two things alone can transform your life in unimaginable ways!

What is your favorite thing to cook? Kabocha squash soup.

Find Katie: Facebook | Web

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877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Finalist for Best of Oakland 2016!

2016BestofOaklandBannerI am thrilled to be a finalist in this year’s Commercial Photographer category of Oakland Magazine’s Best of Oakland and the East Bay contest! It was such an honor to win last year, thanks to all of your support!

Voting is easy — no login required. Just scroll down to Goods & Services and you’ll find me under “Best Commercial Photographer.”

I know I’ll be voting for my local favorites before the ballots close May 31st.

Thank you for taking the time to vote! I hope to see you soon!

Warmly,

Nancy

 

877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Turning Twenty: A Decisive Moment

Claudia GonzalezIt’s not often that I have the opportunity to photograph a subject I know with certainty is at a pivotal juncture in their life. Just prior to the mark of her 20th birthday, Claudia asked me to photograph her before the end of her adolescence as a gift to her mother.

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Claudia wanted to be photographed outdoors, serene and woodsy, in the way of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. It seemed unfortunate at the time that the date of our session — the last date possible — was forecast to rain, with the elements markedly against us. Thanks to Claudia’s sense of adventure, however, the wind and mist presented an added air of spontaneity and mischief.

“The setting was like I always imagined it, even better with the lake.  I was super cold but I’m glad it didn’t show in the pictures!  The wind was a plus!  And I’m glad my ideas for the shoot were all accepted.”

There is a sense of magic at a moment when everything is possible. Thank you, Claudia, for inviting me to share that moment!

I wish you all the best as you begin your next chapter. I hope it is filled to the brim with new adventures!

– Nancy

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877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Giving Back: Merideth Mehlberg Organizes Third Annual Holiday Pajama Drive

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Lorie Curtis, Development Coordinator of Building Futures with Women and Children, along side Merideth Mehlberg, founder of the Holiday Pajama Drive.


 

Three years ago, I was invited to photograph what was to become Merideth Mehlberg’s first annual Holiday Pajama Drive. The event serves to benefit the Midway Shelter, supporting women and children at a time of undeniable need through the donation of funds and basic necessities.

I first met Merideth when she came to me for new marketing imagery for her executive coaching and consulting firm based in Alameda. As our kinship grew, Merideth brought me onto her team to provide headshots to her clients. Throughout my time working with her, I have been endlessly impressed by her positivity, motivation, and ever-generous spirit. She is truly an inspiration!

The Holiday Pajama Drive began with a simple idea. With so much focus on receiving during the holiday season, Merideth wanted to give her kids the opportunity to experience the joy of giving. She had a strong memory of her parents helping a family in need when she was young, and she wanted to continue the family tradition of giving back. She soon learned that the sentiment resonated with others in her community and the wheels began to turn.

Rather than simply gifting checks, guests are encouraged to pick a specific family, who remains anonymous, to shop for each holiday season. Beyond building a spirit of generosity, Merideth’s event creates a feeling of community — with each family who shopped for a family coming to bring their gifts and enjoy an evening together, all in the spirit of giving.

Holiday Pajama Drive: Benefit for Alameda Midway Shelter

Three years from its start, this year’s event raised $1,100 and clothed 115 people, women and their children, across three shelters with fresh new jammies and other comfy clothes. The event featured a delicious spread from Lainie Acacio of Gather & Grub, a performance by the amazingly talented Barefoot Quales family bluegrass band, and a fun Zumba dance session for the kids led by Denise Lum.

This is beautiful event full of kids and parents coming together to care for other kids and mothers in their community. Thank you, Merideth, for continually inspiring us to be our best selves and showing the next generation what it means to be a good neighbor and a good human being!

-Nancy

Merideth Mehlberg is an executive coach based in Alameda. You can find more information on her firm, the Holiday Pajama Drive, and notifications for next year’s drive on her website.

Midway Shelter‘s mission is to advocate for homeless women and their children, assuring their right to live free of domestic violence in a safe and supportive environment. The Network strives to secure adequate funding to keep the Midway Shelter operating 24 hours a day while raising the consciousness of our community. Even though this year’s Pajama Drive is over, you can still help!

Holiday Pajama Drive: Benefit for Alameda Midway Shelter(Top to bottom) Merideth Mehlberg presents a check to Lorie Curtis of Building Futures with Women and Children; proud gift giver poses with this year’s presents.

877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Linda Lancione: San Francisco Bay Area Author Portrait

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I had the great opportunity of working with author and poet, Linda Lancione, earlier this month as the release date of her latest work, The Taste of Blood (Finishing Line Press), quickly approaches.

The experience was both a privilege and an engaging endeavor, as we worked together to cultivate the candor that her work so aptly portrays. I loved the process of getting to an honest image, where the true self came through.

Linda’s work takes on challenging issues, and it was important for her portrait to be just as honest, engaging, and real. Beyond capturing a simple or welcoming smile, we needed to convey a more complex message, one that her work ultimately does; that life is complicated, messy, and that she maintains her ability to be present with all of it and reconcile the extremes.

Linda kindly lent a few words of appreciation about our process working together:

“Having my author photo taken by Nancy Rothstein was a transformative experience for me. I was nervous about looking old in the photos–and, was I wearing the right earrings, the right top?—but she put me at ease and got me talking about my book. Later, when I saw the photos, I saw a woman I liked: animated, thoughtful, complex—the age and beauty questions didn’t matter anymore. The photos seemed to reveal me from the inside—that was enough. That was a gift!”

A big congratulations to Linda Lancione on her upcoming title. Thank you, Linda, for giving me the chance to take on the feat of distilling your inspiring, captivating, complexity!

– Nancy

 

The Taste of Blood is scheduled to be released on March 11, 2016 (available for pre-order through Finishing Line Press after November 16). Can’t wait? You can get a taste of her work on SoftBlow.org.

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877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

My First Year: Bay Area Children’s Portraits

Josephine-0005RT-WebTime flies.  I realize now that it’s been over three years since I met Kerry, when she reached out to me for new headshots.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her as she and Chris were expecting their first child, and we’ve captured each phase of their darling girl’s first year.  Kerry has an amazing eye for design, and her clean aesthetic comes through in her home and wardrobe.  It’s always calming and inspiring to be in her home.  But, of course, the star of the show is this amazing little girl, whose smile lights up the room.  Every time I get to photograph her she absolutely wins my heart.

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We had our first session when Josephine was a mere three weeks old, and I was delighted to bear witness to just how much her charm had blossomed six months later.  I love how the warm, neutral tones in their home help to accentuate Josephine’s beautiful blue eyes.

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We met for our third session just last month, before Josephine’s first birthday, when she and Kerry joined me for a mother-daughter session. It’s always such a blessing to be invited along on a family’s journey to capture these landmark moments.

I am so excited to see what the future has in store for this winsome, young family.

Bon anniversaire, Josephine!

– Nancy

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877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Best of Oakland & the East Bay!!

 

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I’m thrilled to have been voted Best of Oakland and the East Bay in the Oakland Magazine 2015 contest!  Thank you so much for your support; I’m honored that treasured clients, colleagues, friends, and family all took the time to vote.

I remember the very first time I earned money with my camera…it was over twenty years ago and I was beside myself about making $100.  Well, I’ve raised my prices a bit since then!!  Building a business has been a long process, and it feels amazing to receive this recognition in the community.  Even better, I am humbled to be among such amazing businesses in the list of winners, like Giovanna Tanzillo, owner of Uptown Body and Fender; truly one of Oakland’s finest–the only body shop I know of that holds major art and cultural events! Trust me; meeting Giovanna should be on your bucket list.

Another great organization, and winner in the category of Non-profit Group, is the Alameda County Community Food Bank, a wonderful place to donate and volunteer.  Last year they distributed 25 million meals, more than half of which was fresh fruits and vegetables!

If you haven’t had a chance, grab a copy of the July issue of Oakland Magazine and check out the list!

-Nancy

 

877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com

Social Media Expert and Author, Alice Myerhoff: Picking the Perfect LinkedIn Photo

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Remember Alice Myerhoff, inspiring client and author of Social Media for Salespeople?  You may recall that I blogged about her a few months ago when her book came out.  I’m grateful that she took the time out of her busy schedule to share some tips on the importance of selecting a good LinkedIn profile photo.  Thanks, Alice!!

5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Photo for Your LinkedIn Profile, by Alice Myerhoff

Choosing the right photo for your LinkedIn profile picture may seem like no big deal but it is important. LinkedIn is the largest social channel for business and it is where you represent your professional self. If you are thinking of LinkedIn as just an online resume for job seeking you are seriously underestimating how powerful this channel is.

As a salesperson and social media expert it is one of my most beloved business tools. I use it a number of different ways. For example, whenever I get a new lead or contact, I look them up on LinkedIn. I do this so that I can know more about this person: their work background, where they live, where they went to school, what their interests are and knowing these things prepares me to have more enjoyable and effective conversations with my business contacts. One of my favorite features of LinkedIn is “InMails” which allows me to send “cold” emails through LinkedIn to people who aren’t yet in my LinkedIn network. Part of the beauty of using LinkedIn to to send cold emails is that the email comes with a link to my profile and allows the recipient to see a bit about me before deciding if they are going act on that email or delete it, which takes the email up a level and makes it “warm.” And, of course, LinkedIn is where I put my own best professional foot forward. I do this by highlighting my work experience ranging from employment history to consulting projects and mention of my book “Social Media for Salespeople.” I also have a very carefully chosen profile picture and you should too.

Here are my tips for selecting a the right profile photo for you:

  1. Show your face. I often see photos of people that are full body because the person is trying to highlight a hobby or experience. Because the image on LinkedIn is fairly small, choosing a photo like that means that people cannot easily see your face. Seeing your face is important for a number of reasons. First of all, if you’ve met someone in person already and you’re looking to connect with them on LinkedIn, seeing your face again is likely how they will recognize you. This will help them decide if they want to make that connection online as well. Also, as you continue to interact with that person online, each time they see your photo, your relationship with them grows a little bit. You become more familiar.
  2. Look like yourself. Of course you want to look your best in your profile photo but that should not mean that you look radically different from how you do in real life. Has your hair length changed? Did you grow a beard? Do you normally wear glasses? Is your photo 10 years old? Choose a photo that reflects how you look currently. This is important because you want help people make the connection between your online and offline selves. If you look much different, there can be a disconnect that is not conducive to a productive relationship. And please please please do not use an image that is a cartoon version of yourself or a photo of your baby or a picture of Bart Simpson because you think it’s funny. None of these choices will help you from a business perspective.
  3. Match your photo to your business style. I recently had an enlightening experience at a meeting with a potential consulting client. At the end of the meeting, my contact wanted to add me as a connection on LinkedIn. He pulled up my profile on his phone and said, “You’re much warmer in person than one would guess from your photo.” My personal business style is one that is warm and friendly so my photo didn’t match who I am. Shortly after this conversation, I swapped out the more stern looking photo for one where I have a friendly smile. It’s a much better choice for me. Think about the business image you want to project and consider whether your profile photo supports that image.
  4. Be consistent. Many of us have a variety of social media and other profiles. Typically these require having some sort of image as your “avatar.” I recommend that you use the same image across all of your profiles. This is helpful because when you are connecting with business contacts across these different channels, each time they see your photo it’s a touchpoint which allows your relationship to deepen and solidify. You become more familiar to them every time they see your picture. I like to think of these touch points as branding opportunities.
  5. Use a good quality photo. This last point may seem obvious but do make sure your photo is of good quality and by that I mean that it’s in focus and that it’s cropped well so that your face is centered. Of course, if you’re working with Nancy Rothstein, that’s all a given. :-)
Business is about relationships. A simple thing like choosing a great profile photo for your online profiles can help enhance your business relationships.

If you are interested in more social media and sales tips, please follow me on Twitter @motodot or look for my posts on the salesforce.com blog.

Alice Myerhoff is author of the e-book “Social Media for Salespeople: A Step-by-Step Guide to Increasing your Leads and Sales” and a business development/sales/marketing/management executive with over 18 years of experience in industries ranging from online games, educational technology and Social business to online news media, real estate & mortgage. She is currently heading up Sales at EdSurge, and has worked at Electronic Arts, Inman News, Pivot Conference, Philips Professional Publishing, Countrywide, Princeton Capital, and the Tomorrow Project. Her party trick is being able to count to 10 in 6 languages and she is fluent in German and French. Find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter: @motodot

877-881-7221 | nancyrothstein.comnancy@nancyrothstein.com