#TogetherWeShine Panel Discussion and Networking Reception Recap

The Shine Hard Family presented an amazing event that included a panel discussion and networking reception. The event that took place on January 17, 2016 in Washington D.C had the initiative to bring together young professionals that recognize, educate and inspire others. The panel discussion opened up with the introduction of Johnny Bailey who is the curator of the event with Brittney Carter of B.S Carter Solutions, LLC. The panelists definitely did not disappoint and came from a range of different viewpoints that offered a plethora of useful advice and inspiration to achieve success. The experienced panelists included Howard University Alumna Kiki Ayers, who has worked with BET, MTV, and Revolt TV, Hampton University Alumnus Carson Byrd, who is a social entrepreneur and the Voice of the Urban Millennial, Melanie White, who is an entertainment jeweler and owner of Melaniemarie online boutique, Nate Hopkins, who is a culinary artist, and Dawn Archer, who is a celebrity fitness trainer.

The first round of panel questions were a series of questions that were put to the group to answer and the first question that was asked was to ask the panel if they had any advice from a business standpoint to start a business. Carson Byrd, Dawn Archer and Nate Hopkins gave advice respectively that coming up with a name is important, starting with an idea and taking risks is key and that planning is needed to separate yourself from others. The next question in round one was to ask how prices were determined for the product or service that they were selling. Carson Byrd said that it was important to create a tangible product and that a good tip was to ask you friends how much they would be willing to pay for your product or service. Kiki Ayers also gave really good advice by mentioning that it is important to build up skills and that working for free and building credibility is important before figuring out prices and charging for your services. Advice was also given by Dawn Archer, Nate Hopkins and Melanie White on how to make your social media standout by the knowledge that sex sells, capturing the audience’s attention by doing something unique is important and that for Instagram high quality pictures and hash tags are a great way to reach different people. Other notable advice given during round one was that LinkdIn is a platform that is completely different from the culture of other social media like Facebook and Instagram so it should be used differently because of that reason.  Kiki Ayers ended by giving the great advice that if you have a place that you are interested in working it is very easy to find the name on LinkdIn and then to know that from that name their email will simply be their name.net@company .com.

The #TogetherWeShine initiative was definitely inspirational and the key takeaways from the night were to not be afraid of creating a unique brand that is your own, to plan, to take risks, market yourself well on social media, and to not be afraid to invest in yourself and to not stay comfortable in just one position but to continue seeking more for yourself in life. The initiative also has goals to launch a new website, become a government funded nonprofit and host more panels like this around the country.

Check out pics from the event below!

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