Carving out a career as a successful creative isn’t just about doing great work, you also have to make sure the right people see it. Getting your name and face known is central to building your career. Some people are terrified by the idea of networking and selling themselves, especially out in the ‘real world’ and away from the relative comfort of social media. The truth is that networking is an important part of business and enhancing your career prospects. Have a look at our top tips on networking and master the art of connecting with others.
Show Genuine Interest
Often people involved in networking think it’s about showing everyone and anyone your latest achievements and presenting your life’s work. It’s not, and doing so can be off-putting. Instead, try the approach of taking an interest in what the person you wish to connect with is saying. Talk about what you do and where you would like to end up by all means, but make it a balanced conversation, not just one all about you. Ask open-ended questions, ask them how they climbed the ladder of success and take advice from those who have been there and done it all.
Seek the Right Kind of Personnel
Something that most will find with time with networking is that not everyone is up for discussing what you want them to discuss. Seeking out friendly, enthusiastic, approachable people should be your goal and making the most of their time should be a priority. Finding the wrong kind of people who take no interest is a waste of both your time and theirs. Tricky to judge but trusting your instinct is the way to go. Negative people are a part of life and hoping to not cross paths with one in a network setting is simply unrealistic. Instead, show interest who show interest in you.
One of the difficult aspects of networking is where to actually go to meet people to connect with. Thankfully, someone has thought of networking events which brings together those with a common interest of meeting new people and furthering their career through those relationships. Conferences, open days and any other enterprises in your industry are great ways of meeting those who matter and getting your name out there. Get to the places that matter and meet the people who matter.
It doesn’t often occur to us because the phrase ‘social media’ has become part of everyday life, but social media is actually social networking. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the like are networks that allow you connect to people from the comfort of your own home. Every ‘like’, ‘tweet’ or ‘favourite’ has networking potential and outreaching to those who could benefit you could be an exercise worth thinking about. Don’t exploit the platforms though or risk doing damage to your name, be selective when it comes to social media and use it as a platform to launch your career.