I have never been someone who was afraid or unable to talk to other people. I am not shy or nervous around celebrities (except once – boring story ha ha ha). So, you might think networking would be a slam-dunk? Well, now that I am making an effort to be a more independent designer (unless I can find a cool position somewhere) I am finding I have to exercise my chops!
So now I am a twitter guy. I Tweet. It’s all over the media that tweeting is the thing to do, which means it’s probably peaked and something new will come up soon.
It’s a great way to connect, and I feel lucky, because I follow someone I have known in this industry for a few years. He follows me, too. Me! Which I think is cool. As I expand my network and try to grow personally there are more levels I need to reach.
But I have made some cool connections through networking and I need to figure out how to reach the next step. I connected loosely with Greg Cannon of gcann Advertising who used to be the driving force behind the Adelson(who owns Venetian and Sands Corporation) empire. I talked to him a couple times, back in the day, when we both worked on the Venetian property.
I also was introduced to Sandy Brodsky at the infamous R&R Advertising by Shelly Meade at The Home Mag (Shelly is using my art in an article for my Alex Rivas Upholstery client). Infamous? Well, everyone knows this agency… they own the “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas…” campaign that is being revitalized and will start appearing again soon.
There have been more, but I am working on a differing kind of networking as well. One that produces money even in the short run. I am working on generating sources of income that produce some freelance clients. As you can see from previous entries, I have had some success since leaving Resource Edge in February.
With the industry show in March I made some nice connections and since then a few more have appeared on the radar. The art festival for the SW regional chapter of Burningman is next week that will be using my art to represent the event. Can you believe it? See the previous entry on that as well.
So word of mouth is another form of networking. So I did some work for free, but now hundreds of people are going to see my work and they might like it. They will see me at the festival and ask me what I do.
So networking is a job unto itself and building those networks can be rewarding, at least I hope in the long run. It’s been an interesting role to play so far and should not be taken for granted. The results can vary, but although I am not in any windfall right now I expect there will be famon and there will be feast.
So networking and reaching out to industry leaders, people actively in the community can be a valuable asset. Hoping to get their attention and actually getting it is an achievement. Networking business owners and people who will potentially want to buy from you is vital because that is your bread and butter; but represent! Word of mouth is also a powerful networking tool because the work you do can speak for you but a happy client will sing!
It all can work so – workIt!