Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Networking is sooo Important for our business.

I had sometimes underestimated the power of attending parties that had a reason of social networking. Why? Don't get me wrong but I thought (and yes, this is very egocentric of me) that I didn't need them. However, I have changed my mind in the past year and now, I take some time to blog about it.

Networking in social events is a very important thing to do. In our business, the creative business, it is a huge help and tool to keep you updated and to make you belong to that world. Personally, I like to keep updated with people who do what I do, in other levels; amateur or professional, in other industries: movies and shows and of course, in other types of markets; editorial, advertising, music, interactive.... it is pretty interesting.

You can find out that there are a lot of people that do what you do, name it differently or even so, include it in their service as a pro. I have found out however, that the most important thing you can learn from networking is that you will never get to know enough people. You won't. Contacts are everywhere and it is your decision to make them. You can meet people at a party, or at a bar, but when the networking event is's time to shine. This is where you should be ready to meet new people who you can get to work with, who you just have similar tastes or who just admire you or you admire them.

It is not always a time to meet clients but, to meet co-workers, artists, web-designers, photographers, movie directors, people who can actually get you into their business, or connect you to their clients. People who could actually become your friends and you'll have a beer a week after meeting them. So, I recommend you attend these type of events, not caring if they talk about photography, awards or video-games, you'll never know. You'll never know when you'll meet the perfect co-worker, the perfect assistant, the perfect client or...your future friend. I do not intend to get sentimental on the friendship stuff, this is why, I will give you a couple of tips for the networking, things that I have learned:

1. You are there to get to know people. Not to get drunk. I'm sorry but even if it is an Open Bar night... there is no way you should risk having the opportunity to meet people because you cannot hold your liquor.
2. If you eat a snack, use a napkin. To avoid getting food in your teeth, always have a napkin in your hand. Afterwards (and this applies to the ladies) if you are wearing lipstick...and want a retouch, do it in the ladies room. Not in front of everyone. That is personal.
3. Have your business cards ready but not give them away. They are not flyers! Business cards are to be given to the people that you actually met. No, you don't get into the room and start giving them away. You give them to the people who are interested in talking to you in the future and the people you are interested to talk to after the party.
4. Do not be shy. I actually met EKatrina (hope her name spells like this) when she asked "Can I join you?" to a whole bunch of friends. And EKatrina as well as the others who were there (including myself) were there to meet new people. So, suck it up!

I recommend you read Diego's blog regarding the postal service with clients. I think this is a very good post. And, related to what the business is.

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