Networking isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to success. But its pretty important, regardless of what pursuit you’re in. No matter what it is you want to succeed at, you’re going to help yourself tremendously if you get to networking.
Why you need to network
It’s often said that it’s less about how good you are then it is who you know. Sayings to that effect have sort of become clichés. But there’s no denying that who you know actually is often more important than particular talents. Some may refer to that as a sad reality. But this doesn’t mean those untalented people can simply network and become successful. The point of networking is to expose you and your talents to as many people as possible. A network of contacts is extremely useful, no matter what it is you want to do. You may be starting a business. You might be a freelance photographer. A budding novelist. A coder. Networking will help you.
Finding the right event
For many people, the best way to network is to find an event that attracts people in your field. Of course, this doesn’t just mean that you should go to any old event. Some of these events can be so full of people who aren’t in the know that it becomes difficult to get anything out of them. Someone who wants to write comics for a living isn’t necessarily going to get anything out of attending Comic-Con, for example. You should be looking at events less catered to fans and more towards professionals.
Hosting your own event
Of course, you could always just get the people to come to you! If you own a business, then this is usually a lot more realistic. You can invite friends, clients, customers, competitors, and industry leaders... Anyone who may help you expand your network. For people on the more independent, artsier side of life? You could host readings or music shows. Remember that hosting an event puts a lot of pressure on you, though. You need to make sure the event is properly advertised. You need to ensure all the right people are invited. And you should probably make sure there’s fresh made food available at whatever venue you’ve chosen!
Using social media
What good are your social media accounts if you’re not going to network with them? Well, okay, there are the marketing uses for social media accounts. But if you’re not networking then you’re definitely wasting their potential. After all, what important figures in your industry aren’t using social media? Twitter and Facebook are filled with business-minded people looking to network and collaborate. Instagram is great for artists and photographers. Make sure you’ve got a good body of work online to show others. Then get social!
Think you should avoid mixing with your competitors? Think again. Sometimes, the best friends you can have in business are your rivals. They often have a wealth of knowledge and, much of the time, they’re actually willing to share it. So don’t dismiss the idea of networking with competitors.