Networking and Some Related Challenging Quotes
Networking is a powerful marketing tool. The more people who know about you, your talents and your abilities, the more easily you will attract the opportunities, assignments, resources, people, ideas, money and results that you really want!
1. Create a Presence
People prefer to work with people they know and like. The industry wide concept of traditional repping and the art buyer system keeps prospects from knowing you. Find ways to know the decision makers in your world. Make the first move, in a friendly, helpful way.
This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
2. Plant a Garden
Plant seeds. Remember to water them. They are often a wonderful surprise. If you have an entire garden of unknown flowers, imagine the surprise when they bloom. Instead of offering your business card, ask for theirs. This allows you to water the seeds and to be more proactive. Rather than waiting for your phone to ring, reach out to your network.
You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it’s a little thing; do something for those who have need of a man’s help, something for which you get no pay but privilege of doing it. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers live here, too.
3. Ask Questions and Listen to the Answers
Make your conversations about the other person; not about you. Ask questions that invite conversation. Listen very carefully to what people share with you. Paraphrase what they said to be certain that you understand and to let the other person know you were listening carefully. Find ways to stay connected over time so you can create seven different ways of staying in touch with the person (phone call, email, postcards, lunch dates, sporting event, etc).
I no longer ask the young man’s question: How far will I go? My questions are now those of the mature person: When it is over, what will my life have been about? First as Martin Buber taught, life is meeting. We come alive only when we relate to others. Secondly, we are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily rather than with one great dramatic leap in results. Finally, we are here to finish god’s labors. One of the sages of the Talmud taught nearly two thousand years ago that God could have created a plant that would grow loaves of bread. Instead He created wheat for us to mill and bake into bread. Why? So that we could be His partners in completing the work of creation.
4. Find the Common Pools of Interest
Be a Resource: Put the people in your network in touch with each other. The value you offer to the other person is the network you bring to the relationship. This creates a much strong positive impression.
Warning! Nothing is permanent. Anything in excess is a poison. And remember: Everything in business is a paradox. To be excellent, you have to be consistent. When you’re consistent, you’re vulnerable to attack. Yes, it’s a paradox. Now deal with it!
5. Oh Wow!
Distinguish your own personal brand – be known for being an expert in something or in some way. Be distinctive. Be prepared to deliver your Audio Logo. Create tremendous value so people think “Oh wow!” in your presence.
Get outside your industry. Far too many business people simply read their own trade journals and don’t venture out of their own world. This incestuous way of living stifles growth. Your best ideas will come when you look at other industries.
6. Collect Contacts
It has been said that we never run out of money; we run out of contacts. Collect them. Keep records of everything you know about them.
We collect marbles, baseball cards, and antiques in order to hold on to them while they increase in value. The purpose of collecting contacts, however, is just the opposite: to give them away — to match them with other contacts.
Tim Sanders, Yahoo Chief Solutions Officer
7. Be The Center of Your Own Network
Host your own network. Start your own group. I have a client in Phoenix who hosts salons for creators from a variety of fields and backgrounds every month. There are seats for only 12 people who clamor to register because it is so valuable and lots of fun. It also provides an opportunity for each person to network.
Rep Darwin Bahm was the master of this kind of networking. He would invite art directors to join him for dinner and a basketball game. It was a great way to meet the people Bahm represented along with a few other art directors. Why not break bread?
The ongoing myth is that brands get built by advertising. Actually, the evidence is the exact opposite. Brands get reinforced by advertising, but they get built by grassroots adoption and word of mouth.
Marc Andreesen, co-founder of Netscape Communications
8. Try Being Indirect
Give value first, then receive – you may receive from another (unexpected) direction. A simple example: don’t ask members of your network if they can commission you. Instead, ask your network if they know anyone who commissions photographers.
There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.
George Burton Adams (1851-1925)
Join the Creative or Art Directors Club in your area. Join APA or ASMP or AIGA or GAG. Take a leadership position in the organizations that you belong to. Don’t just do what you normally do at work – you will lose interest and so will others. If you are a photographer, don’t be the photographer for your club, be an event coordinator or secretary or…. instead! Use your network to learn new skills in a safe environment. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, assistance, guidance or coaching. In a network, people want to give back to you, because you give so much!
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
10. Ask for Help
Networking takes time. You are building your personal equity through the strength of your network. Take simple steps and eventually you will effortlessly attract what you need! Get Help. I am available for coaching.
Attraction equals radiation — we see the most accurate picture of ourselves reflected in the responses we arouse in another person we know well. What are you radiating?