WHAT IS NETWORKING?
Business networking is when industry professionals and business people gather to discuss possible work and creative opportunities within their specified fields of expertise. This is where a professional would have an opportunity to pursue a work partner or associate.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO NETWORK IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?
In order to properly apply yourself to your creative field, you must establish a business network for yourself. It is vital that you have good connections within the industry in order to reach out to potential colleagues. Networking is an excellent way of ensuring your employability, as the connections you establish could potentially give you an advantage when being assessed by an employer. Networking can also provide you with creative professionals who can give you necessary feedback and opinions on your portfolio, which you can use to improve work.
HOW TO GET STARTED
There are many ways on how first to approach networking in the creative industries.
- Contact creative individuals:
An excellent way to increase your connections in the industry is to introduce yourself to others in your field of work. Making yourself known to people is an effective way to promote yourself and your work.
- Print business cards:
Although nowadays most business networking is done online, it is also a good idea for a creative worker to have their own business cards that they can use to promote themselves to potential clients who they may find on the go.
- Join a group or club focused on your field of interest or study:
There are many creative groups and pages that are free to join where you could meet some likeminded people in the industry. This can provide you with further feedback on your work as well as potential inspiration for your next project. One place to do this is Facebook.
Another way in which to boost your creative industry connections is to attend events on your subject in person, which could include field meet ups, screenings, and festivals. This way, a potential colleague or employer can get a good sense of who you are and what kind of worker you might be. Due to this, it is vital that you conduct yourself in a professional manner, presenting yourself in an organised way. In saying this, it is also essential to appear approachable and friendly. You should make sure you are open to other people presenting their work, and you should offer kind and helpful feedback. It is a good idea to always have your portfolio available when striking up conversations with other event goers. This way, not only will you be able to demonstrate your work, but you will appear well organised and prepared. First impressions are crucial when attempting to establish connections in person, so it is also essential to consider proper, professional business attire.
ONLINE NETWORKING PLATFORMS
There are many online platforms used for all sorts of business networking. Some of these include: