Power of Networking
Over and over again, I keep coming to the topic of Networking when it comes to my modeling and thinking of the knowledge I have to share. I cannot emphasize enough how important networking is to really any industry professional.
I recently slogged through a long period of no networking, no photoshoots, and no action. My business as a model was stagnant and I felt rather defeated. I waited to be able to reboot my system. The reboot I required was a month of networking back at home, where I was surrounded by comfortable familiarity.
The month at home was a great refresher and it brought me to realize that I had done very little real networking during my time in New York. Back in Seattle, I made strong relationships and work flowed in. Once I got back to New York, I knew that, because things had grown stagnant, something had to change. After my holiday vacation, I came home, and started networking again. I’ve been home only six days and I’ve gained almost ten new facebook fans and have booked shoots not only in New York, but in areas such as DC as well.
Networking is all about relationships. And in a world that revolves around who you know and, unfortunately, not so much what you know, networking is essential to most all professions.
Here are 5 networking resolutions for the new year:
- GO TO AT LEAST ONE NETWORKING EVENT EVERY MONTH. This especially applies to freelancers, such as myself. Or, if you can’t afford doing that, network on the go as much as you can and at jobs and events you may be working. Learn about the people around you. Become Facebook friends or exchange emails. One connection could lead to another which could always lead to something bigger. Acting out this resolution increases your chances of having opportunities presented to you, keeps you on your toes, and gives you better exposure.
- KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ACQUAINTANCES. Call someone on the phone. Not only will you hone your social skills, but you will feel more productive and keep your name fresh on people’s minds. This will become easier with time. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and make a phone call, call someone on your break or in between walking from point A to point B. I get a lot of phone calls and work done while walking. Social media and online interactions just don’t have quite the same effect as a true conversation.
- BE NICE TO STRANGERS. This may be a weird concept for a networking post, but you can get two birds with one stone on this one. You will be accomplishing your resolution to be a better person along with your resolution to network more. You never know what paying that unspoken compliment could lead to.
- PUT YOURSELF ON THE SPOT. Take risks, especially if you have nothing to lose. I have friends who are pursuing their dreams, but are afraid to put themselves out there. You can keep putting things off for as long as you want, but as long as you don’t submit yourself to that ‘high end’ job or for that position you’ve always wanted, you will never get it and you will never achieve your dreams. Remember, as a freelancer, you have to take risks. It’s basically in the job description.
- PLAN SOMETHING FUN WITH INDUSTRY CONTACTS. For me, it would be a fun photoshoot. Something I want to do. Maybe planning a shoot concept with a few of my fellow fashion peeps won’t be monetarily beneficial and may not even lead to anything, but when you plan something fun with other industry professionals, it can be beneficial. This will help keep you socially productive and active in your industry. Staying active means better relationships, more experience, and will help keep you on the path to success. Besides, even hard workers need to do something for themselves once in a while!
Happy New Year and may you stay true to all of your new year’s resolutions! Share your networking experiences below!
Briauna Mariah (: