Working in the creative industries can sometimes mean a lot of time on your own, whether it’s illustrating, writing or editing.
No matter how much you love your work, you need ideas and inspiration, and for that you need people who are completely different. They give you a new perspective and can help you think of something new or put something into context – as well as leading to your next project!
Which is why, to help your business prosper, it’s key that you down tools once in a while and devote some time to networking.
The word alone can strike fear into the heart of many, but I’m not talking about a corporate, name badge, one-minute-to-tell-the-room-about-yourself affair. Networking takes on a whole host of guises: you’re probably doing it already.
People buy into people, so building relationships is a massive part of building your brand. At Eventbrite, we’re all about relationships. It is events and real experiences that bring people together, creating memories and making contacts that will last. If you’re looking to build your network, here are a few tips that avoid the corporate business card swap.
If you’re not already using it, you should be. Working in a creative, often visual world means you’ll be able to pick the platforms that suit you best. I blog and tweet on behalf of Eventbrite all the time as I get to attend some brilliant events we’ve ticketed and promoted. Social media can help you make contact with people you would otherwise never have met, so if you are unprepared, it’s worth taking part in a quick course on how to market your business through social media.
These are increasingly becoming less and less formal, which I think is great. There are a number of events in the NW that welcome people from all creative industries and they can be informative and fun – and all about meeting like-minded people, usually over a few drinks! A few to mention are Twitfaced, Manchester Tech Nights and Silicon Drinkabout.
If there isn’t one that suits you, why not set up your own night? Even three people having a beer can be valuable networking.
Which brings me neatly onto the next way to network. I’m not saying use your friends, but it’s really important to ensure that everyone in your social network knows what you do – you never know where the next lead is coming from and I’m much quicker to recommend a friend than a stranger.
Do you share an office or work from home alone? If you can be mobile then get yourself in one of the working hubs that have sprung up in every major city. They welcome people from all sorts of industries and can be fascinating places to set up for the odd day. As we search for our Manchester office, I’ve used Hello Work and have met – and kept in touch with – some really fantastic people.
The digital world means so much of networking is done online, and I started the tips with social media. But it is relationships and word of mouth that drives a business, so get out there, have some real experiences and fit a little networking into every week, to see your contact book grow.
Rakhi Sinha is the northwest marketing manager for Eventbrite, the global self-service ticketing platform and marketplace for live experiences.