If the thought of networking with and promoting yourself to others makes you nervous, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. As a creative, it can be hard to talk about what you do and impress potential employers. While some people think you need to “sell yourself” to make a mark on others, you don’t; you just need to keep people interested! Networking doesn’t need to be painful or awkward, not if you know how to do it right. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few pointers to help make the process just a little easier.
Get On Social Media
First things first, is to establish your presence on social media. For example, Instagram and Twitter can be great places to start if you’re trying to get noticed for your photography, videos, or designs (whether it’s fashion or digital design) because they’re visual platforms and can showcase your talent better than LinkedIn could. That being said, do make sure you’re on LinkedIn because it is so important for building a professional network, especially if you’re interested in working for bigger companies. In an article written by Danny Maiorca on professional networking, he suggests that once you’re on social media, approach people who are on the same level as you. You’re much more likely to get noticed by someone starting out on Instagram than by some ultra-famous creative (Maiorca, 2022). Platforms like Instagram or Twitter rely on making friends and expressing interest in other people, so you can’t expect other creatives to do favors for you or check out your page if you don’t do the same for them first! Like their posts, or comment on something they’ve created to show you appreciate them.
Be Yourself and Be Personable
The best thing you can do to make a good impression on people is to just be genuine and don’t don a persona to get people to like you. Those who are truly worth working with will appreciate you for your talents and your energy as a person. Roxine Kee of College Info Geek states that you should find ways to humanize yourself and your work and not try to make connections for the sake of it. It’s best if you really let other people see your passion for your work! If you want people to take an interest in you, find things you have in common with them because it shows that you’re not just using them to make a career move but are genuinely interested in them as a person (Kee, 2019).
Give and Take and Give Thanks
I briefly mentioned this before, but show people you care about their interests and work by giving a little something before taking from them! Liking an article they wrote or a post on IG of their work can show that you appreciate their time and effort as an artist, and even simple things like sending them an article you think they’d like can be uplifting for them. At the end of the day, just being a nice person can get you a long way, and this applies to everyone! Thank people for their time and for taking the time to talk with you about your art.
Just Go For It
Sometimes we find those job positions that seem perfect for us, but the problem is, is we don’t know how to email recruiters! It’s completely understandable, especially if you’re afraid of messing up your first (virtual) impression. A tip that Biron Clark of Career Sidekick gives is to not send your resume right away. If you send your resume or cover letter unsolicited, chances are, you won’t gain any interest from a recruiter. Instead, give them a brief background of who you are, what you do, your phone number information, time availabilities, and suggest a phone call to talk with them more about the job (Clark, 2021). Make sure to keep the email short and sweet, that way, it’ll leave the recruiter curious about you and what you can offer the company.
Networking doesn’t need to be daunting and scary, but if done the right way, can be an exciting part of your journey as a creative. You can meet amazing new people and build long-lasting connections with people who will help you get ahead in your career.
Want more information on how to grow your network? Attend our Virtual Networking Event on Saturday, May 7th!