Networking is an important part of any career, and it’s especially important in the creative industries where most people work on a freelance basis. The more people you know and have relationships with, the more potential you have for getting work. Below are some tips on how you can network effectively as a freelancer both in-person and online.
If you’re someone who better expresses themselves during face-to-face interaction, then this style of networking is perfect for you. You'll get to (literally) rub shoulders with people who are in the same industry and who have the same interests as you. You can do this by:
Helping Your Fellow Creatives
Keep a collaborative spirit by offering to help your peers on their projects. Lending a helping hand could lead to increased future prospects. It’ll let people in the industry know that you are reliable and keen.
Preparing an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a brief introduction of who you are, and your field of interest. It allows you to be prepared to speak about yourself and your work at any time. You never know who you might meet, so it’s good to make sure that you’re ready to present yourself. This also helps you carry yourself with confidence.
Making Meaningful Connections
Always remain genuine and respectful when networking. This will show people that you’re honest and transparent, leading to establishing more meaningful engagements.
Design Business Cards
Might be a little old school but is still an effective way to get your name in the minds of the relevant people. Try to make it memorable through creative design and text. It should show your personality, relay your brand and who you are as a creative professional.
Finding the Right Hang outs
It is important for you to frequent spaces that people in the industry regularly go to. This will provide the right setting for you to present yourself and your work.
These days, most connections are made online. If you are a better communicator when texting, then this option is for you. You can simultaneously build your online presence and reach out to fellow creatives and people in the industry. Ways to do this are:
Slide in the DMs
Don't be afraid to message people who are in the same field as you. The worst that can happen is no response. Reaching out to people should be fun and genuine. Simply message them introducing yourself, state what your niche is, and why you’re reaching out (collabs/friendship/ meetup to share knowledge). Make sure your message is clear and has a clear purpose.
Share Your Peers Work
Use your social media platform to show off the creators and the work you like. This will allow them to see that you are genuinely interested in their work and could lead to future collaboration.
Don’t Limit Yourself
Make connections with everyone, not just creatives who do the same thing as you. This opens up a whole new world, and will help you advance your craft. You could meet potential clients who are in other fields or find freelances with other creative disciplines that you could collaborate with.
It’s not just for stuffy suits. Freelance artists can use Linkedin to their advantage as a way to tap into the corporate world, or make connections with the money behind big art campaigns.
Only reach out to brands and artists that you want to work with. Avoid mass messaging people in hopes that at least someone replies. Make sure that you have common ground with the person you’re messaging so that when the opportunity to collab avails itself, you’ll mesh well with them.
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