We fervently believe that the act of networking is one of the most important elements when moving in the business realm. Whether you're passion is in art, make-up, construction, production, fashion, business, or the likes thereof, if you plan to excel in your industry, you must learn and master the art of networking. A couple of months ago, I received what seemed to be a rather important email from Di Di Jiles, a stylist in San Fransisco who noticed that she wasn't exactly "getting the contacts" that were necessary to help her move forward in her career. Of course when someone recently came to me inquiring about the same issue... I thought this would be a great thing to discuss here on RW.
"Sergio, I'm also a fashion stylist living in San Fran and Ive noticed that most of my friends who are in the same field as me, have built a steady book of contacts, but I haven't. I go to networking events or any similar event that I think would be good to go to, so I know I'm on the right path. I consider myself a stylish girl with great looks. Do you think you could give me some pointers on how I can fix this?
Di Di Jiles"
Here I am - First and foremost, you always want to have the confident mindset that you can talk to anyone you choose without any issues. This way you won't be start struck if and when you cross paths with an A-lister.
Everything I am - This is something normally suggest for general advice, but especially when you're planning to network, be sure to be approachable. This simply means to hold back on the dramatic make up, hairstyles, or anything that can potentially distract your "networker" from paying attention to you. The last thing you want is someone glaring at the peacock feathers protruding from your hair than listening to your business proposition. If you're worried about your personality being covered up, no worries... that will shine through with what you have to offer.
Open Forum - In most cases, people don't know how to start a conversation with the person they'd like to network with. The best way to grab one's attention is to give them a compliment. Find something captivating about them and simply tell them how much you adore it. From this point on, be sure to ask open questions (questions in which the answers aren't yes/no). Inquire on their profession, how they got into it, and ask them for pointers (even if you aren't interested), this way you're "networker" will see you as genuinely attentive.
Little Black Book - Last but not least, it is imperative that you not only gather a business card from your "networker", but you give them yours as well. If you don't have one yet, and you're reading this article, you have no excuse since you're using the internet. It's a world wide web about there. Do your research.
I really hope most of you find this information helpful to your future moves. You know where to find me if there may be any more questions/comments/inquiries.