“Here’s our unofficial guide on how to become a networking superstar and grow your client base! ”
As creatives, our strongest ability is our creativity and unique personality. Often times we like to rely on our creative skill and hope it does the job of finding new clients and growing our network for us. If you are the type of person who can’t go and meet new people unless you have prepared in front of the mirror several times, this guide may give you some relief.
Once you have decided that going to your next event will be in your best interest, you need to know how you are going to start conversations and have ideas worth sharing and talking about. It sounds intimidating but honestly, as long as you present yourself as the expert on your subject (whatever that may be) you will be drawing in others around the event who will be engaged with your conversation.
Here is what you will want to have prepared. A topic you think would benefit the people you converse with and an idea to pitch to your audience. All while remaining genuine and actually being interested in their work and asking questions.
For example, if I were a photographer looking to get into the fashion industry and I wanted to get more clients or referrals, I would talk to every designer I could find a fashion show or fashion-related event and chat with them about having outstanding editorials and product shots would increase their conversions on their custom designs. Then if they are interested I can let them know I actually have a great idea for an editorial I have been dying to try out and leave them with my business card if they were interested in getting in touch or learning more.
Where to find Events
Now that you have a general gameplan for the event, you’ll need to find one to actually attend. Doing this is as easy as pulling out your phone and opening up your browser. We don’t make excuses like, “there are no events in my area” around here. Here is a list of the best places to score yourself new clients, friends or both.
- Meetup.com is a website built for finding like-minded people hosting events.
-Facebook has a tab that allows you to see all the events in your area and search them within a certain radius of where you are or where you are going to be.
- Local Chamber of Commerce, If you are looking for more business clients this would be the place to be.
There are so many other ways to find events but doing a little bit of research online goes a long way. We suggest you plan out all the events happening in your area for the next few months and get them penciled into your calendar so you don’t forget!
Finally, after you make it to the event and begin meeting everyone don’t forget to really be a genuine person, it’s easy to tell when someone is just in it to get something out of the other person. Make sure everyone enjoys themselves and ask questions, give opinions and offer ideas when occupying someone’s time at these events. Always touch base if people were kind enough to exchange business cards unless they do it first, then let them know how much you appreciated their time.
Happy Networking, Superstar.
Written by: Mathieu Roy
Head of Marketing at Creators Magazine