How To Network – A Case Study

by - m on 04/12/2012

A while ago I spoke to students at the Savannah College Of Art And Design (SCAD) about careers in the creative workplace.

We talked about skills and we talked about how to network.

After the panel, one student introduced himself and asked if he could stay in touch. The next day he followed up with a thank you via email and asked if he could send me examples of his work from time to time.

He sent me a link to his website which included his work. The work included music videos he’d shot and directed, still photography, and a few spec commercials he had done.

Every six to eight weeks he emailed about his current projects and asked about my projects. He read online trade mags, followed industry blogs, and commented on the state of the business.

We began a dialogue.

Over the course of the next eighteen months I watched as he grew as a producer and a director. Through contacts, he got a few opportunities on corporate gigs, indie films and music videos.

Months later I had the chance to hire him for a project. It was almost two years from the time we first met.

I’ll hire him again when the right project comes along.

Networking is more than building a list.

It’s more than staying in touch.

It’s sharing information.

It’s creating an opportunity…

Not waiting for one.

It takes time.

It’s hard work.

The big payoff is the relationship.

Not the gig.

– m

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