The word “networking’ comes with its own set of allergic reactions (especially if you’re an introvert). The good news? Networking doesn’t have to suck. In 2020 it’s less about slapping a fake smile on your face and shaking hands with the right people and more about social media prowess. At its essence networking AND social media are about making authentic connections. So forget the fakery, boost your portfolio views and get more clients you actually LOVE with a few of these tactics.
Make sure your social media profiles look profesh.
We’re not saying you should be staged on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, but be aware of what you’re posting and who might see your profile. You don’t want a hiring manager or cool startup CEO to see snapshots of your tinder conversations (save those for finsta).
Show the world what you do!
If you just finished a cool project, it’s totally ok to share on social (unless you signed an NDA of course). Companies and other colleagues love seeing that you’re proud and willing to promote the work that you do.
Look in surprising places.
It’s easier to network with someone in a similar role as you than it is to network with someone higher up in the company. You could DM Gwyneth Paltrow at Goop or the Chief Design Officer at Pepsi, OR you could reach out to a contributing creative writer to see what their experience was like working with said CEO or company. The strategy here: if you want to get a job as an illustrator, connect with other illustrators on social.
Go ahead, reach out!
Troll the internet, look at relevant hashtags, businesses, websites and peruse portfolios. Get lost in the black hole of research. Note how the company or person markets themselves and look at their past experiences. Next, think about ways you can be an asset to them. This is what they’ll want to know. Now, and only now can you begin crafting a DM.
“Hi, this is me, I’m a really good ______, I can also do ______, ______ and specialize in ______ and I would love to help.”
100 no’s for every yes.
The key reaching out is to provide more value to the other company or person. They are the ones with the leverage, not you. With that said, you’ll probably send 70-250 messages a day and get a lot of no’s but keep going, there will always be a YES.
For example, if you’re a graphic designer looking for more freelance work, you should be clicking the URL on every Instagram account to look at their website. If they have a good website, leave them alone. If the website needs help, it’s time to DM!
“Hey! I love what you do, but I noticed your website could use some modernizing and I’d love to help. I’ve got a promo running that’s $500 upfront, and then $50/month for upkeep. Once I transition you to mobile and relink to it on your Instagram account you’ll convert better and you’ll make a return on your investment in one day. I’m also a Shopify guru if you have any questions about that, let me know.”
When it comes to social media networking, all it takes is work.
If you send 100 or more messages to people and get a few connections for free, that’s HUGE. Try it for a month and see what happens. And don’t be afraid to be yourself, let your personality show through your messages always! Once you get some interest, it’s in your hands to follow up and take charge. And while you’re at it, hit us up. Our talent team is always looking for more amazing creatives to set up with great jobs. Plus, we throw a good party when you want to network the old fashioned way, so sign up for our newsletter.