I’m not really a fan of face-to-face networking, I find myself saying the wrong thing and ending up feeling silly and unprofessional. I guess that’s because I’m one of these "wear your heart on your sleeve" kinds of people. My business coach says it’s ok for me to come across as a bit of a loony, people expect if from a creative!!
I am however a fan of networking online, especially Facebook. Facebook has been not only great for my business but also great for me socially. I’m an active member of a few online Facebook groups of fellow graphic designers, and I can whole-heartedly say I have found some great friends. Working for myself in a home based studio can get a little lonely especially when I only have the cat to bounce ideas off, and he doesn’t really say much.
I have only recently been trying to get into LinkedIn. To me it feels a little like Facebook, but for grown-ups!! I have to be on my best behavior and try not to sound like a loony.
Occasionally I get to do “within client networking”, I have a few clients that I have bought together that I thought would be of mutual benefit for both. For example my very lovely client Rachel (whom I have been working with for about 4 years now) moved from Canberra to Tasmania, to open up a café and gift shop in beautiful Mt Field National Park. And another of my very lovely clients – Helen from Pilli Pala hand makes jewelry and homeware – made from Tasmanian oak that I thought would be perfect for the gift shop at Rachel’s Café, they are now working on an exclusive range together.
So anyway, if you ever meet me at a networking event, please be gentle with me, I’m not a loony, I’m…. an artist!!!