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Tag archives for creative networking

Do you know all the key players (companies) in your industry niche, in your city or region?  If not, you are NOT ready to look for a new job!

Part of “You, Inc.” is knowing your assets (talents, skills, connections and experience).  But another part is knowing which buyers are best for you.

With the Web at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for not knowing each of your potential employers better than you know the attributes of your favorite movie or sports star.  Here are some features of each company you should know… and can find off of the Web (their company website, directories, associations, etc.)

  1. Name and kind of company (Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S, C or other corporation), and size (number of employees, divisions, or locations).  Where their headquarters is located — and how close you will be to it.  Remember — location, location, location!
  2. Number of employees, and what the name of your relevant department(s) would be.
  3. Key customers (Find in directories or association membership listings)
  4. Where the hub of your industry is.  Entertainment is not centered in Sante Fe, New Mexico — but the art world is!
  5. Key products and services … and where the money comes from!  Follow the money!  The departments that have the greatest impact on revenue get the most attention, resources and often, highest salaries.  Money talks in business.
  6. Job requirements.  Search for job descriptions on job websites to get a prioritized list of qualification they will look for.  Know how each term is defined, and relate it to your own training and experience.  Tell your story of qualification, successful experiences and networks that can help get the job done.
  7. Who do you know who works for the company?  Call, email or text them for insights about the company, industry trends, and the job or department.  Recognize that one personal opinion isn’t always complete or accurate.
  8. Check social media for relevant conversations about the industry and the company.  But DON’T make derogatory or inappropriate comments.  (And check your own social media postings and clean them up as much as possible.)  
  9. Visit a trade show booth or other public exhibit and check out the literature.  Annual reports tell a lot about the inner workings of a company.  Read it for at least two years, if possible.  Annual reports for public companies listed in the stock market are often posted on their website or linked to from Finance.Yahoo.com
  10. Drive by all the facilities within driving distance — check out their look and feel.  Are they clean or unkempt?  Are their parking lots full or sparsely filled. Are they heavily armoured against crime, or open to the public?  You can tell a lot about a person (or company) by how they dress!

Getting to know the best companies in your niche can mean up to millions of dollars over a lifetime of work — so it is important to know where the best companies are, who their key people are, their trends and best products.  It’s like getting to know a person with many fascinating personality traits!  Have fun, but open your eyes to the attributes that matter most!

Every meeting, event, or group gathering is networking opportunity where you might meet several interesting people.
But, if you’ve been out networking, you know how hard it is to find the people who are more than interesting contacts — the people who become great business partners, friends, or more.

Introductions make networking more productive

One way to make networking easier is to be introduced to just the right person by someone with a large network of people.

Mary Kurek, a professional networker who seeks out the best connections for her clients, is sharing her network at movie, gaming and other creative conferences .

Connectors like Mary provide a great service by making networking more productive and fun.

You can be a connector, too

No matter how many people are in your network, you can start a networking group and introduce people to each other, too.

Gather people together and introduce them to each other. Encourage them to continue their conversation in person or on the phone (or Skype) — and to plan something they can work on together.
And, if you want to place an order for quality connections, contact Mary.
By taking the lead in hosting a networking event and helping people get connected, Mary is deinately a 10.

Big events used to be a great way to pull people together, motivate them, and update them on new information. Corporations held large internal meetings. And, industry associations held large annual conventions for their members.

However, the low cost of the Internet and the high cost of convention halls, hotels, and airlines – plus the lost productivity – has resulted in a decrease in the number of those huge corporate events and week-long industry conferences.

Seth Godin questions big event value

Seth Godin sparked a conversation on the Web on whether big events are still valuable. He was referring to large events such as product introductions, but the meeting/event industry used his piece to discuss the challenges of their industry.

And, the meetings and events industry that produces large events is facing some big challenges. I can name almost a dozen large conferences I used to attend that don’t exist anymore. And, many other large events just aren’t so large these days,
For example, a few weeks ago I attended a large industry association conference in Las Vegas to help a startup company research a manufacturing technology. Not being from that industry, we needed to get up to speed quickly, meet vendors selling that technology, and evaluate the technology.

Unfortunately, the conference had no educational sessions on this small, emerging technology. So, we met with the handful of vendors – whose booths were scattered across multiple buildings. And, since attendance at the show was down the people in the booths had plenty a time to talk with us.

It turned out that it would have been much more productive and inexpensive for us to attend a day-long seminar with presentations by just these vendors.

Replacing conventions and big conferences

What’s replacing those huge conventions and conferences? Two things.

  • First, of course, is the Internet. Initially, e-mail discussion groups and forums provided information more quickly than trade magazines and annual conferences. Today, webinars and self-paced e-learning deliver information and education where and when you need it.
  • Second, local/regional meetings and events provide an easy and inexpensive way to meet with likeminded people face-to-face more frequently than at annual conferences. In addition, the quality of presentations at local groups and chapter meetings is frequently as valuable as those at large national conferences.
  • Facebook is launching internal corporate networking to replace emails. “Workplace by Facebook” will be a paid service, Facebook’s FIRST paid service, that charges a monthly fee for enterprise-grade security and administration of the system that allows corporate employees to collaborate, news feed with posts, and live video as well as share documents.

The big, expensive conferences will survive on lower attendance. They just won’t be so big and expensive.

Local events & meetings

Expect to see a lot more local groups and organizations produce high-quality meetings and events around the narrow, specific interests of their members – which will reduce the need to fly off to large conventions.




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I’m always pleasantly surprised when I come across someone’s Top Networking Tips list that includes tips I hadn’t seen before. Richard Mueller, a Minneapolis-based graphic designer, has also posted his networking tips. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Big groups are always better
  2. Drag singles along
  3. Don’t dance with the one you brung
  4. Nicotine Networking for nonsmokers
  5. Plan fast, eat slowly
  6. Use other peoples’ business cards for notes
  7. Organize your business card collection
  8. How to remember names
  9. How to remember faces
  10. Don’t drop the ball – use your new contacts

Test these tips and select the ones that are right for you — and do more of what works for you in your business networking at events.

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