Networking. For some, it’s a fun and invigorating activity. For most, it’s challenging, time-consuming, exhausting, and not always the most productive. How can you get the most out of your networking time, create fruitful connections and generate new opportunities for your art career?
We collected the seven top networking tips from art business experts to help you get the most out of your networking efforts:
1. Help Yourself by Helping Others
Approach networking with a “pay it forward” attitude. Create relationships based on positive interactions and goodwill. Then, people will be more willing to help you out with your art career goals.
“By helping you I help myself.” - Renee Phillips
2. Meet Other Artists and Offer Support
Building on the last tip, make an effort to meet other artists. Go to association meetings and offer resources, tips, encouragement, and useful discussion. And keep attending - make yourself a familiar face!
3. Prepare an Elevator Speech
People are bound to ask “So, what do you do?” Have an “elevator speech” ready so you know exactly what to say. It only needs to be a few sentences - a minute or less - about who you are and what you do. If they’re interested, they will follow up with additional questions.
4. Look to Connect, Not to Sell
Switch off the infomercial instinct. Instead, focus on forming a genuine connection with people. Ask questions about who they are, what they do, their interests etc. People are looking to see if they can relate to you.
5. Collect Business Cards and Follow Up
Show interest by collecting business cards from the people you meet. Then follow up. Send an email or a card - and be sure to include the context of the meeting. Set up a future appointment with your best connections. Learn more ways to leverage your contact list here.
6. Bring Your Own Business Cards (Lots!)
Be sure to have a stack of your own business cards to hand out to interested people. It’s an easy way for them to contact you - and it’s professional. Want to create a memorable business card with the right information? Check out our tips here.
Meeting new people can be fun and full of endless positive possibilities. Stay calm and enjoy getting to know people who are interested in art. You never know where it might lead. And remember, people are rooting for you to succeed!
Being social might be the key to your art business. Try these 6 activities that will help you build the right relationships.