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Why Friends are Good: Networks and Connections

The Hive Sean Macaskill 2013

‘’Chance favours the connected mind’’ (Steven Johnson)

The Creative Industries Context… “more than two fifths (44%) of the workforce in Creative Media Industries report having worked unpaid in order to get into the industry. Formal recruitment measures such as advertising and recruitment agents are still relatively uncommon in most sectors of the Creative Industries and a third report entering the industry this way and this reduces to a quarter for those already in the industry. More people in the industry report securing both their first and current job through informal channels such as word of mouth or personal contact.” (Creative and Cultural Skills

Sector Skills Assessment for the Creative Industries of the UK, The Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, January 2011)

Relationships- the Importance of Networks and Connections • Unadvertised job market • Personal introduction and ‘unofficial reference’ • Insider knowledge • ‘Up to date’ knowledge of your industry • Support and advice network

• Collaboration • New business opportunities • New ideas • The ‘personality’ differentiator (being ‘likeable’, easy to work with and a ‘known quantity’ positively differentiates you from A. N. Other that may be of a similar quality/price, or in some cases even cheaper than you)

Networking Event Basics: Do: • Have normal conversations! Rapport is good  • Ask questions, don’t jump straight into a pitch • Be interesting/interested • Wind up a conversation politely • Swap business cards if appropriate • Be clear in your mind why you are there • Know what your ‘offer’ is and be able to describe this concisely • Remember this isn’t a night out with old friends • Be aware of the tone, formality and expectations of the organiser • Realise first impressions count

Networking Event Basics: Don’t: • Stop talking to someone as soon as you realise what they do (it’s rude and you never know who they might know) • Be disingenuous • Try to speak to everyone in a busy room in under an hour! Quality not quantity… • Bore people • Sell, sell, sell…

Preparation for Networking Events • Format and purpose of event

• Delegates research • Business cards (*unless you go to a Pecha Kucha event)

Preparing a ‘Pitch’ • • • •

Make it a relevant offer Be clear and concise Make it and you interesting What’s your agenda? Do you want a meeting, advice, to collaborate, to work with/for them, to get paid/to work for free or a combination of all of the afore mentioned?

Following up and Maintaining a Relationship

• • • •

Follow up any new contact made ideally within a few days Try and avoid only contacting someone when you want something Try and be genuinely useful to your new contact Stay in touch every few months

Online (be careful)

• Personal/business website

• Industry specific subscriptions, e.g. blog, group or e-newsletter

The ‘Real World’ Potential network contacts are everywhere and in all aspects of your life. For example: • Sports teams, hobbies etc. • Cafes, pubs and nightclubs • ‘Friends of friends’ • Former lecturers

Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From (TED talk September 2010)

Generally, all your ‘best’ contacts will become friends People like to help people that they like.

Make some new friends and keep in touch with your old ones- you never know how helpful you might be to one another. e-mail: Tel: +44(0)115 84 84354

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