MMA's Blog

19 Dec 2017

Slow Season Survival:  5 Ways to Network With Other Creatives

When times are slow, your best allies are other creatives who may or may not be experiencing the same slowdown in bookings that you are.  Today, let's focus on 5 ways you can network with them!

The slow season is a time to focus on projects you'd never have time for in May or even August.  This is the time to network with other creatives, plan shoots, collaborate, and create new business in conjunction with others whose businesses are connected to yours.  

First off:

Don't be too eager or a weirdo. :-)


First, let's talk about HOW to reach out before we talk about ways to reach out.  There is a fine line between being a weirdo and being a helpful, collaborative colleague.  Here are some basic tips:

A) If you're reaching out via message on social media, consider the platform.  Which is most appropriate based on your relationship?  Is it LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc?  If you're engaging their social media content (liking, commenting, etc.) on a specific platform, then that may be the one to use. 

B) Develop a concise message that will stick with them, but don't make it all about what they can do for you.  Think about it, who loves it when someone only contacts you when they need something?  Here are some steps to crafting your initial message:

  • Start with stating how you two are connected  -- we are both in the wedding industry, we both work in print, etc. 
  • Next, you'll want to explain why you are reaching out to them, specifically.  What makes them so awesome?  
  • Be clear about what you'd like them to do:  can we schedule a chat, I'd like to take you to lunch, let's set up a shoot, etc.
  • Be gracious:  Thank them, like your momma taught you.  Thank them for their time and consideration. 

C) Send it off!

Now, let's get on to ways you can reach out!


1) Reach out via social media

I know, I know ... obviously.  Oftentimes, this is the most logical first step.  Again, make sure you're on their radar in some small way by engaging with their content and reach out with purpose, confidence, authenticity, and gratitude.

Photo:  TemplateStock

 

2) Send a Comp Card With a Handwritten Note

Create a comp card with three or four of your very best images and send them off via snail mail with a hand-written note.  If you're a bridal artist, focus on the creatives that touch your business and, even more importantly, those who could end up referring you.  Venues, photographers, and planners are the creatives that come to mind, immediately, but don't forget florists, djs, caterers, bridal salons, hair stylists, tailors, and a whole host of other wedding vendors! If you're looking to expand your print work, focus on photographers who shoot the kind of work you want.  If you're focusing on commercial or film, make sure you have a reel to showcase your video work and a few solid commercial images.  2) Send a comp card with a hand-written note.

 

Get down and get funky.  Or just mingle ... whatever floats yer boat.

 

3) Host a networking event

Are you great at throwing parties?  This is the perfect excuse to get a whole bunch of creatives together in one space for a mixer.  If you know how to work a room, you could end up making a load of connections and furthering your business.  

 

Run the show, yourself!  Control everything!! 

 

4) Be proactive and coordinate a shoot, yourself

One of the best ways to utilize your downtime is to work on styled shoots for submission or portfolio development.  Usually, as makeup artists, we aren't the ones coordinating the shoot (but not always).  That usually falls to the photographer or wedding planner (if you're in the bridal industry).  It doesn't have to be that way.  Sometimes, other creatives are more likely to jump on board if they don't have to coordinate the whole thing.  

 

 

5) Go to meetups or coordinate them yourself

Are there meetups in your area?  If so, get on it!  No meetups in your area?  Create one!  This is a great opportunity to pool resources, network, and share knowledge and information.  They could be makeup artist meetups or industry-specific meetups -- the possibilities are endless.  If you're not sure where to start, look at other larger cities like NYC, Chicago, and LA to see if they have similar groups and how they run them.  

 

Yep....

 

6) Hang out where they hang out "creative clusters"

Where do the cool people hang out?  Is there a coffee shop, pub, or shared workspace where other creatives are hanging out?  Perhaps you just happen to be in the area ... ;-)  

What do you do to network with other creatives?  Let us know in the comments!

 

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