This article was written by Kristin DelMuto. She is currently a senior at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. In May 2012 she will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. Kristin is very eager to get started in the world. She has always known she would want to be working in the Entertainment industry. She would love to pursue a career in Entertainment and move to Los Angeles, California or New York City. In the past, Kristin has been an intern at Picture This Television, a small production company based in New York City. Currently, she is an intern for Boston’s Hit Music Radio Station, Kiss 108 FM. While she is very open to what field in Entertainment she would like to focus on, the music industry is a number one goal of hers. She does have a little bit of musical background and skills, but since she has not focused on it all of her life she would like to get into the management or publicity part of the industry. She also has experience in film production and broadcasting from school and her internships. If you’d like to follow her on Twitter, her username is @kristindelmuto, where she often tweets about her favorite musical artists and entertainers. She also tweet frequently about her day-to-day experiences at her internship and life in general. Thanks for reading and enjoy!
Social networking to many people can be confusing, uncomfortable, or intimidating. Why is this?
Surprisingly, when a lot of people first think about networking, it seems dishonest or selfish. However, this is not what networking is supposed to be at all. Networking is supposed to be friendly and useful.
It’s easy to be friendly and helpful with people we know. However, networking comes in as a big “business activity” and is open for so many business opportunities. This way, it can cause people to act in a different way, since they are connecting to people they may not know. Unfortunately, a lot of networking approaches can come off as annoying, pushy, needy, etc., even though that may not be someone’s purpose at all.
Therefore, there are certain sincere ways one can self-promote. It can almost be considered “networking etiquette.”
Here are some pointers for “proper networking”
1.) Your networking purpose should come off as wanting to help the other party: Yes, it would be nice for them to help you out as well and for you to get something out of it, but networking is a two-way street. When asking for help with something, you need to be bringing something to the table for the other party as well. Not many people are going to be interested in helping someone they do not know if there isn’t something in it for them too. Asking for favors shouldn’t occur until you personally know that person and have a close relationship with them.
2.) Make sure you understand their needs before you tell them about yours: Again, you want to come off as doing them a favor before you ask them for help. Because of this, understanding their purpose is significant because you will be able to explain how you can be an advantage to them.
3.) It’s not how many people you know, it’s who you know: Don’t bother with trying to connect with dozens of people-bantering everyone with e-mails and sending your business cards around to everyone in a certain industry won’t help you. Search for the person who is most relevant to what you want to do.
4.) Know what you’re asking for: Don’t take the chances by connecting with someone you don’t know just because you may think they could someday be helpful to you. Know what you want, research the person and their criteria and if it relates to you, then attempt to connect.
5.) Express curiosity: Instead of reaching out by directly asking for a favor, express an interest first. If that person knows you’re interested, they will be interested in further talking to you.
6.) Don’t dismiss anyone: If someone tries to connect with you that is not in your industry, don’t think they don’t know anyone in your industry.
7.) Make it short and sweet: Many people and businesses are often swamped with work. When trying to connect, be brief.
8.) Keep in touch: Do not just converse with someone once and burn bridges afterword. If you need help from them, or from someone who knows them in the future, they will remember that you used them.
9.) No response? Try connecting and reaching out in a different way. You do not want to annoy or harass anyone, but there is nothing wrong with a little persistence. Persistence shows interest and the ability to get something done. For example, if you send an e-mail and a few weeks go by without any response, try dropping in to speak with them face-to-face. (At a time when they’re not busy, of course.) They may have ignored your previous e-mail, but they may appreciate being able to have a conversation with someone in person versus on the Internet. You have nothing to lose by trying.
All in all, one is more likely to succeed in networking by offering to help someone else than expecting to helped before hand. When a favor is done for someone, or at least offered, the favor is often remembered and returned.