Eh, what have eggs got to do with networking I hear you ask? Probably not that much really, but a recent offer for a bit of publicity about my classes prompted me to have a little ramble on the subject.
Holly at Hatchd Magazine, recently offered to feature my fusing classes - Hatch'd is an online magazine and network (run by volunteers) to support creative arts in Derbyshire, and uses the power of Twitter to share information - and we're mutual followers.
- If you don't tweet, you might wonder what it's all about - some people think Twitter is just a lot of streams of consciousness and ramblings that "I went to the shop to buy milk" and so on - but it's so much more useful than that. Etsy sellers use it to promote new listings. Events organisations use it to share dates and times. Arts organsiations spread the word on opportunities. Where as when I blog, the only way it gets seen is if you follow me, stumble across me or I am in someone's follow list and you decide to click through - when I tweet, albeit a short line gets sent out immediately to my followers and often, one or more of my followers will re-tweet - imagine how many people that might reach? If only two people re-tweet, and they have a couple of hundred followers each, my one little line of information has been seen by hundreds, potentially thousands, of people in one easy go.
Obviously I have blogged about the classes, Facebooked it too, which auto-tweets, Holly picked up on it and messaged me to offer to feature it in the magazine, and here I am, currently on the front page of the website:
|Hatch'd Magazine screen capture|
Checking out the website, I happened across Hatch'd Out, which is a monthly networking event at Derby Quad, organised by the folk at the magazine. I haven't been to one yet, and probably won't actually manage the next one, but it did make me think about the usefulness of networking events.
I recently did a course about how to promote your creative business, and we discussed networking, which is a important part of what we do. We talked about whether different types of networking events, and someone commented that creatives networking events (such as this) are perhaps not all that good as it's mostly other creatives, trying to get the business up and running, who haven't got the money to buy your work. And yes, there's an element of truth in that of course - however, look at it another way - suppose I'm talking to a graphic designer who, at some other event recently, had been talking to someone who wanted some glass wall art. Mr Graphics doesn't do it, and having recently left university with a course full of other graphic designers and illustrators doesn't actually know anybody who does it because he never mingled with the crafts students on another site.... but now, having chatted over a coffee and biscuits, Mr Graphics now *does* know a glass artist who he can put the enquirer in touch with...
So, no, networking with other creatives probably won't get you that sale - but it might get you a contact, or perhaps a collaboration that you can use in the future. Maybe I might go along after all!