A fantastic part of each Athena Executive Club meeting is the Networking Skills Training. These are short sessions aimed at providing quick tips and techniques for members and visitors to maximise their networking activities.
In March, Vicki Lew, Athena Executive Member and Firestarter at Brew Creative showed us how to create our own ‘tag teams’!
Networking myth #1 – you have to know everyone
Focus only on those who are dedicated to helping you and who you can help too
There’s always more than meets the eye:
- Never dismiss anyone you meet through networking based on a first impression only
- It’s not important what the other person does – you never know who they know or have in their network
3rd party referrals
How master networkers do it:
- Don’t just look at referrals
- Look at creating tag teams
- Who provides complementary – not competing – services to yours? Can you work together to pitch for bigger contracts? (As a graphic designer, Vicki ensures she has good connections to copywriters as these services are often required together).
- Who has the same target audience? (If you are aiming to work only with a niche market, who else works with them? It might be a completely random connection but as long as you have the same target, there is definitely potential to work together).
- Take the time to learn what others do and explain exactly what it is you are looking for and how you might be able to help someone else
- Catch up regularly with your tag team – let them know your current business objectives and learn what they are working on
- Stay top of mind – be creative in the way you reach your potential and existing clients
- Be personable – remember details, names, birthdays etc
- Look at your contact list regularly and try to identify new ways to help people
- Show respect when someone refers you – be polite and follow up within 24-48 hours. Negative impressions last longer and are harder to change
Networking myth #2 – there are lots of dead ends in networking
Keep referrals because you never know when you might be able to use them!
Often designers are purported to have dominant right brains. But what if someone had a nice balance of the left and right brain traits? That someone might be Vicki! People have often commented that she is a business woman disguised as a designer. With more than 10 years of graphic and web design experience, the resident Firestarter (and sometimes Fire Extinguisher) applies her special brand of practical creativity in her design work, advice to clients and business development for Brew.
At Brew, other than being a designer, Vicki wears many hats, including marketer, project manager, rainmaker, as well as the occasional stint as the studio handywoman. Over the years, Vicki has handled projects for businesses of all sizes and industries, but her soft spot is working with entrepreneurs and startups, and she can often be found breaking out the cheer leading pompoms to support and encourage her friends to follow their dreams.
In her spare time, Vicki enjoys exploring new cuisines, putting together a home cooked meal, being nerdy at the museum or getting her batteries recharged by nursing her favourite beers.
If you would like to attend the next Athena Executive Club, please contact us.