Photography Training | Working the Network

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WPPI is coming up next month and most of you have probably attended at least one convention since the beginning of the year. Building your network is one of the fundamental reasons to attend every possible industry event you can. Sadly, very few people consider the importance of the care and feeding of the network they’re working so hard to build.

The Basic Building Blocks
At every event you attend make sure you’re prepared. Bring business cards. Yes, I said this would be basic, but as recently as last year’s IUSA convention I bumped into a past student from Hallmark Institute who I met years ago. I wanted to follow up on what he’s doing now and asked for a card. “Sorry, I forgot to bring them with me!”

You should always have your business cards and preferably a postcard or brochure showing your work. I’m a big fan of oversized postcards with a few images on them and all of the photographer’s contact information on the back.

When you attend a program, make it a point to introduce yourself to the people sitting around you. You’ll be amazed at how much you have in common, especially with the challenges of running a business in today’s economy.

Listen more than you talk. There’s a great line about how you’ve got two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you talk. The effectiveness of a great network is based on a clear understanding of everybody’s strong suit. If you spend too much time talking about yourself, you’ll not only shut people off, but you won’t learn how they might be an effective member of your network.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the February 2013 magazine.

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