As some of you have probably learned through your artistic endeavors, knowing the people who are around you as well as their friends is the best way to get your name out there. The trouble is, how do you do this without seeming desperate?
From my experience with networking, I have learned some important factors in which to develop a rapport with others. I attended a seminar in January at BMI in New York City for a networking group called Women in Music, and used the following steps as tools in which has helped me gain a personal connection with those I met that night:
1. Read body language: If someone seems interested in your work and wants to know more, give them your card. Do not over talk and repeat traits about yourself and what you do. You will come off as someone who is too intense and not about the art and will make your prospective contact back away. However, if they are interested in you and what you do, they will smile, give you full eye contact, and will ask you questions. Do not miss cues of interest, and make sure you key into how they are asking about you and your art, as well as what they are intrigued about the mos with yourself. In retrospect, if someone you are talking to is
gazing off, changing subjects, and/or crossing arms, see this as an opportunity that they are not interested.Politely change the subject towards their interests,their art and/or business. They may engage, but if they are still not engaged in the conversation, seek an opportunity to politely excuse yourself, and give them a kind and genuine smile. You can always give a salutation as they leave, so that they know you are responsive to their needs as well as their ways of communicating. Not everyone will be interested, but if you show you are confident and not pushy, the uninterested party might see oth
er potential in you in another area, or with another contact.
2. Be persistent with contacts: Once you get a contact interested in your social media pages and/or website, send them a thank you email, tweet, message, what have you. Make them feel like they are welcome to further explore your art. In a virtual world, your work can be up anywhere, but it takes someone who is interested to really take a look/listen. However, do not keep emailing them everyday– this will look like spam, and that person who can be a potential backer will stop contacting you.
3. Keep your online presence updated: Ensuring consistent, quality content can be a tough task to fit into a busy schedule. Those you want to seek as fans or backers will see that you are regularly updating your work. Fit it into your daily routine. For example, instead of browsing through Facebook, put out a post about your latest art. Start writing up a short post for a blog while you are on the train and post it while watching your favorite T.V. show. After awhile, it will become a habitual part of your day, and you will be surprised to see how many people will respond to your posts.
However, in order to keep your fans interested, stay away from posting irrelevant topics in a short time span (for example, 7 times in one day, posting pictures of cats playing). This will give the viewer the impression that you are not serious in your art but serious in other subjects that are irrelevant to them, and will stop following you. Remember, your posts are catering to your audience, not vise versa. Make sure your posts are relevant, the artwork is something you should be proud of, and can further your outlook to fans and backers.
It is a hard world out there to get attention as an artist, especially with so many social media sites and competition. One must keep themselves on a schedule in order to update their information, add new artwork to their sites regularly, as well as keep up with what their connections are up to. Like anything, it takes practice, but in this instance, practice will end in perfect responses to your goals, as well as the exposure needed for you to get to that next step.