Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Make Friends and Make Your Brand - The Power of Networking

February 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 146

Face it. You can't do it all. Or, maybe you really can do it all and are limited by that hassle we call "time". I've been there friend. If only you could find a way to squeeze 4-5 more hours into the day. Then maybe you could get it all done.

Until this becomes a reality, the truth is you need to organize your team of contacts. You need that reliable list of talented individuals that want to help you become that powerhouse you know you can be. I say "want", because that implies an invested interest beyond the typical relationship that is entirely money-bound. You can get those people all day. They want your checkbook. What you want is someone who actually has a vested interest in seeing Tim's tees hit the big time. You may (will) need to give something up in return, but the investment is far outweighed the potential return.

That "No Man is an Island" thing

I am continually telling people that the key to my success thus far has been to "surround myself with people smarter than me". While the bar isn't set very high, admittedly, you can never go wrong by getting a bunch of know-it-alls at your disposal. I don't mean this in a manipulative way. You need to be equally invested in their success and have to be able to look beyond the "what can you do for me" moment. The reality is we're all looking to advance ourselves and if given the respect and opportunity at success, we'll wisely align ourselves with others who can help us get there.

What do you bring to the table?

When we sat down to start our brand, my business partner and I had one slight problem; neither of us could draw. We had no photography skills, no web design experience, and knew nothing about apparel production (I'm sure you are having that "WTF is this guys story" moment). Things looked pretty bleak. We almost failed before we could get started. Enter the power of networking. We joined forces with an artist we knew through our network who loved to draw and design, but hadn't the slightest knowledge nor interest in the business side of things. We connected (after 2-3 failed designer attempts) with a web designer in our network of contacts who was willing to work with us and cut us a deal because ours would be his first stab at an e-commerce site. In turn, we referred work through our professional network back to him. And I still do 3 years later.

We've since partnered with models, photographers, makeup artists and designers who have contributed because of the valuable portfolio work we've given them. We've also gone back to them for paid gigs and (you guessed it) referred them to other jobs. Probably our most valuable network connection has been our PR rep who has opened major media doors and provided amazingly hard to come by results, all without paying her a dime (we'll touch on that later in a compensation post). While some of these relationships will be hard for you to replicate given your network, you may prove to have connections that are just as if not more valuable.

The process of accumulating these contacts is not a highly skilled one. It takes research, time, and the ability to strike up conversations with talented people. Show an interest in what they do. Suggest you do some projects together. Ask how you can help them grow their book. Places like Facebook (start with your own friends list, people you went to school with), Twitter, LinkedIn, and good old fashion face-to-face events where you're likely to run into the kind of people you need is the way to go. There isn't a rolodex of "people who will help you cheap" contacts.

So get to it. Make some connections and buy some people coffee or a beer.

How about you? What relationships have driven your business? What suggestions do you have for working with those who can help you the most?

Jason is the co-founder of Faith & Fortune, a lifestyle apparel brand producing limited edition apparel and the founder of The Apparel Project, a resource for aspiring clothing line owners.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:







Social Media


Web Desiger

In India, employment opportunities are set to grow by a good margin in the coming year, a phase which was started in the turn of the second decade of the 21st century. organisation, candidates with

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Careers Employment l April 01, 2013 lViews: 11709

Sometimes it is amazing to see that certain jobs can precipitate huge turnouts in the recruitment drives. It is as if thousands of people were waiting for the vacancy advertisements and the moment

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Careers Employment l December 30, 2012 lViews: 690

In recent times, jobs in healthcare segments have grown tremendously. It is anticipated that this growth curve will continue for the times to come. Various factors are responsible for this

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Career Advice l December 27, 2012 lViews: 448

Are you in a dilemma whether to choose web based CRM or not? If yes, don’t worry. You aren’t the sole person having this doubt.There are numerous firms trying to make out whether investing in a

By: Reneta Vasileva l Business > Customer Service l December 23, 2012 lViews: 409

If you think about it you will realize the fact that each business has its own set of risks that are involved in it.The trade secrets that you have and the information related to the business is what

By: brumbrum1 l Business > Risk Management l December 23, 2012 lViews: 263

As the time is changing, concierge management services are now growing despite the slowing economies of the world. The main reason of it is the need that is highly specific to the people who like to

By: willsmith10 l Business > Management l December 23, 2012 lViews: 334

Getting ready for a big conference or business meeting? Don't forget to order name tags. Conferences and business events that have name tags are simply more successful. While some may roll their eyes

By: Lawrence Reavesl Business > Networkingl June 08, 2012 lViews: 207

Online interactions are extremely important for your business and also extremely effective. Relationships are at the heart of the interactions and knowing how to leverage them successfully will bring

By: Carolyn Cohnl Business > Networkingl June 07, 2012 lViews: 197

You've decided to let the world know that you're changing careers. You went to the local "meet and greet" and met some people that you believe can help your transition. Now, what will you do to

By: Leon R Scottl Business > Networkingl June 06, 2012 lViews: 184

One of the best ways to get your business associates to send you business is to send them business. This can be in the form of a tip, lead, or referral. But which is better in supporting the members

By: Dave Gutscherl Business > Networkingl June 06, 2012 lViews: 183

It seems like simple math: the more leads you get, the more clients you get. And that's true, to a point. But when you take a closer look, you'll discover that it's a bit more complicated.

By: Sue Clementl Business > Networkingl June 06, 2012 lViews: 157

Networking is an acquired skill. We become skillful at networking when we understand its impact and relevance to our business, and ultimately our lives. This results in diligent work to develop the

By: Marilyn Thorpel Business > Networkingl June 04, 2012 lViews: 172