We’ve all heard, countless times, that it’s all in who you know, not what your work looks like. The importance of networking has been instilled in us for ages, but how many of us can honestly look at one another and say we have a great network established? Using the term network just sounds like work though, doesn’t it? We used to view networking as the cold and distant way that we make connections, for most of us, we need to reprogram our brain into seeing and reading the word “network” as “genuine connection”. Because when we make and build on a genuine connection with our peers or audience, that’s when the magic happens.
But why is a network essential for our hustle? Because if you have a great opportunity, naturally you want to share it. So share away! Tell them about what you have going on and WHY this opportunity popped them into your mind. In turn, they will want to send opportunities YOUR way. Funny how easy networking can be, right? Your network can be anyone from your friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, clients...whomever you know and have cultivated this relationship of mutual support with. This mutual support will not only help to move them onto bigger and better things...but it’s going to help you as well! (Pro Tip: You’re not just doing something for someone in your network with the expectation that they are in turn, going to do something for you.)
In this week’s YouTube video Carlee is sharing how ‘Art for Art’ can be an easy starting point. If you are new to hustling, you likely do not have the funding to invest outright. If you have something that you can offer someone, and they have a product that you need--like Carlee and her graphic design pal--you can organize a great exchange between the two. Carlee traded a piece of her original art in exchange for the APOP logo.
‘Share for Share’ is also a great, no cost way to support the hustle of your network. Are you great at social media? Awesome. Use that to benefit your network, and in turn it can benefit YOU. Sharing via social media and email blasts is an easy way to expand and be seen by an entirely different world of viewers and followers!
Guest Posting/Featurettes is one of our favorite ways to hustle. (Do you know someone you want to see featured on APOP? Click here to nominate someone for us to feature.) If you write a fashion blog, but have a friend who’s blog features mostly lifestyle pieces...swap for a day. You can share a piece with your fashion and art expertise that their readers may not see elsewhere, and they can provide some great lifestyle insights for your readers. Both of you win, with cross traffic being drawn to both of you AND your readers get something out of the ordinary that they have come to expect from you. Featuring someone who is really exceptional at what your readers/followers are interested in is an amazing way to gain networking traffic as well. If I know that a graphic designer in my community is killing it at the game, why wouldn’t I want her to share her tips and tricks with my network to help us all get some much needed insight?
We all hustle for different reasons. We all have different areas of expertise. Why not bring your network along with you for the ride? I guarantee that if you are absolute rubbish at marketing but amazing at writing--there is someone in your network who is crap at writing and great at marketing. Help build up those around you, and your network will only grow stronger.
How have you used your connections during your creative hustle? Share with us what you are doing, and why it’s working for your hustle! Shoot us an email or comment below!