Regardless of the industry, you work in, networking becomes the soul of professionalism. You simply cannot do without developing and strengthening contacts with everyone and anyone in the industry. Why, you ask?
It is because you may never know who and what will make things easier for you in your professional life. Hence, networking is an ingredient in the recipe for a successful life.
The fashion industry, by its very nature, grows on networks. Knowledge, talent, and hard work are the most obvious parts of a successful life in the fashion industry. However, unless you have the right socialization skills, you might not be able to shine the way you should. People will have to notice you from among a massive crowd of equally talented individuals, and the way you network will ensure whether they can.
In this article, you will get to know the right things to network right in the industry. It does not matter whether you are a rookie or a veteran in the field; these suggestions will be of most use to you.
- Social media is the religion
This is the 21st century which is the age of the digital. You take your stuff online, and if there is merit in what you have, it will be noticed. Of course, considering the sheer number of users online, it might take a while before your talent might get noticed—but when it does, your life will explode. In the fashion industry, what is you see is what you sell. Social media is where you must take your designs, ideas, and credentials and market them extensively. Instagram, for example, has become an excellent platform for fashion influencers to establish themselves. With the use of the right kind of advertising, you will be able to come in contact with people sharing similar interests or looking for people with your skills.
- Attend parties
Just because you are in the fashion industry does not automatically make you a social butterfly. But, whether or not you like it, you will have to force open your wings to be able to dwell better in here. Fashion industry talks—and it talks a lot—and you will not be able to spread the word about yourself or your skills without interactions. Parties, therefore, are potent grounds for initiating and developing conversations. These are the occasions where you can meet high profile individuals, engage in small talk, and slip into conversation what you are all about. Ask any successful individual in the industry whether parties make any difference, and they will give you an affirmative response.
- Make contacts with everyone, from intern to the CEO
Do not think that there are only specific kinds of people who can help you in the industry. It is not just about your connections that count; what connections your connections also matter a great deal. A fashion intern may be an intern but he might come from a family of connections stronger than the CEO of your company. However, if you force interaction on people, you wouldn’t be able to go too far. Try to be methodical in your approach and treat everyone with the kind of respect you would want for yourself. Connections grow on respect and trust.
- Organize and/or participate in workshops etc
Workshops, conferences, etc are opportunities to bring experts and involve them in meaningful discussions. You should consider organizing workshops, inviting speakers with prolific backgrounds, and engaging participants with each other. Being an organizer, you will be the most important point of contact for the participants, and this will lead to inevitable networking. If you are unable to organize a workshop etc, then you should consider participating in any of them from time to time. You will come across people from various professional backgrounds in the industry and can forge professional relationships.
- Stay in touch
It is one thing to get in touch with people in your industry; another to stay in touch with them. You must not forget your contacts and should always send them greetings whenever you get time. Of course, you cannot take care of a hundred people all the time but you should be mindful of those connections which are highly influential or are very deep into the industry. Sending them festival wishes from time to time, for example, is a good way to stay in touch and keep yourself noticed.