How To Start Networking Up

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Welcome back to the Creative Visibility Podcast! I'm your host, Bret Shuford. In this episode, I want to take you on a journey through my experiences and insights into the art of networking. Networking has been a significant part of my career, and it's something I've witnessed many people struggle with. Whether it's the fear of striking up conversations, maintaining connections, or simply knowing what to say, networking can seem like an intimidating puzzle. Throughout my journey as an actor, coach, and industry professional, I've realized that networking is often misunderstood. It can be seen as inauthentic or even fake. But I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way. Networking is about forming genuine connections, and I'd like to share some strategies that have helped me build my network in a way that feels both strategic and authentic.

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Create Targeted Lists

Start by making lists of people you know and want to know. Categorize them into "hot," "warm," and "cold" contacts. Your "hot" list comprises those you already know and can easily reach out to, while your "warm" list consists of people you've met but haven't established a strong connection with yet. Your "cold" list includes individuals you aspire to connect with.


Introduce Yourself

Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to people, both online and offline. A simple message expressing your admiration for their work and a desire to collaborate can go a long way.


Join Industry Groups

Engage with online forums, Facebook groups, or industry-specific communities. These platforms provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and potential collaborators.


Be a Connector

Be open to connecting with others who can benefit from each other's expertise. Networking is not just about what you can gain but also what you can contribute.


Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings

Whenever possible, meet up with people for coffee or lunch. Face-to-face interactions often lead to deeper connections and memorable conversations.


Stay Organized

Keep track of your connections and interactions. Use reminder apps to schedule follow-ups and maintain consistent communication.

By following these strategies, you'll be well on your way to expanding your network authentically and strategically. Remember, networking is not about quantity but quality building meaningful relationships that can propel your career forward. I hope you found these networking tips valuable. If you'd like to explore this topic further and learn how to master the art of networking, don't forget to check out my "How to Talk Shop" mini-course. It's a fantastic resource to help you navigate the world of networking with confidence and authenticity.


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