Networking in the Digital Age
Looking on the bright side of social media
A few days ago, I had an entirely professional, yet informal conversation with someone I’ve never even met in person, on Instagram and it was absolutely wonderful.
It was such an amazing feeling to be able to CONNECT with someone and be REAL, without any ulterior motives.
I would characterize it as a connection of creatives, trying to understand each others’ work, context and drive.
I have had a few of these conversations online in the past year or so and I have found such connections invaluable and so, so refreshing.
This is because most connections in the digital space are unwanted and involve people being creeps (after which you desperately try to find ways to block or ignore them). Unfortunately, this even happens on LinkedIn where you are specifically meant to be using that platform to network and connect for professional reasons.
Honestly, the last place I would have expected to successfully network with people would have been on Instagram or Twitter where we constantly joke about sliding into someone’s DMs, but it happens! And it can be extremely useful since some barriers of formality have been broken already — you can get right down to business or instead, set the basis for future work.
Of course, both parties have to be open to this otherwise all that happens, is that you become a pest or worse, a stalker. Of course, some people would think it too informal a place to talk about business. However, it’s still a great place to establish a first contact and get any email addresses etc. from there.
I seriously find that, as a creative, being able to connect on social media to other creatives from around the world who have similar goals and passions to be extremely rewarding and encouraging — I know I’m not alone in the struggle.
Have you had such an experience?
What do you think about meeting and networking with people online for work?