Networking Tips Every Designer Should Know
Design networking is an important part of having a successful business.
Networking allows you to meet and exchange information with other designers and remodelers, helps you stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry, and even helps you meet potential clients, mentors or partners.
Join an association
Joining an association(Opens in a new window) can open many doors for you as a designer or re modeler. Members of associations can enjoy many benefits, including being invited to local networking opportunities.
Attend interesting events
You don’t have to attend every single design networking event. Choose ones that you are genuinely interested in, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time.
The more interested you are in an event, the more likely you are to build mutually beneficial relationships with the right sort of people. Plus, if the event is exciting to you, you’ll probably end up learning something new that will help you with your business.
These networking events can be in the form of expositions, tradeshows, seminars, happy hour cocktails, or even casual barbecues. Whatever the case may be, being a member of an association will make it easier for you to keep up with events and meet other members who are part of the home improvement industry.
Have quality conversations
If you’re planning on attending a design networking event, do not try to schmooze with every single person in the room. The goal is not to collect as many contacts as humanly possible.
Instead, try focusing on a handful of professionals whom you can have quality conversations with. Whatever you do, do not immediately jump into your own business; ask about their business first, what projects they’re working on, what their challenges are, etc.
You’ll gain a lot more perspective when you take the time to listen to other professionals in the industry rather than just talk about yourself the entire time.
Once you’ve spoken to a few key people, do not forget to exchange contact information. This is where business cards come in handy.
But collecting business cards and forgetting about them won’t do you any good. Make sure you follow up with your new connections fairly quickly so they don’t forget who you are (within a week of the event is ideal).
You can either give them a call or send them an email to discuss business opportunities or just to foster a mutually beneficial relationship. You can learn a lot from the people you meet at interior design networking events, so don’t let these opportunities pass you by.