Networking this, networking that… You’re probably sick and tired of reading about how it can change your life. You can find articles on how beneficial it is at every corner of this place called the internet. Is it really this magic bullet, the secret foolproof key to success in any field?
Well, it’s not the key to success. But there’s a good reason why “networking” is such a buzzword. It’s because who you know does matter in the world of business, be it marketing or (quite literally) anything else.
But why exactly are connections so powerful?
First, if you’re on a job hunt, someone’s personal experience with you speaks more volumes than you being a one-of-the-many resume, custom writings or not. Second, if you’re working on a project, the more people you know, the wider your social circle is, the more resources you can have at your disposal.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let’s take a deep dive into these five concrete ways college networking can advance your any endeavor – including marketing campaigns.
1. Pick a Professional’s Brain
If you’re just at the beginning of your career path in marketing, having someone to seek advice from is invaluable. Seriously, it’s impossible to overestimate its importance.
So, don’t hesitate to reach out to pros and invite them for a cup of coffee to pick their brains and ask about the ins and outs of running a campaign. It’ll help you, at the very least, understand what areas of expertise you need to look into.
Besides, surrounding yourself with professionals in the field means you’ll be in the know on the latest trends and updates. And it’s not only about talking to them about this or that shift in the industry online or in person. Just being subscribed to the pros’ posts on social media is already guaranteed to keep you posted.
2. Increase Your Chances of Successful Outreach Partnerships
When it comes to outreach marketing, networking is your best friend. That’s especially true if you need to go on television or a podcast or get a sponsored post published on a news website. That world – the world of news media – is built on who knows who.
And that’s not it, too. Here’s a list of potential outreach vectors where networking is essential:
- Press, local and (especially) national;
- Bloggers, vloggers, and other influencers;
- TV channels, local and (especially) national.
If the person in charge of such partnerships knows you personally, your chances to get your foot in the door skyrocket. And your chances to get the potential marketing partner onboard become a lot higher, too.
3. Enhance Your Brainstorming Sessions
The more you talk with other marketing pros, the more perspectives and approaches you find out about. The funny part is, you never know when a fresh idea will pop up in your mind thanks to that one conversation you had with Dave from Another Marketing Company yesterday.
It’s not about just straight-out copying others’ campaigns, though. It’s not even about borrowing them, no. The point here is, such conversations can (and will) be your source of inspiration during brainstorming sessions. Or, your brainstorming may suddenly occur during those conversations.
Besides, you probably know this already: it’s great to have someone else to bounce your ideas off, right? Or at least get a fresh, unbiased perspective on the ideas you already have.
4. Find a Helping Hand When You Need One
The hashtag #PowerOfSocialMedia exists for a reason, and that reason is – ask and you shall receive! In all seriousness, whatever you may need, if you ask around, you’re unlikely to remain empty-handed.
That doesn’t concern only requests for some professional advice. Maybe you know someone in the printing business. They can help you out with making all those promotional materials top-notch quality. Or, you could need a designer’s help ASAP. That’s also the right moment to send out an SOS on your social media or DM some of your friends.
5. Making a New Connection Is Always More than +1
What’s even more amazing about establishing meaningful connections is that it’s not just this one person you have a connection to. That one person knows many others, and this “friend of a friend of a friend” thing can go a long way.
That is, even if you don’t know any designers, publishers, or journalists, someone you know can refer you to them. That’s also known as the six (or less) handshakes rule, and it works!
In Conclusion: 4 Tips on Nailing College Networking
These five benefits are the why’s of networking. But what about the how’s? Here are 4 tips to help you succeed in your networking adventures:
- Don’t limit your networking prospects to fellow students. Your teachers and other faculty staff also have a ton of connections in their respective fields. Mingle with them, too – and strive to do your absolute best in their classes if you’re attending them at the moment.
- Yes, a LinkedIn profile is a must. You may not be thrilled by the prospect of creating one more account on this (boring, to some extent) platform. But this is where professional connections are made and maintained these days. Make sure to keep your profile updated!
- Connect with alumni online or in person. Every college has a Facebook group for its alumni – so, join it if you haven’t done so yet. Also, look up any online or in-person alumni networking events and mingle with people there.
- Make the most out of your internships. Even if they were those boring paper-moving ones, you’ve still met people, right? Reconnect with them! And if you’re only about to start an internship, remember: connections made there are likely to end up being your most valuable asset by its end.