The author of this post is Vicky Carter. Vicky has reported live for BBC 5 Live, BBC Surrey and Sussex, as well as been a guest talking all things travel on BBC World Have Your Say and BBC Suffolk. Vicky continuously pens her travel experiences, reactions to current affairs and interviews musicians and artists for a number of various online magazines and companies, as well as writing on her own blog.
We are all in this together. Sorry to quote such a cheesy line from a Disney movie, but we truly are all in the same oddly shaped boat. We have all adapted our lives to adjust to these unprecedented times, some with flourishing success, others with less enthusiasm.
Many of us creatives will be finding these times challenging, not only financially, but also with the uncertainty that lies ahead in our future. But there are ways for us to thrive in these circumstances that some of us may not realise. So put down the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, switch off Netflix, and pay attention.
As the outside world grinds to a halt; many jobs, businesses or ideas have switched to continuing online (if it wasn’t already). Independent businesses are working on interesting strategies to cater to a new type of audience, exercise classes, tutorials and lessons can all be accessed online, and the same goes for networking.
You don’t have to leave the comfort of your sofa to network. Hell no! Organise your own drinks and pick your favourite snack (rather than munching on the stale bread sticks they normally offer) and choose who you want to network with. Now is the time to make those connections, because let’s face it, no one is doing anything else right?
Find your peers
Search for who you want to connect with. Do you dream to write for a certain publication? Aspire to be a specific influencer? Or do you want to be able to take shots just as good as that professional photographer you love on Instagram?
Reach out to them. Nothing is holding you back from following your interests, your passions, your dreams and your next steps to develop your career or widen your circle. Most people will be flattered to receive a genuine compliment about their work from someone who has an invested interest in their work and a shared passion.
Slide into their DMs, message them on LinkedIn or email them, and start a conversation. Learn how they got to where they are now, what training they undertook, what skills they developed and how. An honest conversation and a little bit of research goes a long way into understanding what you want to learn more about and who you want to rub shoulders with.
Social Media being social
Build your tribe. Don’t just connect with people who have your interests, passions or your dream career. Connect with their connections, reach out to their circle too. I am not saying to go full blown stalker and mirror exactly what they are doing but see who they are inspired by. They could be getting their inspiration and insight from Facebook community groups, Instagram hashtags they like to use, jobs they are following on LinkedIn or Twitter interactions.
I know for a fact #TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter) is popular amongst the travel community to share pictures, travel tips and ideas. Every week you can join the conversation and share your experiences online, while networking with individuals all over the globe.
The same goes for Facebook and Instagram with their “live” option too. Through this you can directly support an individual or organisation by watching their work and interacting with them and their followers. It is the perfect time to find likeminded individuals and network.
Networking the online way
Networking goes beyond social media communities too. You can reach out through the traditional manner of heading to companies, organisations, individuals and community websites. People are adapting to this new form of networking by organising networking online via webinars, panel talks, Q&As, interactive video calls, classes, and even quizzes where you can learn and develop new skills while networking with others.
So, pick up your prosecco and I will see you in a zoom meeting soon, I am sure.