On reaching out
Networking and reaching out, it’s uncomfortable, can feel forced and most try to stay away from it. But it is necessary and like everything, gets easier with practice. Also, it can land you in places you never thought, working with people you most admire. By silencing and staying away from the initial cringe, you shoot yourself in the foot. The squeaky wheel is the one that gets the oil.
It’s daunting. It’s scary. You feel like you’re not worth your weight in salt but that feeling is shared by every young creative or upstart out there. Taking a pause and a breath to think about what you might be able to offer does help. What concrete and simple thing can you bring to the table? Of-course, some people are easier to connect to than others but I think still important to have our moonshot connections, people that will make us weak at the knees if our wild gambit actually worked. We are all dreamers and that’s what we can offer.
We tend to be so British and reserved, ‘I don’t need to ask for help’, ‘I am an island’, ‘I will get myself wherever I need to go’, which is all well and good and maybe you’re right. But creativity in general tends to be better when done in collaboration. Building a community and asking for help. Not just randomly shouting into the void and waving your arms, hoping someone will pick you up.
Like every successful execution there needs to be a good strategy #bigupUri.
Who are you reaching out to? Are they likely to respond? Is there someone else you could reach out to first to work yourself up that lovely ladder? Why are you reaching out to them? Is there something specific you want from them or admire them for? Marc’s key word is RECIPROCITY, so, what’s in it for them? Despite how it feels, most people are genuinely happy and excited to help people. It makes everyone feel good. But, it can help to offer your new reach out something as a thank you, a gift; also in the creative industry, any opportunity to put your craft to the test is always a blessing. Timing is key, when will you reach out? For some people, there might be only one shot, when is the best time to take it? Is the thing you’re offering something they need? For example, is that musician you like about to start a new tour, could you design their poster?
Some more advice, don’t worry too much, the worst thing that will happen is 1) they say no, or 2) they don’t answer. This is something most people are used to in the dating scene. If we can do it in a club, we can do it over email, just make sure you’re sober, your grammar is on point and you leave the interaction being remembered for the right reasons.