An oxymoron I know! …but actually so true! I was privileged to attend a Just Got Made networking event in the inner sanctum of Makerversity in Somerset House. I learnt from creative makers who prefer the solitude of their workshops and studios to the court & spark of a cast of thousands gathering strategies they use to connect with suppliers, distributors and custom for their craft.
INTROVERTS can find networking intimidating and exhausting. Whereas EXTROVERTS thrive off connection with others and are energized by social events. Introverts are naturally curious observers. They cultivate the power of stillness in their studios, which allows them to intuitively make creative connections broadcasting extroverts miss. Other gifts of solitude and stillness are extraordinary powers of listening and the space to develop not only your interest but also your unique story.
They have been gathered together by the remarkable Helen Kemp who is the founder of Just Got Made, an award-winning network connecting the UK Maker Movement. @makerversity is an international community of pioneering maker businesses. Creators who make things… furniture, textiles, jewellery, treehouses, inventions and innovations of all sorts!
Helen offered sage advice and plenty of practical tips and ideas of how to make networking work on your terms at a recent Maker’s Breakfast.
ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT ROOM? You want to be with people who share something that you can contribute to and want to be a part of. Your netWORK is your netWORTH. Choose a room that offers quality connections –people moving in a direction you want to go!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK check out the list of who’s going; drop them a fan mail saying you’re looking forward to meeting them there.
COMMIT to going and get there early so you’re not met with a room already teaming with noisy keen people thrusting business cards. Set a target- say 3 people that you are going to connect with.
LOOK FOR YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL where are you feeling drawn…the aim is to have a balanced, shared conversation about interests’ similarities and differences—that’s where you learn the new stuff and discover SYNERGY find opportunities for CONNECTION, COLLABORATION
ESCAPE TUNNEL! How much can you take and where would you like to go to chill and recover after – remember if you’re an introvert you will feel totally drained by one of these events and need nurturing down time. If you are an extrovert, you may need to burn off energy.
Beware the Membership HOOK! Some of these events are designed to recruit members to drive business to other members. This can be a stream of income as well as a source of support and security or it can feel like being corralled and harnessed for use. Listen to your gut. Take some time and distance to consider what suits you.
OUTSIDE THE ROOM –catch up with the people you met on social media platforms, and drop them an email. Do you want to work together? Do you know someone to connect them to? Sometimes you need to nurture a connection along. But when you do anything such as a product launch or event or just have an idea about their business contact them on occasion when there’s something you can bring them.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND EVENTS? Where can we find these rooms with the awesome spirit animals? Check out Evenbrite or places where spirit animals hang doing stuff FunZing Workshops or Hack Space in Hackney the British Library, Meet Up and of course Just Got Made!
ANASTACIA KEOGH StoryPreZ
Stacia is the director of StoryPreZ where strategic stories and effective presentations come together. I do public presentations, teach, tell stories and lead workshops for professionals levelling up and tech souls trying to get that good idea heard! Join a Story Quartet and learn how to present and tell your story to inspire and transform
Helen is the founder of Just Got Made, an award-winning network that connects the UK Maker Movement. She also teaches workshops on creative business topics, occasionally produces live events and festivals for interesting brands and arts organisations. BREAKFAST CLUB is a monthly meetup “Meet other people who make, learn something new”.