You're looking for a marketing job and you go to networking events because it seems like a high value activity. However, you're nervous and don't know how to start conversations with other marketers. Don't worry - you're not the only one!
That's why we put together some best practices plus a few questions you may want to use as ice breakers at marketing networking events. Ideally, with these tips, you can make the connections that will help you get where you want to be in the marketing industry. In job searching, sometimes it's who you know that'll open the right door.
Why is Networking Important?
Networking isn’t necessarily about finding someone to hire you or give you a promotion. Networking is about building relationships (a network) that will serve you for your entire career. When done correctly, you're creating social connections that allow you to offer just as much as you receive. Networking can be enjoyable - socializing and trading tips and tricks on marketing best practices. After all, it is always nice to have someone to chat with who understands marketing like you do!
How Do You Get Jobs Through Networking?
When you build a network, you now have access to people in your industry who know when positions come open. Looking for a job or trying for a promotion? Get the word out to your network and let them know you're actively seeking a new marketing role. Even if no one you know directly is hiring, there could be a “friend of a friend who knows someone.”
Networking isn’t always neat and tidy, but it works. When you're willing to get out there and get to know people, your name gets around. You may find yourself getting calls or be put on the short list of headhunters.
Best Practices for Networking With Other Marketing Professionals
- Don’t Sell Yourself – Be natural, chat about hot topics and have fun. Don’t try to sell yourself and blatantly ask for a job.
- Smile – People are drawn to those who smile. Be the warm, welcoming presence in the room. Try to relax
- Show off Your Marketing Skills – Social media is all-important today. Make sure your business card has social media information on it and keep your profiles sharp! You want to impress if someone follows up with you.
- Follow Up – If you meet someone and feel like the conversation goes well, it is up to YOU to follow up. Connect by email or on LinkedIn to cement that relationship.
Questions to Ask Other Marketers
Do you get nervous in starting conversations with strangers or not know how to get the conversation rolling? Don't worry - you're not the only one. A great solution is to just go for it and ask questions! Open ended questions are always best. We’ve put together a few “go to” questions that can help you launch a conversation.
- How did you get involved in (blank)? – This could be a company, volunteer position or social organization - a great way to show interest in a particular area.
- What do you love most about your job? – This is a fun question that makes a person think - and it gives you an inside look at a company/position.
- What’s the strangest thing that happened at your firm? – This turns the conversation to a lighthearted direction.
- What trends should I be looking at in the marketing field? – While you may have read 50 articles on this subject, there are still 100 more opinions.
- If I wanted to grow my career, what would be the best path to take? – Getting advice from an insider is always key. Perhaps you’ll learn about internships or classes that can boost your opportunities.
Once you’ve gotten out and networked a bit, it will become easier and feel less challenging and more natural. Look for opportunities wherever you go. You may be surprised by how effective impromptu networking can actually be!
Ready to grow your network and connect with industry experts? Then join DCI as a digital marketing apprentice where you'll get to know leading marketers in San Antonio and Austin and have them as a part of your growing network. Learn more about apprenticeship today or check out our job opportunities!