Tactics in Twenty: May Event RecapMay 22, 2015
MIMA Member Profile: Bryan VincentJune 29, 2015
Who should I network with? What is the value of networking? How do I build my network?
We chatted with a few of our MIMA marketing committee members and asked them to chime in on their personal experiences with networking. Here’s what they had to say:
Networking is often an important component of finding a job, growing professionally and meeting other industry friends/contacts. Tell us about the value you’ve seen in networking.
Andrew Tewksbury: I work in a smaller industry and networking has allowed me to meet others outside of healthcare. Conversations with like-minded individuals from different industries have been very impactful on my success as a marketer. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the constantly evolving digital landscape when you go at it alone. Developing relationships in the industry provides me with a feedback loop and a source of new ideas and experiences.
Alex Masica: The biggest value I’ve received from networking is meeting new people and learning from them. It’s nearly impossible to work in such a fast-paced industry like digital marketing and try to stay up to date on everything yourself. Networking allows you to see things from a different angle or learn something new altogether.
What advice would you give students and/or job-hunting professionals when it comes to networking?
Andrew Tewksbury: Networking can be super intimidating. The best way to overcome the fear is to just start. I joined MIMA because it gave me an opportunity and a reason each month to meet new people. If you put yourself in situations where you are forced to network you will continue to improve. It’s not easy, but networking is a very valuable skill that can be learned. I still struggle, but at least I’m trying!
Andy Whisney: My advice would be to do it, do it a lot, and never stop networking. Sure it can be scary at first, and a bit exhausting, but it’s so incredibly beneficial in the long run. Plus, the Minneapolis/St. Paul crowd is the nicest.
Lyndsey Danberry: If you’re unsure of what industry you like or what facet of marketing you enjoy then networking with different people in different industries/roles is a great way to get a feel for what you want. This world really is about “who” you know. Networking can provide you with multiple eyes and ears when you’re looking for job opportunities. Utilize your networks on LinkedIn! You’ll be amazed where some of your old high school or college friends ended up. Build relationships with them to find out more about their industry, their positions and the opportunities their company’s might have for expansion.
Number 1 networking tip?
Andrew Tewksbury: Enjoy the process. Too often networking can seem extremely forced and unnatural. If you have an authentic approach and an open mind, networking can be enjoyable and greatly beneficial to your career. At a minimum, it’s fun to meet new people and to hear what they are working on. There are so many talented people in Minneapolis. It would be a shame to not learn from them. And figure out how to be a good listener. It’s easy to talk, but to listen and engage is completely different.
Alex Masica: Find a networking style that works best for you. I personally don’t do well mingling in a large crowd where I know no one, so I spend more time in smaller groups or one-on-one conversations. If it feels like a job, you’re probably not going to do your best or act natural.
Lyndsey Danberry: Don’t just stick to digital marketing professionals. Expand your network to professionals in sales/IT/human resources etc. You can gain insight from young professionals throughout multiple departments plus, you never know when you might want to change your career path. Find a mentor or two! Someone you can learn from and reach out to for professional advice. Someone that can help you grow professionally and introduce you to other professionals along your career path ~ in my experience, you’ll gain more industry connections through your mentor as well. And, when the time comes, give back by finding someone to mentor. The mentor/coaches in my life have been invaluable to my professional and personal success.
Do you think it’s important to maintain network connections? If so, how do you choose which network connections to maintain?
Andy Whisney: I’ve struggled with this a bit as far as keeping in contact with those I’ve met via networking. I find myself keeping in contact, again, with those people who I look up to or want to be like.
Alex Masica: Absolutely. What’s the value in building relationships with people if you’re not going to maintain them? I work hard at maintaining relationships with the people I look up to. It’s impossible to keep a steady relationship with everyone you’re connected to on LinkedIn or Twitter, but if you can find even five percent of those people to actively engage or catch up with on a consistent basis, you’ll be in good shape.
Have you ever been offered a job as a result of networking/network connections? Tell us about it.
Andrew Tewksbury: I landed my first job through a conversation at a Timberwolves game. I wouldn’t exactly consider that networking, but any conversation can lead to an opportunity. Put yourself out there, it will change the way you think about networking and I promise you will meet a ton of new and interesting people!
Andy Whisney: As a result of networking, I’ve found I’m much more qualified for different positions because of how motivating my networking friends are. I’ve never gotten a job through networking connections, but have had a few interviews. Some of the positions I wasn’t totally qualified for, which was fine because the experience was great. But just the fact that someone I met via networking helped me get my foot in the door at a place I never thought I’d work – is mind-blowing.
Alex Masica: All of my internships throughout college and all but one job after college came because of a network connection. My internships in college all came from people I knew on Twitter, and the jobs after college came from people I’d met in college and with whom I maintained contact. Most were in the form of someone posting a link to a job description on LinkedIn or Facebook, and I actively reached out to them to find out more about the position or to see if they’d put in a good word for me to the hiring manager.
Lyndsey Danberry: Yes! I started looking for a new job in a digital marketing department about 2 years ago. I met with three of four of my mentors/coaches and shared my resume and my career goals. I left resumes with all of them and asked them to “keep their eyes open”. Two or three months later, one of my coaches was approached by a digital professional at Optum who was looking to hire a digital specialist for his team. My coach sent over my resume and gave me a great referral and the rest is history!
Speaking of networking, get your network on at our next event. If you’re ready to start networking or maybe you’re looking to expand your current network join us this Wednesday, June 17 at our JUNE HAPPY HOUR/NETWORKING EVENT AT SURLY BREWING CO. Pack your business cards and carb-starve yourself to make way for some killer local brews and food. We can’t wait to see you! Online registration is available until midnight 6/15/2015! Click here to register today!