I'm a firm believer in the power of networking...you know...meeting people through various means for the purpose of building your business. Whether it be connecting online or in person, networking can be a very effective way of making contacts which can be beneficial to both parties.
I'm an associate member of the National Cartoonists Society, a professional organization with chapters all over the country. Through this organization I've made hundreds of contacts. They have open meetings which means even if you're not a member you can attend their local get-togethers. I live on Long Island, which has a very large chapter of the NCS. I've attended their luncheons on and off for about 16 years and have met wonderful people. Living close to New York City, I now also attend the monthly get-togethers of the Manhattan chapter. I'm even invited to the summer barbeque of the New Jersey Chapter!
Since most writers and cartoonists work by themselves it's really important to get out and talk to people who do the same type of work you do. If you're a 'people person' like me, it's a necessity. It's a great opportunity to let others know what you do, show your work, get tips on how to improve your work, find out about markets for your work, and maybe even find someone to collaborate with.
Online I have profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. I'm a member of several groups on both of these sites. Because I know about the power of the written word, I started this blog four months ago to share some of my insights about cartoon gagwriting with others. It's been amazing how many people have written to me through this blog, saying they do the same type of work I do and really appreciate my suggestions. Through this blog I've gotten new work and let people know what I do. Networking at its finest!
I also enjoy talking about what I do. I've spoken to groups about cartoon gagwriting. Many people have come up to me and said they never realized that some cartoonists have writers coming up with ideas for them. Made me feel like a rock star!
I cannot stress enough the power of networking, whether in person, online, on the phone or through the mail (who writes letters anymore?). You have to let people know what you do. You have to show enthusiasm for your work and other's work. You have to be willing to help others, be encouraging, answer questions, congratulate people on their accomplishments and above all, always stay positive.
Any comments or questions, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.