The Conversation: Make Out-of-Network Connections to Grow Your Creative Business

Do you have a great idea, but not the right connections to execute the thought? Whether you need angel investors or a team of talented people, according to Diane Reinhold and David Horth, with the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC, you have to make a concise effort to build your network. “You have to do an analysis and determine the strategies you need to implement to connect with the right people – create a roadmap,” explained Diane. image1 connectionsDavid and Diane are the speakers for the January 21, Swerve meetup, Crafting Your Pitch Register Now!

Let’s face it – connecting with people you don’t know can be difficult. So how do you get to know someone that is not in your network? David and Diane recommend you evaluate connections within your circle to see who can “personally” connect you with the people you need to reach. If you don’t have the people in your circle, figure out who knows who and which organization(s) you need to join to make the right connections. Hint – that’s Swerve, if you’re a creative living in the Triad area!

Making the connection is only half the battle. Now that you’ve worked your way through the networking maze, what do you say when you finally have an opportunity to meet the right person? “You need to peek the person’s interest by sharing your logline (a one or two sentence summary of your work). In your pitch you also want to start with the benefits that the person that you are talking to will experience. A lot of people start with the features, but if you start with the benefits you’ll have a more compelling case,” said Diane.

Afterwards, “break bread – eat together,” said David. “Humans are social animals and we jump at connecting. We often skip over figuring out what is different in our objectives and that can lead to problems later in a collaborative effort. Connecting one-on-one with people in a meaningful way to get to know each other builds trust, leads to projects together, and possible new adventures and ideas.”

You and the other person need to figure out:
• What do you have in common?
• How you are different?
• What both of you are hoping to get out of the relationship?
• What each of you will bring to the collaborative effort?
• What is your common ground?
• What is the overarching goal?

What strategies have you found helpful for making new connections? Share your helpful tips with our creative community on our blog and don’t miss the Swerve meetup, Crafting Your Pitch, with Diane Reinhold and David Horth, on January 21 at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free for Swerve members and $20 for non-members. Register Now!

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