When Networking: Think Locally!

Photo Credit: Graves Neal de Armond

When networking for a social media job, it is important to remember to not only “think globally”. I had been networking on Twitter for years and made many valuable connections, but most of them were living in different states and sometimes different countries than me. I also only met about a dozen of them IRL at a Tweetup in Salt Lake City, but it was for fun, not to further my career!

I started to see the error in my way and began attending local chapter meetings of the Social Media Club of Detroit (SMCD). It was there I met the person who does the social for Pure Michigan, who became a great mentor for me. He kept suggesting I attend an ongoing business networking lunch called LA2M, which was in my hometown Ann Arbor.  I always seemed to have a conflict on the day it was held, so I let months pass by without going.

Finally, one Wednesday my plans were expectantly cancelled so I took the opportunity to check it out. Wow. I was so glad I did. After listening to the speaker talk about mobile apps and eating a delicious lunch, I was able to talk to a lot of interesting people.

However, I have to say, the very best part was my chance to meet Derek Mehraban, the founder of LA2M and CEO of Ingenex. We chatted about my going to school for my Master’s in Public Relations and he mentioned he was looking for interns. I sat down for an interview with him the very next day, and was hired on the spot! He seemed impressed by my portfolio, but admitted it was like I had just fallen from the sky, he had no idea I existed until the day before even though I had built up a pretty substantial social media presence.  Again, my folly was focusing on a global level and overlooking the people that were doing what I was doing in my own town.

I also can’t stress enough the importance of networking with people face to face. Twitter is great, but nothing tops a personal connection with people in your industry, especially if you are job seeker. Job fairs, networking meetings, business workshops and seminars are all a great way to meet local people, in person. So make it a goal of yours to check out local networking opportunities, you may get a job out it.

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