Getting into a full-blown competitive industry can be daunting (understandably) especially when you have little or no prior experience. The beauty & fashion industry can be much more intimidating and overwhelming due to the calibre of professionals, designers, and celebrities dominating this sphere. In such industry where jobs are highly sought after, having connections and networks under your belt is extremely valuable.
Here are five insiders-approved tips to help you network like a pro:
This is like the number one thing to do when trying to break into the fashion industry. Such event gives you a platform to meet various people that can give you the break you need. There are loads of networking events happening across Nigeria (check on Eventbrite) soo take a bold step to leave your comfort zone and chase after what you want. Remember, it only takes one right contact to help propel your career or business on the right path.
Also depend less on social media as a networking tool. Ofcos social media is a networking hotspot, however, meeting people one-on-one gives an opportunity for a first impression. Plus, most industry professionals get hundreds of messages from enthusiasts like you looking for an opportunity & might not take time to read your message.
Post, like, tweet, share, and comment. Being active on social media can draw the right type of attention to you or your business. As an individual, follow your mentors, career pages and people that inspire you. Dropping an intellectual comment every so often can spark conversations & lead to further opportunities. As a business, being active on social media can help with brand collaborations, publicity and customer relations.
Platforms like LinkedIn, She Leads Africa(SLA), Fashion Design Association of Nigeria, LFDW hub are there to help you connect with industry professionals.
“Experience they say is the best teacher”. Internship and apprenticeship are vital in getting the right experience and opportunity. Not only does your knowledge and skills improve, you also get to build organic relationships and contacts with industry professionals. Take the internship period as a path to self-discovery where you get an idea of what or what-not you want in your future career/business.
You can also volunteer for events like fashion week, mixers, beauty fairs, pop-up parties & conferences, giving you a wider opportunity to meet the event organizers, speakers, and guests.
Having an older more experienced person within the industry to take you under their wing is super important. Find someone who takes an interest in you and your career development to help motivate and push you when things get tough and trust that things might get tough. Mentors are also very good source of professional contacts in the industry.
One common knowledge is that the fashion world is ‘self-absorbed’. People tend to make assumptions about you based on what you wear and you want them to get the right idea. How you look is a fantastic way to express your personality and let people know who you are. When going to networking events, make an effort to look trendy (very necessary in fashion), clean & smart.
Obviously, your sartorial looks will only get you in while your level of confidence and originality will take you further. In all you do, remember to be confident in your skills and ability. Be proud of your hard work & let that show in your pursuit of greatness.
Formal Networking Outfit Inspiration by StyleFixNg
Trendy Networking Outfit Inspiration by StyleFixNg