Networking is a business buzz word that’s been with us a while, even before the Internet. In the old days it was face to face at gatherings of likeminded professionals sharing ideas, finding leads and building businesses. While there are still trade shows, conferences and summit meetings much of our networking is much less personal and far from face to face as most of us use a social network as our networking outlet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m on Facebook plenty, and I do get a personal sense of communication with those that I know outside of cyberspace. But for those who I know only through FB, I don’t get that same warm-fuzzy feeling.
I bring this up because last week I was asked to take a look at a website and comment on what I thought about it. It’s a niche-focused business, specifically towards moms and is a great example of putting the personal back into the networking experience. Clickinmoms.com has been getting some very positive press of late and are among Inc. Magazine’s top ten fastest growing small media businesses for 2013.
This is by no means an endorsement of Clickinmoms as I have only spent an hour or so snooping around the site and searching the web for info into what they are all about. What I found prompted my choice of this blog’s subject. While the report included all the specific options about what I found, my overall impression was that this is a open, creative, collaborative community that has taken networking quite seriously and built a successful business. All of the company’s growth comes from online networking. I’m impressed that in the present landscape of media companies this group is thriving.
For those of you struggling in a small niche or looking to build a new niche, take a lesson from Clickinmoms. Share your ideas with your “network” and work toward building a community that is in-touch with all of its members. Many of the professional photography organizations are open to all, but can be intimidating to new and less-accomplished members. But, if you are a member, this is a great place to start. Local chapters may have “spin off” groups. If not, form one.
The key point is don’t become an island. Get involved with your peers to whatever level you’re comfortable with. You may be surprised by what can happen.
Ric Deliantoni is a professional photographer and director with thirty years of experience, with a focus on still-life and lifestyle imagery for advertising, design and publishing. He has developed a unique style that has been described as impressionistic and bold. Ric has also spent much of his career teaching and mentoring students of all levels to better themselves as artists.