They may be the pièce de résistance of the corporate world - think Patrick Bateman in American Psycho comparing business cards - but in the context of the creative industries, they rarely work. And here’s why.
Working with creatives can be likened to working with the Japanese - it’s all about relationships first. Forgive the stereotype, however don’t bother talking business before you kanpai over saké and karaoke.
It’s the same with creatives and those industry professionals. We will do ‘business’ with you, but first we want to know you:
a) care about our craft;
b) have credibility in the industry; and
c) are interested in a relationship, not simply using us for what we can do for you.
The moment you give someone your business card, you leave the ball in their court, which potentially puts a full-stop on the relationship before it’s even begun.
Simply make a mental note of the person’s full name and business/band name (or a note on your phone after your interaction if you need to). Then, within 24-48 hours:
- Follow them on all social channels;
- Engage them online with a genuine interest and care in what they are doing;
- If appropriate, send a friend request on Facebook;
- Find their email address and propose a way to continue the conversation.
It may require more effort, but therein lies the power.
WORD ON THE STREET