COURTESY: Susan Koblin Schear, Artisin, LLC.
Networking comes in many forms – in person, email, phone, text, social media, and all other forms of communication. It offers numerous, sometimes unexpected, outcomes and possibilities:
- Spike a person’s interest
- Benefit someone as a result of your meeting, product/service
- Provide other avenues, opportunities and ways of thinking for you or the person with whom you are connecting
- Realize collaborations or partnerships
- Provide connections and resources
- Open doors for mentorships, internships, scholarships
- Increase or diversify clients
- Develop new opportunities – employment, projects, teaching, workshops, speaking engagements
- Create new friendships through meaningful and robust conversations!
- Energetically communicate your passion.
- Be authentic, professional, positive and respectful in your presentation, communication, and body language, if in person or via video conference.
- Listen actively.
- Express focused interest in learning and understanding the needs of the person(s) with whom you are communicating. Ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand the person’s needs. Networking is not directly about you, but how you can benefit others.
- Ensure that you are clear, succinct, cohesive and confident when speaking about your product/service, and when asking for a recommendation, referral or for help. It’s okay to ask for help!
- Be open to possibilities. Do not close the door before you open it. Avoid setting expectations that may not be accomplished.
- Follow up within three days of meeting or being introduced to someone. Likewise, send a thank you note to express your gratitude and appreciation after your meeting. Sending a handwritten thank you note will be remembered and regarded as it is a lost art.
- Be recognized as a connector.
- Continually build and maintain your connections daily.
- Evaluate your networking process, progress, what’s working, what you would like to change.
- Have fun!
Susan Koblin Schear, founded ARTISIN, LLC in 1995 to offer comprehensive business development services to the arts and cultural sectors, both public and private.
Schear is a dynamic, resourceful, and passionate entrepreneur with a strong business acumen. Her values are steeped in the arts, business and community. She draws on her many years of corporate experience when consulting with arts and cultural organizations, and coaching artists, people with hybrid careers, and creative entrepreneurs, ranging from start up’s to established practices, as she believes they should be leaders within their communities and strategically connect to other sectors. She advocates that mutually beneficial outcomes are realized when encouraging collaboration between arts, business, and other sectors, and brings this passion to her work within diverse, continually evolving and changing communities.
Most recently, Schear served as Deputy Director of Newark Arts, formerly the Newark Arts Council (NAC). During her tenure, she was responsible for the planning, management, completion, and public announcement of Newark Creates, an 18-month, cross-sector, inclusive, community cultural plan, conducted on behalf of the Mayor’s office. She also developed and launched a collaborative earned-income program where artists and arts organizations were hired to work on community projects.
Schear has spearheaded feasibility studies and assessments, business, strategic and marketing planning, created earned income and community cultural plans, and developed meaningful and sustained collaborations for her clients with other sectors. She has conducted board retreats, focus groups and town hall meetings, workshops and training sessions as well as providing coaching services.
For 14 years, Schear was a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Arts and Cultural Management Program where she was also a thesis advisor. She led the College Art Association’s national professional development program. She is a former trustee of several arts-focused organizations. She also serves on the Newark Museum Business and Community Council and WBGO Community Advisory Board.
Schear received an award from ArtPride NJ for her disaster relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy. She is a fellow of Lead NJ and was honored as one of the Best Fifty Women in Business by NJBIZ.