Let’s say that you want to make one new connection in the service of your career. Maybe it’s with a new gallery owner in town. What’s the best approach, given how anxious the whole thing may make you feel? Here’s a simple, 5-step process for making that connection:
1. Know how to speak about yourself, about your strengths, and about your assets. You need to create two or three strong sentences that communicate what it is you do (say, that you are an abstract painter specializing in large, vibrant canvases in Mediterranean colors); what strengths you bring to the table (for example, that people respond strongly to your work); and how you are asset (for example, that you have lots of passionate collectors and fans).
2. Check out the connection, at least a little. What shows has the gallery offered lately? What have they done well with? What does this gallery owner seem to like? Is there variety in the gallery or is it more like one note? As best you can, and without laboring over it, try to get a sense of the person and the venue.
3. Write a strong email or—better yet, but only if you are prepared—walk right in. Keep the email affirmative, brief and clear, make it as strong as you possibly can, and remember that you are trying to come across as exceptional!
4. Follow up—multiple times. Don’t take silence to mean that you are out of the running. People are busy and busy people are super-busy! Just graciously accept that you have the job of intriguing this person and that it is on your shoulders to make the connection happen.
5. Take “No” to mean, “Let me try another approach” rather than “They’re done with me.” Send an updated email with some new news, for instance of a sale or a commission, that may sway the gallery owner and change his mind. Just consider “No” a bump in the road!
Every connection matters and sometimes one great connection is all that we need in order to get our career going. If you have your eye on someone who might help your career, make that connection! It isn’t as hard as you may fear it is.
Eric Maisel provides online creativity coaching trainings. Want to become a creativity coach? Take a look here!