Updated: Aug 27, 2021
As far as professional networking is concerned, building a portfolio should be done tirelessly. To do so, networking comes in handy. But it is the portfolio that creates the networking opportunity. Taking the incident where I was putting up posters for example. If I had not written the books which were being launched, there would be no need for posters. Not only that, but relevant sectors such as Waterstones for instance, would not have displayed my poster. I wrote books so a bookshop was happy to advertise a book reading. A nightclub would welcome adverts for new releases, booze or gigs for example. So, aside from talent/skill and a product, relationships are one of the keys to building your portfolio. This was demonstrated, whenever I meet contacts who created the opportunity for me to meet people who have succeeded in the areas I am now exploring. In essence, a portfolio boosts credentials so much so that instead of simply telling, I can show. Without the portfolio there is little networking because showing is more important in a fast-paced competitive market. So far, I have implemented almost all of the recommendations received.
Most of the recommendations I implemented are widely recognised by business starters as beneficial, once created. However there were four outstanding suggestions which I am yet to implement. One of which will be done over the Bank Holiday. Another, I find demotivating, considering the fact that it is time consuming. Another, in my view, is more woke and less substance i.e. joining the Tik Tok (that’s for Celebrities or potential celebrities) movement for light entertainment. Whereas my work is more academic and thought provoking. The other, I am not even contemplating because I am now outright against individuals providing free anything (excluding charity or charitable deeds). The purpose of taxes is not about big Government but more for better services. That is the one place that equality can be guaranteed because private relationships are regulated by private agreement. In the meantime, some of the recommendations which I took on board are generally listed below.
One picture equals a trillion words. This is the easiest way of selling products and services. A necessity especially for Artists and others involved in creative arts.
2. Blogs, articles and other contributions
This is an avenue for budding writers to building up a collection of works showcasing their skill, interests and activities.
Although this may not apply to all businesses, as a habit formed during lockdown, it is now not unusual for Clients or Customers to contact business on social media. Relationship is key and it pays to adopt a flexible approach. It is imperative to gene
rate an online presence so people are familiar with the brand and what you do. Maintaining this relationship is important but do not be stuck with the familiar. It is important that you venture out of your usual circle or comfort zone if you intend to grow. Good relationships also mean that you receive referrals so focus on the quality of output.
Always grab every opportunity to learn. You never know everything. Even if it is only online. So long as you have the time to do so, upskill. That way your services do not have to be interrupted simply because the person with the ability is unavailable or unaffordable. The more you know the better because not a lot of people are specialising or able to deliver 100%.
5. Avoid Borrowing
Try as much as possible to have a budget and stick with it to avoid the added stress of debt. This would help realise goals, albeit slower, with the freedom to experiment with what works or to be more creative. Besides the flexibility of being debt free also means that you control the pace of growth instead of being dictated to. Especially if no one else believes in your vision. It also means that your business cannot be held to ransom.
Aside from having a portfolio, a solid network, capital and talent, you need the goodwill of relationships. So do not forget that you not only need to showcase your strengths but you must know your market and understand what works or what your Clients and Customers need. Because once you can figure that out, you will be recognised for always having what they need. You will appreciate this because they will only take their business elsewhere when you do not have what they need. Go on then and flaunt that portfolio.