Networking is not my thing. I’ve never seen much point in it…until recently. I’ve always reserved networking for other people. People who are important. People who are name droppers. I am neither, so why bother? A few months ago, networking just happened to me, and I realized it’s usefulness.
I was Facebook friends with a gal I’d met through the Ron Paul Campaign. She was trying to start her own photography business and I needed pictures. Perfect! She came out to College Station and we had a photo shoot. In course of our conversations, she invited me and another person to assist her on a photo shoot in Las Vegas. How fun! I was sold. In Vegas, I met the women who would form LOLA – the Ladies of Liberty Alliance, volunteered at the Campaign for Liberty booth, and heard some great speakers. Of course, we had a little fun. It’s Vegas, baby! I returned home with new Facebook friends and a few extra friends in my Mafia Wars mafia. End of story, right? Not at all! A few months later, I was asked to help with a Campaign for Liberty project. Because I was special or had some amazing notoriety, right? (This is where you laugh hysterically.) Nope. They had met me in Vegas and needed someone from Texas. An opportunity dropped in my lap because I networked without even realizing it.
Lately, a team of us have been working to end Photo Enforcement in College Station, TX. Red Light Cameras, you mean? That’s what photo enforcement looks like today in College Station, but we wanted to keep out all future types of photo enforcement. Talk about needing a network! Bloggers, press contacts, elected officials, lawyers, graphic artists, and boots-on-the-ground folks.
If you’re shy about networking, get over it! Print up some business cards so people can contact you. You never know when you’re knowledge or experience could help a fellow activist. Networking doesn’t mean you’re arrogant or self-absorbed. You don’t have to drop all the names of the important people you’ve met. But knowing them may come in handy one day!