“Twitter is a silver bullet”. That means you need to look at Twitter (and Instagram) as the perfect way to get in touch with Creative Directors, Design Directors, Senior Designers, and really anyone that is influential in the design industry.
Here’s the video I created on this and below is the rest of the transcript if you prefer to read it.
If you’re a designer in Paris (lets use that as an example), or an emerging designer in Paris, go on LinkedIn and type in ‘Creative Director’ in the search tool / search bar. You can then curate, location, industry, etc… in the filtering system that they have.
When you’ve accumulate a couple names, find them on Twitter and Instagram. Follow them. When you start following them, start interacting with them. Retweet their post if you find that it’s useful or if its interesting. Like their tweets, like their images. And comment on their tweets on their posts on Instagram as well.
What you’re doing here is you’re building rapport online. What this does over a period of time is that, it gives you access to asking them a question, when it counts, when it matters. So what’s better? Someone who fires a question out randomly to a Design Director or Creative Director without any prior exposure? Certainly not. It’s not as effective. Especially if you just fire off for the first time and they’ve never even seen your avatar or your profile image… or your name and your handle.
Rapport involves trust and comfort. In order for anyone to invest in answering any question, they are giving up their own time. And although sending out a tweet (140 characters) isn’t much, it’s the start.
If you’re the Creative Director, you wouldn’t respond to someone that isn’t grateful right? You wouldn’t respond to someone that isn’t passionate?
You wouldn’t respond to someone that isn’t going to actually use your advice on twitter, would you?
That’s why when I say that Twitter is a silver bullet, it’s because it is minimal amount of investment of a influential person’s time, with big rewards. Meaning when you’ve done a couple retweets of their posts, if you’ve done a couple likes of their posts, if you engaged with them online; Twitter, Instagram, same principles… It then allows you into this ‘threshold’. Of being a person that they’re willing to respond to.
They will specifically respond to your messages when you ask them due to familiarity. And you can also initiate. “I noticed that you’ll be visiting my area and you have an event coming up. I’ll make sure to come by and say hello.” That might be turning your online presence into a real life presence. From there you would meet and greet them “Hi my name is Ram, my handle TheGiantThinker. We’ve been interacting on Twitter / Instagram. Nice to finally meet you in person.”
(Great! you’re not a creep you’re not weird, fantastic!)
Then you would say “I really enjoyed your talk. I’m sure you’ve got many more people to mingle with. I would love to potentially have a 10-15 minute coffee with you if you could spare that on your lunch break.”
Then you would not ask for a job, you would ask for advice. This is the thing! you’re trying to get access to peoples time. And the only way you can do that, is if they are convinced that you have the potential to be a person (not even strictly a designer) to use their advice wisely.
Matt Eastwood said simply “be nice”. You could be most talented and most educated, but if you’re not nice, he said you’re not getting through these doors. And its true. You know people are going to spend a lot of their life at work, so they want to spend it with people they get long with and that they enjoy.
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