How well do you utilize your network?

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The members of your network really are like pieces of a giant puzzle. They all fit together to help you build a stronger life, not just a business, but you have to make the effort to stay in touch.

by Skip Cohen

A short time ago I wrote a blog about the care and feeding of your network and it’s interesting what I see happening.  In talking to more and more photographers, so many of you do absolutely nothing to maintain your network.  It’s as if you view your network like wildflowers along the side of the highway – great to look at but they just grow and require no care.

Just a few minutes ago I was on the phone with Michael Corsentino. He’s part of the SCU faculty, a great artist and writer. We caught up to each other in New York at PPE and we’re trying to catch up for dinner one of these days down here, now that he lives near Orlando. He’s a great instructor and we talked a little about education in the photographic industry.  We share a lot of common friends and when Bob Coates and his wife do their annual trip to Sarasota in November, we’re all going to get together and you can count on lots of great photo talk during the visit.

So here’s my point -  the strength of your network is about keeping in touch. It’s about TALKING to the key people who you support and who support you. Email helps to keep in touch, but nothing beats an actual conversation. You need to pick up the phone now and then and call the key people in your network.

It’s all about give and take and those people in your network who are the strongest and mean the most to you need contact.  It takes work to make it happen – we’re all so busy with so many different aspects of our lives.  No matter what you do life just gets in the way. Just don’t let it happen so much that you lose contact with those people who matter most. 

If you make the commitment to put in the time and stay in contact, your network will just keep getting stronger.  We all benefit from each other’s ideas, energy and passion for photography, but it’s the effort to stay in touch that will be the most rewarding.

Illustration Credit: © Stefan Rajewski – Fotolia.com

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