The Power of Networking

May 6, 2019
Written by Kristen Carter
Senior Account Executive

“Networking” is a term I recall hearing late in high school as teachers, counselors, parents, and mentors began offering their advice for future career success and as an important skill for life in general. While I believed it to be an important tool back then and throughout college, I didn’t fully grasp the power of building and utilizing a network until I got deep into client work here at Sunwest.

How Can Networking Help Me?
The power of networking recently came to my rescue when a client reached out to me with the desire to create a campaign in celebration of a milestone anniversary. We settled on an initiative that highlighted pieces of the company’s history while also giving back to the community. A logical nonprofit partner was established rather quickly, but the structure of the campaign was going to require the support of multiple organizations to sponsor and host events, each needing to appeal to our target demographic and be equipped for the type of event we had in mind. We were confidently off to a great start on this multi-faceted project.

We began, of course, by brainstorming potential partners that Sunwest or the client had worked with in some capacity in the past. Matches were slowly but surely made, aside from one key partner needed to kick off the entire campaign. Then, lo and behold, all our leads fell through, and we were left empty-handed with little time left before the event.

We scrambled to identify one last company that met every requirement: perfect location, aligned target audiences, and adequate space. The problem? None of us had a single connection (not even a mutual connection on LinkedIn!) to anyone at this company – or so I thought.

Developing Long-Term Partnerships
That’s when the power of networking really came to the rescue. I turned to my network – both online and offline – and began texting, calling, and emailing the most well-connected professionals I know asking for anyone who had a contact at this company. After many disappointing replies, I finally found hope: There wasn’t a relationship, but someone did have the creative director’s name and email address to share!

I crossed my fingers and pressed “send” on my carefully-crafted email to the creative director. In what felt like nothing short of a miracle, I got a reply the next business day that led to a highly successful partnership for our client. The company not only supported the campaign beyond the capacity that we initially proposed, but they’re continuing to work with our client on other endeavors – all thanks to networking, without which, the event may have proven to be less than noteworthy.

Get Involved and Stay Connected
My advice to both young and seasoned professionals: Never underestimate the power of networking. Join local professional organizations or groups. Attend seminars and speaking events. Make friends when you’re not “in need,” because you never know when you will be able to utilize their company or connections – or, when they’ll be able to utilize yours. Networking has saved me more than once, and it’s truly one of the greatest tools you can have at your disposal – no matter what business you’re in.

To hear more from Kristen, watch her latest video.