Ahh, the world of networking. This is not something that comes natural to me and yet is probably the most important aspect of getting business and good projects as an interior designer. I will be the first to admit that I admire greatly those people that can walk into a room full of people and suddenly have several new friends. This is an area I have personally been working on over the past few years- meeting people that make sense in my business to know – architects, real estate agents, contractors, art galleries, etc.
I have (if I do say so myself) an impressive studio in San Francisco and will invite different people that I would like to meet for lunch. My goal is one lunch a week. It has been an interesting journey. I’ve been doing this for 2 years now and over the course, I’ve met many people that I have eventually done work with in some capacity, but I have also made many good friends along the way – people that I enjoy socializing with and I can tell will know for many years to come in more than just a professional manner.
The other thing that I have learned about networking is quality over quantity. If I meet someone once, that meeting may come back to me in the form of a project. But I’ve found that following up with another meeting or an invitation to dinner or some other event for a second or third meeting is what really starts to set the relationship. Do I want to meet and know 100 architects or do I want to really get to know 20 good architects that I would be honored to work with on a project? That idea has been eye opening to me.