I was in Melbourne for Vidcon recently, so I decided to I attend a GLAMR event while there, ASA Victoria‘s Conferences and Social Media: Building Professional Relationships. I’m interested in how to build professional relationships, as I never feel like I know enough! So how does one build professional relationships? Well, let me share what I learned…

As a professional, it’s a good idea to be on social media. By being searchable on the internet you are utilising the biggest network in the world. Imagine someone, halfway across the world, benefiting from your YouTube video on library event management, then doing it better and sharing their success with you. Not only that but in social media land, everything is measurable.

So how does one actually do social media? There are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure you always fill in your user profile, never create random hashtags, keep the content user-centric, offer something of value to viewers, make it interactive, memorable, shareable, and don’t let your social media languish into nothingness.

There is nothing quite like meeting someone for the first time and they say “You’re Jade! I follow you on Twitter, what a great blog post about social networking by the way!” Before you’ve ever met, social media has given you a connection to this person and you now feel more at ease chatting with them. But let’s move onto ways to network in person. We were reminded of what networking actually is, a relationship of mutual benefit.

Thankfully the GLAMR sector provides hundreds of chances to network with colleagues around the world. A really obvious one is conferences, go to them, and if you can’t go as an attendee, volunteer! By volunteering, you get to be there, but also get to know the people who run the conference, and they are people you will want to know through-out your career. Make a list of conferences that you’d like to attend or volunteer for and aim to get there over the next five years. For example, my list at the moment consists of:

  1. National Digital Forum
  2. IFLA
  4. Museums and the Web
  5. Museums Australia National Conference
  6. Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference

Each GLAMR sector also has its own professional association, and we were encouraged to get involved in ours. You can do this by joining committees or special interest groups. You could also write for your professional association’s magazine or journal. However, most importantly remember that once you start making connections to maintain them (check out Ron Gibson’s advice I picked up at RIMPA’s 2015 National Conference). Make an effort to catch up and chat, or share something you think may be of interest to people in your network.

You may feel anxious about making professional networks, but it really does get easier with practice. And remember, once you find your tribe, opportunities will come to you.

Till next time!
DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome).