OFTEN when meeting with other photographers, we discuss not only ways to improve our art in Photography, but also in ways of improving our business and industry as a whole. Quickly, the conversation goes beyond economic and market forces to that of things that WE could do better. While watching a movie, something struck me. How do we network?
There is a theory known as "The Six Degrees of Separation." The theorem is that anyone in the world can be linked to another person within 6 people. Some of us might even remember playing the game where you would link any actor to Kevin Bacon; whether it was Al Pacino, Michael Jordan, or even Elvis!
Could understanding this philosophy be even more true today? If you are a professional in your market, would you be known within 6 random professionals in your area? ? What about 5? Possibly 4?
For a long time I have looked at other photographers in my area, not as competition, but as colleagues. Doing this helps to not only create a better market for professionals, but also for our clients and customers. So what is a good degree of separation that you should have in your town, city, region...etc?
I feel to be relevent, you need to be effectively networking with those in your field. If you are effectively networking with your colleagues(or competition), you should have a degree of no more than 3 people. If someone took 6 random professionals in your area, yes, 3 of them should know who you are, whether it is personally or by reputation.
Why is this so important? If your colleagues do not know that you exist, how will your potential clients know that you have a product or service to provide them? In this world of social networking both online and mobile wireless, word of mouth is even MORE important than ever before. Communicate, network, meet for coffee, read each other's blogs, and seek out those that are in your area. Learn from them, and teach others. You will soon come to notice that your name and your brand will be come relevent in circles you have yet to explore!