The Dos and Don’ts of Networking for Agencies and Freelancers

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What to do (and what to avoid) while building your network in the no‑handshake era.

This article is brought to you by Mailchimp

Mailchimp & Co is a global community of agencies and freelancers who help their clients with Mailchimp and other marketing initiatives. 

Even in the before-times, a crowded hall of strangers exchanging small talk, business cards, and handshakes was often unappealing. Luckily, cattle call-style networking events are no longer needed to expand your professional circle. Communities such as Mailchimp & Co give members access to a ready-built network of their peers. The first step is simply signing up, but to really get the most out of these valuable resources, we’ve put together a few dos and don’ts that’ll help you build a robust professional network.

Do: Think beyond the lead

There’s more to networking than just landing a gig. You can never assume which relationships will yield dividends. If you equate networking solely with boosting your bottom line, you’ll miss out on all the other ways networking can bring you professional fulfillment.

Don’t: Hard sell

When networking, make sure you’re keeping it real and representing yourself accurately. There’s nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, but nobody likes someone who’s constantly hyping (and only talking about) themselves.

Do: Connect with your peers

Through Mailchimp & Co events, meet-ups, and the partner Slack channel, you can connect with fellow Mailchimp devotees across the globe. Many partners have never met in the flesh, but they’ve forged bonds over Zoom calls and DMs. Partners share leads, learn from each other, and even collaborate on bigger projects that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to tackle on their own.

Don’t: Overthink things

Be confident about your skill set and open to learning from folks who have more experience than you. Imposter syndrome is real. But when you learn what your peers have accomplished, you better understand what you’re capable of—and it’s probably more than you give yourself credit for.