Networking Tips for Advertising Jobs

Advertising jobs are heavily based on networking, to a very large extent. The advertising industry is one huge network and  networking is a real part of the business in advertising, rather than a purely subjective set of professional or personal associations used for career purposes. There are a few different types of networking techniques:

Functional Networking

In advertising, a network can be an actual working business model. A loose association of people can do the work of an advertising agency. For example, an advertising agent/sales person knows several people:

  • A graphic artist
  • A copywriter
  • A web designer
  • A musician

The advertising agent gets the business, and assigns work to network contacts. They assemble the advertising materials. The result is the same as hiring an agency. The costs and the profitability, however, are much better for everyone in the network. Payments are usually single sums for assigned work.

This is a simpler way of paying people for their work, and the portfolio materials are also valuable to all concerned. The ad-person also has better control of outlays. This is what's called an "ad hoc" network, and many advertising businesses operate this way to make more money. This type of network is much like project work, with network members hired on a needs basis. There's no need for salaries and permanent staff, just occasional contracts, where required.

Business networking

The primary function of business networking in advertising is getting business. This is done mainly through contacts, because it's a far more efficient method of getting into direct contact with new clients. This form of networking is far superior in getting actual jobs to conventional "pitching" for contracts, which can be costly if unsuccessful.

This networking method is also good for creating a solid client base. Word of mouth and client references are good business for advertising agencies, and these networks are progressively extended over time, bringing in more clients.

Professional Networking

This can involve getting jobs, or finding people for jobs. The ad hoc network can be very effective in finding talent and people who can do the work required, saving time trying to hunt down the right people. The web designer in the example above will probably also know an animator and a Flash media specialist.

The ad-person, when looking for a job, can use their entire network to find one. Advertising networks cover businesses, professions, and often whole industries. Professional networks and business relationships are an important element in the advertising industry. Associations are naturally formed, and an advertising person can easily get information across a spectrum of areas of interest. 

In advertising, the professional network is also reciprocal. The network will go looking for people for jobs, and the advertising agent may be found work without even asking for it. The copywriter above will refer the advertising agent to someone else as a good person for an ad sales job. The ad hoc networks need their basic components, and that's one of the great strengths of the advertising professional networks.