Originally posted on 4/1/2011
Just because you got a creative gig doesn’t mean you are done networking. The real work happens once you start the project. In fact, your success and longevity with your client is very much dependent on how well you get along with three people. Without these relationships, your gig will likely be short-lived.
Office Administrator: Meet your new best friend. This is the person who facilitates the most important part of your gig – getting paid. S/he makes sure your invoices are approved and forwarded to the right person. In some cases, the office administrator is the person writing the check. There’s no need to butter him or her up, but under no circumstances should you ever get on his or her bad side.
In-House Creative Staff: The last thing you need is to be perceived as competition by the in-house creatives. Get to know these folks and how they work. Learn to appreciate their process and work to follow it as much as possible. These relationships will not only help to bolster the strength of your work, but they may also serve as great networking allies when you are looking for other projects, both in and outside of the company.
Marketing/PR Director: This may seem like a “no-duh” to some, but I have too often seen fellow freelancers be pretty disrespectful to the very people who approved their gig. Just like an employee on this person’s team, while you are working within the team your job is to make that Director look good. Not only will it increase your worth as a valued member of the team, but it also sets you up for a killer reference when the gig is over.