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Introduction

Networking in Singapore’s creative sector can seem daunting, especially for those of us who are introverts. Like many, I find myself able to connect with only one or two people at an event, and initially, I felt inadequate because common advice suggests you need to be a networking butterfly. Fortunately, this isn’t necessarily true. Networking can be successful even if it’s done on a smaller, more personal scale. Based on what I’ve learned from my own experiences, here are some practical networking tips for creatives in Singapore.

Why School and Educational Settings Are Ideal for Networking

Many introverts overlook the networking potential of their educational days. In the animation industry, the connections I made were less about immediate business opportunities and more about shared experiences and interests. These early connections proved invaluable later when starting my VFX company, Masonry Studios, as many from my school days were eager to collaborate or refer us to others. This foundation of support was built subtly, almost effortlessly, through genuine interactions rather than strategic networking.

Reframing Networking as Genuine Conversations

True networking isn’t about swapping as many business cards as possible; it’s about engaging in real conversations that might lead to meaningful exchanges. An enlightening chat with a business owner about transitioning from making vanity apps to creating genuinely useful products reshaped how I approached my own business, emphasizing flexibility and innovation over rigid service offerings.

Understanding Business Needs as a Pathway to Contribution

Networking is really about listening and connecting the dots between needs and solutions. Although it can resemble a sales process, it’s fundamentally about understanding and helping. For instance, a casual visit to a film set led me to meet a director who referred us for a CGI project. This didn’t stem from a hard sell but from being present, engaged, and open to opportunities.

Conclusion

To my fellow introverted creatives, networking doesn’t have to be the salesy ordeal Hollywood often makes it out to be. It can be authentic, manageable, and aligned with our own values and pace. By embracing networking as a series of genuine conversations, we can build connections that are professional and personally fulfilling. It’s about finding your style and making it work. Even in a world that often feels like it’s shouting, a quiet voice can still resonate deeply.

If you want to learn more about starting a creative business in Singapore, read this article!

Ronald Fong

Author Ronald Fong

A CGI animation director and educator who blends storytelling prowess with visual finesse, shaping his expertise in the creative realm. From technically-driven 3D animator to founder of Masonry Studios, he navigates challenges, shares insights, and empowers the next generation of creatives through tutorials, talks, and business wisdom.

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