I’m a recent convert to and now a big fan of social networking – verging on the evangelical! And this is the story of how it led to my first professional garden design job.
Around the same time that I started out as a garden designer I happened to join Twitter, initially to follow my favourite music artist. I was very sceptical about social networking (having dubbed Facebook ‘Faceache’) and at the beginning found Twitter a bit of a puzzle and thought ‘what’s the point!? So I started by following celebs I like, yes, including Stephen Fry (no link necessary!) However I’m by no means a technophobe – I love my iPhone – look at this cool app! – and rapidly started following and being followed by lots of lovely people from the ‘gardening world’. And my goodness, what a big world it is!
Twitter, which I now see as a wonderful gateway to all kinds of possibilities and connections, led me to some ‘garden’ networking sites, like The Garden Network and Landscape Juice, both of which I joined.
I introduced myself on these sites and received a very warm welcome. Shortly after, Sue Davis, a lovely local garden designer contacted me to offer her support asking if I’d like to meet for a coffee. She is a very successful designer with ten years experience in the industry. We exchanged a few emails and then met up at a local garden nursery. Sue was, and still is, so generous with her time, sharing of information, tips and support and we have become good friends.
In turn, Sue put me in touch with Rob Dulson, a local landscaper. Rob and I had a chat on the phone, got on really well and decided to meet for a coffee. But before we could do that Rob called me one evening about a prospective rear garden design job for some clients he was already in touch with, asking if I could meet them the following evening! GULP!
Now this is where things got a bit surreal. The next evening I met Rob, who let’s face it was a total stranger , in a Waitrose car park (classy at least) 30 minutes before going to the client meeting; “Look for a bright green van” was all I knew. Rob and I exchanged notes, briefly discussed our mutual approach and I followed his ‘bright green van’ to the clients’ house.
Rob already knew the clients, having done a front garden design for them. The meeting went very well indeed, no questions were asked about our connection (phew! that would have been a difficult one to explain) and I got the job!!!
How the job went will be the subject of a future post. But is it any wonder that I’m such a fan of social networking?! I am now working on my second professional garden design that also came as a lead from the generous Sue Davis, I really can’t thank her enough!
So Sue, this post is dedicated to you with my deepest gratitude for being such a generous person and valued friend. And of course to Rob, The Garden Network, Landscape Juice and last but not least Twitter!