If you want to move forward in your career, then you must be Bold and Fierce! People call me “The Networker” so I feel I have some pointers to help you on your way!
1. Know your industry
Before networking know your field, the different jobs, titles, roles, as this will help you navigate networking events. It is also important that you have the expertise on your chosen career path as this will be key when meeting with people. Think conversation starters! Know your craft!
2. Know your brand
To start off you need a business card, yes – it might seem dated but I believe it is an excellent way to represent your brand. It should include your website and contact information. As an Actor, I have my headshot on my business card to make it easier for them to remember me! If the other party does not have one to exchange, there’s always Facebook or just take down their email in your phone notes!
3. Get into the room
This is the hardest part, how do you get into the room? A great way to do this is joining like-minded groups. I am an Actor, and Producer so I look for networks that would be beneficial to me. For example New York Women in Film & Television network (NYWIFT), Film Fatales, Women in Film LA. I attend women and film panels, most recently I went to the NYWIFT Power Brunch at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where I met an array of power house women in the Entertainment Industry, which led to private screenings, meeting female playwrights, writers, filmmakers and even finding collaborators! For my music career as a Singer, I recently attended the Women International Music Network event to meet like-minded artists and musicians. There is also the Women in Music organisation that hosts a variety of seminars, panels and even showcases. These events and special networks are out there! You just have to do your research in your chosen field!
4. Be yourself
Once you are at the event, it is up to you to whom you speak with! In some situations especially if you go alone, people will come up and speak to you. But I usually approach anyone and just start a conversation with them! (I love meeting new people!) If you are at a networking event, people will be looking to make connections, so just say hello. If for example you are at a screening, introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you! And the most important piece of advice I can give is to BE YOURSELF and Be confident!
5. Networker Pitch
Prepare a networker pitch! This is your introduction: What you do and what you are currently working on, be specific and clear!
6. The Next Day
With the business cards and contact information you have accumulated, add each name to an excel document and note when you reach out to them- you can reach out up to 3 days after the event. But I think it is always best to do it the day after!
Organise a time to meet up for coffee with the people you have met, as this gives you a chance to really be one on one and to get to know the other person and their business. Networking can lead to jobs, referrals, or even new business partners! I am beginning an all female brand who want to bring together and empower women through music, and some of these women I met through networking or referrals!!
Never be afraid to put yourself out there and network, as you never know what you’re missing!
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