Networking is an effective way to market your skills in any industry. Whether you are interested in breaking into Hollywood movies, Film industry or performing in Broadway plays, you have to know how to properly market yourself to let important people know you exist. Being an actor, you should be aware that you’re signing up for an film industry that will require you to network to a large extent, even larger than many other fields.
While being talented and ambitious is what’s important to boost your chance of landing a job in the business, you must never underestimate the importance of networking. In order to reach your goals, you’ll need to learn to build trust and professional relationships with numerous individuals in the industry to gain more opportunities and grow your roles. Building a solid network, however, may indeed be a grueling task, but you can rest assured that you will experience many valuable opportunities once you are able to market yourself well.
Below are helpful tips on how you can surround yourself with motivating and uplifting people that can help you succeed in the film industry.
How to Network Within the Film Industry
1. Engage with film industry professionals online.
Several industry professionals have social media accounts since it happens to be the easiest way to stay connected with people around the world. So do not hesitate to follow and engage with them online. This will also serve as a good way to stay updated on any acting or casting news around you.
Social media applications such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have been excellent methods in showcasing your capabilities. Media personalities like Justin Bieber, Kate Upton, and Darren Criss began building their audiences online. It did not take them too long to be recognized by agents, ultimately landing themselves on the stellar careers they have today.
2. Attend Film industry events.
Surrounding yourself with creative people in the industry does not mean limiting your connection to fellow actors. It will do wonders for your career if you know how to branch out to the people who actually make the casting decisions. There are numerous events wherein you can meet filmmakers, casting directors, or writers. You may even ask your actor friends for some suggestions. Film festivals or screenings are a good place to start, especially indie films since you basically have to begin your career somewhere. Another suggestion is to attend charity events. That way you can engage with other people to expand your network.
3. Craft your sales pitch.
When you are planning to market your skills in the industry, you may get nervous or uncertain about doing it. Think of your sales pitch as something similar to performing onstage. You need to be convincing enough to show the audience what your character is like and convey the character’s story well at the same time. That being said, try leaving the business-sales mentality at home and try to be natural when you approach others instead. This leaves a long-lasting and positive impression on your part and will draw more people into you.
4. Bring your business card.
Business cards are a must in the acting industry, especially since you happen to be networking yourself to others. So when you reach the point of getting to know another person comfortably, you can hand over a business card instead of fishing for your smartphone and asking someone to add you to their contacts. Business cards are inexpensive, and you can always make your own if you’re confident with your design skills. Make sure you include your contact numbers and business email as well.
5. Make friends around your neighborhood.
If you happen to reside in Los Angeles or New York, then you have the biggest chances of running into someone with connections in the acting industry. This just does not pertain to the individuals you encounter in acting classes but also the people you interact with every day. From the woman in your morning yoga class to the person walking their dog next to you in the park, you never really know whom you can count on when it comes to taking your career to the next level. This will also be easier for you to build relationships in more relaxed environments.
6. Help out when you can.
The acting industry is a community of people who are always willing to lend a helping hand when you need it, so how about you start looking for ways to extend yours? If you happen to know anyone in need of something, look for ways you can help them solve their dilemma. This can be any scenario—from a casting director looking for someone who fits the role to a filmmaker friend who is looking for a hotel to stay in. Connect with them through social media, and you’ll be sure to see good karma coming back at you. Here is a saying that you can live by: “If you make it your goal to always find a way to add more value to people’s lives than anyone else, then you’ll never have to worry about success.”
7. Follow up.
Congratulations! You have successfully built a professional relationship with other people in the acting industry. But this is not where networking stops. You should be able to keep in touch with these people. Check their social media accounts or browse through industry publications to see if they have new projects or films coming up. If they happen to win an award, then make sure to congratulate them for their feat.
Schedule friendly meetings like coffee dates or catching a movie or play in town to get to know them better. Be sure you do not end up leaving anyone out by scheduling a calendar to meet with the next available person. See to it that you are consistent in doing so and are not just meeting them for business.