Top Ways to Network in Entertainment Industry

Ways to Network in Entertainment Industry

If you are a part of the entertainment industry, you’re more than likely aware that having talent is essential to overall success, but it is also important that influential people know who you are and know your work. As the old saying goes – “Sometimes it’s not what you know but more so who you know”.   An important question for entertainers of all walks of life is – how do you network with the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry?

Here are 10 easy ways to do so:

  1. Be clear about your aim: this is the first thing which you must do. Sit down and clear out your mind. Then decide what you specifically want to become. Once you have established a clear aim in your mind, you will more clearly know whom who have to target for entertainment business networking. This simple step will save you from spending hours building worthless professional relations. Additionally, this step will come into play when speaking to entertainment industry experts that may be slightly intimidating. If your aim is clear and concise you will come across more confident and assure of your talents.  This is important and must be recognized when networking with entertainment business professionals.

 

  1. Ask for advice and help: if you are stuck in a rut – don’t feel shy. You can always ask for help. Most individuals that are successful today in the entertainment business have faced many of the same fears and challenges you may be experiencing. In many cases, it is the ultimate compliment to ask an entertainment industry professional to lead you as a mentor.  It is always better to ask for help than to see your dreams going down the drain.

 

  1. Share your knowledge: mutually beneficial networking is one of the best ways to network with people. Ask yourself what can you do for that person or how can you help out the other person. Once you figure this out, you are more likely to receive a favorable response when you ask for friendship or favor. In the words of Zig Ziglar “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people to get what they want.”

 

  1. Know who you want to network with: this is a significant point that many people overlook. For example, if you want a career or experience related to filming or maybe production, you should network with cameramen, producers, etc. Networking with the directors and actors could potentially be beneficial, but in some cases it is better served to network directly with the source. When you know who your targets and goals are, it is easier to achieve them.

 

  1. Join a relevant group: Joining entertainment industry clubs and groups are a popular way to make new connections and meet up with the old ones regularly. Join a group of entertainment professionals who are related to your field, attend the meetings and events held by the group to network and make important industry contacts.

 

  1. Attend film festivals and events: attending film festivals is a great way to connect with new people. As it is a festival, the atmosphere is more relaxed and successful entertainment business professionals such as models, actors, music artists, etc are in a good mood because of the success of their films and other accolades.  Take advantage of these events by networking – entertainment industry professionals will be more open to listen to a sentence or two from you. This concept is applicable for events as well.   Festivals and events are such a magnificent networking opportunity that even if your efforts are not of the best – you will surely still end up with few friends which may be all you need to begin your network foundation.

 

  1. Take a course in your field at a popular school: this has two exciting benefits. First, you will meet tons of like-minded people, who will be as eager to learn as you are. Schools are a great place for networking.   Schools can be a place where lifelong contacts are made over lunches and in classes. The second benefit of taking classes in your field and a popular school is the learning experience and the opportunity to meet important entertainment industry guest speakers and other industry insiders that may be visiting the faculty and or staff.

 

  1. Ask established people for five minutes over coffee: many experts and established people of your field have started out in similar positions as you – no fame, no money, and no connections. So, if you ask them for five minutes of their time, the odds are they can shed some light on how they achieved success in the entertainment world. The most important thing here is to be confident – the worst thing that can happen is the individual may say no.  Always be polite and never be discouraged

 

  1. Keep in touch: this is very important as many people make friends, only to forget them later. So – STAY IN TOUCH WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS. You never know who can come across an opportunity perfect for you. Call them up for birthdays, anniversaries, parties, and events. Keep up with your contacts regularly and remind them that you are still there and as motivated as ever.

 

  1. Socialize on the sets, after the shooting: keep this in mind. Don’t disturb people when they are working. You will only end up pestering them and making a bad impression. But you should spend some time with the crew after the shooting is done. That way, you will learn a lot of trade secrets and be considered “one of the team”.

 

Sources and relevant links:

  1. http://filmtvcareers.about.com/od/filmtvcareersnetworking/a/NW_Importance.htm
  2. http://www.backstage.com/bso/news-and-features-features/how-to-network-your-way-to-an-acting-family-1005295502.story
  3. http://filmtvcareers.about.com/od/filmtvcareersnetworking/FilmTV_Careers_Expanding_Your_Network.htm
  4. http://voices.yahoo.com/how-network-film-industry-5292357.html?cat=31
  5. http://www.allartschools.com/art-careers/film-school/film-video-career-tips?lob=art
  6. http://www.skillset.org/film/jobs/article_3688_1.asp

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