Networking with business owners and even those within the filmmaking industry will serve you well as a filmmaker in terms of growing your contact base and having access to potential collaborators who can help with future work.
Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you make the most out of networking to make long lasting connections:
- Get some professional looking business cards ready
- Have a presentable website
- Keep your information up to date
- Get a professional email address
- Have a system for capturing leads
- Don’t skip on your follow up’s
While this may seem obvious, it may surprise you how this can be so easily forgotten by some. Make sure that you bring tons of cards whenever you’re out networking and rubbing shoulders.
Remember that your business card should be simple yet catchy… and don’t forget to include important details such as your name, phone number, email, website URL, and social media links.
If you want to grow your business, you need to be on the web. With heaps of easy-to-use and affordable options, such as WordPress, Wix, and Weebly, not having a website for your filmmaking business has become inexcusable. Remember that people (your potential clients in particular) uses the web to find out more about you and the work that you do – so you want to make sure you are where your audience will be.
Since you’ll be handing out lots and lots of business cards, you want to make sure that the information on there – like your website or your Facebook profile – are all current.
It’s easy to forget to post your new showreel or upload your latest project, but keep in mind that if you make a connection, they will probably look you up on the internet so better make sure your links work and that you’re always refreshing your web presence. You want people to find accurate information – and an accurate representation of you and the work you love doing.
While there’s no denying that Gmail is great, having an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com email address doesn’t look so great on you on a professional level and would rather make you appear amateurish. Make sure to have an email address that matches your business name – this shows potential leads or clients that you mean business and that you aren’t just doing this as a hobby.
What if you met 10 people who could potentially be clients at last night’s networking event? Good on you! But how do you stay in touch with all of them? Whether you prefer writing little notes on your journal throughout the course of the event or scanning collected business cards onto your mobile phone, what’s important is that you keep track of all those leads so that you can make the most of them.
Having acquired those leads doesn’t mean you stop there – it’s crucial that you follow up with each one of them. Following up doesn’t necessarily mean pushing what you offer down their throats, rather it’s about making a real connection. Catch up with them over coffee and learn more about their needs and what they want to achieve for their business.
Do you have any other useful tips for effective networking? Feel free to share them with us!