This is probably the most important part of being a film maker, writer or an actor, and how well you network will impact how much work you get and who you work with. This isn’t something I’m very good at myself, and as an introvert I find it hard to initiate networking opportunities. Here are a few things you can do to get networking online – even if you are like me!
1 – Get a website for yourself. There are many companies that do free or really cheap web pages with easy-to-fill-out templates that will give you a professional look. Some examples are Wix and GoDaddy. These make it easy for you to put photos up, share videos and allow you to blog about what you have been up to. These sites are easy, even for technophobes! You’ll be able to upload your showreel for people to look at.
2 – Get networking on Social Media. Personally, I find that my professional needs can bet through Twitter. A lot of people use Facebook, however as a business user I find it limiting in terms of engaging an audience with my work. For example, only a fraction of followers get to see what I’m doing unless I pay, and that gets quite expensive. Also, as a Facebook user I have a lot of friends and family on there and I don’t want Joe Bloggs Actor I have never met being able to see that I have liked my friend’s picture of her and her kids. I prefer to keep my Facebook page personal.
3 – Although I have found Twitter to be great for engaging on a professional level, here are some things that annoy EVERYBODY!
(1) Following someone to get them to follow you back, and unfollowing them the moment they do. This in no way to build a following, and most people who are looking to network with new peeps will unfollow you right back. If you are just looking for organic followers, take out and advert like everybody else.
(2) Following someone to get them to follow you back so that you can spam them with your message about how they should look you up on Snapchat, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, their five Facebook pages etc., and then unfollowing them. The same goes for messages about getting people to donate to your crowdfunding campaign, getting people to share your showreel or film, or asking people to buy stuff. This tactic is beyond self centred and will result in an unfollow or your message being ignored from most people.
Here’s the tip: Don’t do it!
4 – The best way of getting organic engagement is for other people to like and share your stuff. No, this doesn’t mean you should message 100’s of people with your showreel and ask them to share it. It starts with promoting other people. If you would like people to like and share your posts to help you get ahead, then you will know that other people need that too. Promoting other people’s work raises your own profile within the film making and acting community, and creates networking opportunities. Engaging people on social media platforms makes you more employable as producers and directors want to work with actors that will raise the profile of their film. This will attract fans, viewers and build an audience that makes the film attractive to funders. That means pay!
Written by Saranne Bensusan on 13th March 2018. If you would like to guest blog, please get in touch.