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The Importance of Networking

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Entertainment is a who’s who industry.  Once you become entrenched in its inner workings, you’ll quickly realize that everyone is interconnected to some extent.  This means networking is essential for success, as is maintaining a certain level of professionalism.  You must be constantly ready to make and maintain connections with like-minded industry pros.  And, never discount a connection.  Brushing off a brief encounter or chalking up a conversation as fleeting and unimportant can prove to be a big mistake.

Creating a presence and showcasing your “brand,” or the image you wish to present to others, is very important.  Make sure to attend events you’re invited to, no matter how large or small, as well as any open to the public.  Take advantage of ticket handouts and parking passes, and don’t be a passive bystander.  Rather than just showing up, introduce yourself and engage with others.  Take mental notes regarding their titles and positions, collect contact information if you are able or instantly connect with them over social media if it seems right.

Take the time to reach out.  Make phone calls, send emails, mail cards.  If interviewing for positions, make sure to follow up and sending thank yous.  This is somewhat of a lost art in today’s fast-paced world.  You might just be the only card the interviewer receives, and this simple token of appreciation may be your ticket.

Networking accomplishes a variety of things.  Besides helping your brand gain visibility, acting as a platform for you to hone your social skills, and ensuring you stay in the know, getting out there and meeting new people may help accomplish a more specific purpose.  For example, if you’re on the hunt for talent to fill a specific role, attending events and skimming the crowd can help you to identify and interact with potential candidates.  If you’re looking to land an internal position, it’ll provide you with the opportunity to get in front of industry leaders.  If you’re hoping to build an ongoing business relationship, networking will allow you to hash out the details face-to-face.

It’s important to remain visible in entertainment and maintain an active presence as much as possible.  This means, you may have to crawl out of your comfort zone a bit to dig in your heels – practice makes perfect.  It takes persistence and perseverance to get your name out there, but once you’re in, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals.

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