Why You Shouldn’t be a “Go-Getter” And Why You Should Avoid Actors Networking Events
“You have to be a go-getter,” is what you’ve probably heard from your teachers, mentors and parents your whole life, in order to climb the ladder of success .So why wouldn’t you want to be a go-getter?
The definition of a “go-getter” is “an aggressively enterprising person.” In laments terms, go-getters are typically ones who are always finding ways to “get” what they want. Whether it’s a job, love interest, better finances, this type of mentality will generally always bring your focus back to yourself.
By constantly setting your entire focus on what YOU want, you will end up steering a lot of people that you might be trying to connect with, running in the opposite direction.
Think about it.
Have you ever had a conversation where the person you were talking to wasn’t interested at all in what you had to say? They kept babbling on and on about their latest projects, who they were having drinks with, this and that about their agents and so on, without giving any thought to the other person in the conversation? Sounds exhausting, huh?
So what do you do at networking events?
Instead of asking, “What can I get out of this person?” Start asking yourself, “How can I support or add value to this person?” This immediately makes networking 10x easier, and flips your mentality from the sleazy “user” mentality, to a more genuine approach, connecting with those in the industry on a deeper level beyond what’s on their resume.
In a few easy steps, I’m going to teach you how you can connect with anyone and start building genuine relationships.
As Robert Kiyosaki says, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.”
Some of Jona’s Top Networking Tips for Actors
1. Avoid Events Aimed for “Networking for Actors”
Think about what everyone else is doing, and then think about what you can do to stand out and be different. “Networking events” aimed toward actors will most likely be filled with more actors. If you are an actor in one of the big cities, you know that it isn’t too difficult to meet and connect with fellow actors. So why would you want to go to an event to meet more actors when you are looking to connect with more people in the industry? While a huge sea of actors will be attending these events, you will be targeting events geared towards writers, producers, directors, and decision-makers in the industry. At these types of events, you have a greater chance of connecting to decision-makers and you have a greater chance of being one of the only actors there.
Some groups to start researching that have a high industry and low actors attendance include:
- Film Independent
- Women in Film
- Independent Filmmaker Projects
*You can find other events using social media, including the LA Actors Tweetup and NY Actors Tweet Up.
2. Stop Looking to “Create Contacts” and Start Finding Ways to Build Relationships
Remember that example of seeing an actor or actress networking at an event typically looked like a laundry list of accomplishments and asking what others “did” in the industry? You are going to be the person who isn’t after hundreds of contacts at the event, but one who is bonding with fellow industry professional on a deeper level.
But where do you even start?
Before attending an event, I recommend doing research on who is going to be there. Beyond their job, use different social media outlets to find ways to connect with them on a deeper level. For example, check LinkedIn to see what college they went to, go on Twitter and see what passion projects or articles they are tweeting about. Whatever it is you can find, keep track of the information on an excel sheet or in a notebook.
* Remember, Who they are as a person is more interesting than whatever title they hold.
1.Don’t try to “Say the Right Things”… Listen to What People Say
Take the pressure off yourself of trying to think of the perfect monologue or story to tell to impress those around you at these events, and instead, listen to what the other person is saying. Always be thinking in the back of your head, how can I help this person? In what way can I add value to what they are working on?
Remember… it doesn’t have to be entertainment related… you can be sharing the latest yoga class you found or telling them about a Groupon you saw that relates to one of their goals. How can I connect this person to someone else that is in my circle that can help benefit them with what they are looking for?
2. When Asked About You… Share Your Specific Goal
After you’ve started connecting with this new friend of yours, they will more than likely ask what you are working on, or what you do. Some actors in this situation “talk down” about being an actor, references stereotypes, etc. I want to encourage you to take pride in your work, and to be the actor who is excited to share about their work and experience… but don’t go on and on about it. Have a couple sentences prepared about your work and then be willing to share one specific goal you hope to accomplish in the next 1-2 months.
Make sure to think and even script out your short “Tell Me About Yourself” ahead of time, so you don’t go off on tangents. Most people start with “Well I grew up here… went to college here…. Started acting when I ….. And by the end of the conversation others can end up either feeling exhausted by the huge resume/bio provided. By having a concise “Tell Me About Yourself,” they will also have a better idea of who you are as a person, and where you are going, to be able to provide support in any way they see fit
3. Find out How You can Stay Connected
Often times when connecting to new friends/fans at events we forget to exchange cards, emails or numbers to continue the dialogue. Don’t be one of these actors! Every situation and person is different, so really feel out the connection you’ve just built, and find a way to stay connected.
You might say something like, “Well it was so great getting to know you ________ and hearing your story about __________ I would love to send you that information on _______ or, “I would love to connect you to _________ who I think you really help you with your current goals, would you like to exchange emails/numbers to stay connected?
“What is the best way to stay connected with you?
“ Is there an email you would like me to use to send you _________?”
Remember, you might be one monster connection away to your next career break-through, so don’t be afraid to start mingling at events and finding ways to support and connect to others. With this new mentality and strategy, you will find that as a “Go-Giver” you will connect and build deeper relationships than when you were once that hungry, desperate, “Go-Getter.”
Interested in learning more about building that perfect, “Tell Me About Yourself?” Click Here.
Lastly, keep in mind the “Fortune is in the Follow-Up.” Not quite sure how to follow-up? Read on here.
Although these are some of our top tips for actors who are looking to expand their network, we’ve just skimmed the surface in this article, so if you are looking to learn more ninja strategies, click here to see what is offered in Career ACTivate’s Get Connected! Home Study Course.