In real estate, the mantra is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. In voiceover, the mantra should be NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.
So, you’ve spent countless hours, days, and months honing your skills. You’ve gotten the best training possible, you’ve built a great home studio, that mic is plugged in, and you’re ready to roll.
Now what? Are you just sitting back and waiting (hoping?) for the work to roll in? Well, while there are those coaches and VO “experts” who would have you believe that there is work literally falling out of the sky, and all you have to do is hang out your shingle and you’ll be an instant gazillionaire, it’s not quite that simple.
I am a firm believer in the power and importance of marketing. I try to spend some time every day marketing my business, but if that is not possible, I at least block out time every week to do so. And yes, while it’s fairly easy (if not time consuming and slightly nuanced) to sit in the privacy of your booth and send out countless emails to unknown names and organizations, don’t discount the importance of in-person marketing, specifically in the form of NETWORKING.
If you’re in a major acting hub like L.A. or NYC, you’re lucky to have amazing acting resources in your backyard. Think about networking in those circles. There are great resources like Actors Connection that can help you find places and events where you can network with agents or casting directors. GO TO THEM! But DON’T go with the goal of trying to get signed or get your name short-listed for that next casting session. Go with an open mind and open heart to learn more about who they are and what they do, and what they are looking for in talent. You will learn so much, and I promise it will be beneficial and help you grow as a talent.
Keep in mind that people want to work with people they know and like — and I would add, people that they trust as well. By that I mean, they trust that you are a consummate professional, that you show up early to sessions, prepared, and comport yourself in a professional manner during the session. They trust in your abilities, your professionalism, and your decency as a human being.
Not in a major market? Sometimes casting directors will make trips to other cities or regions. Look for those opportunities. Or try Skyping in to one of Mary Lynn Wissner’s “Meet The Pros” nights. She provides awesome opportunities for you to meet and read for a variety of pros in the industry.
Or think outside the box altogether. Try going to local business meetups and talking to people there. Attend industry conventions and hit the exhibition floor to find potential clients. Get creative! Just GET OUT THERE.
What are your tips for networking? I’d love to hear them!