Thursday, February 25, 2010

Networking redux

A couple of years ago I realized that I've done WAY more marketing of myself as an actor than as a business person. Hell, I had a whole website devoted to my acting, with just a single page devoted to that whole other side of my life.

I finally got that back in proper balance with the re-launch of RobBiesenbach.com. And I've since been taking steps -- albeit sometimes tentative and halting -- to do the other things necessary to promote my business.

Sure, I've done some cold-calling and some mailings that actually turned into some awesome pieces of business. But I haven't gone about things in a methodical way. Partly I think that's because the acting was so new and fun and exciting -- it never felt like work to package and promote that part of myself.

But I went to a workshop on networking a few weeks ago. Ironically, I got into it as a result of networking -- reaching out to fellow actor/business person who happens to run these seminars. So I audited it and picked up some great tips. Most of all, I learned I need to be more thoughtful and strategic about it.

As a result, tonight I went to the kind of industry networking event I've always avoided. And ... it was great. I met a lot of new people and made some good contacts. Most of all, contrary to my fear of standing to the side like a wallflower and having nothing to say or nothing in common with anyone, I discovered I was actually more linked in than I thought.

I met a woman who works at a production company that I've done a couple of projects with as a writer. Then a guy who works for a training and development company that I've done several acting/voiceover jobs for. Another guy who's also done improv. Someone who I was just referred to by another contact. And on and on.

Not to mention lots of people in the communications business. Duh. I'd sort of forgotten that everyone there has a common interest and background, so getting together, sharing information, having something to contribute ... well, that's pretty much par for the course.

I'll say it again: duh!

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