Something I have been thinking about lately (and particularly when I first came into the live entertainment scene), is the ability of some performers who always seem to get work. They are forever promoting the next show they are involved in and always seem to be working, in the circuit of current local shows. I asked myself: How do they do it? Well you know the saying ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? That certainly has something to do with it… Building relationships and networking is integral to any industry and it particularly important for the live entertainment industry. Think about a simple thing like wanting to try a new restaurant – you might ask a friend or put a post on Facebook asking for recommendations. You TRUST the people you know to give you a good suggestion. By the same token, producers (particularly in the local scene) will trust people they know, made a connection with and have seen online vs a random in their inbox. PLUS, so many gigs get offered up through people you know. The more people you are connected with, the more you’ll be thought of and suggested as a prospect! And we all want to be top of mind when it comes to producers curating shows.
(Photo by 3 Fates Media at the Australian Burlesque Festival - Sydney - 2019) Well, Camilla, restrictions are only starting to ease, I can’t go to gigs and schmooze and mingle with performers and producers, how am I supposed to network and meet people in my industry? Good question! Here’s an idea we can all put into practise – and the best part is we don’t need to leave the couch: we can relax in our pjs watching Netflix and ordering uber eats. Networking can happen ONLINE! *shock* yes I know It can be as simple as liking a post, commenting on a photo, sharing a post, sending a message. All of these things help build relationships with people in your industry. The more relationships you build, the more opportunities seem to come your way (I mean, this goes without saying you need the talent and skills to back it up), but you’ll be much more likely to be offered a place in a show if someone (the producer/cast member) knows you. TOP TIP: Join groups and communities on Facebook: like, comment and reply to people to broaden your network. Add people as friends who you click with in these groups – expand your circle! A lot of gigs come in the form of posts on social media/online call outs – you want to be in the places these happen. This is primarily in producer’s newsfeeds and community groups on social media.
Disclaimer – just because you know everyone doesn’t mean you get all the gigs. There are a variety of reasons a producer might not hire you. But expanding your network and nurturing the relationships you have with others in your industry, gives you a better chance of being front of mind when producers are creating line ups. It also just gives a bit more joy and feeling of connectedness to the industry – it’s nice to have friends and be amicable with others in your field! BOTTOM LINE: Because a lot of show opportunities come from WHO we know. Get to know more people so that YOU have more chance to get that spot in the show.
Have any networking tips? Pop them in the comments below! Want more tips like this? join the Profitable Performer FB group here