By Hans Obma
This article is by guest writer Hans Obma and is part of a series on marketing and networking in the entertainment industry.
Let’s say you have been in LA for a while, and you sincerely have attempted to develop your career. You have tried marketing and networking, only to meet with discouraging results.
When discouraged about career development, it is important to ask yourself honestly, “Have I really seen each of these activities through?” For example, could certain changes make your marketing campaign more successful? Could you improve your approach to networking events or the way you follow up after them?
Where marketing is concerned, let’s say an actress -- we'll call her Kelly -- mailed a postcard with her head shot and contact information to 150 casting directors. She sacrificed valuable time and money in the hopes of furthering her career. However, Kelly received no responses and concluded that marketing by mail was ineffective.
Before Kelly swears off of marketing, she should ask herself, “Have I really seen this activity all the way through?” Generally, if we have not refined our approach at least a couple of times, we probably have not followed through sufficiently. In this case, Kelly could consider adding an update to her postcard about a role she recently booked. Or perhaps she could design a unique marketing piece that would stand out from what other actors send. Kelly could also try reducing the number of casting directors on her list and market to a manageable number consistently over time.
Networking is another challenge, and one I find particularly easy to give up on. Let’s say Kelly went to the birthday party of a producer she met. At the party, Kelly did her best to talk to people, but felt awkward throughout. Although she felt a connection with a few people, she never saw most of them again. When she did see them, so much time had passed that the initial contact was mostly forgotten.
How could Kelly see this activity all the way through, rather than taking a step back from networking?
Thinking constructively, the next time she gets invited to a party, Kelly could invite another friend to come along. Perhaps a friend by her side would make it easier to meet people. Kelly could also make an effort to follow up with people. If she really connected with a person, Kelly could ask him or her for a business card and follow up with an e-mail. Alternatively, she could also ask the person whether they would like to be a friend on Facebook and develop a correspondence there.
When we really follow an activity through, it eliminates the possibility of regret. Either we can look back on our effective marketing and networking over time, or at least we can say with certainty that we saw it through and it did not work.
Got some other ideas for how to follow through when networking or marketing? Give your thoughts below...
Hans Obma is an actor who is originally from Wisconsin. He enjoys accents and languages, and he speaks English, Spanish, French, Russian and German to varying degrees.