Networking Tips

Networking Tips

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It’s something that many of us dread, and yet it’s an essential part of developing your career within the film and TV industries. It’s often not what you know but who you know! So we’ve come up with 10 handy tips to help with those nerves and make you appear like the pro that you are!

Cut the small talk, get real and jump in…..The best tool you possess is the art of conversation

So says Julia Hobsbawm, founder of Editorial Intelligence and visiting professor in networking at Cass Business School.

1. Take business cards!
You don’t have to spend a great deal of money on them (you can buy the cards and make them yourself if you’ve got a good eye, or use cheap websites like Vistaprint) but you do need them!

2. First Impressions Count
The dress code will depend on the type of event it is, but never go scruffy! If you’re not sure, smart casual is always a safe bet.

3. Set yourself a target
Even if it’s speaking to and handing out 5 cards, set yourself a target before you go and don’t leave until you’ve reached it.

4. Be prepared
Have a couple of sentences prepared about who you are and what you do. Don’t waffle on but being clear and concise will work in your favour. Practice in front of the mirror or with a friend if you want to.

5. Be Yourself!
Personality is as important as anything in getting somewhere in the industry. You want to be able to stand out from other people in the room, whether it’s because of your passion, ideas, or just your good jokes!

6. Don’t look around the room whilst talking to someone
Focus on them and what they’re saying!

6. Ask them questions too!
Remember that it’s a 2 way conversation.

7. Asking for help
Generally, people are willing to help and give you advice where they can – after all, they were in your shoes at some point! Don’t be pushy or pester, but at the same time there is nothing wrong with asking – and if someone says that you can contact them after the event – don’t be shy – do it!

8. Listen to the person you are talking too
Encourage them to talk about their work and what they do, you may be able to find links with what you do too.

9. Don’t stick with the same person all night
Make sure you introduce yourself to other people too.

10. Not every meeting will be successful
Don’t worry if this happens, make your excuses (politely) and move to another conversation, don’t get stuck in a rut.

Guardian Careers have a useful article about building your network as well as the science of networking and networking tips for the nervous.