Attending Actors Pro Expo Global 2023? AMAZING! Acknowledge yourself because you are one of the few who take action towards their dreams vs the masses who only dream. You’ve got the passion to go out there and make your dream a reality.
You have the talent, the work ethic, skills and belief to make your career happen. You’ve drawn a line in the sand and said that 2023 is going to be the year you make some serious strides in your career, building your dream brick by brick.
Preparing for the event you’ll have your headshots, business cards, questions and website ready to share but does the thought of networking send shivers down your spine? Do you let the idea of networking cause you anxiety, doubt, dread or hesitation? You don’t know what to say, you don’t like small talk, your relatively new or don’t have any big credits and have nothing to offer. If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone! A lot of actors and creatives feel this way!
Here are 7 ways to help you change your relationship to networking, believe in the value you bring to a room, and to make genuine authentic connections to make your experience phenomenal!
- Similarities and things in common – everyone at this event has a love and passion for the industry, be interested in HOW they developed their passion. Be curious and genuinely interested in people. Start with knowing that everyone you come across at this event has a dream and/or a desire to help facilitate their dreams coming true. Before the event say to yourself “Everyone here has a foundational interest in the same things I do“.
- If you find that you don’t have anything to say or get nervous in environments like networking events equip yourself with these questions: 1) “What kinds of projects are you drawn to? How do you develop that interest?” 2) “What brought you to this event, what is the ideal thing you want to happen? 3) Who/What inspires you? 4) Which seminars are you attending and what do you want to gain from them? 5) “What’s best way to stay in touch?” TIP: LISTEN to what others have to say.
- Develop an authentic desire within yourself to want to help others and find ways to add value. After discovering what brought someone to the same event you are at and creating a genuine bond be courageous enough to ask “I’m working towards xyz, who do you know or know of that can help me with that, and are you willing to make an intro if you know them?” Closed mouths don’t get fed. You’d be surprised the amount of people that are willing to assist and help. A large majority of people want to help and also a large majority of people don’t get asked for help. Share your vulnerability and allow someone the gift of adding value to you as you add value to others.
- Understand that fear of rejection is the #1 fear of every human. It’s something that bonds us all together in this human experience. There are no fearless people, there are simply people that fear, less. Having this knowledge; that scary person you want to talk to? Know they put on jeans one leg at a time, the same way you do. And if you want to talk to them, take a deep cleansing breathe and head on over with your amazing self and say “Hi, I really wanted an opportunity to chat to you because I admire/appreciate/value…about you. What brought you here this year? Part two of this is understand and be ok that not everyone is for you. Some people like coffee, some like tea and that’s ok! Rejection or disinterest in your approach or company isn’t a condemnation on your intrinsic or extrinsic value as a person. You’ll find your tribe.
- Know why you are at this event. What is the outcome you want? Do you want an agent?, Do you want new potential artistic collaborations? Do you want to create a new mindset and perspective to increase belief in yourself? Do you want more resources to help you grow as an actor and person? Arm yourself with this knowledge beforehand, so that, if another attendee happens to read this article and asks what brought you here you are able to answer them and in turn find out what brought them here.
- Remember the feeling you get when people just dump their cards or info on you without creating a bond first, usually those cards find their way in the trash OR you forget them all together because there isn’t a connection and you didn’t know why you had the card in the first place. Develop authentic connections and trust that the people that you vibe with authentically will create community with you and/or hire you.
- Follow up! While it’s fresh in your mind (perhaps next day) dm or email them (whichever communication vehicle they elect to keep in touch with you) and let them know what you appreciated about your conversation and that you are looking forward to staying in touch. And then stay in touch periodically!
Equipping yourself with these 7 tools should help you build authentic connections and make creating relationships a breeze. Who knows you might be in the room with the next BAFTA winning producer, actor, writer, or next great artist on The West End or Broadway. It might be you! Everyone starts somewhere.
To your success and building genuine connections!
PS: If you’d like to make things like fear of failure, fear of success, procrastination, hesitation, imposter syndrome and other thieves of your dreams a thing of the past join me for what is sure to be a powerful seminar offering tools to use for the rest of your life and career on Saturday February 11th at Actors Pro Expo.
You can find more about Arron on IG at @ArronLloyd or online at ArronLloyd.com