Once you’ve got your show up on Youtube, and your online presence clean, clear and beautiful, it is time to get out there and meet people because no matter how digitally dependent this world gets there is still no replacement for the connection that is made when you meet people in person.
In the early days, the places we would go to meet web industry people were Digital Hollywood (a 4 day conference, twice annually, which we highly recommend), and IAWTV events (an organization we are both currently members of). It was at these events that I discovered something wonderful about my partner Mhairi that I had not known, and that is that she can work a room with the best of them.
Although everyone who knows me refuses to believe it, I am actually quite shy, particularly in a room full of people I don’t know, and it has been my Achilles heal for years. I create lots of lots of content, but stumble when its time to sell it, out of a severe lack of confidence in my ability to express who I am and what I’ve got going on in any sort of compelling or concise way. When faced with this proposition, particularly in a room full of industry strangers, I usually just clam up and am reduced to a smile, a big one. I become perpetual smile girl, which is why it was like a miracle to discover that my compadre suffered from no such thing.
For me, watching Mhairi mingle at these events, was like watching Michael Jordan play basketball. I was in awe. How does she do that? She actually looks like she’s having fun (because she was). How is that even possible? She was meeting people right and left and all I had to do was stand there and laugh. And once the ice was broken, I had no trouble chiming in. This was a match made in heaven. Which brings me to…
Industry Tip #6
If you are not good at networking events, then bring somebody with you who is, but go! You have to go.
Entertainment is a team sport. There is no such thing as making it on your own. You need to know lots and lots of people (and I’m not just talking about the people at the top) you need a solid network of friends that extend into all aspects, all levels. Over time you will find that they will help you, and you will help them, but nobody can help anybody if you don’t know each other.
Find the organizations, workshops and/or events that relate to the field you want to be in and then do the work to get to know the people involved. Having a friend who is good at networking with you is a huge help, but if you must go it alone, then I will leave you with a tip I learned from the master herself; wear at least one little accessory (a hat, playful scarf, amazing necklace, cool pair of shoes) something that can be a talking point. People will use it as an icebreaker, “I love your hat,” and you can do the same finding something about them, anything you can genuinely comment on.
As I learned from Mhairi time and time again, this is not disingenuous, its just a conversation starter and you can’t get around needing a conversation starter, therefore a compliment is the perfect way to go.
That’s all for today but as always I leave you with Episode 4 of Season 1 of Feathers and Toast where Tallulah goes to great lengths to teach you the complicated inner workings of how to make a PB&J sandwich and Miso soup from a bag while pandering to yet another demographic. How anyone ever saw this and thought we were serious about this being a cooking show still makes me laugh to this day. In fact, I’m laughing right now. Enjoy!
Also, just curious…what do you think we are hinting at with these Behind The Scenes bits? If you had to guess who do you think the Fed Ex guy is to Tallulah?