Joining a Group and Networking There
Beca, a freshman, joins The Bellas, her school’s all-girl singing group. Within that group there are different personalities as with any group. There is competition and comradery which in the end proves beneficial for all.
I was sent an inbox message on Stage 32 from a gentleman wanting to know the best way to approach networking through the site. Here’s what he wrote, “I’m a screenwriter from South Africa so I obviously want South Africans in my network as well as international contacts. My strategy in LinkedIn is to network with producers, directors and actors rather than writers and it works. I never accept people I don’t actually know or haven’t corresponded with. But here on stage 32 I have all these random invitations. I actually feel like deleting everyone and starting over. Advice?” Of course, I always have advice!
1. Unlike LinkedIn, Stage 32 is specific to the entertainment industry so it’s okay to accept people you don’t know. After all, it is “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” so you never know who in your connections may know someone you eventually want to meet. A director or producer you’d like to read your screenplay may have worked with an actor or editor who has sent you a request. It’s great to be specific with strategy, and it also helps to have numbers when making requests.
2. That said, YOU can have a networking strategy similar to your strategy on LinkedIn because Stage 32 makes it easy to search by classification and location. You can allocate an hour a day to search for producers (reading their bios) to see who produces the genre of your screenplays.
3. It’s great to have a network where you live, my question is where do you want your screenplays produced? This is an online community so you want to focus your time on the producers who live where you want your screenplays produced. If you don’t particularly care, you just want them made, than target countries/cities with major production companies.
4. On Stage 32, they have new and archived webinars. The teachers of those webinars are people who you know are active in the industry. By watching their webinars, you have a reason to reach out to them and start a “mentor” type of relationship.
5. Last but certainly not last (just last for this article) is the lounge and blog areas, where again, you can find pros posting and other members who are “making things happen.” Take the time to build relationships with them.
1. Allocate time to building relationships on Stage 32.
2. Review the webinar archives and create a target list of people with whom you want to build relationships.
3. Watch their webinars so you have a great conversation starter when reaching out for advice and guidance.
Just because The Bellas were diverse didn’t mean they couldn’t work together. Work with your online community to help each other succeed.