Do you ever feel like you don’t have a pressing need to be networking?
You may have a lot of things weighing on you. Maybe there’s a big project at work, loved ones waiting for your attention at home, or you’re feeling a little burned out. With so many competing priorities, it can feel like you should spend your time elsewhere.
Yet you know that networking is a critical part of film and video making. It’s a collaborative art / business. Getting things accomplished often boils down to access to resources (people, places, or things). Without access, a project or career can stall pretty quickly. Maybe you’ve already felt that frustration.
That’s why it’s important to invest in networking opportunities – even when you don’t necessarily need something.
Concentrate on giving
Some would argue the very best time for networking is when you’re not seeking something in return.
That’s because relationship building starts with giving, not taking.
“We have to start realizing that giving and doing things in business, without expectation of return from the other individual, is probably the greatest leverage you could deploy in your business life – though it is extremely rare in today’s business environment,” says Gary Vaynerchuk.
Watch the video below to hear Vaynerchuk share these thoughts on giving without expectations. (Note: He uses language that’s not safe for work.)
A giving mindset is one of the most powerful things you can bring to a networking event.
Concentrating on what you can give shifts your energy and focus. You’re no longer weighed down by worrying about yourself, your projects, and what you need. It’s very freeing to be more in the moment at an event, focused on the people you’re meeting.
Focusing on the person in front of you helps you more actively listen during conversations. That’s one way you form more deeper connections with the people you meet at networking events. And that’s what may eventually lead to collaborations that create award-winning work, open doors, and paid job opportunities.
This is true, even if you’re already friends or familiar with people in the room. If you recognize 75% of the faces at a networking event, that doesn’t meant that you’re missing out on potential connections. There are still new people to meet, deeper connections to form, and plenty of opportunities to collaborate. Even if you think you know someone well, there’s still plenty to learn about a person’s background and interests, not to mention ways you can help them succeed.
Show up consistently
When you show up to events regularly, you become a known quantity.
What’s a known quantity? It’s a person within a community who is established and recognizable. In other words, a known quantity is a reliable person who shows up consistently and provides support, insights, or connections even when they don’t directly or immediately benefit from it.
We’ve been hosting socials since 2009, and over the years we’ve seen handshakes turn into long-lasting relationships. Those relationships often lead to new collaborations, award-winning creative efforts, and paid job opportunities. But this rarely happens overnight. Those results begin with solid relationships among like-minded people.
Showing up to events consistently helps you meet people, gain a deeper understanding of the needs of others, and how you fit into the community.
It helps you become a known quantity – so that people think of you first when they need your support – which often leads to paid job opportunities.
Even if you don’t currently or actively need something, it’s good to show up to events consistently. There may come a day when you do need something, and it may take you some time to get back in the swing of things.
Add it to your agenda now
Life moves quickly.
It’s easy to let your priorities shift when you have too many demands, priorities, and expectations calling for your attention. But when you have committed to attending an event, it’s more likely that you’ll show up.
It’s proven that adding an appointment to your agenda makes it more likely that you’ll accomplish that goal. It’s true for creating a daily exercise routine, and it’s true for getting to a networking event. Add the upcoming events to your calendar now, so that you’re more likely to protect that time.
Better yet, call a friend and ask them to meet you there. If you have an accountability partner, you know you’re not flying solo, and someone is waiting and relying on you. That added societal pressure can be very motivating.
Make the commitment by registering to attend, showing up regularly, protecting that time, and adding appointments to your calendar now.
Attend these events
To help you find the resources, connections, and opportunities you need to succeed the TriFilm Society hosts events throughout the year. Some events are only for paid members, while others are open to the public. (We always specify those details.) Check out the calendar and blog for upcoming events.
There are lots of film-related events happening in the community, too!
Are you planning a film-related event such as a premiere of your new movie? Don’t forget to add it to the TriFilm community calendar using this form.