Authors and actors need to get their names out there. We need to meet industry professionals. But the plethora of in person and online networking opportunities and ways to best utilize them and time can overwhelm any feelancer. There’s social media from Facebook to Twitter. Sites such as Goodreads. Actual networking sites such as LinkedIn. Alumni and industry events, some free, some not. Friends connecting other friends.
How many sites should we be on? Should we blog, comment on comments–and what’s a good balance of self-promotion vs. contribution? Should we worry about how others perceive our online personas? How much time should we spend online and at events? What are the benefits of each opportunity?
Take LinkedIn. People often ask if creatives can benefit as much as corporate types seem to. Recently I’ve heard good things about LinkedIn Groups. I’ll investigate. I’m already in assorted author and actor groups, and will assess the pros and cons of even more emails to read. But you never know when a gem of an opportunity or information snippet will pop up.
Some things to consider about networking:
–Time and money spent vs. value obtained.
–The enjoyment of reading interesting posts and getting comments on your own carefully crafted contributions vs. allowing social media and events distract you vs. getting actual work done.
–Providing something useful vs. constant self-promotion.
–How much is too much?
–What’s appropriate vs. aggressive. Example: I was talking to an editor at a luncheon. An author came up to us, and without even introducing herself launched into her pitch.