Lessons Learned: Networking Basics

Networking is an important part of anyone’s career, especially those in the arts and entertainment industry. I was thinking about my family and how we have an author, an actor, an artist, and a musician in our folds. Even though the same principles apply to all of us for networking, we learned in different ways.

The author: Beth M James. I began to draw in readers long before “Gitana – Life Plan” was published. I attended classes to hone my skills and talk with other aspiring novelists. I became friends with those in my class, other writers, authors, and readers through groups and conferences. I also created my online presence, like this blog. I started my network before my career even began.

The actor: Nathan Dean Snyder. My nephew started in theater performing Shakespeare plays at the college he attended. After college he auditioned for commercials and TV shows, getting small parts here and there. By meeting other actors, they helped each other out by announcing who had auditions and where to go. He then co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in the movie “The Sigil.” He started his network by expanding his career from theater, TV, to movies—both in front of and behind the camera.

The Sigil Poster

The Sigil Poster

The artist: Pamela J. Snyder. My sister paints beautiful works of art on copper and on canvas. She attended classes with some well-known artists and became friends with other artists in the Sacramento area. She rented out space in two different galleries to sell her work. They took turns managing the stores and talking to customers. She then joined forces with two other artists to open their own gallery. During open houses, they could easily see 200 people a night. She started her network by combining forces with other artists.

Pamela J Snyder

Pamela J Snyder

The musician: Dean Snyder. My brother-in-law sings and plays guitar for enjoyment rather than as a career. Still, his story connects to networking. He volunteered to sing and play guitar at the gallery for one of my sister’s open houses. People loved him. They asked if he had a CD they could buy or if he’d play at one of their events. My brother-in-law politely declined their offers (nor did he have a CD to sell), but the potential was there. By helping my sister out, he had the opportunity to build his own network. He started his network by helping someone else.

We each had different ways to start our networks, but we had one common component as well. We had the support from people like us…other authors, actors, artists, and…musicians artist (okay so Dean’s doesn’t match but his story was a little different). I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my writing and author friends. Listen to your support group. Learn by what they do. And, help your friends out as well. Your network will grow.

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