The topic of networking has been covered ad nauseum.
Screenwriters know they should do it, but many avoid it.
And frankly, most aren’t very good at it.
How do I know?
Because I’ve been on the wrong end of many an awkward encounter =/
So Screenwriting Success Habit #4 is… networking!
And I’m going to cover this topic in a way that (hopefully) spurs you to action, and doesn’t involve paralyzing strategies like memorized “openers,” gimmicks, or lines.
First, here’s the proper mindset to have while networking.
When done effectively, networking is performed palms up, not palms down.
What this means is that you should always be looking to provide value first.
Yes, even if that means getting nothing in return.
I have found incredible success (and I know writers having incredible success) because they ask people the following questions:
- How can I be of service to you?
- What can I contribute to you?
- How can I add value to you?
And as trite as it sounds, when you give, you really end up receiving so much more.
Because you will build a web of relationships, and you will build good will.
And there’s no price tag for that.
Now here’s the kicker.
You do have to be good at giving, and you have to add value to people’s lives.
But you must also cultivate the ability to receive.
It’s a two-way street.
You have to let people know that you are willing to contribute, but once the tables are turned, you must not be ashamed to ask for what you want in return.
Second, who should you network with?
Here’s the thing.
In terms of networking, we tend to limit ourselves to who we think we need to know in order to penetrate Hollywood.
So when I talk about networking, I am not solely talking about attending screenwriting functions.
I am talking about actually building relationships in all aspects of business.
Take me, for instance.
I skydive, I run marathons, I go to wine tastings, and I take cooking classes.
You’d be surprised at some of the non-Hollywood people I have met at these events through whom I have been introduced to screenwriting material.
Now tomorrow I’m going to give you a real-world example of a very famous screenwriter who networks better than just about anyone I’ve ever met.
I’m also going to give you my unvarnished opinion of the Internet, and whether it’s a viable medium for networking, even if you don’t live in Los Angeles.
And finally, I’ll give you the most important screening quality you need to cultivate in order to do this networking thing properly and successfully.
All that and more in tomorrow’s email, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, do you want my personal help in your screenwriting career?
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