As someone who has spent over twenty years teaching people how to turn their networking into referrals, I found Luc Forsyth’s YouTube video on The Wrong Way to Network as a Filmmaker fascinating.
Why? For over the last two years, I have been turning my lifelong love and skills as a photographer/videographer into a growing business. I'm not phased by more experienced photographers and videographers. There's enough business for everyone.
Anyway, my primary 'point of difference' is that I almost certainly have more experience in marketing. So I focus on how to help businesses improve their marketing reach through the use of video.
My niche is Video Marketing for Small Business.
Back to Luc's YouTube insight:
Here are the notes from the video transcript.
In the competitive field of filmmaking, your visibility is paramount. Your talent alone won't suffice if key players are unaware of your existence. Networking, therefore, is not a mere social skill but a professional imperative. However, a misguided approach can render your efforts fruitless. This article distills insights from a seasoned filmmaker's experience, steering you away from common pitfalls and towards networking mastery.
Luc suggests that clients are less likely to search for you on Google and more likely to look for recommendations.
Understanding the Essence of Networking
Networking is often misconceived as a numbers game — the more people you know, the better. The truth is, that fostering deep connections with a handful of the right people is far more valuable.
Note: Deep Connections. Many photographers and videographers I know spend more time looking for new contacts to meet when they would do far better spending more time developing deeper connections with strategic partnerships and with their previous clients
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
1. The Unilateral Request: Many reach out asking for help without offering anything in return. This one-sided appeal is likely to be ignored because it overlooks the mutual nature of professional relationships.
2. Geographic Misalignment: Offering services to someone in a distant location is impractical. Building local connections can be more beneficial and logistically feasible.
3. The Anonymity Dilemma: Even well-intentioned offers to collaborate fall flat if the recipient has no sense of who you are. Personal rapport matters as much as professional competence.
The Right Way to Network
To network effectively:
– Target Networking: Identify and seek out individuals or companies that align with your professional goals.
– Personal Interaction: Forge a genuine connection by arranging face-to-face meetings where possible.
– Invest in Relationships: Prioritise quality interactions over quantity. A few strong relationships are worth more than countless superficial contacts.
– Provide Value First: Offer your skills or assistance before asking for favors. This demonstrates goodwill and professionalism.
If you are a seasoned or even aspiring videographer, filmmaker (or photographer) I would encourage you to watch the video and either agree or disagree with Luc’s advice.
Note: If you are not getting regular referrals from your trusted referral partners there is a reason. You need to know what that reason is and do something about it.
And, If you need someone to help you pinpoint the problem speak to someone who understands referral marketing and is in your business space.