From D.C to Hollywood it has been said that “It’s all about who you know.” Connections are a major driver on the road to success, whatever the destination.
Unfortunately, many independent authors and musicians have the unrealistic expectation that they will be picked up by a major publishing house or music producer based solely on their amazing talent. While we won’t argue about talent today, we will focus on the importance of connections.
Undiscovered talent is just that: undiscovered. Even if your friends and family know how incredibly gifted you are, if they have no power to move you ahead in your career, you can still consider yourself undiscovered.
A first step in developing the right connections is to determine where you want to take your writing or music career. Are your goals to retire to the ranch in Maine and happily write all of your days while Hollywood makes movies out of your thrillers? Easier said than done, but Stephen King did it. Are your musical aspirations to be a successful self-managed indie artist that makes a decent living doing what you love? Either way, you need people to help you along the way.
Networking is not an activity exclusively reserved for salespeople. It does not happen exclusively at Chamber of Commerce mixers either. According to Dictionary.com networking is a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.
Let’s say you know a literary agent but he does not handle your genre. By networking with him, you could strengthen the relationship to the degree that he would feel comfortable recommending you to his friend who isn’t an agent but works for a publishing house and deals with agents of various genres every day. In referring you, the first agent is putting his reputation on the line because if you fail to deliver, he is associated by proxy to the outcome. That is why it pays to really get to know the people within your sphere of influence, develop meaningful relationships with them, so that the referrals and recommendations are value driven.
A great way to promote yourself that is free and easy is with Social Media. (A book review by a fan on YouTube is a great idea for authors). Social Media is NOT a golden ticket, but it is a face card that you should have up your sleeve. You should either know how to do it and do it yourself or know what it’s about and hire a virtual assistant to handle it for you.
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About the Author: Michele Jennae, owner of influenSPHERE, a Networking & Business Relationship Consulting company, helps new and established business professionals discover and fully utilize their inherent networking strengths to have greater positive impact in their sphere of influence through a mix of old-school networking techniques with a healthy dose of online networking.
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Tags: networking, self promotion, Social Media, youTube