video production networking

Video Production Networking (Quick Guide)

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We’ve all heard that advice “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. In this article, we look at video production networking including a few quick tips on how to approach people.

Firstly, there are many reasons you may have chosen a career in video production. However, the one thing we all have in common is our need to earn a living. While you may love your job, and filmmaking is your passion, we all have bills to pay.

Video production networking is an essential part of any videographers tool kit and should be considered carefully. Fortunately for you, we have broken down the main five types of film networking that you can attend. Also, we give a few tops tips for how to build relationships with potential clients.

Types of Networking for Video Production

There are lots of different types of networking for video production, while it all might boil down to people talking in a room, each has its pros and cons.

You may find it challenging to know what type of video production networking is best for your business. But more often than not, the choice will be more about the networker than what they’re pitching.

Even if you suffer anxiety in social situations such as networking, there will be a type that works for you.

#1. Free Networking

Firstly it is vital to mention that free networking doesn’t necessarily mean that it has no cost attached to it. Some meetings will require you to purchase a ticket and even if entry is free, you will likely spend something on refreshments.

Free networking is named as such because there is no particular structure to the event. Anyone can attend, and there is no schedule or itinerary for the meeting. Instead, free networking consists of a lot of business professionals going to a bar/pub/club and talking with anyone that they find interesting.

A considerable advantage of free networking for videographers is that they are generally very cost-effective. Especially if you keep an eye on how much you drink, but it can be difficult to make personal connections.

As everyone is there to find new clients, there can be a lot of selling in the room without much buying. Free networking is an excellent place for video production companies to fine-tune their pitches, and get an introduction to business networking.

#2. Membership Networking

There are many paid business groups such as the IoD (Institue of Directors) and FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) that offer membership networking functions alongside the other benefits and services they offer.

A lot of Film & TV Membership Networks also have an online platform where you can connect with other members. You can also view their profile, website and social links, and communicate with them publicly or privately.

These platforms can be beneficial, as they allow you to research and connect with potential clients before attending a meeting. This can help in boosting your confidence when approaching them.

#3. Referral Networking

Referral networking is the most structured form of all the networking options but does not suit everyone. Companies like BNI or The Business Referral Exchange will provide its members with a regular set meeting which will follow the same itinerary each week.

The meeting format will change from group to group, but will generally consist of a 60-second pitch from each member. Also, it usually includes a more extended presentation from the member of the week and a specified ‘Referral Exchange’.

Referral networking works on the basis that everyone in the group actively seeks referrals from their contacts for other members of the group. Most referral networking groups offer exclusivity, meaning if you join, you will be the only video production company in your group.

Group sizes can vary considerably, but more people doesn’t necessarily mean more leads. For referral networking to work for you, you will need to put time and energy into getting to know the other members of your group, and bringing them leads.

If you choose this route, make sure you visit your proposed group before signing up for anything. Also, referral networking can be expensive, so it is vital to know the group your choice will work for you.

#4. Social Networking

Firstly, social networking is something every video production company should be doing. It’s 100% free, and you don’t even need to leave your house. Linkedin and Facebook can be great tools for finding people who need your services, but it takes time and an abundance of patience.

Secondly, you need to make sure you have a Facebook page set up to deal with business enquiries that will direct visitors to your website or other contact information. Join various business groups that suit your target market and location and introduce yourself to the group.

Share helpful information and participate in other peoples social posts, be respectful, helpful and above all active.

#5. Co-Working Space

In recent years, more and more small video production companies choose to hotdesk. This is usually through various office memberships not only for the available work space, but for the networking opportunities that come from spending their days working alongside other small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Shared working environments such as WeWork and Coworker are a great place to meet other small businesses. It offers ‘water-cooler’ moments that you don’t get at any other type of networking.

Office space and hotdesking is costly and might be something that you don’t need. However, if you do decide to look at Coworking spaces as an option, it is certainly worth considering the other businesses in the building as well as the mixers the office runs for its members when it comes to making your decision.

Top 5 Tips for Video Production Networking

Now you know the different types of video production networking events, let’s look at some top tips for making those connections.

  1. It goes without saying that a little kindness goes a long way.  Be polite and approachable; you’ll inevitably encounter people who might not be your cup of tea, but you should remain professional at all times.
  2. You may think that getting around everyone in the room will give you the best chance at booking work – you would be wrong. People don’t just want to get your business card stuffed in their hand as you hurriedly say something about video. Take your time, chat to people, learn about their businesses, answer their questions – be interested in what they’re doing.
  3. Don’t just cut a conversation short as soon as you find out they don’t need or want your services. They might know someone who does or needs them down the line. Likewise, if you know someone in your personal network that might need someone else’s services, make sure you connect them. People tend to remember helpful people.
  4. Use your video production networking events to take images, video clips or write a blog that can be shared on your social platforms. This will help with your digital networking.
  5. One of the biggest things people forget to do is to follow up. After the event, add everyone you met as a contact on Linkedin. Try to personalise the message to let them know when you met them. Email any leads you found at the event, request a follow-up meeting or call so you can get to know their needs more.

Wrapping Up – Video Production Networking

So that’s it! 5 types of video production networking avenues where you can find clients. Also, some quick tips you can use to improve your networking game and gain confidence. Now get out there and make some new connections. 👍

Looking for more creative/low budget work? No worries. We also have an article more specifically on film networking.

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