Networking is one of the most important things you should be doing in your voice over career, especially if you’re still trying to drum up business. However, it’s something that many actors don’t prioritize, simply because it can be a hassle. Travel expenses, endless small talk with strangers, and time away spent from the studio can make networking a real drag. It’s a necessary evil, but there are a few things you can do to maximize your time spent rubbing shoulders with colleagues and others in the biz.
● Collect business cards - and lots of them. Each business card you get is the start of a possible opportunity to expand your career. It’s a tangible point of contact that may develop into your next big gig, and it’s important that you follow up to explore the possibilities.
● Be selective about handing out your own business cards. While you may be busy stuffing your pockets with others’ cards, be particular about who you gives yours to. You want to give them to folks who you can actually see yourself working with, rather than handing them out as a natural reflex when meeting someone new.
● Meet as many people as you can. Just because not everyone will get a business card from you, it doesn’t mean you should avoid them. By all means, talk to anyone and everyone you can! It’s kind of the point, after all. Be prepared to give your "elevator speech."
● Keep your brand in mind when talking with others. What are you about as a voice actor? What’s your niche? What do you want people to remember about you? As you interact with others, try to stay consistent with your own brand so that people are more likely to remember you.
● Make friends. Sure, the point of attending any networking event is to grow as a professional, but who says you can’t make friends along the way? In fact, I’d argue that developing and nurturing friendships is just as important as developing and nurturing professional relationships. Not only is this way more fun, but you just might find yourself relying on your friends in the future.