This guest post is authored by Jodie Bentley, the co-founder and owner of The Savvy Actor. Jodie is an entrepreneur, career coach, teacher and professional actor in New York City. After graduating with a BFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts at the Stella Adler Conservatory, she discovered her other loves — sales and marketing. Jodie built her own successful sales and marketing company from the ground up.
Her company laid the foundation for her success in the business of acting, and developed her keen eye and savvy gift for helping other actors achieve their own goals. As an actor, Jodie has played leading roles in workshops of new musicals and plays at the York Theatre, New World Stages, The Workshop Theater and all over NYC. Some of her favorite regional roles include: Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), They’re Playing Our Song (Sonia), Sylvia (Sylvia), and Prelude to a Kiss (Rita). She also works frequently in commercials, soaps, voiceovers and print.
We’re very excited to have Jodie contribute to Stage 32 as a guest blogger. Enjoy.
The Key to Genuine Networking: Introductions
Networking. This can be the bane of most actors’ existence. I know it used to be for me. But building relationships is really what this business is all about. I spent a lot of time wanting people to “like” me, but too afraid to let my guard down and be myself … just in case they didn’t. Rather than actually building relationships, I was succumbing to my own ego and fears. What I wasn’t doing was placing my focus on the other person and creating a connection.
Because of fears and negative connotations associated with networking, we’ve decided to take the pressure off and encourage our Savvy clients to “go out and enrich their Support System.” After all, isn’t that precisely what you’re doing when you’re networking? The important thing to remember is that we all need support. We all need our team of people who we trust and are keeping our best interests in mind. This is why we encourage clients to connect to people in a genuine way.
The key to being a genuine networker, is to become a master at making introductions. By doing this, you’ll build both your own support system as well as those people you are introducing. By mastering the following simple tips, you will draw people to you and make starting conversations a breeze.
Tips on making excellent introductions:
1. This one may be obvious but say the person's name — first and last —especially if the introduction is of a professional nature or involves the industry. And always repeat it. Give people a second chance to hear the name. Example — Kelly this is David Jones. David this is Kelly Porter.
2. Give people a frame of reference when you introduce them. Example — Kelly this is David Jones. David this is Kelly Porter. David and I just met and he is a director and Kelly is a performer and one of my closest friends.
3. Say something nice about the person and point up their strengths or successes. Example — Kelly this is David Jones. David this is Kelly Porter. David and I just met and he’ s a director with a show opening next week that sounds AMAZING and Kelly is a performer who is one of my closest friends and she is the most heartfelt dancer you will meet.
4. If you know of any similar interests or any commonality, be the spring-board to jumpstart a conversation between the two people you are introducing. Example – Kelly this is David Jones. David this is Kelly Porter. David and I just met and he’ s a director with a show opening next week that sounds AMAZING and Kelly is a performer who is one of my closest friends and she is the most heartfelt dancer you will meet. And you both went to NYU.
If you can make kick-ass introductions and connect people instantaneously, you’ll be looked at as “the connector,” “the node,” “the networking guru.” And that makes you someone EVERYONE wants to know — and that’s cool. Not to mention savvy.