Networking To Increase Your Business

new photo of meIts been almost three two years since I started The Hair & Makeup Artist Network and it certainly has not been without its challenges. I think the most challenging part is that I have created something entirely new. When I say “new”, I means there isn’t anything out there quite like what we are offering. My vision is to start a network that offers one resource for all your freelance business needs. I envision a resource where there are networking events, information about what is happening in your area, marketing services, website design, business education, and business resources.

It’s hard being a freelance artist, and in many ways it can be very isolating. The problem is that artists aren’t business people, but the reality is that you are running a business. What’s even harder is trying to get artists to change the way they approach their craft. I have often heard artists complain that there isn’t any work or they feel that there isn’t any respect for the work they do. However, I have over and over again watched artists not show up for networking opportunities or behave in ways that aren’t professional. The reality is that no one is going to take you seriously if you don’t act like a business professional. You can’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring, you can’t rely completely on an agent to get you work, and you can’t make appointments with people then constantly reschedule and expect for someone to take you seriously. Working as a freelance artist is a business. If you want respect and if you want to work, you must learn how to run a business -period!

If you are not willing to self-promote then you need to chose another profession. Self-promotion is a very long term ongoing commitment. It’s not something you can do once or twice then quit once you have achieved your goal. It’s not something that you can expect to do one time and receive instant results from. You have to approach it like a business. Taco Bell has been a successful business for over 20 years yet they still continue to advertise. Why, they advertise so they can keep people coming back, and they want to attract new customers. They don’t put out one ad campaign and wait for people to come. It works they same way with getting work as a freelance artist. You have to keep advertising and networking. Networking is not something that necessarily generates instant results. It is a long term ongoing commitment to your business. You go to networking parties to meet people and build relationships. Relationships take time build. And just because the party you went to didn’t have Ron Howard begging for your card doesn’t mean it was a waist of time. You never know who knows who or where your next job will come from. Here are a few networking tips:

* Go to every networking party or dinner you can
* Pass out your card to everyone but more importantly get their business card
* Follow up with the people you have met right away and continue to stay in contact with them at least by email
* Don’t go to just one event and decide networking didn’t work for you
* It’s ok to spend money on networking – think of it as investment in your business
* Make sure you get a receipt for any thing purchased (food, drinks, networking admission) – It’s all tax deductible

We offer networking events every month. Next month we are co-sponsoring networking parties for both LA Femme Film Festival and Sreamfest LA. For more info visit: http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com

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September 25, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist.

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