The Importance of Building Your Professional Networking Account

networkingWhether you’re an actor, a fashion model, a music performer, or a business entrepreneur, having a professional networking account is a must.

Your professional networking account is your calling card. It’s the way you represent your talent and market yourself to professionals in your industry. It’s how you find work and how to build a name for yourself.

Here are some handy tips to help you to help you get started.

How to Create Your Professional Network Account Page and How to Promote It

1) Get Professional Headshots Made for Your Press Kit

How you look on camera is more important than you look in person. This might sound strange, but if your current headshots don’t show you in a good light, you likely won’t get the job.

That’s why it’s vital to find a skilled photographer for your headshots.

An expert photographer can make a big impact by using the expertise of lighting, shadow, and the right poses to create a variety of moods that sell your talent.

Make sure to find a photographer that specializes in your industry, for example, if you are a model, find a fashion photographer.

2) Hire a Professional Hairstylist

While you might be good at doing your own hair, you want versatility and variety for your portfolio pics.

A professional hairdresser can do your hair up in a French braid for a softer, country girl look or style your hair in a sophisticated chignon for an elegant, formal look for your pictures.

For a man, a professional hairstylist can use the right hair products to slick your hair down for a Don Draper business executive look, then make you look like an athlete or spike out your hair for a nightclub party-goer appearance.

This will help you vary your shots for your book.

While some photographers work with a hairstylist, it’s good to check first to see if you need to hire someone on your own for the shoot.

3) Find a Good Makeup Artist

Hiring a professional makeup artist is essential for your headshots.

While you want to shine on screen, you don’t want your face to look shiny in your pictures. That’s why makeup artists use face powder. Yes, even for men.

Makeup artists can use different shades of powder, contour, eye makeup and lipstick shades to create different character personalities to diversify your headshots.

Some photographers are skilled with makeup or have a professional they work with. So ask your photographer first before you hire someone.

4) Bring A Variety of Outfits to Your Photoshoot

Bringing a variety of attire to your headshot session helps you change up your appearance for different looks for your book.

For an athletic look, bring a baseball cap, jeans, and sneakers. Pack a suit for a business executive look. Take business casual clothing for an office worker style appearance. You get the picture.

If you have an agent, he or she can also make recommendations on what specific attire to bring to the photo shoot.

5) Update Your Resume

Your resume should be updated. It should also be geared to your profession.

That means if you work as a temp or a waiter to pay the bills, leave this information off your resume.

Focus your resume on the roles you are trying to attract. If you can afford to have a professional resume writer who has experience creating resumes for professionals in your industry, all the better.

6) Attend Networking Events Regularly

Attending industry networking events is key to meeting industry professionals. There’s some truth to the old adage, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”

Going to live networking events and mingling with the right people gives you an opportunity to make business contacts that you can send to your professional networking account page. It’s a great way to build leads for your career.

Make sure to work the room and meet as many people as you can. You never know who can help you in your career. This will be a challenge if you’re introverted or shy at networking events, but you need to push yourself past your comfort zone.

7) How to Prepare For Networking Events

Your Business Card

The first thing you need for a networking event is your business card. Make sure you put the website address to your professional networking account page on your business card.

This way it’s easy for your prospects to look you up quickly and learn about your expertise.

The Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a prepared speech of what you’ll say to contacts you meet at networking events.

It allows you to be succinct and narrow in on important information that will sell your skills without being boring and monotonous.

Your introduction should be between 20 and 30 seconds, no longer, like an elevator ride. Spend time writing it and get some help if you need it.

Listen More Than You Talk

At networking events, it’s wise to listen. You are there to learn about the people you meet as well as create career leads.

It’s easy for people to ‘go on and on’ if you’re nervous, that’s why the elevator speech works well.

Try to relax and listen and you’ll appear more interesting. Keep the conversation light, listen attentively. You never know what you can learn.

There’s a reason why we have ‘two ears and one mouth.’

8) Follow Up After the Networking Event

Following up is important.

Make sure you follow up after the professional networking event. Your contact may have collected many business cards from other industry professionals and may have a lot on their plate.

Following up will keep you fresh in their mind. Give them a phone call or send them an email reminding them of who you are about a week after the event.

Tell your contact you enjoyed meeting them and mention something from your conversation you enjoyed learning or discussing with them.

This makes us sound more pleasant and not like someone who blatantly appears like they want something from your contact.

Make sure your email contains a link to your professional networking account page in case your lead hasn’t had a chance to look you up.

Do you have any business networking tips? Leave them in the comment section below!