A student of mine recently told me that she loves acting but that she was “horrible at networking” and “shmoozing” and that she didn’t see the point. She worried this would stand in her way of making the right connections because it felt like she was “selling her soul”. And I knew what she meant.
But what if we turned it around and thought about souling our sell when we do our marketing or when meeting new people? (Cuz who wants to sell their soul?)
“When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”
The truth is, it’s kind of a bad blog title because honestly, we aren’t really selling anything at all, guys. But we definitely want to come from a soulful place, which is a place of service and adding value.
“When you shift away from selling yourself, pitching yourself and snagging that next job toward adding value and being of service, you’re going to immediately see some profound benefits. Your confidence will increase because you no longer feel needy and you no longer feel like you’re using people. You no longer feel like that guy.”
I learned a lot about marketing and networking from Dallas Travers who said that in her fabulous course “How to Say Stuff” and what she teaches really resonates with me. I have found that it not only works, but it feels good.
She taught me that my job is not to market myself or figure out what someone can do for me, it’s to build relationships. My job is to share, become known, build trust and be likeable. I like that. That doesn’t feels salesy it feels…well, soul-y.
So next time you go to an event for “networking” purposes, even if it’s your neighbor’s birthday party, resist the temptation to completely avoid talking about about yourself and your acting in conversation. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to pitch yourself, either. You might simply share one thing you are up to or that you’re looking forward to in your acting world. Or better yet, share something you’re afraid of. There’s power in vulnerability.
I plan on getting into a lot more marketing and networking nitty gritty in future posts, but hopefully this will help you get away from the idea that you should avoid all this for fear of selling your soul. You have so much to offer as an artist and it would be a shame if nobody knew it.