Just returned from SXSW festival and gearing up for the Atlanta Film Festival (The Last Fall), LA Women's International Film Festival (Save Me) & Women's International Film & Arts Festival (Grace).
At the same time, following up the with connections made at SXSW and dealing with distribution and selling The Last Fall.
So I got into Houston Thursday evening, rented a car Friday morning and drove into Austin. Our premiere was Friday night. We had so much to do. Had to pick up badges, get our posters up, pass out postcards, press, etc...Barely had time to change clothes and throw some makeup on.
Time to hit the red carpet. I kept asking Matthew if he was nervous, because he looked like it wasn't phasing him at all. Now me on the other hand, I was a borderline nervous wreck and I know I was probably getting on his nerves by asking him every 20 minutes.
We arrive to the theater with barely enough time to set up our posters & swag. Didn't help that it was pouring down raining and we had to transfer everything from the trunk of the rental car to the theater all in my heels (whole other story! LOL).
Matthew, Lance & Ellis got to do their interviews and hit the red carpet. The place was packed. There was three premiere screenings going on back to back, so the lobby was packed. Which for me, translates into GREAT NETWORKING! LOL!
So we did our pics on the red carpet and then hit the theater. Sold out! Wow! Matt introduced the film, great energy, audience was engaged, the Q&A went well. It was over before you knew it. Me & Monica had to run out about 10 minutes before the film ended so that we can get everything set up because we were passing out swag: The Last Fall Gatorade Towels & Posters.
Seems like a blur!
However, I did have time to pop into the panel discussion with Joss Wheedon. GREAT INFO and more business cards collected! Immediately after was our 2nd screening. This screening was at a different theater, only 50 seats. Our publicists and our team invited a ton of bloggers, critics, sales reps, distributors, etc...We were sold out AGAIN and had to turn ppl away at the door. Good but bad. A few ppl tweeted about that. Oh well! We gotta get this film sold!
A few of the cast and crew had to relinquish our seats to make room for some of the sales reps and critics. We have seen it already, so no biggie. But while out in the hallway, met some more ppl and collected MORE business cards...and took a few pics! LOL!!
So on that note I was dog tired and had to head back to Houston...in the rain...in the dark...*sigh*
But the drive gave me time to clear my head and think about all the ppl that I had met during the whirlwind of the past 2 days. Now is when the part time job goes to full time, which leads me to the title of this post! LOL
I'm a big proponent of networking and talk about it incessantly with my REEL Ladies group. You have to treat it like a part time job and dedicate some time & energy into it! And one of the key things when networking is putting in time for the FOLLOW UP!
So what if you met so & so at an event and get their card. It doesn't matter if you don't follow up and actually call that person. That card is worthless!
But if you actually take the time to email &/or call, now you have changed the connection from a piece of paper to a possibility. I had about 15 cards of ppl I definitely wanted to follow up with immediately, and I did just that the next morning. I sent brief individual emails after checking out their info and websites. Introducing myself further and ending with wanting to connect further.
In the meantime I had also sent out an email blast to some key contacts BEFORE leaving for SXSW telling them about my current projects and film progress. So I had to follow up with ppl who were emailing back about future projects, meeting up, etc...
I had also promoted the films in a few of my producer groups and of course those ppl were reaching out as well.
So not only connecting with new contacts, but re-connecting with old contacts as well during this time was key. AND IT WORKED! Because not only was I promoting The Last Fall and SXSW but the other projects and festivals that my films were in and the current projects I am developing.
I had so many meetings lined up for when I returned just looking at my calendar had my brain reeling. I had overbooked myself! This part time job is now turning into full time LOL!
And the meetings this week went very well, with more lined up next week. I need to sit and dialogue with ppl, which always works in my favor! Last night's great Producers Networking event solidifies that and provided even MORE ppl I have to follow up with and make a deeper connection. More hours...
So today is my day off from this part time job and just taking time to enjoy who the Lord has brought into my world these past few weeks. Lounging on my couch grateful for the journey. Hard work, but I'm loving it.
Back at it on Monday!
I will end with this quote that one of my mentors used frequently: "It's not just WHO you know, but who knows WHAT about YOU"!