A Few Do’s And Don'ts If You Are Using The Internet To Network
Networking plays a HUGE part in making your career happen. If you are trying to network using the internet (email, social media messaging etc.) here are some things you might want to consider if you are attempting to contact MUAs , photographers or anyone really (and this definitely includes me). I will be covering this topic in more detail in future posts and videos because it is so important.
Generally speaking, a well written email is the most professional way to reach out to anyone in the industry via the internet. I recognize messaging over social media is a popular way of communicating, but at this point in time (and for me personally) I would much rather be contacted via email about potential jobs, collaborations, assistants etc. I would still advise you to email anyone you are interested in contacting, or send a follow up email after connecting with someone on social media.
Some other things to consider:
Understand that no one is obligated to email/message you back. No one owes you anything. Some people do not have the time, and there are others that are just not interested and that is fine. We’ve all been shut down and ignored by someone we've wanted to work with. Get used to it, it is going to happen more than once.
Repetitive emailing and messaging is annoying. Always put yourself in the position of the person you are contacting. Would you want five emails a week from the same person begging for work? Sometimes emails and messages fall through the cracks and following up is a great reminder, but if you receive no reply after a few attempts at contact - move on.
The next few points for me personally are things I can’t stand, and I know i’m not alone in this so pay attention here:
Don’t call me or anyone else babe, hun, doll or love (luv) - it’s weird and unprofessional and drives people nuts. It also shows a lack of respect. I doubt you call your doctor or lawyer ‘doll’.
Don’t abbreviate the name of someone you don’t know in your messages and emails. Ex: 'Ang' instead of Angie. You are just not that close.
Do your research before you make contact. Don’t just go on a mad emailing spree. Make an effort to personalize your emails, demonstrate you have some knowledge about the type of work the recipient of your email is doing. Make sure your career interests and your own work align with the type of work they do.
Skip the sob stories. Everyone has something they are dealing with in their own lives, save the feelings for something else.
Get to the point. You have a few seconds to make someone decide if they are going to continue reading your email or not.
Do include examples of your work in your email. Make sure you have a link to your website (not an instagram profile) and make sure that the images you are posting in your portfolio are examples of your best work. *This is a whole other topic that I will be covering off in the future.*
Use proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar. If you aren't sure have someone quickly proof read the email you are about to send. Skip the emojis and chat abbreviations. Ex: 'OMFG Ang I luv ur werk LMK if u need an assistant THX 🙌🏻😍😩' .
A few things to think about if you are contacting me specifically (and I can go as far as saying this will likely annoy other MUA's as well).
I am not here to consult with you about your own makeup regimen or skin issues. Go to your local department store or Sephora and ask someone there for assistance if you need help managing your breakouts.
Do not ask me to provide you with a shopping list of what you need for your kit. If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.
Please do not ask me to critique photographs of your work, or review and consult on your portfolio. I could dedicate an entire blog post to why this is something I am not willing to do (especially for free) but in short: understand that effective critiques of any kind require time, thought, discussion, and education. You owe it to yourselves and your careers to want more than what can be offered in a direct message.
Networking is such a complex and challenging thing. What I have written about in this blog post is really just the tip of the iceberg. All of this is about common sense, treating the people you want to work with in the future respectfully, and also having enough respect for yourselves and your own businesses to want to put your best foot forward at all times.