Even the most talented creatives need a network of connections to share opportunities, promote efforts, and celebrate successes. That's why Daniel Jester, host of The Creative Operations Podcast, had Kaylah Key, founder of The Producers Agent, join the podcast.
Kaylah is a Dallas-based producer who, during the pandemic, launched The Producers Agent, connecting freelance production crew members to relevant projects. With Daniel, she talks about how to make meaningful connections that evolve into a reliable network.
THE PRODUCERS AGENT
Stream the episode on our website or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon Music. Or read for just a few pointers that came out of Kaylah's chat with Daniel.
Make a Connection, Not a Cold-call
There's no need to be bashful. Reach out to industry people who intrigue you, email them or comment on social posts with an invite to go beyond that quick interaction. "Try reaching out and saying, 'Hey, I really love your perspective on these things. Would you have 30 minutes to chat? I just want to.'" It's less about the means; of calling, emailing, social networking, and so on, and more about the mentality of wanting to know the person and not merely what they might offer you.
"You want it to be work-related so that you can eventually get work," Kaylah says. "But at the same time, that person does not want to be contacted by a used car salesman."
So without being completely utilitarian, politely invite a conversation and see what relationships deepen from it.
Try reaching out and saying, 'Hey, I really love your perspective on these things. Would you have 30 minutes to chat?
- Kaylah Key
Grow a Multi-city Network to Get Local Expertise
Get to know people in a multitude of cities, even if you don't yet imagine that market having relevance to you. It may eventually help you attach local talent to a project. By having a network, you find talent that you've vetted somewhat, save time constructing a team, and spare the expense of flying in so many people for a shoot.
"I can fly up to the Northwest and figure out whom I'm going to book location-wise, what talent I'm going to use, and so forth," Key says. "It just may take me twice as long because that's not my local market. I'm not comfortable. I don't know these people."
It's a case for getting local producers, especially. "Your local producers, the ones typically used for booking your location, scouting your talent, getting your permits through the local resources and so forth-those are going to be the ones that can do it the most efficiently," Kaylah says.
Talk with People Like They're People
Building relationships that go deeper than just work talk will, on top of making you a healthier and happier person, indirectly help your ability to assemble creative teams, because you gain an understanding of personality types.
"You're learning the person as a person, not necessarily on skill-set, because again, skill-set is something that, if that person is a hustler, if that person is attentive, or if that person wants to learn and has the drive, I personally prefer that person over somebody with an ego, somebody with entitlement and so forth," Key says.
You're learning the person as a person, not necessarily on skill-set, because again...if that person is a hustler...attentive...wants to learn, and has drive, I personally prefer that person over somebody with an ego.
- Kaylah Key
For the full chat, including Kaylah's sports agent aspirations and her story of flying out for a Gary Vaynerchuk seminar, find the full podcast episode on our site or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon Music.