Though the professional dance world has more auditions than it does career fairs, it is just as important for dance artists to build and maintain professional identities as it is for anyone else. Here are a few more rules dancers should keep in mind while building a professional image, although most of them are universally applicable.
3. Start blogging, but be sure you have something to say.
Blogs are a great way for dance professionals to highlight their personalities, and to develop their voices as artists. Note that it is important to keep the content on a blog professional; a blog post should not include personal rants or overly graphic details about the blogger’s life. A blogger needs to decide what his or her audience is and then write to the needs and interests of that audience.
To get more traffic on a blog, a blogger can share his or her blog posts on different social media outlets. Bloggers can also ask family members and friends to help get the word out to potential readers, and can comment on other blogs to establish a voice in the blogging community.
4. Let people know how they can contact you.
Make business cards to make networking a breeze! If you’re just getting started, Vistaprint is a great website to check out. The site offers 250 free business cards; you can choose from a wide variety of designs and styles, and you only pay for delivery. Vistaprint’s homepage offers other “free” professional services as well, including logo design, websites and e-mail marketing assistance.
If you use social media, be sure to link your social media profiles and websites to one another. Most social media pages allow you to include contact information on the “Profile” or “About Me” page; professional websites always include a “Contact” page where this kind of information can be listed.
E-mail signatures can be programmed to include contact information as well. Customize your signature (This option also can often be found under the E-mail Settings menu) to include relevant contact information at the end of each e-mail you send.
5. Know how to network, and do it well.
Professional networking events are frequent nowadays, and for a good reason – they are a great way to meet people and to make oneself known in a professional community. But don’t let networking events be the only time you make professional connections. You never know who you will meet and who that person may know who can help you further your career. For that reason, tell everyone about what you do for a living, and be proud of it! If you have big dreams and you believe in yourself, people will be lining up to help you succeed.
Once you have built your professional network, it is important to keep relationships at a low simmer. If you reach out to someone only when you want something or need help, that person may be less inclined to help you than he or she would be if you touched base more frequently.
If you haven’t already, check out Building a Professional Image (Part 1), and stay tuned for Part 3!