When I moved to Atlanta in late 2017, I set out to make strides in my career that I didn't make when I lived in Los Angeles. Moving gave me the motivation to give myself a reset and focus on my progress more than I ever had before. I set out to create opportunities for myself and work as hard as I could to make my dreams come true. My main career lanes were hosting, modeling, and writing. I learned all about the industries, got to know the players and put in the time creating content and developing relationships. In less than two years, I've worked with brands such as Chevrolet, W Hotel, The Curvy Fashionista, Black Girl Beautiful, Afropunk, Peters Street Station, and most recently landed my own short segment on aspireTV.
Many people have asked me about my journey and love the idea of being a host, but struggle with knowing how to get started. Here's a few of my best tips to help you get the ball rolling.
Start with Just One Gig First
Don't try to overwhelm yourself with the thought of hosting to a crowd of 50,000 at a show in Madison Square Garden. Just start with one and go from there. Volunteer to host an open mic night at a local bar, your friend's birthday party or a dance contest. Set up an interview with a local leader and record it on your camera phone. Start a podcast and book your first guest. Just start small at first. Use your contacts to get you in. Someone is sure to give you a shot. Do a few for free, then work on asking for a rate to host. Most hosting gigs start at about $50/night, but don't limit yourself. Do some research on rates. Build up your resume and keep going.
Post Your Progress
Take your followers along with you on our journey by posting plenty of images and videos to your social media accounts and blog. Tell them about your highs and lows of what you want to do. This will build a loyal fan base that cares about you and your career. It also gives you valuable content as a visual resume. Once you've gathered enough content, put together a hosting reel.
Start Focusing on Quality
Once you get comfortable, start deciding exactly what type of hosting you want to do. If you've done enough gigs, you should have some idea of what type of hosting you love (and what you might NOT love). The sooner you know this, the better. Write down a few goals, long- and short-term. This will give you more direction as you start to choose more gigs. Start booking AND creating exactly the types of work you want. Limit any work that pulls you away from your ultimate goal.
Manage Your Brand
At this point, there are a few key things you should have that will make you look a bit more legitimate. Those being: a pleasant looking and organized website (with SEO optimization), consistent social media profiles, and a hosting reel. Bonus if you have a media kit that lists your experience in detail. If you need help with any of these, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always Be Pitching
You should be spending a good amount of time pitching yourself to new projects, brands and events. Sliding in the DMs is not just for dating! There are tons of opportunities that are literally just a message away. And it doesn't have to be anything major or long-winded. Just something to get the conversation started.
Start with a short template text and go from there. Something like, "Good afternoon! I saw your post about an upcoming event and was wondering if you all needed a host. I've been hosting for over 3 years and I think your event is a great fit. Check out my profile and website for more info. When is a good time to discuss?" If you feel weird about this, remember: you do not have the luxury of humiliation. Go out there and get it!
I hope these tips were helpful. If you have any questions, please email me and let's chat: email@example.com. Thanks for reading!