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How to Network in the Music Industry: Successful Business Networking Tips, Basics & Career Advice
- Categorized in: Artist / Band, Best Practices & Tips, Business Networking, Conferences & Expos, Events & Festivals, Goal Setting & Planning, Management, Marketing & Promotion, Music Industry, Publicity & PR
What is networking about? As the saying goes, "It is not what you know or do, it is who you know." While technology is a reliable tool for artists to spread the word about their music, the most effective medium to get music publicized, heard, distributed or artist booked is through people. DIY (do it yourself) musicians can become successful, but the odds are stacked up against them because being an expert in everything is literally impossible. Writing great songs is a challenging task as it is. Focus on your strengths and delegate everything else to others whose strengths are your weaknesses.
The objective for artists looking to become successful is to delegate tasks to individuals who are experts in those fields. Finding who these people are can be accomplished through networking. You can start with family, friends and then reach out beyond that. This will ensure that you increase your odds for being at the right place and the right time. Sitting at home doing nothing will not get anyone anywhere, however great of an artist one is.
As your network grows, problems become easier to tackle because you can identify people that can effectively solve with those issues. Before you network, it is recommended that you do your homework and figure out the areas where you have weaknesses in and then finding the appropriate network and resources that can help you turn those weaknesses into strengths. It is critical that the networking relationship is a reciprocal one and the individuals you are networking with are appreciated and respected. Successful networking is linking together people who can help each other out through trust and relationship building.
Things to keep in mind:
- Networking is about being genuine and authentic
- Figure out what you are trying to accomplish so that you can select who can be a suitable candidate to help you get what you are looking for. Focus on quality contacts as opposed to quantity.
- Have plenty of professianal looking business cards to give out and be visible. Do not be shy.
- Make a positive first impression. Make a powerful impression by asking them what they do before talking about what you do. Make them feel comfortable talking to you. Embrace all people, not just the right people. Who knows, they might be the next Bill Gates. Everyone demands respect and a second chance.
- Ask questions that are discussion-friendly. Questions relating to "who, what, where, when, and how" can be more effective than ones that can be answered with a mere "yes or no." This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them and makes you more memorable. Questions such as "How did you get started in your business?" , "What do you enjoy most about what you do?" and "How can I know if someone I am speaking with would be a good prospect for you?" can be impactful.
- Honor people's time and pay attention when people are talking to you.
- Become an expert in your field so that others can turn to you for input, suggestions and ideas. make it easy for them to reach you.
- Have a clear perspective about why you do what you do, what you represent and seperates you from the crowd.
- Learn how to pitch in 3 or less sentences. Keep the pitch under 30 seconds.
- Make small talk, establish common bonds and schmooze. Offer your help.
- Follow up quickly with the people you connected with and thank them for their time. Make sure you let them know that you you found their input valuable and would love to extend the conversations further and keep them in the loop about what you are doing.
- Be a matchmaker. Introduce and help others connect with each other. This is a skill influential and powerful people have.
Artists looking to find people to fill positions that require unique skillsets can reach out to individuals including:
- Booking Agents
- Recording Engineers
- Video Crew & Editors
- Web Designers
- Online Marketer (SEO, SMO)
- Graphic Artists
Musicians can also target people that can help create new opportunities for them as well as introduce their music to a new audience. These people include:
- Music Journalists
- Radio Hosts & DJs
- Music Website Owners
- Booking Agents
- Concert Promoters
- Venue Owners
- Video Game Designers
- Music Directors
- Film & TV Scouts for Music
- Companies & Brands
- Other Artists/Musicians/Bands
- Your SuperFans
Networking is all about ongoing relationship building. Build relationships that last and always strive for growth and volunteering your time and resources to others with great need. Online networking can be very valuable as well. Finding communities online with similar interests is the name of the game. Interaction, communication and sharing is what the web is all about. Reach out and touch everyone and your network will expand significantly. Become the ultimate connector.
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