Networking In Music: Tips On Making Connections In The Music Industry
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Every beginning is hard and challenging. Especially in music, and especially in this day and age. There are so many platforms, there’s competition, new stuff coming out every day. It gets overwhelming to keep up. It takes effort and investment (both financial and time investing) to bring your music out there, to promote it and to get it noticed. This is why networking and building connections with other people in the industry is important. So, lets get into talking a little bit more about this topic, and let’s start from the very beginning:
What is networking?
Networking is seriously an art. Though it may sound boring to you once we get into it, believe me, it’s important. It moves every industry, not just the music one. So, what networking does is – it builds connections between you, your work, and other people relevant to the field you work in (in this case it is music). These connections can get you to opportunities that will build your career up. And they don’t necessarily have to be musicians exclusively. There’s more to music than just music (this isn’t always good though). There’s marketing, there’s reviewing, there’s journalists and publishers and all these technical stuff that are important too.
Why is networking important?
Well, because it brings you to so much experience. And it builds you up not just in music, but also in general. Networking requires communication skills, requires contacting people, being contacted. It requires being in touch and keeping up. It helps you improve yourself, present yourself, but also be presented to things that you can find helpful and important. In all essence, networking is important for success.
How does networking work?
You need to make connections. It is as simple as that. Well, bluntly said like this it is simple as that. But here are some tips on how to make it happen:
Start from YOU
Build the concept you want to present. Business cards, social media pages. All of this is important. Networking today doesn’t have to always be real life meeting people, there’s also the virtual world in people can easily notice things. Plan exactly how you want to present yourself and your music. If you have a concept that is well built, it will definitely stick to people.
There is always a chance to make a connection with someone, anytime and anywhere
You never know. So make it your second nature. Always be prepared for it.
Having the right attitude
I am putting this here for a reason. Always be nice to people, and always have your manners. Especially if you are building a career in music, that brings the importance of reputation. You don’t want to be known as someone that was rude to someone on a party, or someone that wasn’t open to communication. I can tell you for sure that good attitude and professionalism open an incredible amount of doors. Always have this in mind.
Actively follow events, meetings, gatherings, conferences, whatever it is related and relevant to you and your career. Try to attend on such events because this is where you can make most of the connections. This is where you meet the people that you need to meet.
Don’t be afraid to strike a conversation
Be confident, but not arrogant. Approach people, don’t fear rejection and don’t worry about how things go from there. Just do you, and do your best.
Connection means both ways
Connection doesn’t always mean that it is you who connects with someone whose experience or position will be good for your upbringing. This goes both ways. Don’t forget that you too can be relevant to someone at that point, or, that you too should see what you can do for the other side. This is what builds relationships between people. The mutual interest and mutual investment, the respect and professionalism.
You can be on the same level with the other side
What I mean by this is that networking doesn’t always mean that you must only connect with someone that got further in their career than you did. A valuable connection to make in the industry, is a connection where you support the other side. If you meet another artist or a band, present yourself, and ask them who they are, what they do, and is there any way you can help in promoting and supporting their work. By supporting each other, artists (especially in smaller communities) can do great things. An example of this is the support that alternative artists give to one another in the area I live in. It resulted with a festival that goes on for more than ten years, it brings new artists every year and it just keeps growing.
I can not stress this enough. I personally consider music such a pure creation, and I think we should do everything we can to keep it as close to this pure as possible. So don’t go to people that you think are influential and trow your CD at them saying: “Hey man! Check out my music, tell me how you feel about this!”. It’s not how it works. Always be professional and learn how to communicate properly in order to present your work. These are the details that do wonders.
Don’t forget to return the favor
Don’t ever forget those who helped you build yourself up, even those who did the smallest amount of work to push you just a little bit further. If it wasn’t for that extra push you might have never been there. So, always make sure to show your gratitude. This doesn’t hurt at all, believe me.
To wrap it up!
To put it into a small list (sometimes I hate lists), let’s see how do we do a good networking:
- Have a good concept to present, put it on social media and business cards
- Attend events relevant to this matter
- Approach people with proper, professional communication
- Have a good attitude
- Always be prepared to support and help others in the industry if you can
Look, networking is building a relationship. And every relationship is based on good communication and mutual respect/investment in it. Networking does wonders and you should always make sure to improve your skills when it comes to it.