Working on building your music career?
Trying to improve your networking skills?
Whether you’re trying to build a career as a songwriter or you’re attempting to market a small record label, being a great networker is often the key to succeeding in the music industry.
Meeting others in the industry, making strong connections, and getting your music in front of the right people can all help you build a long-lasting and sustainable career. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Successful music industry networking requires the perfect combination of perseverance and tact to get right.
Luckily, we’re to help. Below we’ll give you our top tips learning how to network in the music industry.
1. Show Up
It may seem really simple, but half of the networking battle of networking is won by simply showing up.
You can sit in your bedroom making great music or dreaming about joining the ranks of successful music industry professionals, but nothing is going to happen if you don’t get out of the house every once in a while. Make sure that you’re regularly going out to events where you have the chance of meeting people in the industry.
The type of events you attend and the places you go will vary depending on what your personal goals are. Music industry mixers, conferences, open mic nights, concerts, festivals, or songwriting group meetings can all be great places to rub elbows with other people in the industry.
2. Have a Pitch Ready
If you’re serious about networking in the music business you need to write an elevator pitch and have it rehearsed and ready at all times. When you happen to meet a potentially important music contact or industry leader, you won’t always get a chance to sit down for a coffee and tell them your whole life story.
Sometimes you’ll only get a few seconds to shake someone’s hand and tell them exactly what you’re all about. Make sure you craft a pitch that quickly tells someone what you do, what you’re working on, and why they should care.
3. Assemble Your Promotional Materials
In addition to a spoken pitch, you also need to have the promotional materials to back your words up.
Make sure to get a business card that has your contact information on it and that you can easily hand off to someone who you want to keep in touch with. If you’re a musician, you’ll also want to have a demo and a press kit as well.
Even in the modern age, business cards and other promo materials are still essential. These things can help show others that you’re a professional and that you’re serious about what you do.
Remember to bring a business card or other promotional materials with you whenever you go out whether you’re heading to a networking event or you’re just going to the laundromat. You never know when an opportunity will come up.
4. Do Your Homework
When you’re planning on attending an event or networking function where you think you may meet some industry professionals, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you arrive.
If there are any speakers, performers, managers, record label executives, or other professionals that you know will be there, then take the time beforehand to look them up. Do your research online and find out a little bit about them. See if you can find out who they have worked with, what their biggest accomplishments are, and what their plans are for the future.
Doing this will give you a bit of conversational ammo and if you do get the chance to speak with them, they may be flattered when you ask them about something they’re working on.
5. Have the Right Attitude
When networking in the music industry, it can be hard to find a good balance between being persistent and being annoying.
Music industry professionals do a lot of networking and meet people constantly. They are often bombarded with people who want to “be discovered” or who want to work with them.
While persistence can be a good thing, you need to have the right balance and you need to know when what behaviour is appropriate. If you spot a famous record executive on a date at a quiet restaurant, for example, that’s probably not the best time to pass out your demo.
Remember that there is a time and a place for everything. Be persistent and motivated, but make sure you know where to draw the line.
6. Become a Giver
Too many people who are aspiring to be successful in the music industry make the mistake of focusing on their own needs first. However, if you want to survive in the music industry you need to learn how to be a giver.
Giving to other people you meet without an agenda or without it seeming like you just want them to give you something in return is incredibly refreshing. It’s also the opposite of what a lot of people in the industry are doing.
Always look for ways you can authentically help others, whether that means making an introduction or offering someone help on a project. By being the kind of person who gives before receiving, you’ll win the trust of others and will be more likely to succeed in the long run.
7. Master the Follow-Up
The final thing you need to remember when networking in the music industry is that a big part of your success will depend on how great your follow-up is.
Remember to get contact information when you meet other industry professionals. Then, reach out to them within a couple days to let them know you enjoyed meeting them. Have a plan for staying in touch with them, and don’t forget to contact them later on down the road.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you meet later on. Looking for ways to be giving towards them and offer value can serve as a great excuse to reach out and follow up later on.
Understanding How to Network in the Music Industry
If you’re trying to figure out how to network in the music business, the tips above should give you a great place to start. While there’s a lot more to know about surviving the music industry, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding by learning the art of networking.
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