Networking within the music industry can open doors to new opportunities, expand your fan base and increase the number of shows you do. However, some people struggle with networking because they feel out of their comfort zone or simple don’t know where to begin.
The tips below will help you to put yourself forward and find the best way to make those all important connections.
(1) Show Others the Value you Bring Them: Networking events can just be filled with people wanting to get their name out there and rub shoulders with the correct people. In a way they can be selfish with people only having one thing on their minds…themselves. Look at these events in a different light and focus on building a relationship with the people you meet. People are more likely to remember you and want to get in contact with you again if you go out of your way to help other people, maybe by putting them in contact with someone you know that could help with their problem.
(2) Questions: Asking questions is very important as it shows others you’re taking an interest in what they’re discussing or need help with. By asking the relevant questions you gain a better understanding of what they are about, which helps your relationship to progress. Asking questions can be more important than a pitch you’ve created as it shows your true interest.
(3) Pitching: Find a way to get across what you do in a short yet descriptive way to whomever you’re talking to. A long winded introduction leads people to lose interest and zone out from what you’re talking about. Short and sweet is always a good choice.
(4) Be Conscious: Don’t drown loads of people with information about what you do. Establish the people that have relevance to what you do, what you need or what you have to offer. Focusing on these individuals gives you a better advantage for your outcome, instead of focusing on people who have no significance to your end goal.
(5) Maintain Focus: Act professional when you’re around others and maintain this when you’re communicating via emails. Also, make sure your emails contain relevant information and you have the correct grammar. A short, sloppy email is likely not to get a reply.
(6) Think from a Different Perspective: Don’t just focus on the main people you need to connect with in order to achieve your goal, e.g. record producers or label managers. Look outside of the industry roles and see what else you’d need to launch your music career. You’ll need advertising, like posters and flyers, so why not connect with someone in the printing business.
(7) Connect: By connecting with different people you gain more contacts for yourself. Put yourself forward first and introduce yourself, this shows you’re confident and want to network with others. Also, connect people you meet with other people that could help them. This increases your chances of hearing back from people and others may also return the favour.
(8) Rejection: Not everyone has time for what you have to offer, or they are simply uninterested, so accept the rejection and move on. Don’t waste your time or energy posting negative feedback or reviews for others to see as you may come off in a bad light, let it go and make new connections.
(9) Get Involved: Offer your help and resources to other people. Networking pays off when you go out of your way to help others, even if it’s just 10 minutes of your time. You will begin to make more contacts the more you volunteer with other organisations and businesses.
(10) Follow Up: Always remember to follow up with people you’ve connected with to strengthen that partnership. Sometimes people just need a general reminder with an email or phone call and it also shows your commitment. Plus it’s always just good to check in with others, see what they’re up to and how they’re getting on. Once you get in the cycle of regular follow ups it will become a regular thing and you are likely to see your connections expanding.
The tips above are a few ways you can get the most out of networking and how to build on a partnership. Remember not to be selfish and think of only yourself, put yourself out there and help others as well, this is likely to gain you more recognition.