Martini Rox: The art of networking in the music industryWritten by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Networking is discussed often in the music industry, but it is hardly ever explained. Here are a few tips to help further your journey.
Find an appropriate venue: Artists can get anxious and desperate upon seeing or meeting someone they feel can make all their dreams come true. However, shoving a CD in their face while they are at a business dinner or with loved ones will not make you memorable in a favorable way. There are better places and ways to approach industry professionals.
Any event geared toward your genre of music that will feature top executives, record representatives and DJs is a prime example of an appropriate place to network.
Show up: They say showing up is half the battle. If you do not make an effort to put yourself in the direct line of fire, you will be missed and not in a good way. The idea of rejection isn’t enticing but all you need is one ‘yes.’ Until you get it, keep showing up. The more visible you are the more memorable you will be and if they do not feel your music they will respect your hustle. Ambition, hard work and determination are qualities that are always welcome in business.
Be prepared: Whenever possible, research people you want to meet. If you don’t care about them and what they do, why should they care about you and your music?
This is also a great way to engage in a two-sided conversation, which will improve your chances of being remembered. Come equipped with enough cards and/or CDs. This is a crucial part of the networking process because rarely will someone take the time to write your number down.
Tell the truth and be specific: The Internet and social media allow those you check on to check on you. Verification is just a phone call away. Always be honest about who you are and what you can provide; also be clear about what you want and need from them.
Be ready to reciprocate: Networking is not one-sided. If you are going to network, you must have something to offer the other person (writing, production, graphics, etc.). Lead the conversation with an offer of your services. Tell them what your skills are and how those specific skills will help them with what they are doing. This is where your research really comes in handy in terms of knowing who they are and what they are doing professionally and whether they need your services or not. Sometimes it is the thought that counts. Side note: Avoid name dropping unless that person told you to drop his or her name and be ready to back your affiliation up.
Don’t take it personally: You have the right to like or dislike certain music as do professionals in the record industry. If someone is indifferent about your music, move on to the next person.
There is no point in having hard feelings about someone’s freedom of choice, and if you play your cards right it could possibly be a “no”… for now. Use your energy by showing and proving that you belong at the top.
Follow up: This can be difficult and nerve-racking, but it’s necessary if you want to benefit from networking. Calling busy execs can be discouraging, so be sure to ask them when the best time to contact them is. Be respectful and call during general business hours ( 9a.m. to 5 p.m.) unless otherwise advised. If you have to leave a message, understand these are busy professionals and patience is key.
Repeat: Everyone may not have the time to call you back, but perhaps they will see you at the next event and remember the first impression they had of you. If they don’t remember you, consider it an opportunity to do better than before!
As we continue on …