Who you know is important. Many people today find career opportunities through networking. As a musician, the names you have in your network are even more important. Here are five local people you should reach out to and add to your contact list.
1. A Restaurant Owner
Is your high school lab partner opening up a coffee shop downtown? Now is the perfect time to get back in touch with her. Musicians are always looking for somewhere to play, and plenty of restaurants are looking for live music. The restaurant owners are more likely to hire or even directly ask a musician with whom they are already acquainted.
2. A Wedding Planner
The quirky older lady who planned your cousin’s wedding is probably the one who helped him pick the music. By befriending a wedding planner, you can become his or her go-to musician for brides and grooms who can’t decide on a band. This is a good way to get gigs that you might not have considered auditioning for otherwise.
3. A Journalist
Newspaper and TV reporters are the ones to whom the community often turns to find out what’s going on locally. If someone on the news staff knows who you are, then they are more likely to bring up your name in meetings. Local news stations and newspapers often feature local artists or use their music in segments. A friend on staff could alert you to these opportunities.
4. A City Council Member
A City Council member or local government employee is going to be the first to know about upcoming major town events. They will be able to advise you in obtaining permits for park performances or in auditioning to play at the annual city festival.
5. A Small Business Owner
Get to know the owner of a shop in which you could imagine selling your music or merchandise. After establishing a friendly connection, share your music with him or her and see if they’re interested in a local musician’s albums. Be prepared to share how much of a profit their business would make off of each sale.
As a local musician, the network that you build in your community is your first building block. Think of it as a petri dish; the people in this small environment may know bigger fish in bigger ponds when you make it big time.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.