Networking is the big buzzword in business today, but it deserves the attention given to it. Knowing people in your industry directly equates to success in that industry. It can be difficult to get out to talk to people, especially if you are not socially inclined. Regardless, connections can get you gigs and sales that otherwise you have too few resources to find.
1. Be valuable to other people.
You can’t go into a business relation without having something to offer the other person. Remember that nothing really is free. Make sure when you are giving your number to potential contacts or partners be valuable to them. Either hook them up with contacts you already have or help them somehow.
A great method is to do collaborations because you are producing music half for yourself while still getting some good cred.
2. Have a goal.
When at music and band networking events, it is a frenzy to give as many people your contact info as possible. Despite this, you need to stand out and not simply spam everyone there with your number.
Beforehand, find a specific organization or band that you want to speak with and prepare something special for them. You need to stand out.
3. Be professional.
Your demeanor around others is indicative of both you and your work. Because of this, it is important to have an appropriate amount of professionalism. Hooking up with other musicians isn’t a cut and dry business transaction, but it also isn’t something you should take lightly.
For this reason, drinking during networking events isn’t the best idea. You want to be at your best. You never know when someone is judging you to see how you interact and work.
4. Make sure to follow up!
It might seem obvious, but it would shock you how many people fail to realize they need to follow up after exchanging contact info with others. It is hard to write that first email or make that first call, but it is imperative. You need to show that you have the responsibility to make a promise and follow through with it.
Furthermore, your potential partner is just as busy as you are, so taking that first step is a weight off their shoulders.
The rules of networking for musicians aren’t far off the same rules for generic businesses. Beyond the obvious behaviors, you should make sure to follow these tips. Above all else, networking is a two way street. You can’t go into it with selfish intentions, but if you do it right, you will quickly find that two minds are greater than one.
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Sean Harris is a writer in the midwest US who plans on majoring in computer science or physics at college. He enjoys listening to music, blogging, and reading.