Networking. You’ve heard the term; you know you should be doing it but what exactly it? Most artists think it’s too hard, while others don’t think about it at all, in both instances, The artists fail to make any sort of real connections, so this article is here to help hopefully uncover ” mystery ” (Networking happens when you truly and genuinely connect with people).
Misconceptions Of Network
Many people hate the term ” Network ” Because they see it as taking to people only because you want something from them which is definitely NOT the case. As a matter of fact, the best networking happens when you are genuinely interested in learning about the person, you’re networking with.
So, Let’s Start by Talking About the Two Different Types of People or In This Case: Artists.
Most artists tend to be introvert, so if you’re one of those people who just like to focus on the music and you’re not really a ” People ” persona – see this as an advantage, WHY? Because the fact that you genuinely don’t want to be bothered more that you’re probably not a pushing person.
Meeting new people and of course, you don’t have a problem with hitting someone inbox with a music link, that’s all good and will and can also be used as an advantage when it comes to networking, however in order to really connect with people, you might need to tone it down a bit. Balance is key to networking.
MY BEST NETWORKING TACTICS: Rules of Networking.
Personally, I’ve gotten indie artists posted to numerous mainstream outlets, have made some amazing connections with people who I personally am a fan of and truly look up and I’ve built a community of artists, bloggers, journalists and just all-around amazing people who keep me motivated, teach me new things on the daily, (whether they know it or not) and ultimately support my endeavors. Because of this, it’s given me numerous opportunities to continue to do what I love on a daily basis.
But I don’t do this by speaking with every person I come across and telling them about what I’ve got going on, I do this by genuinely and selectively building relationship with people who I could possibly help in some way.
So, networking rule (1) is: Don’t try to talk to everyone, instead, look to build relationships with people who you can help or those who already show interest in what you have to offer. (Networking isn’t about speaking to every person you come across, it’s about building relationship with people who you can help in some way). As a matter of fact, Networking is never about you, it’s about THEM, your first conversation with someone should be mainly about the person on the other side, it should never be a sales pitch, that’s where most artists go wrong.
When it comes to networking, the ultimate goal should be relationship building – and great relationship takes time to build, so your ultimate goal when networking should be to make a connection and a good impression. You want to create a good start to a budding relationship.
So, although you may want that person to listen and give you a feedback or maybe even post your music, that probably shouldn’t be first thing you Expect when networking.
Networking Rule (2): (which happens to be one of the biggest and most effective rule of networking) is that your first conversation is never about you, it’s always about them. Don’t worry about pitching your music, don’t worry about asking to get booked for a show, just genuinely “build” with the person. Ask them about what they do and how they got there. Talk about their experiences and relate to them. Great networking happens when you take the time to learn about the person. This of course doesn’t necessarily apply to meeting people out at events but outside of that, networking takes time.
Networking Rule (3) is: Give It Time. The key to making the best connections is to learn more about the person before reaching out to them, that way you can relate to them, plus it shows that you’re genuinely interested in supporting them too.
So, networking Rule (4) is: Researching those who you want to build a relationship is a MUST.
I’ll give a scenario from an artist standpoint. When you do finally decide to reach out, formally introduce yourself. By that time, they’re probably already at least somewhat familiar with your name because you’ve been interacting with them on social media for a while. So simply start a conversation with them, don’t send them a link to your music, if anything. Ask them if they accept music submission and find out how they prefer to receive them.
Actually, check their bio before you ask if they accept music submission, they might have their submission email right there in plain sight. (In that case feel free to send them a professional email addresses to them personally whatever you do don’t send a link to your music until they let you know they are interested in hearing it.
Rule (5) is: Don’t force the connection; which leads me to my next and last rule of networking.
Rule (6): When all else fails, Be professional. What do I mean exactly? Well, there’s a few characteristics of being professional, all of the above points I’ve made represent professionalism but what I really mean is – make sure that you’re representing yourself in a professional manner, speak to people like you would speak to your boss, be respectful, use proper grammar and formal introduction.
Overall, when you decide to take yourself serious, other people will too and things like this just won’t cut it anymore. By Music Publicist & Executive – Roven UG.