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There's no easy way to bring up this topic. It's something that all artists, even regular working folks, hate to do. It's not something that comes naturally. But it's something necessary.
You can be the best singer, beatmaker, and producer in the world, but if you're unable to start meeting people, labels, and other individuals and converse with them, you're not going to get far. It's not only about networking. It's about connecting and building meaningful friendships.
The difference between someone who can network and someone who doesn't can be between getting a record deal and never being heard. If you're not networking, you're not building relationships, and if you're not building relationships, you're not going to get very far in your professional endeavours. Building relationships is key in any professional setting, and networking is the best way to build those relationships.
Learning to make connections online (or face to face) is the most undervalued skill as an artist, songwriter, and producer.
It's not easy. It's not comfortable. But it's necessary.
You must learn how to approach people and build meaningful connections to succeed. Great opportunities will come when you learn to search, connect, and practice developing and maintaining connections throughout the course of your career.
Let's explore effective ways to get you started on the right track.
What is networking, and why should you care?
Whether in sales or as a DJ trying to land his first gig, you need to learn to reach out to people— reach the right people.
Networking is the process of making connections and building relationships.
It's about meeting new people and getting to know them. It's about finding common ground and shared interests. And it's about building trust and rapport.
The music industry is all about relationships. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you'll have to succeed. The more people you know, the more likely you will find someone to help you get where you want to go.
The industry is a small world. And it's getting smaller all the time. With the internet and social media, it's easier than ever to connect with people all over the world. But that also means that competition is stiffer than ever.
If you want to succeed, you need to be able to network. You need to be able to build and maintain relationships and make those business connections.
On the flip side, some might think, "hey, my music is so good, it will speak for itself." Fine, let's go with that premise. Well, then, you need to be able to reach fans and build an audience. That requires communication skills. More precisely, networking skills. If you need to build your record label and have people work for you one day, you will need to network to hire and find people to help you achieve your goals. You'll need to reach out to artists and producers to sign them to your label.
In short: you need to be good at networking, no matter what role you want in the music industry.
🤝 Connections = Business Opportunities
Networking is connecting. And those connections can lead to business opportunities and collaborations. There's no such thing as a dead-end connection. Every contact you make can potentially open up new avenues for you to explore.
You never know who knows whom or who might be able to help you out. That's why building relationships and getting your name out there are so important. You never know who might be that one connection that can change your life forever.
Networking is a key skill for any artist, producer, or songwriter hoping to make it big. It's not always comfortable or easy, but it's necessary. You need to be able to reach out and build relationships if you want to have success.
💜 Genuine Relationship = Valuable Connection
The most important thing about networking is the strength of the relationship. It's not just about getting the contact and adding them to your list of contacts. It's about reaching out and genuinely connecting with people on a personal level.
You need to be able to build authentic, honest relationships if you're going to make the most of your networking efforts. That means taking the time to get to know people and learning about their interests. It means having real and honest conversations and not just exchanging contact info.
When you build genuine relationships with people, you create valuable connections that can open up doors for you in the future. Those are the relationships that will result in the most success.
🙆♀️ New friends = New Audiences
Networking isn't just about meeting musicians. It's also about finding new audiences and growing your fan base. The more people you know, the more potential fans you have access to. The more fans, the better feedback and booking opportunities you might land in the future.
By connecting with your fans, you can better understand what kind of music is popular and which audiences you should target. You can also reach out to people who can access those audiences and ask them for help.
So don't forget when you network in the music industry isn't just about making contacts but also finding new fans and ambassadors of your music.
🤓 Mentor > industry professional
Finally, don't forget to keep an eye out for mentors. Having a mentor in the industry can be incredibly helpful when it comes to navigating the music business. A mentor can provide you with practical guidance and introduce you to other people who can help you along your journey. It's different from an industry professional whose sole job is to create or leverage some kind of commercial transaction.
Take the time to find someone who you respect and admire and who can offer you the kind of guidance that you need. Having a mentor in your corner is one of the best ways to get ahead.
Why is it so important to network with music industry professionals?
The answer is simple: the music industry is all about relationships.
The industry is made up of a lot of different people with a lot of different roles. And each one of those people has a network of contacts. If you want to get ahead in the industry, you need to start networking with those people.
Here's the thing, if you think about it as "networking," you're going to have a hard time. You better think about creating, establishing, and nurturing relationships.
When you reach out to individuals, you are building relationships. You're creating a win-win situation for both parties involved. And that's what it's all about: collaboration and partnership.
By networking, you're opening yourself up to opportunity. You're connecting with people who can help you advance your career. It's a chance to create meaningful partnerships and collaborate on projects.
Put yourself out there
Don't be afraid of putting yourself out there. Sure, it can be intimidating to approach new people, but don't let that stop you from taking the first step. The key is to be genuine, honest, and have something useful to offer. Show people you care about them and the music industry more than your success. That kind of authenticity will open up doors for you in the long run.
The more people in your network, the better your chances of growing as an artist.
🙌 Encourage others
Be a connector. When you meet someone who could benefit from meeting one of your contacts, it's often beneficial to introduce them. This is another way to show that you care about others and their success, not just your own.
Helping other people in the industry grow and succeed will establish you as a valuable and reliable networker.
Networking is an essential part of a successful career in the music industry. It's not just about business connections but building meaningful conversations. Take the time to put yourself out there, and you will be rewarded with access to new opportunities and fresh ideas. Listen more than ever before. Let the other person share their idea.
⭕ Give feedback to the community
Last but not least, don't forget to give back to the community. By helping other people link with each other, you will be showing that you are genuinely invested in the music industry and its growth. Whether giving feedback on someone's work or simply offering an encouraging word to another artist, always strive to become a part of the bigger picture.
By networking, you can open yourself up to new opportunities, build meaningful relationships, and contribute. It's an essential part of succeeding in the music industry.
How to network online
In the age of social media, networking has become easier than ever. There are countless platforms where you can meet people and make connections with industry professionals. There might still be a local music community in your city, but more and more opportunities and select networking event appear online.
Start by getting involved in music-related forums and discussion boards. Connect with people who share your interests and goals and start building relationships. Ask questions and share valuable insights to build trust and rapport — it's your chance to open doors.
👩💻 Leverage social media platforms
You can also use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to reach out to people. Find people who have achieved success in their field and follow them. Share their content, comment on posts, and engage with them whenever you can.
Sites like SoundCloud are great for networking, too. You can build relationships with musicians and professionals in just a few clicks.
Facebook groups, Circle communities, Reddit threads, and other online communities are also great places to make connections. Participate in conversations and share your knowledge to become an authority in your field. Don't be afraid to talk about that new album or exchange music ideas. Sharing knowledge is a win-win situation.
Tip: leverage the power of remixing to create an initial component of the discussion. In other words, when you remix a track, it provides you with the chance to either discuss the collaboration or the final work you've done.
🧑🎨 Engage with independent artists and labels
There are a lot of indie artists and labels out there who don't have the same resources as major labels. They often rely on networking to get their music heard and their names out there. Reach out to them, listen to their projects, and give your practical feedback.
You can also collaborate with other independent artists by working together on music projects. This can be a great way to expand your network and reach new audiences.
Be flexible with new connections that can open the door to an exciting world of opportunities.
Five tips for building relationships with other musicians
📝 Do your research
Take the time to learn more about the artists, labels, promoters, and agencies you want to work with. Understand their style, what they have done in the past, and how your skills can complement each other. If you're a reggae producer, don't engage with deep house labels or artists (unless you have a creative idea or you simply want to make friends in different industries) but if you're looking to collaborate, maybe try another genre label.
Do your research. Research attendees. Research performers. Understand who you will be engaging with, what is of interest to them, and why you could be of value to them. This will help you craft a more tailored message and increase the likelihood of getting a response from someone.
When you approach someone, start off by introducing yourself. Let them know why you reached out. Be willing to give for a while before asking for anything. Don't expect immediate results; building relationships takes time and requires patience.
🖖 Be respectful and genuine
Always respect the other person's time and energy. Don't overburden them with requests or ask for too many favours at once. Be genuine in your interactions and show that you are truly interested in getting to know them and forming a lasting relationship.
Respect goes a long way in any industry and with anyone— make sure to always be professional and courteous.
💎 Be valuable and collaborative
When you reach out to someone, be genuine and honest about your intentions. Don't just ask for something without being willing to give something in return. Show them that you are interested in working together, not just taking advantage of them. Collaboration is key when networking with artists and musicians. Find ways to work together and combine your skills so that you both benefit from the connection. Building relationships take time and effort, but if done correctly, it can open up a whole new world of opportunities.
🧠 Be open-minded
When networking, it's important to be respectful and open-minded. Make sure that you are genuinely interested in their work and willing to give back.
🏃♂️ Be proactive
Be proactive in reaching out to others. Don't wait for them to contact you - take the initiative and start a conversation. Offer your expertise, and share interesting stories, past achievements, and future projects. The key here is to be productive with your time— set time aside to make music and time to reach out to people.
👾 Bonus: Be persistent (not annoying)
Don't forget to follow up after your initial conversations. Keep the conversation going by asking how they are doing and what projects they're working on. Showing continued interest is key to building long-term relationships. Respond to emails, messages, and comments promptly and show genuine interest in their work. Remember, it's not trying to reach as many people as you can but the best people you can. Meet new people, join conversations and do it over and over again.
Examples of successful networking strategies
Now that you know the basics of networking, what are some tactics that you can use to build successful relationships?
Here are some tips:
- Use online resources such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Reach out to people and join groups related to your field.
- Attend music festivals and conferences to meet music professionals in person.
- Offer free services or advice when you can.
- Ask for advice instead of favours. People are more likely to be open and helpful if you're interested in their opinion.
- Share interesting stories and resources that may be relevant to the other person's work.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and news in the industry.
📜 Helpful email scripts
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say when you reach out to someone. Here are a few email scripts that you can use as a starting point:
- Hi ____, I'm ____, and I'm a musician/producer/artist who is interested in collaborating on projects together. I'd love to learn more about your work and share my own with you.
- Hi ____, I stumbled upon your work/project and was really impressed. I'm a musician/producer/artist myself, and I'd love to discuss potential collaborations if you're interested.
- Hi ____, My name is ____, and I noticed that we have mutual interests in ____. I'm a musician/producer/artist, and I'm looking to connect with like-minded people. It would be great if we could chat sometime!
📲 Helpful DMs
Direct messaging someone on social media can be a great way to start a conversation. Here are some helpful DM scripts you can use:
- Hi ____, I saw your post about ____, and I'm really interested in learning more. I'm a musician/producer/artist, and I'd love to discuss potential collaborations if you're interested.
- Hi ____, I'm ____, and I'm a huge fan of your work! I'm also a musician/producer/artist myself and would love to link up.
- Hi ____, I noticed we have some mutual friends and thought it would be great to connect. I'm a musician/producer/artist and would love to collaborate on something together if you're interested.
These are just some of the tactics you can use to build meaningful relationships with other musicians. The key is to be genuine, respectful, and persistent.
📨 Helpful outreach strategies
Outreach is a great way to find potential collaborators and build relationships. Here are some helpful strategies you can use:
- Reach out directly to people on social media – Comment on their work, offer advice, or even just share an interesting article they might like.
- Attend events and conferences related to your field – This is a great way to meet people in person and have meaningful conversations.
- Join forums, groups or organizations related to your field – This is a great way to make connections and learn from other professionals.
- Connect with influencers in the industry – Comment on their work or even reach out directly for advice. It's always a good idea to be respectful and polite when doing this.
- Send out emails introducing yourself – This can be a great way to build relationships with people who you may not have access otherwise.
No matter what strategy you choose, remember that networking is about building relationships over time. Show your interest in the other person's work, be persistent but not annoying, and be respectful.
How to make the most of networking events
Any event should be an opportunity to network, make friends and learn new things from people around you. Here are some tips to make the most of networking events:
- Be enthusiastic and open-minded about meeting new people.
- Listen more than you speak, and ask thoughtful questions.
- Introduce yourself with your name, profession, and area of expertise.
- Exchange contact information, such as email addresses or social media handles
🥑 Elevator pitch
Prepare a 30-second pitch about yourself and your work for any networking opportunity. This elevator pitch should quickly sum up who you are and what you do, so make sure it's clear and concise.
🔎 Research your event and artists
Do research on the event before attending. Learn more about the people organizing it, the attendees, and their backgrounds to help you prepare.
⭐ Connect and bond
Booking agents, artists, and other professionals attend many of these networking events, so it's important to be able to connect with them and make a good impression. Start off by introducing yourself and letting the conversation flow naturally.
📤 Follow up or fail
Don't forget to follow up with people after meeting them at an event. Maintain the conversation by sending out emails, connecting on social media, or scheduling a catch-up call.
How to advance your music career through networking
One of the best ways to kickstart or advance your career is by networking. It's one of the most overlooked aspects of success in any industry, but especially in music. Networking will help you build relationships with people who can provide valuable advice as well as potential opportunities for your musical projects and endeavours. Here are some tips to get the most out of networking:
📍 Find places to network
Look for music conferences, events, and other spots that bring together professionals in the music industry. If you're looking for a specific type of person or opportunity, make sure you research and find an event that caters to them. Also, don't forget to ask your friends, family, and colleagues if they know of any networking event that could be beneficial for you.
🗒️ Keep a list
When you meet someone, keep track of their contact information as well as notes on your conversations with them. This will ensure that you remember the important details when engaging in future conversations or meetings.
🥰 Network authentically
Don't just go to networking events to sell yourself or your music; take an interest in other people and what they do. Show genuine interest in cultivating new relationships that can help both you and the person you're speaking to reach their goals.
📌 Follow up
After the event, send an email or call to thank people for their time and reiterate your interest in staying connected. This will help keep you top of mind and strengthen your relationships with these contacts.
💃 Don't forget to have fun
Networking should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, so don't forget to enjoy yourself while you're out there making connections!
Tips for making the most out of online communities
💪 Get involved
Participate in discussions and post content related to your interests and expertise. This will help you build a reputation as an expert on the topic and increase the likelihood of others reaching out to collaborate or ask for advice. Networking online and building a network in the music industry requires you to get involved.
The best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is now.
🤖 Leverage your connections
Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks to reach out to your contacts and ask for advice or introductions. People are usually more than willing to help if they think you're genuine in your intentions.
👷♂️ Be consistent
Make sure you're maintaining an active presence on the networks that are important for your career. Share interesting content, engage with others, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the music industry.
Networking (especially networking online) is an essential part of advancing your music career, and these tips will help you get the most out of it. Remember that it takes time to build relationships and make connections, so be
Final thoughts on networking in the music industry
Networking is one of the most important aspects of a successful career in music. It's essential for finding mentors and collaborators, gaining valuable advice, and building relationships with industry professionals who can help you reach your goals. Whether you're interacting with people online or at events, make sure to keep an open mindset, be genuine in your conversations, and follow up with contacts to maximize the value of each connection. With a bit of effort and persistence, you can create an invaluable network that will enable your musical career to reach new heights.
😃 Relationship + Friendship
Building relationship is fundamental. Having meaningful conversations and getting to know people on a personal level can foster trust and create strong relationships that will be beneficial for both parties. It's important to remember that networking is about creating long-term relationships, not just meeting someone for a quick exchange of business cards. Take the time to get to know people, and don't be afraid to reach out to them. You never know how it could be beneficial in the future! Also, make sure you invest some time in nurturing your existing relationships too; catch up with old contacts and stay connected with people who have been helpful in the past. This will strengthen your network and help build beneficial bonds of friendship.
🌱 Know you're why
You need to know WHY you are doing what you're doing. It's important to have a clear goal in mind when networking. This will help you stay focused and motivated while also keeping your conversations on track. When connecting with people, make sure that you can easily explain why you are interested in getting to know them and what value they can provide for you or vice versa. By having this clarity, it will be easier to make the best use of your network and take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
🗻 Lead with value
When networking, it's important to think about how you can provide value to the people you are talking to. For example, if someone is looking for advice on a certain topic, offer your thoughts and experiences. Talk and share ideas, music, and techniques. You never know how if a conversation morphs from small talk to a great opportunity. It also helps to stay up-to-date with industry news and trends so that you can share relevant information with others. By providing value and being genuinely interested in helping others, you'll be more likely to receive help from them as well.
💌 Be open to collaborations
Networking should not just be about promoting yourself but also about learning about other people's work and finding ways to collaborate. When discussing potential partnerships with people, make sure both parties are getting something out of it. For example, if you're offering to do a remix for someone else's track, make sure that they will be able to use your version as part of their project. Offering meaningful collaboration opportunities can help expand your network and create meaningful friendships with others in the music industry.
Finally, don't forget to enjoy the process! Networking in the music industry can be challenging, but it's also very rewarding. Keep an open mind, and don't hesitate to reach out to people — you never know what amazing opportunities may come your way. Good luck!