Music is a cut-throat business. A good way to go about making money, indirectly, is still to network with those established and relevant in the industry, and with those who have the financial power and broader cultural network to promote your sounds. With music industry networking, social media is cool, traditional networking rocks.
Sounds easier said than done, doesn't it. Is it?
Here are some powerful tips for music industry networking which once employed, will prove their worth in the arsenal of music marketing over the span of a career. It always pays to keep networking skills fresh and alive.
Set a Strategy
Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Think as a corporate CEO (or even as Jay-Z did) about the output you’d like to have in five years as opposed to three or six months, or one year. If you want to get signed to a major regional and national record label then think, for example, of three things – samples, EP, download, free tunes, mock album – worth producing in the next pivotal time period to increase the likelihood of being noticed.
Find a mentor
A mentor is someone more skilled or experienced who offers advice, support and guidance to facilitate learning and development. As a working musician a good mentor can provide valuable marketplace advice, background to the industry and open doors to unexpected avenues.
Hanging out with the ‘cool kids’ just became part of the Game. The chances of casually ‘bumping’ into powerful people is naïve career management. Musical talent should be followed up with a laser-like business focus.
Seek out hot contacts at music conferences, industry workshops, register with industry bodies and institutions and gig intelligently. The variety of contacts will be deeply hooked in the industry to your advantage. It’s worth treating each ‘first meeting' as a big career moment. Small circles of contacts will eventually become bigger contacts, each whom increase in power.
Maintain a strong contacts database
Whether you glean details from email, Google+, the traditional business card, LinkedIn, MySpace, word of mouth or at gig groups make sure you’re organized with an efficient contacts database. It’s the critical stage in building a history of who's who. Don’t trust the back of your wallet for your next big deal.
Get a Showcase
Legendary crooners from Elvis to Tina Turner to Michael Jackson and J-Lo got their careers on track by doing a showcase. Negotiating the prized launch showcase may take time.
When it lands it's time to pull out all the stops, rip up the show and shout about on social channels. The live gig and networking will naturally fuel the musical fire. Don’t be surprised if selling singles just got a lot easier.
Give Good Karma
Give, don’t always take. Invest your energy with industry people by using honest human relations. After all everyone's in it to win it.
We want to hear your stories. In the comments below, let us now if we missed any and/or let us know if how networking has helped your career.
Guest Post by Laura Abrar, a blogger on music and marketing who enjoys new musical artists. She works alongside BIMM, the prestigious Brighton Institute of Modern Music.www.bimm.co.uk