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How to Network in the Music Business
Musicians, business people, and avid fans can all benefit from improving their networking abilities. When it comes to success in any industry dealing with human interaction (nearly every industry), the ability to connect with people is invaluable. This is especially true in the world of music.
Whether you are a musician or someone starting out in the music business as a professional, developing and implementing the right networking skills will help you gain access to a portion of the $65 billion spent annually in the music industry.
You have started a music business and now need to learn how to make it a success. You have come to the right place. Here are several important tips to keep in mind while growing your network of clients, fans, and musicians.
Develop a Strong Music Focused Brand
A strong brand, or personality, is important in every business, and even more so in the music industry. People want to associate themselves with people who they consider “cool” – whatever the definition of the word might mean to them. By creating a persona that appeals to one’s audience, it is much easier to attract fans and clients.
Think about the audience that you plan to reach and what appeals to them most. If country music is the main focus of your business, dressing and acting like Eminem is not going to attract the group you are focused on – people will simply think you are confused.
Be unique in your presentation and appearance, be memorable, and be likeable. If people are attracted to your personality, they will remember you and be more likely to consider doing business with you.
Who do you remember the most?
Create a Reputation as an Expert
No one wants to purchase a service from someone who appears to have no idea what they are doing. If you are promising to help market a musical group, assist them in signing on with a label, or help them plan their tours, you need to present yourself as an expert in your field.
With the development of the internet, gaining a reputation as an expert is far easier than it has been in the past. Create a simple yet professional webpage, join groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, and related forums, and attend relevant events, concerts, and festivals.
Do not pretend to be better than you are. Lying will end up hurting you in the long run. Just be confident. Work hard to excel at everything you do and the confidence will be well justified.
There are many opportunities for growing a strong network of fans, associates, and related business professionals using the internet. As mentioned earlier, join groups on popular social networking sites and search for websites and forums related to your industry.
When networking online, remember that people receive large amounts of spam. Sending out mass emails, leaving the same comment in 100 different places, or commenting on your own posts will not impress people much. Even online, personal contact, is where you will make your most valuable connections. When a comment or email is clearly individualized people see that you have a direct interest in them – you are not ONLY trying to get their business.
There are many methods for networking offline. Although reaching is contact is far more time consuming than on the internet, the connection can be much stronger. Go to events and conferences, music schools or other music businesses, and simply start talking to people. Although this can be intimidating at first, by growing your conversational muscle you will quickly become a social butterfly.
Remember to treat the other person as a celebrity, regardless of who they actually are. People love to be noticed for their accomplishments, personality, and any other likeable traits. Point these out, emphasize them, and you will make the other person feel like a million bucks.
Most people are willing to pay a lot of money to feel valuable. Not only that, but in all reality, every person is equal, so why not make Average Joe feel like Brad Pitt? Ultimately he is just as significant anyway.
Introduce and Promote Others
A common fear that ends up hurting many business professionals is the idea that introducing people will cause them to lose importance and business. This is NOT true. Although one might lose an occasional client by introducing multiple people, most people will appreciate your ability to connect them.
If you hear that a new band is looking for a recording studio, and you know someone who is willing to provide a great deal at their local studio, tell the band about it. I am much more likely to do business with someone who reveals an interest in my success and not just my wallet.
Additionally, reveal an interest in others by promoting them. Post about new acquaintances on your businesses Facebook wall and mention them in your newsletter. Most people will be more than happy to promote someone who promotes them.
Keep in Contact
Finally, remember that keeping a current customer is seven times easier than getting a new one. That being said, continue to build up a relationship with your current connections. Leave occasional comments, making phone calls periodically, and stop by if you are in the area. The more someone sees you, the more you will enter their inner circle.
Networking can be one of the most exciting parts of being involved in the music industry. Meeting new musicians, meeting business people with great ideas, and attending conferences with well-known celebrities are all great perks of working in the music business.
I wish you the best as you continue to develop your music, business, and networking skills. Maybe one day in the near future I will see your name in lights. Keep it up!