6 Essential Networking Tips For Musicians

Do you want people to care about the music you’re making? Then you need to get out of your box. You can’t be an island, or a recluse. Whether you like it or not, networking is a huge part of this industry and if you do it right, it’ll make your life easier more often than not. Here are six essential rules to follow.

1 – Stay out of your comfort zone

Music isn’t the only thing that people are interested in. They’re also into food, travel, sports, hobbies and entertainment too. People who love music are big fans of all these other things as well. Does this mean you should talk about them? No way. It does mean, though, that you can use them as a conversation starter. If you know someone likes to travel and they talk about it, don’t ask for a list of all the countries they’ve visited or what their favorite city is. Instead ask them who introduced them to traveling and how it went from being just a hobby into an actual possibility. Maybe they took a gap year and traveled, or maybe their parents made traveling part of the family vacation every year. You can also ask what kind of challenge or obstacle they overcame to finally get out there and travel more. This brings you from talking about them, which can sometimes be uncomfortable for people, to talking with them about something that makes them feel good.

2 – Think from the other person’s point of view

When you’re asking someone if they’d add you on Facebook, Twitter or give your album a listen, you need to imagine how that would look to them. If someone posts that they have just arrived somewhere exotic, are they being irritating? No. The world is now a global village and if you’re following that person, they’re the one who is exposed to your social circle. They need to know that not everyone will come across as desperate for attention – even if they might actually be – because their Facebook feed isn’t going to be full of musicians all day long.

3 – Follow up with people

After you’ve asked someone to add you on a social media platform, the easiest thing in the world is to just leave it at that. You have no idea how much they need their inbox cleared out though. They get requests from people all day long and unless you do something to help them remember who you are, your request might be lost in an avalanche of information. A simple way to make them remember who you are is by sending something else they might be interested in. If it’s a music service, send them an album or EP that you know they’d appreciate. Ask yourself what makes sense for the person you’re following up with and then shoot them a note letting them know about it.

4 – Be a human being

No one likes to talk to a robot. If you can, try and learn some information about that person before you write them a message or email asking for something. Have they been working on anything recently? Maybe they had a break from their day job but are now looking for one again. What did they do over the summer and what did they like about it? How much time do they spend on social media and how active are they there? Getting to know them as a person is important because you want to build a connection with someone before you’re asking for something from them.

5 – Give before you get

This goes along with being human. Be nice before you ask for anything. Don’t expect people to read your mind, or assume that they know what you want even if you haven’t told them. It’s also about giving them the opportunity to do something nice for you. People like it when others are kind to them and helping someone out of the goodness of their heart is an amazing feeling that we all need more of in our life.

6 – Don’t get discouraged

It can be easy to compare yourself to other musicians and get worried because you haven’t been able to reach the levels of success they’ve reached. Maybe someone is on Howard Stern or Conan O’Brien’s show, or has had a viral video hit with millions of views. There are countless factors in their success though, and you need to figure out how to make yours grow in your own way. Being at peace with yourself is something everyone needs to do so they can be happy if things don’t go exactly as planned.

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In conclusion

The word “networking” is just a fancy way of saying, “be nice to people”. It’s not something that everyone does naturally, but if you can learn how to make it part of your personality, you will find yourself growing exponentially. Having an expansive network means having access to resources that would have otherwise been unavailable to you. People who provide those resources to you will be happy that they’re now part of your network as well.

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