It may sound cliche, but there’s a reason why people say the key to surviving in the music industry is down to who you know. Getting to know people in different areas of the music industry can be an invaluable way to learn how things work. Building relationships can be greatly beneficial to your career and you can make some great friends along the way.
One way to start this process is by attending industry conferences and networking events. Below Anara Publishing share some tips for networking in the music industry.
The Elevator Pitch
You should be able to introduce yourself and what you do in a clear and concise manner. Before you attend the event, have a think about how you would explain it to someone who would have no idea what your job entails. This is typically known as an ‘elevator pitch’, which comes from the notion of being able to deliver a description of a person, company or idea in the short time period of an elevator ride.
Don’t waffle too much, but equally don’t memorise a script and recall it word for word. You want to have a natural conversation and not make it sound robotic.
The currency of networking! Get yourself some business cards professionally printed. There are numerous websites out there that offer this service with reasonable prices that don’t break the bank. Take the time to get the design right and make sure that all of your contact details are on there. This includes your name, job title and email address. You can also pop your social media handles and website on there. You want to make sure that you’re easy to reach once you’ve left the networking event.
Also make sure that you get a business card from all of the people that you meet. This means that you have all the tools you need to be able to follow up (more on this later). At the end of the event, take some time to organise your business cards and write down any important points you discussed that might be useful when you contact them again. You may find it useful to jot small pointers on the actual business card so you can recall the conversation and nature of the business from that moment in time.
Avoid one sided conversations
Make sure that you’re not just selling what you do. Be genuinely interested in the person that you’re talking to and ask them thoughtful questions about what they do. On the flip side, don’t just stand there listening to what other people in the room are saying. Networking is a two way street! You might find that you are working towards the same goal or have some tips you can share.
It’s good to be passionate about what you do, but if you don’t agree with something another person says it’s best to stay calm. This doesn’t mean that you can’t provide your opinion, but think about the consequences first. You don’t want to damage any potential relationships.
It’s not always about business
Of course the common denominator is that you’re at the event because of music. But, you don’t always have to be talking about business. Sometimes the best relationships form because of things you have in common. These can be your favourite band, sports team or maybe bonding over a love of travel. Knowing a few of these things can come in handy for when you want to reach out in the future. For example, “I’m heading out to New York next month – any tips? I remember you saying that you’d visited when I saw you last”.
Only try to find these little nuggets of information organically. Don’t turn your conversation into an interrogation that sounds like you’re filling out a dating profile. If something like this comes up, then great but don’t push for it.
So you’ve been out to an event and met a lot of interesting and helpful people within the industry. The next step is perhaps the most important of them all – following up. The day after the event, you should drop them a short email to say that it was nice to meet them. You can also briefly mention anything you discussed or if you have any further questions you can perhaps suggest a follow up call or meeting.
We hope that these tips help you navigate the world of networking. Remember that getting to know people in the industry shouldn’t be a chore. We hope you make many great connections along the way!