No matter how fantastic a drummer you may be, you will undoubtedly struggle to get anywhere in the music industry without the help of others.
Whether you are an aspiring session player, auditioning for a band or meeting with industry professionals like agents and managers- it’s important to remember the objective of networking is to build mutually beneficial relationships.
These are my top 10 tips that I can offer to help you achieve the best success from music industry networking.
There is no need to create a lot of pressure in social situations- no matter how ‘important’ someone may appear- he is just a normal person and will most likely be friendly and engaging in conversation. Be yourself, positive and relaxed and enjoy meeting new people!
If you are positive and exuding good energy then the chances are you will hold a natural and relaxed conversation. Personality is key, and professionals will always want to work with people they like.
2. Understand Your Value
Know exactly what particular skills you possess which will enable you to fulfill a role, and more importantly, give you an edge over the competition.
If you know what you have to offer is valuable then you can be confident in yourself when promoting your services.
3. Come Prepared
Do your research beforehand and make sure you know your facts. Learn about the group or organisation you hope to be working with because it will arouse interest and show you are passionate.
Get some quality business cards made with your contact information and carry them with you. Failing to possess a professional looking business card may make you appear amateur.
4. Be Patient
It’s important to remember that people are busy and won’t always find the time to reply straight away to emails or send over information promptly on time.
Chasing up an email is fine, but wait a week before hounding down a person and giving them grief. This may give off an impression that you are desperate and potentially scare someone off.
5. Don’t Bad Mouth
This may seem obvious. But before you jokingly criticise a band or musician’s performance to a person in conversation, be aware this person may unknowingly hold some significance towards them.
Offending the person you are trying to build rapport with is one way to surefire ruin your chances of obtaining work. The music industry is a surprisingly close-knit circle, and words you say may come back to bite you in the future.
6. Be on Time
If you arrange to meet someone at a certain time, allow yourself plenty of time to be there. People will be much more inclined to help you if they know you are reliable and trustworthy.
It’s straightforward. Set alarms, reminders and use a calendar to stay organised with events and meetings.
7. Learn to Accept Rejection
Sadly it may be the case that your perfect opportunity falls through. This is life. It will be painful to read a rejection email from an agent or discover you didn’t get the call back for a gig.
What is important and beneficial will be to see this from a different perspective- that it was not meant to be. Don’t take this personally, and refrain from saying anything hurtful or bitter in response. It may be the case you encounter with this very person or company in the future!
8. Go The Extra Mile
Making a special effort to achieve your goals will not go unnoticed. Understand what it is you may be able to do that will help you get a leg up on the competition.
For example, if you have been requested to submit an online audition for a band, make sure to obtain the best quality content as possible. Use a professional studio and get it mixed to sound great in order to increase your chances of winning the audition.
9. Give Before Asking Favours
It’s important to remember that nobody owes you anything. Respect and trust is earned, and good relationships are built over time.
What you can do is show your value and demonstrate what you can offer to a potential contact so that you can benefit them. Once you have proven yourself as being valuable and trust has been earned, you will both be able to benefit from a mutually advantageous relationship.