Social media shows no signs of slowing down, but it should never replace the need for good old-fashioned (offline) networking. As an independent musician, it really is about “who you know.” Making connections and building solid relationships offline is still an important aspect of your career. With fall comes CMJ week, which means networking opportunities abound. It’s time for some face time.
Here are six tips for successful networking (offline) for indie musicians:
- Be genuine. At events, it’s often easy to feel intimidated, especially when surrounded by leaders in the music industry. But remember to always to be your authentic self. Be genuine, and be true to your personality. It will get you far.
- Have a goal in mind. Before attending a networking event, know what your goal is. Are you there to make new fans or to meet a booking agent? This will help you determine what events you want to attend and who to seek out for face time.
- Nail your elevator pitch. If you haven’t yet done so, now’s the time. There’s nothing worse than asking a musician what their music sounds like and they respond with “…um, it’s hard to describe…” In order to get what you want, you need to be able to clearly describe what you do and articulate it to others.
- Know what you can offer to others. Remember that you’re attempting to create reciprocal relationships with others in the industry. Can you office rehearsal space to other bands in exchange for use of their van?
- Follow up! After you meet someone, don’t forget to find them online (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and add them to your networks. Send them a note telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to seeing them again in the future. Ask if they’d be interested in checking out one of your upcoming shows.
- Keep in touch. Don’t drop the ball! If you’ve met a key player, drop them a note every month or so to say hello. Meet up for coffee. Keep them in the loop about your work and see if there are ways you can work together.
Networking and maintaining relationships with others in your industry is a key to your success as an indie artist. Don’t let potential opportunities pass you by. Do your best to take advantage of face-to-face networking at events like CMJ.
Tell us what you think! Are you an ace at networking? Have any tips you care to share?
Up next: The first in a series of do’s and don’t’s for choosing a band name.
The SongCast Crew