Your network is your networth. Everyone knows it. What they don’t talk about though, is the fact that even if one may encounter plenty of opportunities to meet key people, many musicians actually miss out on the free connections. This is how you make sure you have control over your networking endeavours.
7. Do Not Introduce Yourself By Your Artist Name
Do you have a clue how cringey it is when in a one-on-one conversation a rapper says ”I’m Lil B”? Dude, that is what you use on stage and in interactions with fans, NOT with people who can help you. Come back on Earth and introduce yourself professionally by your 1st name. You will be the laughing stock and immediately ignored if you spit out your nickname instead. You will have opportunities and plenty of time to promote your artist name later.
6. Be Genuinely Curious About Every Single Person You Meet
Here’s how you should be approaching your new relationships: You’re either gonna make a fan or a friend out of this new person. A friend will help you, a fan will support you. You need both. If someone turns out to be far from your industry, that’s OKAY, do NOT cut them off immediately. Be nice and be curious, ask questions, and keep in mind the impression you want to leave on this new acquintance. Also remember that a busboy who got nothing to do with music will more likely be MORE impressed than a fellow musician. And keep your networking goal in mind: you’re either gonna be my friend or you’re gonna be my fan. Do not let your conversations drift away from your ultimate purpose.
5. Talk Less About Yourself And More About Them
You do know that many people pay BIG MONEY to be listened to by a stranger? yeah, the role of psychiatrists and psychologists in this society. We could all use more conversations, more openness, more sincerity, more vulnerability. So be all of that! Become a master at opening people up. Only talk about yourself when asked, or when trying to be relatable. For example, someone tells you they just traveled to China, you could easily pick up the conversation by saying: ”I’ve always wanted to go but I’m not sure about the language barrier, how did you deal with that?”, and the other person will be more than happy to go on about his/her brilliance. People LOVE talking about themselves. Don’t flatter anyone without a good reason, but don’t make YOURSELF the main subject of the conversation. The focus is THE OTHER PERSON at all times.
4. Exchange Direct Contact Info
Whether it’s one too many mimosas or the loud music, people can get sidetracked and lose focus of their conversation. YOU, on the other hand, must make sure you remain in touch with all the people you meet. Ask them for their business card (9 times out of 10 people will happily hand it over, or if they don’t have it, they will ask for YOURS instead) and make sure there is a phone number on it, ask if that is their direct cell phone. Like I said, people love feeling important and they will gladly tell you ”Don’t contact this one, it’s my office. Call the 2nd number, that is my personal phone”. Trust me, YOU DO NOT want to have an amazing conversation only to realize when you leave the building, that you have no way of contacting them again.
3. Google That Person Before Contacting Them Again
If so happens that this new contact you got is actually a big shot, do your research on them. I remember I once googled this A&R and found his last.fm page from a couple of years prior, and found out things that he himself forgot. People change over time but not drastically, and it is most likely that what they said in the past, is still relevant today. The more you know about them, the easier you can navigate your interaction with this person in the direction you want. NOTE: if you find a mugshot or some past scandal, take mental notes of it, BUT DO NOT bring it up in your next converstation. You will turn them from a stranger to an enemy in matter of seconds. No one likes being reminded of past mistakes or traumas. So focus on the positive achievements they’ve accomplished. Mention an interview article, a project they’ve been involved in, an award they’ve received etc.
2. Do Not Overstay Your Welcome
And by this I mean all aspects of networking: be it an online conversation, a phone call, a party invitation, a Zoom conference etc. If you’re too available too often, their subconscious will note ”this person is not important, they got too much time on their hands”. Control the seconds, minutes, hours you invest in your interaction with others. Make sure that in a short amount of time, plenty of substantial things have been said. You want to be a meaningful person, not a chit-chatter. Learn to pick up boredom in their voice and be on your way out when you feel there’s not much else to be talked about, or if you’re running out of questions you can ask them.
1. Do Not Talk About Your Pain
You know what no one likes? a party pooper. I don’t care how much you’re upset at your boyfriend, friends, or doctor, YOU DO NOT TALK about your negative feelings with potential industry contacts. People will run for the hills if all that comes out of your mouth is some sad story. You will end up alienating successful people because they don’t like surrounding themselves with sad individuals. The TOP ACCEPTABLE sad thing to talk about when networking, is how you lost your dog or your cat. Many industry people are loners and most likely they can relate. Anything further than your pets is unacceptable. You are here to level up your career, not to find a shoulder to cry on.
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