How To Make Friends In The Music Industry
From making friends other musicians, promoters, fans or even sponsors; for any new musician, networking is essential for growth in the industry. There's a lot to be gained from fellow musicians and music lovers with differing styles and opinions. It is also a great avenue for collaborations and potential opportunities.
As important as it is, many find it hard to network and make new friends. If it's been hard for you, try these helpful tips. Remember that networking at the end of the day is simply building relationships with people of like minds, and who doesn't want that.
Look to connect, not to sell
Focus on forming a genuine connection with people. Ask questions about who they are, what they do, their interests etc. In a world where many people are self-engrossed, be the listener, the person who cares. People are looking for other people they can relate to. Engage the other person; don't control the conversation; and be yourself (because you're good enough).
Social media is a great way to connect with people, even before meeting them physically. Get your social media pages in order and follow people you'd want to connect with. Don't be afraid to tell people you admire that you admire them. Double tap, leave comments and dms. You never know who would reply. Be careful however, not to come across as overbearing.
Connecting on social media is good but it should not replace real life interactions; you need to actively get out there. You could attend workshops, concerts, and any other event that could benefit your career. It may not be easy at first (especially for introverted musicians), but the more you practice, the easier it will be to be in a room with, and make small-talk with strangers.
Smiling is one of the simplest things you can do to make you appear more approachable. If you're uncomfortable starting up conversations, at least make it easy for others to approach you. Also dress like you want to be addressed. Not only will people want to get to know who you are, you'll find that you're more confident when you look put together.
Research and practice
Confidence is key and knowledge breeds confidence. Do a little research about the people you are about to meet; read up on them and their current projects as these could serve as ice-breakers. Every creative should have an elevator pitch, practice yours to avoid rambling. They come in handy when you meet potential sponsors and business partners. You should be able to describe yourself and what you do in three to four lines.
When you meet someone new, get some contact information and follow up. Make up notes about them to personalise your follow up message. It may also be wise to have business cards ready to enable you leave your contact information with people you meet.
Give and receive
The whole point of networking is to form mutually beneficial long-term relationships. Think about what you can do to help before outrightly asking for favours. Many people tend to be more receptive when you're bringing value so think about adding value first. "Give and you shall receive."
Meet people through people
The more people you meet, the bigger your circle grows. Being friends with one person opens you up to their circle. You never know, a friend could introduce you to the person that would move your music to the next level. You may also get to point where you no longer have to introduce yourself.
Relax! Meeting new people can be fun and full of endless possibilities. You never know where a new connection could take you. Remember that networking is just a fancy word for talking to people who work in the same business as you. Use these tips and enjoy making connections.