You probably know by now just how important networking is to your career in the music industry. The issue is, the cost of festivals, conferences, concerts, events, etc. is not cheap. Putting yourself out there comes at a price ( and not a very cheap one.) Here’s SonicBids 4 ways to grow your network for FREE.
“1. Research before introducing yourself
Reaching out to people individually is the best way to simply put yourself out there and try to strike up a connection. If you never email a single influencer, can you really expect them to just find you out of the endless sea of other independent artists fighting for attention?
But it’s important to do your research beforehand. Who are the people who are going to matter most to you? If you want a record deal, you could theoretically go find thousands upon thousands of email addresses of record label executives, but would that really be a good use of your time? Spend a while researching the people you want to connect with. It’ll help you make a strong introduction, and it’ll focus your network toward your goals, rather than just expand it for the sake of it.
2. Join a local music industry meetup group
Look up music industry meetup groups in your community – if you’re not in NYC or LA, that doesn’t mean there aren’t big networking groups nearby. They’re typically free to join, and consist of people like you who are looking to build up their industry contacts. Try to find a diverse group that includes not only musicians, but perhaps also promoters, booking agents, record shop owners, and so on.
If you have a hard time finding a meetup in your area, join one online! There are several Facebook and LinkedIn groups dedicated to musicians sharing job and gig opportunities, as well as sharing interesting articles and insights.
3. Do them a favor (without being asked)
Doing a favor for someone you’d like to connect with can go a long way – even a small one. Give a shout-out on Twitter to that local artist who just released a great new YouTube video. Click “going” on the Facebook event for that indie band coming to your town, and invite friends who you think would be interested in checking them out with you (and actually go to the show, of course!).Message the band to let them know you did so – but with genuine excitement, not acting like you did them a favor that should be returned. Be sure to introduce yourself before or after the show – they’ll appreciate your efforts, and certainly remember you with a positive impression!
4. Show your support
Supporting the networks you want to build is a great way to begin developing a relationship. For example, the popular music blog Kick Kick Snare sends an automated message when you submit your music to them. In that automated message, it asks you to please first make sure you support their site before asking to be supported by them. It also says, “Not only that, but engage with me! I see those hearts, shares, favorites. Because I do not cover Top 40 artists, the only way to grow here is to do so together. I take great pains to link through to your band’s website, social networks, and to help you build a network of admirers. In return, I just ask that we ride or die this. Let’s grow big and strong and popular together!” Showing your support won’t cost you a cent, and you don’t have to be in a major music city to do it. The same goes with artists you’d like to tour with, record labels you want to sign to, etc. Be a supporter.
We’ve gone over ways to reach out and why it’s important to do so, but when you finally do it, make sure it’s personal. Don’t come up with an ambiguous experience you can apply to multiple contacts – make it specific to that person. If you’re honest and sincere, influencers will recognize that in you and appreciate it.”
Being genuine and sincere to others can come a lot longer than you might think it will. Treating others the way you want to be reciprocated could be a simple step to building a strong network.