Why Networking Is So Important In Music
For me, I started off completely alone in the world of music. I always loved music and wanted to write it and record it but didn't know how. None of my friends or family at the time were musical people so I didn't have any resources or help through them.
I eventually made the choice to study music production and business and things really started to open up from there. Apart from the amazing support from the staff, another great thing to come out of it was the networking opportunities. This made me realise how important networking is in any line of work but even more so in a creative industry such as music!
Why Networking Is important:
The main reason networking is needed in music is due to the fact that it's quite a closed off industry, where a lot of the work is word of mouth and social media networking will only get you so far. Meeting others face to face is definitely the best way to grow your network and make contacts that may be able to really help you as your professional relationship develops.
There are many music industry networking events you can attend to do this, and the possibilities are endless. Networking can lead to anything from new collaborations with artists and producers to pretty much anything! Sometimes you might meet someone when you don't expect it as well. For example, I once got talking to a guy in a pub and his friend needed a sound engineer who could operate a digital mixing desk at a local venue. From that meeting, I ended up working as the sound engineer for that particular venue. That's how things can happen, so always be prepared!
Music Industry Networking for Independent Musicians:
If you're a DIY artist/producer, networking is even more essential, because without the support from a record label, you're completely alone. Of course, you can succeed alone, but the more people you can rely on for help the better and you'll have a higher chance of succeeding. Try to build a 'team' of people who you can work with for mutual benefit. Attend as many networking events as possible and speak to as many people as you can.
Don't go straight into a conversation trying to pitch your work, but be friendly, open and patient in how you present yourself. First impressions really do matter and building a rapport with another industry professional is the most important thing. Try to show your passion for what you do, as it usually shines through during conversation and of course your music! Then when you get their contact details, follow up with a pitch or idea as your relationship develops.
The more people you meet, the more your network will expand, and some of the people you meet may know each other, or be able to introduce you to their networks, expanding it further.
If you're trying to get music related work and haven't attended a networking event yet, I strongly encourage you to do so! I'm not saying you'll manage to get some amazing work on the first go but start to develop those relationships and try and make it a regular occurrence.
If, like me, you feel a bit nervous at first, try to work on your conversation skills and body language. Even rehearse potential conversations beforehand, as this could really improve your confidence on the actual day of the event.
Also, remember business cards!