So, You’re an artist. You’ve got a good backstory and you have some really good tracks as well. But getting people to hear your tracks has proven to be a bit more tricky than you initially thought. And preferably you don’t just want anyone to hear your tracks, you want the right people to hear your tracks. Now what? The answer to this is simple, and you probably heard it before: networking.
But what exactly is ‘networking’ and how do you make most out of any opportunities you might get? We will give you a few tips on this later on. But first it’s important to start with the definition of ‘networking’. The dictionary describes it as ‘Networking is defined as the act of making contact and exchanging information with other people, groups and institutions to develop mutually beneficial relationships’. Of course, easier said than done. But it’s definitely a must in the music industry of today. For this Tips & Tricks we’ll focus on the real-life meeting of people in order to grow your career.
It sounds like a lot of work and effort, distracting you from the fun part; music. But fear not, we’re here to give you a few tips that will surely help you out in your efforts!
1. Do your homework
Find out as much information as you can about the specific event you’re going to. Who are going to be there? Who could you connect to, that would benefit your career? What do they look like? How would it benefit your career? What would you have to offer them? What are they generally interested in? These are a few basic questions you can ask yourself in order to place yourself in the shoes of the other person you’re trying to connect with. Being prepared will save you from any embarrassments or awkward situations, and can actually create some good moments of opportunity.
2. Pick your battles
While networking can be fun, especially during social events, you can’t be everywhere all the time. Sometimes it can surely feel you need to be everywhere though. Because of this it’s important to pick events you think you’d have the best chance of meeting the right people. You don’t always have to start with the ‘biggest player’ either. Start your way somewhere else and work towards the top. Events that are generally very useful for networking purposes are events where you’ll meet a lot of likeminded people. In the current dance music you can think of events like; Amsterdam Dance Event, Winter Music Conference Miami, International Music Summit (Ibiza), BPM, Dancefair, SXSW, PLS or many more. Also label night events are a perfect opportunity meeting any of the label people.
3. Practice your pitch
You want the other parties to be interested in what you have to offer. But what exactly do you have to offer? Are you just offering a track? Or are you offering yourself as an artist? Think about what you want to say to the right people. Think of how you present your music, but more importantly at that moment, how you present yourself. Most of the times, record labels, management agencies, booking agencies, promoters are looking for the complete package. Not just a random guy with a random track, but someone who professionally presents himself as an artist.
4. Be yourself and be honest
While it might sound like a dead give-away, unfortunately a lot of people still don’t understand this basic concept. By making promises you can’t keep or presenting a skewed version of yourself, you’ll be creating problems for yourself in the long-run. Any negative association is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve with all the networking purposes. Because of that, it’s extremely important to be yourself. Be the best possible version of yourself, but be yourself nonetheless.
5. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat.. and follow-up.
When you meet someone you think could be a benefit to your music career, be sure to follow up. Try to stay in touch, even if at that moment it doesn’t generate a positive result straight away. By keeping in touch you make sure he or she will remember your name or face. Next time you’ll see this person at an event, or send him an e-mail, this person will know who he’s dealing with.
6. Don’t be discouraged
There’s a good chance, you won’t get ‘there’ on your first try. No matter how hard you worked for it, how much homework you did and how you practiced your pitch. Don’t be discouraged though. Practice makes perfect. In time you’ll learn how to move through the ranks, learn the social do’s and don’ts and you’ll meet the right people. And once that happens, there’s nothing stopping you from growing your music career. All the best of luck to you!
Anyway, I hope these tip will help you getting your tracks or your brand out there. Happy producing! Happy networking! And if you need any help, you know where to find me! ?
Michael de Kooker