In the music industry, networking has become an essential skill for aspiring musicians and industry professionals alike. With the rise of so many digital platforms, social media, and streaming services, the landscape of music networking has undergone a significant expansion in this new era
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Let’s explore some of the most effective strategies and techniques to navigate and why networking is such an important factor for you to thrive in the new music business..
Understand the Power of Networking:
Networking is a term that specifically refers to actively cultivating and building meaningful connections and professional relationships with individuals who can support and contribute to your music career. This often results in opening doors to professional opportunities, creative collaboration, mentorship, and exposure to a wider array of contacts than you previously had. Recognizing the value of networking in your professional career and approaching it with a proactive mindset is crucial for success in the music industry.
Utilize Online Social Media Platforms:
Today, you have various Social Media platforms which allow you to build a strong presence on such platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, for example, is very useful for building professional contacts (Managers, Agents, Producers, A&R Executives, publicists, etc) within the music industry. You can use these platforms and channels to showcase your music, engage with fans, connect with industry professionals, and participate in relevant conversations with a multitude of various communities. They provide a vehicle for you to consistently share updates about your music, performances, and share various relevant milestones with various communities to create a compelling online presence.
b. Music Streaming Platforms: Leverage music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud to build awareness and promote your music and connect with fans. They also allow you to collaborate with other artists, curate playlists, and engage with listeners to expand your network. As we mentioned before, LinkedIn, in particular allows you to actively seek out and engage with industry influencers and playlist curators to increase your visibility and expand awareness within the music community.
c. Online Communities and Forums: Join the various online communities and forums dedicated to music industry professionals, musicians, and fans. There are several of these on Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms. Participate in discussions, share knowledge, ask questions, and offer valuable insights. Building relationships with like-minded individuals can lead to collaborations, gig opportunities, and valuable industry connections you would not have the opportunity to make otherwise. .
Attend Music Festivals, Conferences & Workshops:
a. Music Festivals: Music festivals provide excellent networking opportunities, as they bring together artists, industry professionals, and fans for a very specific period of time. You should attend festivals relevant to your genre or style and actively engage with as many relevant attendees as possible..
b. Conferences and Workshops: Music Industry conferences and workshops provide invaluable educational and networking opportunities. Attend panels, workshops, and networking events to connect with industry insiders, musicians, and potential collaborators. Engage in as many conversations with fellow attendees, speakers, and panelists as possible, and exchange contact information to nurture relationships beyond the event.
Building and Maintain Relationships:
a. Authentic Connections: Networking is about building genuine connections, so approach it with authenticity and sincerity. Be genuinely interested in others, listen actively, and offer support and assistance where possible. Networking is a two-way street, so you have to be willing to contribute value to your network as well.
b. Follow-Up and Stay in Touch: After making an initial connection, it’s so important for you to follow up with all of the various individuals you met. 95% of people DON’T DO THIS, so when you do, it really leaves an impression with people. Send personalized messages or emails expressing your gratitude and mentioning specific points from your conversation with them. Stay in touch periodically by sharing updates, offering assistance, or engaging with their content. Remember, maintaining these connections will keep you top of mind and open doors to future opportunities.
Collaborate and Cross-Promote:
Cross-Promotion with other artists: Partnering with other fellow artists to cross-promote each other's work is a great way to network and expand your audience. This could include sharing each other's music, featuring on each other's social media platforms, or performing together. By leveraging each other's networks, you not only amplify your own reach but you will also attract new listeners and industry connections.
Seek Industry Mentorship:
If you’re looking to build a career on the business side of the music industry, you want to Identify various music industry professionals in the business who align with your goals and values. Reach out to them respectfully, expressing your admiration for their work, and explain how their mentorship could benefit your career. A mentor can provide guidance, industry insights, and introductions to their network, significantly boosting your career trajectory. LinkedIn is a great source for you to identify and contact them.
Networking is an essential component of success in the new music business of today. By leveraging online platforms, attending industry events, building and maintaining creative and professional relationships, collaborating, seeking mentorship, and embracing both digital and in-person networking opportunities, you will establish a robust network of supporters, collaborators, and relationships with various music industry professionals. -MUBUTV
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