Networking is one of the most important skills every music professional need to learn, practice and not overlook. Networking is like the life of the party, as a music professional you need to go out , meet people, connect with people not just through social media but physically because sometimes people don’t forget who they meet face to face so easily. It is important you network with people on all levels; this will help your music career move forward. There are so many things you can’t do all by yourself; you need people to help you at one point or the other. As a music professional, you should network with top Artistes, music producers, music promoters, OAPs etc. Simply put, networking is building relationships with the key people you need in your industry.
HOW TO NETWORK
Networking is an intentional act and not a child’s play, if you want to network with people you need to be prepared, know what to do and how to do it. Here are few things you should do to network with people:
- Proper preparation: Preparation helps you to focus on the reason why you are doing what you are doing, it helps you to organize yourself, know where you are going to, and know the kind of dressing that suits the place, so you do not dress out of proportion. You need to gather all the information you can get about the place you’re going to network and the person you want to go network with in other to also help you know what you need to take along which includes your business cards etc. Proper preparation helps you look organized and ready.
- Identify what you want to achieve: It is important that you know what you want to achieve by writing down your goals, this is going to help you to be on check and keep you on track. Sometimes we miss out on some opportunities because we’ve not taken time to identify them right before they show up. for example: you know a big artiste like Davido is going to be at the same event you’re planning to attend, if you get a chance to talk to him, what are the conversations you are going to engage him in or are you the type that will first bring out a phone and start talking selfie? You need to identify what your chances are and consciously prepare what line of conversation will leave a lasting good impression in the memory of the person you are meeting.
- Be attractive: This can’t be overemphasized because people are attracted to good looks. The music profession is a show business and you have to try your best at all times to look the part. You don’t necessarily have to break the bank to look good but you can learn on how to make use of what you have to your advantage. Iron your clothes properly, combine the right colors and use good smelling cologne or perfumes appropriately. This will not only attract you to key people in the music industry but it will also give you the right confidence when you make any approach.
- Introduce yourself properly: Introducing yourself when you make an approach to meet someone for the first time is not only polite but very important because it assures that person that they are safe and that you’re courtesy minded. Make your introduction brief and simple, spare them of all unnecessary details, they can always get to know that when you get more friendly later on. High-networth people don’t give audience to people they perceive as time wasters so you want to play your first card right.
- Be open minded: During your conversation, always show that you’re teachable and willing to learn. Don’t argue unnecessarily or interrupt abruptly, be open minded and embrace the person’s opinion even if you don’t totally agree. Be intentional with the conversation so that you can conclude it on a note that will encourage the person to look forward to having more conversations with you another time.
- Do follow-ups: Most networkings will not yield anything immediately until much later, you should embrace this fact and be willing to nurture those contacts till the time it is needed. You might need to keep a form or a diary where you note the contacts of the people you meet per time, the place, the date and also the things you discussed so as to help you remember and have a smooth continuity in your subsequent discussions. Remember that having a person’s contact doesn’t mean you know them or they know you on a personal level so you will need to patiently build a relationship with them so that you can easily get the help you might require from such person.
- Be resourceful: Most successful people in the music industry always have one need or the other and one of the best ways to win their heart is to present yourself as a solution provider. Whoever you meet or plan to meet, always think about what you can give or do for them first and this doesn’t mean you necessarily have to give them a gift but you can figure out how you can render them a service or be of help to their career as well. This strategy will create a connecting point for you, it will give you direct access to them easily and of course give you the opportunity to request for the help that you might need from them.