In-Person Networking Tips for Musicians

We’ve recently welcomed music marketing savant Jem Bahaijoub as a contributor to the Indie Ambassador Blog. We’ll give you the full rundown on her background and experience later, but for now, check out her most recent article on the topic of face-to-face networking. As Jem points out, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the digital sphere and forget the value of engaging eye contact and a solid handshake. Take a look at her in-person networking pointers as outlined below, and give us any memorable networking stories (good or bad) in the comments!

-Aidan

(ImaginePR) Five Principles of Face-to-Face Networking

Credit: Jem Bahaijoub

Indie Ambassador Blog E2G Physical NetworkingIt’s easy to forget the importance of good old traditional human contact. With all the hype over Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and now Google+, most musicians are under pressure to be online 24 hours a day. However, one of the most effective ways to network is still face-to-face. Remind yourself of these following five principles when you go on your next schmoozathon and you’ll be good to go -

Quality Not Quantity
Networking at industry events should never be viewed as a numbers game. Musicians and industry professionals who race around trying to gather as many business cards as possible are forgetting the most important aspect of networking – good conversation. I strongly believe that establishing a genuine connection with a handful of people (even just one) will make you much more memorable than getting into the face of dozens.

Think of it as similar to dating – ask questions, listen and get to know your colleagues or potential fans. You may not gel with everyone. That’s okay. You don’t always have to aggressively target the people you feel you “should” know. Being relaxed, friendly and genuine will make you much more memorable.

Giving Not Getting
When I first moved to the US, I was really touched by a handful of people I met at events who went out of their way to help me for no reason at all. They either introduced me to friends of theirs or sent me information about a topic of conversation we were discussing. They asked for nothing in return, and as a result instantly stuck in my mind. This made me realize that by focusing on what you can give, rather than what you can get will lead to more valuable relationships in the long-run.

Everyone is Equal
We’ve all seen it hundreds of times before – those people whose eyes glaze over when they realize that the person they are talking to is “not important enough”. We all have agendas, and time is money, but mental hierarchies are presumptuous and arrogant. You should always view everyone as equally valuable. Remember the proverb “great oaks from little acorns grow’.

Be Prepared
No one likes a musician who aggressively shoves a CD in your face. However, being prepared with CDs, business cards and flyers is a must. You just need to ensure that your timing is right. Use your judgement, be courteous, humble and realistic. Always remember the basics too – label your CDs with contact details, and ensure that your business cards and flyers are striking, brand-consistent, and readable.

The Art of The Follow Up
We all know how important it is to follow up. You just need to think carefully about how you are going to do it. I hate it when someone tries to friend me on Facebook without as much as a message to say hello again. Try to make it as personal as possible – a chatty email re-introducing yourself or a shout-out on Twitter. Even better, send a hand-written note or put in a phone call. Think it through and make it worthwhile.

With all this in mind, get networking!

  • jack budd

    All good ideas!
    Especially  giving not getting.
    It really is amazing what doors open for you if you focus not so much on what you can get out of a person/situation and instead focus on what you can give.

    http://blog.thedinermusic.com/