The music industry is one of the most exciting industries to work in, but getting your foot in the door can be challenging. Networking and forming connections in this industry can help you build a career and meet other like-minded, creative people that you can learn from. However, while making connections in the music industry is important, reaching out to people you think can help you can be daunting.
This guide will walk you through a list of ways to make connections in the music industry. Hopefully, by the end of our guide, you’ll feel more confident about reaching out to folks who can help you!
Why is Networking So Important?
You’ve probably heard the common saying that it’s not about what you know but rather who you know. While this saying is very true, it can seem a bit trite if you don’t know anybody in the industry that can point you in the right direction. Making music means that you will collaborate with many people, like songwriters, producers, and instrumentalists, who help bring songs to life.
Therefore, you must keep in mind that when it comes to networking and forming essential connections, you must make sure you interact with people working in different parts of the industry. Even though it will help you to interact with people in senior positions, it’s also important to remember that establishing a rapport with producers, vocalists, and instrumentalists is also crucial to the collaborative process of making music.
It doesn’t matter what your role is in the music industry. Connecting with people whose roles vary within the music industry will take you very far.
Now, let’s look at several ways to form connections in the music industry.
6 Ways to Make Connections in the Music Industry
1. Put yourself out there.
While this first tip might sound like the obvious choice, it’s one of the hardest things to do! Putting yourself out there in any scenario can be intimidating, but it is also the only way to kickstart your career in music. Talking to other people is one of the best ways to establish connections! The music industry is full of creative people with a common goal and passion: they want to make music and share it with the world.
Therefore, you need to do things like attend music events and talk to as many people as you possibly can. Keep an eye out for music events in your city, and visit a few events every month. If you’re a singer or in a band, sign up for open mic gigs or events that allow you to play your music. Make sure you reach the events early so you can talk to the sound engineers, other bands, and people in the crowd. Speaking to the other musicians at the events is crucial because they can help connect you to managers in charge of bigger gigs, music lawyers, and even record labels. If you’re a music producer or a songwriter, approach bands or other songwriters and talk to them about their styles of music. If you find that your styles match, ask them if they would be interested in collaborating with you!
At the end of the day, you can start to build connections within the music industry by simply talking to new people.
2. Be polite, professional, and confident.
The music industry is cutthroat and full of booming personalities. You must ensure that you stand out in a crowded room for the right reasons. No one will want to work with you if you are rude, overconfident, and unprofessional. Remember to speak to people with respect and kindness, but remember that you must be assertive and confident in how you talk—your tone of voice matters. Networking can be awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will become easier the more you keep doing it.
3. Be mindful of your body language and facial expressions.
Your body language plays a crucial role in making connections with other people. Aside from being polite and talking kindly to others, you must remember to express yourself confidently. This means standing straight and making direct eye contact. Avoid slouching, crossing your arms, and looking down at your feet. Since the music industry is full of confident people you want to engage with, you must ensure that you match their energy and present yourself as interested and confident.
4. Always be prepared with music samples.
Now that you know you want to form connections in the music industry, it’s important to remember that you must always be prepared with samples of your music. You never know when you could meet someone that will help elevate your career, so it’s essential to be ready. For instance, if you’re a singer-songwriter and want to start a career as a singer, you must have a few written samples and recorded songs. Don’t worry too much about not having studio-grade equipment to record yourself! Use your mobile phone to record yourself singing, and create a separate folder on your phone full of original music.
If you’re a music producer who wants to break into the industry, ensure you have samples of the work you’ve produced. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t produced any new music! You just need to work on a few songs you thoroughly enjoy by producing them in your style. No matter what you do, make sure that you have samples of your work that you can send out to people that might be interested.
5. Use social media to your advantage.
Using social media is another wonderful way to make connections within the music industry. Social media sites can help you build an audience and simultaneously interact with fellow musicians and music executives. It will also help you stay informed about upcoming events where you can go and talk to people.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people working in the music industry through social media. You can email and direct message them to promote your music or invite them to gigs or shows at which you perform. If you aren’t a performer but would like to collaborate with them, you can reach out to them via social media and establish a rapport with them. Be polite, professional, and clear about who you are, and remember to maintain a sense of decorum when reaching out to people.
6. Make sure you maintain contact with them.
Once you start to talk to people and establish rapport, you must ensure that you follow up on them! It’s important to remember that thousands of people want to break into the music industry. If you don’t follow up on potential connections, there’s a good chance that you’ll be forgotten and eventually replaced. Therefore, you must remember that to stay relevant and present in the minds of the people you connect with, you must maintain contact with them!
The music industry can be tough to break into and form connections with, but once you start to put yourself out there, it will get easier over time. It’s important to remember that you need to start small when trying to establish connections by going to local events in your city and talking to as many people as you possibly can. Talking to people and building trust will take you far. Now that you’ve read through the tips mentioned above, you can go out and start building a career in the music industry!