I launched the first major music industry networking event in London at a time when there wasn’t many music industry networking events around (that’s why I did it), but since then, dozens of other networking events have cropped up, each with relative success – which suggests one thing to me, and one thing only: there’s a real need for it.
And the reason there’s a need for it, is because the creative industries (music, fashion, film/TV, art, etc) tend to be closed-off industries, where it’s all about ‘who you know.’ The best way to build a network is through face-to-face networking, as social media will only get you so far. You can’t build rapport on social media, but you can in real life.
I know musicians who get most of their work from the people they know, and this is why networking is an undeniable source of power, no matter which area of the industry you work in. If you’re an artist looking for a manager, you’ll find loads of managers at networking events, and independent labels if that’s the route you want to go down.
Music Industry Networking for Independent Musicians
But if you’re taking the DIY route, networking becomes even more essential, because the more people you can rely upon for help, the better. You’ll need to build a team, and what better way to do it than through face-to-face networking? The key here is to attend as many events as possible and speak to as many people as possible and get their contacts details.
And be friendly with people. Make friends first! Ditch the hard sell, and leave a good impression. But always follow up! What do you think is a more effective way of achieving your goals? Blanket sending demo CD’s to a record label? Or becoming friends with the A&R person, and then handing them your CD once they know you?
I’ll leave you to decide.
If you’re looking for something in particular, or collaborations, networking events are the way to go. And the more people you meet, the more your circle will expand, and you will create your own network where some of the people you met may know each other, or be able to introduce you to their networks.
Don’t Underestimate the Value
And in the music industry, I can tell you that as well as working on perfecting your talent, your network is the most valuable thing you’ll ever have. Without one, you won’t get anywhere. The only reasons young artists get noticed is because they have tapped into this very foundation and put themselves in front of the right people.
It beats being a bedroom guitarist, and that’s for sure.
Seeing as I stopped running my networking event, your best source for events is Meetup, AIM, BASCA, UK Music, PRS For Music, PPL, Help Musicians UK, the MU, Music Week, The Unsigned Guide, Media Match Magazine, and the ISM. Sign up to their newsletters if you haven’t already, and get checked in. You won’t regret it.
This is a guest post by George Taylor who launched London’s largest, and most popular music industry networking event, ‘Strictly Go Networking For Music Professionals,’ and who ran Creative Industry Hub, but recently launched an event agency called LS4 Events.