Getting Connected in the Music Industry
- Build relationships. You have to earn the respect of the industry in order to be ‘accepted.’ Once you are, your friends and associates will be willing to open any door for you. This can take years!
- Be aware of ‘big fish syndrome’. You may be a big fish in your home town, but everything changes when you are dealing with a major music market. All of a sudden you are competing with 10s of thousands of people who were big fishes once all chasing the same dream that you are.
- Everyone you meet might know someone in the industry! Always be prepared! Have and carry business cards. Network everywhere.
- Ask permission before sending anything to an industry pro. Ask what format they want to receive it in. Be respectful and professional.
- Have a professional-looking website, business cards, EPK, Soundcloud page etc. Look professional. So that you are taken seriously.
Tip: Let your website be your salesman. Your job is to drive people to your powerfully designed website where they can make a quick decision about buying your music, joining your newsletter and/or booking you. Then you don’t need to brag on yourself or come across as a salesman.
- Secrets to building relationships:
- Pay it forward. Help others before you ask for help.
- Be professional at all times. (dress, being respectful, ‘gherming)’
- Be honest about yourself but don’t brag. Let the quality of your work and your work ethic do the talking.
- Educate yourself and perfect your craft. It shows you’re serious.
- Show up! Put yourself in the way of opportunity.
- Be willing to work your way up the ladder.
- Don’t ask a pro writer to co-write unless they have heard your songs.
- Who to connect with and how:
- Connect in person or online
- Songwriting organizations such as NSAI (150 local chapters) and Songsalive! Abd Global Songwriters Network (www.globalsongwriters.com)
- Attend workshops
- Go to songwriter nights
- Join a performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC in the Us). Every country has one. Meet with a writer rep if your PRO has one.
- Participate in online forums such as Just Plain Folks (www.jpfolks.com), and SongRamp (www.songramp.com). There are hundreds of them.
- Publishers – Join the Independent Publishers Association, NSAI, PROs
- Label executives – Join A2IM - the Association of Independent Musicians) (www.a2im.org) your local chapter of Women In Music (www.womeninmusic.org). Connect on Linkedin and by joining civic organizations.
- Artists, singers, musicians –Musicians union, Facebook, other online communities like bandmix.com
- Booking agents and venue managers – International Entertainment Buyers Association (www.ieba.org), various local, national and international performing arts associations.
- Fairs and Festivals – International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (www.fairsandexpos.com), local and regional fair organizations, Festivalnet (www.festivalnet.com).
- Performing Arts Centers – Join your local performing arts organizations and showcase at their conventions.
- Entertainment attorneys – In the US - Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides free legal services to artists under a certain income level.
- Everyone – Attend or participate in local and major music conferences. People from every corner of the industry are there to network.
Important! Always check out anyone you are going to work with.
Websites and Newsletters
- www.IndieConnect.com – Packed with videos, articles, tools and resources on success in the music industry. It’s member-based, and has a free membership level. Paid members get more advanced content. It also has a social network where you can connect with others in the industry.