How to network in the music industry is a question that many musicians have no doubt asked themselves. When you’re navigating a sector as competitive as music, where there’s no shortage of talent but opportunities are few and far between, having a solid network can make all the difference.
Connecting with fellow musicians and industry professionals such as producers, agents, managers or promoters can open many doors for you and is an important factor in generating opportunities such as collaborations, gigs and even recording deals. These relationships can also provide you with valuable insight into industry trends and upcoming opportunities.
That being said, a strong network isn’t just about knowing a lot of people and, although it can take time, it’s important to make genuine connections and nurture meaningful relationships by engaging with people in an authentic way.
Here are a few tips on how to network effectively in the music industry:
1. The importance of both depth and reach in your network
Reach and depth are two important factors to consider when building a network and finding the right balance between the two is crucial.
While a broad network can give you access to a variety of opportunities and resources, a deep network provides you with support and guidance.
The best way to get a broad network is by not limiting yourself to just one sector of the music industry, and even by not limiting yourself to the music industry at all.You should mix with people from all walks of life and who work in different fields. A wide and diverse network can open up more opportunities, and you never know when one might be right for you.
It’s fine to target a particular person if you know they can help you achieve your goals. But you also need to be open to whatever, or whoever, life throws at you. Don’t be too quick to pass over someone who might not fit your criteria. If that person can’t help you today, they might be able to help you later on, or introduce you to someone who could help you! One of the best things about having a broad network is knowing people who have the skills and expertise you lack. Not only does this provide an excellent learning opportunity, but it can also seriously help you when you’re faced with a challenge.
Now, the only way to achieve a deep network is over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are authentic relationships. They require mutual trust, understanding and support – things that can only be proven over years, not days. So be patient and nurture your relationships.
Now let’s get down to the practical stuff. You know why it’s essential to have a deep and diverse network, let’s look at how to create an effective one.
2. Network in the music industry by taking part in industry events
The most important thing is to be proactive and always be open to meeting new people.
Concerts and music jams are a great way to meet other musicians you might want to collaborate with, as are music festivals.
Industry events, such as panels and workshops, are great for meeting people who work in the industry. It may be worth working on a good elevator pitch so that you’re ready to present yourself effectively, as people may not have time to have a long chat. First impressions are important, so make yours positive and memorable and follow up consistently, always showing a genuine interest in the other person. The music industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations, so always be professional and polite.
Now let’s talk about networking locally, because it’s perhaps the most important thing you can do. There are many opportunities within your local community alone and by taking advantage of them, you’ll be building a strong support system of fellow musicians and venue owners, and maybe even industry professionals.
3. How to network online
Every opportunity and every space is good for networking. And in the digital age, online networking is perhaps the biggest advantage you have. After all, it’s never been easier to connect with someone on the other side of the world who’s the perfect person to help you achieve your next goal.
But to network effectively online, you first need to build a solid online presence that showcases your work. To do this, you need to make sure your professional social media platforms are up to date and you should aim to add new material often so that people know you’re still active. The music scene is very crowded and you need to take every opportunity to show what you can do and put yourself forward.
Don’t hesitate to take things a step further and use platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as online platforms such Soundcloud or music blogs, to get in touch with other artists and professionals in the industry.
It may be worth taking the time to create a professional website to showcase your work and achievements. These are things that take time to set up but can really pay off. After all, networking works both ways and it’s just as important to make it easy for people to find you and get in touch with you.
But don’t forget that it’s important to engage with other people. After all, that’s what networking is all about. It’s not just about knowing names that you can then slip into conversations, it’s about creating a good network of supportive people who want to help you achieve your goals, and whom you can help in return.
4. There’s no better way to network in the music industry than to collaborate
Few things forge deeper bonds than working with someone else, because it requires mutual trust and respect.
Don’t limit yourself to other musicians, collaborate with people in different fields to expand your network. You could even look to collaborate outside the traditional music space and develop relationships with artists or designers in other fields, such as film or fashion. These relationships can lead to a variety of opportunities.
Finally, don’t be afraid to volunteer, especially if you’re new on the music scene. This could allow you to get some hands-on experience and forge relationships with professionals who have been working in the industry for a while.
5. What are music industry directories?
It’s a good idea to research and target people in the music industry who you think could help you achieve your goal, such as fellow artists, producers, managers, promoters and journalists. This can seem like a lot of work but all the information is out there and thankfully, there are places where you can find all of this. These are music industry directories and are databases that contain the contact information for key players in the music industry, including record labels, managers, publishers, venues, agents, promoters, studios, publicists, music lawyers and associations.
Have a look at the music industry professionals you can contact directly on Groover 👇
6. Authenticity is key when networking in the music industry
The problem with networking is that it can come across as fake and opportunistic. That’s why it’s so important that you remain authentic and don’t compromise on your values and beliefs.
Building a strong and supportive network is an ongoing process that takes time, and being genuine in your interactions will help you build lasting relationships and seize more opportunities.
When you reach out, make it personal and specific to the person you want to make contact with and build a relationship with. Remember that networking is a two-way street. It’s not just about what you can gain, it’s also about what you can contribute, so look for ways to bring value to others in your network. Always be ready to help others so that they are more likely to do the same for you.