Every Artistpreneur™ needs to network. The DIY lifestyle can be lonely and take a lot longer to advance. How can you get the most out of connecting with industry peers? We've listed a few tips you’ll find helpful when navigating a room full of strangers.
1. Connect or reconnect with your local community.
Attend local music industry functions and get involved. Go outside your party lines and make new allies with other studio owners, musicians, producers, songwriters, managers, designers, models, retail store managers, videographers, film directors, and photographers. Don’t burn bridges. Look at other creatives as partners, not competition.
2. Utilize social media.
Join relevant groups that will allow you to meet people who share similar interest. Sports may be the perfect icebreaker.
3. Hijack the opportunity.
Engage with the prospect on their social media channels. Here’s an example: Our in-house video team, Black Sox Media, connected with The Internet by shooting their own music video of the song “ROLL (BURBANK FUNK)”. The video went viral and The Internet used the Black Sox Media video during their live show. Black Sox Media is currently producing a documentary about The Internet. Stay tuned.
4. The Presentation is key. Be creative and professional.
Back in the day - before email - you could only send music via snail mail. Tony Perez, co-founder of EP Entertainment and Relentless Management would receive piles of beat CD’s and cassette tapes from songwriters and producers. CD’s usually came in the same manilla envelope package.
Some people put T-Shirts with their CDs. Tony urged newbies to be creative when submitting their music. A producer name Sean “Face” Foote sent Tony a box that stood out from the rest of the submissions. Tony opened the heavy box - in was a CD with a bottle of Grand Marnier. The bottle had a note attached that said: “Fam, when you’re listening to my music and vibing here’s a little bottle of Grand Marnier”. Tony called Face and told him that he will be listening to the CD while sipping the Grand Marnier.
The beat CD had seven records out of sixteen that Tony liked. Two weeks later, Mary J. Blige had recorded a song off the beat CD that ended up on the Love & Life album. The song was called “Friends”- produced by Sean “Face” Foote & Majid “Chi’ Hasan for Horseman Entertainment.
5. Stay humble and Grind. Ghostwriting/Ghost-producing is honorable work.
Think big picture and position yourself to be accessible to power players. Include yourself in the power player’s Rolodex. Be part of the team and play your role effectively. Be prepared to share publishing and production credits on a song where you may have done the bulk of the work, as this is common in the industry.
6. Discover new and effective methods to promote your brand without spamming. Offer some value.
Offer your expertise in areas where others are having problems. Help to problem-solve and share your resources.
7. Don’t lie and spout bullshit.
Don’t talk negatively about people. The music industry is a small world.
8. Build rapport with people before handing out biz cards.
Have genuine conversations and test the waters. Let them talk about themselves more than you.
9. Pick up a physical industry magazine and find the names of the people who wrote, photographed, and edited the magazine/article.
Try to work with some of these people on various levels.
10. Hire a professional with industry credits to help you with your project.
Pay-to-play and get access to industry folks that may have worked with your favorite artist. This will propel you to the next level.
It’s what you know and who you know.