I’m going to the California Music Industry Summit. Do you have any networking tips?
Everyone’s heard of the phrase, ‘it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.’ Networking is a big deal, especially in the close-knit society of the music industry. At times it may seem impossible to connect with the executives or artists you would like to meet, however it is do-able. Let’s take a look at how you can maximize your meet and greet opportunities.
Please, Please, Please be yourself. Have you met someone and couldn’t quite figure out that quirky thing about them? You know the thing that just wasn’t quite right? More than likely the person had a fake persona that they were trying to pass on to you. Be confident in who you are. If there are areas of your life that you are dissatisfied with, work on them diligently and quietly. You want people to connect with you and not some character you may forget. The real you is better than the fake somebody else.
Mind your business. You may only get one chance to make your elevator pitch in front of your favorite executive or entertainer. Practice your pitch which should include your name, name of your company, what you do, and an invitation to connect with them on another level. Practice several different introductions, so that you will not sound nervous, and so that you’ll be able to approach people with different temperaments.
Work the room. Talk to everyone. One epic fail that people make is not talking to everyone. You’ll be surprised how ordinary some power players actually look. Stay knowledgeable about current affairs so that you can easily start a conversation with your new acquaintances. Be prepared to tell what you do, but also take the time to listen. Everyone loves an audience. Don’t spend too much time; remember your goal is to meet as many people as possible who can help you accomplish your goals. If you want to continue the conversation, ask if you can leave your business card with them and if you may have theirs. Within a few days, follow up will a short email saying how pleased you were to meet them.
There are no longer ‘six degrees of separation.’ The advent of social media has narrowed the gap between who you want to meet and who can introduce you. Use your social marketing savvy to make the connection. Do’s: Direct message the person with a short professional note. Be realistic. You may not get a reply. Don’t: Bombard a person’s timeline trying to get in contact with them. After two carefully spaced out tries, leave it alone. The person may not need your services at that time.
Keep in Contact. Once you’ve made the connection, make it last. Back-up your phone and email information into a database that you should visit often. Find creative ways to stay connected, such as sending interesting articles, celebrating birthdays, etc. that will deepen the friendship over time. If you connect over social media, visit that person’s page, reply back to interesting posts, and pass along information on their products whenever appropriate.
Networking, like all relationships, involves give and take. Don’t always be on the receiving end. If there are ways you can assist, offer to do so. This includes introducing new acquaintances to others. Manage your business relationships as you would your personal ones. Don’t be a distant relative. Stay in contact and connected.
Post courtesy of Claudette Black Pearl Entertainment