You may have heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” several times when looking for new gigs or opportunities. While this isn’t always true, knowing individuals within the music industry can be beneficial to your career.
It’s a great way to build credibility and a network that you can lean on when you need guidance. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will push you to be your best and give you the inspiration you need to take your career to new heights.
Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of networking and some tips to help you get started.
What is networking?
Networking is when you develop professional or social contacts within your industry that can help you progress your career in the future. It’s the process of expanding your circle of acquaintances and putting yourself out there to help open doors to new job opportunities within your field.
Networking opportunities are everywhere. Every band night, school event, a class you enroll in, or music performance you go to in your community is an opportunity to network and meet new people.
Why is it important in the music industry?
The music industry is all about working together. It’s a collaborative environment. If someone needs a new songwriter on a project or a guitar player to join a band, the first thing many people do is tap into their network to see if they know anyone that would be a good fit. They’re looking for recommendations and credible connections.
It works the other way, too. If someone is looking for a new opportunity, they’ll ask their network to see if they know any businesses with any job openings.
These relationships you make within the industry might not seem important at first, but they have the power to guide you towards success. They open doors to new opportunities and give you special consideration over the competition.
People remember confidence. It can be an awkward experience, putting yourself out there and looking to build a network. Once you’re there, don’t let the nerves get to you. Networking is a great opportunity that can take your career in new directions. Show up confident, ready to socialize, and have some fun!
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Always have honest, genuine communication with others to create long-lasting connections. People know when you are trying to be someone else. Being genuine and honest is the best way to make deep connections.
Be deliberate with your words
If you find yourself at a networking event, you’ll want to be mindful of what you say so you don’t forget anything important. Make sure you introduce yourself and don’t forget to mention your full name, job title, and interests. Consider preparing a short but succulent elevator pitch about yourself.
If you’re serious about expanding your network, you’ll want to consider setting goals for yourself. Setting goals helps hold you to a higher standard and gives you something to build towards.
For example, maybe you want to attend at least two networking events a month. Once you get to these events, you can set a touchpoint goal. Consider making at least 3 connections at every networking event. By the end of the year, you’ll have a network of over 72 individuals just from these events.
Always follow up
After you meet someone new, always follow up. Send a text or an email letting the individual know you enjoyed getting to know them. Connect on social media and ask them how they’ve been. Try to make small talk when you can. You want to make sure they remember you.
Don’t be afraid to tap into your network
When you’re ready to start looking for a new opportunity, don’t be afraid to use the network you built. That network is there to help you achieve your goals and find new opportunities.
It’s no secret that the music industry can be competitive. Having a network of professionals to lean on when you need some guidance will make all the difference in the future.
Attending a university like MI will open doors to new opportunities. You’ll be able to surround yourself with like-minded individuals with the same passions and drive as you. Once you graduate, you’ll leave with a network you can always utilize. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level: request information today.