The music business is all about relationships.
Whether it’s a relationship with another musician, a venue owner, a manager, a producer or a fan, you have to be able to create and maintain connections with people. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t need to be difficult either.
Here are my Top 3 Tips For Crafting Valuable Connections For Your Career:
1. Offer value wherever possible
Instead of asking people for help, ask what YOU can do to bring value to someone else. This means putting someone else’s needs first rather than your own.
Kindness is rewarded – not always instantly, but in my own experience, if you do something good for someone, in many cases it will be reciprocated. I’m not saying that you should do these things because you’re expecting something in return – if you do that, you will be sorely disappointed (and not to mention, people can sense that a mile away). You should do it because you want to help others achieve what they want – and maybe, just maybe, someday they will return the favor or pass your name onto someone who will help you out.
Don’t underestimate the power of helping others. I have found that many times, sometimes a year down the line, I’ve been contacted out of the blue after helping someone out. Opportunities are out there, and they’re for the willing and helpful to seize!
2. Engage and ask questions
Social media is a great place to build connections and make relationships. Unfortunately, so many people forget the SOCIAL part and don’t actually talk or engage with people.
This is especially true when it comes to building a fan-base. How many of you try to sell your music to people without even speaking to them first? How many of you try to get your newest Twitter follower to like you on Facebook without even finding out if they’re having a good day? Conversation is a powerful thing, and nothing beats having a solid and genuine relationship with your fans.
Turning followers into fans is no easy task, but it starts with conversation. Spend some time each day talking to those who follow you (and especially those who express an interest and liking for your music) and get to know them. The more you know about your fans, the more you can tailor the content you post, too.
If you can give your fans more reason to love you than just your music, you’re ten steps ahead of the majority of musicians. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, participate in discussions and make your fans and followers feel valued and appreciated.
When it comes to building industry connections, one thing that I have been doing lately is to arrange a Skype call with someone I’ve met on Twitter if I find what they’re doing particularly interesting. I do this because I feel it breaks down the wall a little and turns them from being a Twitter profile photo into a real person. I don’t do it to try and sell a service or get something from the other person – I do it because I want to get to know other people who are working in the industry and to see if there are any experiences we can share and learn from each other. It’s something that I’ve found to be really enjoyable lately and I highly recommend it!
3. Be a Connector
Do you know someone who needs a great producer? Do you KNOW a great producer? Why don’t you connect them and see if you can help them both out?
The ability to connect people is incredible, and it feels great. If you can vouch for someone’s work and you know someone who could benefit from knowing them, make the introduction! It’s valued by both parties (just make sure you ask permission first as not everyone likes getting seemingly random friend requests or having their email/phone number shared) and takes a lot of the hassle out of searching.
Don’t go crazy and connect people just for hell of it; but keep an eye out for the opportunity and if you can make a connection which is going to be valuable and beneficial to someone, take advantage of it!