Master Music Industry Networking

Use this checklist to build valuable business relationships.

Picture this, you are at a networking event and it seems like there are a lot of interesting people for you to meet.

You know networking is the key to music industry success, but it always feels awkward and like you are wasting your time.

You completed the exercises in Part 7 of the Artist Branding Playbook and have developed a strong elevator pitch.

So, at least you know how to introduce yourself. But how do you turn those introductions into valuable connections?

You need a framework for growing your network and building mutually-beneficial relationships.

You need to master the process of networking.

When you want to master a concept, using an acronym makes it easier to remember the most important parts.

To become a master of networking, remember the acronym FLOW…

F - Follow Up

L - Learn About People

O - Organize Your Contacts

W - Words that Start With ‘W’ (an important checklist to consider)

F - The letter F stands for ‘Follow Up’.

The most common mistake that people make when trying to build a relationship with a new person or business is that they simply do not follow up. 

For artists, producers, and other creative professionals who are starting out in the music industry, follow up is super important because you are trying to build your team with people who have a tendency to be disorganized.

They’ll often need reminders to follow through on their commitments. 

You are forced to learn organizational techniques, such as using your calendar to lock in with your team. But even then, you may have to send out extra reminders. As you progress through the music industry, you will often find yourself needing to follow up for different reasons… because people are busy. 

For instance, you could be an artist following up with someone who said they wanted to write with you. Or you could be a producer following up with an artist who said they have some songs ready to record.

Follow up is absolutely crucial.

Good follow up skills become even more important as you focus on networking with music business executives and other high level professionals.

The more you are communicating with high level executives, the more perseverance you will need to push your agenda forward. 

Because they are already slammed with too many communications and requests, high level executives must become extremely choosy in how they spend their time. 

So don’t take it personally if you don’t get a response quickly… or at all. Follow up and be sure to bring something of value to the table if you are trying to network with them. 

Review Part 4 of the Artist Branding Playbook for a refresher on how to communicate your value when reaching out to executives.

L - The letter L stands for ‘Learn’.

If you really want to build a relationship with someone, take the time to learn about them. 

If you meet in person, ask them questions about themselves. This not only shows genuine interest in the other person, but it also allows you to gather valuable information and insights. By asking questions, you can learn about their background, experiences, and expertise, which can help you establish meaningful connections.

If you are networking online, find out what you can through a quick internet search. What social media accounts do they have? What are they posting about? Do they have a personal website? What is their position at the company they work for? If they are creative, who have they worked with previously that you might have a connection to? 

Learn about the people you want to network with, and let them know specifically why you think they are great! 

You might be surprised how many doors that one tip can open for you.

O - The letter O stands for ‘Organize’.

A popular report from 2017 states that the worldwide value of data has now surpassed that of oil, making data the world’s most valuable resource. 

If you want to get value from your network, you absolutely must get organized.

When you are constantly growing your network, all the contacts and data that you have to keep up with gets really messy. And you can only benefit from your network to the degree that you can leverage the data about the people who are in your network.

You must learn to organize the information that you collect so that you can leverage it in the future. 

The best way to organize your data is through a CRM - Customer Relationship Management - software that is designed to collect information about all of your relationships. 

Most CRMs also allow you to send emails and other messages through them so that you can track your previous communications with the people you contact. 

For entrepreneurs starting out I recommend using Salesmate as a very affordable starter CRM that still has a lot of powerful features. 

For creatives like artists, producers, and songwriters, I recommend using a direct message based CRM like Laylo or Kommo.

Even using a simple spreadsheet like Google Sheets is a great way to start collecting and organizing data on the individuals and companies that you feel are important to your career. 

W - The letter W is a checklist of important questions and ideas to consider… who, what, why, win-win & the whole world.

Who are you trying to network with?

Get specific! Make a list of the top 100 people you want to meet. Put information about them in your CRM.

What are you trying to accomplish?

If you aren’t clear on your mission and goals, it will be difficult to get people excited about what you are doing. Review Part 2 of the Artist Branding Playbook to develop a strong sense of mission and purpose.

Why should they care?

Do you have a good brand or marketing narrative that shows you are making progress and taking yourself seriously? This is especially important if you are pitching music to busy executives. Learn our top 3 tips here.

Win-Win… how is this relationship going to benefit both parties involved?

No matter how great you become at networking, you won’t be able to build long term partnerships until you learn to think win-win. 

The Whole World… technology has now connected everyone.

Don’t forget that there are billions of people out there, and your perfect partner may not actually be in your town. 

Here’s a recap to make sure you remember how to master music industry networking: Use the acronym F-L-O-W

  • Follow Up!

  • Learn about the people you are networking with.

  • Organize the information that you collect about your relationships. 

  • Get specific enough to answer the questions who, what, why, win-win, and the whole world!

For more thoughts on building your team and manifesting your vision, read the post Big Plans and Partnerships.’

If you have big plans and are looking to form partnerships, be sure to engage on the HOME for Music platform. The online community gives you access to hundreds of ambitious Homies and, by extension, thousands of key music industry relationships. 

We’re here to help you build your dream team!