Love it or hate it networking is a crucial part of modern day music business life. No matter what you want to achieve in any area – there are people out there that can assist you with your dreams. Networking means developing a broad list of contacts — people you’ve met through various social and business functions – and asking for their assistance in your endeavours. This skill is critical to your success particularly if you want to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be in the shortest amount of time.
Consider the concept of your network being your net worth. Whom you choose to spend your time with is a reflection of your net worth and affects it dramatically. They say your income will generally be 10% within that of your closest friends’ income. However, this principle applies to all of life’s areas your music business career included. Choose to spend your time with people who support your ambition whatever it may be and who are striving, and stay away from those who are wholly negative, even if you are simply motivated. When it comes to making more P’s be it in music business or landing a better paid job, unfortunately it is about how you know who you know and not just good honest hard graft. You have to be good at both. The majority of financial and business opportunities come from connecting with the right people at the right time creating a win-win deal. Where your contact can assist you but more importantly you can assist your contact.
So what do you do? Here are a few ideas to consider.
The best way to network is that Utopian Pay It Forward principle. If you are willing to show people that you can help them when you can, they are very likely to return the favour. You will find that this is very much part of the networking and entrepreneurial culture. Also be watchful of those “isn’t it a small world” moments that create those once in a lifetime opportunities for you.
Be open-minded when it comes to networking. It is very easy to limit networking to your social activities, group or your industry. The point is you never know where people are going to wind up. Please do not fall into the self-important trap of thinking “this person who wants to know me just cannot help me.” You will magically meet the people who can assist you on your path if you are open your eyes and network 360 degrees. In reality, we have no clue who knows who. People can sense this attitude and you could be missing golden opportunities.
Set yourself a target of meeting 3-5 people per week who could potentially help you with your dreams and goals. You could be in the position to leverage potentially 156-260 new relationships in a year. However, do understand that these relationships have to be developed, do get to know people and what they are looking for in Life and how you can serve them.
With this in mind you have a strategy with introductions – meditate on how you can help someone you are about to meet or meditate on how you can help them with their goals before contacting them. This gives you an opening and an angle. One of the most rewarding experiences I have had was to help a friend with his trip to Mauritius. My friend originally from the UK was planning a holiday there and asked my advice as I have Mauritian heritage. This was a real pleasure and I hope it helped make his holiday a success. This is the superglue of your relationships and the culture you must cultivate within your network. Concentrate on the little favours you can do. Have you seen an article of interest that your contacts might appreciate? Can you link your contacts together so that they can assist each other? Did you recently read a book that you could recommend to your contacts? Be confident and take a genuine interest. People tend to do business or give jobs to people they like! Don’t be afraid of over-giving because you should and must call in your favours. Remember some people like doing favours; it does wonders for their ego! Be bold and don’t forget to ask for those all important referrals.
Make these habits and it won’t seem so hard. Be organised. Keep a computer database (not your mobile phonebook!) with some updated simple notes on your contacts. Think of all the people you know and how you can leverage this network to meet your needs and theirs. This is very powerful if you do it everyday. Perhaps start with calling or emailing 3 of your existing contacts every week to warm them up, spend 15 minutes chatting or create an email dialogue. Arrange a meeting with at least one of them and see where this leads you. It could take you places you want to go perhaps even beyond.
Good luck and happy networking!
You are more than welcome to network with me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leena.sowambur
Leena speaks all over the country on the subject of digital music business. Events regularly include University of East London, University of Chester, University of Westminster, The Manchester College, London Metropolitan University, Croydon Council, Southwark Council and Portobello Business Centre. She recently spoke at TEDx.
Leena’s business “Positively Music “is a coaching business that helps top music industry organisations create communities of raving fan customers. She is writing a new book called “The Fan Experience” focussed on the music fans’ growing role in the music business with the audio visual product and training courses to match.
The Fan Experience Tip Sheet contains 101 tips on creating better fan experience for music business, above you will see a sampler to get all 101 tips visit the link below:-
Say “hi” on Facebook www.facebook.com/positivelymusic
Read more about Leena Sowambur at www.leenasowambur.com
Keep updated on The Fan Experience here www.thefanexperience.co.uk
BRAND NEW ONLINE MUSIC BUSINESS SHORT COURSES!
CHECK OUT www.musicbusinessbuilder.com
There will also be a little ebook available soon called “30 Ways To Make Money From Your Music” - it is in the process of being edited. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept informed.