by India McCarty

It’s often said that it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. That is especially true in the music industry, where networking is one of the key elements to building your career. The music business is small, relatively speaking, so knowing the right people can give you a leg up on the competition.

Building connections isn’t just about adding more names to your Rolodex, though. You want these connections to be meaningful. Anyone can collect contacts, but you need to work hard to ensure that the connections you’re creating are actual working relationships and not just names on a contact list.

It’s important to have some clear intent when trying to network. You don’t want to just hand your info out to everyone you come across. The people you’re trying to connect with might have a hard time taking you seriously if you don’t have a genuine reason to reach out to them.

You also need to do your research. How is this person relevant to what you’re trying to do? Why is this connection important to you? Can this person get you closer to your goals? Also, this sounds obvious, but be respectful and courteous to everyone; you never know who might have to power to make big things happen for you.

Something that can really set you apart is meeting people in person. It sounds like such a simple thing, but in today’s world of smartphones and computers, most people communicate through texts or emails. Taking the initiative to meet someone in person shows how seriously you’re taking this potential networking opportunity.

Have something to offer. No one wants to feel like they’re in a one-sided relationship and people will be reluctant to help you out if they think you’re only looking out for yourself. The connections you build while networking should be mutually beneficial, so show support when you can. Go to shows, follow people on social media or help connect people who you know could help each other out! People will be more likely to help you out in the future if you’ve already been supportive of them.

You never know who might be able to help you out down the road, and the connections you build right now could help you do some amazing things! In turn, you can also help people reach goals that they wouldn’t have without your help. Building connections is a really important part of working in the music industry, so why not start now?

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