How To Build Relationships and Break Into The Music Industry | Networking Tips For Musicians

How To Build Relationships and Break Into The Music Industry | Networking Tips For Musicians


– Welcome back to the
Music Marketing Podcast. Today we’re gonna be talking about how you can be networking
in the music industry. So, we thought we’d talk about kind of networking with
industry professionals but also networking with
like-minded musicians. I think the one that everyone
kind of wants to hear about is networking with industry professionals, but I feel like we first of
all need to talk about the like-minded musicians
because you can use some of those strategies to network with the big names as well, I think. – Yeah. – I think the best platform
for it is Instagram. – Yeah, I do, it’s a minefield though. There’s a lot of musicians out there who kind of just like fronting and just dollar bills everywhere and it’s kind of like, it’s a bit lame and they’re just like,
not proper musicians. But when you do find the right people, the good thing about social media is that it really outs people and just how they are in themselves, because you get a feel for
what their objectives are, what they’re trying achieve and if someone is just
obsessed with their music and obsessed with their success, you can see that straight away before you even have to contact them. So, I think following people,
engaging with their content, and eventually DMing them is a great way. I’ve seen uh, when on their
personal Instagram account, we’re a lot more likely
to engage in someone with, in conversation at the DMers, and they’ve been engaging
with us previously. – Yeah. – Someone constantly liking our content, constantly creating conversations
in the comments section of our post and then the DMers, they’re more likely to get taken seriously because you recognize them. – We know them by name, don’t we? – Yeah. We know them by name. – There are multiple people
that we know by name. And if they ever have a question, we will answer it straight away. Just because we know they’re
actually fans of our content, and they want to engage in conversation rather than taking and I think that’s kinda
the most important thing. When you go about networking,
whoever it’s with, whether that’s an industry professional or a musician, you need to go in with kind of giving
something back to them. Because if you immediately
start conversation with taking, you’re just gonna annoy them, and there are so many takers that you’ll just become part of the crowd. You want to stand out and you ca stand out by adding value to the other person. That’s how we’ve done it. That’s how we’ve got
to know other agencies, how we got to know other
industry professionals. We try to add value to them, engage in conversation with them. It’s actually like a, a real
per, a personal connection rather than just asking. – Yeah, what I used to do is like, if I wanted to get to know someone, I would give them like a tip, so obviously I do more
marketing and marketing for musicians and I’m from
a marketing background. So, if I want to know someone, I would always feed them like a tip, just something that, that is different and
they never heard before. So, wild example. If you, if you go onto
their personal website and you inquire, you get redirected to one of our blog posts
that is something for you. That helps SEO. It helps us on the Google rankings. And I would go out to someone and say, “By the way, I’ve been trying this new tip and this is what I’ve been doing.” And I found that we come up on Google for music PR, music promotion, all the things that we
want to come up for, because of this one tip. And people engage with
that and they come back, because you’ve added value. You’ve created something for them, so whether it’s something
to do with your music, how you play your instrument, how you do your production, the software, or your marketing, by just figuring out one little gem that you can give to people
gives you really good opener. – I think now matter what your aim is with networking with similar musicians, like-minded musicians, you need to use hashtags, I think that is one of the best ways to find another artist. But you can so easily tell
that someone’s like, fake because you can type in,
I don’t know, #producer, you go onto their profile and they’ve got a hundred
thousand followers and zero engagement. I think that’s really
important thing to look at and actually, if you want to engage with someone that has a similar mindset to your similar drive, and you go into their account and they got no engagement and they’ve bought followers, there’s no point engaging
in conversation with them, ’cause it’s fake anyway. – And on the flip side of that,
you’ve got your own content. And I know we go on all,
every podcasts about content, but it’s ’cause it’s so
important for these reasons so you, someone discovers
you, and then they go from a hashtag and they
go onto your profile, and you’re not taking that seriously, you don’t post a lot. And you can’t, there’s no insight into you and who you are and your objectives. People aren’t going to engage with that. I think the best way to start
conversation with someone. Say you want to just
make friends with people that have a similar drive,
similar passion to you, which I think is a really big deal, because as a musician,
you can feel quite lonely, because other people don’t
understand your vision. – True. – It’s like that in anything that you do. If you’re passionate about it and you don’t have friends
that aren’t also passionate about it, it can be quite difficult, so finding musicians
that are similar to you, have a similar drive, just
jump straight into that DM if you really like their content. You really like their music. And you want to build a relationship. Jump into the DMs, but not
with either a direct question or um, a take. I would suggest, like
mentioning something personal about their feed, because then they know
it’s not copy and paste, because the worst thing is
getting a copy and paste from an artist that’s just
like, streamer tracked. Like, it doesn’t work. What would you suggest the
first thing you should say? – Um, in terms of Dming
people on Instagram? – Yeah. – I’d say the first preview
is incredibly important. – Yeah. – Because the first few words
is what they’re going to see, so you’ve got to think
what’s in it for them, what would make you open it, and if you start and
fill the first few words with “hi,” the person’s name, “I am from,” and it’s like, ahh, I
know where this is going. He’s going to try and plug
my track, uh, his track. And it’s just boring so
you need to have something that’s going to grab them
in those early stages and just, even if you
like, cut out a few words, but just get sentence in
and make it about them. – Yep. – And make it obvious it’s about them, then that’s what we do. – Yeah, you could, should go
to someone’s profile right now that you really want to
build a relationship with, they have a picture of a dog, start DM with capitals, “Love your dog.” And then go into what you want to say. And then know that you’ve
actually taken the time to look at their profile,
engage with them, and you, you’re kind of
the reason for it, is real and it’s not just asking for something. I think that’s the best way to do it. Um, another thing that a lot of people ask about kind of networking is um, doing networking to start collaborations. – Yeah. – Do you approach that in a different way? – I’d say so, because you have
to be in the right position. – You have to have music out there. And you have to have
something you’re not for them. It’s easy that you’ve got
an audience, the fanbase to offer them or you’ve got money. It’s one of the two. You’ve always got to have
something you can offer them. I know that, I get um,
invited onto podcasts, which have next to nobody,
so just getting started, but if they can offer me studio space, where I can create content for the social media, they are still offering me value. They are offering me the
opportunity to create more content for the social media by
spending a day in the studio. We don’t have a studio here at Burstimo. We’re literally in our sofa room. The office is through there
and that’s all we’ve got, but if you got a studio, then
they are offering me value. So, you’ve got to think outside the box on what you are offering people. – Yeah, I think there are two ways that kind of collaborations
can come, maybe three. Three ways that collaborations can happen. A, a friendship. You’ve become really good
friends with someone, and then you’re like, “Let’s
do something together,” which happens often if you look at some of the biggest
artists that are doing collabs at the moment. They’re just really good friends, and they want to create content together. B, you can pay them, which I would suggest doing
if you have the budget, especially if it’s a major name, because it can blow you up. C, you add value. – Yeah. – Like you said. So that value could be something as simple as you will produce their track for free. – Yeah. – And I know that it’s
probably killing a few of you right now hearing
those words “do it for free,” but do you want the exposure
or do you want the money kind of way? See which one you prefer. And that doesn’t have
to be just producers. It could be that there’s someone
and your voice is amazing, and you can offer your voice for free. If you can add value in some way, that is networking and that is building
collaboration opportunities. And I think it’s definitely
worth, worth a shot. – Yeah, I mean, there’s
something that you reminded me about earlier when you said that, kind of. You mentioned like,
loneliness and the difficulty in finding other people and when we first started Burstimo, we speak about this a lot
with musicians as well. We talked about, I got this
story from a book called “Buddhism without the Beliefs,” where I talk about the
path that you are on, and you said that it’s very
difficult to meet people who are similar-minded to you and that, the reason for that is to, because you have got into
the wilderness of like, trying to find people that are quite rare. Someone who’s decided not to
take the nine to five route through life. You’ve got to find people who have decided to just veer off into, and leave this path, so if you imagine there’s a
path walking through the woods and you as a musician have
decided that you are going to leave that path and
walk through the woods, and I think it’s a great analogy and the reason for that
is it just fits so well. So, for example, you leave
the path, which is safe. You see other people on it. People are passing you by. You meet people who would say, “Yeah, this definitely goes to a place, because it’s a path, right?” A path always has to have
a place that it goes to. Leave that path. You have to step over logs. There’s danger. There’s bears that could eat you and it’s a risk. And it takes, it’s a slower progress because you look back at that path and you can still see
the people on that path who were looking at you, being like, “Why is that guy like,
walking through the forest and putting himself through this?” And they question you and
they shout at you saying, “Why are you a musician? Why are you bothering with this? Why don’t you just get a
job like the rest of us?” And the great thing about it is that once you’ve deepen the woods and the reason I brought this story up, because it mentions that you
meet people along the way in the forest that are also like-minded and have taken that same risk and you together will discover things that those people on that
path will never discover, and you’ll find destinations
that are amazing that people on that path won’t discover. So– – Deep. – Yeah, but that’s why I
wanted to bring that up, because people get stressed about not being able to
find like-minded people. They feel alone in this
kind of, music world, especially if you’re just
kind of in your bedroom. You’re an introvert, but there is, there is always
other people out there. It’s just harder to find. Your progress will always be slow. Yeah, I also do think that sometimes when you get to a certain point, you do need to sort of
evaluate the people around you, because if you are very serious
about your music career, and the people you’re
surrounded by are lazy, they work a nine to five job
and they’re happy with that, and they don’t care
about your music career. They don’t want to talk about it. They think that you’re wasting your time. – Yep. – That negative energy around
you will drag you down. – It does, yeah. – It bring you to a
point where you’re like, “Yeah, maybe I’m not doing the right thing and you just, end up
being like one of them.” And that’s not the point. You, you want to be surrounded by people that have a similar drive, and that doesn’t need to be music always, but it can help. – Yeah. – But having people that
understand your vision and I think that’s why
networking is, is amazing. – Yep. – You can find pages on
Instagram are for example, if you look at the followers, they’re all going to be artists. – Yep. – So you can find people that
have the same aims as you. – That’s very true, actually. Like, in our comments section, we very rarely see other people commenting
on other people’s topics. – It’s happened more often
recently, and I’m loving it because I’m noticing the
people that are like, if we don’t reply to a
question immediately, someone else will reply
to that, and I love that. ‘Cause that is the best way to network. – Yeah, you’ve got one thing in common, and that’s you both
follow that, this account for some reason. – You can literally start
conversation from that. – Yeah. – It doesn’t have to be our account. You could follow Adam
Ivy and you could say– – Take it to the DM. – Yeah, you could say, “I
know she followed Adam Ivy. Did you watch his video on this? I love that. Have you put out tracks into place yet? I’ve been trying, what of it. ” Like it just, creating conversation because how I pitch networking is, imagine you’re in a club and someone approaches you called and asks for something. They go up to you and go, “Can you buy me a drink?” You’d be like, “What? No, bye! Leave me alone, you creep.” And it’s the same with network, if someone that came up to you in the club and went, “I really like your dress. Where did you buy that from?” People start conversation
and it’s the same with networking. If you ask a question, if you engage in conversation, instead of just taking, you’re more likely to build relationships. Instagram, as I was
saying, amazing for it. – Yep. – There’s the Dms. There’s the comments. There’s hashtags. Another great place for it is Facebook. Facebook is really, really
pushing Groups at the moment. – Yeah, more so than usual. Now they’ve, Facebook, if you don’t know, have stopped the organic reach of Pages, so it’s about three
percent of your audience via Facebook page will
see your organic post. They’re now going for
more of a community feel and they want to push more
Groups onto your timeline and that’s to get you more engaged, because Pages were just basically well, they would go into shit. – Spamming. – Yeah. – Spamming means they don’t want that. – Exactly, yeah so now
they want people in Groups, just communicating with people
and there are so many groups. We got a music marketing group. If you want to join it, it’s called… – The Music Marketing Group. (chuckles) – The Music Marketing Group. – Original. – Yeah, search for it. There’s lots of other music
groups you can just go and get involved then. – Mm, I think that that one’s a great one because you could literally,
put in about like, networking events, or you could put in a
question you might have and then you can easily
start a conversation. You could add the person on Facebook. You could, you just start conversation and there’s also groups
specifically to areas in the world. – So if you’re an artist in New York, you could literally type
in “New York music,” and you’ll find different music groups based on that area and that’s fantastic because you can actually meet people, like meeting face-to-face is probably one of your best shots, having like a genuine
relationship with someone. – What I love about
social media and Groups and things like that is, like I said, it came to mind while you’re talking that, I was thinking, “What about gigs and shows
and things like that?” And it does work but if someone came up to you at your gig and said, “I’m a musician as well. Let’s talk.” You got nothing behind you. You don’t know if the music is good. You don’t know anything about this person. Social media is like, it’s all out there. – Yeah. – And it’s such a great place because gigs is possible but maybe DM them before you go saying, “By the way, do you want to have a chat?” So it’s kind crossed between the two. – It’s a bit scary. Like, you’re going into an
event, like a gig by yourself with the aim to network ’cause I think something that I could get, people are there to enjoy the music. – Yeah. – And if you go with the aim to network, it can sort of be a little uncomfortable for the other person because
unlike a networking event, where they’re there to meet people, a gig you are there to enjoy the music, so I think if you know
who’s gonna be there, you reached out to them before, I think that’s a great idea. But if you’re going
with the Internet work, and you’re kinda just like, gonna turn up and just bombard this people, I wouldn’t really suggest that, but um. – Yeah. – One of the other ones
I was thinking about. I don’t know your thoughts
on this about Reddit. – Reddit, I think is a good one, especially We are the Music Makers. It’s a good one for producers
to be able to collaborate, ask questions, and just
get something going, get involved in the community. If you have again, if you
have a good conversation with someone, take it to the
DMs, and you got one thing in common. You both like Reddit
and you ended up there for some way, shape, or form. Yeah, I think that’s a good one, ’cause um, for those of
you that don’t know Reddit, the usernames don’t
really match your name. – Yeah, it’s all anonymous. – It’s anonymous stuff, so if you really felt like
you’ve engaged with someone on that platform, you can
go onto their messaging, speak to them, you can
send them your Instagram. I suggest that’s pretty the
best move or your Facebook. And you can engage further on there. But Reddit’s amazing as well ’cause it’s a bit similar
to Facebook groups, where you can find
different Subreddits there, suitable for a specific thing, so just music in general, your genre, your area, music videos, anything like that. – There’s, there’s literally
Subreddit for everything. – Um, but so we’ve done
like, the artists themselves, finding like-minded musicians, should we talk about like,
meeting industry people? – Yeah. – This is networking
events, let’s be honest. – Yeah. – It’s a scary, scary term but– – And I have been to so many
networking events in my time in the music industry, and I don’t think I’ve
enjoyed a single one of them. If you’ve never been to a music
industry networking event, they are brutal. So, I used to go to a
lot of networking events, and what would happen was you’d have, you’d walk in, everyone
there is an artist, emerging artist, zero streams, like, everyone is just waiting
for the opportunity. I think, “Why, why is there no kind of
industry professionals here?” And you look at the panel
and just to name a few, the panel was the music
supervisor for “Breaking Bad.” Great guy, he gave an amazing speech about how he picked the
music for “Breaking Bad,” which is quite interesting, actually. One of the things he said was when he was picking the
music, he didn’t choose music that suited what was
going on in the scene. He chose the music that what
was going in Walt’s head. And if you watch it back, you will get like, goofy music
going on with that serious– – It was that actually opposite to what was happening on the scene. – Exactly, yeah. – Amazing. – So watch it back. Really interesting. And then, there was the
music supervisor for uh, I think, it was Universal Studios, and he did like– – In Chelsea as well, did
you say it was? One of them. – Yeah, it was Made in Chelsea. Yeah, Andre from Made in Chelsea. And things like that and
there were great speeches and great panels and I looked around me, and it was artists clutching their CDs, rocking backwards and forwards,
waiting for the speeches to be finished and then as
soon as the speeches finished, and the discussion was over, everyone piled to the front
to try and give them their CD. They hadn’t listened to
a word they had to say. And they just piled to the front, so networking events,
again, I think you need to audit people on social media and find out those right people. Put in the Groups. I think a lot of them are
organizers through Eventbrite, and you can find those people on Facebook, or, or there is a discussion board, say, “Anyone want to meet for
a coffee beforehand?” And you can meet people
and go in with them. As a team, because you already audit them, and you know that they
are the type of people who are there for the right reasons and to meet people. – Yep. – And if you’re part of a big group, and you seem to know a lot of people, you will attract the attention of the industry professionals, you’re someone who knows
everyone in the room. You went in there and
you find people already. Then you met maybe another five people ’cause you challenged
yourself to get social. And then you have the energy to go after to one of those people
at Universal Studios or the Made in Chelsea music
curators and talk to them. But someone just holding a CD
added no value to the room. You’re not going to get anywhere. – Yeah, what, what I think
is really good is um, people like Abel, Dizzo, they
have events running monthly, every three months, and
you can find the event page on Facebook. And you can literally
look at the people there that have clicked “maybe” or
have clicked “interested,” who have clicked “going.” Look at their name, put it into LinkedIn, see who they are, really about them. Memorize their face and then when you walk into that room and you start a conversation with them, and they introduced
themselves, you can be like, “Oh, Willie. Is that your name?” But you know their name. You know what they do. And you’ve prepared for
that moment in time. And I think that’s the best way to do it because you actually know
what to say to that person. The worst thing is going up to someone. They say their job title and inside they’re going, “Oh, I don’t have a clue
what the job means.” And you’re basically just
waiting for the moment, where you can plug your music because you would never
go in to plug your music by talking about it like that. Because they can’t hear it, for one. And the amount of people
that come up to them in these networking events
and just plug their music, they’re going to forget your conversation. Make it memorable, so that could be just by
knowing their job so well. I think that’s what– – And trust me, influential
people in the music industry are bombarded with music. – Yeah. – They are so, like don’t think that those forty thousand
tracks that were uploaded to Spotify this week, none of
them thought about sending it to someone. – Yeah. – They’re all bombarded. You need to get in
there some way, somehow. – So, I think the best
way of networking events, just think about it, is again, like how can I
add value to this person? And that could be just having
a conversation with them. It isn’t about the music. – Yeah. – Because when they leave that event, all they’re gonna remember is, “Oh my god, that random
guy threw a CD at my head. That random guy literally rugby tackled me to try and get my attention. But there was that really nice person that actually asked about my dog because they saw it on
Instagram. That was.” Like something like that
shows you’re a genuine person, and you want to know about them, and you want to add value by
just building a relationship. It’s a lot more memorable. And say, for some reason, they
give you that email address. They give you their number. Then, you’re in and that’s
when you can send their music and that’s when you can build
a professional relationship. – I’ve gotten an amazing tip
for a networking event once, which was go to the
organizer and show up early and help them set up. Help them set up the
chairs and lay it out. Help them set, if there’s a
buffet, help them set that up and just like, get involved, meet them. Don’t get in their way. They’re stressed to hell that no one’s going to turn
up to their networking event. But just help. And then, go to them afterwards, he’ll recognize you or
she’ll recognize you and they will talk to you, give you the time and
also, that is the person who knows everyone in the room. That person knows everyone worth knowing in that room. Then, you can talk to them and say, “Is there anyone here
you think I should meet?” – That line will get
you to the right person. You’re an emerging artist
and that person knows who you should meet. That organizer will go straight
through all that traffic of all the people throwing the CDs and get you straight in
there with the best person in the room. And that’s one of the be– – That’s a really good tip. – It’s one of the best tips I’ve ever got for networking, guys. I don’t think I ever
heard that one before. I think that’s a really good one. – My one other tip is when
you walk through the door, the first person you see, talk to them. Yeah. – So you don’t get the nerves? – Uh, yes and it creates a momentum. And it creates a momentum and it creates an energy in the room, ’cause I, I hate them
so I needed these tips, but it really helps because you talk to the
first person in the room, chat to them. You see someone on their own walking pass, pull them in and then introduce them, get everyone talking. Maybe they get in a conversation, you peel off and go and
talk to someone else. So that was the second tip, but yeah, get to know
the person organizing it and talk to the first person in the room. – That’s a great place to end it. – Yeah. – I hope you guys enjoy
this one and if you did, make sure to leave us a review ’cause we, I don’t think
we’ve got any of those yet. – No. (laughs) – So make sure you leave a review. Let us know what you think of
it on our Instagram as well. Feel free to DM us and we’ll
be back soon with another one. (upbeat music)

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