Networking – Power Schmoozing – Being Seen – Getting Out There -Making Connections
All of these headings in one way or another describe the process of connecting with new people. There is a certain amount of time that we all need to spend practicing, recording and playing shows, but meeting new people should also be high on our list of importance – instead of getting put on the back burner.
More than just “going out to be seen” we need to be able to have a plan of “where” to go to put ourselves in the proper situation to meet the right people. I used to think that I needed to be at all the “Hollywood parties” that I never had invitations to – to be able to meet the right people.
Granted, if you have the inside scoop on a special get together, this might just be the great opportunity you’ve been waiting for to introduce yourself to people that can help your career, but most – when presented with this opportunity – botch it royally. (And I speak from my own, personal botching experiences).
You always have to be prepared!
Do you always have business cards on you with your name, telephone number and email all clearly indicated in a font that’s easily read? Do you always have at least 5 CD’s in your car – or laptop case at all times? Do you have at least an introduction or 2 minute pitch memorized so that if you do run into someone you’d like to meet – you’ll be able to say, “Hello” without making a complete fool out of yourself by saying, “I really like your _____ would you please sign this napkin for my girlfriend?”
Here’s an interesting story of mine:
Last summer I was heading over Laurel Canyon into Hollywood on a beautiful, sunny afternoon to meet some friends for a drink. A jet black Ferrari passed by and I said to my wife, “Hey that looks like Seal!”When we stopped at the traffic light, my wife suggested giving him a copy of my new DVD. (I was driving so it would have been a bit forced for me to be running down the street in traffic). I wasn’t sure if it was really Seal and to be honest I am usually a little reluctant to approach people in public respecting their privacy.
But it was Seal, and he was alone. I thought it couldn’t do much harm – so I said, “Sure! Give him a DVD and tell him that we always have at least one of his CD’s in our player 24-7. Also say that I’d love to get a meeting to discuss the possibility of working together.”
The opportunity presented itself, I was prepared with a DVD that had all my contact info and I (in this case she) acted on it with a certain degree of casual finesse. Even if I wouldn’t have gotten a call, at least I would have had something to talk to him about the next time I met him somewhere.
Where to meet people:
Probably not at “The Rainbow Bar and Grill” on Sunset. (Although it is a great place for food, fun & laughs) probably not at some posh upscale nightclub.
Probably at a festival like Sundance or SXSW (South by Southwest music festival in Texas), a movie screening, art show, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Bookstore, Santa Monica stairs, UCLA track, a museum, driving down the road, picking up your dry cleaning, at a restaurant, (that serves great food at a good price with a good atmosphere. – doesn’t need to be in Beverly Hills), a movie theater, clothing store, you name it. If there is a chance to meet someone of substance, chances are you are going to find them in these types of places.
If you plan for it, you’ll be ready when it happens. If you put yourself in an elevated, positive frame of mind – you’ll put yourself in the right positive places.
People that can help you – most likely – are in this position because they have their shit together.
So get your shit together, keep it together and your chances of meeting good people will absolutely increase because you are involved in the type of active lifestyle that successful people entertain.
Here is a secret:
You do not have to have a lot of money. You do not have to have a new car.
You must have a great attitude. You must have drive and determination. You must have an outgoing personality. You must have interesting new ideas. You must have faith in yourself – especially when self doubt creeps in. You must have the ability to bounce back after something fails. You must have a sense of humor. You must have belief – above everything else – that you have something to offer, because there will be times when everything and everyone in the world seems to point to the fact that you are at this alone.
A list of festivals can be found at the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) site here – FESTIVALS Many other trade organizations have other industry get together’s such as ASCAP, Association of Independent Music Publishers, etc.
It’s work. Yes . . it IS work.
No one said that being your own boss and making a living in the music business was going to be easy. Actually, everyone I knew said that it was going to be impossible. Well, it’s not impossible if you try, if you work at it, and if you sweat it out and pay your dues.(I don’t think the dues thing really ever stops) I hope this gives you some great ideas!
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