Dave Britt offers ten tips for musical artists to maximize their brand development and networking opportunities while attending Music Break (August 23rd), Indie Ground (August 25th) and similar industry-related seminars and conferences.
1. Make sure artist website is up to date with current bio, photos, newest music and contact information. (direct email link and phone numbers, no form email templates).
2. Do some research on the speakers that are on the panels. Make a list of all the people that could possibly help your career. There is little reason to spend your effort building a relationship with the head of an Americana label if you play indie rock.
3. Take a ton of business cards. They don’t have to be fancy (but the more professional the better). Just make sure all contact information is relevant.
4. Buy some cheap USB thumb drive and put a couple of your best songs on them. CD’s are too cumbersome to carry around in a pocket and no one wants to hold a CD while they are at a networking party.
5. Go to all of the “shmooze and booze” events possible. When people are drinking and relaxed it is the best time to get into a conversation with them.
6. Attend all of the seminars. You will be hearing what is currently relevant in the music business by music business professionals.
7. If you make some relationships, make sure you follow up later. It may take more than one time to get a response. Be persistent without over doing it and being annoying.
8. Know what format your music fits into and be prepared to explain it quickly. “I can’t really describe it” or “I’m not really sure” are sure fire ways to frustrate someone and make sure that they don’t do business with you.
9. Attend the shows of other bands that have a similar format and try to meet the musicians. They will appreciate your support and will usually be glad to talk to you. The most powerful connection a band can make is a “bigger” act in the same genre. Bands always need openers and if they like you then you could be it.
10. Remember that these are just normal people. “Networking” simply means building a new friendship/relationship with someone that you like who might be willing to give you some help.