7 Ways to Build Music Business Contacts

This guest blog post was written by Marcus Taylor, founder of The Musician’s Guidea website that helps DIY musicians learn about the insides of the music industry, and download useful resources including music business contracts and contact lists.

We all know that “who you know” and “being in the right place at the right time” play an important role in attaining success as an artist. What we often forget, though, is that we’re the ones responsible for building those connections.

While researching the intricacies of how successful people network for my book last year, my co-writer Rob and I noticed that for two people to meet, they must go through a 3-stage process.

First of all, they must be aligned in the same space at the same time, either geographically (e.g. in the same room) or virtually (e.g. on Twitter). Secondly, they must connect through some form of introduction, and finally they must engage in deeper conversation to create a long-term relationship.

In this post I want to focus on those first two points, and share with you seven tips to help you meet more music business contacts (I’d write a post on how to engage in deeper conversation but I figured you already know how to do that ;)). 

1. Know who you want to meet but remain open to meeting others

The first step to meeting more of the right people is knowing who you’re trying to meet. Are you looking to meet publishers, record label managers, or music venue promoters?

When you know who it is you’re trying to meet, you can start to think about where they spend their time (both geographically and virtually), and what opportunities exist for you to be in the right place and time to meet them. If, for example, your band could really do with a more gigs in New York City, you can begin to identify the places where New York venue promoters hang out online and in the real world.

That said, never be afraid to go off course and meet people who may not seem to bear obvious opportunity right now. They might be of great use to you in the future.

“Build your network before you need it” – Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone 

2. Make an effort to meet other bands & ask for introductions

Let’s say that you did want to meet music venue promoters in New York City. In my experience, one of the best ways to meet venue promoters is to simply turn up to music venues and ask the bands performing to introduce you to the promoter. You may have to prearrange meeting up with the performers before their set, but this approach is incredibly effective as it differs to how most bands approach venue promoters, and the introduction from the performer acts as a recommendation.

If you went to two or three gigs a week you’d be surprised at how quickly you could fill up your gig calendar.

3. Attend music business conferences

When I’ve attended music business conferences in the past, I’ve been surprised by how few bands choose to attend. Sure, the entry fees are generally quite steep, but if you take into account the fact that these events are usually swarming with label managers, publishers, and music promotion companies, it’s almost certainly worth the investment if you’re willing to get out and build those connections.

4. Join local music business Meetups

If you’re not already using Meetup.com to build connections, I thoroughly recommend giving it a shot. In most major cities you’ll find various musician Meetups that offer great networking opportunities. If you can’t find anything nearby, consider creating a music industry Meetup in your area and inviting local music companies to come and share ideas over a coffee or beer.

5. Use Twitter to break the ice

Twitter is one of the most efficient and effective ways to break the ice with music business professionals. Almost every serious record label, booking agent, and music companies will have a presence on Twitter, so it’s a great platform to start building these relationships.

Familiarize yourself with the advanced search operators on search.twitter.com and create separate lists to keep track of which companies you’re trying to meet (click on image for help on how to create Twitter lists)

6. Show your gratitude

This may seem like a slightly strange tip, but bear with me. If you pick a music company, radio station, music blog, or website that you enjoy once a day and send them a quick email to say thanks for doing what they do, you will build contacts very quickly.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it” - William Arthur Ward

In the music business, selfless gratitude is rare. When I receive an email from an artist thanking me for writing my blog posts, for some reason I’m far more compelled to respond and listen to their music, than if they had just emailed me a link to check out their music.

7. Build 3 new contacts a week

I have to give Derek Sivers full credit for this last tip. Set yourself a goal of building three new music business connections a week, and in twelve months time you’ll know 156 new people in the music business!

Using all of the tips in this post, see if you can go and build three new music business contacts this week. If you have any thoughts or questions about this post, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or you can send me a tweet at @TheMusicGuide or drop me an email (marcus@themusiciansguide.co.uk). Tell me what you’re working on or what you need help with and I’ll do my best to help out.

Sam7 Ways to Build Music Business Contacts
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Open for punk rock band The Offspring at House of Blues Cleveland!

The Offspring has sold over 36 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling punk rock acts of all time. Many of us (at least I do) remember listening to their hits “Pretty Fly for a White Guy,” “Self Esteem” and “All I Want” in the 90s (ahhh the 90s…) and wonder what the heck The Offspring guys are up to these days. Well, they actually just released their new album, Days Go By, yesterday and to kick off the U.S. tour, they’ll perform at House of Blues in Cleveland on July 17th.

And that’s where you, the artist, come in! The Offspring is looking for a rock band to open up their Cleveland show! Do you want to add “Opened for The Offspring” and “Performed at the House of Blues” to your gigging resume? This is your chance!

Click here for more info on how to get started with NO SUBMISSION FEE >>>

Remember this gem?

SamOpen for punk rock band The Offspring at House of Blues Cleveland!
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ReverbNation Singer/Songwriter Named New Music Seminar ‘Artists On The Verge!’

At only 22, it might seem unusual that Texas-based ReverbNation artist Maren Morris is already a veteran performer. But when you understand that she’s been onstage since she was 12, it begins to make sense. And just last week those years of writing, performing and recording payed off big time when Maren was named “Artist On The Verge” by the esteemed New Music Seminar (NMS).

The AOV contest first identified 100 talented artists — 63 of which were Reverbers (listen to their tracks here). The field was narrowed to three finalists — Black Cobain, NINJASONIK, and Maren Morris — who then performed at Santos Party House on Monday, June 18 to an enthusiastic crowd of NMS attendees and guests.

Reverb team members where there as well and got to watch all three stellar performances, plus tape a quick interview with Maren, who turned out to be super sweet, smart and talented! We’ll post the full interview in a few days, but meanwhile, watch the NMS AOV winner announcement below.  Wonder why it took her a few seconds to get on stage? She was wrapped up backstage, having a brief hello with Wyclef Jean!

“I really was so moved by all the people involved with NMS. Winning ‘Artist on the Verge’ is truly a remarkable and humbling experience for me and my music career,” said Maren. “I’m still in shock!”

“The best part of NMS is giving away the ‘Artist on the Verge’ award,” said Dave Lory, NMS Executive Director and Producer. “Maren is an incredible songwriter and vocalist and we hope the prize package gives her career a well-deserved boost.”

Just before the announcement, Maren sat down and played one of the beautiful guitars on display in the Gibson Lounge. Have a listen to her impromptu mini-concert from upstairs at NYC’s Webster Hall.

 

 

SamReverbNation Singer/Songwriter Named New Music Seminar ‘Artists On The Verge!’
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On June 19th, party with us at the ReverbNation Showcase at #NMS2012 in New York!

We’re throwing a killer showcase in NYC this Tuesday (June 19th) and would like to invite you to come join us! On stage, we’ll have performances by ReverbNation artists The Dirty Pearls, Click Clack Boom, This Good Robot and Dana Alexandra! RSVP here to receive updates on the event.

So here are the details…
When: This Tuesday, June 19th. Doors open at 7pm
Where: Santos Party House in New York (View map)
How much: There’s no cover charge! Free. Nada. Zero dollars.
Why: The showcase is happening during New Music Seminar’s New York Music Festival, the meeting place for visionaries, upstarts, and disruptors — those who are building a new music industry. So we thought, what better way to spend one of NYC Music Festival nights than with amazing bands and industry people? Go to our Facebook event page for more info on the schedule and to continue to get updates on the event!

See who are the key players at New Music Seminar (hint: Pandora, Facebook, Spotify, Apple, major labels, just to name a few). Oh, and of course, some of us will be there as well, including our co-founders Mike Doernberg, Jed Carlson and Lou Plaiahttp://newmusicseminar.com/

 

SamOn June 19th, party with us at the ReverbNation Showcase at #NMS2012 in New York!
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Up-and-coming Hip Hop Artist Looking for Opener for Show at The Roxy

This is a great opportunity for independent artists to open for the rising hip-hop artist, Logic, AND to perform at the famous Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles!

Logic has been blowing up with his Young Sinatra: Undeniable mixtape featuring tracks like “All I Do” and “Numbers” (click here to watch music video). Usually only touring the East Coast, Logic announced via Twitter that he’ll be touring the whole country this summer, along with Tayyib Ali on the Visionary Music Group Tour. And this is where YOU, the independent artist, come in! Logic is searching for solid artists (Hip hop, Rap, Pop, Rock, Indie genres) to open up for his show at The Roxy Theatre on July 12th. 

Now, ask yourself: Do I want to add “performance at the legendary Roxy” to my portfolio? Do I want to get crazy with Logic and Tayyib Ali? Do I want to have an experience of a lifetime? If you answered YES to any of these questions, you’re ready to go to this page to submit your music with no submission fee.

 

SamUp-and-coming Hip Hop Artist Looking for Opener for Show at The Roxy
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Hey DJs, Perform at Exclusive Hotel Rooftop in NYC (past DJs include Steve Aoki)

If you like to party in NYC and if you like great EDM, you’d better grab the chance to play at Gansevoort Park Summer Series!

For the second consecutive summer, the usually private Gansevoort Park rooftop pool in NYC lets the public in on Sundays for a free house and trance dance series with notable DJs like Hard Rock Sofa, Alex Guadino, Joachim Garraud and Manufactured Superstars. And this year, Gansevoort is taking submissions of ReverbNation artists who want to be part of its great poolside showcase party! 

Check out this video of  last year’s summer party — if by the end of it you have the deep need to be there (which you will), click on the button above to find out how to get started. Did I mention there’s no submission fee and you will receive a $100 hospitality stipend?

Here’s a little more info on the DJs you could be spinning with…

Hard Rock Sofa (June 3): the popular Russian duo best known for their eclectic style and hit tracks “Flash Brothers” and “Josh The Funky”
Alex Guadino (June 10): has a reputation as one of the most prolific EDM names in Europe with his recent “What a Feeling” single featuring Kelly Rowland.
Joachim Garraud (June 17): is a French DJ known for his energetic sets and for using images with his sets, and recently did a popular remix to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”
Manufactured Superstars (June 24): the progressive DJ duo known for their accessible party music and recent single “Freak On You”

SamHey DJs, Perform at Exclusive Hotel Rooftop in NYC (past DJs include Steve Aoki)
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Hollywood’s Famous Sunset Marquis Hotel Now Looking for Emerging Musicians

Noah Benardout performing at Live @ Sunset Marquis on May 11th

For those in Southern California, Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood is a landmark name. After all, since it opened its doors in 1963, it has served as home-away-from-home to music legends such as The Stones, The Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Green Day and U2, to name just a few. But what you probably didn’t know is that they’re now welcoming emerging musicians to their summer music series Live @ Sunset Marquis! Three ReverbNation bands have already graced the stage with their talent; now Sunset Marquis is looking for at least 27 other artists (three on each upcoming date) to perform this summer. Click here for more info (there’s no submission fee!)>>

“This music series is our opportunity to give back and provide emerging artists of tomorrow the outdoor stage to showcase their talent to a host of industry professionals,” explains Sunset Marquis’ Head of Marketing and Sales Chris Cope.

Wing and Hollow at Live @ Sunset Marquis last Friday

What better place to showcase your music than at the Sunset Marquis, home of the state-of-the-art Nightbird Recording Studio and the famous Whisky Bar, now BAR 1200?

If you want the chance to be part of the scene, submit now to Live @ Sunset Marquis! Last day to submit is August 31st (but the earlier you do it, the better your chances to pick a show date!). Click here to submit for free>>

Summer 2012 Show Dates

El Javi Trio performing at Live @ Sunset Marquis

  • May 25
  • June 8
  • June 22
  • July 6
  • July 27
  • August 10
  • August 24
  • September 1 (Saturday)
  • September 14

Head out to Live @ Sunset Marquis blog to read the producer’s review of last Friday’s shows. And don’t forget to submit your RPK for free today!

SamHollywood’s Famous Sunset Marquis Hotel Now Looking for Emerging Musicians
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R&B Singer Chosen to Perform at ‘I Love S.O.B.’s’ Festival

Sonyae Elise

New Jersey born R&B singer Sonyae Elise was one of the ReverbNation artists chosen to perform at the “I Love S.O.B.’s” music festival on April 30th.

On its 30-year anniversary, the famous Manhattan live music venue S.O.B’s decided to follow up their insane showing at this year’s SXSW festival, which included performances by Miguel, Machine Gun Kelly, Slaughterhouse, and 2 Chainz (who brought out Kanye West for a surprise set) with the month long “I Love S.O.B.’s” music festival. And in addition to a killer line-up, S.O.B.’s wanted to showcase a couple of independent artists and that’s when we came in offering the opportunity to our wide roster of amazing artists. Sonyae saw the opportunity and grabbed it.

Curious to learn more about her? So were we. Keep reading to find out how she first heard about the opportunity to play at the festival, what drove her to apply for it and what she has in store for her fans this year.

Having worked in theatre since the third grade, Sonyae quickly gravitated towards on and off Broadway stage performances for acclaimed shows such as Lion King, Le Miserable, Little Shop of Horrors and Rag Time. Sonyae’s musical influences range from 2 Pac to Prince, Linda Jones to Ella Fitzgerald and Phyllis Hyman to Barbara Streisand.

“My intentions are to provoke the very emotion in people that made me fall in love with this art form,” Sonyae says. “Essentially, I create to keep from going insane… the fact that others can relate, laugh, cry and possibly find their own peace of mind through my music is a plus.”

Sonyae has been extremely busy preparing for her time to shine and is now the winner of the new Bravo television series ‘Platinum Hit’.

How did you hear about the S.O.B.’s opportunity? Have you applied to other ReverbNation opportunities before?
I heard about the S.O.B.’s opportunity via ReverbNation and it was actually my first time ever hearing about and landing an opportunity of this magnitude thru ReverbNation.

Have you played S.O.B’s before? What attracted you to this opportunity?
I have performed at S.O.B.’s before but alongside other featured artist. This will be my first time performing at S.O.B.’s as a featured artist with an entire set. I’m excited!

What are you looking forward to with this show? Tell us a little about the music you have planned.
Most of the music I’m performing is unreleased so I’m looking forward to sharing new music with my #Rebs! I’m anxious to see/feel the response. The music is emotional and raw so people can expect a real live soul session! I’ll be singing, rapping and talking my shyt so be prepared for a good time.

What are your other touring plans for the summer? This year? 
Touring plans for this summer are TBA. This year I’ll be working on my first studio album as well as doing a bunch of writing and collaborating with other artist.

Listen to Sonyae’s music here.

 

SamR&B Singer Chosen to Perform at ‘I Love S.O.B.’s’ Festival
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