The pre-pandemic music world brought lots of in-person networking opportunities for artists and music industry professionals. Major music hubs like Los Angeles, New York, or Nashville would house dozens of networking conferences every year, along with global music hubs like London or Paris as well. As artists and music industry professionals, we would travel to these conferences curated for specific areas of the music industry, such as performance, music technology, film scoring, composition, music business, and many other areas. These were great opportunities for networking and making connections with one another.
Now, things are different as we are mostly stuck in our homes and one of the biggest problems is meeting new people and networking.
The good news is that it is still possible to network with music industry professionals, and without even leaving your room. In fact, the pandemic showed us that networking is possible online, which makes things easier as it cuts down the travel costs and the time put into it.
So, in this blog post, we will outline three ways to network with music industry professionals online:
1. Join online music conferences
The great news about the music industry conferences is that almost all of them are still happening online. You can still join different sessions, listen to the speakers, ask questions, meet with professionals, and chat with them. It is a bit different at first, and yes, things do seem more distant, but networking is still very much possible in this world.
In fact, since it is possible to set up conferences online, this might cut down travel time and costs for a lot of people. The pandemic has brought some interesting industry developments and this could definitely be one of them. So, maybe some conferences will be continued solely as an online basis in the future.
Regardless, with online music conferences, you can continue to meet promoters, managers, record label folks, and many great people in the music industry!
2. Network with music journalists and critics on social media
Another great way to network with music industry people is on social media, especially for meeting music journalists and critics. In the traditional marketing aspect of the music industry, it is highly advised to create relationships with journalists and critics before you send your music to them. This way, they will know who you are and you will be more than one of the thousand names that send them music.
You should regularly read music publications and follow your favorite journalists and critics on social media, even if you are not releasing new music anytime soon. It would be great to connect with them and get them to know who you are. People are much more responsive on social media as they are mostly at home, and it could be a good way to let them know who you are, which can pay off greatly when you will be releasing your music in the future.
3. Cold call music industry professionals
This next one is also a traditional industry practice: cold calling. For indie artists or beginner musicians, this is actually a very useful practice if you do it right. Find a music industry professional you would like to contact, preferably someone who has experience.
Let’s say you found a music publisher and you would like to contact them. I would avoid any kind of contact that says something like “Hello, can you help me license my songs for TV shows and films?” It is quite off-putting to meet someone and ask something from them right away because you don’t have a relationship with them yet.
First, try to understand the dynamics of this person. Ask them how a beginner music artist can prepare themselves better to get a publishing deal. What are some factors that publishing companies look for in artists? Just ask them for their opinions about the different aspects of their work and try to see and thank them for their time. Later, follow up with an email and keep your relationship growing with this person. If you do have common ground, perhaps down the line you can ask for something, but always remember that the key is to have a relationship with them first.
Bonus: Follow and network with other artists on social media
This goes without saying, but the pandemic is a great time to listen to more music and discover new artists. Most artists are on social media and they’re only a click away from saying “Hello!” and introducing themselves. Maybe you can find some common ground that could lead to future collaborations. The options are pretty vast when it comes to connecting with other artists. You can do all of this online, and who knows what networking will lead to.