Every time I talk about online social media groups, I feel like I’m revealing this golden secret to the person I’m talking to. I mean sure, we all know what online groups are, and odds are most of us are in way more than we need to be (I don’t know about you, but my feed is practically overrun with groups that I don’t even want to be a part of anymore but also never seem to unsubscribe from) and yet, they are this beautiful untapped goldmine of opportunities and connections.
If you’re new to joining online groups, let this be your guide into why they can be one of the most useful ways to spend your time, build your network, and grow your music career.
They help you build real relationships
You already know how important building relationships in the music industry is. But did you know that online groups are one of the fastest and most effective ways to do that? It’s honestly like having a secret shortcut to the right people and opportunities.
For one thing, there are a lot of people participating in industry groups right now. So if you’re in at least a couple of groups, your net for connections is already cast pretty wide and diverse in terms of the type of industry you’ll find. Everyone from labels to booking agents to managers to publicists to writers, and everyone in between can be found within groups.
Then there’s the fact that online groups allow you to build relationships organically. Have you ever been in this situation? You know there’s someone you want to reach out to or connect with but you have no idea what to say to them or how to get the conversation going. Maybe you feel a little weird just emailing someone out of the blue and starting a chat, right?
Online groups eliminate that awkwardness with built-in discussions and a host of people who are already wanting to talk about the same things you want to talk about. It’s a no pressure way to start to introduce yourself into the industry while also beginning to meet others who you may never have known existed.
They’ll present you one-of-a-kind opportunities
You know how nepotism is alive and well in our industry? Well here’s the thing—it’s kind of an amazing thing, as long as you know how to work it and use it for good.
Here’s the truth—nepotism only sucks if you’re on the other side of it. And it’s really not that hard to be on the receiving side of it. After all, nepotism is really just being friends (or good acquaintances) with other people. That’s it. It’s just friendships. Not so scary when you break it down that way, right?
And when you have a lot of friends throughout the industry, it means you get presented opportunities that might not yet be public, but might be entirely perfect for you.
After all, most job opportunities in our industry are never even made public or are filled before they are, so having that in is crucial. And one of the best ways to make the connections that get you in front of those opportunities? You guessed it—the connections you make inside groups.
They help us stay (and feel) connected
Now more than ever, we’re all craving that extra connection. Someone who understands what we’re going through, and who is there to see us through thick and thin. And let’s face it, no one understands our industry like those of us in the industry.
So having those online groups to truly connect over the little things that might frustrate us in the day-to-day, or the big wins that only our fellow industry professionals will get is not only refreshing, it’s a fundamental piece of connection and growth.
We can talk about the difficulties we may have faced and get outside opinions and perspectives (oftentimes learning that we aren’t the only ones to feel that way) and we can share exciting milestones that (hard as they might try) our parents, friends, or partners might not understand quite as well as those working in the industry. And that celebration can be so important to our continued growth and success.
They’ll help you stay relevant
It can be really easy to get sucked into our own day-to-day tasks that we forget to keep up with things outside of our immediate orbit. And let’s face it, things change fast in the music industry. So being a part of online groups means you can count on others to share news, hot topics of discussion, and different perspectives and moments happening within the industry so you can stay relevant and on top of new trends and developments.
They’ll help you stay creative
It’s really easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to our careers. Being inside of groups gives you access to completely different people, walks of life, perspectives, and opinions, and it’s that exposure to ideas different from our own that helps us stay creative, innovative, and ever-evolving.
Being a part of groups means always being met with new ideas and inspirations by getting to be a part of other people’s stories as they’re happening in real-time. And that’s really special.
When you really look at all of that, is there any reason not to embrace the community, connection, and growth that comes from online groups? After all, who knows what opportunities it could bring?
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves ice cream, trashy TV, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.