As an independent musician, you will most likely be the sole driving force behind your music career. This means that networking, collaboration, and looking for opportunities to grow your brand are all up to you. Learning how to network as an independent musician doesn’t have to be a mystery.
However, as scary as that may sound, it also means you have more control over how much attention your brand gets and whether or not it grows. There are a lot of successful indie musicians out there who attribute their success to their ability to network effectively.
Whether it’s with other artists, venues, labels, or just general fans of music, there are many different ways to make connections and build your empire as an indie musician.
Know Where to Network
If you’re new to the world of networking, the first step is to familiarize yourself with different places to meet new people. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of the networking experience, you’ll have to choose wisely.
- Venues and Promoters – Venues, promoters, and event managers are all people who have the power to bring musicians together. A lot of times, venues and event organizers are looking for musicians to book for upcoming shows, allowing you to reach a new audience.
- Labels – If you’re releasing music as an artist, you’ll want to network with labels. A lot of labels are open to taking on new artists, and it’s a great way to get your name out there and grow your fan base.
- Fan and Music Bloggers – Getting your music reviewed by reputable blogs is a great way to gain new fans. Bloggers are often open to reviewing your music, so networking with them is a great way to get your music some much-needed attention and reviews. Reach out to a few on social media and see where it leads.
Participate in Co-Writing Sessions
If you’re an artist focused on songwriting, you have plenty of opportunities to network with other songwriters.
Participating in co-writing sessions with other artists is a great way to network and meet fellow artists. If you’re going to go to a co-writing session, be sure to bring a notebook and pen with you to take notes on any ideas you come up with during the session.
This will give you something to take away from the session and use for your own music later.
Go to Shows and Talk to Audience Members
When thinking of how to network as an independent musician, one that may not be obvious is to attend other shows.
If you’re a performer, getting out to as many shows as you can is a great way to network with other artists and see how other artists get connect with their audiences.
There may also be other artists in the crowd doing the same thing you’re doing!
Play Shows and Events as an Opportunity to Network
As an artist, you have the power to take any opportunity you get to play shows as an opportunity to network.
If you’re able to get into contact with the person in charge of hosting a show and have them book you, you have a great opportunity to make connections and meet new people.
Join Music Organizations as an Opportunity to Network
Music organizations have their own conferences, events, and meeting places. Be sure to attend these as often as you can.
These events are a great place to meet new people who have the same goals as you and may be able to offer assistance or opportunities that can help you grow your brand.
A few worth mentioning are ASCAB, The Recording Academy, and the American Federation of Musicians.
Networking on social media
Social media is a great place to network, but it’s important to be careful that your posts aren’t too self-promotional. Organizations like Music Friend Society and Music Networking Meeting exist solely for musicians on all platforms to come together and network.
If you don’t have an artist or musician-focused social media account, you can still participate in these groups and forums.
Go to Meetings and Conferences as an Opportunity to Network
Music conferences (such as DIY Musician Con by CD Baby) and music industry meetings exist as opportunities for musicians to come together and network. It’s also a great opportunity to see how to network as an independent musician up close and personally.
If you have the means, you should definitely try to attend at least one conference a year to network with other musicians, event organizers, and label owners.
These events are great opportunities to meet people who you may not have been able to reach out to otherwise and are a great way to build your brand.
Keep Track of Your Networking Attempts
As you go through your music career, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network. However, sometimes you may feel like you’re getting nowhere with your attempts at building relationships with other artists.
This can be frustrating, especially when you’re just starting out and don’t have much to offer others. As you go through these tough times, it’s important to keep track of your efforts at networking and building relationships.
This will help you look back and see what you can improve on in the future.
At the end of the day, networking is all about making connections with people and offering value to those you meet.
If you go into all of your networking attempts with the intent of reaching out to others and looking for ways to help them, you are much more likely to succeed. With these tips and tricks in mind, you’re well on your way to an efficient networking strategy.
Now all you need to do is put these tips into practice and watch as your music career comes to life before your very eyes.