Sadly, most of the “networking” most musicians do simply doesn’t work. Here’s 5 mistakes musicians make all the time when networking:
5. They don’t listen. Part of good networking is understanding what the other person wants, so you can help fill that need. If I’m trying to sell you a radio and all you need is a chair, it doesn’t matter how amazing my chair is. I’ll never sell it to you. Figure out what the other person wants from your relationship, then give it to them.
4. They don’t write things down. Many great networking opportunities are lost because musicians forget the details of the conversation. If it's awkward to take notes during the conversation, make a list of what you talked about in the car before you head home.
3. They talk too much about themselves. For most people, the most interesting person in the world is themselves, and the most interesting project is the one they're currently working on. Let people talk, and often they'll talk themselves into hiring you without you saying much. Don't fall into the trap of dominating the conversation.
2. They can’t give a clear and concise “pitch” of what they do. When you’re explaining what you do and who you are, you should be able to explain 3 things quickly and clearly:
• Who you are career-wise (i.e. I’m a rock/pop keyboard player and producer)
• What specifically you’re doing right now (i.e. one project you’re most proud of)
• What specifically you’d like to do in the future (keep this very specific)
If you can’t explain these three things in under 30 seconds, you need to be more concise.
1. They don’t follow up. Your meeting does you no good unless you act on what you talked about. Create a game plan for how you'll follow-up–I prefer to schedule a call or email using Apple’s free Reminders app, but there are tons of ways to do this effectively, including using the simple pencil and paper method.