Personally, I always had a clear idea in mind since I started this project: to become known by standing out from other singers and artists. How to achieve this? By becoming an expert in what I know and being a person whom many turn to without feeling pursued, achieving common benefits. This is known as NETWORKING.
Starting networking can seem intimidating, especially when you are an artist and not sure how to connect with other professionals in your industry. However, networking is an important part of building a successful career in the arts. Here are some tips for starting networking as an artist:
1. Attend art events and fairs
Attending art events and fairs is an effective way to meet other artists and industry professionals. Make sure to bring business cards with you and introduce yourself in a friendly and professional manner. And even if you don't feel like it, always smile :)
In a world where many people are serious, smiling will make you stand out from the rest of the people beyond your hard work day and night creating art and being an artist. Networking is NOT about talking to everyone and presenting your work to them. It is about expanding your network of contacts and inviting them to your social media to continue communication. Check the next point where we will discuss this in more detail.
Never stop smiling. This will make you stand out from the rest of the people in your "Networking" activities.
2. Use social media
Whenever you network, stay in constant active listening. Show interest in the projects that your new contacts are doing. If they are artists, it will be easier to connect with them and maintain a more sincere communication to the point that you invite them to your social media.
Social media is a powerful tool for networking in the arts industry. Use LinkedIn and other platforms to connect with other professionals in your field and to share your work, expertise, and career trajectory.
Be very dedicated to providing high-value content that aligns with your personal brand. Let the first thing people see not be the night you got drunk with your friends at a bar in one of your stories. RE-pathtic! Word spreads, and many people will know you faster than you think. So it is better that they know you for something worthy of admiration, not for a lame "night out".
3. Join artist groups and communities
Every time I attend meetings, conventions, film, theater, dance, singing, or any other type of guild gatherings, I am always actively listening to discussions about groups or communities where I can align and serve with my work, both virtually and in-person.
So, on your part, look for artist groups and communities and join them. Participate in discussions and share your work to connect with other artists and industry professionals.
4. Participate in exhibitions and contests
Like the previous point, the more you promote your personal brand, the greater your range of contacts that will know about you and your work. I never stop making contacts, with or without energy, tired or sleepy. Whenever I introduce myself, I do it with my name: Jero. Yes, THIS is my name for everything related to business and networking.
In exhibitions and contests, you will find people more focused on the niche market you are looking for. These events give you the opportunity to meet other artists and industry professionals and to showcase your work to a wider audience. And not only that ... you get to hear gossip, eat with them, laugh, listen to their conversations, and make valuable friendships that can eventually become allies for future projects and joint ventures.
5. Look for mentors and advisors
This point is very important. Don't seek out experts who you know have a hyper-powerful network of contacts without having anything to offer them. When they see the amount of work you've done, your artistic creations, and all the people following you, it's time to enter this first level of the big leagues.
Looking for mentors and advisors in your industry can help you navigate the world of the arts and connect with other high-caliber professionals. To do so, you'll need to elevate your status and mentality to another level, as many of these people will only ally with those who provide them with added value and whose mentality is enriching and in tune with theirs.
6. Be kind and professional
Remember that networking is about building long-term relationships. So be kind and professional at all times, and make sure to maintain clear and effective communication. The moment you seek a selfish benefit or take advantage of a person in exchange for something, that damages the connection forever and you'll hardly be recommended by others.
If your need is for money to cover basic necessities like food, clothing, housing, and basic services, go find a job, do freelancing, offer online classes related to your work, and don't stop knocking on doors until finally one of them opens for a sustainable income stream to keep advancing in your professional career.
Networking goes far beyond sending resumes and looking for work. It's about creating lasting relationships that endure for many years and serve as a bridge to share interests together and grow together personally and professionally. It's an exercise that must be done daily.
7. Follow up with your connections
I've failed miserably at this point thousands of times. I managed to make the connection, keep talking about our possible projects together, but for reasons of work, life, time, or having put other priorities first, I forgot that these contacts deserve to be attended to at all times. It's like a garden that needs to be watered and cared for to keep blooming and providing succulent fruits.
So after meeting someone, follow up with your connections via email or social media. This shows that you're interested in maintaining the relationship and can lead to future collaborations or opportunities.
Remember, networking is an essential part of building a successful career as an artist. Follow these tips and maintain an active presence in the artistic community to connect with other professionals and grow your career. Think of networking as the fundamental basis for the construction of a great monument. If you want it to endure for many years, I believe you should make this point a priority.
Did you know about networking? Have you done networking before and left it behind for some reason beyond your control? Leave it in your comments. Making mistakes is human, but continuing to make them is masochistic. So if you don't share this information with your musician, artist, and entertainment professional colleagues, you'll make the worst mistake of all.
About the Author
Jero Coto (singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur) is a music lover and audiophile who is always up-to-date on everything happening in the world of music. If you want to learn more about the available options for advancing your music ventures, click on this link.