To be successful in the today’s highly-competitive music industry, we must think of ourselves as a business professional and know how to network.
The moment you provide any form of service, you automatically become a business-person, whether you are a mixing engineer, producer, session musician, orchestrator, arranger, or involved in some other aspect of music production.
For music producers, it’s easy to get caught up in only producing music. At times, we spend days in the studio creating thousands of beats with the hopes that one will be picked or used by an influential artist/label.
This mindset has to change. Because the game has changed.
I know what your thinking…
“Well I got into music production to make music, not be a business and network.
Why do I have to worry about this?”
In the past, composers or artists could just focus on creating music. They would have an administrative partner to handle the business aspects like shopping their songs and getting in touch with A & R reps.
This is no longer the case.
Today, the producer must do everything in the beginning in order to succeed!
Until you have built your audience and brand as an artist, and are able to hire a team, the producer must be the salesman, the business developer, the social media marketer, the networking representative, the audio engineer, and, usually, the band as well.
It is possible to become successful with just putting out music on soundcloud and not worrying about the business and networking side of music, but this is extremely rare.
So why leave your precious music career to chance?
Here are a few ways for you to network as a producer :– Join Facebook groups and be active in them. Provide others with help and ask questions!
– Reach out to other artists on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Soundcloud, and Snapchat. Don’t be lazy here and don’t just ask other artists to listen to your music. Connect with them first. Build a relationship and then ask them for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for a collaboration here!
– Use this direct message marketing technique
– Reach out to music blogs: Try using Submit Hub. With Submit Hub, you won’t have to look up a million email address and you will always hear back from them. You can also submit your tracks to labels as well!
– Join Forums: Join Gearslutz, EDM Production, Future Producers, IDM
– Create a website for your artist project and collect emails! Emailing is still one of the most popular forms of communication on the web and having a huge list to email is invaluable! With website builders such as wix and squarespace, you can get your website up and running very quickly without having to know any code!
Start putting in the work.
Develop tenacity and perseverance.
You need to develop a thick skin and a strong mind to be bold and daring, but know when to take constructive criticism.
The good thing about music, is that it is extremely subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just look at all the rejections that your favorite artist had when starting out their careers to see what I’m getting at.
Some indie professionals claim to spend 80% of their time networking and the remaining 20% creating. Most of us do it the other way around and this needs to change.
Until now, most of my projects as a composer have come via recommendation through word of mouth. I don’t have the largest studio with the most expensive setup, but you don’t need this if you are creative about finding a way to develop your own career. If you really cannot sell yourself or your service, you need to team up with someone who can and give them a cut of your profits.
Remember, What you know or what you’re capable of will only get you so far. You can be the best guitarist in the world, but if nobody knows that you play guitar (except your parents), it is pointless.
You are a modern day producer. Communication and networking is key.
Don’t believe me?
Take it from digital marketing and social media genius Gary Vaynerchuk.
Hear his take on music marketing. Skip to 6:53 in the video.
Don’t forget that the modern day producer is a service provider. Always think about how you can add value to others. Even if the answer from the other end is a “No, I don’t think you can help me/my artist/my label right now”, it’s going to leave a positive impression that will possibly benefit you in the long haul.
True story: A graphic designer friend of mine who lives in Toronto asked me for a piece of my music to use in a video to her boyfriend. I’ve known this person for 11 years and just told her to pick any song without charge (some of you might disagree on this, but this is what I did anyway). Two years later, she contacted me and reminded me of the favor I did for her. She knew that I just got engaged and offered to help my fiance and I design our wedding cards.
Life is funny in that way. People often remember how you make them feel, and that’s the same reason why they would buy your music, come to see you play live, or interact with you on social media.
It makes them feel something, so get out there and make friends and valuable connections.
About The Authors
Gregory is a cinematic composer and music arranger hailing from Singapore. In his spare time, you can find him hanging out in nearby cafes, thinking of ways to surprise his fiance or in church behind the guitar or sound desk. He likes coffee. Get in touch with him at www.gregtanmusic.net
Daniel is a caffeine dependent, entrepreneur, music producer, sound design junkie, and world traveler crazy about teaching modern electronic music production through his site SoundShock. You can get in contact with him at firstname.lastname@example.org