Good (insert time of day you’re reading this), my friend!
I actually don’t remember what prompted me to write something on networking, I think I was coming out of work one day and heard someone talking about it. If this is what happened, let’s assume that everything they said was wrong. I say this because I HATE the way that most people network.
I’m sure you know what it looks like. Someone sliding into your DM… “Hey I heard your song and you would be perfect for… blah blah blah” I hate it. Get the hell out of here, even if I like what you’re selling. So much of everything we do is in the presentation, but even more than that. It’s the person. Make no mistake, networking is about selling YOU.
In networking there are reachers and there are settlers. Networking is a skill that needs to be developed. Even if you feel like you’re reaching down it’s worth your time to develop the skill of selling yourself, and ultimately, it comes around to help you. What’s good for you is good for me my friend. Maybe that’s pure optimism. I don’t care.
The (Jack) Reachers and the Settlers (of Catan)
So often we’re only thinking of what someone can give us. That’s not selfish, it’s self-preservation that is hardwired into our DNA.
We play this role often, we need someone to help us record. So we hire them (or ask them to do it for another favor or try to make them believe it is jointly advantageous). It’s not news. How can I make this interesting for you to read this far into the blog? Well, by giving you some advice on how to be a better Reacher.
Be a (real) fan
All you have to do is actually be a fan of someone. That’s it. No, really it is that easy. Just think about your friend asking for something from you. You’re probably gonna help them out (unless you are a shitty friend). Now picture someone trying to sell you something, even if you really need that thing, you will probably turn it down and 9 times out of 10 they’re just looking for that third no before the yes. It’s a sick cycle and it’s exhausting.
I say, let’s actually make a difference and not burn ourselves out doing the least fun part of being a musician.
Subsection – what “being a fan” means
Go to shows, actually, listen to the band’s songs, learn their names. MAKE A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST WITH THEIR MUSIC ON IT. Easy and for some reason we don’t do it. Just because it’s easy to slide into a DM doesn’t mean we should do it. You’re trying to skip steps 1-7 and shotgunning your way to find one yes. Most of the time we’re not even worried about them wanting to work with us again. It’s just about finally hearing a “yes” instead of building up a rapport with them. Let’s move past this and actually start forming real relationships with people. You know, something that could actually be mutually beneficial (what a novel idea)!
The more folks you have coming to ask for help the better, right? Okay well, you can’t say yes to everything, but you can for a lot of things! Why should you say yes even against your better nature and the bags under your eyes? And where is the love for you my settler?
It’s around the bend, and that’s not just me being a positive person. See mutually beneficial doesn’t always mean that payout will immediately happen. Capitalism, socialism what do they have in common? The community! Maybe you’re turned off by those words. I don’t care.
If you work with someone and don’t like how it turns out, don’t work with them again. It’s okay to say no once you’ve tried it out.
If we keep this mentality of the community and its growth as a whole, any growth is considered your growth as well! Sometimes you will not gain as much as the person you’re helping. But that networking baby. It is also making a better community. When you pay the photographer (you should be paying your friends you POS) you are giving them the opportunity to continue to take badass pictures. It’s not just about you!
The Toxic Settler – The worst of El Capitain Planet villains
Should you get something in return for settling? Yes! Should you bleed them dry? No. Duh. Remember the golden rule, remember what it is like to be on the other side. Complain to your significant other about the situation, and then follow through. If we have a better community, we all win and we get better art. Stop trying to be the biggest band in the world and help your buddy’s band be the biggest in the world. That mentality will make you stronger and bigger. I swear to sweet baby buddha it actually works.
Networking isn’t LinkedIn requests. It’s actually being a fan and or part of the community around you. It isn’t hard, just be real with others.
I’m an extrovert (an extra-extrovert) so its easy for me to say, JUST GO OUT AND BE SOCIAL – But those little things that you find hard… going up and talking to the band. Going to the show and waving. Streaming the song. It doesn’t have to be hard, and whatever effort you put in, it will be noticed. Maybe immediately, but it will be noticed. Don’t try to get Chris Martin’s attention, try to get that local bar band’s attention by being friends with them! Put the time in as being an audience member, do it often. I promise you’ll see the returns you’re hoping for!
Before you say yes; before you jump into another dumpster fire for this band you don’t know. Think for a second, do I have the time to do this? If the answer is no, then don’t do it. Yes, my baby, it is that easy.
Also the dope photo was provided by Helena Lopez Via Unsplash! Follow this link to see more of her amazing work!