Don’t Shrug off Networking

This may just be a Sunday babble, but I just wanted to share the thought that networking should never be discounted as a method to get your music & skill sets out there. It is difficult and time-consuming to answer emails & PMs personally, to post blogs regularly, and to consistently post on music-related sites/forums, and well as making sure you a) have one or more web sites, and b) keep them up to date. But you just never know how that raised profile is going to further your career.

~~Your website may just act as a business card (IMO every songwriter should have a site) - you've pitched to someone and they go to check you out on-line. It's crucial your site be up-to-date and that the music you've posted represents you well to your target market.

~~Someone reads one of your posts and takes the time to link to your site, listen to your tunes & write you a note. Action: search them out on the web & listen to at least one of their tunes, & reply thanking them for their note, chatting about their site/success/what they are up to.

~~You listen to someone else's music and write them a note, and hey... they reciprocate. Action: reply & chat about where they are from or what they are up to or ask about their album or projects.

~~Someone writes you an email, post or PM asking for advice and you do the best you can to help or point them in the right direction. Action: When they reply to thank you, write back and say they're welcome and tell them to keep in touch & let you know how it's going.

As you do these things, your profile grows, often without you even seeing the ripple effect that comes from each conversation or connection. And I'm not suggesting you do these things dishonestly, but from a sincere desire to reach out and make friends along the way.

Today, for example, I received an email from a MA musican who sent me fan mail a couple of weeks ago. I went to his site, listened to his music and sent him a reply. Now we are conversing regularly. Cool!

I also received an email from a CA songer/songwriter who sent me a lovely note a couple of weeks ago. Again I went to her site and listened to the music and took the time to reply. Turns out we'll both be attending the same music conference and we've arranged to meet for coffee. Neat! A new friend!

My point is... that all these things take a little extra time... but by reaching out and listening to what someone else is doing and making the effort... you begin to build your network. If it is true that being easy to work with and approachable and willing to learn is just slightly more important than being skilled (which is extremely important)... then building and maintaining your network is crucial to your success - whether you are a performing songwriter, an instrumentalist, a lyricist, a vocalist, a producer, or any other kind of animal.

Just my take on it.