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7 Things That will Help Your Networking Work Harder for You

Networking is an essential skill for working in the music industry. For some people it’s a lot of fun, for others it feels a little more like hard work.

Two people in a coffee shop both look at a mobile phone one of them is holding, exchanging numbers.
Networking is not just about meeting people, it’s about following up and building a connection that lasts. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Here are seven top tips to make networking work for you – introverts and extroverts alike.

1 – Have clear intentions

Before you get started, you need to know who you are, what you do, and what you are looking for. It will help you find the right people, give you confidence in your approach, and make sure that what you are doing will contribute to your goal.

Not sure what that is? Keep an eye out for FEU Training events on goal setting and networking, designed for freelancers and free for MU members.

2 – Know who you are trying to find

It’s easy to feel anxious or overwhelmed at the prospect of walking into a room full of strangers and looking for someone who can help you.

But if you have clear intentions, you should know who you are trying to find and what you are looking for. Go in with a plan, such as meeting two people who will take you towards your goal.

Not sure what you need? Book an MU 1-2-1 for expert career advice or check out our advice on working relationships.

3 – Be yourself

Be polite, concise and clear. Show your character – people are interested in people. And be persistent.

But keep in mind that you’re not entitled to a meeting with the person you want to meet. If they don’t have enough time to see you now, that’s okay. Chances are if they were impressed by your approach, they will remember you.

4 – Effective networking is about following up

Networking is not just about meeting people, it’s about following up and building a connection that lasts. If you follow up a couple of times and don’t hear back, then it is okay to move on.

Find out more about effective networking in this online course.

5 – Always ask for two more people to connect with

If you have a meeting with someone, or even if after a conversation you decide that there’s not much you can really do to support each other, ask them for two more people to connect with.

It’s a great way to grow your network quickly and get you in front of people who can really help. It’s also a great question to ask at MU events!

6 – Tap into networks you already have

As an MU member, you are part of a community of over 31,000 musicians and there are plenty of opportunities to connect. Check out upcoming MU events on everything from busking to DIY releases to teaching to tax.

And why not get involved in the MU’s regional committees and industry networks to connect with other musicians in your field? That natural networking can sometimes be the most useful.

7 – Cultivate resilience

Resilience is an important skill to develop working in the music industry. The Young Freelancer’s Guide to Mental Health and the Music Industry looks at what being resilient means and how to cultivate it.

Become a member of the MU

Are you a musician, but not a member of the MU yet?

You can join today and pay only £1 for your first six months – giving you access to benefits such as networking events and one-to-one advice from your regional team.

Published: 10/12/2019

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