6 Proven Networking Strategies for Songwriters

Everywhere you turn, it seems someone is talking about how the music industry is changing. This new thing is great, that new thing is bad – sales are up here, sales are down there. But it doesn’t matter whether you believe things are changing for the worse or changing for the better – some things will always hold true. And one of those things that is as true now as it was 50 years ago- the importance of effective networking and relationship building.

It’s no secret that I love what I do. One of my favourite things is that I get to meet many different songwriters and artists- sometimes it’s in person at a SAC Workshop or it might be through one of the many emails. tweets and Facebook messages I receive daily. After digging through the pile of impersonal “check out my music” or “come to my show” messages, I’ll usually stumble upon someone asking me for advice. Every so often I’ll get a very unique question, but more often than not, I’m hit with the same ones over and over. They usually go something like this:

  • Where can I find someone I can collaborate with on songwriting (music, lyrics etc)?
  • How do I meet other songwriters or industry professionals so I can move my career forward (get a publishing deal, manager, agent)?
  • Is there somewhere I can get feedback on my music to find out if I’m on the right track (reviews, critiques) ?
  • and so on..

And when it comes down to it, all these questions focus on the same core problem- “How do I effectively network in the music industry?”

Effective Networking

It almost hurts me to say that I meet so many songwriters who lack an understanding of how to network effectively.  They attend an event here and there, talk to one or two people and walk away- usually complaining that the event “sucked”. Others rely on serendipity, waiting for that elusive “big break”- only to find they rarely gain enough traction to fuel any real growth to further their careers. This is simply not enough. You must to do more. You have to go beyond chance and seek out new and creative networking opportunities to get ahead and be a successful songwriter.

Now in the end, you have to deliver. You must have quality songs and go beyond people’s expectations. Without great songs, you are fighting a losing battle. That being said, effective networking should be a driving force, if not a major part of your daily musical efforts.

Proven Networking Strategies

Here are a few proven strategies that are sure to help make your networking more effective:

  1. Give, then receive – focus on sharing and not selling. Networking is a two way street and people will often resist a sales pitch. Try to always offer your help and skills first.
  2. Know why you’re networking – What are you looking to achieve? Do you want a co-writer? Are you looking for a publishing deal? Do you need help recording songs? What problem are you currently trying to solve- and what problems can you solve for others?
  3. Do your homework first– Make sure to avoid questions that can be answered by a simple google search. If you’re attending an event, find out who will be there – and do some research. Prepare a set of questions you can ask. Maybe things like – What’s your favourite song? What kinds of songs do you prefer to write? How do you find opportunities for your songs? By learning about who you are talking to, you’ll keep the conversation going and make it more meaningful.
  4. Don’t ever be pushy or desperate – you can be politely persistent but respect the fact that people are often busy and may not have the ability, resources or desire to lend a hand.
  5. Always Ask Permission – Always….always…always! Get permission before doing anything that may infringe on someone’s rights or privacy.
  6. Say “thank you” – you would be surprised how common courtesy has become very uncommon – little things like this still go a long way. Be polite and courteous to everyone.

Things Rarely Happen Overnight

Things may happen quickly for you, or it may take you years to see results– most likely, it’ll be somewhere in between. Be realistic and persevere. Don’t expect to do something once, like show up to one meeting or workshop and expect everything to magically fall into place. Your network will grow over time as you develop bonds and connections with people. Take your time to build relationships that are solid and long lasting. Make sure you focus on the quality and not the quantity of your relationships. Like so many other areas in life, the quality of your relationships have a huge impact on how far and how fast you move ahead.

Organizations like SAC hold monthly songwriting workshops and meetings in most major cities. You should attend as many of these and other industry events as often as you can. If you don’t live near a major city, take advantage of SAC’s online community. There you can connect with other songwriters and share and exchange your ideas regardless of where you live.

Feel free to offer up any comments below, or join the discussion at S.A.C. Connect on Facebook.

And if you have any questions for me, feel free to drop me a line at anytime, either on Facebook, Twitter, by email or drop by my website, I’m always happy to lend a hand.

-Randy

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “6 Proven Networking Strategies for Songwriters

    1. Thanks for the comment Zia! and yes ABOVE ALL – quality of your work is the most important part. If it was only money and promotion – then every song would be a hit from those who have both.

      As we all know that is not the case – and with everything i talk about in terms of business and promotion – I am assuming that you are spending equal or more time and effort on your craft.

      I cannot stress this enough – that is why an organization like SAC is so important – get on the site and search others and share your ideas and experiences and continue to challenge and develop your craft.

      Best of luck!!
      RY

      Like

  1. HI,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE.
    I HAVENT BEEN TO ANY OF YOUR SONGWRITERS WORK SHOPS YET.IM LOOKING FORWARD SOMEDAY TO ATTEND ONE.
    THE BLOG YOU WROTE ABOUT.HIDING IN YOUR APARTMENT WITH YOUR GUITAR.ALMOST SOUNDS LIKE ME.
    I LIVE IN A NEW TOWN.I DONT KNOW MANY PEOPLE.THE POLICE OFFICERS THAT GUIDE ME WITH DIRECTIONS.GOOD PEOPLE HERE IN THIS TOWN.THE POST OFFICE GUIDE ME WITH SOME MORE DIRECTIONS.ALSO GOOD PEOPLE.I HAVE MET SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE AT CHURCH IN THIS SMALL COUNTRY TOWN.
    BUT BESIDES THAT I LOTS OF TIME ON MY LABTOP TRYING TO GET CONNECTED WITH OTHER ARTIST.THATS WHEN MY LABTOP DOES WORK FOR ME.IM STILL LOOKING FOR SOME WONDERFUL ARTIST LIKE REBA,DOC WALKER,RASKEL FLATS,PAUL BRANDT,CORD LUND TO GIVE ME A CALL.I KNOW MY LYRICS ARE GREAT.I JUST NEED VOICES OF ANGLES TO SING THEM.
    I MUST GO NOW.THANKS AGAIN FOR THE INSIGHT IN THE SONGWRITING BUSINESS.
    FROM H. PLEASE KEEP ALL MUSIC ALIVE.

    Like

    1. Hellen -well if you have a laptop then you are connected to the WORLD! – get in the community section of the SAC website and start talking to other songwriters – there are SO many writers all talking about the same issues – you can share and collaborate or do whatever you want.

      You may find someone to help you get your songs done – I wouldn’t wait for that “big break” of a bigger artist to cover one of your songs – just write great ones – get them out there – and trust me – if they are THAT good – people will take notice and they will come to you.

      SAC has a great song critique service to get your good and honest feedback on your work – to help you refine your songs – maybe you can try that too? just a thought ..

      Best of luck and thanks for jumping in!
      RY

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s