How to Work a Music Event Like a Pro
The following is a guest post by creative coach, writer and media presenter, Jayne Thorpe.
The event’s been marked on your calendar for a while. Your music video’s been viewed enough times for you to believe you’re actually okay and you’ve even got a few regulars at your gigs. Yet despite all of this there’s something about networking at music events that makes you clam up. Your verbosity might know no bounds when it comes to song lyrics, but it vanishes when faced with someone who has the potential power to help your dream happen. So how do you network like a pro?
Start by taking some deep breaths. Trite, I know, but it helps.
Next remind yourself that most people actually get a kick out of helping others. What’s more, as comedian Mark Dolan puts it, ‘people live to say yes’. We may think it’s their job to judge us and say no, but in actual fact they long to be excited. All we have to do is be honest and share our passion. As Mike Malak (Coda Agency) says:
“Strike up a normal conversation and explain what you are working on and ask that person for advice on getting it in the right place. Most likely if you are honest and not trying to force it on the person they will do their best to help you or point you in the right direction.”
“Before going to meet someone I remember why I’m doing this and what I love doing. It sounds simple, but it really helps. I might organise some business cards and recordings to make sure they’ve got something to listen to, but mostly I work on thinking about my vision and doing what I love. When I think about that I feel more relaxed and confident. I’m lucky in that I have a lot of people supporting me. If you remember who already supports you and likes your work then that helps.”
This view is echoed by Phillipa James (Director, Almond Marketing):
“There isn’t a magic person who can press a button and send you to stardom. Behind an artist is a group of people who support them, believe in them and work hard in the background. It’s important to find those people. Agents, managers, PR experts and even family and friends all keep the momentum going.”
So the trick is to recognise and value those that are already helping you and then be really clear on your vision so when more people come along they are excited by your passion. You’ve probably got more than you know already going for you. When you realise that the jitters will calm down.
There’s lots of festivals and conventions this summer to practice. Let us know how it goes!
Jayne Thorpe is a creative coach, writer and media presenter. She’s had her own FM radio show supporting new acts and she’s done a fair bit of video stuff too. When she’s not chatting about music she’s either organising gigs or helping other people organise their gigs. Creativity in all forms makes her happy, but music is what makes her happiest, especially if she can dance to it. When she’s not chatting about music, or even dancing to it she can be found at the front of a yoga class telling people to remember to breathe (she’s a yoga teacher too). She listens to whatever she gets sent on Twitter. Drop her a line @jaynethorpe.