Everybody knows that starting as an artist isn’t easy. The one thing that most new artists forget (or rather don’t know they should do), is to network. By networking you can create your own team. Here are some tips to build your own network or team.
The first step to a career in music, is networking. Go to networking events like Eurosonic or Midem or even SXSW. It does have a price tag on it. But, isn’t it worth it so that you can get so much more out of it?
Before you go to the event, try to make some appointments with people. If you don’t know how start by checking the event’s website. Events like Eurosonic, have a list of people that are going to be there. It’s easy to Google the names and see if they are the right person/company for you. Because there is nothing worse than being a metal artist and contacting someone that specialises in classical music.
Always be ready to hand over a business card. You never know who you’ll meet! Always have your music with you too. This way, whenever you have a meeting with someone, you can instantly show them what you’ve been working on. It’s easier than giving a CD and waiting for replies that will never come. These networking moments are perfect to build your career on. If they don’t like what you’re working on, ask them what needs work and show you’re ready to get some constructive feedback.
Another way of meeting people in the music industry, is looking at the liner notes on CD’s. There are always some useful names on it. Once you have a good list, try and contact them. It can be as easy as that!
Build Your Professional Team
First things first, you have to start with one person in your team – like a manager. In most cases, this can be a friend or family member. Be careful with adding someone of your family in the team, though. Sometimes family and money don’t mingle well.
Also, try to work out if the managers’ personality matches up with yours. You don’t want to be stuck on a contract with someone you can’t stand for the coming year or so. It seems bad to do this, but do you really want to be fighting all the time with your manager? They’re the ones who book your shows and get your money in. You don’t want to feel like you’re constantly fighting each other.
Before you say ‘yes’ to the first person with a great pitch, make sure you’ve checked a few things. Ask for references, check those references and ask a lot of questions.
Some questions you can ask are:
- Do they have experience in the music industry?
- Do they have clients that are in the same genre as you? If so, they are more likely to have existing contacts which could be useful to you.
- Do they do the work themselves? Make sure you know who you’re paying to do the work so you don’t get left with any nasty surprises.
- What is their fee? This is a normal question to ask in a meeting.
- Do they have a written agreement? This can be very important further down the line, so make sure everything us written and agreed to before any work starts.
If you already have a team ready, great! You’re halfway there! If you are thinking about adding someone new to the team, ask the same questions above and ask your existing team what they think too. You’re a team after all and everybody needs to get on with each other before they form your professional career.