Nobody achieves anything in life on their own, and this especially holds true in the music industry. Speak with some veteran musicians, and they’ll tell you that some form of effective networking was crucial to their success. As such, emerging musicians should develop a networking strategy to promote themselves as comprehensively as possible.
1. Speak with fans after shows
If you’re lucky enough to have connected with people through the music you’ve written, showing appreciation for these fans is one of the best ways to promote yourself. Taking the time to meet fans who have found a connection to your music shows them you’re a genuine person. For hardcore fans, such experiences are never forgotten. Far too many of today’s musicians have self-important attitudes; they think they have more important places to be, things to do and people to speak with than random fans they’ve never met. Next time you play a show, take the time to speak with the crowd once your set is over and exchange numbers when appropriate. You never know who you might meet. Word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most cost-effective ways to increase awareness of any given product, and your music is a product you obviously want to sell.
2. Develop relationships with musicians in other geo areas
Drawing a crowd outside of your area can be a challenge when you’re a new band — or an experienced-but-still-relatively-unheard-of band. One reliable way to expand your fan base is to seek out bands from other geographic areas and set up show swaps. In doing so, they’ll agree to bring a decent-sized crowd to a show they’ll host for you if you’ll do the same for them. Sometimes the hosting band provides room and board to help the visiting band save on expenses. Show-swaps work best if the two bands have similar sounds or sounds similar enough to warrant a crossover fanbase. Show swaps do not work if one band holds up its end of the deal while the other fails to bring out a crowd as expected; such an experience can ruin the relationship.
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