When I was speaking to Justin Brooke the other day he came up with something rather interesting that kind of stuck in my head, so I thought I would make it the subject of today’s post.
Admittedly I could have taken five minutes to listen through his interview again and copied what he said word for word but screw it, here’s the gist
“Most people try and artificially increase the number of people that follow them on Facebook and Twitter and I believe that this is missing the point. I think the real power of social media is to be able to connect with people you would have never had access to before. It’s very important to build these relationships before you need them so that you’re not starting from scratch when you need help in spreading the word about a new release.”
This idea leads me onto a rather interesting question…
If the music business is a lot about who you know…is there a way to systematize networking so that you can make friends with the right people on a steady and predictable basis, even if you’re more shy than Bigfoot?
Imagine being friendly with a top radio DJ and personally sending him your latest track to play on his show, or calling up a popular music blogger to offer her a cut from the proceeds of your latest music package.
One of the best ways to impress potential fans is to get an endorsement from people that they respect.
The basic idea is simple enough so for the rest of this post I’m going to give you a few real world practical action points for getting noticed.
(Try tracking all your contacts in a Google doc spreadsheet so you can keep up to date with who you have connected with and how you might follow up next.)
Make a Twitter list of popular people you would like to connect with and jump into the conversation when you can add something cool. (Use this with caution because if you do it too much or in a hypey way it will get very annoying.)
Guest posting - if you’re finding it hard to get your music featured on a top blog then why not just write them a killer article and sneak in the back door. This is like a big thumbs up from the blogger, and will often send you a whole bunch of new fans because you can include a link back to your own site as well. This video will show you how to find popular blogs to approach.
Ask a question - email 30 of the top people in your music scene and ask for their favorite album of all time and why they love it, then post the answers to your own blog. (Probably 10 of them will get back to you.) Chances are this will attract a lot of conversation in your scene and the people who contributed might even tell their own fans about the post. Great way to make that all important first contact.
Our good ol’ friend Mr Re-tweet - people usually get notified when somebody re-posts one of their tweets. So go one step further and add a positive comment as well. This will help you stand out from the crowd, and be much more sincere than just hitting the re-tweet button.
Facebook tag - this and it works like a Twitter mention so that if you re-post somebody’s outstanding work on your own Facebook page you can tag them and they will get notified.
Interview interesting people about how they got started and their thoughts about the music scene.
Links in your posts - your blog will probably send something called a “ping back” when you link to another blog. This is basically an automatic message to tell the person that you mentioned their site, which should spark there interest to see what you said. They might also come across your post in Google Alerts if they are tracking their brand, but at the very least they may see hits coming from your site and pop over to see what you’re doing.
Blog comments – I find that even the most successful people still read and moderate their own comments. So if you leave something really thoughtful and don’t try and be overly self promotional the blogger might follow through and check out your music.
Keep this in mind…
When you first start out nobody knows or cares about what you’re doing so you need to spend a lot of time reaching out to people and helping them achieve THIER goals. But after a while you will build up a bank of good will and valuable contacts. When newer newbies come along they might even see YOU as the influencer and help you out too.
None of this will guarantee that you will get notice but it’s better than sitting at home watching reruns of Baywatch in your underwear. If just put yourself out there and engage with cool people you have a much better chance that they will notice your musical genius.
The only way you can fail at networking is to let your shyness get the better of you and shut yourself off from the world.
Watch the video podcast version below…
Let me know what you think in the comments below…
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