Probably the single most important thing a live musician can do to successfully market themselves, their band and their music is to network with as many other musicians as they possibly can. I can tell you from experience that I’m able to keep playing gigs because of who I know and associate with in my musical realm. I’m not a big self-promoter but I have contacts and friends in the music world that are really good with promotion and finding gigs. Networking with these types of people have really helped me advance my career. By networking with other bands and musicians you can increase your chances of hooking up with them for all sorts of gigs and musical projects.
I’ve been able to get gigs for my band from the bands that I’ve networked with over the years. I’ve been able to fill in at gigs that other bands have lined up and then not been able to play. I’ve also been able to get gigs opening for other bands that I’ve become friendly with over my career. I’ve always tried to return the favor and whenever possible will ask other bands to open for my band. That’s a major key to successful networking is to give other bands the opportunities that you’re seeking for your own band. You never know when an up and coming band is going to become huge and there’s a chance that they’ll return the favor in the future and have you join them at a big show.
Networking with other musicians in your area is also a great way to find places to play. You can find out who the right person to talk to at a club is in order to book your band. You can also have other bands give you references at clubs so that you can secure bookings. I’ve been able to find some decent booking agents by talking to other musicians that I’ve met over the years.
I’ve been able to play on other musicians recordings as well as help other bands out by letting them come into my recording studio and lay down tracks. By doing this I’ve been able to get some marketing exposure by getting my name on other people’s recordings. Name recognition is key in the music industry and the more you can get your name associated with other musicians, the more opportunities you’re going to have to get your music heard. I’ve been able to land some pretty fun gigs just because somebody knew someone else that knew me.
There are a lot of great ways to network with other musicians these days. The best way of course is to get out and hear other bands. Then don’t be afraid to go up and talk to them during breaks or at the end of a show. Remember to have some class and never ask to play their instruments or beg them to let you get up and play a song. Just meet them, exchange phone and contact info as well as web based info such as websites and MySpace of Facebook pages. MySpace is a fantastic way to network these days and if your band doesn’t have a MySpace page then you need to get one going TODAY!
The final word on networking with other musicians is to remain cool and don’t be an egotistical jerk when dealing with other musicians. You can go a long way by being nice to people in this business and they will remember you when opportunities arise that can benefit both parties.