The dayjob dilemma usually exists in the lives of people whose dreams and goals are so huge, they want to dedicate all of the time they have in to reaching them and making them come true. Their passion is what drives them and they don’t want anything getting in the way of getting to that […]
Networking, a term, over-used in this day and age of the internet and social media. A lot of people use social media for “networking” yet have its definition totally wrong. Pushing your work onto somebody, spamming people with links, is not “networking”. When the term networking is used in reference to some type of business, it definitely is being misused, or even abused.
Back in the day, (read: before there was internet / social media) you mostly built your network on your work, things you could show for, your actions and referrals from people you work with. Now, a lot of networking is done through the internet, specifically social media.
Social media made it easier to connect to people, all over the world. Connecting is not equal to networking. This is where the mistake is made. In any type of industry, networking requires mutual benefits from collaborating. It’s not a one-way street. You can’t make a connection, if the other side doesn’t connect with you. Social media can be used in different ways. One can use it to listen, to send, or to do both. It can be used to act, interact and react. According to the business dictionary, this is the definition of networking:
Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Networking is based on the question “How can I help?” and not with “What can I get?”
Applying that to social media, in my experience, more people are focused on the latter question of above definition. People send out work of their own, without interacting, or showing interest in what the other person does. This is not the most effective way to gain valuable business. Below I’ve summed up my opinion of the most important Do’s and Don’ts.
The DO’s of Business Networking:
- Show interest in the person (and their work) who you are trying to “network” with.
- When you connect, introduce yourself and your work in a professional way.
- Make clear how you can be beneficial to each other. What do you have in common, which mutual interests do you have?
- If your goal is to work together, have your solid ideas ready.
- Maintain a relationship, keep communication open, see #1: keep showing interest.
The DON’Ts of Business Networking:
- Do not address a person for the first time, by talking about yourself and your own work instantly.
- Do not spam with links or push work all the time.
- If the goal is to work together, be clear about what you want, do not let the other person wonder what you mean or guess about your intentions. (See #4 of DO’s, have your ideas ready.)
- Do not tell/ask the person what THEY can do for you.
- Do not put a deadline on the communication. Be patient.
Social media made a lot of definitions unclear or even redefined certain terms, such as business, networking, connecting but also friendships, relationships and other terms on a personal level.
If you reach out to someone, please make sure to use proper terms. If it’s just for feedback, just say so. If you are “networking” make sure you know what the person does and how you can help each other. And of course, attend actual networking events where you can mingle and meet people in your industry, in person. Make sure to present yourself in the way I have mentioned above. The DO’s and DON’Ts qualify for both online and offline.
“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” –Keith Ferrazzi
If you need any help setting up a (social media) strategy plan or want advice on how to approach people in a professional way, let me know. You can reach me through the contact form or through email@example.com.
Being exposed to what everyone does, every day, non-stop, there’s a lot of pressure keeping up with that fast pace. Especially in the music/entertainment industry. Every day new songs come out, albums are released, video’s are put online. A lot of artists release free music, instead of waiting on a label, just to stay relevant. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it works in their favor.
How do you know what to do and when to do it?
First, before society became over-exposed, most artists actually created art. They stayed true to their art instead of being in a rush to put something out there. Quality is very important. Just because there will be a group of people/fans, who will buy music, doesn’t mean it’s something of the same level quality as put out before. As an artist, you have to really think about what it is that you want. What do you want to accomplish with your music? How do you want to put yourself out there? How do you want to be perceived as an artist? Not just by your potential fans, but also in the eyes of other artists, your peers and people you may possible want to work with in the future. Below are a few steps that will help in prioritizing.
- First figure out what type of artist you are. Why do you make music/create art? Is it for yourself or for other people? Really be honest with yourself.
- Make a general long term plan (5-10 years) for yourself. Then make a short term plan based on this plan (12-18 months).
- Determine how you want to reach your goals (number of album releases etc.) for the coming year.
- Find out which (media) channels work best for you, and how you can maximize those, to use them for the coming year, to help reach your goals.
- Create a strategy based off of #4, so you have everything laid out for you, only having to create the content (music/art), without thinking about the rest.
The 5 steps above will help you figure out what is most important right now for you. It also helps in making those important things happen, without being all over the place with everything. The steps lead to a plan for you to work on, to stay focused, but this plan can always be adjusted if you come across things along the way, or if you go faster or slower than planned. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you don’t let others distract you from your focus, from your plan. Patrick Lencioni (business management) said it best: “If everything is important, then nothing is important.”
If you need any help figuring out what you need to do first, how to prioritise or need help with putting together a strategy plan, let me know. You can reach me through the contact form or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been a fan of EPMD since I can remember, and it’s crazy to think I actually became friends with these two great MC’s. Throughout the years I have had the pleasure to interview them and hang out with them, seeing them in their element behind and on stage. Read more