5 Foolproof Ways to Make Music Industry Contacts

How To Network: Five Foolproof Ways To Make Music Industry Contacts

By Gregory Douglass - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

written by: Gregory Douglass

Whether you’re an emerging artist or a seasoned professional, it can feel daunting for musicians at any level to make music industry contacts that are worthwhile. It’s hard enough to know where to begin, let alone make any worthwhile connections. Trust me, I know! So how does one tackle this crazy beast we call music industry networking? Here are 5 Foolproof Ways To Make Music Industry Contacts that will totally blow your mind.

1. Figure out who you truly want to connect with

If you’re like most musicians, you’re networking efforts currently consist of either nothing at all or constantly trying to conquer the world. Neither approach is effective, and both lead to the same dead-end results… so start focusing in on a select few. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Whom am I dying to work with?
  • Who do I think will really “get” me and my music?
  • Who’s already in my corner?

It doesn’t matter how “connected” a person already is or how “connected” you think they are. So long as every answer to these questions remains in alignment with your goals, dreams, and desires, you can’t go wrong. Sometimes, all it takes is one right connection that changes everything, and then the rest takes care of itself!

2. Reach out genuinely

In any initial correspondence, you want to make a good first impression. First impressions are everything. If you connect with people genuinely, you will never come across as being opportunistic, and that’s very important. After all, people prefer to work with others who they like and trust.

Conferences are great places to network, and after parties are where the real connections are made (a little liquid courage goes a long way)! But any action you take, and circumstance you find yourself in, is an opportunity waiting to foster if you’re open to it.

3. Offer to help

So many artists have only their best interests in mind when they are trying to make new connections. Now imagine how much further you can get by offering to help in ways that might be beneficial to each person you are trying to connect with instead of just begging them to help you? When you approach anyone with “tables turned” in mind, it’s much easier to understand how a person might be more open to correspondence than not. If you are able to contribute value to someone else, they will be far more likely to help you in return.

4. Follow up regularly

You’ve already planted the seed with your offer to help. Now stay on their radar—respectfully, but consistently! Give each connection time to foster. In fact, plan any connection you intentionally pursue as far in advance as you can without any expectation of immediate gratification. There is a time for everything, and even the most powerful connections can take their sweet time before they are ripe and ready to harvest.

5. Don’t burn bridges

I repeat: don’t ever burn bridges with anyone. You never know who really holds the power in ways that could catapult your career! Chances are, a grand opportunity will present itself from someone you least expect when you least expect it. If you let every connection foster through genuine and consistent correspondence with those you care about the most, you will be amazed at what will manifest in your career!

I hope that these tips at least offer a much-needed shift in perspective for the imminent success of your music career. And remember this: while big opportunities may be beyond your control, the lasting impression you leave is always within your means.

You’re a rock star. Never change.

Here’s to your creative genius!

For the video version of this blog, head on over to Gregory’s website, The Creative Advisor.




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Make a music video for free

How To Make A Music Video
On Your Own For FREE

By Gregory Douglass - Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

written by: Gregory Douglass

So many bands and musicians have had success through viral music video outlets like Youtube. The demand for video is only increasing so it’s time for you to get in on the action. Youtube is still the second largest search engine in the world, and in case you forgot, that’s how Justin Bieber was discovered (how could you forget?) You could easily spend thousands of dollars on a sharp looking, professionally-produced music video – but if you’re just getting started, you probably can’t afford that. That’s no excuse for bypassing music videos altogether though. As a musician, you can’t afford not to have them these days, so here are six steps on how to make a music video on your own for free for those of you who are brand new to the world video:

1. Choose your strongest song. Assuming that you’re a recording artist, you probably have a least a handful of brilliant songs already recorded that you can choose from. Be sure to pick your strongest song, but don’t just take your own word for it – get some second opinions! Chances are, your favorite song isn’t necessarily your strongest song – at least not according to everyone else. Ask your fans, friends, and family what they think is your strongest – then do yourself a favor and take their word for it. This should set the stage for more consistent results from the music video you’re about to make. Understand that your music video will be an incredibly powerful promotional vehicle for whatever song you choose, so make it a strong one!

2. Choose your video equipment. Assuming that you already have a laptop, computer, smartphone, tablet, or camera with video capabilities – you’ll have plenty of equipment options to choose from. If you don’t have access to any of these devices, you probably have a friend who would be kind enough to let you borrow something. All of these devices come with some sort of internal camera and video recording capability, so choose whatever works for you. Since you’re making a music video, the audio component of whatever device you choose won’t matter because you’re eventually going to replace the audio with the pre-recorded audio of your strongest song. I use a Canon Vixia consumer camcorder myself – which is HD quality for a reasonable price – but you can use your shiny new iPhone 5MacBook Pro, or something as affordable and easy to use as a Flip MinoHD Camera.

3. Create your concept. What kind of imagery comes to mind from the song you’ve selected? What kind of music video do you want to create? For example, you can choose to create a more traditional, story-driven music video, or a live performance-style music video. With a story-driven music video, you might consider doing some acting or filming various places, people, things, or circumstances that support your storyline or imagery. Get creative here and make the most out of what you have to work with already. Is there anything just lying around the house that you can incorporate? Include footage of you lip-syncing a performance, lip-syncing a studio recording session, or capture footage your band performing the song. This will also work exclusively for a live performance-style music video, and you’ll be better off lip-syncing to your pre-recorded song verses singing it live for sake of better audio quality.

4. Choose your locations. Keep it simple and stick to 1-3 locations for your music video. They can be anywhere that supports your storyline or imagery – even three different rooms in the same house works. Is your song dark and brooding? Consider darker locations with softer lighting. Is your song happy and inspiring? Consider brighter locations with wide, open spaces. Shooting outside during the day always offers ample lighting, and cloudy days are particularly helpful in regulating the light because clouds act as natural light diffusers – so long as it’s not raining on your video equipment! If you want more indoor lighting regulation, be sure to have some good lighting options on hand – such as strong overhead lights with dimmers or spotlight lamps – and experiment with each lighting source.

5. Shoot your video. Experiment with various camera angles and positions before you start recording full takes. You might discover you have a more visually striking side or angle, and you might discover the same about your location. Once you’re ready to press record, plan to perform or lip-sync to your song 2-4 times, and aim for 2-4 takes for everything you decide to film as a general rule of thumb. This will give you more than one option for every point in the song, just in case you had something between your teeth during the first take. Nothing is more discouraging than putting the time and effort into filming just to realize you have to do it all over again, so always create options! This rule of thumb is particularly helpful when you’re filming yourself because no one will be behind the camera to keep an eye on things while the camera is rolling. Consider various different angles for each take so your options are diverse when it comes time to edit. Different angles might include a wide shot, a waist shot, a close-up shot, and a handheld shot.

6. Edit your video. Editing your own music video can be as much fun as creating a concept and shooting your music video, so don’t be afraid to learn. It’s exciting to bring your footage to life, and it requires more of your own creativity. There are some powerful video editing software options available for premium prices – such as Final Cut and Adobe Premiere – but since we’re talking about making a music video for free, lets take a loot at the freemium alternatives. If you have a computer, you should already have access to free video editing software that is easy to use and simple to figure out on your own. If you’re on a mac for example, you should already have iMovie, and Windows Movie Maker for PC. Youtube even has its own built-in video editing application, though I can’t say I’ve tried it yet. Whatever software you use should have the option to eventually mute or disable the audio from your video footage once you import/upload it into a new project. You might want to keep it enabled until you’re finished editing though, as it will be a necessary point of reference for the song as you extract each clip you want to use to lay over the recording of your song. Once a clip is added to your video timeline and matched up correctly to the appropriate section of your recorded song, you can then disable the video clip’s audio channel. Get creative and play around with all the different takes and angles you’ve captured until you have built a completed music video that you’re happy with, free of charge!

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6 Music Gigs You Haven't Thought Of

6 Money-Making Gigs
You Haven’t Yet Thought Of
Plus: We’re having a giveaway (enter below)

By Gregory Douglass - Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

written by: Gregory Douglass

There are many ways musicians and bands can make money with their music. Perhaps the most obvious way is through performing and touring. Any given tour might rely on club, coffeehouse, and even college performances to generate income along the way – but there are other ways to generate additional revenue that may not already be on your radar. So here are 6 music money gigs you haven’t yet thought of:

1. College Keynote Concerts. College gigs are great, and are arguably the most lucrative gigs in the indie music biz. While college gigs can be a nice pay day, they are also the most competitive gigs to book. Most musicians and booking agents are going after college gigs in the same ways – through college booking conferences like NACA, or directly through Student Activities organizations. Try thinking outside the box and consider an educational tie-in with your performance pitch in the form of a keynote concert. Perhaps you or your bandmate could talk to the student body about the songwriting process and cap off your presentation with a performance. For keynote concert bookings, consider contacting various clubs & organizations outside of the Student Activities department.

2. House Concerts. House concerts are still an underground, growing trend – though they are still met with great resistance by many shy musicians who feel that they are just too close for comfort. As a touring singer/songwriter myself, I personally give house concerts my golden stamp of approval. They certainly are intimate, but you can’t ask for a more appreciative audience than a house concert audience! They are ideal for solo artists but great opportunities for bands to strip things down for a night as well. House concerts can be more lucrative than public venues with a $10-20 suggested donation jar and the higher level of interest in merch sales that they typically generate. If you’re lucky, your house concert host may even make you a home cooked meal or offer you their guest room for the night to help save you some dough on the leg of a tour.

3. Virtual Concerts. With platforms like LiveStream, Ustream, Justin.tv, Stageit, and even Google Hangouts now – virtual concerts have never been easier to administer behind the scenes. Consider setting the stage at home in front of your computers built-in camera, or step up your game if you have the right gear to do so. Stageit is specifically for concerts and has a virtual tip jar already incorporated, but you can also embed some basic HTML code on Justin.tv and sport a Paypal-powered virtual tip jar yourself. Make virtual concerts like these apart of a larger crowd-funding campaign for your next tour or album campaign.

4. Venue Rentals. If you’re really ambitious, you might consider doing what Ani Difranco did to build her legacy and rent venues. This will obviously cost you a chunk of change up front, but you might be able to fast-track your way into presenting your band in venues that are more suitable or more preferable than the usual direct-booking venue. If you are willing to hustle and ensure that enough people fill the house to make it worth the cost of the venue rental, than you can have your cake and eat it to.

5. Corporate Events. There are always Corporate companies looking to book entertainment for various internal events, and they usually have a decent size budget to work with. Corporate events gigs are not unlike the wedding gigs in that they are typically background music for attendees, so they may not be for everyone – but they are usually a nice pay day in the end.

6. Street Performances. For more seasoned/professional artists, street performances may seem too entry-level, but they don’t have to seem that way. Adapting to the new indie music biz model is adapting to fresh perspective on how to sustain a living as a working musician, so this might be the perfect exercise in checking one’s ego at the door. Street performances can be great opportunities for fast-generating tip money, as well as great new exposure opportunities. Especially on the pedestrian streets of tourist cities and towns, or any other areas with heavy foot traffic. Even KT Tunstall still plays street performance gigs now and then for nostalgia purposes.

You’re a rock star.

Here’s to your creative genius!

 


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We’re giving away prizes to 12 lucky readers!
 
10 readers will each win a $50 Amazon gift card
 
2 readers will win a one-on-one coaching session
with Gregory Douglass

 




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