How To Build An Audience Through Strong Relationships: 4 uncommon networking tips for DJs
Networking is a vital part of building a career in music, without a doubt. Your career, its sustainability and longevity can survive and thrive on the strong relationships you forge and more importantly, carefully and consciously maintain. Hands down the best way to forge new relationships is at live events - at parties, industry events, conferences and general social settings. Now lucky for you, as a DJ, you attend a lot of those. However, for many DJs and producers networking is hard and some get totally socially anxious when they have to do it.
So, to make networking easier, here are 4 uncommon networking tips for DJs and producers to help you along, without making you feel like a total fraud and that go beyond handing out business cards.
#1 - Change your negative mindset: see yourself as equal
The thought of networking gives you the creeps. In fact, you suffer from social anxiety. Going out there and mingling leaves you feeling super exposed, vulnerable, awkward and extremely nervous. You don’t know what to say, you don’t know what to do with your hands - even you even get past walking up to someone and introducing yourself.
When you’re feeling stressed and anxious like that, it is usually followed by not knowing what to do about it.
The #1 trick on how to do that is through gaining clarity.
So rather than jugging that glass of wine to calm your nerves, you may want to tackle the fear beforehand and get clear on what’s holding you back. It’ll make it so much easier to see the right path and get yourself in a positive mindset before you start conversations with people. After all, you’ll leave a much better impression when you’re in control of your feelings and you know what you’re doing!
Instead of staying stuck in the fear of networking, approach this from an abundance mentality. This is not about using people or taking advantage, nor is it about selling yourself. It’s about creating equal opportunities. You’re helping others to get to know you by sharing your story. You’re showing them that you value being responsible and standing up for yourself, your career, your own brand, YOU!
You deserve all the best and the more you value yourself, the more you’ll see yourself as an equal to whomever you want to introduce yourself to.
Learning how to see yourself as an equal cannot happen when you’re stuck in a negative mindset. You need to change your mindset first and you can do so with this easy, 4-step method to gaining clarity in a matter of minutes!
#2 - Reach out to people beforehand: here’s how to prepare for that
You don’t want to go into a networking situation unprepared, especially if you experience social anxiety and are afraid of networking. So you may want to reach out to a few people beforehand and lock in appointments with them. It’ll make the transition into a f2f conversation so much easier! Plus, that way you’ll already have contact should you want to continue the conversation after you’ve met in person and you won’t have to rely soly on business cards.
Here’s a few steps to get you prepared:
Make a list of the people you want to have a chat with - people you admire, people who have influence and access to an audience you genuinely want to connect with. Remember this, it’s better to have 6 really meaningful conversations rather than 60 brief interchanges. It’s a long-term strategy that you can not force or rush. Building genuine relationships takes time.
If you haven’t already, you kan join a community of like-minded people and in doing so, get instant access to a larger network thanks to all the networks of all the people in the group combined! That makes it easier to ask for referrals.
Research them! You have to know who they are, what they like and what they stand for. It’s nice when someone walks up to you and shows a genuine interest in who you are right? Well then, how about you return the favour? So follow them a bit on social media or even set up a Google Alert to stay updated on their projects.
Reach out by email and ask to set up an appointment ahead of time. And then release all attachment to the outcome. It’s possible that they might say no or not get back to you at all. Don’t sweat it. It’s this or something better - now THAT’s a great mantra to keep in mind while you’re networking.
Take your time preparing for networking opportunities. When you align yourself with your networking prospects in the right way, you can gain priceless exposure through them and access to resources and opportunities that can shave years of your learning curve. Still afraid of doing it? Sometimes you just have to take that first step, even when you’re afraid!
#3 - Know your why: have an elevator pitch ready
Know your why - what’s motivating you to have a career in music? What’s your story? Why should people care?
Are you unclear about that? Then start thinking of 3 or 4 moments when it was clear for you why you wanted to build a career in music. Practice those stories and have them ready like a kind of a pitch of yourself. Keep it short and sweet. And here’s a golden tip that’ll work like a charm: focus on the why - what - how in your pitch and stick to 2 minutes or less. You want to make sure you answer questions before someone gets a chance to ask them. Get it? ;)
Having a few elevator pitches in mind is a great tool to fall back on if you get nervous and don’t know what to say.
#4 - Ask yourself: How can I be of service?
We’ve established that it’s crucial to know who you want to connect with and that you can not force or rush building genuine connections, it takes time.
Making connections is a 2-way street and you shouldn’t go into it thinking, “What can I get out of this?”, or, “What’s in it for me?”, but rather ask yourself this:
How can I genuinly support this person’s business, vision or world-view?
How can I bring the most value to their audience/following/fan base?
How can we grow together?
This is about alignment of your brand, vision, music, goals and mutual support and peer collaboration. Peers are all about giving without any expectation of a future result.
She talks about
why building relationships is so important in order to build and maintain the success and longevity of your career,
her practical approach on to how to build an audience,
why you shouldn’t rely on word-of-mouth alone - especially in the online world,
easy tips for networking even if the fear is getting to you.
Most of all, she encourages you to let go of the pressure and let go of the desire to have control. Just relax and have fun! Listen to the full episode of Mind The Music now and learn how to build a following through strong relationships.
Continue the conversation!
Which one of these tips will you definitely use and why? Share in the comments below.