With A3C coming around the corner, I thought it would be nice to give some pointers on making your presence known at any music conference. In no particular order, these are some critical steps and material you need. If you’re not performing, you MUST be able to market yourself at these networking events.
Business cards are an absolute must for attending any music industry function. It is essential you can offer your contact information when you’re networking with someone.
Your business card should include your name (or band name), occupation, your website and email address. I like to include my phone number too. All of this information should be clear and up to date. Keep It SIMPLE!
Present yourself in a professional manner.
When you meet someone, be sure to offer your card at a natural point in the conversation. Don’t push too hard. People don’t like to be sold. Also, make sure to ask for their business card too so that you can initiate a follow up.
Bring Promotional Materials/Merchandise
Print media is abundant at these functions so being creative with promo material can help engage your target audience and make you memorable.
Bracelets, branded guitar picks, digital download cards, necklaces, bottles of hand sanitizer, cookies, ANYTHING that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Have Hard Copies On Hand
It’s good to have multiple copies of your album or demo on hand. Pass it along if it is requested or if it feels appropriate, but (AGAIN) don’t push too hard. People return from conferences with huge stacks of CDs that never get listened to. You don’t want to throw away your merchandise without a getting a return.
Focus your efforts on connections that you think have real potential. Handing out two or three albums to people who are actually going to listen is far more desirable than passing out fifteen or twenty albums that will end up in the garbage without even having the cellophane wrap opened.
The core of your brand is your personality. The way you walk, talk and engage with others is easily the most direct and effective way to market yourself.
People appreciate sincerity and professionalism. Avoid putting on a show and try not to think too much about selling yourself. A hard sell can turn someone off in a hurry! No one wants to feel like they’re being sold a car by that one creepy salesman.
A great way to get people on your side is to think about how you can help them as opposed to focusing on how they might help you. The music industry is all about building relationships and there is no better way to do that than to help someone achieve their goals. You will be amazed at how often the favor is returned.