Maximizing Relationships

» Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

I’m sure some of us are familiar with the movie Jerry Maguire. Throughout the film, Tom Cruise’s character has a mentor named Dicky Fox, who periodically shows up with some appropriate words of wisdom. One of those is: “The key to this business is personal relationships.” And it couldn’t be truer-especially in the music business. But how do we cultivate business relationships on a personal level?

Networking is and always will be an important thing. If you’re not out there shaking hands and kissing babies, how do you ever expect to move ahead in your career? However, since the advent of social media, there has been an assumption that if you have a lot of friends, fans or contacts on your favorite networking site, then you’re “networking”. I hate to break it to you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Hold that thought!

Okay, forget the Internet for a minute and look around you. Who do you already know? I know some of you are thinking: “I don’t know anybody that can really help my career.” Okay-you have goals right? Is there a studio you want to record at but don’t have the money? Is there a club you want to play at that won’t give you the time of day? Then my question is: What have you done for them lately? If you’re in a working band (and by working I mean working the scene, playing out, etc.) then chances are good you know a lot of musicians. Ever think about cutting a deal with the local studio or club that if you bring them “XYZ” in business then they will give you some of their time and/or facilities? If you’re going to build relationships, put the best foot forward and help someone else with their goals or needs. I guarantee you’ll see results. Now, those results could be a mutually beneficial relationship or they could be that you realize you really don’t want to work with that person or company. But it’s all results and you’re moving forward.

Now back to social networking. The movie Jerry Maguire likes to focus on quality over quantity, which is not a bad thing. If you have several thousand friends in your online social network, how many of them do you actually know? How many of them are you taking the time to get to know? Just having them as a ‘friend’ means nothing. Reach out, connect, strike up a conversation, find out what they have going on. Sure it takes time! But guess what, if you can’t commit to doing at least a little bit of this on a regular basis, they might as well not even be there.