Natural networkers fascinate me. I love to watch them. They have some internal setting that just intrinsically wants to meet new people and learn all about them. They’re usually good at connecting folks too. While they’re speaking to you, they’re thinking about 10 other people they know that you should meet.
While I’m all for leveraging social networking to grow your brand, right now I’m talking about the all-important one-on-one, real-life networking. This doesn’t necessarily have to happen face-to-face, but we’re talking about actually speaking to another person, whether by skype, phone or in person.
We can all learn a lesson from natural networkers. Sure, we know we need to network but those with a bent toward introversion sometimes find it a difficult task. And, just about everyone gets lazy with networking from time-to-time, so here’s what’s important to remember:
First impressions count. It is vital you come across both relaxed and confident. A firm handshake and unwavering look in the eye will always give a good impression. Don’t try too hard. Just be you, but be your best version of you. Ask questions to learn about the person you are meeting. At the conclusion of the conversation, promise to keep in touch and then MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW UP with an email or phone call.
Stay in touch. This is the number one rule of networking and it’s key. Make sure to send a follow-up note after an initial meeting – plant a solid image of yourself in your contacts mind.
Keep good notes. It may seem like work but keeping excellent notes about those you connect with make it easy for you to remember birthdays and key events – all of which offer opportunities to stay in touch. Keep tract of your correspondence with each individual. Make notes of voice messages, email and phone conversations. The more details the better.
By remembering key points from a past conversation, you will impress with your excellent memory and retention. You never know when a connection will become a big opportunity so do your homework.
The music industry moves fast. There are many, many bands out there. But few take the time to make an impression. I can tell you first-hand that the few bands who have taken the time to send an email once in a while or a tweet – just to stay connected – are at the forefront of my mind. I deal with 100’s of new bands each week. Those who understand the need for connecting are generally the one’s who come to mind first when making referrals or looking for an artist to spotlight.
Use networking to grow your band in 2014.