Network your way to the top!
Hey Abundant Musicians!
As we continue talking about skills you’ve developed as a musician through your training that can be applied to your business life, I wanted to delve into your ability to network and collaborate with others.
As musicians, we often take for granted our ability to network and collaborate as we’ve likely been using this talent since we played in our first ensemble or on our first recital.
Knowing how to effectively network and work with others is a skill that a lot of people in the business world have to specifically develop and learn. Think about how many people you know in your immediate world. Then think of how many people you’ve met who know of you through friends, your reputation or just because they have been at the same event as you and you randomly connected in the foyer.
MANY BUSINESS OWNERS BELIEVE THAT THEIR NETWORK IS THE NET-WORTH AND THEY SPEND A VERY LONG TIME TEACHING THEMSELVES HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MEET PEOPLE, HOW TO COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS AND THEN HOW TO LEVERAGE THEIR CONNECTIONS TO GROW THEIR SUCCESS.
Think of all of the times you’ve been able to leverage a connection you have to create a new musical opportunity for yourself. Even if it's something as seemingly small as dropping a teacher or colleague’s name in an email or conversation. We do it ALL the time in music!
Do you do it in your business?
Have you harnessed your networking ability to connect with people you admire? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone and emailed those incredible people in your field to connect with them? Have you offered to genuinely share with them your skills, services or offerings?
WELL, ABUNDANT MUSICIANS, LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN USE THE SKILLS YOU HAVE ALREADY MASTERED IN THIS AREA TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS ON YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY TOO!
Think of a time that you sat in an ensemble of some kind - be it an orchestra, band or chamber music ensemble. When you were contributing your skills to that ensemble, you were sharing your skills with the other members of the group to create something awesome. You were connecting with the other ensemble members, working with them, collaborating with them and helping them to achieve a goal of their own. Just as they were doing the same for you. Great ensembles are great because each member contributes genuinely and absolutely to the relationship and project. Great ensembles fail when members don’t have the same level of effective collaboration and genuine desire to offer their skills to the other members.
GREAT NETWORKING TAKES PLACE WHEN PEOPLE GENUINELY WANT TO BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS. NOT WHEN SOMEONE IS ONLY LOOKING OUT FOR WHAT THEY CAN GET FROM THE CONNECTION.
Zig Ziglar says “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want”.
Let's look at some ways YOU can start building relationships and networking;
JOIN A FREE ONLINE GROUP OR COMMUNITY
We have one of these for the Abundant Musician and if you haven’t joined us, look us up (or click HERE to join us!). Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter etc. all have more than just social media in common: They offer you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people!
Start by researching groups!
Type in the search bar and see what comes up. Looking for a music teacher group? Type in “music teacher group”. You can also narrow your search as you go. Its super easy!
Join 1 - 2 groups you want to become an active member of. Building relationships in these groups takes time however, so be ready to spend 30 - 60 minutes per day if the group is super active!
I LOVE conferences! I love learning about lots of new things and engaging with the community, but more than anything else, I love conferences because I get to BE with people!!!
You’re probably already a member of at least one association for your instrument or a general music association like MTNA for example. If not, you’re totally missing out and should absolutely go and join at least one, so you can get in on all of the great opportunities to connect with others in your field!
If you have been to any conference lately, you’re probably noticed it's not just about the event and talks or performances themselves these days. They’re becoming more and more about the relationships you build and networking opportunities than anything else. You already have something in common with the other attendees, and you get to spend time with them over a few days to get to know them!
You also have a chance to put yourself in front of people at conferences who you might not have had the chance to meet elsewhere. Attend sessions that speakers you’re interested in are hosting and introduce yourself afterwards!
Even better - speak and present at a conference yourself and put YOUR name out there!
PARTICIPATE IN LOCAL MEETUPS AND EVENTS/CONCERTS
Join email lists for the areas you're interested in. Sign up for alerts to learn about events and follow them on social media. You don’t need to know anyone to get connected in a group - you can gain access to a lot of local opportunities just by looking and keeping your eyes open.
For. Reals. What's stopping you from actually just sending a message or a note to introduce yourself?
The people you look up to are just people too! They love to hear from others who are interested in their work, so why not reach out to them directly? You can comment on their blog posts or website pages, communicate on social media or even send an email straight to them!
What better way is there to build a relationship than reaching out an introducing yourself directly, while letting the person know why you’re interested in what they do.
The real key to all of this though is to be genuine. But you already know that.
Don’t comment on a post you know nothing about just because you want the person to notice you. If you're saying you're a fan of their work/music/cd etc. make sure you’re actually a fan and have read/bought/heard the thing you're talking about.
Networking and collaborating with others is something you are likely already good at! Perhaps you just don't know it or you think you’re too shy? Don’t be afraid to use your talents to reach out to build, grow or participate in a community and build relationships outside of you music world.
Connecting with people is one of the most rewarding things you can do and creating lasting relationships with other leaders in your field/people you look up to can help to accelerate your path to success in your career.