Making New Connections and Expanding Your Network

Expanding Growth
Getting In
Making Connections


Industry friends may not be good industry connections and good industry connections may not be a good friend. Not everything is as you may think it is and it could be too late when you find out.

I have tons of friends in the biz that I love working with and count on professionally but I wouldn’t hang socially with them. Nothing wrong with them, we just have different outside interests.

Then there are others who I hang socially with but I wouldn’t count on professionally when I need help.

The trick is getting to know who’s who and keeping the relationships appropriate.

All this begins with building new connections and expanding your personal network.

Meeting people in a non-industry setting can mean more the on a gig.

Your hanging out with your friends or family at a party or event. Some geeky looking guy who you don’t know walks up to you and says, “hey your aunt told me your looking to get into music recording. I may be able to help, my sister owns a recording studio. I’ll put you in touch with her.”

Your reactions might range from:

1.Who is the Geek and why is he talking to me? No way he knows anybody in the music biz.

2.GREAT I’m in… Next stop winning a Grammy for engineering.

Slow down with those initial impressions. There is way more going on than those two options.

Let’s break that meeting down.

  1. The guy you met isn’t the person who owns the studio.
  • He may not even know what his sister’s studio actually does.
  • There are hundreds of versions of “studios” out there from a 4 channel mixer and Garage Band to a SSL AWS 916 console with five recording rooms.
  • A lot of time people who are not in the biz hear a word and love dropping it to impress others like, “studio”
  1. The guy you met might have put his sister in business because he works in artist relations for Sony records and has tons of connections.
  • He has known your aunt for years and she asked for his help because you’ve been struggling to get into the biz.  “He is such a good boy. He works so hard to make it and school was just not for him. You know school isn’t for everybody. Maybe you can point him in the right direction”

Sound familiar?   

You just never know and that’s the problem, “you just never know”.

What’s your next move?

This is where your social skills need to kick in.

Don’t have any? Well you’re going to need them if your want in. 

Before that guy walks away you need to get more info about him and his sister.

DON’T start right in with a deposition.

Not in that setting.  Appreciate the fact that he came over to you to talk.

Ask how he knows your aunt.

How did he come to be at the event?

It’s called “casual conversation”. You need to engage long enough that he remembers he spoke to you.

DON’T brag about what you know about the recording industry or start making up stuff about gigs you’ve done.

You don’t know who this person is and what he really knows.

Many of us, who’ve been in the biz our whole lives, play we are uninformed when we meet new people.

We do this to see if they will hang themselves by trying to run some bullshit passed us.

So DON’T take the chance.

Just be polite and appreciative for the introduction and the time he is spending with you.

MAKE sure you try and get both that person you’re talking and the sister’s contact information.

Get both emails AND phones if possible.

Ask for permission to use that person’s name you’re when reaching out to the sister.

Ask his advice for which would be better initial contact, email, text or voice.

I would always defer to email initially.

I know this is all basic human interaction but believe me I have been approach by hundreds of people who lost out on making a connection because they didn’t get these basic points.

Making the industry connection

When you reach out to the sister via email. “briefly” introduce yourself and how you came to have her name. Then ask if she could spare a few minutes for a call.

Most likely you will have to follow up a few times unless you get lucky. 

If she offers to jump on a call, spend most of the time asking about her and her biz.

Let her ask you about you. She will know what she wants to know about you.

Meeting folks on a gig.

Most people would think the best way to meet and befriend industry people is on a industry gig.

It’s true you will meet more people but there is less of a chance you’ll make solid connections.

When you’re on a gig everyone has a job to do. There is very little socializing time. Nine times out of ten most of the crew know each other or have crossed paths before.

Whatever time is available to the crew for social interaction, will be spent swamping work stories with each other or finding the nine degrees of separation with other crew personnel.

It’s like being invited to house full of people who know each other and you don’t know any of them.

You may get an introduction to a few people by the person who brought there or you may be just dropped into the mix.

Most people will be polite, some will introduce themselves and some may even ask what you do. But there will not be any warm and fussy, “get to know you”, moments while everyone is working.

Breaks and lunch are also tricky for newbies. Although, it’s not as bad as being the new kid at a high school, there probably won’t be much personal interaction.

That’s not because they are the mean girls or jock bullies. (did I just share to much from my past. haha)

It’s because everyone uses the limited down time to handle person issues, catch up with a crew member or just chill.

Don’t try and force the “friendship” issue.

Don’t’ run your resume passed everyone.

Don’t ask a thousand questions.

If you’re on the gig for a few days, getting to know people will happen naturally.

Do your job, ask for help when you’re unsure and be polite.

It’s just a matter of using Human behavior skills hahaha.

There is usually a crew list associated with all gigs. 

Hang on to it.

If you happen to chat up someone on the crew, star the name on your crew list and follow up with them via email, “hey it was great working with you, hope I get to do it again.”

Wait a few weeks and follow up with another email to them, “I’m looking for work as a ____. If you happen to hear of something please let me know.”

Again just Human behavior skills. hahaha.

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