Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 8: Networking in real life!

For the Music Success blogging challenge this week, Ariel asks us what was the last clever thing we’ve done to network live? I can’t say any particular thing I’ve done has been all that clever, but I do get out a LOT. For a long time, the word “networking” scared the hell out of me. I can’t do that! That sounds awful! After reading books like MSi9w, and the Indie Band Survival Guide, I’ve learned to look at the word differently. You don’t have to give a hard sell.  Networking is just about hanging out with people.

I live in New York City, so there are endless ways to connect with people -- Endless events to attend every single night. Although, I think my most successful networking opportunities have been small gatherings, like a friend’s dinner party. I’m better with small groups, where everyone has a chance to talk and intermingle. It seems like everyone in New York knows a million other people, and it never hurts to tell people what you do. I always follow up with Facebook, no business cards necessary (although I always carry them just in case). I also like to go to events in the city for writers and designers. Not only are most of these folks smart and engaging, but they’re also interested to talk to someone who is outside of their focused scene, but still in the art world (like me!). AND anyone who is successful in the New York city writing and design world has to be a good networker, so they usually know a ton of people.

Waiting in the longest  bathroom line EVER
at the show "Memphis", but gave me the
chance to chat with some music-lovers.
Like many performers, when I’m not onstage, I’m very reserved. Don't get me wrong, I love socializing, but I’m not the best ice-breaker. I usually roll to a party/event/show with a friend or two. It usually makes for a lively, more social evening when I’m already having a good time with people I know.  And I have an arsenal of extremely cultured and attractive women on my side, which never hurts. Rolling up solo is a different story: When I walk into an event where I know nobody, I can be SUCH a creepy lerker. I’ve found that when I’m feeling super creepy and awkward, I get in line. Literally, I walk to the nearest line and stand in it. For some reason, I feel much better striking up a conversation with a stranger if there’s some purpose for me standing there making conversation. Whether it’s a line for a wristband, bathroom, merchandise, face-painting, whatever, I’ve noticed people like to talk in lines, and why not? They’re passing time. Oh, and a little alcohol usually helps, too :)

Reading books like MSi9w has made me realize how important it is to follow up with people. Everyone is so busy, and even if they offer at a party or event to listen to your stuff, it doesn’t mean they’ll remember to do that, or even remember who you are -- I’ve learned to keep a pen on me always, and to always ask for contact info instead of give it. Jotting down notes after a conversation certainly helps too. Especially if you’ve had a couple adult beverages.

Anyway, I'm sending my album Waveside to the duplicator this week and getting super excited for the release. 

Until next time,

Jess Braun: Dream Rock Songstress

1 comment:

  1. Extremely cultured and attractive women by your side, well you can never go wrong with that then. Good luck with your networking and all!