You meet your cowriters in other writers rounds or at parties, you meet producers at studios and you meet artists when you go see their show. Balancing a full work calendar while going to events and shows each night is sometimes impossible even for the extroverts in the industry. But how do you deal with it when you are an introvert?
Don't use this article as an excuse NOT to go to events or to meet people in person, nothing will ever replace that, but these few tips will help you focus your time better and think of networking in a way where it's less stressful and more productive.
There are some amazing organizations for every aspect of the industry. Film-composers, mix-engineers, songwriters, women in music. These organizations have very focussed events that you could attend, but they also have mailing lists, forums and Facebook pages that allow you to connect with your peers, listen to their music, have your songs reviewed and be inspired by their initiatives.
Here are some of my favorites that you can sign up with wherever you are in the world.
Instead of spending 8 night a month in a different club trying to meet people, go to a music conference. That way you meet EVERYONE in one weekend, and people are there to meet new people like you. Because everyone is looking for new connections, you don't have to worry about feeling awkward walking up to anyone and starting a conversation. In fact, it's encouraged to do so.
By making yourself practice your first encounters, you will become comfortable doing this more in the future and it will safe you a ton of stress and anxiety.
Here are some great conferences and festivals.
3. Quality Time
I'm a huge fan of people emailing me to grab a coffee, wanting to pick my brain. It makes me excited to get to know them too and I always remember them. Contacting people to grab a coffee creates the impression that you are interested in them and it allows you to have a 1 on 1 connection with someone. You would be surprised to know how many people are looking to meet the next generation in the industry, they don't have any time to go to concerts or events either sometimes, but still want to know what is coming up and what people are excited about. Create that connection and leave an impression.
4. Make sure people can find you.
Sometimes it's not about you needing to find people, it's about you being able to be found. You can start by creating a clear brand of what you have to offer on your socials. If you want people to know you as a songwriter, make sure you create stories to talk about, write about your cowrites and sessions, repost your cowriters posts, and support you cowriting friends on your socials too. Sometimes you really are to busy because you are in the studio night and day. If that's the case, talk about it on your socials so that if someone is looking for someone like you, you give the right impression right away.
5. Make your work speak for you.
Nothing is better than having people talk about you. If you leave a good impression, do a good job and have a consistent work ethic and social reputation, people will hear about you. If you just can't show up for shows or other extra curricular activities, show up 1000% in your sessions, the writing rooms, on stage. This will make people want to work with you without having ever met you. Everyone listens to their friend when they say "I had SUCH a great session with ....... today, you should check him/her out!!"
So, don't stress out if you're swamped sometimes and you can't spend the next few weeks going out, don't feel guilty when you really need a night at home alone, as you can see, there are a TON of things you can do to still be present and active.