Tech Tip:Meeting & Greeting
by Kenny Kerner
Networking, schmoozing, pressing the flesh, meeting & greeting--it's all the same. It's all about getting out there and mingling with people in the industry. Easy to say, difficult to do. Consider this: There are literally hundreds of parties, celebrations, galas, and get-togethers in the music business every year. And you will not be invited to attend a single one of them. Not very comforting, but true, nonetheless.
The best way to become part of the "In-Crowd" is to hang in their circles. But you can only do that if you're part of the business, itself. No problem. Become part of the business! Oh, you want some more help, I see. How about this: Become an intern. Yeah, you heard me--an intern. There are always record companies, management companies, publishing companies, recording studios and publicity offices looking for free part-time or full-time help. And that means YOU!
There is no better way to learn about the inner workings of the music business than to be a part of the inner workings yourself. As an intern, you will get valuable hands-on experience, and, at the same time, you'll be meeting, greeting and mingling with others already inside the Biz. Some internships actually pay and some provide you with college credits, but don't hold your breath. It's really the experiences you want and not the few dollars they might throw at you.
Once you get an internship:
- Very casually feel your way around the office.
- Find out who's who.
- Ask questions without making a nuisance of yourself.
- Do your job well so you are trusted and given more responsibilities. You'd be surprised at how far you can get with a good personality and some hard work.
- Keep your eyes and ears open--listen for inter-office gossip and be ready to strike.
After interning for a couple of months, you'll be a trusted member of the company and privy to office parties, invites and celebrations. You might get invited to a record release party or a movie screening or a gold record presentation. Go to all of them! You never know what other important people will attend. Go, even if they seem boring. Truth is, considering your current status in the business, almost anyone else you meet should be regarded as important.
Always carry your business cards and promo packages with you. Keep your cards in your pocket and your packages at your table or nearby. Be selective and plan your moves. Don't walk around the room handing out demo packages as if they were finger sandwiches. Do not be obvious. Sometimes it's best to wait until you're asked.
The important thing is to make that initial contact. Get business cards from people you meet. Be sure to follow up with a pleasant telephone call the next day if you managed to strike up a nice conversation at the party.
Another good way to meet & greet is to attend seminars, talks, conventions and workshops where industry speakers and big-wigs gather to impart their knowledge to the less fortunate--that's you! Some of these events are free, others may cost. If you are interning at a music business company, you might be able to get in free or at least be entitled to a professional discount.
If you're still going to college, try getting a job at the school paper writing a music column or reviewing CDs or concerts.Anything that shows you have a real interest in the music business will help.
Excerpted from the best-selling book "Going Pro" written by Kenny Kerner and published by Hal Leonard. You can order this book by calling 800-637-2852
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