Make yourself heard
Following on from my last blog post on how to Be Prepared for Being Hired, I wanted to share some tips on how you can make your voice heard. By voice, I don’t mean your literal voice. I’m speaking hypothetically.
You can be prepared for that job coming up, but there are some actionable steps I think we all as musicians can work better each day to boost our own profile.
There is a keyword that we should all be mindful of which is crucial to getting ourselves noticed, getting work, getting hired or getting rejected. This word is networking. Networking is probably one of the most important skills a musician should have in their business lives. Networking allows us to contact and connect with the people who hold the key to taking our careers to that next level.
Every day we have access to a vast network of people through social media. In 2019, the amount of self-promotion and networking you can do is only limited by your own free time and personal effort. Whatever the “product” you are promoting is, whether it is yourself as a musician for hire, a band, a solo singer, or a teacher, it is important that you have a presence. Create a professional page and invite people to it who might be interested in what you have to offer. You can create events and share content online to show people what you’re all about.
If you have an online presence and you put yourself out there, people who are looking for a service like yours will sooner or later stumble upon your page. It is a vastly populated and crowded market but unless you make your voice heard, you will get lost in the crowd.
You should also never underestimate the value of face to face networking. Whenever you can, attend local and national music events, gigs, trade shows, jam nights, industry nights, etc. This network of people are the ones that you want to support you in your career development. Treat them with respect and don’t give them the hard sell, they get it all the time. Make people aware of what you do and what you can offer.
Patience is key when working on your own visibility. Just because you’ve met someone it does not automatically guarantee the job. One of my biggest guitar gigs came as a recommendation from someone I had done some work with a few years before but we had maintained a friendship. He was looking for a player for a big show and I got the call off the back of that. Sometimes it takes years for that moment to come. If you work hard and make your voice heard, the call will eventually come.
Leigh Fuge, MGR Music