TAG: networking

Networking for Music Entrepreneurs: Using Your Head and Your Heart

I love teaching networking because it is such a valuable skill for musicians.  And my recent networking class at Yale was such a treat because for the first time ever, I had a group where nearly half of the students enjoy networking! As a result, my “experienced” networkers were able to share their successes with their colleagues which both reinforced the importance of networking and showed other students what to do in order to incorporate networking into one’s arsenal of career-building tools. 

The bottom line:  networking involves both your head—being strategic—and your heart-being intuitive and sensitive to building quality relationships. 

Let’s take a closer look at what worked.

Top 10 Tips for Music Entrepreneurs: How to Create Sustainable Career Success

With the year coming to a close, it is time for top 10 lists.  My contribution to the field is a top 10 list for Music Entrepreneurs on how to create career success.  This list reflects my belief that successful music entrepreneurs align who they are with what they do  .

The short answer is be authentic, be unique, and master the skills that will enable you to create big dreams and make them happen. Not surprisingly, this list reflects the topics that I will be covering in my class next semester at YSM on Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts.

Here are my top 10 tips for musicians who are committed to creating and sustaining authentic success:

Managing Career Transitions: How to Make the Most of Your Career Cycle

 

“The only constant is change.” –Heraclitus

When you think about life, we are constantly changing. This includes our career paths. Many people believe that once you find your “perfect” career, you are set for life. That only sets up an unrealistic expectation that leads people to feel frustrated that they have not found “it” and to ignore the marvelous process of growth and change.

Cultivating the Positive Mindset: Using Your Best-Self Flow Affirmation

We all have a “best or Flow self”.  That is the side of us that comes alive when we are in the Flow, doing what we do best, feeling confident and joyful and successful.  You can discover what your best Flow self is by following this simple process.

The great thing about this Flow Affirmation is that is draws on actual experience.  Having the affirmation is the reminder of who you are at your best.  This affirmation can be a powerful way for you to make choices to live that best, Flow self.  And by doing so, you are incorporating Flow into your life and cultivating a more positive, success-oriented mindset!

What are some ways to do this?

Communication 101 for Music Entrepreneurs: Know Your Communication Style

In my recent post about what it takes to be a successful musician in the 21st Century, one of the skills that I mentioned was Communication Skills.  What do I mean?

Musicians need powerful communication skills in many different settings:

  • In ensembles to make sure that the group is on the same page musically, listening carefully to each other so that the music flows;
  • In collaborations with other artists to maximize the synergies and create a powerful experience for the collaborators and their audiences;
  • Engaging their audiences so that the audience members will appreciate the music and have a deeper and richer understanding of the performance;
  • Teaching so that their students understand how they can improve and grow and learn;
  • Creating something new, be it a festival, a non-profit organization or an ensemble, and getting people on board to support the new venture
  • Networking so that they can meet and connect with other people.

Effective communication is a powerful leadership skill.  It starts with knowing who you are as a communicator and what are your strengths.  One way to do this is to know your communication style.

Networking for the Music Entrepreneur: The 4-Step Process to Career Success

As I am preparing for my new role at the Yale School of Music as Coordinator of Career Strategies, I have been talking to a number of people in the field who are also devoted to helping musicians succeed in their careers.  This week alone, I have had 3 conversations about networking and how critical it is to career success.  Most musicians know this.  Yet, so often they are reluctant to do start networking because of an underlying fear about networking.  In my classes and private sessions, I often hear how scared people are to network because they think that they have to “sell” themselves.  If that’s the predominant thought, no wonder people shy away from networking!  So it’s important to come up with a new way of thinking about networking:

Connect + Share + Be Relevant

Not so hard, right?

In fact, when I introduce this concept to my students and my clients, I hear a collective sigh of relief in the room! And once they have a new way of thinking about networking, it becomes much easier to embrace the principles and start networking.

Networking for Musicians: How to Get Started

So now you get it:  networking is the way to go if you want to expand your reach and create opportunities that can lead you to career success based on a mutual exchange of information, resources and contacts. You understand that networking is about connecting with, sharing and being relevant to others.  You have your Elevator Speech.  You are eager …

Input: When does it all come together so that you can figure out your career path?

There is a strength called Input.  It comes from the Gallup Strengths Assessment called StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Input is the way someone learns and uses knowledge and information. People who are strong in input collect information and call it up when they need it.  Input people enjoy learning in order to use the information.  They will read enough to get the idea and store it away, as opposed to learners who are fascinated with the process of learning and will delve into things deeply.

Input is a strength because input people tend to make interesting and novel connections between seemingly disparate pieces of information.

I know this strength well because it is one of my top strengths.   I find that a lot of my clients have this strength as well.

The Principles of Effective and Effortless Networking

Networking is one of the best ways to advance your career.  In my experience, it can make the difference between “good” and “great”.  Yet, for many people, networking is a terrifying experience.  Common objections include:

  • I do not like to make “small talk.”
  • I can’t possibly introduce myself to strangers.
  • Why would some famous person want to talk to me?
  • I hate selling.

Your Elevator Speech: The Key to Connecting Effectively and Effortlessly

Networking is one of the key tools that can make the difference between a good career and a great career.  Many people shy away from networking or fumble around when meeting new people because they do not know what to say about themselves.   They are missing an opportunity to connect with the very people whom need them! The secret is in crafting a short and powerful “elevator speech”.