If you’re an artist on the hip-hop scene, then you probably know it is important to have some talent. But talent alone won’t get you very far.
The fact is, even though you’re in a creative discipline you have to get out there and make connections if you want get your work discovered. Not surprising.
After all, if we’re being honest, most of us know that “build it and they will come” only happens in the movies.
And as with any hip-hop artist that comes onto the scene, it isn’t enough to make good music. If you want to have a successful career, it’s in your best interest to be an active member of the hip-hop community. But is networking really necessary?
The short answer? Absolutely. The longer answer? Read on to find out why networking is important for hip-hop artists. (And be sure to let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts with us on social media).
It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who You Know
Unless you are a major label artist, most rappers are accustomed to doing everything
themselves from making songs, to preparing for shows and selling merchandise.
Being an independent artist is great but you don’t have to go it alone.
Like any other industry, success is often just as much a result of who you know as it is
what you know.
That is why you may want to work on expanding your network of contacts. Don’t focus
exclusively on networking with people in the entertainment industry because you never
know who will be the person you need to meet on your musical journey.
As you climb the ladder of success be kind to everyone you meet because you never know who may be able to lend you a hand or point you in the right direction.
5 Unexpected Benefits of Networking in Hip-Hop
Most hip-hop artists understand that they should prioritize building an audience of fans that buy and promote their music. What is less common is an up-and-coming artist who understands the importance of cultivating relationships within the industry.
Here are five benefits to interacting with colleagues in the hip-hop industry that you may
not have previously considered.
Exposure to New Ideas — When you are constantly meeting new people, you can’t
help but broaden your horizons. As you share ideas and exchange opinions you will
grow as a person and as a hip-hop artist. This will keep your music fresh and on the
Partnerships and Collaboration — Releasing collaboration albums and featuring other
artists on your songs has become the norm in hip-hop. If you want to create these kinds
of projects, you will need to meet like-minded artists to work with. Maybe you can let a
newer or less popular artist open up for you at your next show.
Escape Your Echo Chamber — Isolation may be ideal for times when you have your
nose to the grindstone, but you won’t be able to learn about new trends and what other
artists have to offer unless you get out and talk to people. Networking helps you stay in
touch with what’s happening.
Introductions, Referrals, and Connections — Although it is great to have a buzz and
enjoy word-of-mouth, in the long-term it makes sense to build a network of people who
are excited to spread the word about your music.
Pay it Forward — Networking is not all about how other people can help you. If you have been fortunate enough to develop a successful network or other people have opened doors for you, then it is your responsibility to do the same for someone else. One way to put this in practice is to do favors for people without expecting anything in return.
Think Outside the Box: 4 Creative Ways to Network
To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve brainstormed a short list of creative networking ideas for you to include as part of your marketing mix.
- Register for meetups, industry mixers, and conferences.
- Volunteer to help out at other artists’ gigs.
- Invite someone you admire or want to connect with to coffee.
- Host a meet and greet in conjunction with another artist and introduce each other to your respective fan bases.
Relationships are everything when it comes to furthering your career.
Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you are online networking or face to face networking, you have to show up and follow up if you want to forge authentic connections with other hip-hop artists.
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