One of the best skills for an artist to posses is that of networking. Networking can lead to an array of good things to come your way. Here are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind while on your next networking adventure.
Tip 1) Go see live music events. This is a great way to interact with people involved in the music industry. Big concerts, small club nights, thousand-seat venues, and small coffee shops. Anywhere with live music shows is good. You'll meet the bands, the production crews, band management and marketing teams, etc. Trust me, go to the music.
Tip 2) Always remember to follow up. Within a week of receiving a business card or contact info for a new industry contact, send them an email just as a reminder of meeting you. Be sure to mention anything specific said in your debut conversation with them to refresh their memory a bit. Keep it short and simple, just a quick hello. Don't try to sell them on anything right away. Establish the relationship.
Tip 3) Identify what you want to accomplish and determine who you really need to network with to help you achieve the wanted success. If you are wanting to tour, then try to network with local booking agents and show promoters. If you are wanting to create a buzz around your upcoming album, then network with publicists and radio promoters.
Tip 4) Never turn down an opportunity. And by opportunity, I mean the chance to increase your clout, if even by a small amount. If possible try to attend all events you are asked to attend if only as a favor to a new industry contact. This means personal appearances, live performances, or maybe even guest judging a contest. Any chance you get to increase your clout in the music world, take it. Until you can afford not to...
Tip 5) Try not to piss anyone off, at least nothing too serious that could last a long time. You never know what opportunities you could miss just because you were a hard a** to people on nights that weren't going your way.