As a independent artist most of you attend regular conferences to expand your network, learn about emerging trends, book your events, or gain sponsorship opportunities. SXSW, ASCAP Award Expo, NACA, Folk Alliance, NAMM show are just a few examples of big national conferences where individuals are clamoring for attention & recognition.
In Networking at a business conference we discussed things you can do to best prepare for the conference.
Did you have a compelling “pitch” that resulting in full showcases? Or meet someone that DID?
(if not, this is essential part of your business strategy that you must do well to have success). Think back on what folks told you “they do” The #1 way to get peoples attention is to ask yourself
What can I do for them?
Did you find out why people attended the conference, notice any differences or similarities, or something that you felt worked REALLY well? If you are terrified of talking to strangers.
Just start with HI, my name is_____ invite them to join your table for dinner, or sit down and have a drink, people that are super “in demand” sometimes appreciate having a little break from the maddening crowd during a multi day conference.
After a introduction, I like to ask WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP YOU?
People are human, and EVERYONE needs something- & often when I ask this question it is a simple act of consideration that changes the dynamic of the conversation.
IF THEY ASK what you do, have 1-3 lines (concisely telling them what you do* and what time your next showcase is) then SHUT UP. *DO NOT give your products to people unless they ask for it. Unless your goal is to immediately turn them off and have your product thrown in the trash. ONLY give them a cd or product IF THEY ASK FOR IT. & Make sure and collect their business card before they leave, and make any notes about your chat. (you are at a conference it’s ok to take notes!)
Add your contacts to your contact list:
Before you call it a night input all the names and contact info to your contact database (Use excel or a simple spreadsheet software) this is a separate list from your monthly newsletter / performance schedule.
Organize them by region, or Booking Agent, Venue Owner, DJ, Publicist, Collaborative Partner, Artist, etc.
After the Conference: Where the real work begins!
Send them 1 SHORT email within a week of the conference simply thanking them for meeting them- In your note, you can remind them that they are the person that also loves the Matrix movies, and traveling to far away lands).
Additionally, was there anyone at the conference who helped you out? They also get a thank you note!!! Remember, you are developing your professional network, Treat people like you want to be treated, when someone does you a favor, THANK THEM, and by adding the personal note you will stand out as the considerate, and a reminder of the context of your conversation with them.
Make sure your email signature at the end of your note is SIMPLE:
Your Name (first and last) a phone number and your web site URL. (they already have your email, you just sent them a email note!) Do not include lengthy quotes, multi links to all your social media sites (if you want to be perceived as a pro). The 1st sign you are a rookie is having 4 links to various social networking sites.
If you want to be treated like a professional- read: Get your own website
THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU, Do not sell yourself, just say THANK YOU
Do not bombard them with follow up emails every week, you are 1 of thousands of people they have met. If you have done your homework and prepared, finish your conference with your thank you’s.
I find that MOST artists neglect this important follow up step. You want to be remembered as the the thoughtful, professional artist, that THEY want to work with.
DO YOU NEED HELP?
Creating you pitch and to professionally pitch and present yourself like anything else requires refinement and practice, If you are not cultivating good leads, or getting work following attending events you can work with a business strategist that can HELP YOU succeed in the evolving art / entertainment business community.
Artists ready to get started? You can contact Tamra at:
"Providing business solutions for creative minds"