The Guide To Using LinkedIn For Boosting Your Music Career

TThere is no question that Facebook and Twitter are great tools for building a fan base. But when you’re looking to build business relationships, I find that the most powerful business network is LinkedIn. Sadly, many musicians are complexly unaware of this powerful tool, or they know about it but misuse it completely. So, I thought I would offer this quick course in how to start using LinkedIn to further your career. Keep in mind that it is a social network for professionals and businesses. It is NOT a place to find fans. Most people can stay with a free account and never have to upgrade.

Some of the things you can and should do include:

  • Build a complete profile. Be as specific as you can. Remember that this is a business network, so keep it professional. Be sure to include your website(s) and email address (for your connections only).
  • Connect to your Facebook and Twitter. Be very careful with this. Linking your profile to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you share your status updates means that all of your posts, regardless of their content, will appear on your page and on the pages of your connections. Keep it professional.
  • Click on the ‘Groups’ tab and join a maximum of 50 discussion groups. Search for music-related groups, as well as other groups that interest you. There are some music industry groups that have 20,000+ members in them. There are groups for just songwriters, recording artists, producers etc. Be sure to search for local music-related groups, such as ‘Nashville Music Industry’, ‘LA Music Industry’, ‘Atlanta Music Industry’ etc. Also join the Indie Connect group!
  • Image credit: Coletivo Mambembe on Flickr

  • Introduce yourself in each group. People will begin connecting with you as well.
  • Start a discussion, ask a question or post an article. Get people to interact with you. You’ll be amazed at the level of expertise that is just there to help people.
  • Connect with everyone on your mailing list (there’s a built-in tool for this). You want to make as many connections as possible. The reason you want to do this is that LinkedIn will only let you invite someone as a connection or send someone a message if:
  1. You already know them;
  2. You work or have worked with them;
  3. You have done business together;
  4. You are in a LinkedIn group with them (this is why you join a lot of groups and you pick ones with a lot of members);
  5. You have their personal email address.
  • Connect with me – (Editor’s note: consider me as well!).
  • Use the search feature to find music connections in your geographic area, or in the areas you are interested in. You can look people up by company, location, occupation and more. This is how you can find nightclub owners,managers,booking agents,other artists, songwriters, producers and more. Build relationships. Do not spam anyone. If you’re connecting with someone, have a reason for it.
  • Connect with business professionals from all aspects of the music business worldwide. Again, build relationships.
  • Get introduced to the people you want to meet. On the right side of each person’s profile page is a map of how many degrees separate you and that person. If you share a connection or are separated by 3 degrees or less, you can request an introduction. Be sure that you include a personal message to person you want to meet as to why you want to get to know them.
  • Participate in the group discussions. This makes you someone who people want to get to know.
  • Check out the job postings in the groups if that is what you are looking for. There are a lot of music industry jobs posted here!
  • Follow companies that are important to you. Many companies post advice, news, promotions etc. Use the news to connect with people (e.g. congratulate someone on a promotion). This is also a great way to keep up to date on industry news.
  • Start your own group(s). This can be for your fans, or a general industry group. The advantage to this is that you then have direct access to everyone who joins.
  • Share interesting articles, web pages, blogs, news etc. that you come across elsewhere. Be sure that they are appropriate for the group you are posting in. Websites with ‘Share’ buttons often have a LinkedIn button. So, if you like an article in Indie Connect Magazine, please share it with your network!
  • ‘Recommend’ people you know. You can give testimonials or recommendations to others. This helps them tremendously. Be honest and sincere. Don’t overdo it. You can also ask for recommendations from people you know.

Used properly, LinkedIn is potentially the most powerful tool in your business toolkit. Use it wisely and you can open almost any door that you want to all around the world!

© 2011 Vinny Ribas. Read the full article at IndieConnectMagazine.