Much like starting your career, a professional has an easier time networking after building a foundation for themselves. The same holds for a blog. Years of consistent writing and publishing help create a repository of stories and, hopefully, to some degree, a level of expertise.
In early 2015, I went to a party held by my piano teacher, Isabella. Community members who knew her through Opera Night and took lessons with her stopped by to play music together and to mingle. At this party, I met someone who had a connection to Arlen Roth, the guitar player who has influenced and taught many. That connection led me to an interview with Arlen.
A couple of years prior, I also started to incorporate Question and Answer styled interviews onto Music Historian. The first story which had this format was my interview with Daylle Deanna Schwartz, NYC’s first white-female rapper. Through Daylle’s family, I met Julie Coulter, a seasoned insurance broker and consultant for musicians.
If you had read my post from yesterday about how I got acquainted with Workman Group PR, that professional relationship continued. In 2015, through Workman Group PR, I would be invited to cover the SESAC Pop Music Awards, which celebrated publishers and songwriters who contributed to the hits that year. Later that year, through the same PR firm, I would hear about the opportunity to cover the Northside Festival.
At that moment, I was living—an event such as the Northside Festival was a place to learn and network. Interviewing Femi Kuti, the son of Fela Kuti, for a full-length article on Music Historian, I learned a lot about how the artist used Afrobeat to address some of the unmet needs of African citizens; including more stabilized journalism and reporting by Africans for Africans, and better economic conditions. Talking with Gypsy George for a full-length interview article, I learned about the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit required of a musician to make it in today’s creative business. That article with Gypsy George helped lay the foundation for a professional connection. Years later, I would invite him back to Music Historian to do a video interview.
Each professional will provide their thoughts about how to nurture a network. In my experience, some connections I have kept in touch with much more quickly than others. Most importantly, never forget who you meet because that contact may help you open the door to your next opportunity, whether creative or professional.