Sep 3 / Vinny Ribas

How To Find And Develop Vital Music Industry Connections

music connections
2023 Vinny Ribas

Making connections in the music industry isn’t rocket science. Just doing an online search can turn up thousands of seemingly important contacts. There are even services such as ContactOut ( that, for a fee, will give you just about anyone’s phone number and email. It can be overwhelming!

So how do you sort through them all to find the ones you need when you want them? And how do you get them to pay attention to you? The keys are 1) to know exactly who and what you’re looking for; 2) to be strategic on how you find those people; 3) be strategic about how you approach them, and; 4) be professional when you follow up with them. After all, the goal is to build a relationship with them, not just spam them or send them a sales pitch!

The 2 most important things are 1) to be sure the person you’re reaching out to or planning to meet is a perfect match for your needs, and 2) you are able to immediately provide the contact with anything they ask for. Depending on the nature of the connection, that may include a great live video, professional pictures, a good-looking website, professionally recorded music or demos, a comprehensive EPK etc. Never make a new connection wait while you ‘get your act together’!

Here are 10 ways you can find and build a relationship with the connections you need:

1. Tell your friends, colleagues and fans who you are looking to meet. Be specific. For example, just saying that you’re looking for someone to help you perform at a certain club is pretty vague. But asking for an introduction to the club manager or a booking agent who works with that club is much more specific. That makes it easier for your friends, fans and connections to think of someone to introduce you to, even if it’s a middle-man.

Get a referral. The most effective way to instantly have credibility with someone is to get a referral from someone they trust. It’s even stronger if that person will actually make an introduction for you.

3. Find them where they go to network. Walking up to someone you think can help you or who you’d like to work with while they are having dinner with their family will immediately blacklist you! However, approaching them at a conference, a workshop etc. where they go to make connections is ideal. You can find a lot of amazing connections at music business events. You can also reach out ahead of time and schedule a time to meet at the event.

4. Connect with them on business-related social media. Cold DMing someone on Instagram or on Facebook messenger will usually not leave a favorable impression. However, connecting with someone on LinkedIn, which is a business-focused platform, is much more acceptable. Be sure to tell them why you want to connect when you send your request. Often they will look to see who else you are connected to. Those connections also become a source of credibility for you. If you have a mutual connection, you can always ask them for a referral. Keep in mind that not everyone monitors their LinkedIn accounts, so don’t get angry if you don’t get a response.

5. Look up working acts who are similar to yours online and see who their team members are. Often they will provide contact information. When you reach out, reference the act you know they are working with, so they have an idea of why you’re contacting them. Better yet, befriend the act and then ask for a personal introduction.

6. Build your online presence / fanbase, and the industry will come to you. It may seem like a far-fetched way to make the right connections, but it can be done strategically. By using the right keywords, tagging the right people, asking for friends to share your posts with the people you want to meet, joining the online groups that they are in etc., you greatly increase your chances of getting noticed. As an artist manager, I am constantly scouting for an artist to work with who meets all the criteria I have set for my clients. At the same time, I am always searching for people who can help my clients (or vice versa).

7. When cold-calling, ask permission to submit your act or music. Don’t just bombard them out of the blue. Give your potential contact a few points of reference. E.g. “My music is a cross between ‘X’ and ‘X’, or we are similar to ‘X’ except that we ____”. It will help them to know if you are someone they should take time to get to know.

8. Whenever possible, meet in person instead of online. Set up in-person meetings with your most promising contacts. It’s much easier to get someone to trust you, and to know if you trust them, when you can look in each other’s eyes. You can schedule to meet at a conference or workshop, or at a coffee shop or restaurant. It’s worth going out of your way as well as the cost of a coffee or lunch.

9. Offer to help others! Any time you come across or meet someone you can help in some way, make the offer. It could be an introduction, a solution to a problem, a product introduction – the list is endless. Don’t ask for anything in return. You will soon gain a reputation as a ‘selfless giver’. That endears you to influencers who will then want to help you with introductions. The more you give, the more you will receive.

10. Follow up professionally. Just because you connected with someone online or in person, don’t assume you are now best buds. Take as much care in your follow up as you did to make the connection in the first place. Ask if they would like you to follow up with them. Don’t just bombard them with your music! Build a relationship. If they say ‘yes’, and it’s appropriate, ask if you can buy them coffee to pick their brain. Never do this with a sales pitch attached to it. If it’s a long distance relationship, ask if they would like to hop on a short video call. But never demand anything, and don’t get mad if they don’t respond like you want them to. You have no idea what they are up to right now, business-wise or personally. They may really like you but you’re not a perfect fit for them. You also don’t know if the timing is just wrong. Just follow up in a few months and keep building the relationship. Your professional persistence will eventually pay off in spades!
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