When it comes to social networking, upcoming bands and artists tend to focus on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where their current fans and new listeners are most likely to engage with their music. But what about LinkedIn? Is it worth your time as a musician?
First of all, LinkedIn isn’t the best place to be reaching your fans with links to your tracks or glossy press shots. It is however, a great place to make music industry contacts that can help to develop your career in the long term.
While it may not directly grow your fanbase, the platform does offer the opportunity to start appearing on the radar of influential industry figures. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits LinkedIn can offer independent, emerging musicians.
LinkedIn for bands & musicians
Find industry connections
LinkedIn is brimming with potential music industry connections, but I’m not talking about spamming record label execs with your latest tracks. In fact, sending your new EP to a label employee over LinkedIn is not a particularly good idea.
I’m talking about the people who can do the jobs that you might not have the technical ability or experience to do yourself. From graphic designers, music promoters, photographers, web developers and social media gurus, to sound techs, promoters and producers, there are plenty of useful, professional connections to be made.
These are the people who can transform your image, polish your tracks and expand your reach. And yes, you’ll need to pay them for their services, but doing so is an investment in your music.
Join music industry groups
A great function of LinkedIn is being able to join groups relevant to your industry. They are useful places to make new connections and put your face and profile in front of people who can make a difference to your career.
While you might be tempted to simply join group of other musicians, it’s important to look beyond this to all areas of the music industry. Look for groups of promoters, music supervisors, managers, bookers etc. Here is where some of the most useful relationships can be built.
Maintain professional relationships
Once you’ve added someone to your LinkedIn network (and they’ve accepted you) you’ll have a quick and easy way to reach out to them, without relying on email addresses or phone numbers that may eventually go out of date.
Remember, the connections you make on LinkedIn should remain strictly professional. It’s not a place for harvesting fans, rather, a place for building mutually beneficial relationships within the music business.
A professional LinkedIn profile can give a great first impression to any possible new contacts. So, make sure you’re utilising your profile’s appearance to its full potential.
First of all, use a real photo. You may be tempted to use your band’s logo or an artsy shot of a live performance, but you should really be using a simple headshot. This is LinkedIn after all, a platform designed for professionals to connect with each other.
Also, rather than filling up you page with an in-depth analysis of your sound and influences, fill it up with your real achievements in music. For example, if you’ve ever been featured by blogs, websites or print publications, or if you’ve won any awards or competitions for your music, here’s the perfect place to show them off.
If you’re solely focused on building your fan base right now, LinkedIn is not the best the place to do it.
However, it’s important for musicians to nurture all areas of their career, which often means making professional, influential contacts within the music biz. If this is your aim (and at some point, it should be) LinkedIn is the ideal place to be and well worth your time.