Part 1 of our video series “The Power of Networking”
The music industry is, like all creative industries, the prime example of the relevance of networking. Especially in this area, creative processes and services and the emotional involvement with the own work and person have a significant impact and are important. tamanguu executes interviews with several selected interesting personalities of the music industries about their experiences, knowledge and opinions regarding networking and relationship management.
This first interview is held in German language. Therefore, we prepared the videos with subtitles which you can enable in the YouTube player. Additionally to the subtitles, you can read the full transcript of the interview below.
Hello Leandra, thank you for being here today. Please introduce yourself to our viewers at the beginning.
My name is Leandra Preissler. I work at Popakademie Baden-Württemberg at the artist agency Klinkt. But I am also self-employed with Pennywine Entertainment as Artist Manager where I manage the artists Mine and Novaa together with two other great ladies. I am also a trained event management assistant and studied music business at Popakademie Baden-Württemberg.
1. Is networking really that important in the music industry?
Absolutely! In every single matter! I think networking is always learning by doing, of course. My studies were super important, but the practice is always different. In many aspects, you ask other people and thus get one step further. Because when you’re faced with a challenge, you sometimes need the help of others. And often they also need help from you. It’s a giving and taking. That’s how it has been throughout my entire career: I need a contact to a certain promoter, another person needs another contact, etc. That’s how it works - without networking, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
2. Were there any hurdles for you in networking?
My biggest problem is that I have a hard time remembering names and companies which sometimes ends in confusion. For events such as the Reeperbahn Festival, which is a networking event, it can be quite unpleasant if you can’t overplay confusion. If I were an introverted person, I think I would have a much bigger problem with it. But it would be nice to find a way to remember face, name and maybe even the company. That’s actually my biggest challenge when it comes to networking.
3. How do you overcome obstacles?
In our times today, we are fortunate that there is no longer any direct face-to-face communication. Then, of course, the barrier is also lower to make contact. It’s all running via email or Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp etc. and no longer via telephone. You just have to write an email in a charming way, or whatever communication tool you use, and refer back to a former conversation - if you remember it. Everyone had a first contact and the second one will follow. You just have to go through it.
4. Are you separating your private from your professional network?
With many professional contacts, one gets along so well that you start connecting on a private level and I will allow that to become friendships. Apart from that, I also use all private channels in my professional life. But I have learned to switch off my mobile phone, switch on the flight mode or simply introduce a Sunday. This is always difficult to say when you are self-employed: I am simply no longer available. Since I also have a permanent position, I am not available at certain times anyway. You can write this in your signature, for example, then these are your office hours. I just don’t write back on Sundays either. I’m noticing the message, but the answer is only available on Monday. On the one hand this is a kind of self-education, on the other hand I also educate my contact.
5. Is that where you run into resistance?
Of course I do. But you just have to stand by it. The fact that I’m self-employed doesn’t mean that I’m always available, that’s not a golden rule. You just need to filter. For my artists I’m actually available 24/7, but for the fewest partners. And I think that this is something that should be introduced for itself. This is what we call Work-Life-Balance and that’s really something we all need to learn.
6. Today, the maintenance of contacts mostly takes place online…
… but most of the contacts, which really helped me or with whom I stayed in touch with have actually arisen in real life. During these typical Berlin events or Hamburg, Cologne, Munich. Networking can also make it easy for people to get along well and then it can become a private contact, but that’s not what we are talking about here today. When we talk about business contacts, getting to know each other has usually happened in real life or you have been linked to someone online. But it is all the more pleasant to meet them in real life.
7. How do you expand your know-how and network?
So there is the VUT (Association of Independent Music Companies), there are a lot of workshops that you can attend and many institutions that you can turn to to acquire know-how. I still think internships are very important in the music industry to make contacts. And it’s still the nightlife we sell. That’s where you get to know most of them. So you should go to concerts and take part in invitations to showcases. That definitely belongs to networking.
8. How do you maintain and organize your own business network?
We are three people working together and use Google Drive or Dropbox and have normal tables with different tabs: label, publisher, promoter, online promotion, radio promotion, press, etc. All our contacts are in there. Of course, no one takes care of it. I’ve been doing my job for seven years now and there are of course people in these tables who aren’t working in the stated companies anymore. Of course, no one maintains and updates this, because the daily business is often left behind. And we don’t have a rider for the exact activity, what the person is doing, what connects me to him/her - this kind of information would be important. Or simply to prioritize and see when we last had contact or what we talked about in previous conversations. It would be good if there was a tool that you could work with to structure your network differently. Networking also means that I am connected to another person - visualizing something like that would be very useful.
9. What are your tips for our viewers?
My biggest tip is always to be friendly. Always, always be friendly. You want to be treated in a friendly way as well, don’t you? That is the most important thing: no matter to whom you are speaking, never think in strict hierarchies. It is also very important to keep in mind that other people feel the same way as you do. Because everyone has to make contacts at some point and everybody has to start - no shyness! And finally: one hand washes the other and it is a giving and taking.
All information about our blog series “The Power of Networking”:
Introductional article about our series “The Power of Networking”
Interview with Eva Ries - Artist Manager (RZA, Wu-Tang Clan)
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