The other day, one of my clients approached me asking if I knew anyone – an agent or a manager – in the music business who could help a close relative who is a talented songwriter and singer. This is something way outside of my bailiwick but then I remembered that a colleague, who I really like, respect and trust, works at a large, multi-faceted agency, and it occurred to me that they must have a music component. Sure enough, I contacted him and he got right back to me saying that he had been in touch with someone in their music department about my client and his situation. I put them all together and am really hoping that something solid comes out of this.
This got me thinking about the power of networking in our business. Over the years, publishers have come to me for recommendations on people they should interview for jobs and I have not hesitated to recommend those who I think are qualified and appropriate. And, of course, as an agent, it is networking that gets me to the right editors and publishers for my projects.
Historically, I haven’t seen a lot of networking among the various segments of the writing community. (Sure there are cliques – but these are small and not always effective.) That, however, seems to have changed now, and I think this change is a very positive one. Over the last year or two, a number of my newer clients have recommended me to their friends and colleagues and everyone has benefitted from this. By networking, these writers are learning more about their craft and about the business and I am learning more about new talent.
In fact, I think networking is absolutely essential in this crowded and very competitive marketplace. I would love to hear about your own networking experiences.