Can a visit to the aquarium actually help your career? You betcha.
Most of our readers know about the “schmoozes” we occasionally host for the Lauri’s List community: the purpose of these casual networking gatherings is to give Listers a chance to meet each other and make some new contacts. It’s been working well, and we plan to continue these small get-togethers through 2016. The first one’s on January 3rd — a special Post-Holiday Detox (PHD) edition!
However, as important as it is to network within the music community, and to constantly strive to expand your circle of trusted colleagues, most musicians tend to forget the value of networking elsewhere, as well. What are you doing to turn your other interests into more opportunities? You might be surprised what a crocheting group, painting class, writer’s circle or dance lessons might do to bring you additional contacts, way beyond your current Rolodex. (Yeah, they still exist.)
The point, of course, isn’t to march into each new group trying to make more contacts. The point is to make new friends and find people with shared interests. The rest will come naturally: someone’s boss may need a singer for a wedding, or music lessons for a child. Give out enough business cards, and your bank teller or even your Lyft driver might have a project in the works. Seriously – you just never know where a rewarding opportunity will crop up: I’ve gotten work from these sources, from jury duty, from strangers in the supermarket, even from my attorney.
The advantage of using a site like Meetup, however, is that it brings people together around one shared interest, not just one neighborhood or similar job. And the variety of groups in SoCal is astounding. Find a group that watches movies together, and every time you show up is another chance to meet people you’d never meet otherwise. And they’re likely to be very glad to meet you: as an artist, you’ll stand out in the crowd, and be memorable. Make sure the people you share a real connection with have your contact info, and you have theirs. If there’s something you can do for them, be sure to follow up. Every point of contact builds the relationship further.
Surfing Meetup for a few fairly random starter leads, see if these spark anything for you:
- SoCal Movie Fanatics
- The Next Best Book
- Off the Hook
- Food as Medicine
- Beginner Cycling Adventures
- Greater Los Angeles Polymer Clay Guild
- Tai Chi in Hollywood
- Los Angeles Mountaineers
- Yin Yang Dog Club
- Pasadena Business Networking Meetup
Set up a profile. Enter some interests. Do some searching. Before you know it, you’ll have options. Once you find a group or two that are a great fit, your social life will grow, your life will come into better balance, and you might even end up healthier and happier than when you started. It’s all good.