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 (This article was originally published at Suite 101.com.  It appears with their permission as per the contributing writer agreement)

Meeting people is a big part of the music industry. You have to remember that as a musician you are always selling a product - yourself, your band or your CD. To be a successful musician you need to organize your contacts and keep in touch.

Contact Lists

There are a number of ways you can track information. The simplest is to keep a separate notebook or address book for your contacts. Each contact listing should include the standard stuff: name, company address, e-mail, telephone number, and web site URL. I would also take a few minutes to jot down where you met the person and any notes covering what you talked about. These notes can be used to jog not only your memory of meeting the person but also theirs if you contact them at a later date.

Other musicians are often a good source of information on contacts. But don't let yourself be swayed by another musician's opinion of these contacts. Everyone in the music industry has different interests and opinions. As a result, a contact may treat you and your band entirely differently than another musician. In other words, collect the information and make your own assessment of the contact.

Don't limit yourself when collecting contact information. Always include fans or even people who are not in the music business. Remember you may be playing in their hometown soon and will want to send out an e-mail alerting them to your show. Music promotion is about getting heard.

If you are at all digitally inclined, I recommend creating an electronic contact list using word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail or database software programs. It can really help save time by allowing you to search for and sort information. You can quickly create specialized mailing lists for people such as agents, venue managers and even specific zip codes for the areas in which you are performing. Using a contact list has a few other bonuses, if you can remember notes to a conversation but can't remember the person you spoke with, just search your contact list for key words and phrases. Software programs that are part of a suite also make it very easy for you to do mass mailings.

Business Cards

If you are a musician, you are in the music business. Treat it like a business and get business cards. Include your contact information, e-mail address and web site URL on your business cards and always have them with you. Hand them out, post them on college campus bulletin boards and in music stores and clubs. Get creative - you never know when someone is going to be intrigued by your name or logo and look you up on the Internet.

Mailing Lists

Mailing lists and e-mail lists can keep your fans and contacts up-to-date on news and events for your band. You can maintain your e-mail lists in most e-mail software programs. Keep these lists current. Spend a little time after a gig adding and editing e-mail addresses. Include your family, friends, fans, other musicians, agents, reviewers and representatives on your lists.

Often musician-oriented web sites have tools for creating e-mail lists. Remember that if you are sending out newsletters or performance announcements, make sure people have a way to opt out of receiving future news from you. In this day of e-mail overload, you don't want to turn people off by "spamming" them.


Questions or comments? please feel free to contact the writer at: wbeck@eigg.com