Words by Matt Bacon
Ever notice how some bands always seem to be getting the cool opportunities? Or are connected with all the higher-ups in the scene? Ever want to know how that happens and how you get to be the cool one in the scene? I want to break that down for you.
Building your scene cred is an essential skill within niche music communities. The key ways to do this are to do things that bring meaningful value to the community, to focus on networking within it and to be present. Once you do that people will start to really think of you in a new light and really want to connect.
Bringing Meaningful Value
There are a few ways that bringing meaningful value can happen in the scene. It can take a variety of forms, from booking shows to photographing them. Hell, it can even be giving bands a place to crash while on tour on a regular basis. The point is that you are doing something that helps people other than yourself.
When you start to generate value for people beyond yourself you end up actually generating more value for yourself. People see that you are someone who genuinely cares and wants to contribute and then it creates a positive feedback loop, going on to help you more and give you more opportunity.
Focusing On Networking
I know this sounds corny but it doesn’t have to be corny. And the thing is a lot of this starts to come naturally when you are bringing value to people other than yourself. But you need to be focused on building meaningful relationships with people.
A lot of times this can just be saying hi to the same people twenty times a year at shows or commenting on their stuff online, but eventually, they will start to recognize you and realize what you do and then start to be friends with you. It’s important stuff.
Consistently Showing Up
This is the final step and the one that I think people miss out on the most. If you consistently show up then people are going to understand that you want to be here for the right reasons, to support people and partake in culture, not because you are trying to be a cool kid or make a quick buck.
When you prove that you can consistently show up and prove that you can elevate your game in a meaningful way then people start to really pay attention to what you are doing. They go ‘Wow this guy actually gives a shit.’ And that’s honestly one of the best thoughts people can have about you as it turns into so much more.
So yeah, building up your scene cred so that you too can get the sickest opportunities in your scene is not hard. You just need to bring meaningful value, focus on building your relationships up and consistently show up!