So you’ve gone to your local music meet up. Things are going good, so you decide to screw it up a bit, but how? Fortunately I’ve been there, and I’ve figured out how to screw things up for you. Here are my 10 favorite ways to be a complete pain in the butt when connecting with other musicians and artists:
1. Start talking and don’t stop.
This keeps anyone you’re talking to from annoying you with what they’re interested in. As a bonus, the person you are talking at walks away knowing just how incredible you are, because they didn’t waste time talking about themselves.
2. Don’t ask questions.
This sort of dovetails into point number one, but it’s worth emphasizing: don’t ask questions. Asking questions means you’re stupid and you don’t understand what’s going on. Always act like your the smartest guy in the room, that way people will assume you’re a genius and always seek you out for advice in the future.
3. Laugh and your own jokes, but don’t laugh at other people’s jokes.
Remember, you are the funniest person in the room, and unless you want to give up that title don’t bust a chuckle at anything anyone else says. This isn’t about building a friendship, it’s competing for the “coolest guy in the room” title.
4. When someone asks how you are, they’re actually saying “pour the depths of your soul out for the next 30 minutes”.
Take this as a cue to launch off into a laundry list of everything that is wrong with your life. Leave out nothing. Had a tough time meeting rent this month? Fair game. Problems with your girlfriend? Spill the messy details. No subject is too mundane for you to not complain about.
5. Hand out your business card, then immediately sprint away like the person you gave it to is on fire.
Who has time for chit-chat? All the people who you want to network really need is your name and your number, and they’ll immediately think of you next time they have a business opportunity come up.
6. Pretend to listen, then immediately redirect the topic back to you.
This is a great technique for making people feel like you care about them, without you actually have to care about them. Caring takes so much work, and listening is a complete waste of time. Remember, you need to be always closing toward getting what you want, not letting people drone on about boring crap that doesn’t build your career.
7. Be mysterious about everything you do career-wise.
When someone asks about what you do, say you’re “high up in the music industry”, and you’re about ready to “sign some huge deals”. Give them a knowing look, then tell them you can’t talk about it. This will give you an irresistible level of intrigue at any meetup.
8. Name drop like bombs and it's WW2.
There’s a simple formula in the music industry: the more famous people you appear to hang around with, the better you are at what you do. Don’t hang around famous people? No problem. Did you read about Beyonce today on Facebook? Mention that you were “snap chatting” beyonce. I’m not saying to lie, just drop a few untruths once in awhile to build your street cred.
9. When your street cred starts slipping, start dissing.
If you feel insecure because your work sucks and you don’t want to admit it, redirect your audience’s attention to how much other people suck, too. You don’t have to be obvious- just say something like “I guess he’s not bad if you’re into that kind of thing”.
10. Resort to technology.
There are literally so many offensive ways to use your phone in a group setting I don’t think I can cover them all here. Start with something simple like checking your texts mid-conversation, then move into annoying selfie taking. Snapchat everything, especially the people who are there at the event. Laugh really loud at things you read on Facebook. Get creative.
Obviously there are a lot more options for how to screw up networking events. If you think of a few I can add to my arsenal, leave a comment.