Jamie Skinner is a graduate of BIMM, our 2018/19 industry partner and a guest panelist at our event on 7 November 2018 "Networking Smarter: How to grow your music career through strategic networking. We talked to him while about his networking tips and tricks.
He is a freelancer in the music industry, working across a range of sectors. Jamie has most recently worked as a Publicist at LD Communications, where he worked with a clients including Pink Floyd and The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, Reading & Leeds Festival, The Q Awards, Abbey Road and various successful artist campaigns.
What advice would you give your younger self attending a networking event?
It’s so important to go out and meet people. It’s not a game of just swapping over business cards and ending the conversation there. The people you meet at these events could make the next step in your career possible, so make friends with people by being true to yourself and always being the friendly face they think of.
What do you look for in networking events?
Networking events are a great opportunity to broaden your connections within the industry. Once you start going to a few, you start recognising faces and it’s then when people begin to understand that you’re serious about what you want to do.
What are your top 3 tips for networking events?
1. Be friendly, happy and positive! I know sometimes you can have a tough day but when you’re in a situation where you can meet some really influential and inspirational people, you want them to remember you positively, as opposed to someone who is negative and has a bad attitude.
2. As well as that, make sure you have a few stories up your sleeve so that you can help drive a conversation. Nothing is worse than when you are standing there in an awkward silence because you feel like you have nothing else to add to the conversation!
3. Always say ‘yes’ to things when you’re starting out - any opportunity you’re offered will be incredible for your experience and your CV.
As an alumnus of BIMM, what key skills did you learn there that have helped you get where you are today?
BIMM helped me understand that the industry is very tightly knit. Whatever area of the industry you work in, you will constantly be working alongside managers, labels, publishers, PRs, pluggers, agents and every other sector imaginable. Having the knowledge - no matter to what level - in how these areas work is pivotal to being able to pick up projects and work them efficiently and effectively.
Jamie, what's your "Golden" networking moment?
When I was 17, way before BIMM and any ‘proper’ jobs I worked in the industry, I was lucky enough to be offered a Guest ticket to a major festival here in the UK. I was there by myself and decided I wanted to try and meet as many people as possible to get to know them, and so I could try and get tickets for future years! Ha! That weekend, I met the festival booker and gave him my number and email and we are still in touch all these years later. On the final day of the festival, Green Day (my favourite band) were headlining. After their set, I went back into the Guest area and got talking to a group of people for hours and hours, talking about how much of a fan I was, how they were the reason I wanted to be in music, etc. After an hour or so, one of the women in the group stood up, gave me a laminate and took me backstage to meet the band. Turns out she was part of Green Day’s team in the UK and took a liking to me! So in the space of one weekend I met a great festival booker and my favourite band members… safe to say it was a great weekend!