Forget everything that you know about networking. It might be what's holding you back.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to promote yourself to everyone you meet. You may not have to send direct messages to 100 different producers. You may not have to drop your business card off at various locations. Has it worked for others? Yes, but it's not universal to all.
Let's discuss some alternative ways to gain trust & recognition for you and your brand.
No one knows who you are. Why should others listen to your music or work with you?
Do you know why those "check out my song" messages usually get ignored or overlooked? It's because these people have no idea who you are, and it blends in with every other spam message/comment that they receive.
Take the time to communicate with people on a human level. I'm not saying befriend everyone, but build relationships and connections from a foundation. Take the time to review some of their work and give your honest & genuine feedback on it.
Show people character.
You would ruin your opportunity at a Roc Nation Brunch because you would treat it like a fundraiser.
Believe it or not, some people get invited to significant opportunities around prominent figures because of who they are and not what they do. These figureheads already know what you do—you wouldn't be there if you did nothing.
Jay Z and other prominent rappers and producers have people come up to them and frequently throw music and businesses in their faces.
Don't use anyone for personal gain. Do not talk about business. These people are at brunch! Enjoy yourself.
Do great work. Positive word-of-mouth about your services is your best friend.
Word-of-mouth is the best way to establish trust in you and your brand. Many people feel more comfortable going to someone or somewhere that their best friend highly recommends.
It all goes back to communicating with people on a human level and doing honest quality work. You will learn the general public's desires & needs and become an asset.
Do great work. The people are always watching.
Don't confuse this with ass-kissing. Besides, it's elementary to tell the difference between the two.
We are all human. What we do doesn't directly define who we are but is a product of our existence. Communicate with others honestly, support others the way you would want support, and don't talk about business too much.
Use common sense and discernment when working with others as well. You don't have to accept anything for the sake of "business" or "connection."
Let's be better and do better.