When you create a new band or act, you should consider yourself as a new business entering the music industry. Essentially, you are creating a product, your music, that you want to market to many customers, your listeners. One of the most important factors for any businessperson's, and hence, musician's success is the ablility to network.

Check out 5 easy ways you can network as an artist:

1. Collaborate with other artists

There are many benefits to appearing on other artist's songs or featuring someone on one of your own. Setting aside the opportunities for artistic exploration, you will instantly become known to an entirely new fanbase.

Every artist that appears on a song will share it with their fans, who now get to hear you as well. Do a good job, and you will be invited by more artists and get introduced to even more listners.

2. Be the opening act

Lady Gaga

Can you recognize this young Lady Gaga?

Many acts, both big and small, are always looking for fresh talent to open for their gigs. Find artists with similar music who are touring near you and reach out! This is a great opportunity to not only reach new fans but get introductions to venues, concert promoters, and even talent managers.

3. Hand out your demo at the appropriate times and places

There is always a time and place to hand out your mixtape. Just ask Ke$ha about her ill-fated attempt to give Prince her demo by breaking into his house.

Artists are always eager to have big record label executives give them a chance and hear their music, but simply throwing a CD in their face and hoping they listen almost never works.

Look for music-related events and festivals near you, there will almost always be talent scouts attending. Network, strike-up conversations, and find relevant players. If they have an interest in what you are doing, give them your demo and they will likely give it a good listen. If they like you, they might be able to get you an inside reccomendation to a manager or label.

4. Reach out to other artists and promote them on social media

Don't be shy to share any music you are listening to on social media. If you find a new artist you like, add them to your playlists and share their best songs with your followers. They are probably looking for all of the promotion they can get and will appreciate the gesture. They might start following you and even share some of your songs with their own fans too.

5. Be open minded and expand your horizons

Finally, never hesitate to explore every opportunity that is given to you. We all want to get signed by a major label, but trying to reach them directly almost never works. There are many people along the way who can help you. Just as you want everyone to listen to your music, listen to what every promoter, manager, label, artist, or anyone else involved in the industry has to say. You never know what introduction someone can bring.

Do you have any ideas to help artists build their network? Let us know in the comments below!