I first decided that I wanted to go into the music business about 6 years ago now but had no idea what I wanted to specialise in. Writing commercial music for film/tv had never really crossed my mind, and if anything, I thought I might play in a band and make a career that way. I then realised I definitely didn't have what it takes to slog it out on a tourbus for months at a time away from my own bed. I also realised I probably wasn't good enough at my chosen instrument (piano) to do that, so I decided against it. Around this time, I wondered how I would ever make connections, particularly as I get very nervous meeting new people, and still do to this day.
I find that people tend to overthink what it means to 'network'. Often, it's just talking over a beer or coffee and forging friendships. I've never liked to network in big crowds, so I rarely go to official networking events - I've always found it easier to get someone on their own (or in a small group) and talk about stuff. The 'stuff' tends to be general and never work related. I always hope that the work speaks for itself. It's tough to talk about yourself, and I don't have the gift of the gab in that area. Hopefully, from the meeting you'll start to build some kind of friendship, though sometimes people just don't click and things don't work out.
Once you have one connection, often the good old fashioned word-of-mouth can help you to meet other people. I've certainly met a lot of people through that method. One example was getting the assistant job to TV and Games composer Stephen Baysted. Without the help of Simon Whiteside (for whom I'm also an assistant), Nick Harvey & several other legendary people, I doubt I would've got the job! Never underestimate the power of recommendations. That's certainly one thing I've learnt.
Sorry if I've rambled. This is my first blog post, and this is the tip of the iceberg, so it'll get more interesting than this! Thanks for reading.