Have you ever been in trouble? Perhaps you had a misunderstanding with the police and they wanted to detain you just to bully you. Perhaps you knew a certain guy whom you just called in the midst of that crazyness. That person called them and said, “hey that’s my nephew,” and that’s why you got released. It was because someone had some influence on those unscrupulous police. That individual helped you because of a social relationship you had. That’s what I call social capital, and it works everywhere.
Artists need to learn how to invest in this social capital business.Social capital is when you have a pool of resources at your disposal simply because you have connected well with people. In sociology according to Wikipedia they say, “Social Capital is the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.” We are talking about that one time when I visit Krimz Beatz with $50 for a beat and he says, “For you it’s $20 because you my home boy.” I think you get the picture.
Big businesses spend money to take some of their best clients for holidays or have dinner with them, because they understand that some decisions are based on emotion. Some tenders are accepted simply because of longstanding relations, not that the other applicants (who may be cheaper) are selling weak products. Artists have built relations with DJ’s, journalists and whoever influences the media. It is unfair to a certain degree but everyone has the opportunity to learn good public relations and start doing it.
The higher your social capital and the more it’s distribution, the more win-win situations you fall in. Others will call these fruits of nepotism but well the system is actually working that way. Remember business is made up of people not robots. You need to invest more time in building mutual relationships. Never let them be one sided. Help the other person fulfill their purpose and they will help you fulfill yours. The more effort you invest in others the more social capital in your bank, for a later date when you need it. Perhaps a guy whose songs you once shared links for religiously will return the favour by inviting likes to your page or even vote your song on a radio show.
This is why I favour talking to upcoming people. People that have it made have too many people trying to earn social capital people from them but it’s too late. Now imagine if you gave your DJ cousin first preference to play your CD at parties when he was still small and motivated him, hooked him up parties. Now imagine a time when your cousin finally gets a slot in big gigs or even radio, who will remain on his playlist no matter what.
The problem is you go on twitter and follow the so called gurus of an industry (who as you can see follow 200 people but are followed by 5000). They will not follow you back, they will not retweet your links. They have people who built social capital with them when they had 30 likes and that’s who they put first. Look around your friends, motivate them in their talents and build your social capital. Sooner or later the so called gurus will recognize you as your circle of influence stretches into theirs.
Mcpotar is a rising infoprenuer and hip-hop artiste, find his writing on http://www.mcpotar.com