Networking in the entertainment industry can be extremely difficult and sometimes problematic especially without a team or a plan. We had the honor of speaking with someone who has made leaps and bounds in the male-dominated music industry, reaching heights beyond what anyone could imagine. Johnnie Walker, whose career started as an a Country music radio personality used networking to transfer those skills into a successful record industry career. She holds the distinction of being named the first female Sr. Vice President of Promotion for the Island Def Jam Music Group and the only woman to ever hold that position for the company. It is a position she held for more than 15 years.Continuing to be standout in music and entertainment, Ms Walker has taken her career from Def Jam to DreamWorks to managing a music commission for city government.
Throughout Walker’s many music industry experiences, several things stood out, the most important being the lack of positioning for black women in entertainment. This inspired the non-profit organization Johnnie founded called NABFEME, the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment. The organization was founded with a mission to raise the profile and increase the awareness of women of color in entertainment. NABFEME operates through an organized structure of local networks and appointed Network Operation Managers; introducing the newest Network, NABFEME Delaware based in Wilmington was quite an experience. The event was filled with stories, excitement, and amazing advice for success. The Wilmington meeting presented an atmosphere that leveled the playing field… there was no discrimination and Ms Walker expressed that the person whose profession was legal, was just as important as the attendee who wanted to record the next big music hit.
How does Johnnie stay ahead? She revealed that she consistently networks with individuals of various ages, industries and professional fields. Ms Walker also noted that one of the key attributes she has always utilized, is a zeal for information and always staying abreast of the trends to know exactly what is going on in her industry and everything around her.
She added some great notes of wisdom to her speech at the meeting for singers, she emphasized, “It is all about your target audience and how you or your product can best super-serve them!”
Leading one to rightfully understand that a great relationship with your audience is of the utmost importance wherever you go, or whatever you do. Knowing who your target market is, will be essential to the success of anyone within music or any industry. With a such an example of success to follow, NABFEME is arguably one of the best networking tools for professional women in entertainment and any related industries.