How do you get your music heard by industry influencers, journalists, bloggers, or even record label executives? How do you get it into the hands of people that could bring your career to the next level?
Having some kind of marketing plan will prove invaluable to this process, whether you're reaching out by email, social media, postal mail, or by phone. Different audiences require different approaches, and you can't expect to cover your bases by blanketing everyone with the same generic marketing messages.
Here are some tips on how to get your music out there and heard by the people that count.
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Learn As Much As You Can About The Influencer And Get Your Music Heard
Who are you trying to reach? If you don't know anything about them, it makes it hard to customize your message. If they write articles, what topics or genres do they tend to cover? What publications do they publish on? If they're A&R reps, what label do they work with? What kind of artists are on that label?
It's a waste of time to send your music to people that probably have no interest in it in the first place. This goes for radio stations, podcasters, bloggers, journalists, and all manner of influencers. You need to play to their interests if you want to be heard.
Make Sure Your Music Fits The Mold If You Want To Get Out There
Don't forget to consider your audience. If you're sending your music to busy people who are bombarded with submissions from every direction, they're not going to have time for your extended drum solos and repetitive intros. You have to make sure your music fits the mold.
It's hard to hold people's attention. You have to get to the hook within 30 seconds, or you may not pique the interest of industry influencers. The rare exception would be specialty radio programs.
Before you start sending your music to different people, make sure you have a track or two that fit the popular three to three-and-a-half minute format.
Get Your Music Heard By Keeping Your Communications Brief And Clear
Communication seems to be a bit of a lost art in today's world. Many people have gotten so used to the noise that exists on social media and other places that they've forgotten how to relate and have real conversations.
Don't send lengthy emails to journalists or media people. Don't beg. Don't just talk about yourself. Don't ask a dozen questions. See things from the perspective of the recipient, and keep your focus narrow. You should only have a single purpose for every email you send out.
Get to the point in your communication, or else expect to be ignored.
Flattery Is Okay When Trying To Get Your Music Out There
Don't forget; people like to feel good about themselves. They spend most of their days going unappreciated, dealing with the pressures of a work life and a personal life, trying to find some semblance of a meaningful balance.
People like to feel good. There are some “experts” out there talking about the downsides of flattery, but when you think about how impersonal the world has become, sometimes the only way to get through to people is to let them know that they are appreciated.
Whenever you're sending out messages, remember to cite something relevant. For example, talk about the latest article the influencer wrote and why you liked it. This is a great way to open a message, and it communicates that you've done your research.
How, so below we'll look at a few more ways to get your music heard. Point number is is extremely important.
Don't Bother With Generic Press Releases
When used the right way, press releases can be extremely valuable. You can get your story seen by a lot of different publications and media people, and you might even be able to get additional coverage for your story.
However, if you send the exact same press release to every person you reach out to, don't expect to get too many responses. First of all, a press release is too long of a message to send. Most people probably aren't going to read it. Second of all, the story is centered around you, and unless you've taken the time to make sure the reader gets some value out of it, they're not going to. Finally, it's probably lacking customization. It's not speaking to anyone; it's just speaking at them!
Again, if you're smart with your press releases, you might be able to get some traction with them, but don't use it as a catch-all solution for your outreach.
Get In Touch Before Sending Over Your Music
Yes, it's important to get to the point and to be clear in your communication, but if you send music download links before touching base with people, they're probably going to delete your message. People are wary of unsolicited messages that include links they don't trust!
Of course, there are some simple workarounds. You can put your tracks up on SoundCloud or YouTube, and send links to your music that way. Even then, it's still wise to get in touch with the individual before sending them your music, just to ensure that they actually get your message.
Additionally, don't bother sending more than one track. If they don't like the first, they're not even going to listen to the second or the third. You're not going to make a convert out of everyone, so don't worry about a little rejection.
Work Your Way Up The Chain
You can't always get the biggest publications or most influential people to pay attention to you out of the gate. If you just can't seem to crack the code, then it's time to start working your way up the chain.
First, start by getting a review on a small blog (it could even be a friend's). Then let a local entertainment magazine know about the coverage you just got. If you can get a bit piece there, move onto a national publication and let them know about the coverage you've been getting. Rinse, repeat.
Don't forget to take a closer look at your pool of fans. You never know who might be widely connected, and who might be able to introduce you to tastemakers and influencers within the industry.