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5 Ways to Pitch Your Music to DJs

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5 ways to pitch your music to DJs

When you’re trying to get your music heard, DJs can seem like the ultimate gatekeepers. In some ways they are, but remind yourself that they’re not mythical creatures, but rather humans just like you. The key to getting in front of them and convincing them to play your music is a matter of catching them in the right place and delivering the right message.

Before you start reaching out, create media kits in digital and physical formats. Both versions should have a one-sheet with the most important information about your band, like name, description of the type of music you play, a one line unique bio, and website. If you need help figuring out the details of your one-sheet, check out this post: How to Get Music Bloggers To Reply To Your Email. For the digital version, you’ll want to include a streaming link to one or two of your best songs. It’s usually a no-no to give your music out in any other form than a link, but you’ll also want to make CDs or USBs with a few songs as well. You’ll give these out when you meet DJs face to face as something more tangible than a piece of paper. We also suggest signing up for DropTrack to make sharing your music with DJs the easiest. They can download your music in the high-quality WAV format they need for club sound systems, and they’ll give feedback and support in real-time.

Before you go buck wild stalking club DJs and radio DJs all over the world, remember to start small. Internet radio, college stations, and local radio stations are going to be a heck of a lot easier to get in touch with than trying to get a hold of Ryan Seacrest or Zane Lowe. 

Track them down in person

But not in a scary way! Radio stations often set up at events to help promote themselves. It’s super easy to find out where they’ll be because they announce it over and over on the radio. Keep track of where your best bet radio DJs will make appearances and show up with your media kit.

Find ‘em in the club

Check to see if the person you’re after holds their own performances. If so, find a good time to approach him or her, introduce yourself, and offer your media kit. If your favorite radio DJ doesn’t do anything live, check out who is in charge of getting the crowd moving at local clubs and strike up a friendship. Play your cards right, and you may hear your name and track coming over the speakers on a packed Friday night.

At your live shows

In between bands, comb the audience. If you know who you’re looking for, sidle over and introduce yourself. Have a media kit ready and hand it over if the DJ seems receptive. The good news is that you’re already catching them at a time when they’re most receptive to your music; if they weren’t into the type of music you’re putting out, they wouldn’t be there.

Old school snail mail

Stock up on stamps and get ready to Google. Make a list of the radio stations that favor the genre of music you play and find the name of the music director and address of the station. Mail your media kit, including a CD or USB with a few of your tracks. Again, this is more to get attention than actually expecting they’ll go to the trouble to pop it in a computer. You’ll make sure they have preferred links when you follow up with an email.

Skip the DJ altogether

Or rather, go straight to a digital DJ by submitting your music to Pandora. Make sure you have an account, then go through the steps to submit your album for consideration. Pandora’s Curation team will listen and decide if it’s right for their service. They’ll let you know about their decision, either way, so you’re not wondering forever.

Finally, no matter which route you take (although we suggest taking all of them) be sure to follow up, follow up, follow up. This is where your digital media kit comes into play. Send an email referencing where you crossed paths, so they get a reminder of who you are, then repeat all the information you already gave them, but provide streaming links. Of course we also suggest signing up for DropTrack to help keep all your messages organized, and get more insight into who’s actually listening to your music. If you don’t hear back right away, send another email to see if they’ve had a chance to listen. Just like it takes time and many trials to write a song, it’ll be the same for getting your music out.

How to Get Music Bloggers To Reply To Your Email

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How to Get Music Bloggers To Reply To Your Email

The typical music blogger gets 348 emails per day. Ok, that’s a claim that can’t be proven, but the point is that the powers that be who decide on which music gets featured receive a lot of emails, direct messages, @ mentions, and snail mail. You already know your music is something special, but how do you make editors and writers see that when all you have are a few lines of words to grab their attention? First off, if you’re really serious about getting featured, commit to making this your part-time job, especially in the beginning. This post will help you map out a plan, then weave a few of those tasks into your schedule every week. This process starts with lots of research, so get organized with a spreadsheet. It may take some time upfront, but it’s going to save you loads of headaches in the long run. Though your spreadsheet can have any information of function that’s most useful to you, you’ll want to focus on the most relevant contact information for the people who can get you on the homepage or front cover. This is a good starting point:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email
  • Where they work
  • Role
  • Social accounts
  • Genres they cover
  • Status on correspondence – reach out dates, followups, replies, etc.

Once you have that set up, you’ll go to town finding every, any, and all people you could reach out to. Even when you get to 100 people on your list, keep going.

To make it easy, we’ve created a template for you. Download it for free here.

Start Local

Who doesn’t want to celebrate the hometown hero? Local blogs, publications, channels, etc. are a great first bet when it comes to getting the attention of a music blogger. Not only will you be up against less competition, it’ll also be easier to speak the writer’s language, i.e. mentioning venues that person will be familiar with, other local acts who’ve asked you to join their show. You want to provide information that helps the blogger quickly put you and your music in context. If you played the biggest venue in town, that’s going to catch attention.

Find Your People

Your spreadsheet has a column to record specific music genres covered by various writers because you need to keep track of the right people to spend time on. If you’re in a hip hop group, don’t bother sending an email to someone who covers electronic. Find the people who are already interested in and covering the type of music you make.

Keep It Short and Direct

Think about it – if you’re someone who gets hundreds of emails per day, all asking the same thing, and you open one that seems to be pages long, you’re going to delete and move on. The three most important elements a strong email has are:

  • Personalized introduction: Sending personalized emails is easy using a tool like DropTrack. When you send a message, do not bcc a template email to music bloggers. Doing that may get you blocked altogether, let alone ignored. You don’t need to spend a paragraph flattering the writer, but greet him or her by name, and mention a detail specific to them. For example, if you’re reaching out to a local blogger, you could say: Hello Tim, I saw your review on the show The Screaming Monkeys put on last Thursday. I also love The Descendents vibe they put out in their first song.
  • Info + Ask: Your band’s story should be one line. We’ll talk more about how to craft that one line below, in the section Tell Your Story. Your ask should be direct and actionable. If you’re sharing your new single and want to see it featured in the “New Local Music” section on the writer’s site. Say exactly that. Do not ask the blogger to “let me know what you think.” Not only is that a huge question to answer, it’s also highly doubtful such a vague request will lead to your original goal of getting featured.
  • Links to Music: Oh, just the whole reason you’re reaching out in the first place. Do not forget to include obvious, clickable links to your music. The links should only be streaming links and lead exactly to what you’re referencing. If you want the blogger to listen to a single, make sure you link them directly to that track (a tool like DropTrack can help).

That’s it. Oh, and a friendly sign-off. Of course, that little bit of information doesn’t begin to fully describe you and your band, which is where your website comes in. There, include anything you feel helps describe your band and tells your unique story. That’s everything from creatively describing what your music sounds like, who’s in the band, news on past and upcoming shows, and photos. On your homepage, it’s also a good idea to provide press release-style information that a blogger can easily copy and paste from. When you do get featured, you want to make it super easy for the busy writer to create a blurb about you.

Tell your story

Think about what makes you and your band different and compelling. Chances are it’s not necessarily what you’re doing with your music, but rather your personal origin story. Maybe you’re a solo artist who got your start when you inherited your grandfather’s guitar. That’s going to stand out a lot more than telling a music blogger your sound is a mix of folk and top 100 alternative. If you’re having trouble pinpointing your unique story, research some of your favorite bands for inspiration.

Promote yourself to top of inbox

It’s not over once you send out that initial email. Following up keeps your band’s name at the top of a writer’s inbox and increases the likelihood your email will be opened. For a general follow up, wait at least a week before sending another note. You don’t need to say or provide anything new, just check in to see if the person has had a chance to listen to what you sent over, and then close out with a friendly sign-off. Any time you get covered by another publication, use that as a chance to reach out again to share the news that you got in mention in so and so publication. Often, hearing that a competitor has taken an interest in you is a good push to get someone to check you out.

Give thanks the blogger way

Any time you get a mention, thank the blogger directly with an email (better yet, a handwritten card if you have mailing info), and share the link with anyone and everyone. Bloggers make money through ad money based on how many people visit their site. If they see that by featuring your music their traffic spikes, that’s a good reason to write about you more in the future.

If you feel yourself getting frustrated or deterred, remember why you’re doing this in the first place (it may even help to take a break and go play a little music). Even the most popular bands in the world started with just wanting to get their music heard.

Why social media is DEAD for music marketing (and why email works)

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It’s hard to believe it’s been over 12 years since the launch of Facebook. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. That’s good news for marketers, musicians, and entrepreneurs. You have this incredible platform to reach every one of those followers you painstakingly cultivated. Or do you?

Organic Reach is a Harsh Reality

If you’ve been paying attention to the recent developments in social media, you know the rules have changed for business pages and profiles. Now you have a choice: You can post for free, and reach an infinitesimal amount of people within your massive group of followers, or you can pay for exposure. So here’s how it goes down: You get the sound and lighting just right. You shoot an amazing video and take some awesome pics. You sort through the best of them, edit your video, and remove the red eyes from your photos. Everything’s cut, polished, and pretty enough to present to your fans. So you craft a clever headline and upload. Then you wait for the likes, shares, and comments to come… but they don’t. Or they do, but the numbers are puny. When Facebook suggests you pay for more reach, you know you got punked.

If you continue to post on social media without paying, it’ll be like setting up for concerts, pouring yourself into the music, playing your rockstar best, and then you realize the room is mostly empty, the sound is off, and there’s just one row of seating anyway.

What’s The Solution?

So maybe you give in and pay Facebook to reach your existing fans. And that’s great, because advertising is rarely free, so why should social media be any different? But there’s a better way. There’s a more effective tool you can access that successful artists are already using — It’s email marketing.

Surprised? Did you think that email marketing was obsolete? Research says it’s 40 times as effective as Facebook and Twitter combined. Tweet that! Or don’t, because it’s really just a waste of time. Here are the facts when it comes to social media versus email marketing…

Social Media Versus Email Marketing

Don’t get me wrong, social media is useful and you should have an online presence if you’re an artist or business. Try to grow your followers, and don’t stop posting fresh content. But don’t rely on social media as a sole means of marketing, and do yourself a favor: Use email to drive sales.

How Do Fans Rate Email Marketing?

A study by ExactTarget says 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications in their inboxes over other advertising avenues.

How Does Email Marketing Rank in Terms of ROI?

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.

Read that again. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to receive an average of $44 back in return. Social media can’t even come close!

What Are the Odds of Reaching My Fans Through Email Marketing?

Ninety-one percent of consumers use email every day. Your odds of reaching your fans with email: pretty damn good.

What’s it Worth?

Wondering if email marketing is really worth the effort? Statistics prove consumers spend 138% more when they receive an email offer.

We could go on, but why bother? You’re smart enough to know now that email marketing trumps social media when it comes to connecting with your fan base. So what now?

Use Email Marketing to Build Your Fan base

So where do you go from here? If you haven’t already started building an email list, it’s time to get cracking!

How exactly do you get people to give you their email?

It’s easy. Instead of offering a free download through SoundCloud, ask people for their email address to receive the song. There are many great tools to help automate this, like DropTrack, FanBridge, and ReverbNation. (Note: Never just ask for an email address, but always offer something in return, like free downloads, promotional content, or tickets to shows.)

When it’s time for your next release, you can spread the word by sending out an email to your fans!

Ownership Is Where It’s At.

Unlike social media, with email marketing YOU own the data. You are in control. So what exactly does that mean? According to Blue Hornet, it means opportunity. Because 72% of consumers sign up for an email list with the intent to get discounts, there’s your cue to give the people what they want. Send them an offer they can’t refuse, and chances are, they won’t. Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, and consumers prefer to communicate with brands by email.

Give The People What They Want: Promotional Content via Email

If they’ve given you their email address, they expect something in return. When compared to social media, email users have a higher tolerance for promotional content. When they’re logged into social media, they’re probably connecting with friends and family or scrolling through posts and memes. When it comes to email, users are more likely to be hunting for offers, taking care of business, and handling correspondence that isn’t necessarily of a social nature. Social media can only take you so far. And with Facebook limiting your organic reach, the message is clear: it’s time to master the art of email marketing and start making essential connections.

Originally posted on DIY Musician Blog

4 Pro Tips to Find Music Supervisors and Get Your Foot in the Door (That Actually Work)

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Music SupervisorsNow, more than ever, songwriters and producers hunger for visual-media placements as opportunities for sync licensing surge and traditional record sales from CDs and downloads sag. Busy music supervisors hold the keys to placements in ads, films, TV, and video games, but how do you find them and get your foot in the door?

Of course, once you’ve introduced yourself, you’ve got to create great songs tailored to individual projects with high production values. Hundreds of articles tell how to do that. But trying to sell your music cold without having met or corresponded with music supervisors is likely to fail. If you’re not affiliated with a song plugger, licensing firm, or music library — and don’t want to be — outreach to individual supervisors can work. Still, to even get a listen, you’ve got to meet as many music supervisors as possible and make first impressions count.

I’ve helped secure over 20 sync placements on MTV, Comedy Central, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, and elsewhere through my company, DropTrack. Our personalizable music marketing platform connects artists with music supervisors, label reps, DJs, and radio pros. To maximize placement opportunities, I advise musicians who use DropTrack — as well as those who don’t — to apply the following techniques.

1. Study up

Good old Google is a fine place to start researching music supervisors and choose your targets. SongwriterUniverse has an excellent directory of them, and Tunefind shows what music many are interested in. The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is a great tool for identifying who works on TV series and films. You can even get a free 30-day trial of IMDB Pro, where you can find contact information. The National Association of Record Industry Professionals is another resource. Go to NARIP.com, search with keywords “music supervisors,” and read articles telling who they are and how best to approach them.

Also, search phrases like “music supervisors looking for music.” Once you know names, Google them for more information. Watch their ads, shows, and films. Get familiar with them. Be fluent in how music is being used, know the common practices in the field, and embed this knowledge into all the strategies discussed below.

Avoid this rookie blunder: Don’t submit songs to music supervisors who’ve never worked in your genre. Personalization leads to monetization.

2. Get on LinkedIn

Everyone on LinkedIn is looking for the same thing: professional advancement. Pitching music through Twitter and Facebook is done to death. Music supervisors don’t have time for the former and use the latter for friends, family, and fun — that’s not where they’re looking for the perfect hook for their ad. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is ideal for forming business relationships. It’s expected to request connections with people you don’t know.

But do it right. Make sure your profile is up to date and describes your skills and experience. When you invite someone to connect, delete the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network” message, and instead enter a personal note like, “Hi Scott, I’m a big fan of your work on Entourage. I’d like to see if you’re looking for music for upcoming projects. I run an independent record label focusing on dance/electronic music, and I’d love to send you some tunes.”

Avoid this rookie blunder: Don’t connect until you’ve completed your profile with a good photo and a clear description of what you do. Crush the first impression.

3. Attend trade shows and conferences

Passes can be pricey, but conferences are worth it if you stay in the target market for your genre. Ones worth attending include (but aren’t limited to):

  • SF Music Tech Summit (San Francisco)
  • Billboard/THR Film and TV Music Conference (Los Angeles)
  • Sync Summit (Los Angeles, New York, London)
  • ASCAP EXPO (Los Angeles)
  • MUSEXPO (Los Angeles)
  • MIDEM (Cannes)
  • Winter Music Conference (Miami Beach)
  • EDMBiz Conference and Expo (Las Vegas)
  • Amsterdam Dance Event (Amsterdam)

With meetups, mixers, and message boards, contact opportunities are endless.

Prepare by finding out who’s going and research them online. Make a list of your marks. Email them in advance and ask for an appointment to meet during the show. Alternatively, tweet them during the conference to see where they are and if you can come to them.

Attend the biggest panel discussions, sit in the front row, and be the first to ask a question. Stand up, introduce yourself loudly, and make it a good one. Many conferences have panels featuring sync reps and supervisors, though some cost extra. When you’re first building relationships, the added fee is worth being part of an elite group of attendees.

The best networking happens in the hallways, the bars, and the line for coffee. Ask lots of questions about what kinds of music they need, and ask even deeper follow-up questions that show you’re genuinely interested and you’ve done your homework about their business. Make yourself relevant. And don’t forget to exchange business cards.

No more than a week after the conference, email each contact to follow up and allude back to your conversation. Say, “John, it was nice to meet you and talk about your work at Disney. You mentioned needing dubstep tracks for an upcoming project. Would it be okay for me to send you a few songs?”

Avoid this rookie blunder: Don’t just sit and listen. If you leave with no business cards, you’re doing it wrong. Also, don’t hand out flash drives or CDs at conferences. Now’s the time to form one-on-one bonds, not pitch your music.

4. Seal the deal

Ask your new acquaintances to add you to their email lists and let you know when they have specific needs for songs. Offer to tap them into your network of other industry pros to fulfill those requests as well. Mention that you understand they would only consider music that’s easy to clear for both master and publishing copyrights. If applicable, mention that you have instrumental versions and vocal splits available of all tracks.

Avoid this rookie blunder: Don’t send MP3s as email attachments. Send links to your website or DropTrack playlist promoting no more than three tracks for a specific project.

Following these recommendations will boost the likelihood that music supervisors will at least listen when you submit your music. Laying the groundwork makes all the difference to meeting and dazzling the right people and getting decent shots at the deals you want.

Originally posted on Sonicbids Blog

Getting the Most from DropTrack

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DropTrack helps you manage your relationships with music industry contacts, and provides a complete toolset for sharing and marketing digital music. Depending on your goals, you can employ one or more of our features to enhance your music marketing strategy. DropTrack offers many powerful benefits suited for music producers and record labels, and this guide should serve as a quick overview.

Tracks

The most basic feature of DropTrack is the ability to upload your music, store it all in a centralized place, and access it from anywhere, on any device. You can:

  • Upload MP3 or WAV files directly from your computer or from your Dropbox account. In addition, you can import tracks from Soundcloud or your own web server.
  • Assign metadata to each track, including Genre, Key, and BPM.
  • Make tracks public and share them with a unique link.

Contacts

DropTrack helps you manage your relationships with music industry contacts. Like a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can organize and keep track of your Contacts’ personal and social details.

  • Each Contact gets their own personalized promo link.
  • You can add Contacts one at a time, or import them in bulk from a spreadsheet.
  • Contacts can be sorted and grouped into Contact Lists.

Playlists

In order to share your tracks, you can add them to a Playlist, along with album artwork, a press release, and any other photos or documents you’d like. Each playlist is presented with a responsive web player, album artwork, and any optional HTML widget code.

Playlist Links

You can share each Playlist with multiple short link URLs, each with their own unique tracking code.

  • With this feature, you can easily share the same music to multiple channels, and track the reach of each.
  • You can view analytics including Views, Plays, and Downloads for each Playlist Link.
  • Each Playlist Link has its own privacy settings; you can toggle on/off enabling downloads or social sharing.

Download Gate (Free Download in Exchange for Email Signup)

With DropTrack, you can give away your music in exchange for collecting an email address. This is a great tool to build your email list; the best channel for direct marketing.

Campaigns

You can use DropTrack to send personalized emails for your digital music promotions.
When you launch a Campaign, you can monitor real-time analytics and receive instant feedback.
You can:

  • Send your music to one or many Contacts at once. You can segment your Contacts by list.
  • Schedule a Campaign to be sent at a specific date/time.
  • Protect your Campaigns with a password.
  • Specify whether Contacts can download your music, and set an optional download limit
  • Require your Contacts to leave feedback before downloading your music
  • Set an expiration date for your Campaigns
  • Visualize your Campaign activity on a map
  • Post positive feedback to Twitter

Receive email notifications when your Contacts:

  • Open your emails
  • View your promo Campaigns
  • Listen to your music
  • Download your music
  • Leave feedback on your music

Demo/Promo Submissions

Consolidate your A&R management with DropTrack. You can keep track of all of your demo and promo submissions in one place.

  • Receive submissions from a personalized page, or directly from your Facebook page.
  • Each demo/promo submission is complete with the submitter’s full name and contact information.
  • You can quickly favorite or archive tracks, and filter submissions accordingly.

Signup Forms

You can use DropTrack as a replacement for your mailing list – or as your only mailing list!

  • Link your leads and fans to a personalized Signup Form, or embed a form on your own website.
  • Each new Contact who signs up will be grouped automatically based on the Signup Form they completed.
  • You can optionally redirect new contacts to a custom URL after signup.

Profile

Last but not least, be sure to update your profile and customize the look and feel of your account. You can change the color scheme and add custom HTML code to the header and footer of your DropTrack pages. Some example uses of HTML code are Google Analytics tracking code or a Retargeting pixel.

Thanks again for joining DropTrack, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have getting started.