We gathered serious intel from our previous lives working in big music & media corporations, our time as band members and of course, our time here as publicists working and talking to musicians and bloggers a lot.
We still have a hard time believing the way people sometimes get in touch with bloggers, music writers or simply with us. And even if some of the tips below seem so obvious we first hesitated to actually make this a post, we just had to sum up the basics of do’s and dont’s as an indie musician when you talk and interact with people online. You know, to actually be taken seriously and not annoy the hell out of people who could really help you.
WRITING AN EMAIL
(this also applies when contacting someone on social media through DMs or Messenger)
Whether your mom taught you this one or not, you must have picked up on it by now. Say hey, say hi, say hello. Whether you contact a blogger or any professional in the industry, you’re addressing a person. Usually a very busy one from whom you’re actually expecting something (attention, help, a feature, an intro…whatever). So while we actually mean that you gotta say hello, we also wanna insist on the importance of being polite. There’s no need for the “to whom it may concern” BS. That definitely doesn’t work either. But if you think not saying ‘hello’ or ‘thanks for your time’ is cool, you got it all wrong. It’s rude. And even famous artists get in trouble with the industry for acting like douches.
Be Clear & Concise
No one has time to read your book on their way to the next meeting or just between two other tasks. Lengthy emails are rude unless they are truly necessary. Cut to the chase: it’s the polite thing to do. Bloggers and industry people receive hundreds of emails a day in average. Literally. A lot of them work for free or rather small wages and they’ll love you for respecting their time. Your email needs to have a clear structure in which you introduce yourself and your request. You then give some additional info such as a Soundcloud or website link. And you close it with a nice word, call to action if needed and say thanks.
Make it Good
Understand that the person you’re writing to doesn’t know you. Make sure you give them keywords and clear info in your email. Are you a band leader or a solo artist? Do you make country or indie rock? Where are you based? And more importantly: why should they care? Yes you’re unique and so is your music. But so is every one and their grandma’s bands. You gotta convince the good people on the other end of the world wide web to actually click on that link or get back to you. Because again, they’re not mean but they’re real busy. Could you be compared to artists they’ve worked with or written about in the past? What do you expect from them ideally? The clearer and catchier your email, the higher the chances to get a listen and an answer.
We regularly receive emails or Facebook messages – yes we just launched our FB page, hurray – in which people just send one link. Not one single word dude. Do you really expect us to click on the link and listen to your music, fall in love and get back to you after we guessed and researched your current situation and intention? We won’t. And no one else in the world ever will.
INTERACTING WITH BLOGGERS & THE INDUSTRY
Interacting with music bloggers is a great idea. Leaving a comment in their contact section with a link to your music is not. No one will ever click it. Because it’s not the point and it’s not the place. It looks desperate and unprofessional.
If you wanna interact with bloggers to get their attention, you gotta give them something. They also need to promote their work and they also appreciate your support.
So how about leaving a real comment on their blog saying that it’s cool and helpful? Like their Facebook page and retweet them from time to time. They will notice.
When the time comes for you to send them a private message or email asking them to check out your music, there’s a much bigger chance that they will.
The same applies to publishers, sync guys and all the beautiful people who can help you make it happen.
So did we just write a little post telling you to be friendly? Yup. Because there’s been a hell of a lot of confusion between being rude and being rock & roll. Being badass and holding the door for the guy behind you works. It works really well.
Making it in an industry, which is as hard, competitive and unfair as the music biz is gonna take a whole lot from you. And showing that you can keep up with it by keeping it cool and collected and even asking about the other guy’s day will only prove your worth and stamina.
You’re welcome. Have a great day!