Tag Archives: blogs

Radio Submission Insights For DIY Artists

NewRadioRadio airplay is a very important part of marketing music to grow your audience, increase your awareness in a growing music world, and help sell more music.

It’s also something that many artists don’t understand from a big-picture perspective. Most artists know that they need to find opportunities to get their music in front of more people. Radio airplay and music blog features, as well as podcasts are all great ways to do that. However, there is one very big detail that often gets overlooked when artists go about submitting their music for airplay.

There’s no shortage of music in the world today, certainly no shortage of good music. However, many unsigned an DIY artists behave like they’re entitled to being featured on someone else’s platform. Remember, a radio station, music program, blog, podcast, or other media entity was created by someone (or a group) who is passionate about their work. They have probably built something from the ground up that took many years to establish. It’s a lot of work to do all that media people do. So when someone comes along and throws content in their face and says “Play me,” what do you think that feels like?

As an artist, you are a creator of beauty, brilliance, and greatness. But you are also a creator of bridges. Your music is a bridge from experiences and stories into ideas and emotions that are shared between different people. Forgetting the bridge building aspect of what you do is one of the biggest mistakes artists make.

Why Music Media Accepts Submissions. It’s Not What You Think

Most music media outlets have a submission form or way to present music to be featured. You have to sell these people on the benefit you provide to their station or platform. Just you saying that you make good music is only 50% of what your offer could be at best.

Radio Mic Old FashionedInstead, present yourself as a community building co-collaborator and make your submission an intentional part of your work to build connections. Be humble in your approach. Instead of just giving a link to your music or sending a CD, contact a radio station and ask what the submission process is. Ask if they prefer CD or digital file, and tell them that you appreciate the work they do. It certainly helps if you’ve spent a little time on their website and know a little about the programming they provide. Actually, this step here will help you make a contact very quickly.

Some music blogs and media outlets have different options for music submission. Many smaller blogs offer submissions with no strings attached and will do a short article on you. Take advantage of that if their audience is the same people you are trying to reach. For larger, more established sites, they may have a paid feature to get a music or album review. These are certainly worth looking into. Here’s why:

Remember that the world is not short on music. By doing a free submission, you are putting your work in the lot with the countless other artists who are playing the music feature lottery and hoping to be picked. Your music may be heard, but there are only so many hours in the day, so there’s no guarantee it will be treated with as much attention as something that had a fee attached to it. What do I mean?

Some platforms for submission have a small fee they charge for the music curator’s time, expertise and insight. Platforms such as Music Submit, Fluence, and others all work to get music submissions in front of experienced music professionals to benefit the artist. Experience doesn’t come easy, and it shouldn’t come cheap. This is why for a few bucks you can get some excellent insight, reviews, critiques and promotions using paid services.

Why Should You Pay For Music Submissions? Isn’t This Supposed To Be Free?

Free is easy, it costs nothing, and it rarely produces the results most people want. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take advantage of free offers or free opportunities. Just realize that when it comes to music submissions, the free route may put you in with a lot of competition and not as much time spent from the media outlet.

Here’s something else to keep in mind when you go about submitting your music: keep a thankful and positive attitude. Keep in mind that most people who run radio stations, music programs, podcasts, music blogs, or review sites have multiple jobs associated with whatever position they have.

Listening to music is only a part of what they do each day, and probably not what they spend most of their time on. They certainly aren’t paid to sit in a room and listen to stranger’s music all day (this is what many artists think that radio show hosts and music writers do for a living). Their job is to create great content that their audience will love and come back for. Aside from that, they also have to go out and find sponsors and businesses to support their content through some form of advertising. That by itself is a big job. I’m in this boat too, which is how I can give you this insight.

The Real Work That Media Does To Help You Grow

Our work as music media platform hosts and creators fulfills us in that we get to be a part of other people’s journeys, meet people we otherwise might not get to, get great stories from travels and experiences, and showcase great music to those who make us a part of their lives. But we’re not short on music, so if that’s all an artist has to offer they really aren’t offering much.

If you’ve done this, it’s ok. Many people have. But here’s what the 5% of indie, unsigned, and DIY artists who are successful at getting radio play do. Yes, I did say 5%. It may actually be less than that, which is to say that the majority of people are doing radio submission in a way that doesn’t benefit them. Don’t follow the common path. Be uncommon. Here’s what you can do to make a big difference in radio and media contacts taking notice of your music.

It is an honor to get featured on someone else’s platform. I say that not as a radio host, but as a creator. When other media entities contact me for collaboration or to do a feature piece on something I’ve done, it’s something I’m very thankful for because no one is required to pay attention to anything I’ve done. When I meet and talk with artists who have a similar attitude, I connect with them right away and want to showcase their work to the world. Most of the time, that work is pretty amazing by itself. But that humility makes it go so much further.

Be about building bridges, making connections and helping someone else grow. That’s what you’re wanting and asking for when you put your music in front of a radio outlet, isn’t it?

This is the start of a new way of doing music submissions. It’s really about building a relationship with a curator that leads to much more than a review or a song played. It’s leads to connection that gives you win after win after win.

Learn more about how to make this method work for you. Click here.

Best Practices For Musicians And Social Media

Social media is a resource now used by more industries, companies, businesses, and individuals to market themselves than any other medium. There’s hardly anywhere you can go where you don’t see a Twitter or Facebook icon, and that’s just the half of it. The influx of social media marketing (and the continued rise in people doing it) leads to a lot of messaging taking place.

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What do all musicians want? A larger following. Social media provides a way to make that happen. However, there are some very common ways that most musicians (especially DIY and indie acts) misuse the platforms. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your Twitter, Facebook, and other social endeavors, as well as a few common mistakes people make that short-change their efforts.

 

1. Have a web presence that is monitored regularly and updated.

This seems obvious but there are a lot of artists who have social media channels that they use often but haven’t updated their website or homepage in a long time. On Twitter, they’re sending folks to their Soundcloud or Bandcamp page for their latest song release, but the link to their homepage (accessed from their profile) is very outdated. The Artist/Band homepage has no mention of music from the past 3 years, contains only old graphics or pics, and lists a tour schedule from 2012.

There are several basic web platforms that offer hosting and domain registration for no cost (and some for a nominal cost) which can be built and managed by you with little time commitment. Keep your site current because potential fans are looking for how legitimate you are, versus just having a Twitter handle and a Bandcamp site.

If you haven’t reached the point yet where you have a domain name or website, don’t worry. But if you have a main homepage listed on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, (etc) profile, make sure it’s up to date.

15338308235_014a57c693_z2. Have an actual of relationship with those you tag on Social Media

Have you ever had someone tag you on Twitter to listen to their song, but you have no idea who they are? Welcome to my world, and the world of many of my colleagues in both radio, online media and in music labels/artist reps.

We get solicitations from every channel possible, but being tagged on social media by folks we don’t know is becoming a constant issue. It’s something we’re not keen on responding to, let alone following the link to the track or music. Tag folks you know, and tag folks you want to get to know. Use that to start conversations or make a reply to an ongoing conversation. This is a great way to build new connections and relationships.

However, when you don’t know someone and you tag them for the sole purpose of listening to your music (or just clicking on your link for site views), you lose a potential supporter and promoter. In essence, promotion is what anyone in media and label/management does. We talk about artists because we’re passionate about you and what you do. If you want to be someone who gets promoted by passionate people (in our realm of media or management or otherwise), have some social tact and connect with us first, before soliciting us to “check out” your stuff.

Follow as many people as you want/can to get reciprocated likes and follows. Do what you need to in order to build your followers and grow your brand. But me mindful of how you tag other people, especially folks you don’t know or don’t know well.

 

3. Be Inclusive Not Exclusive

The best way for you to build your fan-base and followers is to include your fans in your messages, pics, and content. The bands I have the strongest connection with that are also the most successful do this very well. After a concert or gig, post something online from the gig making mention of the folks you met and people you connected with. People love being included in content, especially when the posts come from the artist they just saw. Pics work well here too, but make sure you have people’s permission before you put a pic of them online. Most folks don’t have a problem with this but every now and then…….

There are a lot of artists and musicians who travel town to town, play a show and then instantly start talking on social media about the next place they’re off to. They don’t mention the great experience that they just had. All it seems that they want is someone in the next town to go to their next show. This doesn’t build connection or following as well as spending a little time in the moment with the people who just gave you their time, money and excitement.

If you want to see good examples of how to be inclusive, check out the Facebook stuff from my friend Kelley McRae. She and her husband Matt have spent the better part of the last 5 years on the road, building a following of very passionate people.

 

These are just a few examples of what works and what doesn’t with social media and social marketing. Your end goal is to increase the number of people who not only hear your music, but like it. Subsequently you want them to like you too. Not doing these social marketing no-nos as a musician will really help you build your brand, grow your fans, and be more successful in what you do.