Tag Archives: media outlets

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.

How I Learned The Next Step To Take

Photo Credit: MoDOT Photos

Photo Credit: MoDOT Photos

Honestly one thing I’ve struggled with for a long time is admitting my mistakes. The fear is that if I show chinks in my armor, I’ll be less appealing and less trusted by the people I want to help. But the truth is, without revealing my errors and mistakes I let you down and don’t allow for real connection to take place.

Since I’ve not done this much in the past, or in our previous interactions, I apologize. I want to serve you in the best way I can, so that you can have the success with your music and projects that you dream of.

One thing that has kept me from moving forward with some of the work I’ve done over the last year is not knowing which direction to go, what steps to take, or if I made a decision about one thing and it didn’t work, I would have wasted time, energy, emotion and money on a dead end.

Do you ever feel that way?

That fear kept me stuck for several months. Two years I left one job I’d been at for over a decade and started doing something completely different. A year later that new job transitioned into something different, and I couldn’t stay on as I had originally planned. I found myself in an unknown space, with the future not looking so certain as I had planned.

Continuing to work on The Appetizer Radio Show and doing a some projects with a few emerging musicians kept me connected to music and media instead of leaving all of that past life behind. But I was honestly without direction on what to do with my experience and passion, where to go, and what to do.

I read a lot on a variety of subjects, especially small business growth, marketing, entrepreneurship, and leadership. One subject that became a constant thread in my reading was teachers and mentors. Several outlets stated that one of the best ways to weed through the noise, overcome obstacles and find pathways to reach your goals is to find a mentor or coach. So I started looking for one.

The difficulty in this search is that there are plenty of teachers and coaches for small businesses. There aren’t many coaches for people whose experience is in radio, media or indie music. I did find a few well-meaning individuals who weren’t really interested in taking on new people, and one who was willing to talk with me for 30 minutes about what I was looking for. But he wanted $120 for me to just talk with him for half an hour.

I couldn’t do that financially, so I moved on.

It took a while to find a coach who spoke my language, I connected with right away, and who shared a similar path and journey. After much searching, I did find that coach and mentor. We’ve been working together for about 10 months now and it has been more than worth the investment. Actually, working with my coach has paid for itself a few times over. Here’s why:

I know that I’d still be spinning my wheels, questioning my decision making and living with more frustration in the lack of results for my efforts if I hadn’t taken that next step and sought help from a coach and mentor.

color close upYes, I am a coach for musicians and entrepreneurs. But I don’t have all the pieces figured out in my own path, which is why I have a coach whom I trust, respect, and value. Working with him has helped me find the next steps in my journey. All of the great leaders and coaches in any field have others who are helping to guide them to their next win.

Your next step could be the result of a conversation with a potential mentor and coach.

You and I are both on journeys of finding growth and success with the work we do. You are passionate about your project, career and what you create. That passion carries forth in everything you do. It’s a part of your story.

If you’re like me and want to know how you can take the next step in your journey, then we should talk. Don’t worry, I don’t charge people anything to find out where you are and what you’re wanting to do. Let’s have an initial chat to see if I can be of service to you, or if there is someone else who can be a good match for you in my network. Contact me below for details or email me at dgrantsmith@gmail.com.

I look forward to connecting with and helping you grow.