Tag Archives: music submission

Warning Signs You May Be Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Photo Credit: Bailey Weaver

Photo Credit: Bailey Weaver

Sometimes the best way to see problems with yourself is to watch someone else act exactly like you do.

The behaviors of other people doing just what you do should cause you to pause, reflect, and go “Don’t I do the exact same thing? Oh, that’s gotta change!”

I say this because I’m guilty of doing some of the things that bother me the most about other people.

Taking yourself too seriously is certainly one of my flaws, one that I’ve spent the better part of the past 2 years trying to correct. I used to be really bad. Now it’s a less-frequent problem.

Here’s how I know I’m taking myself too seriously, and the problems it’s caused me in connecting with new people

I’ve been working in radio for a long time. I’ve been making a radio show in the same town for over a decade. That can lead you to assume that just about everyone knows about what I do. Not true, yet I used to think that if someone didn’t know what I did they must have been on another planet.

This is the "Angry Rooster Face" dubbed by Mrs. Smith

This is the “Angry Rooster Face”

I used to get offended if someone who claimed to listen to the radio station I worked for hadn’t heard of The Appetizer Radio Show. Or, even worse, if someone asked about the food that I talked about on the show.

I make this face when I’m confused (see left) that someone dear to me calls my “angry rooster face.”

That’s the face I used to make if someone made a comment about my radio show and said something about me talking about food. “I thought you said you listened to my show? I’ve never done anything about food specifically. What are you talking about???” would be the thoughts going in my head, but I would not say such things.

Yet you wouldn’t have to struggle to see those thoughts on my face. This face and this look don’t hide too much.

Either way, my attitude was that of an asshole. I took myself way too seriously and potentially offended good-hearted people who might have otherwise actually given the show a listen.

I assumed that since I was so passionate about my work, everyone who asked me about it must be too. I assumed that if someone showed the slightest bit of interest in my work, then they should know all about it and not need me to explain to them why it is important.

You know what they say about what happens when you assume? Except I’m just the one who was the ass.

Seeing the other side of the serious-taking-issue has revealed a lot of the negative side effects that this attitude can have. It’s also the exact opposite of grace and humility.

There is a good chance that you haven’t read my About page, or looked up the articles I’ve written for Sonicbids, CMuse, or other sites, or heard all the episodes on the DIY Artist Route Podcast. That’s ok.

Do I want you to experience these things? Yes, of course. Is it a prerequisite for us to connect? Absolutely not.

I’m saying all of this because it’s important for us to put our contributions and our stories into perspective. This is especially true as we’re trying to reach new people we don’t know with our work.

I’m not the only music curator discovering excellent talent. I’m not the only radio host who has been showcasing indie and unsigned music for years and years.

Several great music radio icons preceded the work I do. The same is true for artists and businesses.

You have a passion for your songwriting and the mission behind your music. However, there are other very passionate, talented, and inspirational songwriters who are changing the world.

Keep that in perspective. It’s great that you’re not alone.

What is it about your work specifically that is remarkable?

What completely unique and uncommon thing makes you stand out from others who are doing similar work?

These are the pieces of your communication that need to come out with new people who are being introduced to your work.

Where I see Too-Serious play out the most

Music submissions are the prime place where I experience my old behaviors play out, and it’s mostly in a digital format. Not every artist who submits music gets accepted.

This is true on every media platform.

When an artist sends an email to me that is full of links to videos or songs, I don’t always follow all of the links. I honestly don’t always spend 15-30 minutes diving into a band’s music, especially not when the sender is a person I’ve never interacted with before. Remember strangers and gold?

I may not read all of the sender’s bio either. And when I reply and ask specific questions to get the artist to tell me more about what makes them unique (or essentially sell me on why their music is attention-worthy), some musicians take that as an affront to their music. However, that’s not the case.

The reality is that I don’t know the artist (yet), and the first impression they’ve left is that they take themselves too seriously. That someone who wants them to tell their story makes them upset.

It’s an artist giving me their own angry rooster face, and expecting the interest to be natural and inherent.

I hope this isn’t the response that other music curators are receiving when they interact and don’t instantly jump into any musician’s work, particularly yours. It may produce worse results.

Here’s the Takeaway to save face and big connection potential

Most new people won’t know your backstory, and they may not give you the attention you seek at first. Instead of taking yourself so seriously and getting offended at what a stranger doesn’t give you right away, nurture the first spark of that interest.

Build a dialogue. Approach the potential connection with grace and kindness. So many good things come out of a change in perspective and a better attitude.

That’s the win that comes out of this reflection. When we see ourselves in other people’s behaviors we want to see happiness and joy, and not something that leads to looking like the backside of a donkey.

Donkeys don’t win beauty pageants, even social ones.

Grace and respect in meeting new people, and learning how to approach strangers in a way that builds their interest while also getting you what you seek is the subject of my debut book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook.

Unhook Yourself From The Ego-Machine And Experience Real Growth & Transformation

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How To Submit Music To Radio That Gains Airplay

Radio Submissions That Get Airplay And Grow Your Fan Base

Music Submissions. They’re available everywhere but getting a station or program to play your music isn’t a walk in the park. Here’s how to know what to submit, what to leave out, and how to make your submission the most effective it can be.

Brody-CDDayAs you can see, we received a nice group of CDs in the mail for music submissions to The Appetizer Radio Show.

I brought this group home so I could get an early listen before I hand some of them off to my writing team for potential review.

My cat Brody was so into the new discs, he decided to show one set a little love like only a cat can.

With such an interesting collection of submissions, there were a few standouts I can detect just from the way the mailer was done, before I’ve even cracked the disc open and popped it into my player.

Also, there was at least one artist who sent something in that doesn’t reflect well for them (him, her, or group) in terms of getting any airplay or review feature. Because of these impressions, I want to share with you some very poignant lessons on what you absolutely must do when you send out CDs for submissions, and also what you should completely avoid.

Following both of these lists, I have some more ways you can benefit from CD mailers and radio airplay.

First thing to remember is that your music submission is a reflection of you as an artist and as a person. Make sure you represent yourself well.

How To Know What To Send For Radio Submission

Here’s one of the biggest pieces of advice I could ever give you: ask what to send before you send it to radio stations, music blogs, or other submission media.

Actually I’ll take it a step further. If you contact a radio station or program and ask just two questions instead of talking about how great your band is, you’re going to get a lot further a lot faster than 99% of unsigned and DIY artists.

What are those two questions?

The first question to ask is: Do you prefer submissions via email, link to music site, or hard copy discs?

The second question is: What would you like me to include in the submission (press kit, one-sheet, other)?

Here’s why these two questions are so important: You’re showing a station or music platform that you care about their preferences for submissions.

This alone can endear you to a decision-maker because you’re asking “How can I give you something exactly the way you want to receive it?” The response from this kind of messaging is usually much better than the music submission emails those of us in the radio/music industry get.

What Should You Include In Your CD Submissions

When you hear back from a station or music program that they want you to mail them a CD, there are a few other things to include in that mailing.

As I mentioned earlier, you need to include at least a 1-sheet for your band. The document should include some information about you, who you sound like, what people are saying about you (a mix of reviews and comments from fans works well), and contact information. If anything, provide a way for the radio platform to contact you.

You can also include a note to the station or to the radio contact who made the email response to you, that can be helpful in putting your name back on the radar with that individual, which can serve to endear you to them even more.

Make sure that your CD is in a protective case and that you have it professionally pressed. Sorry guys, when we (collectively speaking for the radio industry as well as for my radio platform) receive a CD that has a band name written in Sharpee on it, we’re not impressed. Actually that little element alone could keep your music from even getting auditioned. Here’s why:

Everything you do is a reflection of your art and your craft. This includes the CD mailing you make. Even if you’ve exchanged a few email or social media messages with a radio platform, you still need to present yourself in the most professional way you can. If you haven’t done a professionally mixed and pressed CD set, radio airplay might not be the thing for you to do yet.

If you’re not selling hard copy discs at your shows or marketing a hard copy pressing of your music in some capacity, radio airplay won’t serve the best outcomes for your music. Yes, you may get a few spins here and there on a few stations.

However, the end result you want from radio airplay is increased fan/audience growth and music purchases.

What Not To Do With A CD Mailer For Submission

If you want to get your music considered for radio airplay, don’t just mail in the CD disc only, with no protective case. It would be one thing if the CD had a printing on it so that anyone could tell who the disc was from.

That might help a little, but not much. When you only mail a disc with no case, you’re telling the music/radio platform that you are just going through the motions because you have to, and that you really don’t care about your own product. Make sure the discs are protected from scratches, cracks or potentially breaking (we all have had bad experiences with bubble-wrapped envelopes not doing their job).

Get Airplay, Audience Growth, Music Industry Networking & More

Radio airplay is an essential piece to growing your audience, selling more music and playing better concerts and venues.

Radio airplay is essential even in the age of streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.

Email submissions of music often fail to get read, songs heard and get responded to. You can discover how to stand apart from every other artist and music promotion company by submitting music the right way.

You can know the first steps you need to take to get yourself ready for radio airplay. You’ll also be able to walk through the right process of getting radio airplay.

As you can see, not all artists are getting airplay, or getting the featured articles and blog posts written about their work that they seek (and that they need for growth). There is the way that 99% of artists do things and there is the way that 1% of artists do things. Which one do you think is the most successful?

Do you know what the 1% of successful musicians do that works. Since this is such a mystery to so many DIY musicians, I created an online course that shows you exactly what steps to take to make airplay, reviews, interviews and media features a reality for you.

Become one of the 1% of artists to get radio and media feature. Nowhere else will you get this kind of information, training, promotion system and strategy.

Jump into the Indie Radio Promotion Course now!




How To Get A Response From Your Radio Submission

Radio Mic Old FashionedYou’ve sent your music submissions out to radio in the hopes that your music will get picked up and carried on radio stations, music programs and other media. Now what?

The NEXT STEP is something a lot of artists don’t do. Honestly, the next step is the best part of the submission process. It shows you how well you do at making first impressions.

Your submission to radio for airplay look just like every artist and label’s blanket pith.

OR it can be crafted in a way that makes you stand out from every other artist who is trying to get their music heard. When you do craft the submission right, you’re in the gold.

Getting a response from stations and programs happens through submissions and pitches. Most music curators have very little time for phone calls, especially to people we don’t know on a first name basis.

Whether you’re contacting radio for airplay, review or interview this principle is true.

Make it a habit to check your email at least once a day after you start your radio submissions. Here’s why:

When a media professional responds to you, you need to make sure any questions they ask in their reply are answered quickly. If they want more information, the longer you take to write back the more you are flirting with a common human characteristic: forgetfulness.

It’s true, we’re human too and with the influx of media that radio music managers deal with on an hourly basis (let alone daily) is massive. If you take 1-2 weeks to respond to a reply that was sent to you about your submission, it becomes harder to make the connection that you wanted to make, and in turn get the airplay or feature you were hoping for.

You’re in the relationship building business, even if music is at the heart and soul of your offering. The truth is that the better you get at networking and building relationship connections, the greater your audience will be and the more radio/media support you’ll have to back it up.

Get The Help You Need With Better Music Submissions

Do you want to know the first, second, and next steps to take to not only get your music on the radio, but build relationships with radio station managers, radio program hosts, music bloggers, and other media professionals? I’d love to show you the practical and connection-building techniques I’ve used for years to do just that. I have answers to help you do all of this and more here.

Have you sent submissions out to radio and not heard anything back? There could be a reason for that too. Let me help you get your messaging right so you can have the airplay and feature you’re looking for. Click here to connect directly with me.