As an up-and-coming musician, you may have no idea where to begin when it comes to how to market your music. Anyone who has been successful in creative endeavors can tell you it’s no longer enough to put out a quality product and wait for attention. Your audience has to hear about that product, and they have to hear about it from a trusted, established source. While this source can be someone they know and trust, it can also be professional writers and bloggers in the music industry.
Here are some tips for reaching that group:
Do your homework
Find out which outlets fit your niche, who the contact people are, and whether or not they accept submissions. Subscribe to those magazines, read those blogs, or follow those writers.
Send out copies of your music, press packets, and so forth. Tailor each submission to the recipient, too.
Check their submission guidelines… Twice
The press or person might require certain formats or pieces of information, or they might only communicate with managers and record labels. Don’t let a procedural mistake cost you this opportunity.
Focus on quality
Be sure that what you’re sending is as polished and professional as your budget allows, both in sound and appearance. If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, make sure your product reflects that.
Only send your product to appropriate people. Asking a magazine that focuses on heavy metal to review your jazz flute album probably won’t be an effective use of anyone’s time or money.
If you haven’t heard back within a couple weeks, a polite letter, email, or (perhaps most impressively) phone call or two is acceptable. However, do NOT let this turn into nagging or begging.
If the press does feature you, by all means, do a happy dance. Then, send a thank you note. Be sure to share the feature on your website and social media platforms. Even if you’re not featured, thank them for their time and ask if they know of anyone in the industry who may be interested.
If you’re not sure where to start, try the music blog scene. Read and interact with music blogs like Hypebot, Digital Music News, and Ditto Music. They might answer questions you didn’t know you had, or they could simply point you on to the next link.
Have you been featured? If so, where, and how did you make this happen?