Being able to promote yourself is an essential tool that every producer should try to master in order to grow as an artist and get their music out there as effectively as possible!
Whether it’s an email to a YouTube promoter, or a post in a producer group on Facebook, there are a number of fundamental errors that countless producers make every day and if you can avoid them then you are already well on your way to being an effective promoter. Here are my top 10 tips:
- Avoid mentioning your age when promoting yourself- it’s really not relevant to your music at all and actually puts a lot of people off if you are young as there is an epidemic of young producers at the moment- some of whom are incredibly talented, but a lot of which have been producing for a week and are spamming their tracks everywhere. Don’t give people a chance to doubt you before they’ve even started listening- leave your age out.
- Be confident, but be humble. Arrogance will not get you fans or respect from your peers. Just because you have a track on Beatport, does not mean you can look down on those who don’t. People are more reluctant to help you if you act as though you are automatically entitled to it. Be respectful and have faith in your tracks- as bad as arrogance is, under-confidence is also a problem as if you don’t sell yourself a bit, people won’t take any notice.
- Try to be professional and use correct grammar and spelling. People are much more likely to take the time to check out a well-written post than one that is full of slang and looks unprofessional. It seems like such an obvious thing to say but it really does make a big difference as a well-presented message/email will automatically make you seem like you are professional and worth listening to.
- The length of time you have been producing is irrelevant. You might want to include it because you think you are making awesome tracks considering you haven’t been producing very long- DON’T. It’s just more information that can count against you when people see the post or read your email. It will almost never create a positive impression. Let your music speak for itself.
- Avoid “leeching”. A leech is someone who is constantly posting their own tracks but whom never contributes anything back to others. Take a few minutes and check out other producers’ tracks, leave constructive feedback if you can and this will help you develop relationships with other people within the community. This is also very important as these producer friends can help you get exposure and also offer you interesting collaboration opportunities.
- Avoid “spamming”. Don’t just add loads of producers/promoters on Facebook, ignore them and then send them all a message with a link to your track when you release it. People don’t want to feel they are being “used”. When you add someone in the music scene, reach out to them personally, that way when you do need to send them your new track in the hope of getting promotion, they are more likely to react in a positive way rather than just feeling you are spamming them.
- Promoters are busy people, if you don’t hear back from them within 24 hours, don’t panic. Give them a few days to reply and then send a chasing email/message. Sending lots of messages in a short period of time will simply annoy them or make you seem immature/unprofessional. By all means send them another message if they don’t reply at first, because sometimes they do forget to reply or miss an email, but be patient about it- it’s not worth ruining your relationship with the promoter by forcing a response.
- When promoting, realise that you are bound to get some negative comments at some stage. You will gain nothing by reacting angrily to negative comments. Simply ignore or delete them- don’t start a flame war as even if it is justified, it will still reflect badly on you. Be prepared for constructive criticism too- if every producer agreed on everything, then music would get very boring, very quickly. Accept the advice from your peers- you don’t have to act on it, but you should accept it gracefully and consider trying out their suggestions.
- Try to personalise the message/email if possible so it doesn’t look like you have simply copied and pasted the same message to several people. Aim to mention the promoter by name so they know you have targeted them personally and they are not simply a part of a mass message. Again this is to avoid creating the impression that you are “using” them and shows you have actually put thought into the message.
- Finally, when promoting yourself on your facebook fan page, try and acknowledge your fans and show some personality- people are more likely to support someone they feel they can identify with or whom they feel they “know” than someone who keeps everything very “rigid” and only posts when they have a new track out.
Hopefully that will help you get the attention you are seeking without alienating you from your peers or promoters. Establishing and managing relationships is a very important part of getting further in the music community and these 10 tips should help ensure you get your music heard without creating a bad name for yourself!
Here are some other pearls of wisdom from some producer friends of mine:
“Take your time, put more effort in it, if you think you are good, you still have so much to learn, never be satisfied with your work.”
“Don’t just be a producer, be a business man. Learn everything it takes from music theory to exploring your surroundings to make connections. After all, becoming an artist is like being an entrepreneur and will take time and investment to thrive, but the outcome is a feeling unlike any other”
“Being a musician nowadays you have to be an entrepreneur too, you have to think of your music as a business. So if the music is the product, you have to spent as much time thinking about how it’s going to be given out and about how your releases will pan out in the future. Rather than finish 3 songs in a week and then give them all out, space them out, there’s no rush to put your music out”.
None Like Joshua
“Sounding like shit doesn’t make you rare. If it’s boring, conforming, then no one will care.”
“Don’t be afraid to show your personality! Focus on your art, work hard and know the business but don’t take it all too seriously and have fun along the way!”
Written & Edited by Raw Frequency