If you make your own music and want to get it in front of professional artists and publishers, you will need to become effective at pitching. Like a good salesman, you not only need the right attitude, you also require suitable tools to give you a good chance of success.
To begin with, you need to have high quality demos to pitch with. That means using a professional music recording studio, so that your song has the industry-quality that serious artists and publishers are listening for. The level of competition you have to put up with is already way too high for you to be stepping out with substandard material. Not only that, you will need to develop the right relationships over time to get you behind doors and in front of the people who might be interested in hearing what you have to offer.
Once you have some quality songs under your belt, you can start thinking about pitching. Here are four tools that you can use to pitch your songs online.
1. Google Drive and Dropbox
So these are two different tools, but they do primarily the same thing. For starters, they allow you to easily share music files with anyone as long as you have their email address (and have gotten permission to share your music and other files with them). They also make it easier to share large files. This is important because even if your email provider allows you to send files up to a certain size, the service being used by your recipient may not. Google Drive and Dropbox solve this problem.
In addition, you can easily share a variety of files, including your songs, artwork, lyric sheets, legal documents, etc., and organize everything using folders. Plus, the recipient doesn’t always need to download a file if they don’t want to, they can listen online as long as the file type is supported by Dropbox or Google Drive. This helps them to preserve hard drive space.
Another desirable feature of using Google Drive or Dropbox for file sharing when pitching your songs is that you can collaborate live with anyone who has access to the file or folder you want to share. Finally, once you have music files stored on either service, you can easily share with, or restrict access to, anyone at any time.
It’s common to put your published songs up on SoundCloud and invite friends to listen and share them. However, the platform also makes it easy for you to pitch to anyone who you think might be interested in publishing songs that are not yet public. You can set the status of the song to private and then send that private link to people through various services, from traditional email, to inbox messages and posts on their social media profiles. Furthermore, SoundCloud makes it possible for listeners to check out your song without having to download the file to their local machines.
Although this article is about pitching, you can also use SoundCloud to draw attention to you (so that people are pitching you instead), by uploading a high quality song and sharing it with your friends. A number of breakout artists got started this way, including Kehlani, who received a call from Nick Cannon after he heard her song “Antisummerluv” on SoundCloud. He invited her to a music recording studio in L.A. and the rest is history.
3. Building a Website
It is highly important for professional song lyricists to have a website made, especially if they are serious about getting their music out to the right people and have a chance of getting deals. To protect your work, create a members-only platform that only allows people with approved access to listen to your songs. This is also a good way to add an air of exclusivity, which may generate more interest in your work. Also, having your songs on a private portal on your website allows you to add branding touches as you go along, plus you can also link to SoundCloud if you don’t want to upload the songs directly to your website.
4. Good Old Email
Yup, email has long been one of the most popular pitching tools online and many song lyricists and musicians are still using it today. The key to sending your demos for consideration is to always get permission first. This means going out, meeting people, and trying to build a few relationships first. Sure, it also means that you might get snubbed half of the time, but this is something you have to expect until more people become aware of who you are and what you are about.
Plus, it is just plain unprofessional to email your music to someone you’ve never exchanged words with before. At the very least, send a query email first to introduce yourself and find out if it’s okay for you to send a link to your song on SoundCloud or an MP3 attachment.
When pitching a song via email, make sure to give your email a clear subject line. Also, keep it brief and ensure you maintain a professional tone throughout. Most music professionals are not only very busy, but receive a ton of submissions from other people.
Pitching your music to the right people in the music industry can be quite tiring and time-consuming. Increasingly, more and more indie artists are making use of online tools to pitch their music to prospects. While these don’t guarantee success or take away from the need to meet with people face to face, they do provide another avenue for getting heard. Luckily, you can use these tools to make the process just a bit more bearable.