Are you Prepared… at a moments notice to promote your music and advance your career?
Hello there, this is Frankie, CEO and founder of StreetJelly. I had the privilege recently to listen to a number of original recordings submitted to us that we are passing along to a local indie radio station, WPVM The Voice, in Asheville, NC. We put the call out for submissions in an e-mail to StreetJelly artists last month. Literally within hours, we had tons of music to sift through. There is A LOT of talent on StreetJelly, and we received tons of great songs. But here is one overwhelming observation that became apparent. Not all, but many fired off an unprepared and somewhat unprofessional response.
Now, I’m not here to point fingers or single anyone out, but I want to raise the notion how prepared one should be when any opportunity comes knocking for your career (music or otherwise). Anytime in life when someone, some business, or even some alien offers a helping hand – make the most of that situation without becoming a burden to every one offering the helping hand!
In our invitation for original music to pass along to the radio station, we had a few specific requests. The main request was to send us up to three songs. Yet, we received numerous responses that came in the form of: “here’s a bunch of my stuff on xyz.com website. Pick whatever you like.”
It’s already tons of work for the StreetJelly staff to gather all these songs, listen to them, and package them off as a favor to another entity. Any extra time and effort just slows the entire process for everyone and will likely lead to your songs not being included.
I believe as a musician capable of writing wonderful original material, you should be prepared to showcase, market, feature, sell, and/or distribute your content to any and all entities that can further your career. Here are some pro-tips we’ve come up with:
- Have all your music ranked by you in order of importance and genre. If someone ask for your “3 best acoustic songs,” pick the three you already have ranked. If they ask for 7, or 10, or 13 – you have that list ready.
- NEVER ask someone else to pick and choose your music. At best, that’s an indirect way to try and get someone to listen to your entire catalog. But if whatever song the listener starts with does not match what they’re looking for, there is a good chance they will never listen to (or promote) any of your music.
- Have all your original music professionally recorded and mixed (can still be done by you if you have a quality home studio), ready in multiple file formats (.mp3, .wav, etc). MP3’s are the easiest way to send through e-mail as they are reasonable in size. Many e-mail systems limit attachment sizes (typically above 10megs) and will reject or fail e-mails with huge files (this generally applies to WAV or raw digital files). And WAV files are more true to the original recording, for when audio quality is of utmost importance.
- Have the same music available online to download from one of the major cloud share vendors; such as Dropbox or OneDrive.
- DO NOT send someone to an obscure website that forces you to create a login account, fight through tons of ads and questionable creepy popups, just to get to your music. (Yes, that happened to us. Horrible experience.)
- DO NOT send someone to a streaming site like Spotify, SoundCloud, or your own website with a streaming plugin to get your music. These sites are specifically made to stream and generally have no feature to download a quality un-compressed version.
- DO NOT send someone to iTunes, Amazon, etc. to purchase your songs so they can then turn around and help you promote your music. That’s just wrong.
- DO have your website, EPK, and online presence (Facebook fan page, etc.) ready to go at ALL TIMES. If any of these items are not ready – you are not ready to present yourself to the music industry. As soon as you ask someone to listen to your music, assume they will (or whomever they pass your music on to will) look you up on any and every website they can find. They will pass over your entry when it is incomplete.
I’m being a bit harsh, but I am nowhere near as tough as any music label or A&R will ever be. Lack of preparedness suggests that the musician does not take their music career seriously and may not be professional enough for the service or promotion it takes to launch a successful music career.
Damain on May 1, 2016 at 6:50 pm said:
Not harsh at all Frank. Just the reality of music business. All great points and most of all, a little common sense and common courtesy really do go a longs way. Keop the advice coming. I really enjoy the point of view and pointers. RevD
Damain on May 1, 2016 at 6:52 pm said:
Scrap my last comment, too many typo’s LOL . Not harsh at all Frank. Just the reality of music business. All great points and most of all, a little common sense and common courtesy really do go a long way. Keep the advice coming. I really enjoy the point of view and pointers. RevD
Danny Campo on May 2, 2016 at 11:47 am said:
Harsh? No way! In all honesty “Be Prepared” in itself is a priceless two word piece of advice. In fact “Am I prepared” is a question everyone should ask themselves before beginning any project, whether it be brain surgery, a home improvement project or a Street Jelly Gig.
Look, Murphy’s Law will from time to time inevitably raise it’s ugly head, but having your ducks in a row to the best of your ability will greatly reduce the opportunity for things to go wrong.
Heck I thought you were very kind not to throw in the works “lazy” and “rude”
Just my 2 Tokens!
NeilMac on May 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm said:
I actually had to go back to my sent mail to see what I did lol. Thankfully I didn’t do anything silly….. Good points though…. In our rush for notoriety, sometimes we forget to “tick all the boxes”.
John Hatanaka on July 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm said:
Totally not harsh and it’s good advice I do believe. ‘The way you do everything is the way you do anything” This has helped me a lot lately. Be a perfectionist I do believe and yet I put a link to my Band Camp haha.. yep still working on it!