THE ARTIST:  Anonymous

THE QUESTION:  Hi Grassrootsy, Earlier this month I released my debut song and sent out emails to hundreds of bloggers and people who openly accept artist submissions.  I got a lot of positive feedback, and some smaller bloggers put my song up, but I seemed to hit a glass ceiling when it came to the bigger blogs and I’m not sure why.  Many times I received feedback that someone really liked the song, but it didn’t quite fit their channel/format. In some cases I think that I’m facing somewhat of a ‘bottom of the well’ phenomenon where the reason certain people are reluctant to endorse it is because they don’t see people they know endorsing it. One person who did not like the song specifically said  they did not like the accompanying artwork.  I want my next release to get more exposure and perhaps you can help me figure out how I can improve or approach what I am doing differently (not musically, I mean promotion), or perhaps you think I’m doing good and I just need to persist and have grit.  I’m just curious what you think.

THE ANSWER:  Thanks for your email. You’ve posed a great questions and I’m sure its probably something other readers have struggled with time and again. It seems to me like the question you’re asking is: “How do I get write-ups when nobody knows who I am?”   Well I’d like to pose 4 different answers to your question.

PITCH

How is your pitch? Is your email readable, short, to the point, and professional?  Many artists sabotage potential publicity because they don’t know how to pitch themselves. An email like “Hi My name is  Music Maker and this is a song I wrote called ‘Birds’…’” might go over well for a 22-yr old girl who runs her blog out of her bedroom; but it’s not gonna fly for a 10-person staffed blog that has 100k followers on Facebook and another 10k Twitter followers.

You can’t treat every pitch the same. Every recipient is different and you need to write a professional pitch when you’re talking to the big guys. Remember: they get 100+ pitches every day from people just like you. Read  3 Ways To Send a Bad Pitch Letter and Booking: Writing the Perfect Email Pitch.

PRESENTATION

Don’t expect bigger blogs to post your song when you don’t even have a website (Read 10 Reasons Why You Need A Website). Or maybe you have a website but it doesn’t look professional. Or maybe you only have 100 Facebook followers and the blog doesn’t feel like you have enough clout. I know this sounds harsh, but you’ve got alot of competition out there, so you absolutely have to put your best foot forward. You just have to.

PUBLICIST

If you’re in a place where you feel like you’ve got alot of clout and quality material that’s marketable, it might be worth hiring a publicist for a 3-month period. A publicist (a good one) has relationships that she’s built with bloggers, music reviewers, and publications. You’re essentially paying for those relationships. He/she already knows who to contact, when to contact them, and what to say.  She’ll be able to get you in front of the people who aren’t even opening your emails.  Read Who Do You Need the Most: Publicist, Booking Agent, Manager?

PERSISTENCE

Truth be told, everything takes time.  A blogger might not respond to your email the first time, but they might respond the second. In some cases they might never respond. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. But like we said above, you greatly increase the likelihood of a response when you strive for a professional pitch, presentation, and publicist.  If you want to make the most of your persistence, simple pick a handful of bloggers to pursue instead of mass-emailing hundreds. Pick from blogs that you know cover your genre of music – blogs that cater to your target audience. You’ll be contacting fewer people, but your success rate will be higher.

and one more thing…

Read the submission guidelines. PLEASE! Many blogs…especially the bigger ones have a page devoted specifically to guidelines for submitting music. Do yourself a favor and find these guidelines on each blog. The best way to get on a music reviewer’s nerves is doing the exact thing they asked you not to do. Of course you probably didn’t know you were breaking the rules because you never cared enough to read them.
That’s all we got for you! Hope this helps. And good luck!
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