This article will touch on some general tips and “best practices” for producers and labels to follow when sending tracks to blogs, promoters, or podcasters.
HAVE A NEAT, COMPLETE BIO or PRESS KIT AVAILABLE
This not only looks very professional (meaning it will help you out stand out from the masses), it also helps the blogger whom you’re pitching to be able to present all of your artist or label’s essential information (latest news, releases/ release info, upcoming news, website/social links, etc)… This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the “prettiest” of forms if you’re just starting out – it can also just be text – but having this will help you stand out, look more professional, and also help make the blogger or promoter’s job easier when presenting you to their audience.
JUST AS IN “REAL LIFE,” MANNERS/POLITENESS CAN GO A LONG WAY!
Not only is it good/nice manners, but it will also show the other party that you appreciate the time/work they put in to help support you and your music (as well as increasing the chance that they will make further mentions of you ;). If someone does a nice write-up for you, follow them on social media, give them a like/share/re-post or re-tweet! (sharing is the “social currency” of [often extremely] lean music startups… 😉 )
ALWAYS USE THIS NAMING CONVENTION FOR PROMO MUSIC FILES:
Artist – Track Title [Label Name]
When people (such as myself at Electrofans) get sent many tracks from many different sources, opening a file entitled “Feel_Your_Love_House_Mix2.mp3” is umm, not exactly sufficient …. 😉
*Following this protocol consistently will make the promoter/influencer’s job easier, as well as increase the chance that you will get full credit/be credited properly in the influencer’s post or podcast (artist name, track name, label name). Realize also that the person may not necessarily be familiar with a particular artist’s name, your label name etc – especially if they haven’t worked with you before 😉
(IF POSSIBLE) HAVE A SMALLER, “EDIT” VERSION OF YOUR TRACK
Of somewhere between 2-4 minutes. Couple of reasons for this: 1) It may make it easier/better for a podcaster to fit it into their set, and 2) This will provide them with a ready-made track that can be used as a promotional sampler.
TRIM THOSE TRACKS!
PLEASE, make sure you don’t have any dead, extra silent space – either at the beginning (typically) or at the end (sometimes) of your mp3 or wav files… (just can save the person creating samplers/handling audio files when including in podcasts time and work). (*The exception I can think of for this though is if the producer actually INTENDED to start or end the track with a few seconds of silence, for whatever reason)
MAKE YOURSELF EASY TO FIND
If you have a legacy (pre-existing) account on social media, this may not be quite so easy of course, but such things as having an underscore, dots or other things in your username may result in it being harder to find you when a person is searching for you on social media. If you are, for example, creating a new account from scratch on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc, and the username you want is already taken, I would suggest using one with your name, plus maybe something like “official”. For example, when I originally set up the Instagram and Twitter accounts for Electrofans.com, the username “electrofans” had already been taken, SO, for Instagram, I went with “electrofansofficial,” and for Twitter, I chose “electrofansfeed”.
Just because a blogger/podcaster hasn’t decided to include your track in a mix THIS TIME, doesn’t mean that another track / artist from your label might not be included in a future set by them!
Personally, I can say that there have definitely been a fair number of times when the reason I decided not to include a track in a podcast for Electrofans was just simply that it may not have fit the general tone or format for that particular podcast. (So they may include your track in a later set, keep patient!)
REALIZE THAT WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
We are all in this crazy electronic music space, insanely busy going to extraordinary measures trying to achieve some level of success. So the more you can show that you respect peoples’ time, hard work, and efforts, the more it can only serve to come back to you with nice returns, as well to help build up the scene as a whole.
SEND SOMEONE A MESSAGE WITH NOTHING BUT A LINK TO A MIX OR RELEASE (with no other copy or information) :/.
When you contact a blogger or podcaster, include at least a little basic info on the release (artist name, your label name, release date, a buy link, some brief info on the artist, etc). Don’t just copy, paste, and mass-send…. But if you must (chances are, we’ve all done this, to some degree at one time or another), make sure you address the recipient by their first name with at least a little bit of info about your release in your message).
TAG SOMEONE IN A POST WHO HAS NO DIRECT (OR EVEN INDIRECT) INVOLVEMENT WITH YOUR RELEASE OR NEWS POST
Just to get their attention, or to get your post to appear on their page (not very good form, and the more people you extraneously tag in a post, the less personal it looks). BOTTOM LINE: Yes I know it takes time, but reaching out one-on-one directly is always the better option 🙂
DO THE “FOLLOW & FLAKE”
Meaning follow and then un-follow someone on social media, just to gain them as a follower (whether or not the person follows you back). First of all, personally, this just seems incredibly juvenile and something I really don’t quite understand/would never think of doing as a practice. Plus, if someone catches you doing that, you will really look like a “power-flake” lol… (BOTTOM LINE: NO… : – more on this in my next post on social media in general…)
USE A “CLONKY” PROMO SERVICE!
I’m not going to name specific ones that I feel are bad or good, but it does seem like, more and more lately, I’ve been seeing artists and labels using some pretty frustrating promo-delivery services. (It’s not exactly like this is a “deal-breaker,” but I feel it is really important to keep in mind how busy everyone is – particularly blogs or podcasters, who get pitched many tracks nearly every day – and show appreciation/respect for their time by using a smooth-operating promo system). If you are serious about your craft and developing your brand for your artists or music, it may definitely be worth investing a few bucks in a decent promo-delivery service 😉
OFFERING THE RECIPIENT A DIRECT/EASY DOWNLOAD OF YOUR TRACKS
And last of all, guess this one isn’t really a “do” or a “don’t,” maybe instead just a thought. Regarding requiring a recipient of your promos to make a comment before they can download your tracks, sure I understand why a label would do this (in theory), however, I’d be willing to bet that many promo recipients would prefer to be able to just download the tracks directly (rather than having to leave a comment/choose a favorite track before downloading). Actually I feel like, in a way, the comments you WOULD receive in that case (if you made the requirement of leaving comments/choosing a favorite track optional) might be more valuable. In other words, if someone left a comment in such a case, it would be because they were **really digging your track**, as opposed to just saying something like “great track, thanks!”
In closing, certainly these are just my opinions/preferences on a few best (or at least “better”) practices for people to follow when sending demos or bios to a blogger or influencer, but I will say that I have received many many promos and artist/label intro messages, and following these points, I feel, would make things easier for myself at Electrofans as well as other bloggers/press personnel when approached with requests for press coverage or inclusion in a podcast, and lead to a better, more productive, and positive working relationship :).
*A lot of the old adages still hold completely true, even in today’s age in 2020: “a little effort can go a long way…..”
Just my three cents…. :). Thank you for reading, and I welcome everybody’s comments!
SEE ALSO: JP Lantieri’s “Do’s and Dont’s when sending your track to a label”