I’m currently sat in the splitter van on day 3 of the Music Industry Conference tour. Each night there are different music industry speakers giving their time to help the musicians, like you, with their bands & careers. What is great about it is listening to the innovation being used by different areas of the music industry, in order to evolve and bring value in their field.
One area that is a huge problem is how you give your music to someone you think should hear it – be it radio DJs, managers, promoters, label managers or even other musicians. Each night I have been given a mixture of CDs, vinyls, cassettes, memory sticks and business cards with links to online media. These all hold music, but will they do the job? What is the best way to get someone you meet in person to pay attention to your music?
A big part of this is ‘consumption’. Some people value a physical product, while others value simplicity. While I don’t own a CD player, I appreciate great artwork that can go along with it. When someone handed me a cassette demo I was excited. Even though I have no way to play it, it was memorable and inspired me to look the band up on Spotify. This kind of statement is clever and memorable.
The job in hand is to get your music heard. To get heard, one innovative band called Pattern Pusher gave out a flyer (very recyclable), which utilised the Spotify camera allowing my phone to take me straight to their tracks.
When people have been inspired to want to listen to your music, be it via CD (which for me is very much the same as a T-shirt), they will take to your socials. On many occasions they will go to Youtube as audio isn’t enough and many bands aren’t on Spotify. I would urge you to take your Youtube channel seriously. It’s used by a huge population of the music industry due to the search engine facility.
What other creative ideas can you implement in order to give yourself the best chance of being listened to? If you are set on giving out a physical products then maximise the real estate by adding your links, bio and call to action or offers on the front.
A great song name can also inspire a listen. A band last night had a song called ‘Jesus still owes me a fiver’ which interested me. Triggering that inquisitive side is a big help.
What would I do?
Personally, I am a fan of using the time spent with someone (no matter how brief) to use my elevator pitch to build a micro relationship and ask if I could send a link via socials / email, so that they can listen in their own time. This ‘etiquette of conversation & follow up’ means I’ll remember the band / musician as we have chatted and I’ll be prompted to listen to their music the next day, when things have calmed down and I’m in the right mind set.
The key to all of this is to try and make it as easy as possible and inspire the end user to want to play or find your music. As is usually the case – creativity is always the winner!
Failing that, if you are going to give me a CD, why not buy me a CD player to go with it… just a thought. N.B. for the trolls: this is a joke. I don’t want you to buy me a CD player… unless it’s a really good one!