Why am I not getting heard?
Well, it could be a number of things. Your track might make you the next Adele, or Taylor Swift but there are rules to be followed. It’s not set in stone (Badoom tish!) but here are the Ten Commandments of promo.
- Make a readable EPK!
Bloggers, DJs, podcasters, producers want the key facts, nothing where the info about the act is lost.
List the name of who’s involved.
What are the big achievements?
Socials. Don’t add dead links in the EPK.
Check for grammar. If English isn’t your first language that’s fine but at least give us the gist of what you want.
Make sure the song titles are written clearly and concisely, as in if there’s a remix list the name of the remix properly – Song title-artist-date-remix DON’T LEAVE IT BLANK.
- Don’t add people to subscription lists. It’s the quickest way to get blocked.
If I see an option to unsubscribe chances are I will unsubscribe. It’s impersonal, and you have to think of the sheer volume of emails someone’s likely to receive. If you research what the blogger actually listens to, and know their work, then they’re likely to respond to you. Some of the best relationships I’ve built have been with artists and PRs that have sent polite emails – Quite Great and Songbird are brilliant at this, as are artists like The Scribes. Pick your PRs carefully. If they’re representing you, make sure you check out what’s being sent before you okay it, it’s your calling card, and the wrong impression could offend the reader.
- Make sure you have a reasonable timescale.
Okay, you’ve recorded your ten track opus.
When’s it out?
What do you mean it’s out this weekend?Have you sent any tracks to DJs? Have you sent it to any reviewers?
Oh you did?
Okay, and when did you tell them it’s supposed to be released?
Indie DJs tend to compile their playlists over the course of a couple of weeks. If you wait that long you’ve missed the core of it. PRs will advise you that it’s best to have a plan and PRs worth their weight in gold will help you out with that, but if you can’t afford that, then make sure you have a plan and who you are going to mail it out to. Be clear about this, a track fresh out of the oven is fine and you want it heard but hot food with zero presentation skills does not make it taste good.
- Always say thankyou.
A shout out on social media is great. A nod and a quote in your bio is sweet.
A thankyou email goes a long way. Be polite.
- Get your documentation in order.
If you have collaborated with someone on your song, make sure you’ve registered with PRS/PPL or local equivalent. There’s nothing more annoying than having to chase this up later on, also distrokid will allow you to pay the results out to those involved, so make sure you get your splits done correctly. Because you don’t want to have a great promo campaign and someone says, why’s my name not on it?
- Apple Music/Spotify/Amazon Music for Artists are your bible as an artist.
Download these apps – do not hand control over to someone else, and fill out the necessary details. It will give you an idea as to how far your music is reaching.
- Do not leave your bio blank.
You can have ten followers. You can have 100. Hey your Instagram could be 10,000. But how do we know where you started? We could make it up. But that will never end well.
- Don’t buy streams.
No. Let me say that loud enough.
Don’t buy streams.
DO NOT. Don’t do it. I cannot stress this enough. It’s known as playola, coming from the term payola where companies would go into a station and pay for an artist to be played essentially a bribe. You can hype up your numbers but how is that helping you?
Doesn’t it seem a little dumb to pay thousands of pounds for gear and studio time only to pay someone to play your music to thin air?
Let that sink in for a minute.
- If you don’t get feedback, or don’t get a response, go back and do something different.
You may get knockbacks but that doesn’t mean the world hates you. Complaining about it doesn’t make it any better.
- Switch off those automated messages. People don’t like automated DMs, it’s annoying. Also if you copy and paste, chances are you’ll get shadow blocked, such is the nature of social media.