Hello and welcome to the final regular content day of the work week. You may been too busy to notice this, but today also happens to be the final day of July, which was one of our busiest months to date. We’re thankful for all you’ve given us the ability to accomplish, and we’ve decided to say goodbye the hottest month of the year with a double set of guest posts from one our of favorite online music writers.
This blog exists to promote the future of the music industry, and to do that we need input from people like you and your music-loving friends. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
One of the most common questions I am asked by people is how an artist can attract a manager, or, how to best pitch a manager that they are interested in working with.
Much like everything in this business there isn’t one simple answer and everyone’s process is different but here a few things I appreciate and a process that can be employed to connect with a manager (or any other music business professional).
1. Have great music. No one is interested in representing something they don’t LOVE. Find your sound and hone it, make it stand out. Everyone I know in the music industry gets pitches every week (if not every day), if you want to make an impression the music has to stand out.
2. Connect on social media. I tweet a lot. So do many other people in the music industry. Join in discussions, be friendly. You don’t need to push anything, the goal is just to get on people’s radar. But remember, as soon as you get people paying attention to your social media…they are paying attention to your social media.
3. Create some videos. The reality is, when most people decide to check out a band, their first move is to head over YouTube. Watching a video can tell me more about a band in 30 seconds than 30 min of searching text. You get the image, the sound, the feel and even see play count & engagement all in one place. It’s always worth having quality video content.
4. Send an initial e-mail. Include your story (short version), a few links to music (not attachments), and why you would be interested in working with the person you are pitching to. As our good friend Steve Rennie always says “If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get”!
One Extra note: Make sure you actually specify what you are looking for; emails that tell a story but don’t have a clear pitch get deleted every time.
5. Pick up the phone. Some people may disagree with me on this but, I don’t think there is anything wrong with placing a call. Ask if they got your e-mail; sell the story with a little more passion than the cold e-mail allows. Try to make a more personal connection.
6. Keep working, make a good name for yourself. Remember, at this point hopefully you have people paying attention to what you are up to. Promoters are always talking to agents, agents are talking to labels, labels are talking to managers and every other combination. Work hard, word will spread.
7. Send occasional notes. E-mail is great for this! When you drop a new single or video reach out! Pop in an another e-mail to the people you have talked with in the past. If you get a placement, send something friendly updating them on the project. Success breeds success and if you stay persistent you never know when the timing will make sense.
Remember there is no formula for this (hopefully these tips help), primarily you need build relationships and make “the ask” when the time is right! For that matter, if you build relationships well, and do impressive work, you may end up being on the other side of that ask!
BONUS TIP: If the manager (or any one in this industry) says “No” it means “Not right now”. Still take the time to say thank you. Still build the relationship. Still send occasional updates. Whatever you do, don’t just disappear when things don’t work out immediately.
This post was written by Andrew Jones, editor of Checkered Owl. It originally ran on his blog, but we loved it so much we felt it deserved to shared once more on ours. If you like his work and want to read more of his writing, or if you want to be super cool and offer him full time industry employment, reach out and connect with him on Twitter.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.