Analyzing an Indie Artist's Goal

If your objective as a musician is to grow fans, what is your strategy? It's a deep thought when given consideration. As an indie artist who produces awesome music, how do you increase awareness of your awesomeness?

Playing gigs, downloads, having people visit your web site and radio airplay are all part of the answer - and a book could be written about each! Here, we focus on one: getting on a radio station.
Music distribution today, with its commodity-style display of artists and songs, resembles a car lot.

I believe airplay should not be the goal. It is a reward for your getting the radio station owner's attention.

Convincing the person who creates a radio playlist to take time and listen to your music is the most important part of an artist's action.

When discussing FM/AM radio it's common knowledge few broadcast stations give local acts exposure, defined as a number of spins high enough to matter. College radio is there but listener numbers are shrinking, with some stations closing. The internet's thousands of radio stations are problematic with much work and few in audience at each station. (iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud, etc., are excluded in this discussion.)

Many internet radio station owners are searching for artists. That brings two hurdles: 1) the time required to find these stations; 2) contact, and distributing your song.

The old system has changed, yet I still receive communications from bands like this.

"I've realesed my first album with ******** -my band- last week. We recorded, produced and did all the work alone, so now we want our music to be heard! Please feel free to listen to us in here: https://**************"

"Recently i have beeb getting alot of fan response from the UK as well as various place around the world. I have a free mixtape releasing next month and im looking for more exposure and a radio platform in the UK. Thanks for listening if you want to check out more of my music ****.com/***** thanks for your time"

"We are heavy metal band ******** from ********** and we would like introduce our music in your radio. If you are willing to spend three minutes of your life on us, have a look at our music video:"

"Its available for fans or for radio play (feel free to post this on your social media pages if youd like)."

These are verbatim quotes, grammatical error left in. They are among hundreds of requests showing an equal degree of blandness with unprofessional style. (None got my attention.)

What gets attention? There are no wise words or magic bullet, which is where analyzing comes in. Remove your emotion when corresponding. The wise radio programmer knows great music comes from passion. Your communique needs reason within brevity: "I have listened to your station. My song reflects the style I hear." Let the person know you care enough finding out about them.

To wrap - with emphasis - never send a song attached to your email; this takes time to download. Send a link instead, which makes it easier to hear. With a bit of coding a link also gives you - the artist - a way of knowing whether your contact took the time to listen.

You're a good musician who needs to become a great communicator.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015      eMail to a Friend

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