You know that you make great music, you love writing and recording, and you really want people to hear your music because you know they’ll love it. Does this sound anything like you?
The fact is, this is the reality for many artists.
You don’t know how many times I’ve heard an artist say, “I make good music, but no one supports me.” Meanwhile, they are surrounded by all the wrong people, and they don’t know the first thing about networking and really getting out of their circle and comfort zone. But I understand; most artists and “creatives” are non-social introverts that enjoy creating music and locking themselves in the studio. That’s all good and well on the creative side, but what happens when the music is done being recorded? Once you have a product, you have to get it out there.
The truth is, when you start to take your career seriously, your circle will begin to change. If you want to reach new people, you have to go out there and meet new people. Promoting online is great, but it will only take you so far. You need to make real connections with your fans. The days when artists were magically discovered and put on are long gone. Even celebs are now realizing that they had better start building more personal relationships with their fans. Take J Cole for instance; he actually made house deliveries of his last album. Meanwhile, indie artists are having a hard time grasping this concept.
Wendy Day once said, “Look at a map, make a circle around a 5 mile radius of your city. Make it a point to go to these places.”
If you’re lucky enough to live in (or near) an active musical city, then it should be no problem finding events and like-minded people to mingle with.
If you don’t happen to live in a highly active area, you can also use this to your benefit. As a matter of fact, that means you’ll have less ground to cover, and may be able to make a bigger impact since you’re in a less crowded place.
You have to look for opportunities everywhere! A closed mouth won’t get fed.
So how do you avoid that awkward, “Hey can you check out my music?” convo?
First you have to remember this fact, if there’s one thing that you take from this article, let it be this:
PEOPLE WANT TO DISCOVER YOU ON THEIR OWN.
You just have to get your music where they can see it.
Also, making a genuine connection is better than getting one listen to your song.
It doesn’t matter how many times you send someone a message or email and ask them to check out your music, it’s when they find you on their friends’ playlists or see your video posted to their favorite blog that they’ll actually give you the time of day. Timing is everything. People do not want you to throw your music in their face, so you’ll have to find another game plan. The one that works best is to be yourself and make genuine connections. Be interested in others. Get to know them and let them discover you on their own. When people like YOU, for who you are, and they follow you on social media and you have genuine conversations with them, when you put up a status with your new music video, they’ll be happy to check it out. Why? Because they are already a fan of YOU, so of course they’ll check out your music.
“So you mean you want me to talk to strangers?” YES. It’s not weird. It’s expected, and can be lots of fun.
When you perform at an event, get there early and talk to people. Also, stay after your performance and continue to mingle and ask for opinions and get as much contact info as possible.
If you’re just out at a random event in your town, make sure to ask who handles promotion and booking for the venue. Maybe even do a quick Google search to see if you can find the name.
Support other artists in your area. Go to their shows. Talk to them. See about doing a collaboration.
If you’re on a college campus, put posters up all around campus. Find out who coordinates events, go talk to them, and find out who handles booking artists. Go to the college radio station and talk to everyone there. Find out how to get your music played. Go to a ton of school events, toss your single off to the DJ. Show your face, meet new people, and stay in contact with them.
We live in such a digital world that we rely so much on social media and Google that we shy away from making genuine human interactions. But the artists that can grasp both the digital world and make connections in person, are the ones winning.
Still having trouble? Feel free to contact me directly at Brianna@exclusivepublic.com