Simple Rules for Submitting Your Music to a Blog/Sponsorship Competition
I spent a few years in concert booking and I currently host a sponsorship competition through FindMySong. I also preview music for our blog.
Every day I preview amazing music from driven artists like yourself, but most of these submissions are honestly awful. When you don’t put much effort into your online application, it reflects poorly on you as an artist, even if your music is top-class. After reviewing hundreds and hundreds of submissions, I’ve put together a short list of tips which will help your application rise to the top of the pile.
Links to your social media pages.
Make sure your links work
Sounds easy, right? Wrong (apparently). Every day I receive submissions with links to facebook pages, twitter accounts, personal websites, etc. that don’t lead to anything but an error page. Make sure your links work! The people who review your submissions are going to be extremely busy. I have to multi-task,to be able to get through all of the submissions we receive at FindMySong and still handle our marketing efforts. To speed up the process I typically press play and begin browsing. If your links don’t work, I typically stop the music and move on to the next submission.
Clean up your links
Keep your websites looking professional! The link to your facebook should consist of some variation of your band/artist name, not a random assortment of letters, numbers, and symbols. If your link is taking up 3 lines, it looks sloppy. You don’t have to be tech and social media savvy – you just have to appear that way! This article from Sonicbids does a great job of detailing a few dos and don’ts for bands.
Do your research!
Make sure you are aware of who you are sending your music to. Don’t send your metal song to a folk blog. You are wasting your time – your are wasting their time. Don’t waste time! Time is money – and if you are sending your own applications I can only assume you should be saving that money for an upcoming tour/album.
Then, make sure you have filled out all of the requirements! Attach the appropriate links, provide the necessary details, etc. Blogs and contests receive far too many submissions each day to go hunting around for the information you should have provided. If I have to hunt around for the information I’ve already asked for in the application, then you just lost.
Send appropriate songs!
Please, please, please don’t send in 10 applications with 10 different songs. Choose your best song or two – unless specified. Nothing looks more desperate than seeing someone send in 10 applications in a row.
Provide links to these songs. Do not send mp3s, wavs, etc. – unless specified. Us bloggers are typically disorganized. We don’t need your files cluttering up our laptops. A link to your soundcloud ork EPK should suffice.
Make sure you capture your audience in the first 1:00 of the song (:30 for those of us with short attention spans). Unless you are sending your music to jam-band blog you should cut down your 3 minute intro. Provide a radio edit of your song if you have to. Chances are, the person reviewing your application is a musician, as well. We understand how shitty it feels to condense a track that is “perfect” the way it is. If your music is as good as you think it is then we will check out the longer version. Have I mentioned that – time is money?
LEAVE US WANTING MORE!
So your music is good, you provided the necessary details, your links are clean and, more importantly, they work! What’s next?
Bonus (Above and beyond expectations)
Have professional video of your songs i.e. of a live performance or a music video.
Have professional photos taken. I purchased my own dslr camera for this very reason. I’m not a great photographer, nor do I pretend to be. With the right technology, it is very easy to take professional quality photos. A basic knowledge of photoshop can also drastically improve the appearance your b(r)and. That wasn’t a typo. You are a brand. You are constantly trying to sell your music, your look, and your merch. Present yourself and your assets in a desirable way.
Remember this is a small industry. There is an incredible amount of overlap. Don’t accidentally burn bridges by pissing someone off. Follow these steps and you should be fine.
A few months ago I was reviewing an application from my home state of Massachusetts. I absolutely fell in love with the band’s music and immediately contacted a friend of mine who is the VP of a boutique label and booking agency in Boston. I told him to check out this “amazing” band I had discovered and urged him to sign them. He told me he had worked with them before and they blew off a few gigs. I tossed their application aside and continued searching for a new winner.
Stay humble. Listen to advice. If you believe strongly in your music, someone out there will, as well. It’s better to send out 10 perfect submissions than 100 half-assed ones. Good luck.