DIY artists are bound to hit a few roadblocks when they submit music.
There’s a place for (almost) everyone within the blogosphere, and sometimes it just takes time and a little finesse to get the placements you are trying to get. Not getting an answer does not necessarily mean rejection – many editors receive upwards of 300 submissions per day. PER DAY.
And if you come think of it, that might not even be a bad thing. If you get distraught, thrown off course by an underwhelming reaction to a single release, imagine being confronted with a whole streak of underachieving tracks. Who ever said the path of artist expression would be easy? It’s a process where those who really want it, but only those, succeed.
One thing is certain – endurance is rewarded. Just as you put in the hard work within the creative space, developing your craft, the “media work” is also a craft that has to be fine-tuned. And sometimes the most vital aspects of media work are overlooked, or neglected.
So here’s a vital piece of advice – never underestimate the necessity of a well-timed follow up. There’s a catalogue of reasons why you submission might have fallen through the cracks:
- Your first mail was too long
- The tonality somehow didn’t hit a nerve
- The song didn’t fit into the musical niche
- Your song-links were ill-placed or confusing
- The editor had too much on his or her plate
- And so on, and so on….
To cut it short – there are multiple reasons, why a given submission does not reach its goal. That’s why you should ALWAYS focus on getting the follow-up right. If you haven’t been seriously considering the necessity of follow-up mails, you’ve probably been missing out on a very necessary strategy in the game of online music submission.
Follow-Up Finesse means focus
First of all – following up means throwing out a life sign, not yelling, or screaming for attention. The follow up mail should be precise and short.
Make sure you place the necessary link again, but don’t re-write the opening pitch. Commit to empathy. Important – don’t demand consideration.
You will never, and let me repeat that, NEVER, get a placement by strong-arming an editor, verbally, into why he or she should feature your art. Be humble.
Leave a clean slate
Refrain from writing up a follow-up to a follow-up. The golden rule is – if your second mail is left unanswered, there’s obviously a lack of interest, and probably a lack of time. Don’t take it personal. The good thing about being unobtrusive is the clean slate you retain. Stay professional. Submit song after song.
That’s why delicate follow-ups are so vital.
Get your niche right
Be real with an editor. And with yourself. Get your niche right, and don’t try to sell, or “re-sell” something that just doesn’t fit a media profile. Sometimes it can be hard to accept that a certain aesthetic or overall look just doesn’t suit an outlet.
You can do a self-test by submitting some music via SubmitHub. Post some references to music, things that you think align with what you do, and see how the response is. You’ll get feedback, and you’ll probably learn the hard way, whether your self-assessment made any sense. At least from a media point of view.
Know who swims in your pond, and don’t compare yourself to something you’re not.