Today's post is a guest post by Pat Finnegan, one of the founders of the music library Fliktrax.
Pat and I recently created a course together called"The A To Z Of Creating A Music Library" all about how to create and launch your own music library from the ground up.
"The A To Z Of Creating A Music Library" will be released on Monday, October 22nd but if you pre-order the course between now and Sunday you'll save $25.00 off the regular price and also receive some great free bonuses, including a free consultation with me, The Music Licensing Starter Kit and The Music Licensing Newsletter Compendium.
More details and pre-order info here:
Take it away Pat....
"The question I get most from people trying to break into the music licensing business is: "How do I get people to hear and license my music?". I've been there and I know a "magic bullet" answer would be the easiest to hear. Unfortunately there is rarely a tried and true path to the "promised land" of music buyers, its simply requires "good old fashioned hard work". With that said, I find that identifying "First Steps" makes any goal easier to accomplish and the music licensing business is certainly no exception.
BE READY FIRST
No matter who you do or don't know in the media business, it will mean very little unless you have a "product" that's ready to be sold or promoted. If you've started a large scale music library site that boasts dozens of genres and extensive meta tagging, it can't be 90% done when you start to approach music buyers. Nobody wants to hear about what something can or will be. They simply want to look at the site and see how it works for them.
Even if you are a smaller library that chooses to represent a few select artists' or composers' works, make sure your site, or whatever medium you choose to market your music from, is professional and easy to use. I've seen first hand websites that are extremely sophisticated and elaborate but they are just too involved and complex to use easily. You aren't a special effects company so don't load your website up with clutter that has nothing to do with delivering professional music to people who need it quickly. Make it easy and as painless as possible for media buyers to find the music they need.
ITS WHO YOU KNOW
Once you are satisfied with your "product", then it's time to get the word out. Promotion and marketing are essential in any business but even more so in an industry that is so overcrowded with so many talented people. If you have the capital to hire a PR or marketing company that specializes in this area, then I would suggest that it's money well spent.. If you don't have deep pockets the grassroots/DIY method is one that has worked for many motivated entrepreneurs and it can work in the licensing business too.
The first step here is ask yourself, "Who do I know?". Do you have friends or relatives that work in Advertising, TV, Radio or Film? If the answer is "yes" then pick up the phone and call them and explain what you have to offer. They can usually direct you to the people or departments in their companies that handle the music selection. If you don't know anyone directly connected then start pursuing people you know that might be remotely connected with media. People who work for print magazines often know people in advertising or even TV, etc... Maybe your neighbor landscapes for a TV producer or your buddy's sister-in-law makes documentaries.
It's not always comfortable to be aggressive in networking but its vital. You have to get your music into the right hands so this isn't the time to be timid or shy. In my experience when you make your intentions clear, people are often more than eager to help. But people can't help you if you they don't know what you're trying to do. Make a list of everyone you know and play 6 degrees of separation with each. Most people know at least someone who can get them a little further along the way.
Their are numerous companies that will be happy to sell you "lead sheets" of music supervisors, ad agencies, TV stations, Radio Stations, etc.. How To License Your Music.com offers a directory that is a great starting point for the music licensing industry .My company has bought some of these lists, as well as joined various groups or organizations that are designed to help you get connected with the right people.
There are also organizations, publications and sites that simply list companies and individuals who are "in the biz". 'Ross Reports' and 'Production Hub' are such examples. Use resources like these and some "out of the box" thinking to do everything you can to make these companies aware of you and what you have to offer.
If there are media or entertainment conventions in a city near you, it can be beneficial to bring some literature and even music samples to hand out to those who might be interested. Networking is really what it's all about and in person networking is even more effective than networking online.
The bottom line is that to launch a music library, it takes a lot of hustle. The right attitude goes a long way. Don't be discouraged if you don't immediately land your first big deal. All it takes is connecting with the one right person or company to get started, so keep networking and keep connecting and keep spreading the word. My company Fliktrax wasn't built over night, but through sheer determination and a lot of hard work we've been able to create a thriving licensing company with a growing list of credits and placements.
In : October 2012
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