So you’ve just written an amazing song. Perhaps it’s the best song you've written. Maybe it’s even one of the best songs that’s ever been written! You have a sense of tremendous pride because you know intuitively that you’ve created something truly special. You have that feeling that there are no words for, that only artists can truly understand, of having created something out of nothing. Of having birthed something remarkable and extraordinary into existence. You know it with every cell of your body.
I think this is a feeling that most of us can relate to; the feeling, the knowing, of having created something truly great but not knowing quite what to do next. Writing songs is an art form and if you’ve written a truly great song or songs, consider yourself lucky and blessed. Not all songwriters write great songs.
However, just because you’ve written a great song doesn’t guarantee that anyone is going to hear it or buy it. Writing a great song is one thing, getting your songs heard and sold require a completely different set of skills.
Here are some things to focus on doing after you’ve written your masterpiece:
1) Record Your Song/s Professionally - This is particularly true when you’re pitching your songs to licensing opportunities but is true in general. You want your song to sound as pristine and amazing as possible. A good producer will bring your song to life. Lackluster production will prevent your songs from realizing its’ potential. It’s that simple. If you’ve written a great song it deserves to be heard in a way that will realize its full potential. Production will make or break your tracks.
Check out the two courses I created on production and mastering with producer Gary Gray for an in depth education on how to produce your tracks specifically for licensing opportunities: http://www.howtolicenseyourmusic.com/garygray.php
2) Get your songs to the right people – Unless you’re really, really lucky, and you’re probably not, no one is going to come to you in this business. You’re going to have to knock on a lot of doors. Many won’t open and that’s ok and to be expected. Keep knocking every day, every month and eventually the right doors will open. You know your music is great right? Now your job is to share your music with as many people as possible.
In terms of licensing, focus on getting your music to:
Publishers/Libraries - Publishers and libraries have relationships with the ultimate decision makers in the music licensing business, music supervisors. They know about the projects and have the connections to present your music to the right people. This is why I suggest that, at least in the beginning, you focus on presenting your music to publishers and libraries. It’s easier to get your foot in the door and as you establish yourself you can focus more on going straight to music supervisors.
For an in depth guide on how to navigate the world of publishing and licensing check out my program The A To Z Of Music Licensing:
Music Supervisors: Supervisors are ultimately the ones who buy and license music. They are the true gatekeepers. You can go directly to music supervisors in some cases, but you need to know what projects they’re working on and whether or not the music you create is a good fit. Not all music supervisors are open to hearing directly from indie artists, but some are if you approach them the right way.
For an in depth guide on how to pitch your music directly to supervisors, check out my course “How To Pitch Your Music Directly to Supervisors” that I created with CBS’ sports music coordinator Joseph Miller:
3) Promote Your Music Across Multiple Platforms - Licensing is just one revenue stream among several. We are in a multiple revenue stream business model. Most musicians, myself included, that make a full time living from music are tapping into more than just one revenue stream. In addition licensing you can promote your music via live performances, digital downloads, youtube, streaming sites, etc.
The music business as we once knew it, is gone. It’s over. It’s not coming back. We live in a new era. In some ways this new era is harder than ever. There’s certainly more competition. But in many ways, it’s also more exciting than ever. There’s still going to some musicians who “make it” and some who don’t. But the big difference now is that instead of the record labels and record industry executives choosing who succeeds, you do. Let me say it again, if you want to succeed in the new music business, you get to decide if you succeed.
There have never been more ways to get your music in front of more people than ever before. Is your music great? Then get it out there. The world is waiting.
In : February 2014
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