It can be tough to make the right connections in the music industry. You don’t want to spam people, but making these connections is critical to furthering your career.
The challenge is most people in the music industry are incredibly busy and get a lot of emails daily. If you want them to take the time to read your email and respond, you need to be strategic and make sure your outreach messages are focused and relevant.
But how do you do outreach effectively and efficiently as an independent artist?
Well, I’m going to share with you 4 simple tips I’ve used to successfully build relationships with music supervisors, blogs, and other artists.
Let’s get started!
#1 Remember, Outreach is Relationship Building
It’s critical to remember that every person you reach out to is a human being. So on initial outreach, be polite, show respect, and be direct with why you’re reaching out to them. If there is a potential opportunity to work together, they’ll respond.
Often, there won’t be an immediate opportunity to work together. Still, an excellent first impression can begin the dialogue around the potential to work together on a future project.
Also, if you get a response that seems like a rejection, see this as an opportunity for feedback.
While critical feedback isn’t the easiest thing to hear, it will help you continue the dialogue and relationship-building with that person. It also helps guide you in reaching out to future prospects more effectively.
There’s no magic bullet or one connection you will make that will rocket you to superstardom. Success is a slow build that happens when you stay consistent in your craft and build bridges with others.
#2 Know Your Audience and Their Needs
Before you outreach to anyone, you must consider how your music will help them accomplish their goals. When you lead with value, you increase your chances for success.
For example, suppose you are trying to license music and want to reach out to music supervisors. In that case, they need music that they can legally use for other projects.
However, let’s say that supervisor primarily works in commercials, but you write orchestral scores. Your pitch isn’t going to match what they need to do their job.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid reaching out to this prospect. You just need to take a different angle.
Maybe you have musicians in your network who write pop songs. You could position your message as wanting to connect them to original music they could use (with your connection’s permission, of course).
This may not get you a licensing opportunity for your music. Still, it makes your message lead with value and relevancy. It may even inspire enough goodwill to open up their network with you.
When you research upfront, you will craft more engaging messages that will increase your response rate. It also shows a level of respect that can open doors you didn’t know existed.
#3 Be Direct
Be direct and to the point when reaching out to others. No one has time to read paragraphs about your inspiration as an artist and why they should care about what you’re doing.
Ensure the receiver of your message knows the reason for the outreach within a few sentences. This shows respect for their time and inbox while making you seem more confident.
Also, being direct doesn’t mean being rude or arrogant. As we stated in Tip #1, you are talking to another human being. So don’t demand a response; simply invite them into a proposition.
While your outreach message should be friendly, the goal is not to make friends (although that can be a nice by-product). Your goal should be to get a response that could lead to a mutually beneficial professional relationship. So make it easy for them to understand what you’re asking for, and give them a clear call to action to which they can easily say yes or no.
#4 Use Email Outreach Tools to 10x Your Connections
This tip is the golden nugget of this article. If you want to outreach like a pro, then utilize an email verifier and outreach tool like Hunter.io.
Tools like Hunter.io will allow you to find contact information for individuals by simply inputting a website. Not only will you get emails, but you can get names, LinkedIn information, and job titles.
These tools can help you find the right person you need to reach out to. Whether you’re looking to book gigs, connect with bloggers, or music publishers & supervisors, these tools will help you get the information you can’t find by searching a website.
Hunter can also connect to your email, and you can send out messages with automatic follow-ups. So as you grow your outreach prospect list, you can scale your outreach to 10x your connections without having to sit in front of the computer all day.
Hunter has a free plan that will allow you to find and verify a handful of monthly emails and use their email outreach tool. This should be plenty for individuals who want to dip their toes into this ninja-style of emailing.
However, if you want to harness the true powers of these tools, you will want to upgrade to one of the paid versions. It’s worth noting that learning how to use tools like Hunter will make resources like The Indie Bible irrelevant, so you will save money on the yearly price if you use this service.
The last thing to note, it’s crucial that you responsibly use these tools and not use them to spam a bunch of people. Remember Tip #2 in this article and ensure your outreach is relevant to your prospect.
With great power comes great responsibility.
Outreach is critical to your success as an independent musician. If done right, you can make great professional connections with others who can help you build your fanbase. However, if done wrong can burn bridges and discourage you to the point where you give up on your dreams.
These 4 simple tips will help you to be more effective in your outreach and increase your chances of success, all without being spammy and selling out.
Remember, consistency is critical, and most people you outreach to won’t respond to your emails. But if you stick with it, you will get responses. And these responses can make all the difference in helping you take significant steps to reach your music goals.
Thanks for reading!
Brad Johnson is a musician and producer from Southern California. When he isn’t spending time with his wife and kids at the beach, he is helping songwriters and musicians at Song Production Pros.