Music Industry Etiquette: A Word Of Advice For Independent Artists

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Nashville-based record label Average Joes Entertainment celebrated eight new RIAA certifications allocated to several singles in its catalog during their...

So you’re an independent artist…

You’re working your butt off writing, recording, and doing all the work to put yourself out there. Welcome to the family!

Here at Bridge, we love supporting independent artists. Why? Because WE are independent artists. 

Navigating the music industry is difficult and while there is no true formula, there are some practical skills you can learn to help you navigate the endless stream of emails, pitches, and self-promotion.

First impressions still matter.

It is true that in many aspects of life, communication and presentation have become more laid back. In the past year, I have interviewed dozens of candidates for a position at my company and about 80% showed up in a t-shirt and sneakers on. Call me an “elder millennial” if you want but I was less than impressed.

While the culture is changing, and workplaces are becoming more “fun” to promote productivity and mental health, first impressions still matter.

And the music industry is no different.

While you will rarely be meeting people face to face (especially in the middle of a pandemic) your digital first impression can either help you or hurt you.

Realize that when you are sending your music to a publication, a potential manager or a radio station, your music is not your first impression. The person has to read (or skim) what you wrote first before they even see the link or attachment. Even something as simple as your subject line (or lack thereof) can cause your email to be ignored.

If you’re lucky enough for them to see your email,  what they read will usually determine whether or not they listen. And trust me, you want them to listen.

Music is art, yes, but it’s first and foremost a business. And this business is oversaturated. While I’m writing this article, I’m also trying to get my music out into the world. While it is a beautiful thing to live in a digital age where everyone can share their art and get a chance to shine, it is so easy to get lost in a sea of submissions. So how are you going to present yourself?

Communication is key.

Remember what I just said about the music industry being a business? Keep that in mind when communicating. One-liners and “hey check me out” won’t yield many results when presenting your music.

A quick google search will give you email templates on radio submissions, press requests, and much more. 

Do your research, take advantage of those working in the industry and the wisdom they have, and heed their advice.

There is no sure-fire way to be seen but I can assure you, how you present yourself, how you communicate and how organized you are does make a difference.

Follow along as we bring you more tips, tricks, and wisdom about putting your best foot forward in the music industry. We will be gleaning advice from producers, executives, and everyone in between.

Let’s learn together!

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