This was a subject I had been wanting to touch on, then a few tweets from Str8OutDaDen really inspired my thought process further. I get numerous artists that approach me asking me how to go about building relationships with websites. It is more to it than sending an email, and hoping someone from staff opens it, and actually takes interest. Below are some tips on how to go about building relationships with one of the top consumers in the industry. I have also posted a few sites for you to get started building with below, one of which includes myself. Take in the information, and start applying.
- Do Proper Digging: Often times artists will run across a media site and be happy that it is a media website! They run straight for the contacts tab looking for submission details, and begin submitting music. What majority of artists fail to do is make sure the blog is suitable for their type of sound and genre. Obtaining yet another website open to submissions is fantastic, but why waste time when it isn’t your cup of tea? Take 10 minutes to swiftly run through their website so you have an idea of what that website’s taste is. It will save you and the writer of the website some time.
- Be Understanding: Know not every song will get picked up, and also understand that not every website will actually enjoy your music. IT IS OKAY, I PROMISE. Websites service numerous musicians, who submit songs day in and day out. Yes, you might get overlooked on a submission or two. As a journalist, it happens to all of us trust me. It is never anything personal. Keep submitting, and just like a job application, perform follow ups.
- Proper Pitch & Approach: Your approach is everything when it comes to reaching out to media sites. It will show writers how professional you really are. As a writer, I have built numerous relationships with artists based off of respect and professionalism at square one. Sell yourself to them, because you are indeed a product. The last thing you want to do is either email, tag, DM, or tweet a site or it’s writers with the cliche saying, “check out my music” thinking it will actually work. Ask for contact information, properly introduce yourself, present them with the need to knows, and begin building a relationship.
- Build Direct Relationships Within: Building direct relationships within the media site writing staff is what will get you a foot in almost every time. Here are two different ways to go about this. Your goal is to build connections, and not just be another artist submitting music and leaving it there.
1.) Build A Relationship With A “Fresh” Writer: As writers, when we are new we look for artists to build with. You need us, and we need you. Fresh writers are go to because they are not at a high demand, they are building, and as they grow your connection will always be there. The downfall is that they are FRESH when it comes to impact and pull. They won’t have such a great audience, but they will be a permanent connection that you have.
2.) Build A Relationship With A Senior Writer: Senior writers are great to have in your back pocket. They have been around the site for quite some time, and are a recognized face. Majority of the time, their reputation reflects them always sharing great artists, and exposing them to an even greater following. The downfall about building with a senior writer is they are at such a high demand. Writing for Swurv, my demand went from 10 to 1000 because I became a recognized writer.
- Stay Connected and Interact: Writers love getting recognition for the smallest things they do. Give social shout outs to the writer, the website, share, promote, and get involved. Don’t just express gratitude verbally, do it physically. Show love and follow the writer, because they will return the favor. It will come to a point where you no longer have to go to them saying, “Hey I just released a new record”, because they will start approaching you. THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT! I have been writing for four years, and I have a handful of artists from day one I still keep tabs on. No matter if they continue writing for that particular website or switch outlets, good relationships go with the writer.
- No Website Is Too Small: Some of today’s top websites were once newbies, and developed into top priority. Any publicity is good publicity, as long as it doesn’t take away from what you stand for. Connect with them, because you never know what opportunities they will offer you.
- Show Respect Towards The Website: No matter what, always be respectful of the website’s wishes. If their contact form says business only, LET IT BE BUSINESS ONLY. Submit your content only where instructed, and never over saturate sending it more than once. If they have submission guidelines, follow them. We ask for certain things for a reason.
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I hope this was helpful! – PG
@PromoGoddess_ (Across All Social Outlets)