|Royalty Free Music > Music News > RoyaltyFreeMusic.com: How to Make it in Music -- A Conversation with the Owner of CDBaby
September 28th, 2007
Background Music from RoyaltyFreeMusic.com and making your own!
Many of the composers and artists that work for RoyaltyFreeMusic.com have been in the music industry, creating and producing royalty free music, production music, background music in every conceivable style and with all different types of instrumentation for many years. Perhaps that is why the eclectic royalty free music library has so much to offer for those looking to finish everything from films and television programs to the general attitude of their professional offices with high quality background music in the form of downloadable mp3s that fit their unique needs, no matter what industry they are in. At RoyaltyFreeMusic.com, we understand you have a lot of different options beyond just royalty free music to fulfill your needs, and that many of you are also musicians yourselves with impeccable taste and very high standards. So we appreciate every professional that chooses our unique production music and continue to do our best to create a wide selection of different styles of downloadable mp3s - from classical to rock, pop and even hip hop and Avant-garde - to continue to satisfy the your uniqueness as our distinguished clientele.
If you are a musician, you know that getting your background music and other types of music in the hands of the right person can be difficult and often requires a lot of hoop-jumping. No matter what type of music you produce or create, getting yourself the right opportunities can be a real challenge. Every musician and artist thinks his/her work deserves attention … so why not try to get YOURself noticed?
Recently, our own Mike Bielenberg had the chance to talk to the Founder of CDBaby, Derek Sivers about how anyone can call attention to his/her music as a working musician. Derek has been in the music business full-time for about 10 years and has toured as a guitarist with many famous musicians (and even a circus or two!). Whether you're using music as production music or as background music for a film or television program or just trying to get your downloadable mp3s heard through any sort of music service, these are some tips you can use to really put yourself out there. (The tips below can really help anyone in any creative field trying to establish a voice!) Below are three introductory tips to get you thinking. Stay tuned to RoyaltyFreeMusic.com to hear what other tips Derek offers!
According to Derek,
"If you mount a toothbrush on the wall, it's art.
It's art because you're making people pay attention to it and think about it.
BELOW ARE A BUNCH OF TIPS ABOUT HOW TO CALL MORE ATTENTION TO YOUR MUSIC.
They're really meant as individual ‘thought for the day' things. Eating them all at once could make you sick. So instead - go through this one long email slowly. Get inspired, and try some crazy idea. Just one. It'll work, and excite you. Then next week you'll try another, and another. And everyone will ask you why you're so lucky.
FIRST TIP: CALL THE DESTINATION AND ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.
Define your goal (your final destination) - then contact someone who's there, and ask how to get there.
Know a magazine you think you should be in? Call their main number, ask for the editorial department, and ask someone in editorial if they could recommend their three favorite publicists. Write down the publicists' names, and thank the nice editorial person for their time. (Don't waste their time asking for the publicists' contact info. You can find that on the web.) Then call each publicist, and try to get
Know a radio station you should be on? Call them and ask for the music director. Ask if they could recommend a few good radio promoters. Call the radio promoters they recommend, and try to get their attention.
Know a venue you should be playing? Bring a nice box of fancy German cookies to the club booker and ask for just 5 minutes of their advice. Ask them what criteria must be met in order for them to take a chance on an act. Ask what booking agents they recommend, or if they recommend using one at all. Again, keep your meeting as short as possible. Get the crucial info then leave them alone. (Until you're back, headlining their club one day!)
I know an artist manager of a small unsigned act, who over the course of a year, met with the managers of U2, REM, and other top acts. She asked them for their advice, coming from the top, and got great suggestions that she's used with big results.
In other words: Call the destination, and ask for directions.
You'll get there much faster than just blindly walking out your front door, hoping you arrive someday.
SECOND TIP: PUT YOUR FANS TO WORK.
You know those loyal few people who are in the front row every time you perform? You know those people that sat down to write you an Email to say how much they love your music? You know that guy that said, ‘Hey if you ever need anything - just ask!'
Put them to work!
Often, people who reach out like that are looking for a connection in this world, looking for a higher cause. They want to feel they have some other purpose than their stupid accounting job.
You may be the best thing in their life.
You can break someone out of their drab life as an assistant sales rep for a manufacturing company. You might be the coolest thing that ever happened to a teenager going through an unpopular phase. You can give them a mission!
If they're a fan of your music, invite them over for pizza to spend a night doing a mailing to colleges. Go hit the town together, putting concert flyers on telephone poles. Have them drive a van full of friends to your gig an hour away. Have the guts to ask that ‘email fan' if she'd be into going through the Indie Contact Bible and sending your press kit to 20 magazines a week.
Soon you can send them out on their own, to spread the gospel message of your amazing music, one promo project at a time. Eventually, as you grow, these people can be the head of ‘street teams' of 20 people in a city that go promote you like mad each time you have a concert or a new CD.
Those of us busy busy people may think, ‘How could ANYone do this slave work?' But there are plenty of people out there with time on their hands that want to spend it on something besides TV.
Don't forget that to most people, the music business is pure magic. It's Hollywood. It's glitter and fame and fantastically romantic. Working with you might be the closest the get to that magical world of music. Give someone the chance to be on the inside circle. Put 'em to work.
THIRD TIP: INCLUDE PHOTOS OF YOUR AUDIENCE ON YOUR WEB SITE
This is a secret trick to get people in the audience to sign your mailing list AND be part of your inside club:
1. At every show you do, from now on, bring a camera and a notebook.
2. About halfway through your show, when everyone is having fun, take pictures of the audience, from the stage. Tell them to smile, make a face, hold up their beer, whatever.
3. Afterwards, pass around the notebook and say, ‘Please write down your email address in this notebook, and in a few days, I'll email you, telling you where you can see YOUR goofy picture on my website.'
4. At the end of the night, before bed, write up a journal/diary/memoir of that show. Scan and upload all their pictures onto a page of your website. Dedicate a page of your site about that show, with the diary, photos, and a little link on that page that says, ‘If you were at this show, please introduce yourself!' - so people can contact you.
5. Email everyone that was there that night. Of course EVERYone will go look at your site. How could they not? People are infinitely more interested in themselves than they are in you.
6. Stay in touch with them all!
(p.s. The other hidden idea in this is to make every show a Real Event. A Big Deal. Something worth documenting. This will get you out of the habit of thinking of it as ‘just another gig.' Because for many of your fans, it's not. It's the most fun they've had all month.)"
Again, keep looking at RoyaltyFreeMusic.com. We'll be offering more excerpts from Derek's advice for success in up-coming weeks!
Keep watching RoyaltyFreeMusic.com for the highest quality royalty free music, background music and production music in easy-to-get, hassle free downloadable mp3s, composed and performed by musicians and artists just like yourself that have experience creating things that "deserve to be heard" by the world.