by Marty Dodson
May 25, 2017
I see LOTS of mistakes being made in regard to pitching a song. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success, to help you appear more professional, and to keep you from burning bridges:
1) Learn as much as you can about the artist you are pitching to BEFORE you pitch a song. Pitching a love song to Kenny Chesney is as useless as spitting into the wind. He won’t cut one. Katy Perry isn’t going to sing a song that makes her look like a weak woman. Don’t waste your time or hers by pitching her one. Learning what artists will and won’t say is crucial to success in pitching songs. Be sure you have a song that you think is PERFECT for that artist, not just in the ballpark.
2) Include a lyric with EVERY pitch that you e-mail and with any CD you drop off unless you are 100% sure that every lyric can be understood. It’s better to include it than to have someone thinking “This sounds cool, but I can’t understand it”. When you e-mail a pitch to anyone, it’s best just to attach a lyric. Then, they have it if they need it.
3) Don’t require the person you are pitching to to have to download the song. If you attach a song in gmail, it can be previewed without downloading. Then, if they like it, they can download it. This saves them time AND space on their hard drive. Imagine if you got pitched 200 songs each day and you had to wait for each one to download and then you had several gigs of hard drive space gone. If they have to download your song, they will delete your e-mail. Make it easy on the listener and respect their time.
4) Include your contact info. If you pitch a CD, include your name, e-mail address and phone number on the lyric sheet and the CD. Sometimes the two get separated. Make it easy to contact you. If you pitch by e-mail, add your contact info in the metadata of the mp3 you are pitching. On the mac, this is done by highlighting the song in itunes and hitting “command” and “I” at the same time. This opens an info box and you can type in the names of your co-writers as well as add a lyric and your contact info. Also, put the title of your song in the subject of the email. For instance “Uptown Funk for Bruno Mars”. Do everything you can to make it EASY for them to contact you and to find that e-mail if they remember later that they want to hear your song again.
5) In general, don’t follow up unless you hear something from them. If they put your song on hold and a month has gone by with no response, it’s ok to check in and see if they are still considering it. Otherwise, no response means “no”. Again, imagine that you received 200 e-mails each day last week containing songs and all 1400 of those people start e-mailing this week to see if you received their song. Then, you are getting 400 or more emails per day. They will contact you if they like your song. I promise. If they don’t contact you, you’re just irritating them by following up and forcing them to take the time to tell you “no”.
Those 5 tips can increase your chances of success. Happy pitching!
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