My last couple of posts have been about email. Why biz pros aren’t emailing you back and the email that helped me get a Joe Nichols cut. Today, I want to break it down even more simply into some “do” and “don’t” guidelines.
This is mainly for when a songwriter wants to get a meeting with a publisher, a PRO, or some other pro in the business. These are only guidelines, so certain situations may call for different tactics.
DON’T: Whine about the music biz. We all know it’s hard.
DON’T: Tell your life story in the first email. Or probably ever. We just want great music. If it’s not great, the story behind it doesn’t matter. If it IS great, the story behind it doesn’t matter.
DON’T: Beg. It just makes you look unprofessional.
DON’T: Flood them. Don’t send an email every day or two. Relax. Be patient.
DON’T: Talk trash about others in the biz- or their songs. They might be our friends.
DON’T: Ask for a cowrite or pub deal right off the bat. You’re not trying to get to third base here- you’re just asking for a dance.
DON’T: Ask for too much. Not “come to my show” “listen to my album and tell me your favorite.” Don’t make yourself look like needy work. Just attach ONE song. Or ask if you can send them a song.
DO: Warm up the email if possible. Meet us out somewhere at a show or industry event. Have a mutual contact introduce us, etc. It’s not always possible, but it helps.
DO: Keep it short and to the point. Make it easy to read your email quickly. We don’t have all day.
DO: Provide contact information. Make yourself easy to find.
DO: Provide brief credentials (if you have some). Briefly list any pro cowrites, cuts, major contest wins, etc. Did a pro recommend you?
DO: Ask for a meeting or a listen. Be clear about what you want from this email.
DO: Follow up in about a week. Not the same afternoon. We’re busy. Don’t become a problem.
DO: Respect the professional’s time. If you ask for a meeting, only ask for 15 minutes. And mean it!
Here’s a sample of a solid email:
We met at Lance’s show
Hi, Bill! We met at Lance Carpenter’s show at The Listening Room last night. I’m Emily’s friend (with the glasses).
I’m a songwriter, and I’ve had two songs featured at NSAI’s Pitch-To-Publisher Luncheon. I’ve also been writing with Sally Makeahit at Sony ATV.
I’ll be in Nashville the week of July 12, and I’d appreciate 15 minutes of your time. I’d just like to say “hi” and maybe play one song for you. I know you’re busy, and I promise to respect your time. Thanks.
What about you? Any additions to this list of do’s and don’ts?
Pro songwriters know how to act professionally. And if YOU want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro, too. In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…
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God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.