I was leading one of Songwriting Pro’s online workshops the few weeks ago when a question came along that really hit me upside the head.
The group was sharing song ideas as part of a workshop exercise. We were brainstorming and helping each other (it was a lot of fun). Anyway, while we were discussing one particular idea, Jonathan (one of the awesome workshop members) asked a simple but hugely profound question:
What’s in it for the listener?
If you want to get cuts, your song better have a good answer to that question. Why should your listener care about your song? What about your song will bring them back for more? What does your song have going for it that will motivate the listener to stream the song 10 times a day or to (brace yourself…) actually BUY YOUR SONG?
It’s not about you. It’s about the listener.
Do you have a friend who bores you to death with pointless stories or who drones on about some topic that doesn’t interest you in the least? Your eyes glaze over and you can’t recall anything he/she said 2 minutes later? Is there any way you’d want to put that conversation on repeat? Of course not!
But what about your other friend? You know- the one you actually like? He/she talks about things that interest you, things you can relate to, or they just plain know how to tell an entertaining story. Or maybe… they talk about YOU. Your conversations with the friend actually have something in it for you.
So if you want to get cuts, make sure each song has something in it for the listener. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be diving into some of the specific ways you can build something “in it for the listener.”
In the meantime, here’s your homework. Turn on the radio or your favorite playlist. For the next 10 songs, ask yourself, “What’s in it for the listener?” Please leave a comment and let me know what you discovered!
Also, if you think this post might be helpful for your songwriting friends, please share it through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, however you want. I want to help as many songwriters as possible!
If you want to become a songwriting pro (in how you think, write songs or do business), then a great place to start is RIGHT HERE. I want to help you on your songwriting journey. I’ve been in the music business for years, and I’m here to help you get the cuts – and avoid the bruises. CLICK HERE TO START HERE.
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.