The following post is written by Uche Ibe, a music blogger who recently reached out to us. Because I found this topic relevant to a lot of our students and readers, I asked him to write it for us.
It’s really frustrating, right?
You are a songwriter and you write really good songs.
People who have listened to your songs such as your friends and family tell you that you have the talent for writing awesome songs and lyrics.
But the problem is that you have not been able to get clients to hire you to write songs for them or book you as a musician.
And this is giving you sleepless nights and leaving you frustrated.
The simple truth is that if you do not market yourself and let people know about the services you offer, then no one will hire you.
It’s that simple…
In this article I will be showing you some easy ways that you can use to get your name out there and get hired for your songwriting skills
1. You Need to Niche Down and Dominate It
Before we get started on the tips to market yourself, there is something very important you need to know about.
That is, you need to pick a niche and then dominate it.
By this I simply mean, picking one genre of music and becoming a master there.
You do not want to be known as that “music songwriter.” Instead, you want to be known as that jazz or country or rock music songwriter.
By picking a niche and dominating it, you become the go-to guy when clients are looking for that genre of music.
This gives you an edge and helps you stand out amidst the many songwriters out there struggling to get by.
• First you need to look within yourself and figure out the genre of music that you enjoy listening to.
• Take a pen and paper and write down the top 3.
• Now try to get as many songs in this genre as possible, and listen to them. This will help you figure out the way the songs are structured and how they flow.
2. You Need to Go Digital
Thanks to technology, great audio equipment and the Internet, with a website and written content you can reach millions of people every day.
So you need to take advantage of this opportunity.
Start by getting a blog, and provide value for your fans and audience.
The keyword here is “value.”
You want to provide so much value for prospective clients that they see you as an expert and the go-to guy when they need your services.
Also, by having a website and a blog, you can upload samples of your music that people can download to assess your work.
Most importantly, you can begin to build a fan base by collecting email addresses on your website and giving then tips and advice that they can use to stay in touch with you and your brand.
By building your fan base you have an army that will spread the word about you to their friends and increase your reach.
• First you need to pick and register a domain name. It is advised that you go with something memorable that can be branded. You can use a trusted domain registrar like Namecheap to register your domain name.
• Next you need to set up hosting. Also go with a trusted company like Siteground or Godaddy.
• If you have no technical skills, you can hire a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr to help you out.
3. You Need to Embrace Social Media
Social media is probably the hottest thing right now.
If you are looking for the fastest way to spread your name and become known, then you need to jump on the social media bandwagon.
By having social media profiles on the major platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), you can easily get heard by a lot of people.
Just imagine that recently Facebook announced that they have about 1 billion active users on their platform.
That’s really huge if you ask me, and you do not need that number of people to become successful. All you need is a way to reach some of those people–preferably within your local community–so you can build up your fan base.
By posting your lyrics and songs you have completed online, you get to have people connecting with you and your brand.
Maintaining a social network presence is one of the most time-effective strategies that you can employ to get yourself known and attract paying clients to your business.
• Pick out the top 3 social media platforms and open an account with them. Basically, you want to go with the top 3 because they are the ones that are worth your time.
• Plan and stick to a posting schedule. You want to make sure that you are consistent in putting your work out there for people to see.
4. Get Out There and Network
This is one idea that a lot of people find very difficult.
Most people (including me) would prefer to sit in their house and do all the interactions by mail or by phone.
But unfortunately, this does not work very well.
As a songwriter trying to get clients, you need to be ready to meet people and do a lot of networking.
Now I am not advising that you travel around the country just to network. You can and should start small by meeting people around your community.
One phrase that I like so much is “It’s all about who you know.”
While this might sound like a cliché, it is absolutely true.
You need to keep your ear to the ground and go out and network with people in the same industry as you.
One thing you need to know about networking is that you want to avoid coming across as a needy or offensive.
Think about what you can offer to the other person even before you pitch your services.
This way the relationship is more of a win-win situation than a needy one.
• Get over your fear of networking and meeting people.
• Read newspapers and magazines looking for events and shows that you can attend.
• Start small by attending the ones within your community.
5. Pick Someone and Develop Them
This point is all about working with an upcoming artist and providing music for them, if you aren’t going to play your own music.
The advantage of this is that you get to flex your creative writing skills while using the artist as a stage to project your lyrics.
The truth is that when starting out, you are going to find it a little difficult to get noticed by the big boys in your industry.
The best way to get on their radar is to have an upcoming artist who you can easily work with sing your lyrics.
This way you are not just pitching them music; you are also showing them a complete work and how your lyrics sound with instrumentals.
This helps you become recognized as an expert and someone who they actually want to work with.
• Start by looking for an upcoming artist you like the genre and style of.
• Work out a comfortable arrangement with each other so as to avoid conflict later.
Promoting yourself is crucial to your success as a songwriter.
It is probably more important than stage performance or understanding song theory. The truth is that if nobody knows you, then nobody hires you.
So unless you are a songwriter simply for fun, then you need to take the points discussed in this article very seriously.
Uche Ibe is a passionate singer and blogger as www.welovesinging.com. He enjoys teaching people how to sing, helping them become better singers and reviewing audio equipment. You can connect with him by visiting his blog or sending him an email.