I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline the other day when I came across a gem from Mike Trampe – social media guru, CEO of MAAD Management, and overall hip-hop genius.
(If you don’t follow him on Twitter, you need to, like, yesterday).
The full message from Trampe reads:
When sending an email to someone in the industry make sure a few things happen.
- Do your research on that person. Know what they do, who they have worked with, what they specialize in, etc…
- Introduce yourself. See how they are doing and just genuinely care about who you are reaching out to. It will show, trust me.
- Understand WHAT you are trying to accomplish before sending the email. I get dozens of emails daily that are so vague and don’t really have a call to action.
Ex. “Hey i’m an artist/producer from Virginia, this is my new hot single featuring mc lil snooki.”
Ok? So why are you emailing me? Do you want to hire me? Are you asking for a review of your music? If so, what do you think me reviewing your music will accomplish?
I think a lot of artists/producers/managers/etc..think certain individuals will hear their music and can flick a switch to help them out. It doesn’t work that way!
The biggest issues I see from an email perspective is that no thought or planning goes into these emails. Artists/Managers/PR’s have no clue why they are even emailing me and some have no clue what I even do.
I encourage you to do your research before contacting anyone. Make an excel file with each person and their contact, socials, past projects and other pertinent info. Stay organized, have call to actions in your emails and have a plan!
Call to actions can be something as simple as “I’m interested in hiring your company. I saw you have done social media marketing for hiphopdx in the past and I would love to discuss our brand with you and the goals we are trying to achieve. I look forward to hearing back.”
This email clearly states that you know my past, what I do and that you think I can be of assistance. You also clarify that you want to hire me. This will entice me to research you and offer a response.
When people message me and just say “how can you help my brand,” it comes off as you have no clue what I do, you have no plan or bullet points on why you think you need my help and it comes off as very unprofessional.
Sending music out to a bunch of emails you probably stole with no call to actions is useless. You are wasting your time. You shouldn’t be emailing ANYONE unless you have a plan of attack and know WHY you are contacting that person. 2017 is here, if you made these mistakes in the past, change it for the new year.
Consider this the long-awaited follow-up to my old “Words From a Music Blogger” column on submitting music.
As someone who has spent the past five years reviewing music submissions, I may not have seen it all, but I’ve seen enough. So allow me to break down what Mr. Trampe says above to further explain the benefits of well-crafted music submissions.
“Do your research on that person. Know what they do, who they have worked with, what they specialize in, etc…”
Now, this is good advice even if you’re emailing a blog that isn’t really a particular “someone.” Still, you should research who might be reading those emails and then try to find out about that person. Knowing how that person likes to be referred to, certain aspects of their careers or contributions to the music industry can help you to include something major that will set you apart from other artists submitting music.
For instance, say you’re emailing the owner of a music blog who just won blogger award – congratulate them in the email! They’ll be humbled and more inclined to hear what you have to say.
This is also important because you need to know if the person will even be receptive to what you’re sending. If you’re a post-modern electronic jazz producer submitting to an old-school hip-hop blog, you’re doing it wrong. Chances are, they won’t care to post your music as it doesn’t fit their site’s sound, so do your due diligence and don’t waste their time or yours.
“Introduce yourself. See how they are doing and just genuinely care about who you are reaching out to. It will show, trust me.”
This doesn’t need to be complicated. Start off with: “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening [insert name], I hope everything is well on your end.” Add a personal note based off of the research you did above, and like Trampe says, just show that you care about the recipient throughout the body of your message and you’ll be on your way to submission glory.
Flatter them – butter them up if you have to; make it so that getting posted on the recipient’s site would mean the world to you. Being humble (while not lacking confidence) also goes a long way.
“Understand WHAT you are trying to accomplish before sending the email. I get dozens of emails daily that are so vague and don’t really have a call to action.”
Trampe provides an example of this, but really this is crucial and so easy to add. End your submission message with what exactly you want the person on the other end to do.
Do you want feedback on your verses? Do you want a post on their blog? Do you want them to share your music with others (as in, hire them as a publicist)?
Based on what you want the other person to do, you’ll write your call-to-action accordingly.
Ex: If you are able to find the time to listen to my track and you find yourself enjoying it, I’d greatly appreciate it if you can post the song on your blog.
“I think a lot of artists/producers/managers/etc..think certain individuals will hear their music and can flick a switch to help them out. It doesn’t work that way!”
Yes, getting love from blogs is huge for rising talent, but it isn’t everything, nor is it the golden ticket to “making it.” Submitting to blogs should be a small part of your music marketing efforts, not the be all and end all. Send your music to relevant blogs, but don’t stop there, there’s so much more you can be doing to promote your music (which will be the topic of another blog post at a later date).
You want to think before you write and do some research before you press send. Does the blogger want you to attach an MP3 file or only include a link? Do they want pictures or a press kit? Do they want you to fill out a form online instead of emailing them?
Most of these questions, if not all of them can be answered by visiting a website’s “submit” page where they should list detailed instructions on how to submit your music.
So get out there, do your research, craft a personal email and good luck!
About Mike Trampe: Trampe is a professed hip-hop junkie and a social media expert who handles all social media and marketing for DatPiff.com, HipHopEarly.com, and Beat Stars, the latter of which he is part owner. Trampe manages these clients and many more through his company, MAAD Management.