In part 1 we covered how being spammy can hurt your chances of getting a review, and how it’s best to take the time to study the people you’re trying to reach and craft a personal email. But that’s not all, there are other deadly mistakes most newbies make when it comes to getting music reviewed by a publication:
Mistake #2: You’re Not Making It Easy
So you’ve done your homework, researched publications, and reached out to each editor individually, had patience and kept at it for months… and nothing. What’s going on? Well, it could be that your sound is not good enough, but it could also mean that you’re not making it easy enough for people to listen to your music.
As we said in the previous post, music writers and editors are bombarded with a request from bands. This means they have very little time for each email that they received, and if yours is asking them to go to a website, sign up on a platform, go to a download link, and then figure out how to play the weird format you save your files in, just forget it. It’s never going to happen. No writer should have to jump digital hoops of fire to get to your songs. It’s tiresome, requires them to put a lot of time into something there’s no guarantee they’ll like, and it makes you look unprofessional. The same goes for sending an unrequested email letting them know that you have a new album… coming out in 6 months. Any time you contact a writer, you need to provide easy to find value and have a clear path of action that they can immediately follow.
The first thing you want to do is take advantage of the internet. Have a presence in the usual places, that is Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube, iTunes and any other site that could benefit you. You want writers to be able to listen to your song just by clicking a link, not having to download anything or sign up to weird places.
The second thing you want to do is design a press kit. This should have a short press release with the most important information, i.e. a short summary of your history as an artist, the highlight of what it is exactly that you’re releasing, and appropriate links to your material. It should not be longer than a page and you should include a few high-quality pictures. Any writers that actually want to write about you should have easy access to this in a presentable manner (aka. Not just in the body of an email where it gets lost easily). The best way to organize all these is by putting them all up on a landing page specifically made to promote your work. Resist the urge to just make a blog post or a tweet about it, it will get buried in your timeline. Having a landing page will make it look more put together and will make things easier for any writer that goes around looking for the info.
Always keep in mind that getting your music reviewed is not that easy. It’s not just about having an awesome product, you need to be consistent and create solid relationships within the industry to get your name out there and make publications take notice.