Before I get into the topic of this guest post, I wanted to thank Amanda and the TripleHQ team for allowing me to help in educating aspiring hip-hop artists. I feel like more writers and bloggers need to use their platforms to educate upcoming artists. This helps teach them what they need to know when potentially thinking of a career in the music industry and makes it less of a headache for submissions via social media. My name is Joe Hova and I began doing similar posts on my site, JoeHovasMF.com, earlier this year. I have worked in the music industry since I was 18, starting out on my college radio station and eventually turning that hobby into a career as a Top 40 on-air personality and music director. What I learned over the years is building relationships is the easiest way to make it in the industry. Yes, you must have talent but you also need relationships to help get you through certain doors.
Relationships are the foundation for everything and they’re something I see less and less of with social media. Twitter has made it easy to shoot a link to a stranger as you try to get them to listen to your song. To explain this concept in a way you can see it, think about the movie Say Anything. There’s a scene where John Cusack’s character stands outside his love interest’s window with a boombox over his head. He’s blaring a song for her to hear to win her back. This is the equivalent of sending someone a link on social media. You’re standing outside of someone’s account, invading their space and playing your music for them to maybe hear.
I understand that many artists don’t know the ropes when they’re starting out in the music business. That’s ok as long as you’re making an attempt to learn what are acceptable forms of submitting your music to writers and bloggers (Amanda has a post on TripleHQ here and I have one on JHMF here). Social media is great but you have to learn how to use it to build a relationship that is going to last. Just sending your link to someone you’ve never interacted with isn’t going to help your efforts. Writers and bloggers are people too. This is often a forgotten element when it comes to relationship building on social media. Treat these people like the person they are and you’ll be amazed at how far that can take you.
Here are some acceptable ways to get your music heard via social media:
-Follow the site and writer you want to post your music.
-Interact with them or share some of their content with your own thoughts
-Don’t ask right away how to send music. First go to their site and see about their submission process, it may be laid out for you
-If they do not have submission info, send a message and ask if it’s ok to send your song or video to them. They may give you an email or say it’s ok to send via DM
Now let’s talk about the unacceptable ways to email or submit your music on social media:
-Spamming your music link to multiple people at once (or anyone in general)
-Sending a DM with your link without prior conversations or engagement with a writer or blogger
-Sending a DM saying “check your email” right after sending an email
As I said earlier, I’ve been in the music industry for a while. I want to use my knowledge and platform to help artists who are aspiring to be the next big thing. The education process of this industry is lacking and it’s something I want to help make better. Now it remains to be seen if artists will adhere to these tips and advice. If you do take this advice, let me know how it works out for you. I would love to have a discussion on what you could be doing to have someone discover your music. You can find me on all social media platforms: @JoeHovasMF.