Recently, I made a reference that if music streams equated to gigs then that would be a great situation. That got me thinking, how do I know that my music doesn’t suck? Well, to begin fighting that dragon, I have to mention my internet idol, Ari Herstand. He had a post about doing just that, though he may have worded it differently.
You can read how Ari suggested going about the process. I’ll detail here my particular process.
Your Music Doesn’t Suck
An indie musician works their own music. A lot. Like, a redefining meaning of the phrase “a lot.” What I did is mainly through Twitter, I looked at internet radio. Why Twitter? Well, many internet radio stations have auto-posts of what they play that go to their Twitter page. That gives me something to retweet and share. The main benefit of auto-posts is knowing when you get plays.
Cross promoting gives you something you can quantify to find out if your music doesn’t suck. For example, I can count the number of times a station has tweeted my song over time. For some stations, my engagement seems to keep plays regular. Though I don’t know the what nor why of them playing my music, I can see that if I cross promote within 18 hours that the song gets played again.
Why 18 hours? It’s not scientific, but it’s a good approximate range to get the message out to a different audience.
Really, Your Music Doesn’t Suck
Another part of this metric is sending a group of songs to stations and seeing what they pick. Now, it seems out of a handful of stations, they tend to pick the first of the list of files I send. Keep track of what songs you send where and which song are selected to play.
When people, whom you don’t know, pick and choose from your music, you get that valuable unbiased response to your music.
Read that again, right now.
Of course, it seems with the music overload that is part of the internet, you will get little response. Overlook that. Analyze the response you do get. Work your music like a business and try to replicate what works.
Is a station giving you an indication that your music doesn’t suck? Then the next station or blog or whatever, send that song first with a couple others. Collect data. Think. Be smart.
I organize information in a Google Sheet. That’s the online version of spreadsheets. Learn how to set filters and sort information. When you contact a place, note who what when and the response. Imagine if you submitted your music to thirty blogs and you received four responses, and you knew which songs got the best response. That information is invaluable. You can use it for more online promotion and for live gigs–set closers with stories to go along. A history of internet posts to support your stories will give your music weight.
Yeah, the reality of my music sucking to some people is harsh but it’s true. Make your struggle smart. Make it give you information. Treat your art like a business then you can see some rewards and get that motivation to make more.