What Exactly is your Music?
More often than not, the question that follows the statement “I’m a musician,” is “What kind of music do you make?” And if you want people to remember you, then you have to sell yourself effectively. Here’s how…
An Elevator Pitch for Your Music
Chris Robley – CD Baby DIY (edited)
Before people hear your music, they often need to be convinced to listen.
Maybe they get a recommendation from a friend, see a cool Instagram ad, or read an intriguing blog review. Perhaps it’s an eye-catching album cover that stands out in a Spotify playlist. But SOMETHING has to capture their imagination and make them curious enough to press play.
An obvious tool you can use to grab attention is your “elevator pitch” — a compelling description of your sound, story, audience, or purpose. Time is short to sell someone on your music, so your description has to pack a punch. It should be something you can write in a tweet or say in a single breath.
Why your music needs an elevator pitch
Once someone’s gone the distance to actually check out your music, now it’s the ONLY thing that matters. Your music description could be the thing that gets them a step closer to listening to it.
Hand-feed your good press to journalists!
You’d be shocked how many glowing reviews contain descriptions or whole passages copied from a press release.
Immediately define who your music IS and ISN’T for.
Speed is important for the person hearing your elevator pitch. They need to know right away whether they’re curious to learn more about your music. Our attention spans are growing shorter by the minute. ( during the pandemic it was stated our attentions spans were that of a goldfish – seriously!).
Test Your Brand.
Once you define your sound, test all your efforts against it to see if you’re presenting a consistent brand.
Where to use your elevator pitch:
- Descriptions on your social bios
- Above the fold on your website homepage
- Always in press releases
- Your email signature
- Conversations with potential fans ans industry professionals
- Help your audience spread the word for you with clear, concise talking points.
What your music elevator pitch should contain:
A compelling identification of what your music is. Your music description should not tell your whole story. Remember, it’s supposed to be short. It just needs to plant a seed of curiosity – focus on the single-most memorable aspect of your music, story, or audience.
Also include SOME of these things, not all:
- What feeling or mood your music sounds like
- One or two similar artists
- Who your audience is ( sensitive singer-songwriter, dance-worthy tunes etc.)
- How your music will alter their world
- Why you make music (what you are FOR or AGAINST)
Your music pitch should NOT contain:
- Use overly technical jargon (music theory, nerdy gear references, etc.
- References to artists who are too niche
- Redundant words
- Sound cliche (“the lovechild of…” “this yet that,” etc.
Write your ‘music elevator pitch
The “Frankenstein” method
This method combines two artists, one who’s a classic household name, and the other a current artist famous enough to be recognized beyond a niche scene.
- “Talking Heads meets Doja Cat”
- “Barbara Streisand singing for Future Islands”
- “If Lil Nas X produced the next Phoebe Bridgers album”
This method can get stale quickly. But it’s a great exercise for every artist to try, even if only as a starting point. And sometimes you’ll stumble upon something that just works.
The “I’m right for you” method
With this approach, you define your sub-genre and audience in one sentence that follows this formula: “I make _________ for ___________.”
- “Outlaw Country for White-Collar Criminals”
- “Nerd-Rap for Soccer Moms”
- “Post-Punk for Your Next Protest…”
Don’t worry too much about leaving out people not literally defined in the audience. People are imaginative enough to know whether they’re curious or not.
The “situational story” method
This one provides the most flexibility to get creative. You can either tell some part of your own story or create a situation in which the audience must imagine themselves.
- “What if you were the last person on earth? You’d still need a dance anthem. This is EDM for end-times!”
- “I worked in a shoe factory to save up enough money to get the hell out of my small town, but now I miss that isolation and there’s a longing in my slow folk’s songs… trying to sing my way back to sanity amidst the buzzing phones and flashing city lights.”
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