Why No One Is Listening To Your Music

Andy Lykens is a music branding and marketing specialist for Imagem Music, the world’s largest independent music publisher. Follow him here.

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Get a paper and pen. Just do it, it’ll totally be worth it. I’m about to blow your mind.

Mind Blown
Quick – tell me 3 people you want to listen to your music that you think will be able to put it in a commercial, film, or TV promo! Even if you’ve already contacted them, write down a name with a little space beneath to complete this exercise.

Done? Great! Now write down 3 things you said to persuade each person to listen to your music (they can all be similar or the same if you do a lot of copy/paste).

Easy, right?

Alright, now for each person list 3 things about them that have nothing to do with their job, or music.

Hmmm…alright, take some more time and think about it…times up!

Now, as fast as you can, write down 3 things you can do for that person based on their needs or wants!

If you can come up with 1 thing for that last one, I’ll give you props. But only if it isn’t ridiculous (like “give them a million dollars” or “cut them in on license fees they secure for me” – because that’s payola, and payola is illegal…unless you’re Clear Channel).

The above exercise should prove to you that your emails suck. “Me, me, me.” That’s what you write about. “Listen to this! Check that out! I’d LOVE for you to put my song in a commercial!”

It's All About Who Again?
Great. I’m sure there aren’t 100,000 other people out there sending the same thing. Don’t even get me started on grammar and proof-reading.

However, if you’re far enough along to know who to contact and actually have gotten some contact info, you’re STILL ahead of the game, as sad as it is. But you need to know something and you need to PRACTICE and GET BETTER at it as soon as you can:

The music business, and life in general, doesn’t work the way you think it does.

You cannot just sell yourself cold. It’s a waste of time. If you don’t have a good relationship with someone, it’s really tough to break through and make a connection. Especially one strong enough where they have confidence and enough trust in you and your music that they’ll give it a real shot.

How many emails have you received from someone or some entity that you didn’t know or agree to take part in? How did it make you feel? Did you read it carefully and take action doing what they ask? No?! What a surprise!

Here’s a gigantic tip:

Find a genuine connection to EVERY person you want to listen to your music before you ask them to listen to it.

That is HUGE takeaway. Huge. You should read it again, think about it, write any immediate ideas that come to mind, and then read it again.

What if I told you I can help you with this exact problem and it’ll take 5 minutes or less of your time to do it. Would you trade 5 minutes to learn some key insights to licensing music?

“Wow! This guy wants to help me do something I really want to do!”

Is it coming full circle yet? Do you get it?

The great news is I practice what I preach – I want to genuinely help you. But for me to get YOU more effectively communicating I need to know more about what YOU think about what you’re doing, what YOU think about what you need to know.

To do that, you need to spend 5 minutes. Ready? Great! Because I want you to go out there and be GREAT. Alright, here’s what you need to do:

Here is a 6 question survey. It will literally take you 5 minutes (or less). Go with your gut and answer each one:


I’ll EXCLUSIVELY post responses to the most popular questions here on American Songwriter. If you don’t see your answer, you can of course always find me on my blog.

What are you waiting for?! Click here to fill out the survey now!


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