ULTIMATE GUIDE: Getting Your Music Heard By The People That Matter

You want your music to be heard and shared.

We’ve listened, we’ve shared, we’ve helped.

I started Talk About Pop Music almost 5 years ago and it’s grown – slowly but surely – but it’s grown and is still growing all the time.

We’ve put in the hours because it’s our passion. It’s not our careers, it’s not our ‘hobbies’ – it’s our passion.

We don’t do it for the money or the fame – WE do it for YOU!

During the past few years I have learned a lot about how new music artists can be heard, discovered and introduced to new ears.

I won’t bulls**t and say we can help your songs go viral because I don’t think anyone can guarantee that really…well, maybe TikTok..but we have learned what works, what doesn’t work, what frustrates people and what people like.

We want to keep on helping so we’ve put together this ‘Ultimate Guide”…

“Getting Your Music Heard By The People That Matter”

Do with it what you will – read it, follow the advice, share it. Remember, we’re not music industry experts – we’re just everyday people just like you trying to get awesome new music out to more awesome people.

 

Do Your Research (go big…but go big later)

Of course you want the big players to pick up your latest track – who wouldn’t. I’m talking here about sites like Pitchfork and Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist.

We are very small in comparison to those guys and we got hundreds and hundreds of submissions daily. Imagine how many they will get!

Don’t let your song get lost in the music.

Start small. Look for bloggers who will get back to you. Look for bloggers who aren’t just another cog in a wheel. Look for people who actually care.

Obviously, this is a very busy arena these days and you want to spending time on your music rather than searching the internet for these ‘bloggers who care’. Don’t worry – we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Here are some ways of getting in touch with people who actually want to share your music.

Feedspot

These guys do a fantastic job of collating lists of sites that you will find really useful.

Top 50 UK Music Blogs and Websites On the Web in 2020

Top 25 Pop Music Blogs And Websites For Pop Music Fans in 2020

Top 100 Music Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2020

We are lucky enough to be included on some of their relevant lists as are so many other great blogs and websites. We got a lot of traffic coming our way from Feedspot so this should absolutely be something you have in your music arsenal.

There’s also another very similar list that will be quite useful on another site called ‘Top 18 Pop Music Blogs & Websites (Who Actually Want Your Submissions)‘ and once again we are fortunate enough to be featured on the list and it has been very good for us.

The Indie Bible

First and foremost don’t be put off by the title here – ‘Indie’ means independent rather than a particular style of music.

The Indie Bible

There is no doubt about it – The Indie Bible is a HUGE resource. It covers EVERYTHING and includes pretty much EVERYONE and EVERY playlist that you could ever need to know about it. It does cost you but it’s a very small price to pay for such a valuable resource.

It’s constantly kept up to date. The creators are always offering great packages so there will always be something suitable and affordable to you and your budget.

Let’s face it money is always an issue and budgets don’t often stretch far.

My advice here would be to make it stretch to include one of these packages because it’s pretty much everything you will ever need.

 

DON’T pay for playlist adds, streams, listens or followers but DO pay for quality services!

The lyrics from Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen song come to mind here…

“Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it”

There are lots of scammers out there no matter what industry you are in. There’s also a lot of people just keen to make a quick buck.

Never pay someone to add your song to their playlists. Never buy followers. If something sound too good to be true then it usually is.

However, for every ‘scammer’ and ‘overpriced for little returns’ service there are also lots of fantastic services out there – some will even help for free because there are still some very nice people in the world! Some you might have to pay a little for but that makes me think of this quote…

“If I do a job in 30 minutes it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.”

We’ve all got costs to cover etc. so sometimes you do need to pay – don’t be a Scrooge, okay?

Over the last couple of years we’ve had to manage how you can submit music to us otherwise we’d be overwhelmed and would be spending far too much time fire-fighting all the submissions.

We’ve experimented with various promotion/submission services. We’ve tried some terrible ones and found the best ones. Again, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to!

We encourage people to use MusoSoup, SubmitHub and MySphera if they would like us to not only receive their songs but ACTUALLY listen.

We listen to every single song we receive via these platforms – guaranteed!

We won’t lie, we can’t guarantee we will do more than that as we have to decide on a case by case basis what fits with our site and our playlists. Don’t let that put you off though, because these submission services allow you to share your music with many other ears and not just ours.

Signing up for one of these services is a must!

 

PR Services

If you have someone managing your PR – lucky you!

If you work in PR and are currently managing an artist then here’s a couple of top tips for you.

Wait, am I telling you how to do your job…well, yes I am but “my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now…”

What we don’t like…

If you are going to cut/copy/paste to make things more streamlined and quicker (I applaud that, I’m all about the productivity) but don’t make it obvious and embarrass yourself. Make sure there’s no formatting errors, make sure you use the correct blog name etc.

If I’ve not responded after your first email – please don’t ‘circle back’ in a few days time. This especially grates on me when we have taken the time to promote your artist and then you ‘circle back’ to see if we are still interested. No, no circling – follow our site and then you’ll know!

What we do like…

The personal touch. Find out about us. I received an email the other day which started off my asking how Scotland was. I was over the moon with this even although the person had probably just clicked on our About page and seen I lived in Scotland. They probably don’t give two s**ts about Scotland – but it worked!

Tell us lies! But good lies! Find an article on the site and say how much you liked it to prove you’ve read what we do. However, we can tell if it’s just been a copy/paste job…

Finally, if you are doing your own PR – don’t link drop, don’t spam people, don’t be an ass!

Build Real Relationships

Writers on sites like ours are real people to whom you can reach directly out to. You don’t have to battle your way through a stubborn receptionist to get to us.

Message us on Facebook & Instagram – say “hi”, we love hearing from you! Tell us if we’ve helped you. Tell us when your next song is coming. Tell us about your pets!

We’ve built up so many great relationships with artists and we look forward to the day when they hit the big time. We love it when we get messages like this…

 

“Hey Steve! Hope you’ve been great! Just wanted to send the biggest thanks your way for your support with Talk About Pop! That playlist you put “One” on really helps so much.”, Alex

“You included my song Followers on your playlist for Dark: Netflix original soundtrack. It’s been THE best playlist in terms on engaged listeners. Almost a third of the plays have came from this playlist”, Gea

Thank you again Steve! :):):) We’ve definitely seen it reflected in our listeners on Spotify! So exciting! We are sincerely grateful“, Lindsey

It’s All About You!

We need you to make it easier for people like us. Make sure your social media profiles are all up to date so we don’t have to Google all over your Facebook. No one wants that to happen, right.

Have an up to date bio on all your platforms and try to write it in the third person. Keep consistent and keep them connected. If we can’t find info about you quickly we have no choice but to simply give up and move to the next artist.

 

Finally, we love helping you, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s helpful when you reciprocate the good work. We’d love for you to share this post, share the site, share our playlists on your Spotify profile.

Oh and donations are always welcome too.

Good luck and please don’t stop the music!

Best wishes, Steve x

Submit your songs to us via SubmitHubMusoSoup or MySphera to be guaranteed a listen. Boost your streams, discover new fans and increase sales with the Indie Spotify Bible.