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The following chart "accurately" depicts how a typical music composer allocates their time during and after the creation of a demo reel.
Let's take a moment to address something crucial. The common trend among composers is a disproportionate emphasis on crafting music, often neglecting the equally important aspects of self-promotion, marketing, and networking.
What's more disheartening is that repeated rejections can lead composers to believe their music isn't good enough. This demoralizing feeling often drives them to give up, assuming they've exhausted all possibilities when they've only scratched the surface.
As an emerging music composer, it's critical to understand that crafting music is just a fraction of the journey, let's say 1/3. The remaining 2/3 should be dedicated to assertive self-promotion.
To put it bluntly, if 95% of your effort is devoted to writing music and a mere 5% to promoting your work, you're missing out on significant potential.
Let's change this!
📧 Application Emails
Do you write application emails to companies? Yes? How do they look?
my name is John Doe, I am an award-winning composer from wherever. In my early
childhood, I found a love for piano, and since then, I have found my true passion in
blah blah blah ...
*some random quote from some famous composer*
You can download my portfolio here *link pointing to a cluttered Soundcloud profile with hundreds of tracks*
Does this resonate with you?
Consider this: how would a company be intrigued to respond to your pitch when they've likely encountered similar proposals countless times in recent weeks?
How can we write better application emails?
Consider the following approach when drafting application emails to video game companies.
Immerse yourself in their world.
Can you imagine the response of an audio director at a fantasy role-playing game company upon receiving an email from you, crafted in this way?
"Hear me, oh, game developers!
I am [YOUR NAME], and I bring news of a composer whose talents are fit to rival the gods themselves.
The Lord of Light, composer extraordinaire, seeks to lend his talents to your noble endeavor. His music is a triumph of the human spirit, soaring and majestic, inspiring all who hear it to greatness.
With his mighty talent, the Lord of Light can elevate your adventure game to new heights of glory. His music will evoke the very essence of your game's world and characters, infusing it with life and emotion.
Do not squander this opportunity to work with one of the greatest composers of our time. The Lord of Light's music is a gift from the heavens themselves and yours for the taking.
I implore you, do not hesitate. Contact the Lord of Light and bask in the glory of his divine music.
May the gods smile upon your endeavor.
Isn't it strikingly clear what I'm illustrating with this example? I believe the point is quite evident, isn't it?
This is the kind of email that will certainly be opened, and your demo reel will undoubtedly be clicked on!
Remember, initially, your personal history and qualifications aren't the primary concern of the company. They don't need to know when you started playing the piano or how long you've studied music. Your first aim is to pique their interest and draw attention to yourself.
The process of getting to know each other unfolds after that!
By the way, in case you liked this application email, feel free to copy and use it!
However, it should be obvious that this style most likely won't work for science fiction or survival games 😉
If you are out for more application emails, I am selling a pack of 12 application emails in all different styles for $7 over at my Musical Inspiration Store.
📻 Your Demo Reel
Let's talk about your music presentation - your demo reel.
I don't mean to be harsh, but please refrain from using SoundCloud or similar audio social media services for your demo reel.
Platforms like SoundCloud are often too distracting, with links scattered everywhere. Even worse, once your track finishes playing, another one, likely from a different composer, starts up.
Picture this scenario: an audio director opens your email, clicks on your demo reel link, and then gets sidetracked by a phone call.
When they return a few minutes later, they listen to another composer's music, thinking, "This track is amazing! Let's hire this person!"
The issue is, that person most likely isn't you 😭
Looking for a better solution? I strongly recommend ReelCrafter.
Their team is incredibly friendly and supportive, and they've specifically designed their service to be the optimal demo reel platform for composers.
I encourage you to explore what they offer.
And here's a bonus: if you use the code WYZ5811, you'll get the first month for free! ✌️
🎨 Promotion is art too
Do you recall the pie chart we discussed at the onset of this page? It illustrates a common promotional approach used by many composers. They devote countless hours crafting a new piece, only to casually introduce it on Facebook with a hastily written, "Check out my new track!"
Worse still, some prematurely hype their unreleased work, flooding Facebook feeds with grandiose claims of having created the most profoundly emotional piece of music ever, one that moved them to tears. While there's nothing wrong with expressing passion for your work, the unfortunate reality is that nobody else is as invested in whether you've composed the best track ever - that's your perspective, not a universal truth.
I propose spending additional time on strategic self-promotion and marketing for your music. This doesn't imply spamming every social network in sight, but rather considering how you can enhance your music's perceived value.
A common oversight among composers is forgetting that music, while intuitively understood by them, isn't quite so tangible for everyone else. Have you ever played a track for someone, only for them to start talking mere seconds in?
This scenario can be frustrating for composers who've poured hours, days, or even weeks into creating their work. We're proud of our creations, yet often they go unappreciated.
This, however, is just the nature of the average human brain! So, the question is, how can we navigate around this and make our music more engaging and appreciated?
Let's delve into our first potential solution. In this era of artificial intelligence, there are formidable tools at your disposal that can significantly enhance your promotional strategy.