I hope you that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re doing well and you’re happy today.
Today, before we do the usual Sync Summit sales pitch, and we do have one, I wanted to give you something from one of our classes that’s completely free, and something fun – I want turn you on to some great music and musicians that we work with (that’s free too).
First, something free. As sync agents and music supervisors, we get a lot of unsolicited music, and that’s okay, in fact I encourage it, and I hate when people come to conferences and events and say “don’t send me unsolicited music”… umm, isn’t discovering new music part of your job?!? I feel like people who say this have lost their fire and their love for music, but I digress… I know they’re trying to manage their time, but to tell someone not to make contact seems counterproductive.
And a little more digressing… if you don’t send us your music to introduce yourself, how are we as music supervisors or sync agents ever going to be able to know if we can use your music in a project, or in the case how are we as sync agents, how can we possibly represent your music if you don’t send it to us? It’s just not going to happen, and the people that tell you not to send out.
So my bottom line is that if you want to send your music to someone, do it.
At worst, they’ll delete it and not get back to you, and at best, you may be helping them solve a problem and it may just be the perfect song for that ad or that background in their next streaming series.
After all, as the great Wayne Gretzky said, you’re guaranteed to miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
But with that said, there’s a right and a wrong way to take those shots and do it in a way that is respectful, polite and effective.
Here’s some quick pointers on how to make first contact with a sync agent or a music supervisor.
1. Treat people as individuals, not inboxes. All too often, I see people send out the same template letter with the same songs to every single person they get in touch with. Please don’t do this. We’re individuals, and we all react better when you treat us as individuals. Before you get in touch with someone, do a little research.
Check us out on IMDB, Google, LinkedIn and iSpot, get to know our work and who we are as professionals and human beings, then tailor your outreach and approach to who we are and what we do. This is super important, because music supervisors and sync agents are people too, and we love being treated as such rather than an inbox.
2. Be short and to the point with your outreach. Your music is incredible and so are you, but don’t start off letting know with a three-page letter with graphics, info and all your accomplishments. First, we don’t have the time to read through all that when we get 500 emails a day, and second, if we work together, we’ll get to know you and your music super well, and might even become friends, but before that, make your intro simple and to the point. Write a three paragraph email with the following info:
a. Paragraph 1: a brief hello that mentions who you are, what you do musically and how much you enjoy this person’s work and music choices.
b. Paragraph 2: A quick link to your music. Make it three songs maximum, and tailor the playlist to the person you are reaching out to. Something that you feel could resonate with them and their projects.
c. Paragraph 3: Let them know if your songs are one-stop or easy clear, thank them for their time and include contact information (email and phone).
d. Subject Line: Keep it simple – “New music from (name)” – don’t overthink it. And if you met the person at a Sync Summit or other event – or online, mention that like “I met you at the 2024 Sync Summit”
That’s it. Keep it simple. We give our classes a template letter to use, but even without it, you should be able to use the above approach successfully.
3. Make sure that you represent everything you are sending to a music supervisor accuracy and professionally. This means good metadata (links) in your MP3s, and it means knowing if your music is one-stop or easy clear. And it means your links allow downloading AND streaming and that your links don’t expire. And finally, send final, mixed and mastered versions of your music.
4. Make sure your music is properly mixed and mastered. We can’t use your music in projects unless it’s ready for broadcast. Simple as that. So bring your best music when you get in touch.
5. Once you send out a letter and links, be patient. Please wait 2-3 weeks before sending a follow up email. We’re nice but busy people and likely won’t answer your email or listen to your music right away unless there’s an urgent need for your particular genre. So wait a beat, and then after 2-3 weeks, send a completely new email with your music. And then wait.
6. When you have new music, send it. We love to hear new music so keep us up to date on your projects and progress. Even if we don’t have time to answer, we listen as we can and we appreciate it.
7. Finally, keep a positive mental attitude and remember when it comes to this business, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. This is so important.
Don’t let the difficulties of this business get you hung up. There are some people I’ve been working with for over a decade and it took us years to get their music licensed. I know some people want immediate results, and sometimes they happen, but the best view in this business for success is a long-term view.
And don’t get discouraged. With ads, film, TV, games, social media, brands and interactive platforms, there’s so many people looking to use music. Just do your best, be authentic and create great music.
Follow these steps and you will greatly increase your chances for success in sync and making music for media.
And if you really want to accelerate your knowledge and your network in the world of music licensing, consider joining us at the AdSync Summit, The 2024 Sync Summit or take a deep dive in our Music In Ads Course, Our Sync School or our Sync Support mentoring program.
And whatever you do, keep manifesting masterful music.