I don’t know how many times it needs to be said, but please don’t spam people when trying to promote your band. It’s amazing to me how much this continues to happen even years into ongoing social media domination of the universe. I want to break down common annoying types of spam and how hit people up productively instead.
This is one of the most important skills you can learn in the music industry. Spamming doesn’t work. I’m going to explain why as well as what constitutes as spam. Understanding consequently how to reach out appropriately is the key next step to reaching your A-game.
3. Why Spam Doesn’t Work
Sam doesn’t work for one reason only. It’s annoying and people don’t want to be annoyed. Furthermore, most of the common types of spam have been repeated so often that you get deleted right away, or worst someone remembers your name as a spammer and then talks shit about you to their friends. You don’t want to be in that position.
Spam makes you look like a clown and gets other people mocking you. Furthermore, since you’re blasting spam messages out at people you probably aren’t going to double-check you don’t send it to important industry contacts who will DEFINITELY think you’re an idiot and not want to work with you.
2. What Counts As Spam?
This is the big one and the place where people get caught up. For me, spam is any sort of unsolicited message being sent out en masse to people who don’t want that message. Basically, it’s a question of ‘did this person consent to get promotional materials from you?’ If they did, then it’s not spam. If they didn’t… well shit.
Hitting your email list of people who signed up? Not spam. Sending your demo to every single one of your Instagram followers or even randoms? Definitely spam. There’s a huge difference there. The real thing to ask is, “If someone did this to me, would I be annoyed?” If the answer is yes – then don’t fucking send it.
1. How To Reach Out Appropriately
Reaching out appropriately could be the top skill to understand in the music business. It could be its own article. But here’s the broad strokes. Make sure that you reach out in a way that is personalized and kind. Do NOT expect other people to know how you are or to do the work for you. This is just going to make people mad.
Instead when you reach out again think “How would I react if I got this message?” Then it’s very simple. Odds are if someone gave you specific praise and showed they really cared about you you’d be much more likely to reply. IF they went too broad you wouldn’t give a shit. You need to do the same.
As you can see there’s a lot of reasons to avoid spamming and most of the things that do count as spam can be avoided with a little bit of common sense. The question then becomes how to reach out appropriately, but if you do it with kindness and intent you’ll get a lot further than you thought!
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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