Landing a sync placement is an amazing feeling for anyone who's been pitching their music to music supervisors. Knowing that professionals in the sync biz are taking your music seriously would get even the most jaded musician and/or manager fist pumping the air. But with all the excitement that comes with a placement it's easy to let the opportunity for mass promotion slip pass you.
Most people would say "Well hang on there, Daniela…Isn't getting the sync placement itself enough?" My first response is "Of course! Having millions of people from around the world hear your song in a TV show, Film, Game and/or Commercial is MASSIVE exposure, but capitalizing on that exposure with digital download sales and increased fans/followers is another story".
So below are some tips we recommend you follow if you (or your artist) have recently landed a sync deal…
Apart from having your song available for sale on iTunes (or on streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music) you need to definitely make sure you're on SHAZAM! More people are finding music via this service, and music industry folk (not just Music Supervisors) are paying serious attention to Shazam charts.
You then need to inform the media. Compile a list of people who have given you love in the past, and add those people you would like to get some love from, then fire out your media release. The song that's been synced might not have been a single you took to radio, but pitch it anyway. You'd be surprised at the amount of radio adds artists pick up by informing music programmers that the song is in a TV Show, Film, Game or Commercial. It might take a few hours to prepare and action, but you need to know that radio programmers will take notice of your song if it has beaten out hundreds of other songs to make that sync placement.
There is only one way the professional spin-doctors get a buzz going and that's through FOLLOWING UP. If you send out 30 media releases to journalists, bloggers and radio programmers, then you need to call every single one of these people till you get a YES or a NO. Don't expect them to act on it because most of the time they won't. They need to be reminded again and again. I recommend waiting a week between calls to give them time to respond – otherwise you might end up pissing them off.
Remember: polite persistence is insurance against failure.
THE FONZIE SYNDROME
A lot of artists and managers feel like they are diluting their cred by having to call someone to get some media love. This couldn't be further from the truth. People who work in music press or radio programming are usually musicians themselves, and therefore respect the fact that you have a great song that's been synced. Not to mention the fact that you've stepped up and given them a call, unlike so many artists and managers out there.
Sure, you're going to get a few fonzie's in the media who turn their noses up at you, thinking they're the shit, but there really isn't that many of them. You will also come across people that say they will support the song and never do, but YOU WILL get people who will support and champion the song.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Don't make grand plans to call one or two people, get a great list of people together and start contacting them! Contacts like; NPR, community radio, niche radio, the press, bloggers, and even your friends that have shit loads of Facebook friends can be a great start.
Finally, here are a few tips in how to appropriately contact the media:
Tip 1. Don't call people in the press late in the week as they are usually working to deadlines. They tend to have more time to speak early in the week. If you get an answering machine leave a short message, it will provide further top of mind awareness.
Tip 2. Make sure you call them. Don't keep emailing them, because 99% of the time they won't reply, and your mind will start thinking the worst!
Tip 3. There's a line between polite persistence and being a pest. Calling every day isn't cool, and could actually leave them with negative connotations of you. Once a week is fine.
Remember: FOLLOW UP till they say YES or NO. They'll admire and respect your persistence.
…And if you one of those artists or managers who think 'this is all too hard' or 'I don't have time for this' then look into getting a credible publicist with a successful track record to do the work for you!
About the Author – Daniela D'Onofrio
Daniela has been responsible in representing hundreds of indie artists, and successfully securing placements with Virgin, Qantas, Contiki, Jeans West, Twitter, Joe Fresh, Sony PlayStation and countless Films and TV Shows with Disney, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, HBO, Showtime, The CW, FOX, Netflix, USA Network, MTV, CTV, Warner Bros, ABC (USA), and NBC Universal.
Passionate about the sync industry, Daniela has had many speaking and teaching engagements including Q Music, Music Industry Inside Out, and SYNC Master Classes at Queensland University of Technology