As a musician, pitching your music in person is hard enough as it is. People have a short amount of time and places to go, or at least they say they do. So, you will have to rely on the quality of your music to speak for itself. I do have varying opinions about one's quality of music, if nobody likes it at first. Firstly, if people think that your music is trash (not a lot of people will tell you that in person by the way), then you should probably try to receive some constructive criticism from other musicians to see how you can improve. Secondly, if you are trying to be an innovator of a new sound, then you will simply have to rely on the element of time for the consumer to catch up to the aesthetic of your sound. You should also continue to learn new skills as a musician, rather it is sound engineering, marketing, or connecting with media outlets. If you are in the latter, then I have my two cents to share on how you can get early adopters and fans for your music.
The In-Person Pitch
If you are making a pitch to someone in person, then you are going to need to make it your best and fastest pitch. First of all, you will need to be ready to be able to share your music in a quick fashion. Now there may be some future options for how to share your music quickly (this could be a money maker for you app developers out there), but most artists are going to have to simply refer the potential fan to the nearest music streaming platform.
An alternative option is to simply tell the stranger: “If you like my music, then I would appreciate it if you share it with your friends or on social media. If you don’t like it, then you can just forget it ever existed”. This creates an honest and quick approach.
The Sticky Pitch
Another option is to have a sticker on hand to share with the potential fan. The sticker should have your website or your artist name on it so they can search it on whatever streaming platform they can get it on. The reason why I say that you should use a sticker is due to this being a tangible and usable product for people to have for them to either stick it on their laptop, wall, phone, etc. This does two things for you: memorability and visibility. If they find out that they really like your music, then they might tell their friends about you or share your music on their social media. If they simply like the design of the sticker, then they will dedicate the time to slap your sticker on something. It is a win-win, unless they just decide to throw it away.
Musicians should talk to and collaborate with other artists in different mediums such as gamers, YouTube influencers, podcasters, featuring on other musicians songs, small/local publications to write a review or article about your music, getting interviewed (video or written), do some wild shit for press (for those with less integrity or are just simply bold), or pay for a dope concert photographer to make you look good (*wink*).
People forget that the power of recommendation is one of the strongest ways of getting the respect and the ears of the consumer. Musicians will need to focus on different methods now on how they are seen and where their music is shared. So try different ways to put yourself and your music out there.
Article by Jamal Lawson