5 Things To Remember When Reaching Out To Someone “Cold” | The Weekly

As songwriters, we always face the frustration of how to get to the right decision maker in the music industry for our songs. Much of the answer lies in the slow and steady development of our network of friends and acquaintances, but, from time to time, we must have the courage to bring ourselves out by connecting with someone we have not met before. These “cold” contacts may hold a key to helping us advance in our careers as songwriters, but “how” we communicate with others is just as important as “who.” To that end, I’ve compiled a list of some things to keep in mind when connecting with a contact in the music industry you haven’t met before.

1. Present yourself with humility and respect
Quiet confidence is one of the hallmarks of a professional in any business. It’s okay — actually important — to believe you have great songs but it’s not good to introduce yourself to an industry veteran by saying you have songs that are sure to be a hit. First of all, this is not yet proven, and secondly, it is a much better policy to let your songs speak for you.

2. Be clear about who you are and why they are contacting you
People in the music industry – like most of us – are busy. Don’t be vague about why you want to meet or what’s on your mind. It is much better to briefly explain who you are and why you contacted this person. This makes things a lot simpler in terms of whether or not the person you called can help.

3. Be aware of your contact’s time
Since we’re so passionate about our songs and songwriting, it’s easy for us to forget that other people might not be as interested in our work as we are. By asking for a short meeting or a fifteen-minute call, for example, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting someone to say yes to your request. It is important to remember – and always assume – that the person you are trying to meet has only a limited amount of time. This way, you will learn to give your best and most succinct self in your interactions. Also, it’s always good policy if you have a request, to start small. Don’t ask about the moon because it is unlikely to receive a positive response – or any.

4. Think about how your contact will benefit
While it’s easy to determine how we can benefit from a relationship with someone in the music industry, it’s always helpful to take a moment and think about how the person you’re connecting with benefits your interaction. Early in our career there might not be much we have to offer to anyone in the industry but it’s never a good idea to keep that in mind.

5. Follow politely
Reaching out to anyone in the music business without putting a reminder to follow on your calendar is – in my experience – almost like not communicating at all. Follow-up is an art in itself. Knowing when and how often to follow up is tricky, but when in doubt, a quick email of a sentence or two every two weeks will be fine. However, if you don’t hear anything at all after a few follow-up emails, it’s time to let go of them and move on. It’s hard not to take this personally but don’t. You never know when you’ll have a chance to interact again with this person in the future, so staying polite is crucial.

In the end, having access to a cold person is not the easiest or the most pleasant thing, but it is a necessary evil. All of the above suggestions come to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are communicating with and treat them the way you want them to be treated. Certainly not all cold calls/emails work but if it does, it can make up for a few failed attempts. Take a deep breath and keep going.

Good luck and God bless you!

Curriculum Vitae
Cliff Goldmacher is a GRAMMY recognized songwriter, music producer, and composer with recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee and Sonoma, California. Through its studios, Cliff provides songwriters outside of Nashville with direct virtual access to Nashville’s top session musicians and demo singers for their songwriting demos. Find out more. You can also download Cliff’s free advice sheet “A Dozen Quick Fixes to Immediately Improve Your Songs.”

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