A well-written song—or any message for that matter—only has maximum impact when it connects with other people. If I’ve learned anything in my career as a songwriter, it’s that I must take the time not only to craft my songs but also to get them out in the world. It is only in that way that the songs can do their best work.
There is a dangerous myth that if you do great work, the world will beat a path to your door to discover it. It’s a myth because everything I know about songs and the way they get cut tells me that, in the end, it’s up to the songwriter to spread the word about their songs.
The most successful songwriters spend a large percentage of their time pitching their songs to any and all interested parties from record labels to artist managers, music producers and even directly to the recording artists themselves. The “dangerous” part of the above myth is that when we assume people will come to us if only our work is good enough, it puts all the focus on the work itself and almost no emphasis on connecting with people and the sharing of that work. Great songs that no one hears might as well not exist in terms of the good they do for society at large.
That being said, there is genuine value in doubling down on learning the craft of songwriting because the deeper you understand your own songwriting process, the easier it will be to pitch your work. Below are three reasons why a deep understanding of your own songwriting process will make it easier to pitch and promote your songs.
1. It’s easier to pitch songs you have confidence in
It’s simple math. If you’re proud of the work you’ve done, it’s easier to imagine sharing it with others. Once you’ve taken the time to refine your songs, you’ll have a way of pitching them that is richer and more nuanced. Feeling confident about your songs is like jet fuel for your motivation to promote them.
2. It’s more effective to pitch songs that are unique to you
Part of being confident in your newly written songs is the belief that others will find your songs interesting as well. By taking the time to truly develop both the art and craft of your songwriting, you’ll be presenting others with your unique voice as a writer and that will make it easier, ultimately to find a home for them. This constitutes the kind of win/win between confidence in your songs which are then also well-received because of their unique point of view.
3. The deeper your understanding of your songs, the better you can pitch them
I’ve heard it said that the real value is not in understanding complicated ideas but in understanding those complicated ideas well enough to explain them simply. Once you’ve deeply examined your own writing process and songs, you’ll “get” them on a more fundamental level. This will allow you to pitch them in a more specific way to those who are looking.
While writing a song is an exceptional accomplishment in and of itself, it’s the pitching and cutting of your song that ultimately represents the end of a professional songwriter. Once you’ve examined your songwriting process and come to truly understand it from a nuanced, more informed point of view, pitching your songs will be not only easier but a pleasure.
Cliff Goldmacher is a GRAMMY-recognized, #1 hit songwriter, music producer and educator who helps business teams and organizations explore their creativity. Through his studios, Cliff provides songwriters outside of Nashville with virtual, live access to Nashville’s best session musicians and studio vocalists for their songwriting demos. Find out more. You can also download Cliff’s FREE tip sheet “A Dozen Quick Fixes To Instantly Improve Your Songs.”