One of the hardest parts of starting a musician career is getting it off the ground. Raising enough money to finance your passion, learning the ropes and finding those first few fans is not easy. Success takes hard work and dedication – but if you know where to start and what to do, the process gets much easier.
Entering a songwriting competition can be a powerful experience for a musicians. It can be an awesome way to get that extra boost you need and build momentum for your project. Winning comes with a lot of perks, but even if you don’t win, you won’t leave empty handed. If you’re looking for a competition that’s fun and can get your project off to a flying start, take it to the next level, the sofasession summer song competition might just be right for you but first:
Here’s a few of the reasons you should consider entering a songwriting competition.
1. gain exposure for your yourself
Songwriting competitions are a great way to tell others about your musical projects, gain exposure, and find new fans.
There are several ways you can use competitions for marketing, branding, and PR. First is the obvious: You get to brag about it! Email your friends and people who were at your past concerts (check your FB events to get in touch with them). Second take advantage of community voting, you have an opportunity to stir up your fan base by inviting them to participate. Sharing your involvement in a songwriting competition, no matter what the outcome, demonstrates your commitment to your music, how you are creatively growing your project and that you’re looking for ways evolve and improve your personal style.
There are a lot more ways to profit from publicity and attention during songwriting competitions. Contests are usually an easy way for press and bloggers looking for newcomers to get an overview of the scene and find their next story – be prepared to give them one. Of course winners receive a whole lot more attention, but entrants also have a story to share. So if you happen to win an award, brag about it and enjoy the spotlight! If you didn’t make the cut this time, you can still approach the press with an original and interesting story. Oh, and be sure you’re ready for the new opportunities that will be heading your way.
2. network with savvy musicians
Songwriting competitions are packed with ambitious guys and gals just like you. Whether they are just taking off or have been at it for years, they all started as greenhorns and built it from scratch. They’ve all made plenty of mistakes, acquired knowledge and skills along the way and have endless information and perspectives to share. Don’t be shy, rub elbows, drop messages, ask questions and take note! Each interaction may just save you from having to learn lessons the hard way. And remember, sometimes the biggest “aha” moments come when you’re jamming with strangers.
3. spark your creativity
Entering and attending songwriting contests will get your creative juices flowing. The actual process of entering the competition forces you to put your ideas on paper, organize your thoughts and brainstorm the possibilities. In some cases, other participants and the audience will provide you with unsolicited (and priceless) feedback. Actively following competitors will kick your ideas into hyper drive so you can push your style to the next level. Listening to passionate musicians and exposing yourself to new perspectives will inevitably spark your creative spirit. You’ll walk away with a notepad packed with tons of ideas for new songs!
4. show (and improve) your unique sound
It’s not easy to enter a songwriting competition – and that’s a good thing! Chances are you will need to polish up your style, come up with new ideas, put them together and rip everything apart over and over again, to create that winning track. This process will force you to think critically about every note of your tracks, nail down your vision, assess competitor tracks, define what you want to add to develop the song and give your track a personal touch. Face it, submitting an application to a songwriting competition forces you to focus and refocus on your overall style, which may be one of the most valuable aspects of entering.
5. learn to get vetted (and yes even rejected)
Rejection is almost unavoidable in a musician’s world. Learn to toughen up to being rejected through a contest rather than the audience at a live gig. At the same time take your chance to leave a lasting positive impression!
If you don’t have your personal musician profile yet, now is the time to create one! While attending a songwriting competition, you will have dozens of opportunities to tell people about you. Your musician profile just like your website or facebook page summarizes your musical projects and personal sound. It can make the difference between a potential fan losing interest or keep on following and maybe visiting one of your next concerts.
Be sure to create a meaningful profile beforehand! Make it exciting, unique, and memorable. Add some pictures and videos of past gigs or soundfiles of current projects. Test-drive it among friends and colleagues. Watch people’s reactions as you share it. Are they intrigued? Do they want to listen to more, or do they walk away after the first song? Don’t be afraid of criticism and harsh feedback. Remember, practice makes perfect.
6. develop and measure your talent
All too often, songwriters wonder if they’ve evolved to the point of being worthy of publication. Those who don’t wonder are probably not, but you’ll never know unless you make that move and put your tracks out there! A good measure of your abilities can be gained by entering a songwriting contest. When you start placing and winning, it’s a pretty good sign you’re getting something right.
7. connect with tutors and other professional musicians
We all need a little hand-holding from time to time and songwriting competitions often provide the support and instruction newcomers need. The sofasession summer song competition offers contestants to meet with knowledgeable musical tutors as part of the process. Every song is supervised and mentored by a professional musician. If you’re smart about it, you can probably get incredible valuable feedback just jamming online with more experienced competitors. Bottom line, songwriting competitions are a great way to find tried-and-true advice.
8. get credentials
Many newcomers wonder how to get offers for paid gigs or even unpaid ones. Well nobody wants to buy a pig in a poke, so usually they go for musicians they saw or at least someone with published songs and sound samples online.
But having a professional website with expensive studio recordings probably is a big hurdle for many newcomers, while winning a songwriting contests, might just give you as much or even more credibility than a full studio album and comes at a much cheaper price!
Yes, you must win or become a finalist to get the credential, but still that’s logistically easier to accomplish than getting a single or long player published (if you don’t have connections). Why not give it a try?
9. but wait there’s more: the prizes!
Winning comes with bragging rights, and more! Prizes for the sofasession summer song competition are 500 € cash for the winners, plus an invitation to a free studio session. Recording the winning song in a professional environment and having an awesome experience working together with competent and qualified technicians and musicians!
Every kid in little league gets a trophy. You could say the same goes for songwriting competitions, but you walk away with a lot more than a certificate of participation! Every songwriting competition has dozens of stories of musicians that took off after participating. The only question left is, do you have the guts to put yourself out there?