Creating a piece of music that can sell a product can be creatively demanding, but it can also be quite rewarding. The question is how does one transition from indie songwriter/artist to valued tunesmith for a company? What steps should you take once you have successfully negotiated your first commercial contract? Here are some valuable tips which can help you get your jingle writing career started off on the right foot.
Do Some Background Research
Pay attention to commercials and watch channels that are more youth-oriented, like MTV What kinds of music are being used in those commercials? Are they dance tracks and electronica, or more quirky, acoustic songs ? Advertising jingles requires watching and listening to what’s out and this can give you an idea of what the industry is looking for. This research will help you meet the demands of what is actually required and what is most trending around the world.
The key is to set your expectations accordingly. There are many companies which are looking to obtain the rights to existing tracks from existing brands, or using semi-professionals to whip up something fairly simple.
That being said, there is always room out there for new talent.
Know Your Role
As a jingle writer, you’ll strive to understand the true message of the company you’re working with, and then you translate that into a song. As an aspiring jingle writer, you should be open to new suggestions and compromise. In the end, you’re providing a service, which entails making the client happy. If your client doesn’t approve of the product, it’s on you to understand their issue and make necessary corrections.
Invest in Self-Promotion
Shameless self-promotion is crucial when starting out in this business. Do whatever it takes to get your name out there. Strike up conversations with people at ad agencies, email them, even send them gifts if need be. You should also learn what their needs are, so that you can offer them a solution.
You are trying to open doors, even if it’s just enough to get that first toe slipped in. Tell people that you write jingles, visit ad agencies in person, even offer to work pro bono on a starter project. This is where that persistence is going to come in handy, although you should not go overboard. Be consistent and stay calm, but don’t let yourself come off as desperate (refrain from calling the same ad agency every day). Just like in everyday social situations, that can be a real turnoff. Radio advertising in Australia could be a huge profitable option for self promotion.
Capture the Vibe, Don’t Copy the Song
If your client does have a specific sound or song in mind, be sure to proceed with caution. Musicologists are trained to identify copied music that infringes on copyright laws. This is really tricky territory, because even something that is perceived as intent to sound like another piece of music can be a lawsuit waiting to happen.
As a jingle writer trying to recreate the emotion or vibe behind a particular piece of music, start with the obvious similarities as a way to set a like-minded sonicstage. For example, say your client really likes this one song, and that song relies heavily on acoustics. Implement some acoustic guitar or piano in your track, and you’ll be on track to capturing that vibe your client favors.
Keep these tips in mind as you get your jingle writing career started and you’ll have the resources needed to overcome many of those early obstacles. If we can leave you with one last piece of advice, it would be “be prepared to go that extra mile”.