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Jingle Singers - Jumpstart Your Singing Career!

By Tom Gauger As a former talent booking agent, professional jingle singer and founder of Reel Musician, I have written numerous articles on entering the jingle singing and session singing world.  Most of my articles have zeroed in on the ground floor stages of creating an incredible jingle demo reel far exceeding your competition.  In this article I would like to expand on the secondary phase of jumpstarting your singing career by emphasizing your approach and marketing to producers, jingle houses and ancillary production staff, after you have a fully mastered jingle demo that you are sure will make your potential listeners say, “Wow!”  With that in mind, let’s look at some key areas where you can capitalize and start promoting your singing career in an effective way! To start with, there is no way that we can hit every question with our limited time together, and neither can I gauge your abilities, ambition and go get it nature.  With that in mind, I will start as if everyone reading this article has an incredible sounding jingle demo reel, not the I can do it at my friend’s house demo reel, but a demo reel that screams “I gotta hear that again,” along with incredible drive and ambition.  Any questions you might have with your jingle reel gjust Ask Us  So where do you go with your jingle demo and how do you approach these individuals?  - Great questions, let’s start with where you will go.  You will pitch your jingle demo reel starting in your immediate local market.  Some of you will have to broaden your local area as you may live out in the country or more remotely, but you get the idea.  You will be sending out your reel, with your name, telephone number and year on the front sleeve along with again your name, contact numbers, email address, order of jingles in sequence and year on the inside sleeve.  An extremely short bio along with a picture is not a bad idea.  You will send out this package to everyone you might think can help you – This includes other jingle singers that you’re not directly in competition with, jingle houses, industrial music houses, and key studios.  Once you have made your initial mailing, you will follow up with a phone call or email, phone call of course being the better option, and asking for their feedback.  You will want to come across as confident, friendly, professional, with a great attitude and willingness to be extremely flexible.  Now keep in mind that 10 different jingle houses will undoubtedly give you ten different responses much like everyone is an “expert” and has “recommendations” with your resume.  Look for common denominators in your conversations and make sure that you keep a record. Keep track of who, when, the date, any follow up material needed and any and all misc information in your conversations that you need to keep a record of.  Don’t be lazy here.  This is a business and you need to treat it as such.  Computers make one’s life infinitely easier with keeping track of information like this, but you can do it manually.  As a side note, emailing is significantly easier and less costly, but it is not quite as effective as actually mailing out your jingle reel.  Once you make a connection with a jingle house, they may request it or you might inquire if it’s ok to submit via email and mp3. You will begin to expand your jingle singing campaign to secondary and major markets like Chicago, LA, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, etc.  You will want to get familiar with the different jingle houses by either researching jingle houses online or visiting clicking on jingle singing and then on music production links.  You will again contact these various production facilities sending out your jingle reel and again following up with these potential clients.  As I’ve stated in previous articles, you might want to consider having a second jingle reel or additional session singing tape to cross over the desks of those producers on the verge of using your singing talents.  Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder and you get the next call.  Singing commercials can be extremely lucrative and your ability to push a little bit on the front end could really pay off well.  Even if your passion is to become a major record label artist, there’s no crime in pursuing a money making venture on the front end to help facilitate living expenses, and who knows, you could very easily sing commercials and make a considerable living the rest of your life.  That wouldn’t be all bad now would it.  Let’s spend a few minutes looking at different conversations as you send out your reel.  Producer number one likes your reel, but is asking what experience you have.  Your answer will sound something like – “As you can tell by my reel, I am a seasoned singer and can deliver the singing goods and I’ll be consistent with everything you throw my way.”   Notice I didn’t say, “We’ll I haven’t sung on any commercials yet” – Emphasize the reality that you will deliver on every singing project thrown your way.   If you have a real smooth voice and the question is whether or not you can get more of an edge on your voice you can respond, “One of my greatest singing strengths is my ability to blend and with the right tracks and backing, I can deliver an upbeat jingle.”  Now don’t over do it and by all means be honest.  Don’t tell them that you will sound like a heavy rock and roller when in fact you won’t even come close.  Just be honest and at the same time put your best foot forward.  You will have a number of questions that come up, but be prepared to always give an honest answer, but putting your best foot forward at the same time. 
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