How To Become A Musician Jingle Writer
You’ve decided you want to become a musician jingle writer and need a place to start. Becoming a jingle writer takes a lot of patience and hard work, motivation and determination, as well as the ability to accept rejection and rise above the competition.
- Study advertising techniques. Before you can become a successful jingle writer, you need a basic understanding of what advertising is and is not as well as various advertising methods and strategies. This includes consumer behavior and why advertising works. Even jingle writers who write for television or radio shows benefit from learning advertising basics. Basic advertising courses are available at most community colleges, and there are many self-study books available on the market.
- Observe and make notes. Listen to as many different types of jingles as possible. These can be from television commercials, radio commercials, announcements, television show introductions and business slogans. Make notes as to what makes the jingle work, why the jingle is effective and why it catches and holds your attention.
- Determine the market. Any jingle writer needs to know the market. Who is the target audience? What is the purpose of the jingle – to make a purchase for a product, to attract people to an event, to create a familiar opening to a sit-com? Knowing the market before you become a jingle writer will help you to create a better portfolio and market yourself to the appropriate markets.
- Create a portfolio and writing samples. Build a strong portfolio that includes previous experience and clients, relevant educational experiences and samples. Your portfolio needs to contain written samples as well as an audio sample. Write several jingles for existing products, services, businesses and television shows. You won’t be trying to sell these specific samples, but they are necessary to give potential clients an idea of what you are capable of. Any experience you have should be highlighted, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. If you once wrote a jingle for your friend’s home business or for the community youth group, include that in your portfolio. Make your portfolio stand out from the rest. Clients want to see what makes you different from every other jingle writer out there.
- Market yourself. Start small with local organizations and businesses. They may not pay as much, but will certainly help to build your portfolio, regardless of pay. Make yourself known in the community and online. Set up a website for yourself and include a few samples. Print up some professional looking business cards. Get the word out about who you are, what you have to offer, and why the client should hire you. Attend conferences and workshops; join writer’s groups and organizations to build a strong network.
- Be patient and persistent. Rejection is part of the process as you become a jingle writer. You are likely to hear “no” or “I’m not interested” much more often then you will hear a yes. The more you get your name out there, the more yes’s you will get. If it’s necessary, do a few free jingles here and there just to get your name out. Make sure you let the client know ahead of time that this is a onetime deal and what your usual rate is. Do not make it a habit of giving out free work.