Be Ready for an X Factor Audition
"Sending your song for review is like auditioning for X Factor"
You have done all the hard work. Writing and composing the song, recording and mixing and now it's ready for distribution. You are proud of your creation and so should everyone else. So, you send it out to blogs and publications for a music review.
This is where the indie artist has to realize that they are now in almost the same position as if auditioning for X Factor. There is no guarantee that the 'judges' i.e. the reviewers are going to see your creation in the same light.
The feedback you receive may be encouraging or it may be negative and not presented in a way that is very palatable either. What you do next is important to your future development and can damage or grow the following and fanbase you have worked hard to build up.
In this blog article, I'll look at negative reviews as these are the ones that need to be carefully managed and are the ones that lead to a better understanding of your music. Assuming the review is from a rational source and not a social media troll (although it may feel that way).
How to Turn Bad Reviews into a Positive Experience
Bad reviews can cut deep. So initially, let it out! Get upset, angry or whatever it makes you feel. You need to go through this in order to end up with a positive experience and be in a position to re-evaluate your creation.
Don't take the bait. I have found it best not to make any comment about negative music reviews while you're still in the hurt phase as this can be the period when you say something you may regret. If you do reply be polite as this is just one person's view.
Bad reviews really can be a learning experience. I have had many and at the start, you give it the 'they don't know what the f@ck they're talking about'. But after I let the hurt subside a little I take a look at the song again. Putting aside purely personal dislikes, I often find that there is something in the criticism and this is what should be taken away and used to improve future productions.
Everybody's tastes are different. All music is such a personal thing and likes and dislikes vary widely. This is something I have come to terms with long ago. It should be easier for you to accept that someone just doesn't like your style of music because there will always be someone that loves it.
Bad publicity is better than no publicity. This is a saying that has been around for a long time and makes even more sense in this social media algorithm driven world. One of the things that help with Google ranking is backlinks (links between websites). Sending out reviews and getting them published with a link to your websites helps with SEO. So even if you receive a bad review you can have the last laugh by knowing they are helping with your ranking.
It's your music so play it if you want to. At the end of the day, it's your music, your creation, so be proud. Rise above any criticism, learn any lessons and make any action you take a positive one. A bad review doesn't mean all your music is bad.
What do critics know?