We recently came across a very talented singer on YouTube, Hannah-Rei. Unable to contain our excitement we decided that we had to work with her. Thing is, she is under a management contract and can't work on any other recordings other than her own. Did that stop us from trying? No! In fact we fired up a unique demo and sent it to her management team. Now most people tend to send a compilation of previous works and in the worst cases works irrelevant to the recipient. They simply burn a cd and send it to a record label address, hoping someone will pay attention. Nonsense. They will be lucky if anyone actually listens to the demo. The cd either goes in the bin, or the email is discarded as spam, especially if it is unsolicited. Knowing this, we decided to create a demo with a twist. We took one of Hannah's demo songs (piano and voice) and added full production to it! After uploading the video on YouTube, we sent an email to her manager. This message contained the YouTube link to our fully produced version with details of the production services we could offer. A few days later, we got a positive reply. While we will not be working with Hannah anytime this year, there is potential to do so in 2010. Was the demo a success? Most definitely! Was it striking? We would like to think so. And here is why: The 3 Steps 1. Differentiate We did not simply send a cd or zip file of our previous works. That is boring. We took a demo, turned it into a fully produced song, synced it to Hannah's original YouTube video, uploaded it onto YouTube, and then sent the link to both Hannah and her Manager. 2. Value In our email to management, we offered the full version of our production demo at request. Even though they did not take us up on the offer, we were ready to provide the full version for them to use in any capacity, as long as we were credited. If there is no value in the demo, it is worthless. As an artist, you should create something such that the Gatekeeper will listen and think, "I can make a good return on this". In other words, make sure it is damn good! 3. Gatekeeper In the Little Red Book of Selling, Jeffrey Gitomer brazenly says "if you can't get in front of the real decision maker, you suck". We exchanged messages with Hannah and found out she was under a management deal. Luckily for us, there was no real barrier to getting in touch with her Manager. Normally, you might have to do a bit of schmoozing with the gatekeepers (personal assistants, secretaries) to get through to the real decision maker. Or if you are smart enough, you might find ways to avoid them all together. The key is to get your proposal as close to the real decision maker as possible.