As a musician you want the most success for your career, which hopefully means getting attention from big record labels. Getting signed is a huge step, and it takes a lot of hard work and patience.
In this article I will help you maximize your potential to effectively attract record labels.
Polish Your Music
Pause before you click send on that song demo, and consider a few things. Is the song as good as it can be? First, ask people you know to give you feedback. Avoid asking close friends or family, because they will most likely support you no matter what. Feedback provides insight to improve things you might not have been aware of. Therefore, the more feedback you get, the more likeable you can make your tracks. Second, make sure your sound is polished. Mixing and mastering can make a world of difference. If you can’t do it yourself, send it to someone who does know how.
Social media is a great way to expose labels to your music. Make an artist page on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Soundcloud. Include links on each platform that will lead to the others. Own a .com domain that is consistent with your social media pages. Aesthetics are extremely important. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile, and spend money on a designer who will provide visually appealing artwork and logos. If your page looks cheap, labels won’t buy it.
Record labels are businesses first and foremost. Make a list of the top 5 labels you want releasing your music, and make sure they fit your genre. Do your research. Find the labels on all media platforms, and know what they are looking for. Record labels no longer have total control over the market for music due to the rise of social media. This means there is a growing reliance on bands having independent marketing power. By showing record labels that you are capable of marketing yourself as an artist, you also demonstrate your value to the business. If you can’t make them money, why should they sign you?
If you’ve done your research you should have been able to find record labels’ employee emails. Now it’s time to connect. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, everywhere. Follow everything you can find. Send messages directly, and start building relationships. If you did have trouble finding employee emails, connect directly with the label itself. Send concise messages that show appreciation and interest. Be persistent. You may not get a reply right away or even at all, but don’t be discouraged. You want to develop familiarity and maintain a presence. The idea that you want something from these people won’t help you convey genuine interest.
There are a few rules to follow when it comes time to submit your material. Keep your work original. This means no remixes, edits, reworks, or anything you’ve already uploaded publicly somewhere else. Next, put yourself in the shoes of the record label. Receiving countless submissions makes it easy and necessary to overlook many. For this reason, you want to make it as convenient as possible for your work to be viewed. To do so, avoid sending emails with attachments. Many labels will automatically neglect these; so instead of attaching files, share links to private uploads from familiar download and streaming places, like Soundcloud. Make sure your track title and artist name are clear, and format any files properly. 320 kbps MP3 is good. Finally, keep things personalized. Don’t go sending multiple record labels the same track to different labels.
If you follow these 5 steps, you will greatly increase your chances of getting noticed, and you just might land the record deal of your dreams. Remember be patient, persistent, and put in the time and effort that your music deserves.
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Christian Cherry enjoys playing drums, singing, being social, and traveling. When he is not playing instruments he is constantly listening to different artists and genres for inspiration.