It is very hard to make it in the music industry independently nowadays. To make a profitable career from your music takes a hell of a lot of time, effort and collaborations, which is why the majority of artists seek those all important management, label and publishing deals to help them on their way. But, before you can go out there and try to make these deals, there are a few things you must consider first:
#1 Network, network, network.
It can’t be said enough, although I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing it! However, in order to network efficiently you need something to network with i.e. if you’re doing a gig, or you’re attending a gig, or anything that gives you the opportunity to talk to people, make sure you give people something to walk away with. Business cards are a great way to do this. It gives you a professional feel and means that people have a reminder of you when they leave. Putting contact details and any links to your music/website/social media will encourage them to either get in touch or take a look at what you're all about - essential in building those all important relationships. CD’s can also work well, giving people an immediate way to listen to your music rather than sending them off to find it online. You can’t guarantee they’ll listen to it, but at least the option is there. People are more likely to remember you if you give them a reason to.
#2 Social Media
Speaking of social media, this can act as the hub of your activity, and give people a better idea of who you are as an artist. If you have something to show you are committed to making a name for yourself, people are more likely to take notice. However, a dormant social media account is almost as bad as not having one at all... keep those accounts busy and current to encourage fan engagement which makes you look more established. For help on this our sponsor, Horus Music, has some social media do’s and don’ts here.
#3 Don’t spam.
Figure out who you are as an artist and only approach companies who your music is right for. If you’re a pop artist there is no point approaching a label who has mainly heavy metal artists is there? You can almost guarantee they won’t sign you, and even if they might be interested do you honestly believe that is the right fit for you anyway? It’s always better to work with people similar to yourself, so that you have the same vision for your future career and you don’t risk disagreements further down the line. Plus, surely you have better things to do with your time than waste it on sending demos that may never get you anywhere?
#4 Shrink your world.
So now you’ve defined who you are as an artist, find ways of discovering companies in line with what you want. It can be daunting reaching out to companies in the music industry, especially when there are so many companies to choose from! So reduce your options. Going in with the mindset of “I need a label/manager/publisher” etc. will not help you find the contacts you need or are right for you. For example, here at Help For Bands we send contacts directly to your inbox every month of companies looking for artists to work with - this comes with a description of what they’re looking for - which is a great and easy way to find the next opportunity for you. And there are also some discounts exclusive to Help For Bands subscribers from photographers, recordings studios and much more to help that pesky cash flow when chasing a career in music! You can sign up here.
#5 Only send quality music.
Obviously you want to be sure the content of the music - the lyrics, the melody etc - is of a high quality, but that can be subjective; one person’s idea of a quality song may be very different to another, it depends on taste. But you can certainly tell if a song hasn’t been recorded and produced well, and this can put people off listening to your demo straight away. If you want to make sure you give a good impression, make sure the music you’re sending provides that impression for you. For more on this, see Music Gateway’s post on our site about how quality track production is the key to success here.
Help For Bands
Help For Bands is an online accelerator platform providing expert advice in the form of blogs and guest blogs to help musicians in all aspects of their careers, no matter what stage they are at or what genre they are in. We also send a monthly opportunities newsletter directly to your inbox (if you’ve signed up for it) giving you the chance to make deals in the industry with people who are actively looking to make deals with you. Check out our website here for more information: http:// www.helpforbands.co.uk
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