It is a well-known fact that becoming a professional musician is far more accessible if a record label has brought you aboard. There are many benefits to signing with a label including more exposure and financial support. To learn more about why signing with a record label is so important, check out our article: How it Helps to Sign With a Record Label. Assuming the talent is all there, there could be several other key factors you are missing out on which are preventing you from getting picked up by a label. Here we will discuss 5 important concepts to keep in mind when presenting yourself to record labels in order to show them why you should be the one they want.
1. Be Proud of Your Sales
At the end of the day, record labels are just like any other business with the ultimate goal of making money. In order to get a label to sign you, you have to prove to them that you will be a profitable asset to their company. The best way to do this is by showing them how your talent has brought in sales and fans.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to keep records on how much money you have made from music sales and concert tickets. While showing labels how many people have downloaded your music for free may display your popularity, it will not be as useful in proving that you have money-making abilities. Making actual sales from your music and concerts will show record labels that they can do the same if they sign you.
Keeping records of how many people come to your concerts and how many tickets you sell will also be valuable information when approaching labels. A growing fan base is something worth showing off as it proves to record labels that you as a musician are a good business investment for them.
2. Be Your Brand
When trying to attract labels, you need to think about what it is exactly that you want them to be attracted by. Branding allows you to create an image for yourself that is representative of your style and ideals. Your brand is going to be what record labels search for when deciding who to take on. If they like your brand, they like you.
Included in your brand is everything from the style of your music to the way you dress, your hair style, your name, and what you put out on social media. It is important to be conscious of these factors when trying to appeal to a certain label. Changing your appearance or choosing to post certain things does not make you a sellout, it makes you a smart business person and hopefully a successful musician in the long run. Learning how to market yourself is the first step to making it big in the music world.
3. Tour as Much as Possible
Besides being musically talented, touring is the most effective way to become a successful musician. While frequently writing songs and making them available for fans online is a helpful means to getting your name out there, nothing can compare to actually getting on stage and putting on a show for people. Not only does this actually connect a face to the voice for your fans, but it also gets your name out there purely from advertising and postings about the upcoming show.
It is important to note that until you have made it big, being able to perform anywhere should be seen as a great opportunity and a chance to grow your career. Being picky about where you play will hurt you in the end because any form of publicity is better than none. Just make sure the venue you are playing at is treating you fairly and paying you for the work you put in. Being accommodating as to where you perform should not have to result in being taken advantage of.
4. Have a Good Attitude
When negotiating with labels, being professional and firm on your beliefs should not come at the cost of being rude. No matter how you put it, no one wants to work with rude, stuck up people who think they are better than anyone. Having good people skills will get you much further in life then putting on a façade in hopes of seeming cool to those around you. At the end of the day, there will always be another hard-working musician out there who could take your place in a heartbeat. So, make a good first impression.
When it comes to handling business matters, stick to your morals, keep you and your band’s best interest in mind, and always remember where you started from. If you feel the business side of music is beyond your scope of knowledge, hiring a good music lawyer might be your best option.
5. Quality is King
When it comes to music, the saying ‘Haste Makes Waste’ could not hold more true. Flooding your fans with new songs constantly is impressive, but if the quality of the recording is not quite up to par, no one will want to listen to it. Quality over Quantity should be the mantra of every musician.
Taking the time and money to learn how to edit and mix tracks will pay off in the end when record labels are listening to music you actually want to stand behind as a musician. While making a good self-image and touring a lot is important, nothing should come before creating quality music. That is what fans want to hear and what record labels want to sign.
Making it in the music world is a marathon, not a race. Create music you are proud of, tour for your fans, talk to people with experience, and over time, your efforts will be noticed. Nothing worth doing is going to be easy, and there is no doubt that every professional musician out there would confirm that.