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How to Get Signed By a Record Label

Although it’s not a magic formula to success, landing a record deal could be your gateway to stardom. Record companies, with their marketing power and financial clout, can get your music out there and help you make a name for yourself.

There are advantages and disadvantages, but signing with a record label may help you get to the top faster than if you’re going to independently produce and market your music.

Securing a contract with a label company is another matter, though. So, if you’re convinced signing a contract with a label is right for you, here are some tips to help you do just that.

Image credit: The Vespers via YouTube

Grow your SoundCloud Following

Before seeking a label for your music you must first work on having a solid following on the internet, and SoundCloud is a good place to start doing that.

Why, you might ask? First of all, label companies are businesses. Businesses have the concept of reducing risk down to a fine art (or at least that’s their goal). They invest their resources only with the most bankable prospects.

They take a gamble only when it seems like a good bet, with someone who already has a fan base – a strong, alive and kicking fan base that spells guaranteed album sales and less financial risk for them.

Now, there are many places on the web where you can grow your following but SoundCloud is the one built for music. Just as YouTube is for videos and Instagram is for images, SoundCloud is for music.

Image credit: Pitchfork

SoundCloud is also the platform where big and small record labels, and all the names that matter in the industry, go to discover new and unsigned artists. So, as long as you’re going to build an online following, you better do it on SoundCloud.

Unfortunately, whether on SoundCloud or other social media sites, it often takes a few months to several years to build even a small following. It takes a lot of patience, diligence, and more importantly, precious time.

Buying SoundCloud Followers should help speed up the whole process. Just remember though, that when you buy Followers, you don’t get real Followers – real and loyal Followers cannot be bought. However, when you buy SoundCloud Followers you’ll appear popular, and that’s almost as good as being popular itself.

Here’s why:

Those are just some of the benefits you get from buying SoundCloud Followers and it all can be summarized into that last line: it attracts REAL Followers.

The bottom line is that people will want to follow you, regardless of their own beliefs, because other people are already following you. It’s a psychological phenomenon proven to work in marketing and that’s how you should view buying Followers: as a promotional strategy.

One last word of caution. You won’t look credible with a bunch of fake-looking Followers so make sure you only buy from providers that sell quality SoundCloud Followers.

Brand Yourself

The first thing recording companies are going to do is check you out online. Mostly to find out if you have a following and how popular you are, but also to gauge your overall marketability. They want to know if you have what it takes to be popular.

Remember that your name and your music are your brands. You are your brand, so professionalize your online identity and everything that represents you online. To do this, you should:

Get a website

Get your own website to appear more professional. With a website, you can centralize your online presence in one page and direct people to other social media sites you might have on top of SoundCloud.

You can also create content and promote your own music through it. If maintaining a website is a problem, you can simply buy a domain name and map it to a nameplate site that only shows pertinent information about you or your band.

Image credit: That Long Blog

Create professional-looking social media channels

Including your SoundCloud page, choose one professional username and use consistent profile covers and images for all your networks. This is an important part of branding and it helps your audiences remember you and your name.

Image credit: fabipaolini

It would also be great if you could have your profile picture professionally taken. It’s an added expense but it will definitely be a good investment. Don’t forget to complete your pages’ bios and descriptions, too.

Connect with the Right People

Record companies get hundreds of demos everyday. Do they check each and every one of those submissions? Possibly but highly unlikely, and if they do, it’s probably done by staff members who don’t have decisional authority.

The point is, you have more chances of getting signed through a network than by sending a demo that will probably never reach the ears of people that matter.

So, with the intention of finding out the right people to pitch to, do some research and reach out to the key people in the industry. Follow them online and establish offline contact if you can. You all already have music in common, so don’t be afraid to approach them and introduce yourself.

Attend music festivals, gigs and concerts, tours and other gatherings where you’ll be able to rub elbows with music influencers as well as interact with your peers. Having musical skills and talent is good, but connections are also important.

Create a Hit

When you’ve established your connections and a strong SoundCloud presence, it’s time to think about your demo piece. Again, you have to think from a business perspective. These people are looking for pieces with the makings of a smash hit.

Impressive instrumentalism and wide vocal ranges all help. However, the focus of your demo should be its power to connect to a broad audience and not the very few who could grasp how difficult that bass line was, or how complex the key musical arrangement was.

Image credit: BuzzFeed

You want to get noticed not only for your musicality but also for your marketability. In other words, you want them to know you have the ability to make pieces that can appeal to the vast majority. That’s where most of the money is, and it’s what most record labels care about.

One way to get noticed in a sea of talented artists is to have a massive number of Plays on your SoundCloud tracks. Once they see that you have plenty of listeners, you up your chances of being offered a contract.

You can buy SoundCloud Plays to get this going for you. Massive numbers of bought Plays, even if they’re fake, draw real listeners because the numbers serve as a recommendation for people. Just think, if you’re presented with two tracks, one with very few Plays and one with many, which would you listen to?

Submit your Demo

Submit your demo, not just to important people you were able to meet in person but also to all other record companies that match your musical style. You can’t expect a ballad record label to sign you on if you’re a rapper, can you? Submit to as many as you can but go one by one – never submit to two or all at the same time to avoid conflicts.

So, make your list and start waiting for positive news. If good news doesn’t come, move on to the next on your list and never give up. Sometimes, patience takes people farther than talent could.

It Takes More Than Talent

Talent is rarely the only reason that musicians get signed. Music is a business and businesses, like record companies, look for artists who are already “popular” in a way. Signing musicians with a large following means less work and fewer risks for them.

So, it’s important to build your fan base first before you approach any record label for a contract. Go through all the items on our list because when you do, you’ll get your music heard by record companies and you’ll have a super chance of landing that record deal.

Go get ‘em!

Image credit: GIPHY

Date: July 20, 2017 / Categories: Getting Discovered, Marketing, / Author: Chell

July
20
2017

Chell

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