Compared to the way things were in the past, artists don’t need a label quite as much as they used to. The internet has made it much easier to promote music. Still, there are a lot of benefits to getting signed, and it eliminates a lot of extra work for aspiring artists. Getting signed to a label is never going to be easy either.
Even if you’re talented, you need to get noticed before you can get signed. Artists that get signed are usually discovered by A&R reps. Artists and Repertoire (A&R) is basically a record label’s talent scouting division. The reps that work in this division can be your key to getting signed, but you need to get their attention first.
Be professional, unique, and exciting
If you’re trying to get into the music business, you need to treat your online artist profile like a business. Professionalism is crucial to many A&R reps who don’t want to waste time. This can include how you portray yourself on social media as well, so always keep this in mind.
Of course, no matter how professional, you really won’t get anywhere without talent. Those who are still really serious about making this a reality likely have what it takes. The trick is taking that talent and using it to create unique and exciting music. Always be the best that you can be, and strive to improve with every new track.
Also, don’t upload every single track you’re working on. Chances are, there are going to be a few standouts in a sea of good tracks. It’s nothing against you as an artist, but something pretty much every artist does. Take time and find your best music to share that with your audience.
Connections are huge in the music industry, and they can make or break you as an artist. You should always try to leave a good impression with any promoter or venue you work with. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, you never know who might have the right connection. Getting on the bad side of the wrong person can be quite detrimental as well, so it’s best to keep people happy.
You’ll also need people to work with you, a team who shares your passion for music. Getting signed also means managers, lawyers, publicists, and a lot of other moving parts. Choosing the right people to help you on your journey to success is just another crucial part of the process.
Grow your following
Here’s one that just about every single artist struggles with, regardless of their intent. Artists want to share their art, in this case music, with other people. The problem is, with so many other artists, it’s difficult to compete. It’s bad enough with all the mainstream superstars already pulling millions of plays. Worse yet, you’ve got thousands of other talented artists in the same position as you.
A lot of hard work will go into building those core fans. Word of mouth, advertisement, forums posts, buying followers – do whatever it takes. You might not see the results you want right away, but stick with it. If you’re talented, the fans will start coming in when you start marketing to the right audience.
You don’t have to be Adele, Bruno Mars, or Skrillex to be successful. If you can pull in 1,000 legitimate fans who are willing to share your music or buy your merch, that’s impressive. A&R reps will see that and realize the work that goes into building a following on your own.
Patience and perseverance
There’s no set amount of time spent promoting that will guarantee contact from an A&R rep. Sadly, there’s no guarantee at all you’ll ever even get the chance. Still, the fact is that you can drastically improve your odds by taking the right steps now. Follow the guidelines we’ve shared, and you just might end up getting a special phone call in the future.